Check out our 2024 Corporate Sustainability Report!

JCB's Tier4i Ecomax Engines Make North American Debut

JCB machines featuring its Ecomax engines—a solution to Tier 4 interim emissions legislation—were on display for the first time in North America at the American Rental Association’s, The Rental Show, Feb. 10-13, 2013.

JCB Ecomax engines meet Tier 4 interim (or “Tier 4i”) legislation through the use of patent-pending, in-cylinder technologies that offer a cleaner, more efficient combustion process. As a result of this technology, JCB is the only leading equipment manufacturer in the world to have met the stringent Tier 4i emissions legislation without the use of diesel particulate filters (DPF) or after-treatments such as Ad-Blue– resulting in the world’s cleanest and most efficient off-highway engines.


The JCB Ecomax engine builds on the success of the company’s original Dieselmax engine. Ecomax retains the same key characteristics of the original Dieselmax engine, including high torque at low engine revs, robustness, and low noise and vibration. The engine was developed following a $126 million investment program, and it has undergone over 110,000 hours of testing across a range of diverse applications, machines and environments.


As well as the obvious environmental benefit from reduced emissions, the JCB Ecomax engine also offers customers improved torque throughout the rev range, coupled with noticeably reduced fuel consumption.

JCB Ecomax engines can run on standard engine oils, unlike engines with after treatment solutions, which require a more expensive CJ4 oil to function correctly.

The “no-after treatment approach” also allows for an innovative recalibration option. This option allows JCB dealers to recalibrate the Ecomax engine to lower injection pressures and turn off the exhaust gas regeneration (EGR) function without any hardware changes. In effect, this recalibration takes the engine out of the EPA emissions tier system and opens it up for export to non-legislated countries that only offer lower quality fuels with higher sulphur content. This maximizes the residual value of used machines for customers and dealers alike without sacrificing the engine’s advanced features.

Because these engines do not require DPF or after-treatment, their dimensions and space claim on machines remain unchanged.  This removes the need for any increase in chassis length or hood size maintaining the machines’ excellent maneuverability and visibility.

The JCB Ecomax engine range has been extended to meet the needs of machines spanning the 74hp to 173hp range, including JCB backhoe loaders, Loadall telescopic handlers, wheel loaders, the TM range of telescopic boom wheeled loaders, JS excavators, rough terrain forklifts and skid steer loaders.


The introduction of the Tier 4i solution has also resulted in an expansion of JCB’s backhoe loader range. The company has introduced a new entry-level specification 3CX model designed for rental customer needs.  This new entry-level 3CX is powered by the 74hp JCB Ecomax engine and comes standard with the JCB SynchroShuttle transmission.  From there, the deluxe end of the range starts with the family of 3CX Supers, powered with the larger 91hp JCB Ecomax and coming standard with the JCB Powershift transmission. Rounding out the top of the range is the four-wheel-drive 4CX Super, coming in at 109HP and also featuring the JCB Powershift transmission. All engines offer increased, usable torque over their Tier 3 predecessors and offer fuel savings of up to 5%.

The launch of the JCB Ecomax engine coincides with the introduction of a host of other backhoe loader improvements. While the 3CX has a triple-gear pump to power the working ends of the machine, the 3CX Supers and 4CX Supers will now get, as standard, a 44 gpm variable-flow hydraulic pump.

These pumps are configured to perfectly match hydraulic flow and pressure to the demands placed on the system, yielding up to 6% fuel efficiency improvement on top of improved efficiency already achieved by the Ecomax engine itself. The new variable-flow pump also results in lower lever efforts, reduced noise levels and rapid control response for up to 30% faster cycle times.

JCB has also expanded the types of hydraulic controls offered by its backhoe range. All machines will have JCB’s Classic Controls (mechanical style) to operate the back end as standard, while the 3CX Super and 4CX Super will see two additional control options.  With JCB Easycontrol, the excavator is controlled via two seat-mounted joysticks, giving the operator the same feel and feedback as the classic control, but with the added benefits of low lever efforts and short throws.  With the introduction of the Tier 4i range, JCB has also launched its new JCB Advanced Easycontrol, which offers many of the same features as JCB EasyControl, while incorporating the loader controls into the right-hand seat controller.

A new in-cab monitor is standard on all models, reporting fuel consumption and also allowing operators to bypass daily checks by automatically reporting any fluid levels that are below acceptable levels.

Overall, this new range of backhoe loaders gives JCB customers a broader choice of machines to perfectly meet their versatile application and sector requirements, all while lowering running and ownership costs.


JCB’s  Loadall telescopic handlers will feature the Ecomax engine in either 74 hp or 109 hp models.

The 74hp engine, powering the 506-36 and 507-42, produces 6% more torque and 5% more power at low revs than the previous Tier 3 engine. This results in comparative performance with significantly reduced fuel consumption.

The larger units in the range—the 509-42, 510-56 and 512-56—are all powered with the 109hp engine. Customers taking these machines will see an average 15% increase in torque and 10% boost to low rev power.


Lift & Access is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.