Contractor Reaches New Heights with JCB’s Rotating Telehandler

Building contractor Brendan Loughran & Sons recently took delivery of the very first JCB 555-210R rotating telehandler in Northern Ireland – and it’s already making an impressive impact, as Plant & Civil Engineer’s David Stokes has been finding out.

Established in 1974, Brendan Loughran & Sons enjoys an enviable reputation across a broad range of building contracts all over Ireland. The family-run business is headed up by founder Brendan Loughran, supported by sons Enda, Dermot and Eunan, along with daughter Eilís.

Although in his 80’s now, Brendan still takes an active daily role in the company which is focused on social housing contracts throughout Northern Ireland. It was for one of those contracts that Brendan Loughran & Sons acquired the new JCB rotating telehandler from Dennison JCB, and they haven’t looked back since.

“When we began work on a 22 home development for Apex Housing at McClure Street in Belfast we realised we wouldn’t be able to use self erecting cranes as we’d normally do because of the close proxity to railway lines,” explained Enda Loughran, “so we looked at alternatives – and the JCB 555-210R telehandler with its 360 degree rotating boom and 21 metre reach was an obvious solution.

“Building work is at a very early stage, but we have every confidence it will fulfil its purpose as we have already put it to use on several other contracts, one for apartment in Carrickfergus and another on a demolition job at Parkgate Avenue in Belfast, where 14 new apartments are being built; it was very useful there for lifting off trusses from an existing building.

“We’re impressed with the machine’s versatility. We can see multiple uses for it, eliminating the need to hire in cranes – and our operators love it, not least because they can get out of the cab while staying in full charge of the machine via its remote control which cuts out the necessity for a banksman, making it more productive and much safer.”

Adds Enda: “Also, when placing materials such as blocks or steel at height with a conventional telehandler you have to be careful lining up the machine, whereas with the rotating feature you have much more room to manoeuvre – and you don’t have to move the machine around so much.”

The new model now earning its keep at Brendan Loughran & Sons is powered by JCB’s Stage V Dieselmax engine, and has Auto Engine Idle and Auto Engine Stop features as standard, reducing fuel use and exhaust emissions.

Benefiting from a small turning circle of just 4.05m, with three steer modes and a travel speed of 40kph, this new rotating telehandler has the same simple, well designed controls as the standard machines, so that both machine and operator can work perfectly in harmony.

Separate load monitoring and machine screens provide simple, clear information, with switch packs located next to the operator allow quick configuration, such as winch speeds and Auto outrigger function, while wide cab door opening, high pivoting second joystick arm and large anti slip steps on every side, make climbing into the roto easy.

Extra-large stabiliser feet ensure maximum stability, with the unique ability to deploy within the machine’s footprint, while JCB’s Automate technology makes the deployment of outriggers effortless, boasting an industry leading 26 seconds to go from travel position to fully rigged and ready to lift.

JCB’s Clearview Q-fit  with Automatic RFID attachment recognition system ensures the correct load chart and enables attachments to be swapped in seconds providing maximum productivity, while JCB’s ‘hydraulics to go’ is easy to use and helps reduces operator fatigue.

There’s no doubt the sector is changing and with customers demanding even more versatile, higher reach machines with the capability of operating in confined spaces, so it was a natural progression for JCB to add these rotating telehandler models to its Loadall telescopic handler range.

“So far, the machine has lived up to all our expectations, and more. We are really impressed with its performance,” says Enda. “This was the first time dealing with Dennison JCB. The team there provided us with excellent service and support, for which we thank them.”