JCB has launched the 457S, a new 20-tonne flagship for its market-leading agricultural wheeled loader range, with payloads in excess of six tonnes delivering ultimate loading performance for sugar beet hauliers, big biogas plants, and large-scale contract silage and muck spreading teams.

The new machine joins JCB’s top-end 419S and 435S wheeled loaders purpose-built for agricultural applications; and while it shares some elements of the established JCB 457 used for stockpiling and loading out of large bulk commodity stores, the ‘S’ version has a new rear chassis and counterweight, and new transmission, axles, wheels and tyres to give it outstanding capabilities for demanding outdoor roles.

The new JCB 457S wheeled loader features:

  • 282hp (210kW) Dynamic power for a class-leading 14hp per tonne power-to-weight ratio
  • 224hp (167kW) Economy power and auto engine shut-down to help overall fuel economy
  • New six-speed manual/auto powershift with selectable torque converter lock-up
  • Wide track heavy-duty 20-stud axles with limited slip or auto locking differentials
  • High load capacity 710mm or 800mm radial traction tyres or hard surface tyre
  • Standard or high-lift loader arms with roll-back available to minimise bucket spillage
  • New JCB folding grass fork attachment – 4.88m (16ft) wide, 7.10cu m capacity
  • New rear chassis with larger 400-litre fuel capacity and increased departure angle
  • Wide core cooling package with swing-out auto reverse hydraulically-driven fan
  • Quiet and comfortable Command Plus cab with fabric heated air suspension seat
  • Contractor Pro pack adds LED 360-degree lighting, carpet, half-leather heated and ventilated seat, twin beacons, stainless steel exhaust stack

JCB Agriculture Managing Director John Smith said: “The new 457S loading shovel is an important addition to our range, providing a further step up in bulk loading performance with tremendous pushing power to meet the requirements of operators carrying out the most demanding applications.

“It also underlines our commitment to developing purpose-built high-capacity wheeled loaders for the agricultural market for efficient and highly productive bulk loading and handling.”

At the heart of the loader is a new powershift transmission with six forward and three reverse ratios, with torque converter lock-up giving direct mechanical drive available in all six forward gears as the standard configuration.

Alternatively, the operator can use a new menu on the in-cab settings and operator information display to select torque converter lock-up in any reverse gear and any of the lowest three forward gears to suit different applications and driver preferences.

The combination of direct mechanical drive, close-ratio gearbox and class-leading 14hp per tonne power-to-weight ratio results in impressive pushing and climbing performance, making full use of the 282hp (210kW) and 1,200Nm peak torque of the 6.7-litre six-cylinder Cummins B6.7 engine.

For less demanding materials handling applications, the operator can revert to the default ‘standard’ power output of 224hp (167kW) to save fuel, with auto engine shut-down after a period at idle, also contributing to overall fuel economy.

When on the move, a top speed of either 40kph or 48kph enables the loader to keep pace with manure spreading and silage harvesting teams, and a 20-tonne capacity Rockinger tow hitch with drawbar location camera can be added, together with either twin-line hydraulic or air-ready trailer braking.

To help keep the engine and oil cooling systems at peak efficiency, a large cooling fan is installed with programmable automatic reversing to disperse dust and debris, and the fan assembly swings out to give quick and clear access for cleaning the radiator matrix.

A new rear chassis design provides increased fuel storage capacity of 400 litres within the structure to keep the loader running during a busy schedule of heavy loading, and there is a re-profiled counterweight giving the clearance needed for filling a silage clamp.

The new JCB 457S runs on heavier duty 20-stud axles that can be equipped with either limited slip or auto locking differentials to get optimum traction when the ground is slippery underfoot, while a wider track width permits larger tyres to be fitted.

For field and yard applications, the 710/75 R32 Trelleborg TM2000 and 800/65 R32 Michelin MegaXbib 2 radial traction tyres provide first-rate grip and durability while keeping the new wheeled loader within 3.0m overall width, while for predominantly hard-surface operations, Michelin XHA 23.5 R25 L3 radials can be fitted all round.

Front end performance is determined by which of two loader arm options is chosen: the standard High Torque arms give muscular tear-out performance and a lift height of 4.3m, while the High Lift alternative increases the clearance over hoppers and AD plant feedstock bunkers to 4.8m at the attachment pivot pin.

Contractors and large farms clamping grass or maize for silage or as an AD feedstock can make full use of the 457S loader’s performance by adding the new 4.88m (16ft) wide, 7.10cu m capacity Folding Grass Fork developed specifically for the new machine.

Like all JCB attachments, the new implement is performance-matched and certified ‘ready to work’ with the relevant couplings and fittings included, and a safety frame is available that slides on to the folded forks to cover all the tines and provide proximity warning lights for road travel.

Operators get to work in the spacious Command Plus cab, with added distinction provided by the optional Contractor Pro pack that adds 360-degree LED lighting, twin beacons, a stainless steel exhaust stack, carpet and a cooled as well as heated half-leather super deluxe seat.

John Smith added: “Throughout more than 50 years of wheeled loader production, JCB has always strived to build the best, most productive machines for agriculture. With its exceptional power, torque, tractive performance and ease of use, the new JCB 457S epitomises that endeavour.”