A leading contractor has invested in a fleet of 16 new JCB excavators in a deal worth over £1 million – including eight of the first new 6.5-tonne JCB 65R-1 midi excavator models.

Supplied by dealer Watling JCB, Bedfordshire-based ECL Civil Engineering Limited has also ordered JS290, JS220 and JS130 models. The new fleet has been put to work at the company’s groundworks projects on high profile housebuilding sites across central England.

A direct replacement for the 8065 RTS, the 65R-1 marks a completely new look for JCB midi excavators, with a revised H-design undercarriage, robust steel body panels, a spacious operator environment and a fuel efficient engine that delivers increased productivity and lower operating costs.

ECL Civil Engineering Ltd Director, Steve Tysoe said: “JCB promised the new midi excavators would be on another level and it has delivered on that promise.

“The new machine is a major upgrade. It looks business-like, heavy-duty and fit for purpose. Power is definitely up and fuel efficiency is improved. They really come into their own in confined areas on site where heavier plant cannot access. The service from our dealer Watling JCB is also excellent, always supporting us throughout the life-cycle of each machine.”

ECL Civil Engineering was founded in 1993 and has grown into a major groundworks contractor working with the UK’s leading housebuilders on major new build developments. Current projects include external and drainage works for the new Bellway Homes site at New Cardington near Bedford and the Billington Grove development near Leighton Buzzard for Taylor Wimpey.

The new JCB 65R-1 is powered by a proven 48hp (36.9kW) Tier 3, Perkins diesel engine, and features a series of new improvements on the model it replaces. These include: a 30º tilting cab for excellent service access, 500 hour greasing intervals, 100% steel bodywork for excellent durability, easy to clean under carriage and the JCB “2 Go System”.

With this hydraulic safety system, already seen on larger JS excavators, and extra level of protection is built in to reduce the chance of operators working the hydraulic levers from outside the cab. In addition to the standard hydraulic cut-off that is activated by lifting the left hand lever pod, the operator is required to activate the hydraulic system through a button on the right-hand console.