JCB reaches towards MMC
18 October 2021
While it might be beyond the scope of most tool hire and equipment hire companies, JCB’s latest machine has been developed in response to a particular construction industry trend.
At the recent launch of the new 555-260R rotating telescopic handler, Tim Burnhope, JCB’s chief innovation and growth officer described the rise of modern methods of construction (MMC) techniques, in which much of the building work is done off or near-site.
This concept was discussed on the blog last year. Interest has grown since the pandemic as a potential way of building in a faster, more efficient, eco-friendly with greater consistency.
Tim Burnhope said that the UK consistently lags behind its target of building 300,000 new homes annually (220,000 were constructed in 2020) and that MMC could be a way forward.
Building structural elements in factories could speed production a time of material and labour shortages, and machines like the 555-260R with heavier lift capacity could handle and position them efficiently on site, he said.
The machine, which has a 5.5-tonne lifting capacity and offers up to 26m of reach, also lends itself to applications involving timber framed houses, bridge work and warehouse construction.
It also has a 112kW Stage V diesel engine, again showing that internal combustion engines will be needed on powerful machines for some time yet.
As the earlier blog post suggested, MMC is quite different from conventional construction techniques but it can offer equipment supply opportunities for tool hirers.