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JCB unveil the 3CX Compact Highways Master

JCB 3CX Compact Highways Master backhoe loader

Company launches new one-machine backhoe loader solution for roads and highways maintenance

BACKHOE loader world leaders JCB have introduced the 3CX Compact Highways Master – a one-machine solution for roads and highways maintenance.

The brand-new model, which has been designed specifically to meet the needs of highway contractors, local councils and rental businesses, is based on the popular 3CX Compact backhoe loader but has been developed over a three-year period with customers in the road maintenance industry.


As a result, the Highways Master is a solution that has been driven by the sector, offering a number of industry-first features that are designed to transform traditional highway maintenance operations in terms of safety, productivity and versatility.

The Highways Master is differentiated with a dedicated white with red chevrons livery, complete with Chapter 8 safety decals. The machine is equipped with a skid-steer loader quick-hitch on the front loader arms and a SMART attachment integration system, making it easy to carry out a range of tasks with buckets and a wide variety of specialist attachments.

The SMART system allows automatic switchover of the machine’s electronics, to suit some third-party attachment operating systems, for maximum versatility.

The increased adaptability has been matched by enhanced hydraulic power, as the front loader auxiliary lines now deliver 120 litres/min of high-flow hydraulic power, up from 70 litres/min on the standard 3CX Compact, to operate larger 600mm road-planer attachments.

This allows the machine to be used for larger resurfacing works, replacing stand-alone, dedicated 0.35–0.5m road-planing equipment and other equipment.

Also, an optional hydraulic quick-hitch on the rear boom allows rapid changeover between attachments, whilst being the only model on the market that can be readily deployed for road-planing applications with a 300mm rear as well as a 600mm front planer attachment, the machine will offer customers a safer two-in-one road-planing solution.

Moreover, standard Powerslide side-shifting capability at the rear allows the operator to mill a square patch without having to reposition the machine – an industry first feature allowing a cross-cut within a single carriageway without requiring manual hand tools. In addition, depth control improves operator accuracy and productivity.

The Highways Master comes with integrated water tanks to provide dust suppression to both the front loader or the backhoe attachment, automatically engaging to suppress dust and maximize longevity of consumables while sweeping or milling.

A simple, seven-in-one, single front multifunction joystick makes it easy to control functionality of attachments on the loader arms.

The 3CX Compact Highways Master is equipped with auto two- and four-wheel steering, at the touch of a button, for maximum manoeuvrability in tight site conditions. The machine is also supplied with Vari Speed PRO, providing independent and constant flow to the attachment, while maintaining a fixed hydrostatic travel speed. JCB say this is particularly useful for planing and other high-flow attachment operations that require higher engine rev/min with steady travel speeds, for consistent productivity in tough applications.

An optional external emergency stop button is fitted to the rear wing, to allow operatives outside the backhoe loader to halt the machine if required. The Highways Master also comes as standard with a periscope mirror, to enhance front loader visibility, along with front and rear-view cameras and a tow hitch under the chassis to allow the machine to tow a trailer to site.


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