Kemach introduce new range of JCB Midi Excavators

Kemach JCB 86

At a recent open day, more than 60 Kemach Equipment’s customers were introduced to the new range of JCB Midi Excavators at their Brackengate, Brackenfell premises.

Two new models have been introduced to the South African market; the 5t 55z-1 and the 8t 86c-1, available with either steel or rubber tracks, being interchangeable by the customer on site in about an hour.

“Steel tracks are most suitable for general site work but where paved or asphalt surfaces are encountered, the rubber tracks are specified to prevent surface damage” explained De Wet Pretorius Kemach Brach Manager.

“Tracked excavators have been a part of the JCB manufacturing family for over 50 years and their experience and insight has come together in what are the most advanced mini diggers available, combining strength, high performance and class leading features.

“These machines are highly productive, compact, agile, innovative and economical to own. Additionally they are very safe to operate and easy to service too” enthused Pretorius.

Features common to both machines include:

  • Zero tail-swing makes the 55Z-1 incredibly manoeuvrable even in the most confined spaces because there’s no rear overhang outside the footprint of the tracks.
  • Premium componentry and great structural strength for long service life
  • New larger cab area, ergonomic controls and premium comfort with standard air conditioning
  • Perfect dig end geometry for ultimate lifting performance
  • Patented and innovative hydraulic system for maximum efficiency
  • New generation efficiency

Because damage sometimes happens on sites, flat glass windows is specified throughout the range as is 100% steel bodywork, minimising possible replacement costs.

Class-leading greasing intervals of 500 hours, means minimal downtime and a new Live Link monitoring system provides alerts on the excavator’s diagnostic status with servicing and safety alerts.

Engine revs reduce when the operator’s armrest is raised, improving fuel economy and noise levels. There’s a One-Touch Idle feature that conserves fuel. Programmable auto idle, meanwhile, can be activated when the controls have been inactive for a period.

Economical Perkins (55z-1) and Kohler engines (85z-1) are fitted and engine speed can be controlled for different hydraulic flows by simply cycling through four different power bands: Light, Eco, Heavy and Heavy Plus. This feature tailors performance to any application.

The patented low-pressure return line circuit further improves fuel efficiency because the pump doesn’t need to overcome a very high pressure before work can start.

Load-sensing hydraulics is standard-fit which translates into the hydraulics only consuming power on demand, this conserves fuel. Attachment hydraulics for hammers and augers are pre-installed making for quick and easy change over.

Cabs on both new machines are fully ROPS and TOPS compliant and where more protection to both cab and operator is desired, impact protection glass can be specified.

JCB claims its 2GO system is unique as it ensures that excavator hydraulics can only be operated in a safe lockable position via two separate inputs.

An overload screen displays a bar chart from green to red, indicating whether the overload point is close or exceeded. Once the limit is passed, the buzzer sounds and the bar flashes to warn the operator. 

A large track frame width and low centre of gravity provides enhanced stability and thanks in part to a 70/30 front screen split, greater visibility than outgoing machines ensure easier, safer trench digging and manoeuvring.

Tracking performance is smooth and precise, ensuring high dozer capabilities and fast travel times. To increase productivity, auto kick-down motors automatically adapt to changes in terrain, increasing productivity and reducing operator fatigue.

Bucket rotation is 181˚, offering great spoil retention during truck loading. A dipper length from 1.45-1.82m is available to suit particular applications.


JCB boast the best SAE service rating on the market, partly because routine checks can be done easily at ground level, without special tools and the 86c-1 incorporates a gas-strutted 30˚ tilting cab for easy access.

Structural strength

Fully robot welded boom and four-plate dipper design are made of high tensile strength steel, with internal baffle plates providing added structural strength for long-life durability.

These latest 8-ton class machines boast a heavy-duty kingpost which features durable re-bushable pivots to optimise service life. It also provides a safe route for all excavator hoses.

Tried and tested premium manufacturers like Perkins and Kohler engines are specified as well as Nachi and Bosch-Rexroth hydraulic components and Bridgestone tracks.


Cabs on both machines are spacious and large doors provide easy, safe access. Inside, there is 6% more space than before, plenty of storage, a phone tray, stowage nets and cup holder. A 12V phone charger, powerful heater with window de-mister and a high performing air conditioning system with 9 vents completes the picture.

Low cost of ownership

The load-sensing hydraulics on JCB’s midi excavators only consume power on demand, conserving fuel and the patented near zero pressure return line circuit further improves fuel efficiency as the pump does not need to overcome as high a pressure before any work can be done.

Contributing to further fuel economy and reduced noise levels is a feature where engine rpm automatically drops below idle when the operator’s armrest is lifted.

Auto idle can be programmed to activate between 2 and 30 seconds after the controls have been inactive to increase fuel efficiency.


The new dozer profile and angle provides high performance with low soil retention for easy cleaning combined with tapered lift points which are positioned behind the edge of the blade providing excellent protection. A dozer blade float option is offered which enables easier ground leveling and efficient site clean-up. The angled dozer blade speeds up trench back filling.

“The JCB 55z-1 and 86c-1 are completely new designs and commonality of many of the components has led to more price competitiveness than in the past. The plethora of advanced features and attention to detail, aid productivity, driver safety and comfort and fuel efficiencies resulting in low real cost of ownership, making JCB a compelling choice in this segment” concluded Pretorius.

Kemach JCB offers the best in earthmoving equipment, ranging from the backhoe loaders to skid steers, wheel loaders, excavators, telescopic handlers, rough terrain forklifts, and compaction equipment.

In addition to the equipment itself, Kemach JCB distributes the full range of JCB parts, while skilled field service technicians and expert product support engineers ensure that assistance is available at all times on a 24/7 basis.