JCB Re-Enters North American Paving Market

Two small, low-maintenance compaction machines already employed in other regions will revive the Vibromax brand.

JCB’s LiveLink telematics is standard, offering real-time location and geofencing, utilization monitoring and operational data. (JCB)

JCB introduced two new tandem-roller compaction machines to the North American market at the Pave/X 2024 show in San Antonio, Texas, in late January. The CT160 and CT260 are designed for ease of use, all-day productivity, low maintenance and operator comfort, according to James Gill, product manager of backhoe loaders, site dumper and compaction equipment at JCB North America.

JCB says the CT160 (shown) and CT260 are segment leaders with more than 25% of the market in some regions. (JCB)

“We are re-entering the North American market with a strong, proven product,” Gill said in a statement. “The models have been available in markets outside of North America for some time, and the durability has been truly tried and tested. The CT160 and CT260 are market leaders in their sector with well over 25% of market in some regions,” he added. “By re-entering the North American market with a product that we have confidence in, it paves the way for the rollout of an extensive portfolio of compaction equipment.”

At 3,770 to 6,041 pounds (1,710 to 2,740 kg), the machines are easily trailered, Gill said. The CT160 offers a choice of either a 31.5-inch (800-mm) or a 39.3-inch (1,000-mm) drum. The CT260 comes with a 47.2-inch (1,200-mm) drum. The machines will be branded once again with the Vibromax name, after the German company JCB acquired in 2005. “The Vibromax was a well-respected product, with the North American arm of the original company being based out of Racine, Wisconsin,” Gill said.

Specs for the JCB Vibromax soil compaction machines. (JCB)

This expansion of the JCB Vibromax soil compaction machinery line comes with several “thoughtful” features and benefits, the company notes. On both machines, the directional drive lever is said to enable smooth fore and aft movements. An overhead view of the CT160 and CT260 reveals their hourglass profile, which allows operators to see the drum edges more clearly. Human-machine interfaces (HMI) for the CT machines’ control panels were a particular focus for designers. Work modes are easy to understand, according to JCB, and the switches are sized to create positive tactile feedback even with gloved hands.

Anti-vibration mounts are said to reduce fatigue by isolating the operator from the drum vibrations. Automatic vibration control is standard, and the CT160 and CT260 feature three vibration settings: for both drums, for the rear drum only, or for only the front drum.

The manually adjustable offset on the front drum can assist operators in avoiding damage to curbs. The rear drum is flush with the rear chassis, allowing work close to walls or obstacles. JCB also claims that chamfered edges on the drums enable a smooth finish, and a pressurized water spray system keeps the drums clean during operation. Drum scraper bars (two per drum) reportedly are easily adjustable whether working with stone or asphalt.

All service points for the CT260’s three-cylinder 24.4-hp engine are accessible at ground level. (JCB)

The CT160 employs a three-cylinder, 19.8-hp (14.8-kW) engine and CT260 models feature a three-cylinder 24.4-hp (18.2-kW) powerplant. All engines are Tier 4 Final compliant and do not require a diesel particular filter (DPF) or diesel exhaust fluid (DEF/Ad Blue). All engine service points are accessible at ground level, and a high-lift tilt-up hood allows access to all daily maintenance checks. JCB also notes that the new central articulation joint is maintenance-free –a benefit for rental customers – cutting greasing time and operating costs.

JCB’s LiveLink telematics system is standard, offering real-time location and geofencing, utilization monitoring and operational data, including when the vibration system is in use. JCB LiveLink also provides critical machine alerts that pre-empt unscheduled maintenance and help with maintenance planning. Remote access to JCB LiveLink historical data and maintenance records assists machine and fleet management.