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The JPB2 Mini Excavator was built by J P B (Mini Excavators) Limited from Earlsdon, Coventry. The company would have been registered in about 1983 and according to Companies House records was dissolved in 1993. It would seem that JPB had a factory at Foleshill, Coventry before moving to Earlsdon and there was also a sales branch at Rocester for a time.
The JPB2 was an unusual design with a 17 hp two cylinder diesel engine, battery start and even lights. It was also a real heavyweight at 1.2 tonnes and the driving position was very high a bit like a Smalley 5. It also had hydraulic drive to the rear wheels and steering seems to be via a single front wheel temporarily attached to the slew. On a muddy site that could prove a bit interesting and would have almost certainly resulted in having to pull yourself around in the conventional towable digger way with the arm.
At first glance you would think this was a 360 degree slew machine like the Smalley. However, it only has 120 degree slew but with a further 90 degree off-set slew ram like you would find on a modern mini-digger. This enabled the JPB2 to dig alongside walls. Despite its size and weight, the JPB2 could still only dig down 2 metres owing to the straight boom. It did have an impressive 2 metre load over height. The machine had four adjustable hydraulic legs so would have needed lots of extra valves to control those, the driving wheels and the extra off-set ram not normally found on a towable machine.
The other thing about the JPB2 is that there were a range of tools available with it that could be plugged into the hydraulic system using drip proof quick couplings. The modern day Health and Safety inspector would just love the long reach circular saw.
The brochure for the JPB2 (use link below) probably dates from 1983 as it says "it is anticipated that the sizes of buckets available will be 8,12,14,18, 20 and 24 inch" which would suggest the brochure was produced not long after the company was started. It also goes on to say that from 1984 a fully glazed and heated cab will be available.
View the PDF of the original brochure by clicking here.
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