A tracked, telescopic skid-steer loader: Is this a practical farming tool?

A tracked version of the Teleskid has been introduced by JCB to handle loading and re-handling tasks in farming and forestry – where conditions underfoot may be “especially demanding”.

JCB claims that its Teleskid 3TS-8T is unique among compact tracked loaders in having a telescopic boom.

The company’s chief innovation and growth officer, Tim Burnhope, said: “This is the single most innovative development of the compact tracked loader since its launch 20 years ago.

This machine lifts higher, reaches further and digs deeper than any tracked loader of this size.

The concept of a skid-steering compact loader equipped with an extending boom is already “proven” on the wheeled Teleskid 3TS-8W, or so says the manufacturer.

The tracked version can lift more within safe limits thanks to its greater weight – 5.7t for the 3TS-8T versus 4.4t.

Rated operating capacity (35% of the tipping load) for the Teleskid 3TS-8T is 732kg when the ‘mono-boom’ is at full extension. Maximum load-over height increases from 2.9m to 3.8m, with forward reach at ground level increasing from 1.1m to 2.25m.

Extremes

Between those two extremes – claims JCB – there is sufficient forward reach to load and off-load pallets, potato boxes, bulk fertiliser bags and bales from one side of a standard truck or farm trailer.

Operators can switch between fixed and self-levelling bucket control, using a button on the in-cab control panel.

The tracked loader’s boom is equipped with JCB’s Smoothride System suspension. In addition, Teleskid operators can apparently manipulate the boom to replicate the characteristics of a loader with vertical-lift geometry.

As with the wheeled model, the ‘mono-boom’ design allows for cab entry via a side-door.

This new telescopic tracked handler is powered by a 4.4L JCB EcoMAX engine (developing 74hp). The hydraulic system generates 90L/min of oil flow as standard (or 125L/min with the optional high-flow system).

The hydrostatic drive provides ground speeds of up to 12.6kph, running on 450mm-wide rubber belts.