Our construction team recently got a 100% electric mini excavator: the JCB 19C-IE. This machine has zero emissions and no sound, making it perfect for tough remodels or indoor work. Let’s take a look at the features of the JCB 19C-IE electric mini excavator: the pros, cons, and everything in between.
- Ignition: Like all excavators that have a standard key in ignition, you have to turn and hold until it starts. For the electric excavator, you hold until the blue light turns on. Next, you can lower the levels, unlock the controls, and set the RPM — which is like the throttle on a diesel machine — to high, medium or low. You’ll have to listen closely to hear the engine, which is very quiet.
- Speed: It has two speeds for tracking. Low speed is 1.5 miles per hour and high speed is 2.5 miles per hour.
- Tracks: The tracks can be pulled in to allow you to go in and out of tight places in buildings. They can be quickly re-extended once you’ve passed through the entrance and need to get to work.
- Cycle: Compared to its diesel counterpart, the cycle time for the electric mini is not just comparable but may actually be faster. This is a big plus.
- Power: As far as juice, it’s actually really comparable to the diesel model. At max extension, it’s just over 700 pounds.
- Dig reach: The max dig reach is technically 12’9″, but we found that to get any production digging we were more successful at seven feet.
- Blade: Another cool feature is you can extend the dozer blade. The pins can be manually popped out, and then you rotate the blade in or out.
- Charge: The electric mini gives us five hours of continuous use, probably a little bit longer. It charges overnight on standard 120 or 110. It takes about 10.5 hours to charge, but you can also charge it with 230 to reduce your charge time to five hours. And the 415 can actually charge it in rapid charge in two hours. One big note: you cannot operate it when it’s plugged in. If it runs out of batteries, you have to charge it.
The electric mini excavator is great for remodels. We’re working on a Costco remodel right now, and this machine allows us to operate during the day without breaking noise and emissions restrictions. Using normal excavators, we had to pump our emissions outside, run hoses and fans, and struggled to limit the noise. With the electric mini excavator, those problems are gone.
We also use this machine in the healthcare setting, as big hospitals are always remodeling. The size and retractable tracks allows us to fit into tight spaces and narrow doors, which a huge advantage.
Overall, the electric mini excavator has made our lives a lot easier. We’re real happy with the JCB 19C-IE. We were initially skeptical at the horsepower, and whether it could cycle and pick what we needed, but it has surprisingly been up to the task. The cycle times have been equal to with its diesel counterparts, while the curl of the bucket is only slightly slower than the diesel.
One con we’ve noticed: the front bucket has two teeth instead of three. That’s an issue when digging trenches, as it can mound the dirt a little bit. We might add a third tooth to the bucket to fix that problem.
Big picture, though, the JCB 19C-IE electric mini excavator has been a major addition to our projects. We’ve had almost a 100% utilization of the machine since we’ve owned it, which says everything you need to know.
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