JCB wins $142m US Army contract to supply rough-terrain forklifts


British equipment manufacturer JCB has received a $142m contract to supply light-capability, rough-terrain forklifts for the US Army.

Under the contract, the company will supply more than 1,600 forklifts, which will be used to load and unload aircraft and shipping containers.

The new 527-58M forklift is engineered from JCB’s range of commercial Loadall telescopic handlers.

JCB North America president and CEO Arjun Mirdha said: “We are proud that the US Army has once again chosen JCB and its Savannah-based manufacturing facility to produce an extraordinary piece of specialised equipment.”

The company will manufacture the forklifts at its headquarters in Savannah, Georgia, US.

The 2m-wide and 1.98m-high 527-58M is optimised to work in confined spaces and can travel at speeds up to 20mph.

"We are proud that the US Army has once again chosen JCB and its Savannah-based manufacturing facility to produce an extraordinary piece of specialised equipment."

It has a maximum lift capacity of more than 5,000lb and a lift height of 19ft.

According to the company, the 527-58M has been redesigned to meet requirements for wading and fording operations.

In 2005, JCB received a $206m contract from the army to produce hundreds of high-speed military versions of the company's high-mobility engineer excavator (HMEE).

The HMEE is capable of travelling at speeds up to 60mph and has been sold to allied forces worldwide, including the UK, Sweden, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.

Over the past three decades, JCB has supplied more than 4,000 machines to armed forces in 57 countries.


Image: The 2m-wide and 1.98m high 527-58M is optimised to work in confined spaces and it can travel at a speed of 20mph. Photo: courtesy of Nigel Chell / JCB.