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Hilliard Civil Engineering Blog

A Nottingham-based contractor has invested over £3 million in JCB kit with operator comfort a key criteria in this decision.

As an independent civil engineering and groundworks contractor, Hilliard Civil Engineering realise the importance of dependable service delivery and client satisfaction. That’s why when they invest in new machinery, it must be reliable, powerful and efficient in performance – as well as comfortable for the operators to guarantee a productive day in ‘the office’.

Hilliard Civil Engineering has recently bought 52 new JCB machines in total including 245XR and 140X tracked excavators, site dumpers, midi excavators, Loadall telescopic handlers and compaction rollers. The new machines have already been put to work on a range of housebuilding, road construction and sewerage projects across the Midlands region, including the first zero carbon home site in Nottinghamshire.

Unrivalled comfort 

It is well documented that housebuilding space is at a premium, but today’s operators still require machinery that performs effectively even in tricky spots. Hilliard Civil Engineering’s 245XR 360 excavator – one of the latest additions to JCB’s highly acclaimed JCB X Series range – has reduced tailswing which maximises its potential to perform safely in tight and congested environments.

Yet despite that shorter counterweight, the 245XR still boasts the full size JCB CommandPlus cab - one of the biggest, on the market. Operator comfort is prioritised – a must for those spending long stretches of time at the controls.

A Hilliard Civils machine operator of the JCB 245XR also commented: “The cab on this machine is outstanding. The controls feel better in your hands. My office is my cab, and it is a properly good cab on that machine! 

“I would recommend JCBs to anybody. They're fast, they're reliable. It is one of the best machines I've ever driven. To me JCB stands out because they are the best."

The 245XR uses the proven one-metre wide cab featured on X Series machines, which is 15% larger than the cab on the previous JS generation. With an internal volume of 2.86m3, it is the largest cab in the sector, delivering maximum comfort throughout the working day for operators.

The cab has an internal noise level of just 69dBa, among the quietest in the sector. It boasts a range of seating options, developed with Grammer, to deliver maximum support and comfort. A heated, adjustable air suspended seat with mechanical lumbar support is standard, while a super deluxe seat with heating and cooling, plus electric lumbar, is available as an option. Updated CommandPlus switch packs sit to the right of the seat and there is a large 7” multifunction display mounted forward of that. 

The X Series cab boasts 11 fully adjustable air vents, with multiple airflow modes to suit the operator and the weather conditions. There is plenty of storage around the cab, with a large space behind the operator’s seat, while the rubber floor and storage area mats can be removed for easy cleaning if required. Standard specification includes climate control, a factory-fit Bluetooth radio, window blinds, refuelling pump and tool kit. Specific packs to suit individual regions will also be offered.
The cab on this machine is outstanding. The controls feel better in your hands. My office is my cab, and it is a properly good cab on that machine!
Family at the heart 

Like JCB, Hilliard Civil Engineering is a family-owned company – established in 1995 by brother/sister Joint Managing Directors Matt and Kerry’s late Father, Matt Hilliard Senior – and has grown to become one of the leading groundworks and civil engineering contractors in the Midlands.

What both companies share is a commitment to hard work and a dedication to providing the very best for their customers. With JCB machinery at its heart, Hilliard Civil Engineering is well placed to ensure all projects are completed to the highest of standards. 

Hilliard Civil Engineering Joint Managing Director, Matt Hilliard added: “We buy JCB because they are a highly reputable British brand. Having been one of first to purchase JCB’s cabbed site dumpers - which have been excellent - we wanted to branch out and try JCB’s wider range. 

“We tested the X Series machines in a tough quarry environment and found them to be very impressive machines, so we quickly put our order in. They are performing very well, and our operators find them comfortable and easy to use.”

Colleague Comfort

With budgets tight and margins squeezed, the decision to invest in new equipment one that we recognise is not taken lightly. Companies need confidence that the machinery they purchase surpasses the needs of their customers. 

Looking after the needs of and wellbeing of team members – who are at the forefront of operations and ultimately dictate the standards of delivery – is a critical investment that pays dividends too.

By choosing JCB, Hilliard Civil Engineering can be sure that their new fleet exceeds the needs of clients and colleagues alike. And that its operators get to work in their very own luxury office space.