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by Eilidh MacPherson
A week with a JCB Groundhog 4x4 on farm, I must admit was fun and enjoyable.
With two very comfortable seats, it meant we could travel as a couple in total comfort round the hill parks, to check the newly arrived summer grazing cattle and their calves.
The 4x4 is powered by a Tier III compliant 19.5kW (26hp) diesel engine, which delivers impressive torque for superb performance in arduous ground conditions, on hilly terrain or when road traveling between sites.
Richard was suitably impressed with the Groundhog’s performance over rough ground. The fullyindependent suspension at each wheel, with high ground clearance gave a much smoother ride than traditional quad bikes.
A Macpherson strut on the front, trailing arm and variable rate springs at the rear all assist in the passenger comfort.
He trialled it over certain ditches, where he had bogged the quad during the winter and fairly raised an eyebrow when it managed to navigate his obstacle course with no faults!
The only negative is that one has to be aware when going down steep hills that there is no engine braking and the foot brake has to be touched in combination with the throttle. We didn’t chance taking the Groundhog on the real hill, but round the in-bye and hill parks it couldn’t be faulted.
A 4x4 continuously variable transmission (CVT) features a high/low gear range with selectable two-or four-wheel drive and engine braking for easy driving and control.
I was fair impressed with the top speed of 50km/hr on the tarred roads around the farm but Nell, wasn’t so keen as she needed go faster stripes as she is still very reluctant to jump on and prefers her four feet and a heart beat to wheeled modes of transport.
A high capacity 10-gauge steel cargo deck, which can carry 500kgs and tow the same amount at the same time is a boon to any farmer, forester, fencer or estate. The sides can be folded down or removed and the deck can also be tipped by hydraulics or manually– a versatile vehicle indeed!
Derek Forster of Scot JCB, who incidentally grew up on the farm next door, says that since the cab was added the JCB Groundhogs have been selling like hotcakes and the demo is constantly out and being purchased. Retailing at just over £10 000, is almost the cost of two quads, but certain estates are tightening their belts and buying these versatile 4x4’s instead of Landrovers and quads for their gamekeepers and shepherds.
The cab can come with solid doors, roll down ones or without.
• Tier III compliant 19.5kW (26hp) diesel engine
• Fully independent suspension at each wheel, with high ground clearance
• 4x4 continuously variable transmission features a high/low gear ratio
• All-wheel hydraulic disc brakes with split circuit and a twin-caliper parking brake provide excellent stopping power
• Top speed of 50kph (31mph) gets you around and between sites quickly