Taken from a Construction Equipment Guide article, dated August 22, 2018
In late May 2018, the historic mill town of Old Ellicott City, Md., experienced its second devastating 1,000-year flood in just two years. More than eight inches of rain fell in just a few hours, creating massive amounts of run-off that uprooted trees and swept other debris into the town’s storm sewer. As the sewer became more clogged, water was not able to flow through it and empty into the Potomac River.
The resulting floodwaters transformed the town’s bucolic Main Street into whitewater rapids that destroyed nearly everything caught in their path. Roads were washed away and travel was extremely hazardous. A JCB Hydradig was donated to help after this devastating natural disaster.
The Hydradig features an all-wheel drive, four-wheel-steer chassis based on JCB’s Loadall telescopic handler concept. It provides operators with total, all-round visibility and the ability to see all four wheels and ground level beyond a three-foot perimeter, making it ideal for use in tight, crowded worksites.
The Howard County Department of Public Works immediately took possession of the Hydradig and began using it to remove fallen trees and other rubble from area roadways. Operators quickly learned how to use the Hydradig’s many features, noting its excellent mobility and ease-of-use.
A Steelwrist tiltrotator attachment with an internal grapple allowed the Hydradig’s dig end to tilt and rotate 360 degrees, making it even faster and easier to pick up and remove debris. A hydraulic quick coupler allowed the operators to switch from the Hydradig’s digging bucket to a grading bucket to pallet forks without ever having to exit its cab.
While the JCB Hydradig may have made its mark in Howard County, it’s also garnered attention at an even higher level, in the form of an order from the Maryland State Highway Administration for four new Hydradigs. The machine’s impressive stability, versatility, maneuverability and visibility continue to win people over as it enters its second year of availability in North America.