JCB Loadall 540-140 telescopic handlers for Hinkley Point

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A fleet of JCB Loadall 540-140 telescopic handlers is now providing materials handling at Hinkley Point C nuclear power station construction project. The machines are part of a 2,000-strong fleet operated by Bylor, a joint venture between French construction company Bouygues Travaux Publics and the UK construction giant Laing O’Rourke.

Hinkley Point C (HPC) is the first nuclear power station to be built in the UK for more than 20 years. From 2025, the £19.6bn facility is intended to provide electricity for six million homes. As part of a drive towards cleaner energy, the electricity generated by HPC’s two nuclear reactors will offset almost 600 million tonnes of carbon emissions, during its 60-year lifespan.

Bylor’s civil engineering contract calls for the construction of up to 60 major structures on the 40ha site requiring a diverse range of machines, including 50 tower cranes and 20 giant crawler models. This includes one of the world’s largest cranes, a Sarens SGC-250, capable of lifting up to 5,000 tonnes.

Although the lift capacity of JCB Loadalls is far less, they are vital to the everyday running of the project. The telehandlers are used to load specially designed trailers, that carry materials and equipment around the site for the construction teams. The Loadalls then drive to the drop-off location, before safely unloading the trailers and placing the materials.

The Loadalls were supplied by local dealer Holt JCB, as part of a growing fleet of JCB equipment that is working on the contract. This includes a 457 wheeled loader for batching plant work, a 1CX-T tracked compact backhoe loader for confined access, two 714 articulated dump trucks to haul spoil and a number of swivel-tip JCB site dumpers.

Bylor’s general plant manager, John McCoppin explained that their telehandlers do a lot more travel than on a conventional housebuilding site. “I’ve had JCB machines for more than 25 years now, on sites around the world. The JCB telehandler is the market leader, it’s the most reliable and the easiest to maintain. In fact, we have just placed an order for three more.”

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