A new electric power-assist steering option (EPAS) is now available on the JCB Groundhog 4x4 UTV. This automotive-type system is a bespoke off-road unit, specifically tailored to the JCB UTV.
The EPAS system alters its responsiveness depending on travel speed. If the UTV is stationery or driving at very low speed, the unit will give maximum assist, making steering effort light and easy. The steering effort at low speed is 75% less than that of a non power-steer machine. This gives the benefit of being able to manoeuvre much more easily in tight areas as well as reducing operator fatigue.
When travelling at the maximum ground speed of 50 kph, the level of assistance is significantly reduced to ensure positive feel and control. The EPAS unit is fitted neatly underneath the dashboard, on the steering column. The rack and pinion steering remains unchanged.
This power-assist option comes with a dashboard-mounted warning lamp fitted for legislative requirements. It warns the operator in the event of power loss or other fault in the EPAS unit.
A JCB spokesman said: “This is the single most significant development since we went into production on this model 20 months ago. We are responding to market demand. The applications most suited to this are low speed applications such as equine, golf, cemeteries, and public parks. And it appeals to all those operators who want a low-effort lighter-feel but without loss of control.”