Staffordshire STEM Centre
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The JCB Loadall Challenge Project

 JCB is a company built through innovation, with engineering at its heart. Understanding basic principles of physics and technology such as forces, energy and materials coupled with experience of solving problems in a structured way is an excellent foundation to kick start an interesting and exciting career.


On a daily basis our teams use their knowledge of mechanical, electrical, electronics, software, manufacturing and materials to develop new solutions which provide our customers with easier, more efficient, and environmentally sensitive solutions to get their job done. Teamwork, clear communication, and commercial awareness complete the skillset so that as a business we drive truly innovative and world class solutions for our customers."  Miles Pixely JCB


JCB therefore clearly value the importance of technology skills learned in schools, and always look to recruit young people who can demonstrate these along side key life skills which they believe are essential for success in the world of work and in society.


They are looking for young people who demonstrate:


• A ‘can-do-will-do’ attitude

• being proactive and achieve through actions

• a passion for quality

• creative and enterprising behaviour

• the capacity to work in a Team and leadership potential


Working in partnership with the Entrust STEM centre they have developed a project aimed at giving a group of Y9 or Y10 pupils a realistic problem and design brief to solve over a 10 week period in extra curricular time for example a STEM club or a stretch and challenge activity. The project will develop young people’s understanding of engineering and give them the opportunity to work in a team, design and be creative. The ‘Loadall Challenge’ project is based on the company’s existing product in their range of telescopic handlers.


The JCB telescopic handler is a machine widely used in agriculture and industry. It is similar in appearance and function to a forklift but is more a crane than forklift, with the increased versatility of a single telescopic boom that can extend forwards and upwards from the vehicle. On the end of the boom the operator can fit one of several attachments, such as a bucket, pallet forks, compost grab, or winch.



In industry the most common attachment for a tele-handler is pallet forks and the most common application is to move loads to and from places unreachable for a conventional forklift. For example, telehandlers have the ability to remove palletised cargo from within a trailer and to place loads on rooftops and other high places. The latter application would otherwise require a crane. In agriculture the most common attachment for a tele-handler is a bucket or bucket grab, again the most common application is to move loads to and from places unreachable. Telehandlers have the ability to reach directly into a high-sided trailer or hopper. The latter application would otherwise require a loading ramp, conveyor, or similar.


The Loadall boom can also work with a crane jib along with lifting loads, that attachments that include on the market are dirt buckets, grain buckets, rotators, power booms. The agricultural range can also be fitted with three point linkage and power take-off.


Project Brief

The project resources include a brief which will require young people to work in teams to understand and apply the principles of forces, gears, hydraulics, electricity, electrical circuits, ohms law, levers to make a model of a telescopic boom.  Working in teams the final model will be judged for the weight the arm can lift and the height it can lift the weight.


Additional points will be awarded for the electronics, calculations, experimental procedures and additional features

The project will be also give the young people an opportunity to research their customer needs, plan and monitor the project using techniques such as a Gantt Chart a tool widely used in industry to manage a project. Through the project students will also gain experience of designing, engineering drawing and CAD. An understanding of assembly process and the main methods of joining materials together i.e. soldering, welding, nuts and bolts, P clips will be included in making their working model. The teams will deliver a presentation describing their progress throughout the project including how they assigned the team roles, progress made against the action plan drawn up, any issues faced and how they were overcome.


The overall project, presentation and model will then be entered into a county wide competition.


The teams will be provided with STEM ambassador support from the undergraduate team at JCB to ensure they receive expert help and assistance throughout the project.


The final which was held on the 10th December at the Entrust HQ in Stafford was attended by the 7 teams representing schools across the county. Teachers, JCB mentors, parents and friends attended the final to support the teams who demonstrated their finished model and gave a 5 minute presentation. The judging panel included representatives from the LEP, Senior Managers from Entrust and JCB. Awards were presented for the best Loadall design, best operating model,  best attachment, best team work, best presentation and technical content and an overall winner was also announced who will be receiving their prize a VIP day at the JCB site later this year. Congratulations to Chase Terrace Technology College who walked away with the overall winner award. We would like to thanks all the staff and students from all the participating schools Nether Stowe, Sir Thomas Boughey, CEDARS, and Chase Terrace for their support and in making the project such a great success.


We are now ready to start the second round of the competition with more schools keen to take on the ‘Loadall Challenge’!


 If you want to know more and get involved in the Summer term please let us know.