Leading construction equipment manufacturer JCB has won a tender for more than 40 machines to help with future disaster relief efforts in the Philippines. Up to nine tropical storms hit the islands every year and after Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, which killed more than 6,300 people, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) acted to ensure damage following future typhoons could be dealt with swiftly by ordering a fleet of high-powered machines.
The AFP awarded its tender to JCB and it will take delivery of 3CX and 1CX backhoe loaders and VM115 soil compactors. A JCB JS205 tracked excavator and a 540-170 Loadall telescopic handler are also part of the order. The fleet will also be put to work on rural development projects when not deployed on disaster relief work.
The order was secured by JCB SEA and ICON Equipment, JCB’s construction equipment dealer in the Philippines, in the face of fierce competition. The machines will be deployed in September.
Tom Cornell, Managing Director JCB Southeast Asia, said: “The Armed Forces of the Philippines need machines to clear debris after natural disasters, and at other times, for basic infrastructure development in local communities. JCB’s range of machines performs at the highest level in the toughest of environments and is ideally placed to handle the wide variety of tasks faced in the Philippines.”
ICON Equipment will also provide the training and service back up for the machines. Fernando L. Imperial, President of ICON Equipment, said: “The AFP tender was hard fought in the face of some tough competition from other global manufacturers. The teamwork between JCB SEA and local knowledge of ICON Equipment was crucial to the successful outcome. JCB equipment and the service back-up provided by ICON is well respected in the Philippines and this order highlights the fact at the highest level.”
The versatile backhoes – which have a front shovel and rear excavator – will be used to clear debris on roads and tracks after a disaster. The soil compactors will compact tracks after a disaster and ensure drainage of surface water that would otherwise cause tyres to get stuck in mud.
While the JS205 tracked excavator will be used for dismantling damaged properties, the lifting capabilities of 540-170 telescopic handler could prove vital to saving lives, gently removing rubble from collapsed buildings when a typhoon strikes.
When Typhoon Haiyan hit in 2013, JCB Chairman Lord Bamford donated three high-powered JCB 3CX backhoe loaders worth more than $500,000 to help deal with the aftermath. In 2006 JCB sent a fleet of 3CX backhoe loaders to the Philippines after Typhoon Reming hit the Bicol region, destroying much of the infrastructure.