JCB have recently released the JCBDRHD950A Rotary Hammer Drill
With the JCB excavator track record, I assumed that a JCB product should be at least of sound construction and so I purchased one on Monday 14th April 2008. It was quite a powerful piece of kit and seemed to be well built. However, it transpired that one feature of the construction seriously lacked the expected engineering design considerations.
The unit is fitted with a Black synthetic cover cap on the base of the motor housing held in place by two 8mm long x 4mm diameter set screws. The screws turn into two Brass threaded anchors (about 6mm deep), which are thermo-set into the synthetic brush/bearing housing of the motor. Even kitchen appliances afford far superior fixings to this and they are not subjected to anywhere near the work load, or work conditions that this type of unit will be subjected too. This situation is not evident upon a visual external inspection and is not realised until the cap is removed.
Of course such removal is not necessary, or desirable and removal is a servicing function. Unfortunately this cover has a mind of it's own and in our case it removed itself within the first few minutes of use leaving the motor windings and commutator exposed to the fingers.
Photographs and more details can be viewed -
These circumstances are currently subject of a formal complaint as indicated on the above web page. The manufacturer offered to collect and replace the drill, but with recurrence being an obvious consequence this offer was declined. The supplier has offered a full refund, which may well be the outcome, but I have retained the unit at present until the public safety aspects are reconciled.
Potential owners, or operators should be aware of this design feature in the interests of safety. Any related feedback would be appreciated.