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What Is A Keycode Ignition On An Excavator?

With the evolution of technology comes new methods of security, even in the world of construction. One common problem that we find customers struggle with is keycode ignition on an excavator. How it works, the method, and the reasons why more and more manufacturers are turning to install this element on their machines.  

By the end of this article, you will have a great understanding of how to operate a keycode ignition and feel far more confident if you come across one when hiring any type of plant equipment.

What is a keycode ignition on an Excavator?

Keycode ignitions have been designed to increase security and boost productivity on an excavator. Excavators are one of the most popular pieces of equipment in the construction industry, holding retail value of thousands of pounds at a time. Even second-hand. These high-value pieces of plant equipment are susceptible to theft. An article published by insurance group Allianz states:

“Large items such as excavators and backhoe loaders can be worth many thousands of pounds, even if they aren’t brand new. However, smaller items like tools are also a lure for thieves since they’re relatively straightforward to steal, not easily identifiable and can be sold on resale websites for a good price. According to a study carried out by Herts Tools,

“nearly £17.5m’ worth of tools were stolen in London 2020.” 

With the increasing demand for new equipment, manufacturers have developed new ways to mitigate the chances of machinery being stolen. One example of this is the use of keycode ignitions.

Keycode ignitions offer a somewhat two-factor authorisation style to operate the machinery. First of all, you need a key and then to enter your security pin for the machinery to even turn on. Incorrect pin entry causes the machine to lock. This could be for a period of up to 30 minutes or more depending on the excavator’s manufacturer.

Productivity with using keycode ignitions on excavators

Keycode ignitions offer a fast and effective way for teams to operate an excavator. Having additional security measures such as keycodes decreases the chance of the machinery being stolen. When a hired excavator is in your possession, you are liable for it, even if it goes missing. This could result in relying on your insurance to replace the machine if it has been lost or stolen. 

Keycode ignitions benefit operators as when the security lock engages, it acts as a determent towards theft. Remember, keycode ignitions will only lock if the passcode is entered more than three times. The correct entry procedure we will cover later in this article.

How to obtain a keycode for your hired excavator?

If you are like many others out there, hiring an excavator for your project is a very common trait. When you collect or receive your machinery from your supplier, they will give you a run-through of the machinery. Including the correct start-up procedure.

It is at this point you are given the keycode for the excavator. A unique code will be generated for your hire, therefore it is always worth noting it down. This code can then be shared with members of your team if they require to use the machinery. When you hire an excavator, you will be responsible for the safety of its ignition keys also. One key is provided for one machine. Missing keys are chargeable, so always be to keep them safe. 

The correct process of keycode entry on JCB 3T excavator

Now we are going to take you through the correct process of using a keycode on an excavator. WHC Hire runs a large fleet of JCB excavators that operate a keycode ignition. Therefore, we will use them as an example. Below is the process to correctly enter a keycode on a 3T JCB Excavator:

  1. Once you have completed your daily checks you need to enter the excavator, raise the left-hand armrest so you can safely enter the machine. Use three points of contact to climb into the machine so that you avoid injuring yourself.
  2. Once seated in the excavator you should engage your seatbelt.
  3. Then key on to position one on the ignition. At this point, the machine will make a buzzing sound.
  4. Go to your keypad which will be situated in front of you depending on where it has been fitted. (Always ask your supplier if you are not sure about its location)
  5. Then you should key in the following. First press MD…. followed by your unique keycode….then hit enter. (Machine sizes will vary on code entry)
  6. Turn the excavator key in the ignition to position two and hold here for approximately 10 seconds to prime the engine correctly. Once primed, turned the key all the way to the right to start the engine.
  7. Once the machine has started, lower the left-hand armrest and now it is ready to work. Some keycode ignitions lock the hydraulics of the excavator also, therefore you may need to click the unlock button which can be found under the keys of the keypad.

Here is a short video to help demonstrate the correct procedure for starting a JCB excavator fitted with a keycode ignition.

Where to hire excavators with keycode ignition?

There is no doubt that security is a major concern in the plant hire industry. If this is of concern to you then our large fleet of specialised JCB excavators can help you.

All our JCB excavators ranging from 3T28T are fitted with state-of-the-art keycode ignitions to help protect our customers when they hire machinery. WHC has taken it upon itself to have these systems installed to strengthen their determent towards theft throughout the hire industry. As part of the Hire Association UK, WHC Hire works closely with other businesses to prevent fraud and loss of assets.

With consistent investment into the quality of our fleet, we are able to provide the latest and safest equipment on the market. For more information about excavator hire please see our online catalogue or call 01684377977 today.