JCB celebrated a unique milestone today as its 750,000th backhoe loader rolled off the production line in Rocester, Staffordshire — the very location where the first JCB backhoe was manufactured almost 70 years ago.
In 1953 company founder, the late Joseph Cyril Bamford CBE, conceived the idea of the JCB backhoe loader which created, for the first time, a single machine combining a front shovel and rear excavator arm. In its first full year of production in 1954, just 35 of the machines were produced and it took more than 20 years for the first 50,000 to be made. JCB now manufactures backhoe loaders in the UK, USA, India, and Brazil.
“Some of my earliest childhood memories are of watching our first backhoe loaders being produced and it’s incredible to think we have now manufactured 750,000,” said Lord Bamford, JCB Chairman.
“The backhoe remains one of the world’s most popular construction machines almost seven decades after it first was produced, dominating the world market for 19 consecutive years. It is a testament to the versatility of the machine that its popularity continues to endure. With the continuation of JCB’s innovation and capability, we will continue to see this machine prosper in the future,” said Richard Fox- Marrs, president of JCB North America.
The company’s first backhoe was the JCB Mark I and the concept literally changed the world, mechanizing many jobs which had previously been done by hand. The product developed rapidly, with the launch of the Hydra-Digga in 1956. The launch of the heavier, more powerful JCB 4 in 1960 was the first machine with JCB’s signature yellow branding.
In 1980, an investment of nearly $31 million to design the technologically advanced JCB 3CX created a machine which has become a backhoe icon around the world – and the catalyst for the growth of backhoe sales and for JCB.
Today, the current generation of backhoe loaders feature automatic deployment of stabilizers on unlevel ground, a Smooth Ride System which cushions the loader and improves load retention when travelling, and a TorqueLock feature which reduces on-road fuel consumption by up to 25%.
The latest backhoe production milestone comes after JCB celebrated the manufacture of its 500,000th backhoe in December 2012 — a 5CX, the most powerful commercially available backhoe JCB has ever made.