The story of JCB is one of innovation, ambition and sheer hard work. From small beginnings building agricultural tipping trailers in 1945 to the global force in manufacturing the company has become today.
J.C. Bamford Excavators Limited, universally known as JCB, is an English multinational corporation, with headquarters in Rocester, Staffordshire, manufacturing equipment for construction, agriculture, waste handling and demolition. It produces over 300 types of machines, including diggers (backhoes), excavators, tractors and diesel engines. It has 22 factories across Asia, Europe, North America, and South America; its products are sold in over 150 countries.
Joseph Cyril Bamford in October 1945 in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, England. He rented a lock-up garage 3.7 by 4.6 m (12 by 15 ft). In it, using a welding set which he bought second-hand for £1 from English Electric, he made his first vehicle, a tipping trailer from war-surplus materials. The trailer’s sides and floor were made from steel sheet that had been part of air-raid shelters. On the same day as his son Anthony was born, he sold the trailer at a nearby market for £45 (plus a part-exchanged farm cart) and at once made another trailer.At one time he made vehicles in Eckersley’s coal yard in Uttoxeter. The first trailer and the welding set have been preserved.
1953 proved to be a pivotal year for new products when Mr Bamford invented the backhoe loader with the launch of the JCB Mk 1 excavator. It was the first time a single machine had been produced with a hydraulic rear excavator and front mounted shovel. This ingenuity still bears fruit today: JCB has manufactured more than 600,000 backhoes and they are now made on three continents.
1953 was also the year that the famous JCB logo – recognised the world over – was first used on a machine and it was eventually registered as a trademark five years later.
With the launch of a range of new backhoes, by the time the 1960s arrived it was clear this machine was revolutionising the building industry, increasing productivity and reducing reliance on manpower.
JCB has 18 factories in the UK, Germany, North and South America, Australia, India, China, and CIS.The company employs some 12,000 people on four continents and sells its products in 150 countries through 1500 dealer depot locations. The company has a range of more than 300 products. JCB’s factory in Ballabgarh, India world’s biggest backhoe loader factory.
Many of the vehicles produced by JCB are variants of the backhoe loader, including tracked or wheeled variants, mini and large versions and other variations for carrying and moving items, for example fork lift vehicles and telescopic handlers for moving materials to the upper floors of a building site. Wheeled loading shovels and articulated dump trucks are also produced.
Tracked 360° excavators ranging from the JZ70 (7 tonne zero tail swing excavator) to the JS460 (46 tonne tracked excavator). In 2008 at Con expo JCB revealed a new top range JS520 which included the new style paintjob with rams painted black.
Wheeled 360° excavators ranging from the JS130W to the JS200W.
Machines can be produced with either monoboom or a triple articulated boom.
Industrial and agricultural wheeled loaders from compact 6 tonne hydrostatic machines to larger 25 tonne quarrying machines using a mix of 4 and 6 cylinder diesel engines.
JCB has also made its name in the tractor world by producing one of the first such machines that features proper suspension and is capable of travelling at speed on roads. The JCB Fastrac entered production in 1990. Prior to this design, the suspension was difficult because of the fixed-height connections required to farm machinery, and tractors were notoriously slow on the roads. Dependent on the model, the Fastrac can travel at 50 km/h, 65 km/h or 75 km/h (40 mph). At launch the Fastrac was featured on the BBC television programme Tomorrow’s World, and years later as Jeremy Clarkson’s tractor of choice in Top Gear. From 2006 the company also produces a range of compact tractors designed for grounds-care, horticultural, and light agricultural duties.
JCB also makes a range of military vehicles, which also concentrate on load-handling and excavation. These include the JCB HMEE.
In April 2006, JCB announced that they were developing a Diesel-powered Land Speed Record vehicle known as the ‘JCB Dieselmax’. The car is powered by two modified JCB 444 diesel power plants using a two-stage turbocharger to generate 750 bhp, one engine driving the front wheels and the other the rear wheels.
On 22 August 2006 the Dieselmax, driven by Andy Green, broke the diesel engine land speed record, attaining a speed of 328.767 mph (529 km/h). The following day, the record was again broken, this time with a speed of 350.092 mph (563.418 km/h).
1949: JCB Major Loader revolutionises agriculture
1952: JCB backhoe loader is born with the Mk 1 Excavator
1963: JCB 3C takes backhoe performance to new levels; a design classic
1964: JCB 7 becomes JCB’s first crawler excavator
1971: JCB 110 hydrostatic crawler loader proves our pioneering spirit
1977: JCB 520 telescopic handler, a new concept, takes the industry by storm
1980: JCB 3CX marks the construction industry’s largest investment in a single machine
1990: JCB Fastrac becomes the world’s first fully suspended, high-speed draught tractor
1993: JCB robot skid steer loader becomes the world’s safest skid steer
1997: JCB Teletruk takes the industry by storm
2006: 2 JCB 444 diesel engines power the JCB Dieselmax to the diesel word land speed record
2010: JCB Eco machines take machine efficiency and productivity to new world-beating levels
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