JCB celebrates 60 years of its backhoe loader

JCB manufactured the world's first backhoe loader six decades ago

JCB chairman Lord Bamford leads the 60th anniversary celebrations
JCB chairman Lord Bamford leads the 60th anniversary celebrations

JCB is celebrating 60 years of its iconic backhoe loader. The world’s first backhoe rolled off the British firm’s assembly line back in 1953, making 2013 the machine’s diamond anniversary.

Its concept was devised by company founder Joseph Cyril Bamford, who combined a lightweight backhoe with a Major Loadall tractor loader. This was the first machine to possess both a front shovel and a rear excavator arm.

Following the advent of the 1953 JCB Mk1, the concept developed rapidly with the launch of the Hydra-Digger in 1956 and the heavier, more powerful JCB 4 in 1960. Today, backhoe loaders are the fourth most popular construction machine, in terms of global plant equipment sales.

It took JCB 20 years to build its first 50,000 backhoe loaders, but under the leadership of incumbent chairman Lord Bamford, the company has gone on to manufacture more than 500,000 machines at sites in the United Kingdom, India and Brazil. Despite its long heritage, JCB appears determined to look towards the future.

“The backhoe loader is not 60 years old,” commented Tim Burnhope, JCB’s chief innovation and growth officer. “It’s 60 years young and this iconic machine has only just started its journey. The JCB backhoe will continue to develop and grow. It is a concept that has much to offer going forwards.

Today, JCB’s backhoe loader is the biggest selling version of the machine in the world, and has been for 13 consecutive years.

“These are exciting times for the backhoe loader and there are many developments on the way,” added Burnhope. “In addition, JCB will concentrate on attachments and ways in which the backhoe loader can provide complete solutions for customers in a wider range of industry sectors.”

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