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Think Digger – History of JCB


Think Digger – History of JCB

What is a JCB?

 A JCB is a machine produced by the multinational manufacturing company JCB.

“JCB” stands for Joseph Cyril Bamford Excavators Ltd, which is named after the company’s founder. The term “JCB” is often used informally as a generic description of diggers and excavators, especially those painted in yellow, similar to the branding of JCB.

History of JCB

JCB was founded in 1945 by Joseph Cyril Bamford in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. The business was set up using spare World War II parts and scrap metal, with the first product being all-steel tipping trailer. By 1949, JCB had successfully launched Europe’s first industrial front-end loader, the Major Loader, demonstrating the level of innovation within the company.

In 1953, JCB launched the revolutionary MK I Excavator, the world’s first backhoe loader. This ambitious machine attached an excavator with hydraulic rams to the back of a front-loader, creating the iconic design that is well recognisable today.

The first JCB crawler excavator was designed, the JCB 7, in 1964. This was powered by a Ford engine whilst the design of the digger and the excavator assembly was provided by JCB. By 1977, the JCB 520 telescopic handler was launched. This proved to be a success, and the pioneering concept can still be seen in the modern range of Loadalls manufactured by the company today.

The company enjoyed celebrating production of its 100,000th backhoe in 1985. The iconic JCB 3CX Sitemaster backhoe loader was launched in the same year and went on to become JCB’s best-selling backhoe that can still be seen today.

JCB reached the staggering landmark of producing 500,000 machines in 2004, and over the next nine years would see the production of the next half million. In 2010, the JCB Eco backhoe loader was unveiled. This machine harboured cutting-edge technology that allowed the backhoe to be 16% more fuel efficient than previous models.

2018 saw JCB launch its first all-electric mini excavator, the JCB 19C-IE. This was the first in a range of zero emission products released by the company. The benefit of this machinery is that it can be used indoors as well as outside on sites, and a full charge can last a full working day.

The company continued with its zero-emission design work, and in 2020 developed an industry first with a hydrogen powered excavator. 2020 also saw JCB produce their 750,000th backhoe loader, showing the company’s dedication to the continuation of innovative design and production of the world’s best-selling backhoe.