GALLERY: JCB celebrates 60 years of backhoe
Australian construction equipment distributor JCB CEA is celebrating the 60th birthday of the brand’s iconic backhoe loader. View the picture gallery above for a glimpse of the JCB backhoe’s evolution over the years.
JCB founder Joseph Cyril Bamford invented and manufactured the original JCB backhoe in 1953, creating for the first time a single machine with a front shovel and rear excavator arm.
From there, the concept developed rapidly, with the launch of the Hydra-Digger in 1956 and the heavier, more powerful JCB 4 in 1960.
By the 1980s JCB equipped backhoe loaders with power shift transmissions, four-wheel drive, extending dipper arms, and multi-purpose front buckets, which brought increased performance and productivity for operators.
Despite the development of new products over the past 60 years, the backhoe remained one of the most popular products in the construction market while JCB’s backhoe remained the biggest selling in the world.
JCB’s Chief Innovation and Growth Officer Tim Burnhope says the backhoe, despite its age, still has a lot to offer moving forwards.
"The backhoe loader is not 60 years old, it’s 60 years young and this iconic machine has only just started its journey," he says.
"The JCB backhoe will continue to develop and grow."
Closer to home, JCB enthusiast Glenn McLeod began selling a broad range of equipment for JCB in 1986, but he has a particular affection for the backhoe.
"The backhoe loader offers so much in versatility. They can do everything for everyone and that’s what initially caught my eye," he says.
"The 1980s were an exciting time for the Australian construction industry with the land development boom and the Queensland migration, and the backhoe loader was king," McLeod adds.
"In those days, everything was done with a backhoe when a house was being built – clearing the land, digging foundations, putting in drainage systems – everything from go to whoa was one with one machine."
On top of its products, JCB has also developed its technology and engineering expertise ny producing its own range of diesel engines, tranmissions and hydraulic systems.
Even the cabs are designed, assembled and fabricated in-house, allowing JCB to control quality and design at every stage of the build process.
McLeod now works across a variety of roles with JCB, including sales and operational training.
"The number one trait I have that I try to instil to everyone is passion," he says.
"I try to pass along my passion for the products, passion for this market, and passion for JCB."
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