UK-based construction equipment manufacturer JCB yesterday celebrated the production of its half millionth backhoe loader – the combined shovel and excavator for which the firm is best known.
The first backhoe rolled off JCB’s production line in Rocester, Staffordshire in 1953, and it took 22 years for the first 50,000 to be built. Now the firm produces 40,000 backhoes a year at its factories in the UK, India, Brazil and the US.
At an event to mark this milestone, JCB chief executive Alan Blake described the backhoe as “iconic”, and said it was “arguably the most recognisable piece of construction in the world”.
Despite competition from 46 other manufacturers, JCB still has a 50% share of the worldwide backhoe market, and sells the machines into 120 countries.
The 500,000th machine was a 5CX – a model launched earlier this year – that is destined for a client in Russia.