JCB this week marked the production of its 500,000th backhoe loader – the machine that made the company famous around the world. The first backhoe rolled off the production line in 1953. Called the Mark One, it brought the wonder of hydraulic power to construction equipment for the first time.
In the first full year of production in 1954, just 35 of the machines were built and it took more than 20 years for the first 50,000 to be made. Today, one JCB backhoe loader rolls off the company's production lines every three minutes.
Despite the maturity of the versatile backhoe loader, it is still one of the biggest selling pieces of construction machinery and remains the world's fourth most popular machine in the construction equipment sales league table.
JCB chairman Anthony Bamford joined hundreds of employees at the JCB HQ to celebrate the milestone. "When my father pioneered this machine all those years ago we could never have imagined how successful it would be and how it would totally mechanise jobs that until then had been done by hand," he said.