The JCB story

Our story is unique in its success.

From the dreams and sheer drive of Joseph Cyril Bamford, JCB has grown from a small garage business into the world’s biggest privately-owned construction equipment company.

A family business on a global scale, JCB’s success is directly attributable to the outlook of Joseph Bamford, who lived by the motto ‘jamais content’ – never be content with your achievements.

It is why you see so many firsts, innovations and record-breaking events in JCB’s timeline of achievements, from the invention of the industrial front-end loader to securing one of our largest ever contracts for a single product line.

Restless innovation, ambition and sheer hard work drives our growth, always looking forward to new levels of success – and every next chapter of our extraordinary story.

1940s
1945
JCB Timeline, JCB History

A PIONEER IS BORN

23 October 1945. After serving in the Royal Air Force, Joseph Bamford buys a welding set and rents a small garage in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. Taking Joseph Cyril Bamford’s initials, JCB is born. And, on the same day, so is his son Anthony (Lord Bamford). Of this time, Joseph Bamford remarked “being presented with a son tended to concentrate the mind, and when you were starting at the bottom, there was only one way to go and that was up”.
1949
JCB Timeline, JCB History

A MAJOR INNOVATION

In a little less than three years since JCB started, Joseph Bamford launches the Major Loader. Engineered for versatility, it is Europe’s first industrial front-end loader. Making light work of lifting, pushing, scooping and bulldozing tasks, it revolutionises the agricultural industry. Initially designed to bolt onto Fordson Major tractors (hence the name), it exports to France in an adaptable kit form.
1950s
1950
JCB HISTORY, JCB FACILITY

RELOCATION TO ROCESTER

In five years, JCB grows rapidly. So, towards the end of 1949, Joseph Bamford begins to look for larger premises close to home in Staffordshire. Bill Hirst, JCB’s first apprentice, spots an old cheese-making factory in Rocester with around an acre of land. This is chosen as the site for the new JCB HQ, which grows to become JCB World Headquarters, occupying over 175 acres.
1953
JCB HISTORY

WORLD’S FIRST BACKHOE LOADER

On business in Norway, Joseph Bamford sees a lightweight excavator on a trailer hitched to the back of a tractor, and thinks how the idea could be improved. Attaching a prototype excavator with hydraulic rams to the back of a front-loader, Mr Bamford invents the world’s first backhoe loader, the MK I Excavator. Joseph Bamford’s revolutionary design brings hydraulic power to construction and shapes the industry’s future.
1960s
1962
JCB Story

DIGGER DANCE DEBUTS

In 1962, Joseph Bamford originates the much-loved tradition of JCB stunts. The first is the ‘up and over’, in which a JCB 4 lifts itself up on its two hydraulic arms to form a bridge, while the company Cadillac drives underneath. The stunts show off the power, performance and versatility of JCB machines, evolving into the JCB Dancing Diggers shows, famous throughout the world.
1969
JCB HISTORY, QUEEN'S AWARD

FIRST OF MANY QUEEN’S AWARDS

By 1969, JCB exports over half the machines it manufactures. In recognition of Joseph Bamford’s business success, JCB receives its first Queen’s Award to Industry for Export Achievement. Fittingly, that same year, Joseph Bamford receives the CBE for his services to exports. By 2016, JCB has won a total of 30 Queen’s Awards since 1969, making our company the UK record holder of this honourable business accolade.
1970s
1977
JCB HISTORY, TELEHANDLER, LOADALL

REACHING FURTHER: THE TELESCOPIC HANDLER

Brainchild of Joseph Bamford’s production team, the JCB 520 Telescopic Handler is a pioneering concept that proves to be highly successful commercially. Launched by Joseph Bamford in a blaze of publicity, it took the construction industry by storm, leading to the development of the Loadall range, which remains today one of JCB’s most successful product lines.
1979
JCB Timeline, JCB History

LAUNCH OF JCB 525 TELESCOPIC HANDLER

In 1979, the JCB 525 Telescopic Handler was launched with both two- and four wheeled versions with a wide range of attachments to boost versatility even further.
1980s
1985
JCB HISTORY, BACKHOE LOADER

BACKHOE BESTSELLER

In the mid-80s, Joseph Bamford launches an important machine in JCB’s history. The JCB 3CX Sitemaster is borne of the most intensive R&D programme undertaken by a construction equipment manufacturer for a single product. In all, JCB invests £24 million in this new generation backhoe, which would become our best-ever selling backhoe. In the same year, JCB’s 100,000th backhoe rolls off the production line.
1988
JCB Timeline, JCB History, JCB GT

THE JCB GT

JCB unveiled its most unusual backhoe loader. The JCB GT was powered by a Chevrolet V8 and capable of reaching 160kph (100mph). It wowed the crowds at the British Grand Prix in the year 1988.
1990s
1991
JCB HISTORY, FASTRAC

WORLD’S FIRST HIGH SPEED TRACTOR

Tractors are not associated with speed. But, after four years in development, £12 million invested and countless consultations with farmers, Joseph Bamford launches the world’s first genuine high-speed, tractor: the JCB Fastrac 125 and 145. Joseph Bamford’s innovation breaks from 40 years of tractor design to revolutionise the agricultural industry, enabling higher productivity.
1993
JCB HISTORY, SKID STEER LOADER, ROBOT

THE WORLD'S SAFEST SKID STEER

Once again, JCB transforms the industry. This time by designing the JCB 165 Robot, the world’s safest skid steer loader. Our design takes a unique perspective, inspired by Joseph Bamford’s si-draulic loader from the 1950s. Thanks to its patented single powerboom loader design and side entry cab, the 165 Robot has easier, safer access, greater visibility and improved fuel efficiency.
2000s
2004
500,000th Machine

500,000TH MACHINE

In 2004, JCB celebrated the production of 500,000th JCB machine.
2006
JCB Dieselmax group pic

THE RECORD - BREAKING DIESELMAX

Borne of Sir Anthony Bamford's dream to break the land speed record for diesel engines, a beautiful car was built in 2006, powered by two JCB standard 444 engines producing an incredible 1500HP. This car achieved a record speed of 350.092mph on Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, setting a new world land speed record for a diesel - powered car. JCB changed the name of the engine from 444 to DIESELMAX in honour of the record.
2008
JCB Timeline, JCB History

HEAVY PRODUCTS

In 2008, JCB Heavy Products opened a brand new, £40-million factory just outside Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, enabling JCB to increase its share of a rapidly expanding market. The 41,800 sq m (450,000 sq ft) factory builds JCB machines ranging from 7 to 46 tonnes.
2009
Prince William visit to JCB

PRINCE WILLIAM VISITS JCB

In 2009, HRH Prince William visited JCB to help celebrate another major JCB milestone: the production of the company’s 750,000th machine.
2010s
2010
union jack color, 65th anniversary

THE NEW ECO BACKHOE LOADER

JCB unveiled its new fuel-cost-cutting ECO Backhoe Loader with the first two machines off the production line in the union jack colours rather than the JCB yellow to celebrate the company’s 65th anniversary.
2011
JCB Story

THE STORY OF JCB OPENED

The Story of JCB contains many of JCB's landmark achievements including breaking the world land speed record for a diesel-engine-powered car in 2006, and 1962's 3C backhoe loader, which took digger technology to new heights.
2013
1000000 MACHINE CELEBRATION, JCB HISTORY

OUR MILLIONTH MACHINE

Behind the enormous glass front of JCB World HQ stands an engineering landmark. It is JCB’s one millionth machine, a 22-tonne JS220 tracked excavator, built in shimmering silver and unveiled by Lord Bamford at JCB’s 2013 product conference. “Given our continuing growth” notes Lord Bamford, “JCB’s two millionth machine will be produced in considerably less time.”
2016
Application Shot

JCB CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF THE FASTRAC

JCB is celebrating 25 years of Fastrac production- a range of agricultural tractors that remain unique to this day. It was the Chairman, Lord Bamford who first saw an opportunity to develop a tractor with high road speed which would be equally efficient in the field. The world’s first tractor with full suspension has proven its worth over the years helping to increase productivity and lower operating costs.
2016
Application, sewage works

THE FIRST TRUE WHEELED EXCAVATOR

Lord Bamford envisioned the JCB Hydradig 110W as an innovative solution to five key challenges in modern construction. Beginning from scratch, JCB engineers designed the 109-horsepower Hydradig to be first for visibility, stability, manoeuvrability, mobility and serviceability. With innovation at its heart, Lord Bamford’s Hydradig 110W is the first true wheeled excavator, ready to transform the industry.
2017
JCB Timeline, JCB History

US ARMY’S $142 MILLION ORDER

JCB begins 2017 by winning a $142 million contract for the United States Army, securing one of the largest single orders since Joseph Bamford started the business. JCB will supply the US Army with more than 1,600 rough terrain 527-58M forklifts engineered from JCB's range of Loadall telescopic handlers. This massive JCB fleet will carry out military tasks around the world including loading and unloading aircraft and shipping containers.
2017
WILLIAMS MARTINI, JCB HISTORY

A HIGH PERFORMANCE PARTNERSHIP: JCB AND FORMULA ONE JOIN FORCES

Promoting British engineering prowess, JCB and Formula One team Williams Martini join forces for the 2017 racing season. A keen motorsports fan, Lord Bamford is proud to see the JCB name appear on the Williams Mercedes FW40 chassis and rear wing end plate, and on the race suits of drivers Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll. From the British Grand Prix onwards, JCB will feature on all trackside team kit.
2017
S2646E Electric Scissor 3:2

LAUNCH OF JCB ACCESS EQUIPMENT

Welcome to the revolution that is JCB Access. We are the new major player in the global powered access market and we want you to have access to a truly world-class alternative. Launching with a range of 9 electric scissor models and industry leading, round-the clock support, JCB aim to deliver the complete solution that global customers expect and deserve.
2017
A_MINI_18Z-1_8 [3:2] TIF

INTRODUCING THE JCB 1-2 TONNE MINI EXCAVATORS

With the new generation of JCB 1-2 tonne mini excavators, choosing just got tougher. With 100% steel bodywork, protected hoses and solid cast rear door you also have a choice of cab, canopy and zero tailswing options with premium or rental specifications.
2017
JCB TIMELINE, JCB HISTORY

JCB CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF THE LOADALL

Introduced in 1977, the JCB 520 telescopic handler took the industry by storm and lead to the development of the hugely successful Loadall range. The combination of four-wheel drive, forward reach and the ability to use a wide range of attachments revolutionised farming and construction. With sales in excess of 230,000, the Loadall is the world’s best-selling telehandler.
2017
JCB Teleskid

THE NEW JCB TELESKID

Introducing a truly unique machine with endless possibilities. The new JCB Teleskid is the first skid steer and compact tracked loader with a single telescopic boom, making it the most versatile skid steer you’ve ever seen. It can lift higher, reach further and dig deeper than any other skid steer in the market and can access areas you wouldn’t have thought possible, until now.
2018
Application Shot

THE INDUSTRY'S SAFEST DUMPERS

Leading an industry-wide focus on forward tipping dumpers, JCB launches a complete range of site dumpers, designed and built in-house, with capacities from one to nine tonnes. The new range takes site dumper safety to a previously unachievable level, meeting the needs of contractors, civil engineers, ground workers, highways and housebuilders.
2018
News Article

ELECTRIC DIGGER BY JCB

JCB makes company history with the unveiling of its first ever electric excavator - the quietest digger in its range and one delivering zero emissions. The brand new JCB 19C-1 E-TEC mini excavator has been developed in top secret at JCB’s World HQ in Staffordshire.