Over those five decades, the company’s award-winning loader range has expanded beyond recognition, introducing many market-leading technologies and establishing JCB as a global leader in the loader business.
The company entered the wheeled loader market with the acquisition UK-based Chaseside Engineering, taking on its seven rigid axle machines. Relocation of production lines from Chaseside’s plant in Blackburn, Lancashire took several months and it was all systems go by the start of 1969, which marked the start of the first full year of shovel manufacturing at JCB’s expanding Rocester factory in Staffordshire. In that first year, the fledgling wheeled loader division would build just 298 machines, catering primarily for domestic customer demand.
As the 50th anniversary is marked, JCB now produces wheeled loaders in their thousands on production lines around the world, including the UK, India, Brazil and China. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of JCB opening a multi-million pound factory in Cheadle, Staffordshire dedicated to the production of wheeled loaders.