Click here to order JCB parts online.
J.C. Bamford Excavators Limited, universally known as JCB, is a British multinational corporation, with headquarters in Rocester, Staffordshire, manufacturing equipment for construction, demolition and agriculture. It is the world's third-largest construction equipment manufacturer. It produces over 300 types of machines, including diggers (backhoes), excavators, tractors and diesel engines. It has 22 factories across Asia, Europe, North America, and South America; its products are sold in over 150 countries.
JCB was founded in 1945 by Joseph Cyril Bamford, after whom it is named; it continues to be owned by the Bamford family. In the UK 'JCB' is often used colloquially as a generic description for mechanical diggers and excavators and now appears in the Oxford English Dictionary, although it is still held as a trademark.
JCB was founded by Joseph Cyril Bamford in October 1945 in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, England. He rented a lock-up garage 12 feet by 15 feet. In it, using a welding set which he bought second-hand for £1 from English Electric, he made his first vehicle, a tipping trailer from war-surplus materials. The trailer's sides and floor were made from steel sheet that had been part of air-raid shelters. On the same day as his son Anthony was born, he sold the trailer at a nearby market for £45 (plus a part-exchanged farm cart) and at once made another trailer. At one time he made vehicles in Eckersley's coal yard in Uttoxeter. The first trailer and the welding set have been preserved:
In 1948, six people were working for the company, and it made the first hydraulic tipping trailer in Europe. In 1950, it moved to an old cheese factory in Rocester, still employing six. A year later, he began painting his products yellow. In 1953, his first backhoe loader was launched, and the JCB logo appeared for the first time. It was designed by Derby Media and advertising designer Leslie Smith. In 1957, the firm launched the "hydra-digga", incorporating the excavator and the major loader as a single all-purpose tool useful for the agricultural and construction industries.
In 1960, JCB's hydraulic tractors entered the North American market, proving a long-lasting success. JCB became, and still is, the brand leader in the world. By 1964, JCB had sold over 3,000 3C backhoe loaders. The next year, the first 360-degree excavator was introduced, the JCB 7.
In 1978, the Loadall machine was introduced. The next year, JCB started its operation in India. In 1991, the firm entered a joint venture with Sumitomo of Japan to produce excavators, which ended in 1998. Two years later, a JCB factory was completed in Pooler near Savannah, Georgia in the USA, and the next year a factory was opened in Brazil.
Production of the first engine designed and manufactured by JCB, the JCB444 diesel engine, started in 2004. In 2005, for the first time in nearly forty years, JCB bought a company, purchasing the German equipment firm Vibromax. In the same year, the firm opened a new factory in Pudong China . By 2006, the firm had 4000 employees, twice what it had in 1975.
Planning of a new £40 million pound JCB Heavy Products site began in 2007, and by the next year, the firm began to move from its old site in Pinfold Street in Uttoxeter to the new site beside the A50; the Pinfold Street site was demolished in 2009. During that year, JCB announced plans to make India largest manufacturing hub. Its factory at Ballabgarh in Haryana, was to become the world’s largest backhoe loader manufacturing facility.
JCB shed 2,000 jobs during the recession, but in 2010 it announced it was recruiting up to 200 new workers.