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JCB is a privately owned family run business based out of the U.K. named after legendary founder, Joseph Cyril Bamford. The company produces heavy equipment for the construction, demolition, and agricultural industries. Moreover, the company is renowned for producing "diggers" (backhoes) and excavators in a distinctive yellow and black color scheme that has given JCB somewhat of an elevated trademark status in the construction industry. The term JCB in the U.K. has become a colloquial trademark for any type of engineering vehicle, even appearing in the Oxford English Dictionary.[1]

With the slogan "a product of hard work" JCB is a company that epitomizes one man's dream to grow a small business into a global enterprise while keeping it all in the family.


[edit] History

Born in England in 1916, Joseph Cyril Bamford was destined for greatness. As the sole proprietor and founder of JCB, Joseph was a man with basic engineering skills who began his professional life in 1945 when he set up a small shop in his 12 by 15 foot (3.6 by 4.6 m) garage to manufacture trailers from surplus war materials. His first product was a farm tipping trailer that he brought to a local market and sold for a mere 45 British pounds. After it sold, he returned to his garage to build another and so began the building of an enterprise. By 1948 he employed six people and turned his attention to developing Europe's first hydraulic tipping trailer called a Si-draulic.

The first JCB factory was in the tiny Staffordshire village of Rocester, which also houses one of the very first (water) powered textile factories.

The year 1953 marked a turning point in the company's history with the launch of the first backhoe loader. The machine was so popular that it became the first piece of equipment manufactured by JCB that actually bore the company's logo. By 1964, JCB had produced and sold over 3,000 units.[2] In 1960 JCB introduced dual hydraulics and a three-in-one backhoe bucket. The same year, the company also penetrated the North American market with its products. By 1969, half of all JCB production was being exported.[3]

[edit] Master of Marketing

Bamford was also somewhat of a brilliant marketer and public relations guru. These skills undoubtedly helped him steer his burgeoning enterprise to global success. In 1963, JCB launched the 3C backhoe loader. The 3C was designed with the comforts of home—it had the ability to boil a kettle within the cab of the machine. Bamford was persistent in marketing this built-in feature to buyers. He visited each purchaser of a 3C, presenting them with the infamous JCB kettle. During the 1960s Bamford also gained popularity for what soon became a tradition—"JCB stunts". This included such outlandish tactics such as hoisting up diggers on their hydraulic arms to showcase the machines strength and versatility. These shows, dubbed the "Dancing Diggers," become a mainstay attraction at agricultural shows and remain popular with crowds to this day.

[edit] Equipment Development

From the mid 1960s on, JCB brought a number of machines to market. In 1978 the company launched its Loadall forklift. The Loadall played a part in transforming the building industry, allowing bricks to be carried and transported on pallets rather than manually.

Another major development in the company's history was the Fastrac tractor. This piece of machinery hit production in the 1990s and has won numerous awards including the Prince of Wales Award for Innovation. As the first and only "high speed tractor," the Fastrac still had all the benefits of a normal tractor but with more road versatility including traveling speeds of up to 47 miles (75 km) per hour depending on the make of the model[4]. Over the years, the company received numerous awards including 15 Queen's Awards for Technology and Export Achievement.

[edit] JCB's Legacy

In 1976, Anthony Bamford proceeded to follow in his father's footsteps by taking over as chairman for JCB. He embodied the same zeal his father exhibited for the business. Under his leadership he introduced the ever-successful Loadall telescopic handler and focused efforts on expanding the company's existing product lines, particularly into wheeled and tracked excavators. By 1994, JCB's foray into product diversification was paying off with 140 million pounds of the company's estimated 565 million pounds in sales coming directly from products launched in the previous five years.[5] In 2001, Joseph Bamford passed away at the age of 84.

[edit] JCB Vibromax

In September of 2005, JCB acquired German compaction equipment manufacture Vibromax. Established in 1870, Vibromax was based out of Dusseldorf, Germany; the company’s American subsidiary was based out of Racine, Wisconsin. At the time of purchase, Vibromax was estimated to have a 4% share of the global compaction market.[6][7]

Vibromax’ product line included single-drum soil compactors, vibratory tandem rollers, trench rollers, and other light equipment.[8]

Vibromax products live on today under the brand name “JCB Vibromax".

[edit] The Company Today

According to the company's U.K. website, JCB is now " one of the world's top three manufacturers of construction equipment[9]." The company employs 8000 people, operates 17 factories worldwide, and sells a varying product range of just over 279 different machines in over 150 countries through a network of 1300 dealer locations.

The JCB name has now been attached to both toys and items of protective clothing, including boots.

[edit] Equipment List

[edit] References

  1. J.C. Bamford. Times Daily. 2008-09-23.
  2. JCB History. JCB. 2008-09-23.
  3. JCB History. SLN. 2008-09-23.
  4. Achievements. JCB 2008-09-23.
  5. Achievements. JCB. 2008-09-23.
  6. JCB Acquires Compaction Company Vibromax. Rental Equipment Register [May 8, 2009].
  7. JCB Vibromax. [May 8, 2009].
  8. JCB Vibromax. [May 8, 2009].
  9. About JCB. JCB. 2008-09-23.

[edit] External Links