You may have heard that JCB turns 70 this week. Cue lots of flag waving, and we’re happy to join in. They like a good flag waving at JCB, and so do we. As one of the original Great British Success Stories® few companies can be more reliably depended upon to host an official visit from royalty and VIPs.
In fact, there’s quite an archive of royals and prime ministers inspecting production lines or fondling joysticks. It seems to have become some sort of modern rite of passage. Here are some of them for your entertainment, in chronological order, from 1977 to 2013..
From humble beginnings JCB soon grew into a company with export success, followed by international distribution channels and finally manufacturing operations on several continents.
Joe Bamford (Mr JCB) was quick to seek export markets. He is pictured below in 1953 (third from left) with employee Doug Hollingworth (seated) on a sales trip to France with some early customers. These were the days when you had to wear a lab coat to sell plant, apparently.
This, I am sure regular readers will not need telling, is where the JCB story begins. Seventy years ago Joseph Cyril Bamford made a tipping trailer from war time scrap.
He made it in his tiny lock-up garage (pictured below) in the Staffordshire market town of Uttoxeter and sold it for £45 at the town’s market. The buyer’s old cart was also taken in part exchange and Mr Bamford refurbished it and sold it for another £45 – achieving the original asking price of the trailer.
Here is the first Doosan DL450-5 wheeled loader in the Republic of Ireland. It was supplied by dealer Adare Machinery to Ducon Concrete, based in Kanturk in County Cork.
The new DL450-5 wheel loader is working at Ducon’s Ballyhest limestone quarry near Castlecor in Mallow. With its heaped bucket capacity of 4.5m3, it is loading and stockpiling material from the quarry’s mobile crushing and screening system.
Output at Ballyhest Quarry is split between supplying the limestone aggregate used in the readymix concrete and concrete block production at the main Ducon manufacturing plant at Ballymaquirk and producing various grades and sizes of aggregate to sell to external customers.
This 35-tonne Hitachi Zaxis-3 digger is being operated by Opoku Agyemang Clement in the Arigu Rock quarry, near Tamale in northern Ghana. And he likes it. A lot.
“I love working with the ZX350LCH-3G,” Opoku says. “It’s efficient and helps me to work quickly. It’s also very comfortable and reliable, which means I feel relaxed while I work. When I’m working with this excavator, I’m very happy.”
His machine is one of two Hitachi ZX350LCH-3Gs recently purchased by West African company Logistics Support Services (LSS). Both are working across the 45-acre quarry site to excavate granite materials for use in local road construction and concrete works. LSS acquired the quarry earlier this year. It reckons there is enough material there to sustain an operation for more than 50 years.