The first backhoe rolled off the production line in Rocester, Staffordshire in 1953.
In the first full year of production in 1954 just 35 of the machines were built and it took more than 20 years for the first 50,000 to be made. Today one JCB backhoe loader rolls off the company’s production lines every three minutes.
JCB chairman Sir Anthony Bamford joined hundreds of employees at the compay's world HQ to celebrate the 500,000th milestone.
He said: “When my father pioneered this machine all those years ago we could never have imagined how successful it would be and how it would totally mechanise jobs that until then had been done by hand.
“The backhoe is the world’s most versatile piece of construction machinery and that is what ensures the product will continue to thrive.”
These days JCB also manufactures Loadall telescopic handers, tracked and wheeled excavators, wheeled loading shovels, mini and micro excavators, utility vehicles, skid steer loaders, track loaders, compaction equipment, rough terrain forklifts and Fastrac tractors.
The 500,000th JCB backhoe to be produced was a 5CX model, destined for a customer in Russia.