JCB is this month celebrating a major milestone in its long record of innovative machine design – the 40th anniversary of the Loadall telescopic handler.
Launched on October 20 1977, the Loadall mechanised lifting and loading tasks on building sites that had previously been carried out by work crews. The potential for the Loadall in agriculture was also quickly harnessed and it went on to revolutionise materials handling tasks like stacking bales, loading muck and shovelling grain, replacing rudimentary tractor mounted hydraulic loaders.
JCB has sold more than 220,000 Loadalls to date, generating more than £7 billion in sales (approx. $11 billion AUD). Export sales have accounted for £4.5 billion (approx. $7.5 billion AUD) of the total.
Today daily output of JCB telehandlers at the World HQ in Staffordshire, United Kingdom is at its highest level since the launch, with the number of machines built expected to increase by 25% by the end of the year compared to 2016. Such is the success of the product that one Loadall rolls off JCB’s Rocester production line every six minutes. The business making the machines today employs more than 1,200 people.
“When we launched the Loadall in 1977, we sold just 64 machines that year but we were very confident that the telescopic handler would grow in popularity simply because it made jobs so much easier on construction sites and on farms,” says JCB Chairman Lord Bamford.