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.
“The concept soon took off and the faith we put in the telescopic handler four decades ago has been repaid. It’s wonderful to celebrate 40 years of success of the Loadall with production hitting historic levels.
“I’d like to congratulate everyone around the world who has contributed to this success over the past 40 years. We must now look forward to the next 40 years and build on what has been achieved so far.”
JCB Loadall production – fast facts
- There are 34 base models and over 1,000 individual configurations.
- Welding during Loadall manufacture consumes more than 14.5 million metres of wire per year.
- Each Loadall takes around 35 stages to produce and 8 hours to assemble.
- Loadall manufacture consumes more than 35,000 tonnes of steel a year.
- A recent £1 million (approx. $1.6 million AUD) investment brought new precision laser and plasma cutting equipment.
- On average, it takes 45 minutes to make two sides of the heavy-duty chassis.
- Robots handle 70% of chassis welds – but skilled operators tackle hard to access welds.
- The painting facility uses 73,000 litres of primer and 50,000 litres of gloss paint per year
- Every Loadall spends 13 minutes at full speed in a roller test booth to calibrate the driveline.