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Celebrating 40 years of JCB Loadall
Published on 31 October 2017
GLOBAL construction and agricultural machinery manufacturer, JCB, is celebrating the 40th anniversary of one of its signature designs, the Loadall telescopic handler.
First released in 1977, the Loadall has earned its place in history by revolutionising materials handling. Its ability to reach forwards and upwards – coupled with its amazing manoeuvrability in tight spaces – has rendered the use of forklifts and tractor-mounted hydraulic loaders on construction sites virtually obsolete.
JCB released its first agricultural specification in 1980. It went on to revolutionise materials handling tasks on farms, where it found myriad uses stacking bales, loading muck and shovelling grain.
JCB has since manufactured more than 220,000 units and the popularity of the machine shows no abatement, with JCB reporting 25 per cent growth in sales over the past 12 months. Loadall remains the undisputed global market leader, including in New Zealand, with one of every three telehandlers manufactured sporting the distinctive yellow-and-black JCB livery.
JCB agricultural telehandlers and loaders are distributed in New Zealand via the CLAAS Harvest Centre network.
JCB Chairman, Lord Bamford, congratulates everyone around the world who has contributed to the success of the Loadall over the past 40 years. “The faith we put in this concept four decades ago has been repaid,” he says. “We must now look forward to the next 40 years and build on what has been achieved so far.”
The Loadall manufacturing plant at Rocester, UK, employs more than 1200 staff.
A new Loadall – one of 34 models and more than 1000 individual configurations – comes off the line every six minutes. Famed for its durable construction, each Loadall progresses through 35 different manufacturing stages. All told, it takes eight hours to assemble each machine and a further two hours to paint it.
The plant consumes more than 35,000 tonnes of steel, 14,500 km of welding wire, 73,000 litres of primer and 50,000 litres of the unique JCB yellow gloss paint each year. Robots perform 70 percent of chassis welds, while skilled operators tackle the more difficult welds. The box sections of the telescopic boom are formed using a 650-tonne steel press.
At the end of the production line, each machine is operated at full speed for 13 minutes in a roller test booth to calibrate the driveline. Each machine must hold a test weight with its boom fully raised and extended for 10 minutes