One of JCB's backhoe loaders.

JCB celebrates 500 000th digger

Construction giant JCB has celebrated the production of its half-millionth backhoe loader.

The world-renowned digger which made the company famous is now sold in 120 countries.

At JCB’s World HQ in Rocester, Staffordshire, hundreds of employees joined the firm’s chairman – Sir Anthony Bamford – to mark the production of the 500,000th machine.

JCB's backhoe loader was first made in Rocester in 1953 and is still manufactured in the UK, as well as in India and Brazil.

The 500,000th excavator, destined for the Russian market, was a 5CX model, which is able to shift around 340 tonnes of earth per hour.

Sir Anthony 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."

In the first full year of production in 1954, just 35 diggers were built and it took more than 20 years for the first 50,000 to be made. Current production rates see one backhoe machine roll off one of the company's production lines every three minutes.

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