JCB - A Journey From A Small Garage To Now Four Continents
Case Study

JCB – A Journey From A Small Garage To Now Four Continents

jcb logo
Saurav Bhagat
Written by Saurav Bhagat
[email protected] | Delhi | Published on: June-01-2019 05:16 PM

What comes in your mind when you hear the name JCB?

Big yellow diggers on building sites?

Well, you’re not wrong, but there’s lots of other great stuff you can find out about the company and machines.


JCB machines lined up for a new day, photo courtesy: mensxp

JCB machines lined up for a new day, photo courtesy: mensxp

Everyone’s heard of JCB, but very few know how the company got its name? Well, if we tell you that it all started with one man, Joseph Cyril Bamford, you can probably work it out for yourself!

Yes, it’s true that Mr. JCB has given his company his own initials. He started everything off in 1945, right at the end of World War II, in a garage measuring 3.66 meters by 4.57 meters – probably about the same size as your bedroom!


Joseph Cyril Bamsford founded the company in a small garage in 1945

Joseph Cyril Bamsford founded the company in a small garage in 1945

The story of the distinctive yellow machines that are today found on almost every building site in the land, goes back to 1945.  This was when Joseph Cyril Bamford CBE (1916-2001) was sacked by his father’s brother for being too entrepreneurial. As Brian Spencer soon discovered this fact on a visit to the Story of JCB exhibition at the company’s factory set in the Rochester countryside, that sacking led to the development of an international business still owned and run by the Bamford family.

The very first machine that was built by Mr. JCB was a tipping trailer he made using a £1 welding set and was sold at the local market for £45! That was in 1945.

In 1948, there were 6 people working for the company which then made a hydraulic tipping trailer – the very first in the whole of Europe.

The year 1953 came along with the first machine to be stamped with the signature JCB logo you see on machines today. This was a Backhoe Loader (what we all call a digger!) and it’s the machine that everyone nowadays calls a JCB.

Later in the 1960s, Mr. JCB started the tradition of cool JCB stunts to publicize the company name. This is how the world-famous Dancing Diggers started. Today, JCB has over 7,000 employees and the company makes 279 different machines. But they’re still based in the Midlands so they’ve got their own JCB jet and helicopter that they use to fly in their customers.

Innovation was the key:

During one of the business trips to Norway, Mr. Bamford observed a lightweight excavator on a trailer hitched behind a tractor. This struck him with the idea of fitting hydraulic rams directly at the back of a tractor, a model that would give almost a wide circular reach. By assembling the prototype on to a Major Loader, the first backhoe loader was thus born.  Its design became the first of a family of backhoe loaders, a concept that has continued with modifications and improvements up until the present day. Variations of this design in their distinctive JCB-yellow livery and the signature logo on their sides can be viewed digging trenches all around the world.

In the year 1978, a firm decision was made to turn JCB into a truly global player. With an injection of two years’ pre-tax profits, the company began the most far-reaching R&D program ever carried out in the history of the industry. The year 1980 saw the first 3CX backhoe loader rolling off the production line, a machine that still continues to define backhoe loaders worldwide. This was then rapidly followed in 1991 by Fastrac, a four-wheeled, fully suspended drive farm vehicle which would be equally at home on the road as well as operating as a conventional agricultural tractor in the field.

JCB in Aviation:

In 1961, JCB Aviation was formed and the company’s first ever plane, a twin-engine de Havilland Dove made its inaugural flight, with customers from Europe now able to make a return visit to the factory in a single day. JCB Aviation is hence much older than many of today’s airlines.

JCB Around the World:

JCB produces more than 279 different models

JCB produces more than 279 different models

The JCB company began in Rochester in Staffordshire but now have huge manufacturing plants on four continents:

  • The UK & Germany in Europe
  • Savannah, in America
  • Brazil, in South America
  • India, in Asia
  • China, in Asia

JCB sells over 279 different types of cool yellow machines in over 150 countries. So wherever one goes in the world, he’ll always find a JCB machine!

JCB in India:

JCB at work , image mensxp

JCB at work , image mensxp

In addition to collecting many awards for great achievements and design, JCB’s major expansion has been into India which Lord Bamford recognized as a potential growth market almost two decades before anyone else.  By setting up local manufacturing facilities, it has led India into becoming JCB’s largest single market.

Ballabhgarh in Haryana, India houses the world’s largest plant to make backhoe loaders (a tractor-like vehicle with an arm and bucket mounted on the back and a loader mounted on the front). The plant, which is capable of producing up to 100 of these two-ton machines a day, is a prized possession of the U.K.-based construction machinery maker JCB.

The story of JCB is one of innovation, ambition and sheer hard work. From small beginnings in a small garage, building agricultural tipping trailers in 1945 to the global force in the manufacturing industry, the company has become today, JCB has constantly pushed the boundaries to be the best.

JCB and Indians- A different kind of love!

JCB and Indians- A different kind of love!

The recent outbreak of #JCBkiKhudai viral memes too has further given the company- a free, major promotion that was wholeheartedly welcomed by the company through its official twitter handle!

About the author

Saurav Bhagat

Saurav Bhagat

Saurav is inclined towards brands and brand story-telling from the past half a decade. His interest in startups has made him an immense member of the NBB Family from its very early days.
Saurav loves Chai and writes his day to day experiences on Quora too.
He believes in the power of storytelling for a Brand and also in general.
He often says- "Stories are powerful enough to build and erase empires and generations!"

09654178839 | A-73, Hackerspace, Noida sector- 2 Noida UP 201301

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