SAVANNAH, Ga. — JCB is marking its 70th anniversary Oct. 23 by giving employees around the world the day off. This special day also marked the introduction of a JCB limited edition backhoe loader. It is a version of today’s 3CX super backhoe model and a tribute to the product line that fueled JCB’s growth. A total of 70 of the special machines will be made, which feature the vintage look last seen 40 years ago on the JCB 3CIII model.

On October 23rd, 1945, the late Joseph Cyril Bamford CBE founded the company in a tiny garage in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, making trailers from wartime scrap. Today, the company has 22 factories, 11 in the UK with others in India, the USA, Brazil and China, employing more than 12,000 people.

JCB Chairman Lord Bamford said that JCB and its employees should be very proud of what has been achieved over the past 70 years—but the company’s focus is very much on the future. He said, “Seventy years is a long time, but the past is the past and while we are proud of it, our engineers are really only interested in the future and the products of tomorrow. You cannot rest on your laurels in business; you have to be thinking of tomorrow, the changing world markets and the products our customers need. That is what makes me and all our people tick.”

Lord Bamford, who was born on the same day his father founded JCB, added, “My first memory of JCB really was my father. He was an engineering genius, there was no doubt about that and he was always dreaming of things, and dreaming of better ways of doing things. The backhoe loader my father invented was a godsend and started a mini revolution in construction machinery. Today the backhoe is one of more than 300 products we produce and sell globally.

“A saying that my father had was that ‘customers make payday possible’ and that is still true today. They are crucial to what we do. We will continue to listen to our customers around the world as we develop new machines. The fact that we are a family business makes us different. Virtually none of our competitors are family-owned businesses. We are dedicated to the production of world-class products and take a long-term view.”

Lord Bamford took a close look at one of the first of the limited “platinum” edition backhoes which will go into production at JCB’s World Headquarters in Rocester next month. They will come with red buckets, a full white cab and red wheels instead of the customary black and yellow finish—a look last seen on the 3CIII model in 1979. And, in a nod to the demands of the modern operator, the colorful machine will also be equipped with an in-cab coffee maker. The limited edition 3CX super backhoes—which have a top speed of 25 mph—will be fitted with 109 hp JCB Tier 4 Final EcoMAX engines manufactured at JCB’s plant in Derbyshire in the UK.

Since JCB’s first was manufactured in 1953, the company has produced more than 600,000 backhoes and now sells them in 120 countries. JCB has also been the world’s leading manufacturer of backhoes for 15 years in succession with a range that spans 40 models from the compact 1CX through the mighty 5CX. Models offered vary by country.

Lord Bamford added, “The backhoe loader was the building block for the success of JCB, and while we now produce many other types of machines for construction, agricultural and industrial applications, it remains one of our most important products. The JCB backhoe has not only helped put JCB on the map, but also Staffordshire and Britain. I’m delighted that we are producing these limited edition models to mark the company’s anniversary.”