JCB Loadall telescopic handler ticks off 40 years of production

JCB’s Loadall telescopic handler reaches a 40 year milestone with over 220,00 sold. Shown here is the world’s first DualTech VT transmission for an agri telehandler anchored into JCB’s 541-70 AGRI Pro

JCB was the first to launch an innovative machine to save farmers from what was back breaking work – the Loadall telescopic handler was launched on 20 October 1977. Loadall could offer mechanised lifting and loading tasks on building sites that had previously been carried out by work crews, and its potential in agriculture was also quickly harnessed.

The JCB Loadall telescopic handler went on to revolutionise materials handling tasks on farms such as stacking bales, loading materials and shovelling grain. It has since replaced rudimentary tractor mounted hydraulic loaders in many world markets.

To meet customer expectations, JCB’s Loadall factory produces about 50 individual models and distinct variants for agriculture and horticulture alone, alongside many more for construction and industrial use.

They range from the diminutive 37kW (50hp) Loadall 516-40 with its 1,600kg lift capacity and 4.05m lift height to the 107kW (145hp) Loadall 560-80 capable of lifting 6,000kg off the ground for high output repeat loading cycles of bulk materials, and the 9.5m lift 535-95 to stack big straw and hay bales up high.

JCB has sold more than 220,000 Loadalls to date, generating more than £7 billion in sales (au$11 billion). Export sales have accounted for £4.5 billion (au$7.5 billion) of the total.

Today daily output of JCB telehandlers at the World HQ at Staffordshire UK, is at its highest level since the launch, with the number of machines built expected to increase by 25 per cent by the end of 2017 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 – getting down to the 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.
  • 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.

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