Machinery and Equipment: 200,000 Loadalls later, telescopic boom loader is here to stay

Innovation since 1977 has helped JCB sell more than 200,000 Loadalls.

JCB passed a major milestone last week, when the 200,000th Loadall was produced.

The first JCB Loadall was produced at JCB’s World HQ in Rocester, Staffordshire, on October 3, 1977.

This was the JCB 520 model. In the first full year of production, less than 300 machines were made, by just a handful of employees.

Today, around 800 employees produce thousands of Loadalls every year.

When the original 520 model was launched, it offered users a rough terrain machine with reach and performance way beyond the capabilities of conventional rough terrain forklifts.

The innovative feature was its unique telescopic boom.

The machine evolved into all areas of construction, and the concept spread into the agricultural sector.

Today, the firm manufactures 90 different Loadall models.

One of the major innovations over the past 39 years was a range of machines with an engine on the side rather than in the centre, which enabled the boom to be lowered, improving visibility for operators.

Road speed was an issue until the torque lock system, introduced on Loadalls in 2001, enabled machines to travel faster on the road, and perform much better on hills.

Visibility was further improved in 2008, with the introduction of the Hi-Viz range which lowered the boom even further.

It took almost 30 years for JCB to sell the first 100,000 Loadalls, but it has taken less than 10 for the next 100,000 to be sold.

Last week, JCB chairman Lord Bamford said: “From very small beginnings, the JCB Loadall has become a very important machine for JCB and for the construction and agricultural industries.”

“Revolutionary is often a word that is over-used, but in the case of the Loadall, it is a perfect description. The way loads are handled on building sites and farms has never been the same since we introduced the Loadall in 1977.”

“The JCB team involved in manufacturing and selling the Loadall is to be congratulated on reaching the production milestone of 200,000 machines.”


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