JCB has been honoured by the Queen for its success in exporting one of its most famous products.
The company's Backhoe Loader Business Unit - based at JCB's World Headquarters in Rocester - has received a Queen's Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category.
The honour recognises the growth in overseas sales of the JCB backhoe loader - a machine first pioneered by JCB Founder, the late Joseph Cyril Bamford in 1953.
JCB backhoe loaders have since become so well known around the world that they have become part of the English language, with the name JCB listed in the Oxford and Collins' Dictionaries as the definition of an hydraulically operated digger.
JCB Chairman Sir Anthony Bamford said today: “The backhoe loader concept may have been invented by my father more than 50 years ago, but JCB's global success with the product continues unabated thanks to constant innovation.
“I am delighted that JCB's success in exporting this product has been recognised, particularly as this is JCB's 60th anniversary year. It is also a great tribute to the efforts of all the team involved in the manufacturing, selling and marketing of this machine.”
JCB is the world market leader for backhoe loaders, with more than one in four backhoes sold around the world made by JCB.
While the concept is a mature one, JCB continues to be at the forefront of its development. At the Conexpo construction trade show in Las Vegas last month the wraps came off the latest innovation - a lock up torque converter which, when fitted to the machine, ensures it maintains top speed for longer, which is advantageous when travelling up hill.
This development makes this machine even more productive and cost efficient as it can reduce travelling time between job sites by up to 25% and improve fuel consumption by up to 20% - a revolutionary development giving customers an even better return on their investment.
Sir Anthony added: “JCB is the first in the world to offer a lock up torque converter on its backhoe loaders and its introduction will help ensure we continue to build on the success which is recognised by the Queen's Award today.”
A total of 80% of JCB backhoe loaders produced at Rocester are exported to more than 140 countries. Spain and France are among the most important markets but markets in Eastern Europe are also growing fast.
The Queen's Award is the third to be won by JCB's Backhoe Loader Business Unit: in 1994 it received a Queen's Award for Technological Achievement and in 1997 a Queen's Award for Export Achievement.
In March 2004, JCB produced its 300,000th backhoe loader, a product which is now also manufactured in the USA, India and Brazil
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