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JCB backhoe loader wins the Greatest Ever Digger title

JCB’s famous yellow excavator

The world famous JCB backhoe loader has won a television “David and Goliath” contest to be voted the world's greatest ever digger.

The machine, pioneered by the company's founder Joseph Cyril Bamford more than 50 years ago, was judged to be the number one digger by a panel of experts on THE GREATEST EVER, a television series produced by Cineflix and IWC Media in association with Discovery Channel Canada, Discovery Networks Europe and Five.

The GREATEST EVER is a “top ten” celebration of human achievements. It's a fast-paced, informative and irreverent look at the marvels of modern technology. The episode on diggers was shown on Monday. The series will also be screened on Discovery Channel Europe in about six months' time.

JCB backhoeDuring the episode on the GREATEST EVER Diggers, the overall performance of the JCB backhoe was compared to nine others in order to compile a league table of the ten excavators considered to be the best in history.

The small but versatile JCB workhorse, which has achieved sales of more than 325,000 across five continents, beat off stiff competition from the larger machines of leading competitors to be placed at Number One as the greatest of them all.

Plant operators and other industry professionals in the UK and North America singled out the JCB backhoe range for particular praise during the programme.

JCB has established a reputation for continuing innovation that has kept its backhoe ahead of the rest. The latest groundbreaking development was announced this year when JCB became the first company in the world to offer a lock-up torque converter on its backhoe loaders.

This revolutionary development engages the machine in top gear to eliminate losses in torque. The subsequent increase in performance means reduced travel times and improved fuel consumption that results in substantial cost saving benefits.

During the “Greatest Ever” Mining Consultant Bristoll Voss said: “One out of four backhoes is a JCB. If you look in the Oxford English Dictionary the definition of a hydraulic digger is JCB.”

American digger expert Eric Orlman said: “It's not necessarily the biggest and the most powerful that comes out on top. Sometimes it is the smallest and the most versatile tool that comes in at number one. That's why in the top ten of the world's greatest earthmovers the JCB comes in at number one”

The programme makers put the JCB and its competitors through their paces by setting them a series of challenging tasks.

In one sequence, man is pitted against machine when a team of 15 burly rugby players from Burton RUFC use the World's Strongest Shovels from JCB to try to dig a trench 3ft wide, 3 ft deep and 25ft long faster than a JCB backhoe loader. The muscle power of the rugby team was no match for the hydraulic power of the JCB which won comfortably in just 14 minutes 56 seconds!

A JCB spokesman said: “As part of JCB's philosophy to achieve engineering and design excellence, our backhoes have been constantly improved and developed in order to keep them at the forefront of a market that is extremely competitive.

“We are therefore very proud and delighted that the machine which is synonymous with the JCB name has been judged by our peers as being the best of its kind in the world.”

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