[ the list ]



World's third biggest maker of construction equipment

What makes it world class?

International sales and reputation | Quality of engineering | Worldwide operations

The world’s first backhoe loader (more commonly known as a ‘digger’) was built, Silicon Valley style, in a garage in North-West England by a young mechanic, JC Bramford, who had been recently fired from the family firm by his uncle.

Today, every other digger on the planet is a JCB and is often used as a generic description for diggers, as cited in the Oxford English Dictionary.

JCB has 18 factories across Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia, employs 4000 people and sells into 150 countries. However, about half its manufacturing base is in and around its headquarters in Staffordshire, giving JCB a major influence on the UK economy.

JCB has around 300 products, but most are variations on back-hoe diggers, either with tracks or wheels. It also supplies loaders, tractors and military vehicles.

The company started making its own engines in 2012, which are reportedly much cleaner and cheaper to run than the outsourced alternatives.

In 2013 it built its millionth machine which, appallingly was painted silver. In 2016 it released the Fastrac 8000, a beast of a tractor machine that can reach 70 kph.

What they say

In every corner of the world you'll find a JCB machine 

What we say

An iconic, and yellow, British manufacturing titan


Others on the World Class Britain list include

CDE Global

CDE Global

Leads the world in “wet processing” of sand, aggregates and waste materials



The polymaths of polymers


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or connect with us

World Class Britain Briefing

A five minute read every fortnight. Sign up to our newsletter, and share in our curiosity (and our surprising discoveries).

* indicates required