The world-famous JCB GT has been crowned the fastest digger on earth after reaching speeds of more than 70 miles an hour in Australia.
Racing in front of independent record officials at Bathurst near Sydney, the JCB GT was originally designed to perform high-speed wheelies at racing events.
Guinness World Records confirmed that the JCB digger was officially the fastest backhoe loader in the world with a speed of 72.58 mph (116.82km/h).
Celebrating the win the JCB GT toured Sydney before posing for photographers in front of world famous landmarks including the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
However, this latest record is not the only accolade that JCB’s backhoe holds. For the last 14 years the machine has been the world’s biggest selling backhoe and the company has sold more than half a million backhoes since inventing the machine in 1953.
Fab Carrettin, Managing Director of JCB Pacific, said: “The JCB GT has always been regarded as the fastest backhoe around and now it’s official. It’s fantastic to have achieved this record and underlines the world-class engineering, power and performance our customers demand from the JCB backhoe.”
Backhoe product manager for JCB dealer JCB Construction Equipment Australia (CEA), Glenn Macleod, added: “The 116.82 km/h we achieved was actually higher than the 110 km/h benchmark set for us by the Guinness World Records. We couldn’t be happier with the results.”
Nicknamed ‘The Dig’, JCB Demonstration Driver, Matthew Lucas steered the JCB GT to its world record title. Matthew, 43, of Werrington, Stoke-on-Trent, said: “It was great to be involved in such an exciting project and a real honour to be behind the wheel when we achieved the record.”
The JCB GT first debuted in 1988. Made of fiberglass and aluminium and powered by a V8 Chevvy engine, the machine was first driven by long-serving employee Malcolm Grindey, who spent two years at the wheel. Having demonstrated the machine’s capabilities worldwide, including an appearance at the Formula One Australian Grand Prix in 1990, Malcolm, 61, of Martson Montgormery said: “I have very fond memories of putting the JCB GT through its paces in the Australian Grand Prix so it’s great news that it’s secured the title as the world’s fastest digger on Australian soil nearly 25 years later.”
Normally based at JCB’s HQ in Staffordshire, UK, the latest JCB GT has a loader and digger end made entirely out of aluminum and travelled to Australia to perform at car events including the Deni Ute Muster and the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. The machine’s light weight steel chassis and JCB Fastrac tractor rear axle was originally designed for doing wheelies to thrill crowds at motor racing drag strips in the USA.