JCB launches compact version of digger that made the firm famous

JCB Chairman Lord Bamford during the launch the 3CX Compact, a shrunk down version of one of the most famous JCB diggers as the company prepares to mark its 70th anniversary in just seven week's time. The launch is the result of a multi-million pound investment and the first machines have just started to roll off the production line. Photo/Rui Vieira
JCB Chairman Lord Bamford during the launch

JCB has introduced a smaller version of the digger that made the company famous around the world.

The backhoe loader was invented by JCB founder Joseph Cyril Bamford in 1953 and more than 600,000 have since been produced.

However, with modern building sites increasingly becoming compact, narrow and congested, the demand for smaller machines has grown.

Following a multi-million pound investment, JCB has come up with a solution in the form of a 3CX backhoe loader that is 35% smaller than the standard model – but one that retains all the power and speed of its bigger brother.

The first of the new machines have already started rolling off the production lines and customers travlled far and wide to see it for themselves at one of the glitziest JCB machine launches in recent memory.

JCB Chairman Lord Bamford said, “It was the backhoe that built JCB into the company that it is today and made us famous around the world.

“As a company though you can never stand still; you need to innovate to grow.

“More and more of our customers have been telling us that they need a backhoe loader that is smaller simply because they are operating in congested towns and cities and on narrow streets.

“We have answered their call by engineering the 3CX Compact backhoe from the ground up. As the company approaches its 70th anniversary, I’m confident that this innovative machine will win us more and more customers around the world.”

The 3CX Compact is just 1.9 metres wide and 2.4 metres high and has a turning circle of just 5.8 metres, enabling it to turn in a single carriageway.

JCB said the model is capable of travelling at 40kph and comes with air conditioning and power steering.