JCB apprentices build one-of-a-kind loadall to mark National Apprenticeship Week

Written by: Editorial staff | Published:

A JCB Loadall telescopic handler built entirely by the company’s 68 apprentices has gone on show at the JCB World HQ's visitor centre to celebrate national training opportunities for young people.

Learners from JCB sites across the country played their part in building the loadall, a machine which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and which, according to JCB, revolutionised the lifting and placing of loads on farms and construction sites when it was introduced.

Over 200,000 loadalls are reported to have been sold since its launch in 1977, but none as unique as this one which will eventually be auctioned off for charity.

Co-ordinated by JCB Training, apprentices from the World HQ in Rocester, Staffs, and as far afield as JCB Transmissions in Wrexham and JCB Power Systems in Derbyshire all played their part.

JCB Transmissions manufactured the axles and gearbox; JCB Power Systems manufactured and built the engine; the Hydraulics Business Unit (HBU) built the lift, extension, tilt and displacement rams; JCB Cab Systems in Rugeley supplied the cab and JCB Marketing came up with the colour scheme and promoted the initiative at various events. All parts were assembled at the JCB World HQ to build the Loadall Agri Pro machine.

JCB chairman Lord Bamford, who himself completed an engineering apprenticeship before joining JCB in 1964, said: “As an engineer and former apprentice with manufacturing running through my blood, I'm very proud of what JCB's apprentices have achieved with this project. They have shown vividly that team work delivers wonderful results and most of all highlighted what empowering young people on apprenticeships can deliver.”

Sue Husband, director of the National Apprenticeship Service, added: “A remarkable amount of skill and dedication has gone into this project over the past six months and all the apprentices involved should feel immensely proud. They have shown what it is possible to achieve through an apprenticeship and it’s great that they have been able to take part in this project to help celebrate the 40th year of the loadall division.

Dan Malbon, 21, of Cheadle, Staffordshire, who works in the loadall division, said: “The project has given me the abilities and confidence to take on bigger and more difficult challenges within my career at JCB.”

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