More than 200,000 sales sum up 40 years of Loadall success
The 40th anniversary of the Loadall telescopic handler celebrates a major milestone in JCB Agriculture’s record of innovative machine design and engineering.
First manufactured in 1977 to transform lifting and loading tasks on building sites, the potential for the Loadall to revolutionise materials handling tasks on farms was soon recognised.
With its ability to reach forwards and upwards way beyond the capabilities of tractor-mounted loaders and rough-terrain forklifts, the JCB Loadall brought new levels of efficiency and productivity to livestock and arable farms alike.
So much so that it helped spark a materials handling revolution, with input commodities such as seed and fertiliser, and farm outputs such as hay, straw and silage, packaged in larger quantities thanks to the lift capacity and load placement capabilities of the new machines. Today, the Loadall telescopic handler has become such an indispensable tool on many farms that it invariably works longer hours than any tractor.
On livestock farms, regular chores include filling a diet feeder twice a day with silage and other rations, loading bales on to trailers at harvest, placing straw bedding into cattle and pig yards, and filling the manure spreader when it comes time to clean them out.
On arable units, supplying the drill with seed and fertiliser from bulk, or the potato planter from tipping boxes, are routine tasks for a Loadall telescopic handler, along with loading bale trailers and hauling them back to the store, pushing up grain to make the most of storage capacity, and out-loading crops into haulage lorries when they are sold. To meet this varied workload, JCB’s Loadall factory produces around 50 individual and distinct variants for agriculture and horticulture alone, alongside many more for construction and industrial use.
They range from the diminutive 50hp Loadall 516-40 with its 1600kg lift capacity and 4.05 metres lift height, to the 145hp Loadall 560-80 capable of lifting 6000kg off the ground, for high output repeat loading cycles of bulk materials, and the 9.5 metre lift 535-95 for when big straw and hay bales must be stacked high. Between those performance extremes come Loadall handlers designed and engineered to meet specific enduser needs and priorities, such as efficient handling and loading with the ultimate in economy from the new Smart Power versions of the Loadall 536-60, 531-70, 536-70, 541-70 and 535-95.
A choice of performance, cab equipment and control features has been offered from the Agri, Agri Plus and Agri versions of the core Loadall range, from the 525-60 to the high-lifting 535-95. Special features to cope with the particular needs of poultry farmers and contractors come the PoultryMaster versions of the 527-58. And, of course, there is the ultimate in telescopic handler power transmission technology in the newly-expanded Loadall Agri Pro line-up featuring the unique DualTech VT hydrostatic-plus-powershift drive system, available on the 531-70, 536-60, 536-70, 541-70, 535-95 and newly released on the 560-80. Technology developments that add performance or ease of use, such as the Smart Hydraulics features, have also underpinned development of the Loadall line.
In line with development of the Loadall product itself, JCB has repeatedly invested in the Loadall manufacturing and assembly facilities, notably in 2007 when an £8 million promodels ject brought new machining centres, heavy-weight steel presses for boom manufacture, and additional robot welding stations to produce the complex chassis structure. These upgrades coincided with production of 100,000 handlers since the first LoadSuper all 520 came off the line in October 1977.
The accelerating pace of Loadall sales went to the 200,000 milestone hat by 2016, just as the advanced Agri Pro was launched.
Sales now exceed 220,000, worth more than £7bn.
First manufactured in 1977 to transform lifting and loading tasks on building sites, the potential for the Loadall to revolutionise materials-handling tasks on farms was soon recognised.