JCB is celebrating 70 years of its iconic backhoe loaders, with the unveiling of 'Platinum Edition' 3CX PRO and 4CX PRO models.

JCB founder Joseph Cyril Bamford invented the backhoe concept and the first JCB model was manufactured in 1953 after he combined a lightweight backhoe with a Major Loadall tractor loader. It created, for the first time, a single machine that combined a front shovel and rear excavator arm.

While it took 20 years for JCB to build its first 50,000 backhoes, more than 900,000 have now been made. The company currently builds the machine in the UK, India and Brazil, and 70 limited-edition 70th birthday 3CX PRO and 4 CX PRO machines will be manufactured.

The Platinum Edition models will have servo excavator controls, Powerslide, air conditioning and bi-directional auxiliary flow hydraulics. The machines will bear limited edition Platinum decals and grille badge. They will have Platinum-coloured wheels, while in the cab there will be an embroidered graphic in the carpet and upgraded seat material with 70th anniversary branding, along with a steering wheel centre cap featuring the 70th logo. Each machine will also have a special plaque and customers will receive a special Platinum gift pack with the backhoe loader.

JCB has continued to develop and enhance the backhoe loader concept, with turbocharged engines, powershift transmissions, all-wheel drive and extending dipper arms. The machine has broadened in appeal, with the launch of the skid-steer based 1CX, the all-wheel steer 3CX Compact and the larger 4CX and 5CX equal-sized wheel machines.