Industrial Engines Blog

Who Makes JCB Engines

Qiana Smith

March 13, 2024

JCB Engines: An Overview

Since 1945, JCB has continued to be a very well-known and popular manufacturing company for construction equipment and has carried its name all the way from the very beginning of the company’s creation.

Founder, Joseph Cyril Bamford named the company with his initials, and this has continued to stick ever since!

During the very early years of being in operation, surplus World War II parts and scrap metal were used to create his machinery. For instance, an all-steel tipping trailer was designed using the wheels off a Grumman Hellcat fighter aircraft and the hubs off a small howitzer.

Four years down the line and JCB launched Europe’s first ever industrial front-end loader, named the ‘Major Loader’.

As the years went by, more machinery was created, and the brand continued to go from strength to strength.

The Engine Of A JCB

During the early days of the company’s manufacturing, many of their machines did not contain one of their engines. In fact, in 1964 when JCB developed their very first crawler excavator, the engine inside was created by Ford.

However, in November 2004, the first JCB engines were built. This was a four-cylinder 4.4 litre engine, and this is exactly where the name came from, the DIESELMAX 444.

From then on, JCB continued to make many more engines for their equipment and in 2011, the first engine at the HQ in India was developed and created.

Before JCB made their first engine, the company were relying on other companies to provide the engines…with the majority of these engines coming from the company, Perkins.

By 2018, JCB had developed 500,000 engines, with 200,000 engines taking 8 years to produce, but production ramping up and it only taking five years for the following 300,000 engines to be built.

Three years later, 250,000 more engines came off the production line! This goes to show just how much the company has grown and continues to excel.

JCB used to solely rely on external engines to power their machinery until 2004…now JCB engines are in 70% of the machinery and are also successfully sold to other manufacturers for a number of different uses.

As the years go on, each engine becomes more and more advanced and larger in volume.

Once JCB began to make their own engines in 2004, they slowly made the transition away from using external engines from companies such as Perkins.

Whilst Perkins saw this as a huge loss due to JCB being one of their largest customers, JCB continued to work alongside them and supply 4-litre engines whilst their own model was being developed and introduced.

However, this still affected Perkins due to losing out on 20,000-25,000 engines no longer needed for the growing business which was JCB.

The History Of JCB Engines

With such a variety of machinery which has been produced by JCB, there is now a variety of different engines. All of these engines are diesel powered and have majorly improved overtime.

Year: 2004

Starting in 2004, where JCB became the first company in the UK for 60 years to manufacture diesel engines using state of the art design and manufacturing services.

Year: 2005

The JCB engine was particularly special and meaningful due to this not only being the first engine created by JCB, but it was said by Lord Bamford in 2005 “My father always wanted to manufacture his own engine and he developed a number of prototypes. However, the high costs ruled it out – until now.”

Therefore this engine was particularly special and is now in more than 75% of JCB vehicles. In 2005, the very first JCB machine was fitted with a DIESELMAX engine and came off the production line.  This machine was the 4CX backhoe loader.

Year: 2006

Fast-forward to 2006, after an £80 million investment was given to the company, the daily amount of production units hit 100 and this engine was now powering over half of the machines produced by JCB!

Year: 2009

By 2009, the company began to conquer external sales and approach new industrial sectors!

This includes the sale of tier 2 mechanical engines to new customers within a number of different sectors, including power generation, water pumping, and the marine sectors.

Year: 2010

This meant that the demand for JCB engines grew and grew and eventually they opened up a second headquarters in 2010, but not in the UK…

This headquarters was based in India, near Delhi, and allowed customers across India to benefit from the number of advantaged of JCB’s world-beating engines!

JCB Engines Digger in a Rural Setting

Year: 2011

After 7 years of making engines, the hard work finally paid off for JCB when they won ‘The Diesel Of The Year Award’ for their JCB Ecomax engine!

Year: 2017

With a new engine being produced, the company was continuing to grow. This time, the new engine was going to be a fuel-efficient diesel engine which would require a £31 million investment programme and would be put towards the 3.0-litre JCB 430 DIESELMAX engine.

This joined the other three which were already on the market, the 4.4, 4.8, and 7.2 litre engines. This became the third engine to come off of the production line since the creations in 2004.

Year: 2021

However, in 2021 JCB made a big step towards a zero net emission and created an engine which delivered zero CO2 emissions. This was the very first hydrogen powered engine to be put on the market in our industry.

This was specifically designed to provide the machinery the same level of power in the exact same way as a diesel engine would to ensure that no power would be lost.

Anything which a diesel powered JCB machine can do, so can the hydrogen prototype. The technology is far less complicated and only steam is produced out of the tailpipe!

JCB Engines Now

With JCB becoming more and more popular and renowned, they are continuing to expand and improve their engines and all of their machinery.

As the years go by, JCB continue to develop and improve, whilst adapting their ways to ensure they become more eco-friendly!

Now JCB make their own engines, we can expect even further developments and improvements across their entire company! As technology evolves and we begin to be more environmentally friendly, so will JCB!


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