The world-famous JCB GT has been crowned the fastest digger on earth after reaching speeds of more than 70 miles an hour in Australia.
The JCB GT – originally designed to perform high-speed wheelies at racing events made the attempt in front of independent record officials at Bathurst, near to Sydney. The Guinness World Records organisation confirmed that the powerful JCB digger was officially the fastest backhoe loader in the world with a speed of 72.58 mph (116.82km/h).
To celebrate the win the JCB GT went on a tour of Sydney and took a bow for photographers in front of other world-famous icons the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
The latest record is not the only one that JCBs backhoe holds: the machine has been the worlds biggest selling backhoe loader for 14 consecutive years. The company has made more than half a million backhoes in the past 61 years since inventing the machine in 1953.
JCB Pacific managing director, Fab Carrettin said: The JCB GT has always been regarded as the fastest backhoe around and now its official. Its fantastic to have achieved this record and underlines the world-class engineering, power and performance our customers demand from the JCB backhoe.
Backhoe product manager for JCB dealer JCB Construction Equipment Australia (CEA), Glenn McLeod, added: The 116.82 km/h we achieved was actually higher than the 110 km/h benchmark set for us by the Guinness World Records. We couldn’t be happier with the results.
JCB Demonstration Driver Matthew Lucas – nicknamed The Dig during the attempt – was the man who steered the JCB GT to its world record title. Matthew, 43, of Werrington, Stoke-on-Trent, said: It was great to be involved in such an exciting project and a real honour to be behind the wheel when we achieved the record.
The JCB GT first made its debut in 1988, was made of fibreglass and aluminium and powered by a V8 Chevvy engine. It was driven by long-serving employee Malcolm Grindey, who spent two years at the wheel of the JCB GT, demonstrating its capabilities all over the world including an appearance at the Formula One Australian Grand Prix in 1990.
Malcolm, 61, of Marston Montgomery, near Rocester, said: I have very fond memories of putting the JCB GT through its paces in the Australian Grand Prix so its great news that its secured the title as the worlds fastest digger on Australian soil nearly 25 years later.
Normally based at JCBs HQ in Staffordshire, UK, the latest JCB GT has a loader and digger end made completely out of aluminium. It went to Australia to perform at car events, including the Deni Ute Muster in Deniliquin, NSW and the Super cheap Auto Bathurst 1000 in Bathurst, NSW. With a light weight steel chassis and JCB Fastrac tractor rear axle, the JCB GT was originally designed to do wheelies to thrill crowds at motor racing drag strips in the USA.