More than 500 JCB dealers and customers made their way to the company’s North American headquarters in Savannah, Ga., Oct. 11 for the 2006 JCB Savannah Summit.
Some of the attendees came early for a little sightseeing in Savannah, a beautiful city rich in history dating back to 1733. Others wanted to take advantage of an equipment operator skills competition where they went head-to-head with one of JCB’s best equipment operators, Donny Wild.
At the same time as the competition, JCB dealers got better educated in the rental industry at the Dan Kaplan Rental Workshop.
After a good night’s rest, or a little night life, guests made their way back to JCB’s North American headquarters, where they attended a theater presentation of the entire JCB product line and learn information from JCB’s Helmut Peters and Graeme MacDonald. There, JCB offered big cash discounts on machines to show its appreciation for the customers taking time out of their busy schedule to attend the event.
At the conclusion of the presentation, the 2007 JCB Midi CX backhoe loader was introduced. This product, which looks to have more versatility than a Swiss Army knife, will be released during the first quarter of 2007.
After the theater presentation, guests made their way to the rear of the 500,000 sq. ft. headquarters for a tour of the manufacturing and parts distribution facility. Attendees had the opportunity to see first-hand how JCB machines are built and the rigorous testing each machine goes through before it leaves the factory. JCB is presently building backhoes and skid steer products in the factory and are working toward finishing another manufacturing line that will build loadalls.
One of the stops on the tour centered around the JCB Dieselmax engines, which are available in any JCB backhoe loader, telescopic handler or rough terrain forklift.
After lunch, it was off to a demonstration arena where the complete line of JCB construction equipment were presented and the demonstration team kicked up a little dirt with each machine. The JCB Dancing Diggers performed their flawless routine and the new military HMEE (high mobility engineer excavator) backhoe loader came rolling into the arena at a speed that blew everyone away. The HMEE is a result of JCB working closely with the U.S. military and three years of design. It is currently being produced at the factory in Savannah. This machine can reach a top speed of approximately 60 mph. The HMEE was soon joined by another military machine — the JCB 523M, a high mobility rough terrain forklift.
After watching the machines in action, guests took a short ride to a machine demo area where they took full advantage of the opportunity to operate the machines themselves.
The 2006 JCB Savannah Summit wrapped up with a reception and gala dinner at historic Forsyth Park in the heart of Savannah. Attendees were thrilled to step off the buses and see for themselves the JCB Dieselmax parked at the entrance of Forsyth Park. This car, powered by a JCB Dieselmax engine, set the land speed record for a diesel powered car on the Bonneville salt flats in August at a speed of 328 mph.
In his closing remarks at the gala dinner, JCB’s John Patterson exuded complete confidence in the growth of JCB Inc. — The Americas, and said he wants to double the market share by 2010 and have a greater exposure with the JCB name. “A big target equals big results,” Patterson said.
Guests seemed to take advantage of the huge cash discounts offered to those in attendance. At the close of the event, more than $8 million in equipment was sold.