A new chapter in the JCB Fastrac success story begins this autumn when production of the all-new Fastrac 4000 Series tractors gets underway. Set to enter a highly competitive sector with class-leading features and specification, the Fastrac 4000 promises to raise the bar for productivity, utilisation and driver appeal.
“Our engineers have worked long and hard to develop this new Fastrac,which stays true to the original concept in layout and versatility but moves the game on as far as performance and capabilities are concerned,” said Richard Fox-Marrs, Managing Director, JCB Agriculture. “Compared with the outgoing 2000 Series, the new tractors are more powerful but more economical, stronger but more nimble, and more versatile yet easier to operate.” The all-new Fastrac 4000 Series draws on 25 years of experience and expertise in the design, development and manufacture of the world’s most versatile and comfortable tractor. It builds on core Fastrac features such as multiple implement mounting points, sophisticated all-round suspension for fast operational speeds, and a high-specification braking system for safety, stability and comfort. Four-wheel steering is available again but with a tighter turning circle and selectable steering ratio, and bigger tyres improve flotationand traction.
A more sophisticated suspension system can provide side-to-side self-levelling as well as front and rear, and the ability to ‘squat’ underdemountable equipment for quicker and easier implement change-over.
The hydraulics system is new as well, delivering higher oil flows in a more efficient manner to handle demanding implements, and with electronic spool valves providing finger-tip control and both timer and flow functions adjustable from within the cab. There is also more power, of course, up to 235hp (max) from the range-leading Fastrac 4220 and with a new means of transmitting it to the wheels. The CVT transmission provides seamless acceleration and deceleration, the finest possible speed adjustment, and selectable modes that help the operator optimise performance and fuel economy. New styling apart, the most visible change to the smallest Fastrac inthe range is the cab: the COMMAND PLUS design provides all the space,visibility, comfort and control features a driver could want.
The range Three new Fastrac 4000 Series models will be available, all powered by a 6.6-litre six-cylinder AGCO Power engine that meets latest Euro Stage 4 / US Tier 4 Final exhaust emissions rules using proven, fuel-efficient SCR technology. In the Fastrac 4160, it delivers 160hp at 2100rpm rated speed with upto 175hp available when the engine’s full performance potential is exploited under load. The Fastrac 4190 is next with 189hp rated, and 208hp max; and the Fastrac 4220 sets new performance levels with 217hp at rated speed, 235hp maximum. Optional additions to the standard specification include four-wheel steering, GPS guidance, a double-acting version of the self-levelling suspension and a comprehensive package of powerful LED worklights. Options for the COMMAND PLUS cab include a roof window, cool box, MP3 player and Bluetooth radio for hands-free mobile phone use, and a deluxe suspension seat.
Speed and utilisation While the new and improved features of the Fastrac 4000 are impressive in their own right, it is their combined impact that gives the machine a true performance edge over conventional tractors. “The Fastrac 4000 is designed from the outset to operate implements front and rear, and to make productive use of the rear deck area behind the cab,” Richard Fox-Marrs pointed out. “Carrying an extra 2.5 tonnes of seed or fertiliser has a significant impact on productivity; the same goes for increased spray tank capacity. “If you add in the productivity gains from fast road travel and beingable to execute sweeping headland turns 40% quicker than a three-point turn for ploughing and cultivation, then we soon get to saving a significant number of days over year.”
Power transmission and braking The new CVT transmission ensures optimum use of power and torque, with seamless acceleration and power delivery, ideal speeds for every situation, and ultra-fine speed control for top-quality work with soil-engaging and other implements. Different transmission and engine control strategies are easily engaged using the Fastrac’s touch screen controller. They prioritise powerand productivity, fuel economy, fixed engine/pto speed, and fuel-efficient road travel. When undertaking heavy draft work with drawbar implements, the new ACTIVE TRACTION feature manipulates engine torque output to keep the tyres gripping for maximum pulling power with minimum wear. And true to its name, the Fastrac works fast in the field thanks to its all-round suspension and travels fast on the road – but now at lower engine speeds. 60kph is achieved at just 1600rpm or drive at 50kphwith less than 1400rpm engine revs for maximum fuel economy.
Whether fitted with standard two-wheel steer or optional four-wheel steering, the new Fastrac 4000 is more manoeuvrable thanks to its re-designed chassis and tighter turning axles. In fact, on 540/65 R30 tyres all round, a Fastrac 4000 with four-wheel steering can turn in less than 10m, allowing quick sweeping headland turns for high work rates. There are five steering modes as before – 2 wheel steer; proportional4WS where the front wheels turn 2 degrees for every one degree at theback; True Tracking where the rear wheels follow the front (ideal in row crops); Delay 4WS; and crab steering. In addition, when the optional Fast Steer is specified the operator can select one of two steering ratios – standard for road use and general field work; high ratio for just two turns lock-to-lock when working in a confined area, at the headland or with a front loader. New suspension The unique JCB self-levelling rear axle suspension is matched on the new Fastrac 4000 Series by front axle self-levelling suspension that maintains correct ride height wherever the implement is mounted. It quickly restores ride height, wheel travel and stability with a stiffer spring rate to support the extra weight of coupling up a new implement, lifting and lowering it into work or filling the contents ofa hopper or spray tank. The optional double-acting suspension allows the tractor to ‘squat’ and slide beneath a demount sprayer, spreader or bulk hopper for quicker and easier switching between different tasks.
“This is a major ‘first’ for the Fastrac that gives greater suspension control in all situations, taking stability, control, ride comfort and handling to levels never seen before in an agricultural vehicle,”said Richard Fox-Marrs. “In particular, the unique side-to-side active levelling promotes maximum stability, driver confidence and productivity.” Combined with a new-design stronger chassis, the Fastrac 4000 Series now has a 30% higher permissible maximum vehicle weight of 12 tonnes – with 4 tonnes now permissible on the load deck – to deliver higher productivity using bigger implements. Powerful hydraulics The all-new Fastrac 4000 takes over from its predecessor with a more powerful, more sophisticated hydraulics system. The flow-on-demand closed centre package comprises a 148-litre/min axial piston pump delivering as much oil as the linkage or implements need to save energy and system wear and tear, while a dedicated gear pump ensures maximum steering control at all times. The three-point linkage is also uprated – it has 30% greater rear lift capacity than before at 8000kg and 20% more at the front – 3000kg. So there’s plenty of muscle for heavy-weight implements and equipment, with damping built into the rear linkage control system to complement the smooth-riding axle suspension when running mounted implements along tracks and roads. Hydraulic settings and features – as well as the new Headland Turn Assist – are easily programmed using the colour touch screen terminal that is another new feature for this size of Fastrac. In addition to selecting transmission modes, the terminal is used forsuch things as setting linkage lift height and drop speeds, spool valve flow and timing, and the headland control sequences – each with upto 15 control actions – for five different implements.
Command Plus cab
The new Command Plus cab provides space, comfort, practicality in abundance, with no less than 10% more space for the operator than in theleading competitor’s cab and a full-size training seat. The supportive driver’s seat comes in Standard and Deluxe specification, can be trimmed in leather and swivels fully 50 degrees to the right and 20 degrees left – so keeping an eye on rear-mounted and trailed equipment need not be a pain in the neck. Fold the full-size passenger seat and it provides a flat surface for a lunch break. Specify the optional cool box to keep drinks and snacks fresh, then you also get mouldings in the seat back to hold a sandwich box and flask. “The forward-raked cab structure not only adds to the tractor’s purposeful appearance, it also improves visibility and cab access,” pointed out Richard Fox-Marrs. “The windscreen is almost vertical, which adds to the impression of space within while having the practical benefit of reducing heat absorption on a sunny day.” The narrow bonnet, deep door glass and side windows, and wide lower windscreen glazing provide great forward and over-the-shoulder visibility, while opening rear three-quarter windows provide natural ventilation. Climate control air conditioning is standard to keep the operator cool in all weathers and is designed to quickly clear the windows of early morning condensation. A fixed roof window option brings in more light and improves upwards visibility for loader work. A comprehensive array of work lights maintain visibility around the tractor when working early in the morning and late at night, and an optional LED package, which features up to 18 lights in all, provides maximum illumination for tractor operators frequently working in the hours of darkness.
“It’s a nice touch that the lights stay on briefly when the tractor is parked to illuminate the driver’s way out of the tractor shed or across the yard before automatically switching off,” Richard Fox-Marrs pointed out. “It contributes to the driver appeal of a tractor that we believe leads the field in performance, productivity and efficiency,” he added. “With high utilisation rates, competitive running costs, ease of maintenance and high standards of manufacture and paint finish that will promote strong residual values, the new Fastrac 4000 will be a sound investment for farmers and contractors needing a tractor in this power class.”