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New JCB Fastrac

U.K.-based JCB was among the pioneers in developing capable field tractors that could also manage some serious speed on roads. Although these yellow tractors have remained relatively thin on the ground in Western Canada, they have found favour with many custom operators, such as those offering ensiling services. The Fastracs have the power to pull dump wagons across a field and the speed to get them back to the farmyard quickly.

This year JCB used the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky, to debut updates to its relatively new 8000 Series tractor line. Unlike the original Fastrac models that looked a little like a truck, the 8000 Series has the more familiar appearance of a standard, rigid-frame MFWD tractor. And the company has added a new flagship model to that line with the introduction of the 306 horsepower 8310.

The 8310 and smaller, 279 horsepower 8280 both use Interim Tier IV-compliant, 8.4-litre SISU engines, which are built by AGCO. “SISU engines are ideal for the full-load duty cycles which the Fastrac 8000 Series endures,” says Ray Bingley, agricultural general manager for North America, “allowing the machines to operate to their full potential while delivering fuel savings of up to 10 per cent.”

The new generation of 8000 Series JCB tractors have been given a variety of improvements that make them more productive and comfortable to operate. Most notable among those changes is a quieter cab, which has seen a five dBA reduction in noise levels to a pretty respectable 68.7.

The tractors also come with a mechanical steering linkage that is GPS auto steer ready. They have full suspension, with revised geometry, along with a braking system that allows them to safely hit 70 kilometres per hour on the road. That gives them one of highest road speeds of any field tractor currently available in Canada. And they come with a standard on-road cruise control, which can be set to maintain road speeds between 20 and 70 km/h.

The new 8000s also get an updated CVT transmission and improvements to its “Drive mode” software. Other changes to the tractor’s computer system include a “one-touch” headland management system and in-field cruise control, both of which are controlled by a new touch screen with quick-link keys.

For more information on JCB products, see www.jcbamericas.com. †

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Scott Garvey

Scott Garvey is a freelance writer and video producer. He is also the former machinery editor at Grainews.

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