With production of JCB’s Fastrac 7000 Series tractors just a few weeks away, Andy Collings takes a closer look at the models JCB hopes will refresh the Fastrac’s fortunes.
JCB clearly has high hopes for the new Fastrac 7000 series tractors it plans to put into production in June this year. First seen at Agritechnica, the new three-model range is said to be the result of four years’ development work and a £10m investment.
More than that, it is seen as an effort to broaden the customer base for a tractor that, though technically advanced, has struggled (in the UK, at least) to sell more than 300 units a year.
And to ensure the 7000 Series is not considered to be just another Fastrac, JCB has mimicked in many ways the styling of its 8250 by fitting larger rear wheels which give the tractors a more conventional appearance.
The 220hp Fastrac 7230 – one of JCB’s new three-model 7000 series which is due to enter production in June.
The Cummins-powered 7170, 7200 and 7230 models are rated at 173hp, 190hp and 220hp. The 70kph (40mph) transmission – top speed always being a point of discussion regarding Fastracs – is claimed to be a totally new design and comprises a clutchless six-speed, four range powershift with a total of 24 forward ratios and 12 reverse. There are also plans, says JCB, to introduce a CVT transmission next year.
A new chassis design provides all-round self-levelling suspension and roll stability and the braking system employs twin-caliper disc brakes on each wheel.
In the hydraulic department, the rear linkage has a lift capacity rated at 9.1t with a piston pump system providing a maximum oil flow of 132 litres/min.
Much of which may sound like pretty standard Fastrac fare but it is in the cab that the main changes will be noticed. For starters it is no longer mid mounted but positioned more to the back of the tractor which, as with the larger rear wheels, is another nod towards greater conventionality.
Inside, there is more space, more glass and less clutter, all of which provide a lighter and more pleasing operating environment without the lorry-cab feel and a yearning for a large chocolate bar.
Prices of the 7000 Series have yet to be finalised but JCB says they will be pitched between those of the 3000 and the 8250 Fastrac.