JCB has launched its long-awaited Fastrac upgrade with a host of innovations including a new CVT transmission and a touch-screen console for tractor settings.
The new machine – the 8250 – comes as an addition to the existing machines currently on offer from the Staffs-based manufacturer.
The new Fastrac is launched in JCB’s 60th anniversary year, 14 years after the first Fastrac was introduced in 1991.
Perhaps the most significant change to the Fastrac is the inclusion of a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which comes as standard on the 8250. A mechanical box is not an option.
The use of a CVT comes about through an agreement between JCB and Agco which sees the new Fastrac unit fitted with a Fendt Vario transmission.
As in the older units this transmission is capable of propelling the tractor to 65kmh (40mph) but with the push of a lever.
The new multi-function armrest joystick and colour touch-screen monitor for controlling tractor settings are at the forefront of the technological advances over the existing Fastrac machines, says the company.
The transmission features various drive modes suited to different applications. The drive mode is geared to operate much like an automatic car – more throttle delivers more speed.
In drive mode the tractor’s technology reduces engine rpm to the most economic possible setting – JCB claims that it is possible to travel at 50kph at just over 1100rpm.
Manual transmission mode allows the operator to use the armrest joystick to adjust and control the transmission.
The transmission also features what the firm call flexi mode; this is aimed for use on pto applications.
Engine rpm is maintained at a constant setting, while the foot throttle controls the forward speed. The desired top speed threshold can be set using the control monitor.
It is also possible to use the transmission to emulate a powershift box where there are 10 gear steps in the high range and 15 in the low range. Pushing the armrest control lever to the right or left shifts the transmission up or down a gear accordingly.
The 8250 is powered by a six-cylinder Cummins 8.3-litre engine which is Tier III compliant, pumping out 248hp. Service intervals for the engine are set at 500-hour gaps.
Suspension has always been a key aspect of the Fastrac and the new model retains the same coil spring and damper setup of older tractors.
The use of larger wheels on the new Fastrac is one of the most obvious changes. The rear end is now fitted with 710/70R38 tyres while the front end is kitted out in 540/65R38s.
|Cummins 8.3-litre turbo|
The 8250 is to be available from JCB dealers by the end of October this year while pricing will be in the £95,000 region, specification dependant.