Fastrac range is fastest and now safest, says JCB
By Andy Collings
THE fastest and now the safest, says JCB for its Fastrac tractor range which is now fitted with ABS braking systems.
While some would say the introduction of a system which prevents wheels locking up when brakes are applied heavily, is long overdue for a tractor capable of such speed, it is perhaps the imminence of EU legislation that has prompted JCB to fit ABS.
This legislation states that all vehicles weighing more than 3.5t and less than 12t, and capable of greater speeds than 40kph should be fitted with ABS. The timing of its application in the UK has yet to be specified, but it is already in place in Germany.
The ABS system used by JCB is not radically new in that it draws on existing technology and components already widely used in the transport industry.
Wheel movements sensors, comprising notched rings and sensor units placed in wheel hubs relay information to computer controlled modulators which release or apply braking pressure accordingly.
JCBs configuration is for the two wheels on the front axle to be operated from one modulator and each of the rear wheels to have their own modulator.
In operation, when braking heavily, on say a wet road, any tendency for a wheel or wheels to lock up is detected causing the modulators to temporarily reduce the air pressure to the brakes involved.
JCB believes the system not only improves overall road safety but also helps in field operations where steep slopes or sliding ground is encountered. For towing trailers with ABS the Fastracs are equipped with an ABS supply socket.
JCB points out that it is the computer software which is the key to the system enabling the Fastrac with its large diameter, high inertia wheels to employ an ABS system successfully.
Fitted as standard to all JCB Fastracs – a range encompassing six models in the 115hp-170hp range – the ABS system is estimated to have put an extra 3% on prices. *