Fastracs not just upgrades

20 February 1998

Fastracs not just upgrades

By Andy Collings

JCBS FASTRACS – now in their seventh year of production – move into a new league, following the introduction of the 2000 and 3000 Series.

Anxious as ever to extol the virtues of such machines in the field, rather than on the road, JCB insists the changes on the new Fastracs are geared to improving performances in this important department.

New transmissions, suspension and electronic control systems are included in the specifications. Combine these features with changes to cab layouts, instrument displays and bonnet shape and the new models would appear to be heading for the next century with a fair degree of style.

So, to call the 2000 Series mere upgrades of existing 1100 models, would be to belie the development work which has occurred. True, the 2115, 2125 and 2135 offer identical power as the 1115, 1125 and 1135 they now replace, but there is now also a new model – the 2150, a 148hp version aimed at customers who required higher power but not at the expense of extra size and weight.

Something of a hybrid, the 2150 has the front and rear linkage used in the more powerful 3000 Series. It has, however, the same physical dimensions of other models in the 2000 Series, despite being equipped with a heavier chassis and a 350-litre fuel tank.

Power for the 2000 Series is supplied by Perkins new 1000 Series engines, the 2115, 2125 having turbocharged versions, the 2135 turbocharged with waste gate, and the new 2150 turbocharged and intercooled.

Transmission for all models now comprises a 54 x 18 speed box having a three-speed powershift unit. The ability to pre-select range and directional changes is retained but now there is a new feature – Autoshift which is designed to enable the correct gear ratio to be automatically selected for any given task.

Not just content with maximising output in terms of gear selection, JCB has pre-programmed four specific ways in which the feature can be used – Trailer, Ploughing, PTO1000 and PTO540. A fifth option – User – allows an operator to programme his own requirements.

In say, Ploughing mode, the tractor is programmed to maximise torque output, keeping the engine speed between two defined limits. If engine speed drops below the limit it will automatically select a lower gear and, if the speed increases, select a higher gear. The two PTO modes ensure that the required pto speed is always maintained with gears selected to ensure that this is the case.

Externally, the new Fastracs have become droop nose machines to provide the operator with better forward visibility. Front fenders now swivel with the wheels when a turn is made – again helping the operator to keep sight of what is happening. The rear fender has a pto stop-only button on theside.

In the cab, apart from a few relocations for minor type switches, the greatest change has been in the design of the dashboard. Called the EMS (Electronic Monitoring System), it can, if fully optioned provide information relating to area worked, fuel consumption, wheel slip and numerous other data. Engine speed and forward speed are displayed both numerically and by a dial, and there are, of course, the usual engine management systems.

The 3000 Series Fastracs are upgrades of the 100 Series models in the form of the 150hp 3155 and the 170hp 3185. There will be those who would ask why have the 148hp 2150 and the 150hp 3155 on the books at the same time?

JCB maintains that the 2150 with its engine type and gear ratios is more suited to field work, while the 43mph (65kph) box in the 3155 makes it suitable for both field and haulage operations. The 3185 is powered by a turbocharged and intercooled Cummins B Series engine.

In many respects, the 3000 Series models benefit from similar features now applied to the 2000 Series – particularly in the transmission electronic control systems, and cab layout.

Changes to the front suspension have resulted in improved turning circle – a 42í turn angle results in a reduction of about 2m (6.6ft), says JCB.

External changes – apart from the new curvy lines – include a repositioning of the exhaust pipe against the right-hand cab A-post, the use of six headlights and a 100A alternator.

Heading the 3000 Series is the 170hp Fastrac 3185.

The new dashboard display unit shows engine management information.


2000 Series

Engine: Perkins New 1000 series

Transmission: 54 x 18 – 3-speed powershift

Model hp aspiration

2115 115 turbo

2125 125 turbo

2135 135 turbo, wastegate 2150 148 turbo, wastegate, intercooler

3000 Series

Transmission: 54 x 18 – 3-speed powershift

3155 150hp Perkins 1000 series

3185 170hp Cummins B series

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