Fastrac hits silver

While JCB might be pushing the boundaries of power with its new flagship 335hp 8330 Fastrac, the British company is celebrating something equally significant – a quarter of a century of high-speed tractor production.

To mark that milestone the Staffs manufacturer has produced 25 silver-painted versions of its now best-selling 4220 Fastrac. Within hours of the announcement of their existence, all 25 of these limited edition models had been sold – doubtless to become collectors’ items in years to come.

Over the last two weeks dealers from around the world have visited JCB headquarters at Rocester in Staffs to get their ‘yellow injection’ and to learn about the company’s biggest ever Fastracs with new cabs, styling and steering systems. Alongside that, there were announcements about new mid-size loading shovels, compact loaders and updated AdBlue-equipped versions of its TM320 pivot-steer telehandlers.

As part of the launch event, amongst much glitz, glamour, dry-ice and disco lights, a procession of Fastracs of various vintages were wheeled out to mark the milestones in the tractor’s production history.

The Fastrac design come a long way from the first prototype built secretly in 1987 beneath the office block at JCB Transmissions in Wrexham, North Wales. The tractor brought together established technologies and components from the commercial vehicle world and agricultural machinery industry to create a comfortable, road legal, high-speed tractor. With suspension incorporated in both axles, the first tests were to prove it wasn’t just a transport tractor – it shattered the myth that ploughs and suspension were an impossible combination.

The £12 million Project P120 was unveiled to the media and to the public at the Royal Smithfield Show in 1990 ahead of production start-up in spring the following year.

Apart from being the first true agricultural tractor with all round suspension, truck-type disc brakes and capable of top speeds of up to 75km/hr (47mph) that have been introduced over the last two and half decades have set the Fastrac apart - multi-mode four-wheel steering, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and self-levelling suspension.

Fastrac hits silver

Friday, 14 October 2016

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