Scaddan brothers back JCB machinery
A strong focus on tractor ride for towing operations put the Curnow family at Scaddan in the seat of a JCB Fastrac about 12 years ago.
The Curnow’s first Fastrac was a 3185 model used for spraying and chaser bin work. Today, brothers Daren and Kym, who farm separately but share their machinery, have two JCB 531-70 telehandlers as well as 3230 and new 8250 Series II Fastrac models.
Daren operates Darkel Farms and Kym runs the adjacent Kainton Farms, with each property comprising 2500 hectares.
Daren, who grows wheat, barley, canola, lupins, field peas and faba beans, said the 531-70 telehandlers were their “everyday working machines”.
“Not a day goes by that we cannot use them for something,” he said.
“They load fertiliser, lift pallets, level gravel — they do a lot of work. They have loaded out a couple of thousand tonnes of gypsum this year.”
JCB’s 130-horsepower 531-70 telehandler offers a seven-metre lift height combined with 3.1-tonne capacity.
It features the 4.4-litre turbocharged JCB Dieselmax power plant.
The drivetrain provides low fuel consumption with low noise and high power and torque, especially at low revs, giving the power to perform rigorous loading and lifting work at low engine speeds.
The engine drives through a six-speed transmission with torque lock, giving a maximum speed of 40km per hour.
With one of their blocks located 15km away from where the machinery is housed, Darren said the good speed of the telehandler was a major bonus.
He said the 531-70’s tight turning circle was excellent for good manoeuvrability in their sheds and its crab steering had been “real handy’’ for cleaning gutters on a shed in the local town.
Autoselect steering with the JCB telehandler allows changes between four-wheel, two-wheel and crab steer at the flick of a switch, without manual realignment of the wheels.
Their new 248hp 8250 Series II Fastrac has been put to work pulling a 36m Hardi 8000 boomsprayer.
Daren said they were particularly happy with the machine’s intelligent JCB V-TRONIC stepless transmission.
“We have put it through all different types of country. We have some sandy hilly land and it has pulled the boomsprayer over it quite well with the field cruise,” he said.
“The touch screen is great and makes it easy to change the transmission. We mainly have it in drive mode for spraying, but we will probably use the powershift with the chaser bin.”
The Curnows spray at an average speed of 24km/h and Daren said the Fastrac’s renowned all-round suspension and braking meant the ride comfort was excellent.
They also expect to use the 8250 for spreading and spading, with its larger rear tyres likely to prove effective for the latter operation.
Daren said the Fastrac’s impressive 65–70km/h top road speed was another major bonus for its use between their properties.
“The distance between our farms is up to 25km, so the speed is critical for our efficiency when shifting gear.”
The Series II 8250 Fastrac features an all-new luxury cab with added space and better visibility.
Daren said their smaller 230hp 3230 Fastrac, which included the same JCB traits as the 8250, was their “odd jobs’’ tractor that fulfilled plenty of roles, including spading and chaser bin work.
He said the tractor’s field speed control (FSC), which allowed operators to set engine rpm to a desired level and to increase or decrease the setting via a rocker switch, was good for spraying work.
Daren said good product competitiveness and service support from their local JCB dealership, Staines Esperance, had provided great confidence for JCB’s technologies and future machines.
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