Thumbs up for Fastrac

Countryman

Summer demonstrations of the newly launched JCB Fastrac 8310 tractor across WA have been attracting plaudits from growers.

The new flagship JCB tractor, which offers increased power, torque and fuel efficiency as well as a host of other features and improvements compared with 8250 series machines, has been put to work pulling chaser bins and spraying units near Esperance, Lake King, Narrogin, Katanning and Albany.

The JCB 8310's new Sisu Stage IIIB/Tier 4i, 8.4-litre engine has increased power to 228 kilowatts (306 horsepower) and torque by 15 per cent to 1310Nm, while delivering fuel savings of up to 10 per cent.

John Sheppard, of JCB Katanning dealer Farmers Centre, said the dealership had conducted about 40 hours of demonstrations with growers in the region who owned 3220 and 8250 Fastracs.

"They couldn't believe the speed of response with the transmission and the quietness of the engine," Mr Sheppard said.

"Overall they were very impressed and, with the lugging for spraying and chaser bin work, they particularly liked the comfort, visibility and lower noise.

"Dust problems in the cab also were negligible and the improved serviceability was recognised too."

The heavier duty Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) in the new JCB 8310 incorporates enhancements for smoother gear changes as well as improved functionality.

Road cruise control at speeds between 20km/h and 70km/h and enhanced in-field cruise controls also have reduced operator effort and maximised flexibility.

The JCB 8310's suspension geometry has been tweaked as well to ensure an even more responsive feel and greater control at speed.

The environment in the cab has been improved via a cabin pressuriser for the air-conditioning to prevent air leakage and a larger filter and air vents.

Mr Sheppard said that importantly farmers also recognised the improved price competitiveness of the new JCB Fastrac.

At Esperance, local grower Mick Curnow, who last year took advantage of an opportunity with other WA farmers to tour JCB's manufacturing facilities and meet its Fastrac engineers at Staffordshire in the UK, said he was extremely impressed with the new model.

"Everything we discussed with the engineers has been addressed with this new tractor," he said. "It is fantastic to see they listened to what we said."

"The cab filtration works well and the reduction in cab noise is significant.

"The increase in horsepower from the new Sisu engine is just what we need with our spray rigs and chaser bins getting bigger.

"I was amazed at how quickly we were able to get up to maximum working speed, which will save us time in the long run. We need to be gaining efficiencies wherever we can."

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