THE WORLD'S FASTEST TRACTOR

JCB FASTRAC STORMS INTO RECORD BOOKS!


JCB’s Fastrac has stormed into the record books after being crowned the world’s fastest tractor. Fastrac Two hit a peak speed of 153.771mph on its way to recording an average of 135.191mph

With Fastrac One achieving the British record earlier this year, Fastrac Two was engineered to achieve a world record-breaking speed.

Fastrac Two - designed and built by a team of young engineers in Staffordshire, secured the latest title at Elvington Airfield in York with motorbike racer and lorry mechanic, Guy Martin at the wheel.

The feat was officially ratified by Guinness World Records.

“This has been a massive undertaking, and I was a very small cog in the machine. But to be that small cog was a massive honour, so thank you very much to JCB and its engineering team, who got this tractor absolutely spot-on. Just look at it, they get stuff done, they’re brilliant, and this is a work of art.” Guy Martin.


THE VISION

“When we reached 103.6mph with the Fastrac in the summer, I was convinced we could go even faster, and the JCB team has risen to the challenge by setting this new record. It’s an amazing achievement delivered by a young and enthusiastic engineering team. Everyone involved should be very proud of the part they have played in showing off British engineering at its very best.”


THE DESIGN

To secure the World’s fastest tractor (modified) record, JCB’s engineering team turned to the drawing board to produce the vastly-improved Fastrac Two.

Together, with newly acquired knowledge from breaking the world record weeks earlier with Fastrac One and the help of key industry partners, JCB developed the new Fastrac. Both tractors are based on a standard, commercially available Fastrac. Fastrac Two had more horsepower using JCB’s 7.2 litre, Dieselmax engine produced at the JCB Power Systems factory in Derbyshire. It was also 10% lighter and even more streamlined with improved aerodynamics, but still used over 50% of standard Fastrac parts.

AERODYNAMICS

Streamlined bodywork had a role to play, with aerodynamic analysis and development conducted by Williams Advanced Engineering with the help of Rob Smedley, ex-Williams head of vehicle performance, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). A surface creation was also carried out by JCB’s Industrial Design Team. The results gave Fastrac Two a 10% reduction in drag over Fastrac One.

  • We made the standard cab 200mm lower and 300mm narrower
  • The whole machine was made 200mm lower
  • New cab air deflectors were developed
  • A front splitter, belly plate and rear diffuser was added

POWER

We Increased the power of the Fastrac’s 6 cylinder, 284hp engine by fitting a JCB 672 engine with over 1,016hp and over 2,500Nm of torque, creating the extra performance we needed.

  • It has a hybrid boost system with a 350% increase in airflow, larger turbo and electrically driven supercharger
  • Water injection was used to cool combustion and aid piston cooling
  • We gave it a 230% increase in boost pressure and 165% increase in engine speed to 3,300rpm
  • A massive 2500 bar fuel pump, bigger inlet manifolds and an ice water charged air cooler were also added

WEIGHT

We needed to reduce the standard weight of a Fastrac from over 8.5t to around 5t; the equivalent of a mini and a range rover combined.

  • It was made 3500kg lighter using aluminium panels instead of steel, GRP and carbon fibre bodywork
  • The chassis was lightened from 750kg to 480kg
  • We built a lighter suspension, used aluminium axle covers and removed the hub reduction gears
  • Lithium batteries were a lighter choice

SAFETY

For maximum protection we had to design, manufacture and then get FIA approval for a roll cage on a vehicle that didn’t fit into any conventional FIA category.
We also had to fit several other important safety features:

  • FIA approved roll cage tied into chassis
  • Double skinned racing fuel tank
  • Uprated advanced split-type air/hydraulic braking system
  • A parachute was added but not needed
  • FIA approved 6-point racing harness and seat

CONTROL & STABILITY

It would have been easy to compromise and use components like aero tyres but that isn’t in our nature. We developed standard Fastrac tyres that are normally rated to 80 kph, approved to do 260 kph. Steel belts in tyres provided the high strength required at speed.

  • Higher roundness uniformity gave less vibration problems at high speed
  • Lowered tread blocks gave higher lateral stability and reduced rolling resistance
  • A low heat generation compound provided optimised grip
  • Tyre sensors monitored heat and vibration in real-time
  • Standard Fastrac suspension and steering geometry coupled with optimised spring and damping rates, provided a precise, controllable ride

THE TESTING

The testing programme was extensive and rigorous with 5 months of engine and machine development including engine test rigs, virtual testing and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) on steel components. Nothing would be overlooked.

  • Cooling system analysis
  • Clutch and key gear change developed to improve smoothness and speed
  • Rolling resistance measurements
  • Brake performance validation

THE RECORD

Both JCB’s record-breaking achievements took place at Elvington Airfield near York, England. The airfield was originally used by the RAF during WW2 and has a runway measuring 1.92 miles, one of the longest in Britain. Consequently, it has proved a popular location for speed tests and has a history of record-breaking attempts.

INTRODUCING THE SPECIAL EDITION 3CX BACKHOE.

To celebrate the 750,000th backhoe loader to roll off our production line, we’ve built an all-new Special Edition 3CX.

With lots of new and innovative features, it sets new industry standards for ease of use, comfort and efficiency, making it the first choice for existing customers as well as the next generation of operators.

With a striking new design and a whole host of new features, the world’s best-selling backhoe just got even better.

  • Advanced features and technology make it the easiest to use backhoe loader ever.
  • New Stage V engine with 10% increase in torque and 7% improved fuel efficiency.
  • JCB CommandPlus cab provides unrivalled comfort, control, visibility and safety.
  • New LED beacons, worklights and large exterior mirrors provide greater safety.