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 153.771 mph on its way to recording an average of 135.191 mph.

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 JCB engineers, secured the latest title at Elvington Airfield in the U.K. with motorcycle racer and sports personality, 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 honor, 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 103.6 mph 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 JCB 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 produced more horsepower using JCB’s 7.2 liter Dieselmax engine produced by JCB Power Systems. It was also 10 percent lighter and even more streamlined with improved aerodynamics, but still used more than 50 percent standard Fastrac parts.

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 percent reduction in drag over Fastrac One.

  • We made the standard cab 8 inches (200 mm) lower and 12 inches (300 mm) narrower
  • The whole machine was made 8 inches (200 mm) 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, 284 hp engine by fitting a JCB 672 engine with more than 1,016 hp (757.6 kW) and 1,844 ft-lb (2,500 Nm) of torque, creating the extra performance we needed.

  • It has a hybrid boost system with a 350 percent 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 percent increase in boost pressure and 165 percent increase in engine speed to 3,300 RPM.
  • A massive 36,260 psi (2,500 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 more than 9.37 tons (8,500 kg) to around 5.5 tons (5,000 kg); the weight loss equivalent of a small skid steer loader.

  • It was made 7,700 lb (3,500 kg) lighter using aluminum panels instead of steel, GRP and carbon fiber bodywork.
  • The chassis was lightened from 1,654 lb (750 kg) to just 1,058 lb (480 kg).
  • We built a lighter suspension, used aluminum axle covers and removed the hub reduction gears.
  • Lithium batteries were a lighter choice.

SAFETY

For maximum protection we designed, manufactured and obtained Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) approval for a roll cage on a vehicle that didn’t fit into any conventional FIA category.
We also had to meet several other important safety requirements:

  • 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 tires ... but that isn’t in our nature. We developed standard Fastrac tires, which are normally rated to 50 mph (80 km/h) and upgraded them for 162 mph (260 kph). Steel belts provided the high strength required at speed.

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

THE TESTING

The testing program was extensive and rigorous. Five months of engine and machine development included engine test rigs, virtual testing and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) on steel components. Nothing was 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 record-breaking achievements took place at Elvington Airfield in England. The airfield was originally used by the Royal Air Force during WW2 and has a runway measuring 1.92 miles, one of the longest in Britain. Consequently, it is a popular location for speed tests and has a history of record-breaking attempts.

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 produced more horsepower using JCB’s 7.2 liter Dieselmax engine produced by JCB Power Systems. It was also 10 percent lighter and even more streamlined with improved aerodynamics, but still used more than 50 percent standard Fastrac parts.