They say that the first motor race was held when the second car rolled off the factory floor. Since the dawn of internal combustion man has been obsessed with making vehicles go as fast as they can. While cars are obviously the focal point of this obsession, other people just simply choose to make something else faster – just for the heck of it. Everything from Lawnmowers, to Zambonis, and perhaps even Forklifts have a World Speed Record titled after them, but perhaps the most difficult to churn speed out of would be from heavy equipment. What happens if say, a tractor were to be made for speed? Well, it looks like we finally have an answer.
British Industrial Equipment Manufacturer JCB appears to have quite the sense of humor – and perhaps a large marketing budget – to be able to pull off the creation of their new Fastrac 8000. With input from the boffins at the Williams F1 Team, JCB was able to create a tractor that pushes 1000PS and 2,500 Nm of torque. Entrusting the wheel to TV presenter Guy Martin, the tractor was able to set a World Speed Record of 167 km/h.
To get to such high power numbers and a mind boggling speed (for a tractor), Williams F1 provided input on things like lightening as well as aerodynamics for the otherwise thick slab of metal. On the powerplant side of things, supposedly JCB used an upgraded common rail fueling system with matching uprated injectors for added flow. The bottom end got improved valve seats, uprated conrods and auxiliary piston cooling, all designed to deal with the increased heat. The CVT found in JCB’s fleet of tractors has been ditched for a ZF 6-Speed manual transmission that would normally be found in a lorry. A multi-plate wet clutch system also helps keep power delivery in check.
This whole exercise was cooked up by JCB Chairman Lord Bramford to demonstrate how their new Fastrac series of tractors is capable of higher road speeds while simultaneously being able to carry loads of a conventional tractor.