Optional features for JCB Fastrac 4000 Series tractors that enable farmers and contractors to equip their machines for non-agricultural applications will be highlighted at the LAMMA show for the first time, alongside farm-spec versions of the 175-235hp 4000 Series and 306-348hp 8000 Series machines.

A Fastrac 4220 equipped with these ‘utility’ features will underscore the tractor’s suitability for operating rear-mounted, front-mounted and deck-mounted equipment individually or in combination for applications such as snow clearance, salt spreading and roadside vegetation control.

The features include a DIN-standard mounting frame for highways snow ploughs, snow blowers and powered sweepers; a stability control system to keep the tractor level when operating heavy long-reach vegetation mowers; and a purpose-built rear deck frame for quick mounting and demounting of specialist spraying equipment and salt spreaders.

John Smith, managing director of JCB Agriculture, said: “A number of contractors, utility companies and airports in the UK and overseas already operate our tractors but we see the Fastrac’s ‘utility’ options providing opportunities for farmers and contractors to diversify into municipal, highways and commercial markets for winter and summer maintenance.

“With their stepless transmission, excellent manoeuvrability from four-wheel steering, and up to 60kph legal road speed with all-round suspension and anti-lock braking, the Fastrac 4000 Series tractors make an ideal platform for a range of industrial and highways maintenance applications.”

Front equipment mount

The DIN-standard front mounting frame, which replaces the cast bolster, enables operators to use standard highways maintenance equipment for clearing snow in winter and for vegetation control alongside roads in summer.

These include angle blades, vee-blades, blowers and wide sweepers to clear snow from roads, airfields and other hard-surface open spaces such as public and private car parks, before switching to mowers for embankment and verge trimming, including specialist designs that can work around road signs and posts on fences and safety barriers.

The frame is available with central or offset pto drive shafts to match equipment from a wide range of specialist manufacturers, and up to four electrically-operated spool valves to handle lift, angling and other equipment functions.

Stability control

A stability control mechanism enhances the active all-round suspension of Fastrac 4000 Series tractors, which already maintains a consistent ride height front to rear, by providing added support for heavy long-reach vegetation control equipment.

A triangular shaped torsion frame is attached to the front axle and to the DIN mounting plate where a vertical hydraulic cylinder locks the axle in a level position to prevent the tractor from leaning to one side.

A key feature of this mechanism is that the axle suspension is unaffected, so it continues to provide the exceptional ride comfort over road, track and field surfaces that operators highlight as one of the main attractions of using a Fastrac.

Purpose-built equipment deck

At the rear of the tractor, a 4 tonne capacity utility deck frame caters for specialist highways maintenance equipment, such as a de-icing sprayer or a salt spreader of up to 2.5cu m capacity with a low-height broadcasting spinner.

The assembly is fabricated in aluminium chequer plate with built-in mud guards formed from stainless steel, and electrically-operated hydraulic spool valves are mounted on the frame in close proximity to the demountable equipment.

Operators can quickly remove a sprayer or spreader by lowering the tractor’s suspension after deploying support legs and disconnecting quick-release mounts and electrical and hydraulic couplings.

Other applications

In addition to these highway maintenance adaptations, the choice of towing hitches available, a chassis pre-drilled for loader brackets and the optional agricultural deck frame equip the Fastrac for a range of other non-farming applications, such as haulage, materials handling, forestry and utility crane work.