JCB: iCon Fastracs have new tech-focused controls

The JCB Fastrac 4220 iCon
The JCB Fastrac 4220 iCon.

JCB has launched new Fastrac 4000 and 8000 Series tractors with an all-new iCon electronics infrastructure that delivers higher levels of performance and convenience while giving operators unprecedented choice in the way they operate their machine.

The new Fastrac iCon operator environment has three key features:

  • iConfigure – creating a bespoke control experience for every operator;
  • iConnect – integrating advanced precision agriculture technology; and
  • iControl – redefining operation through new driveline software.

The 175hp to 348hp Fastracs feature the new iCon armrest console and touch-screen display that provides outstanding flexibility in control allocation and operator information, and a new transmission control strategy to deliver ultimate operator comfort and powertrain efficiency. The tractors are also available with fully-integrated ISObus, precise JCB GPS guidance and implement control applications that minimise the need for additional displays.

JCB Agriculture’s managing director, John Smith, said the company had three major objectives with this important project for the JCB Fastrac: to create a bespoke operator experience; integrate electronics technology such as ISObus and GPS guidance; and redefine the already high level of operator control and driving comfort that the Fastrac offers.

“At the same time, we wanted to maintain a familiarity in terms of the controls and information displays to ensure existing users can quickly adapt to the new system,” he added. “Feedback from our extensive development and testing work with evaluation customers shows we have achieved all of these objectives, making the Fastrac an even more attractive proposition in terms of performance, productivity and operator appeal.”

At the heart of the new Fastrac iCon models is a new electronics infrastructure that enables a host of modern technology features to be fully integrated as standard or optional equipment.

The most obvious manifestation of this development is the new iCon seat-mounted armrest console and a 12-inch colour touch-screen display that can be positioned ahead of the controls for easy viewing or moved to one side to maximise visibility through the Fastrac’s large windscreen.

The console houses a new main joystick; assignable RGB LED colour-coded levers giving proportional control of electrically-operated spool valves; pto and hitch controls; an auxiliary joystick; and hard keys plus an encoder dial for a tactile alternative to using the touch screen.

At the heart of the new JCB Fastrac iCON models is a new electronics infrastructure that enables a host of modern technology features to be fully integrated
iCon variants of both JCB’s 4000 and 8000 Series Fastracs have been launched.

Hydraulic functions can be allocated freely to the five main joystick buttons and also to a four-way auxiliary joystick with its four buttons and rocker switch, with LED colour backlights identifying which spool valve is allocated to which control.

JCB’s new high definition 12-inch touch screen display presents key information on five screens using clear, crisp graphics, with the basic run screen layout designed to look familiar to current Fastrac users.

Swiping right brings up a more detailed running screen that includes settings for up to six front/rear electric spool valves; another two retain essential vehicle status information while providing a remote camera view and an ISObus 2 Universal Terminal screen; and a fifth screen is dedicated to JCB’s new satellite guidance and precision farming options.

JCB Headland Turn Assist now has up to 50 individual sequences with up to 50 steps each, making life easier for the operator across different field operations.

Ahead of the operator, a new seven-inch fully digital dashboard display provides speed and engine rpm read-outs, along with essential vehicle status information.

Smart Transmission Control is a new speed-based system that allows operators to set the required forward speed and leave the tractor to do the hard work of balancing engine speed and gear ratio to achieve that speed under changing load.

For added convenience, the joystick and pedal driving modes no longer have to be pre-selected – they’re automatically selected when either control is used; and a unique feature allows operators to choose one of two input configurations when controlling the transmission using the joystick.

Current Fastrac operators may wish to use the JCB Classic setting, changing ground speed by moving the joystick left and right, and select direction by moving it forwards and backwards.

Operators new to the Fastrac may prefer the new JCB Pro format that transposes those functions – so push forward and pull back to alter ground speed, move left to operate the forward/reverse shuttle and move right to engage the new roller thumb switch that provides very fine speed adjustments.

At the heart of the new JCB Fastrac iCON models is a new electronics infrastructure that enables a host of modern technology features to be fully integrated
At the heart of the new JCB Fastrac iCON models is a new electronics infrastructure that enables a host of modern technology features to be fully integrated.

The new electronics infrastructure on Fastrac iCon tractors caters for optional ISObus control of rear- and front-mounted implements using a common graphics interface on the 12-inch touch screen, with the auxiliary joystick providing further opportunities for bespoke control allocations.

A fully integrated GPS guidance system is also available, comprising a Novatel Smart-7 receiver, a steering controller and JCB user interface, with Section Control and Variable Rate Control available as unlock options.

Alternatively, the GPS Ready option prepares the Fastrac for after-market guidance and precision farming solutions.

Operators have the added benefit of JCB Rapid Steer that reduces the number of steering wheel turns needed for headland and other manoeuvres, and JCB’s unique Twin Steer is available for the four-wheel steer Fastrac 4000 Series tractors, providing individual axle guidance for ultra-precise implement positioning for high-value crops grown in beds.

A new fully automatic climate control air conditioning system has been introduced, complete with solar load sensor and ambient cab temperature monitoring to react quickly and efficiently to changing conditions and maintain a comfortable working environment.

Storage is enhanced by a utility tray and cup holder to the right of the operator, a storage box on the armrest and cargo nets at the back of the spacious Command Plus cab, complementing the under-seat drawer or cool box.

Media control using the touch screen or hard keys enhances the tractor’s connectivity credentials, with a USB port in the radio head for media, two high current charging USBs in the utility tray and a data transfer USB port in the armrest cubby.

For ultimate comfort, a top-specification air-suspension seat has been introduced with both heating and ventilation, and which is available as part of the Field Pro and new Pro Line option packs.

The latter is available when front linkage is fitted and adds a number of cab enhancements along with LED road and auxiliary headlights, twin beacons and a road performance package comprising Hill Hold and two-wheel drive traction control.