Always keen to keep up, JCB has just launched what it describes as its “all new electronic infrastructure” which features a new interface on its latest Fastrac 4000 and 8000 models.
The company has divided the electronics involved in tractor operation into three key areas and the new system, which it has called ‘iCON’, services each section individually through a common display.
The first area addressed is each operator’s interaction with the controls, with full customization of the various functions now possible.
The most obvious manifestation of this development is the new iCON seat-mounted armrest console and a 12-inch color touchscreen.
The screen position can be changed to allow for easy viewing, or it can be moved to one side to maximize visibility through the Fastrac’s large windshield.
Selectable color-coded levers provide proportional control of electric spool valves, power take-off (PTO) and hitch controls.
An auxiliary joystick and hardware keys, as well as an encoder dial are still provided as a tactile alternative to using the touchscreen interface.
The second area is the integration of the latest precision farming technologies into the control and monitoring of tractor operations, using the ISOBUS standard as the communication protocol.
A fully integrated, factory-installed GPS guidance system will be available. It consists of a Novatel Smart-7 receiver, steering controller and JCB user interface, with section control and variable rate control available as unlocking options.
However, if the customer already has an after-market precision farming and guidance system in place, the GPS Ready option allows the Fastrac to quickly integrate into it.
The third is specific to the machines themselves with updated transmission software that allows operators to set the appropriate forward speed by letting the tractor balance engine speed and gear ratio to achieve it at the most economic.
The new JCB Pro format simplifies ground speed selection. Pushing forward or pulling the joystick will change it, while moving left or right operates the forward/reverse shuttle.
JCB Agriculture Managing Director John Smith notes that as well as introducing these new features, the company wanted to maintain familiarity in terms of controls to ensure that existing users can quickly adapt to the new system.