The 1,2,3 of JCB’s new control and interface system

Fastrac fans will breathe a sigh of relief knowing that JCB has launched what it describes as “all new electronic infrastructure” on its latest Fastrac 4000 and 8000 models.

Taking four years to develop, the key to the overhauled infrastructure has been to separate tractor operation into three key areas. Each section is individually controlled via a common screen, by the new iCon system.

The first area addressed is the interaction of individual operators with the controls, allowing full customization of the various functions possible. The most obvious sign of the upgrade is the seat-mounted iCon armrest console and a 12-inch color touchscreen. The position of the new screen can be changed for easier viewing or moved to one side for maximum visibility through the tractor windshield.

Selectable color-coded levers provide proportional control of electric spool valves, power take-off (PTO) and hitch controls. Meanwhile, an auxiliary joystick and hardware keys – complemented by an encoder dial – remain a tactile alternative to using the touchscreen interface. The control layout allows you to seamlessly switch between stick, pedal, or cruise riding modes with the simple touch of either control.

The second key business area centers on precision farming technology. Control and monitoring of tractor operations is done via ISOBUS as a communication protocol. This optimizes the operation of the latest Fastrac 4000 and 8000 series tractors which are ready for precision farming.

A factory-installed integrated GPS guidance system will be available, consisting of a Novatel Smart-7 receiver, steering controller and JCB user interface, with section control and variable rate control available as unlock options. If the customer is already using aftermarket guidance and precision farming, the GPS Ready option allows the Fastrac to quickly integrate into it.

The third area of ​​optimization is machine specific, with updated transmission software that allows operators to set the appropriate forward speed. This leaves it up to the tractor to balance engine speed and gear ratio to achieve the desired speed at the most economical level.

The new JCB Pro format simplifies ground speed selection, pushing forward or pulling the joystick to make a change, while moving left or right controls the direction of the shuttle forward/ back.

Away from the new control layout, the Fastrac 4000 and 8000 series tractors remain largely unchanged, but with subtle repositioning to grip handles and better located internal door latches.