Tractors that never made production

Otherwise known as the JCB Fastrac.

It's said that the inventors of the Trantor went round various manufacturers trying to interest them in the concept, all turned them down, but lo and behold just a year or three later JCB came out with the Fastrac.
You may be right but more than a year or three - Trantor was being built around 1976-77 and Fastrac was launched mid-nineties?
 

Scribus

Member
Location
Central Atlantic
You may be right but more than a year or three - Trantor was being built around 1976-77 and Fastrac was launched mid-nineties?

1991 I believe.

The Trantor was not a new invention as such, continental tractors had always had a dual role, Hanomag, for instance, made different versions of the same machine, one a field tractor and the other a 'road locomotive'. It's a history of tractors that we are not really aware of over here where the American way of thinking has dominated tractor design, but that's another story.

The Trantor is based on a research paper (can't remember the guy's name offhand) that noted tractors spent as much, if not more, of their time in transport mode rather than working in the field. Another fellow by the name of Edwards tried to commercialise the idea with a limited degree of success. It was this pair, as I understand it, that took the idea around to various manufacturers but I'm not sure whether this was before or after they had started production on their own account. I'll look to my reference again and hopefully get back with a little more clarity.
 

Exfarmer

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
I believe that Ford actually made versions of the model T for farmers, based upon the tractor concept. Landrover also unmade versions with PUH hitch PTO etc. So The Trantor pair were not doing anything that revolutionary.
Many other manufacturers had toyed with the idea too. Chamberlain had a tractor doing I believe 80MPH!
 

Scribus

Member
Location
Central Atlantic
I believe that Ford actually made versions of the model T for farmers, based upon the tractor concept. Landrover also unmade versions with PUH hitch PTO etc. So The Trantor pair were not doing anything that revolutionary.
Many other manufacturers had toyed with the idea too. Chamberlain had a tractor doing I believe 80MPH!

I'm not sure that Ford did themselves but there were certainly third party manufacturers making conversion kits for the model T. A bit like County and 4WD in later years.
 

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
I’m pretty sure the man who designed the selectospeed went on n to design John deeres powershift transmission.i know some knock it but others love it.it was before it’s time and probably misunderstood by operators at the time and I’ve never driven one
Nick...
There was nothing really for the operators to misunderstand about it. The problem was that computer control had not been invented and it was launched in a rush before it was fully developed. There was no modulation of changes, hence the 'jerk' part of 'jerkomatic'. The brake bands did tend to go out of adjustment around the annulus gears, thus gears simply disappeared and were unavailable to the operator. Many mechanics didn't understand it, which is rather different from the operators not understanding it while driving, because it was dead simple to drive apart from the irritatingly small 'inching pedal' that was as jerky as the rest of the shifts.

When it worked, it gave a massive productivity gain to the tractor.
 

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
I always wonder how much the R&D that goes nowhere contributes to the cost of the production models.
It depends on how far down the dead end rabbit hole they go before throwing the towel in. Everyone that intends to be in the game in future spends on research and development. The category may also include marketing costs [development] and is usually expressed as a percentage of net sales and possibly net sales volume. It not only covers raw research but developments and improvements to existing products.

With no proof whatsoever to back it up, I guess it varies widely from maybe 2% of turnover to about 10%. More in some cases like pharmaceuticals.
 
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Scribus

Member
Location
Central Atlantic
I always wonder how much the R&D that goes nowhere contributes to the cost of the production models.

It might not all be wasted though, ideas and developments that were destined for a cancelled machine may surface elsewhere in the range, indeed, concept tractors (or any vehicle) are often a platform for new ideas alone, rather than any serious attempt at producing a new model.
 

Sausage

Member
It depends on how far down the dead end rabbit hole they go before throwing the towel in. Everyone that intends to be in the game in future spends on research and development. The category may also include marketing costs [development] and is usually expressed as a percentage of net sales and possibly net sales volume.
Yea I get that, but as a rule of thumb it must be a certain percentage. Not that I expect a manufacturer accountant to be on here to tell me!
 

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JCB launches Fastrac ‘iCon’

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Written by Charlotte Cunningham from CPM Magazine

JCB has launched new Fastrac 4000 and 8000 Series tractors with an all-new electronics infrastructure which is claimed to deliver higher levels of performance. According to JCB, 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 iControl – redefining operation through new driveline software The 175hp to 348hp (133kW to 260kW) Fastracs feature the new iCon armrest console and touch-screen display to provide flexibility in operator allocation and operator information, as well as a new transmission control strategy to enhance operator comfort and powertrain efficiency, says the manufacturer...
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