Keeping Guy Martin safe in the world record breaking JCB Fastrac tractor
After setting the British record for the world’s fastest tractor earlier in 2019, Fronius customer JCB were determined to go a step further and obliterate the world’s fastest tractor record. For this, the British company, who manufacture equipment for construction, agriculture and demolition set about adapting their existing Fastrac Tractor for the challenge. The team needed to improve the aerodynamics, reduce the overall weight and up the performance to create a more streamlined tractor.
Along with the adaptations to make it faster, safety was of key importance to the project. Considering the high speeds required to break the record, which exceeded 130 mph (209 kph), an integrated roll-cage was imperative to the project. This is where Fronius stepped in to help. JCB’s in-house team created the frame that would become the roll cage using a high strength steel suitable for the stresses that would be demanded and with regards to maintaining its properties once welded. Because of the integrity of the weld and for easy access, TIG welding was required to weld together the parts of the roll cage and JCB called upon the skills and expertise of Fronius UK’s very own TIG welder, Terry Baker.
The Fronius Magicwave 230i AC/DC was used to weld the roll cage with direct current and pure shield Argon using a mixture of variable foot control and torch control for easy accessibility. Take a sneaky peak behind the scenes footage of Terry welding the roll cage at JCB: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khtiXewdykk
Terry also used the MagicWave to weld the aluminium ice container tank, used as a cooling mechanism, which can be seen during the hour long Channel 4 programme which aired in the UK at the end of November.
The programme ended with Guy Martin - a British lorry-mechanic better known publicly as a motorcycle racer turned TV presenter – breaking the Guinness World record. The JCB Fastrac 2 has officially broken the world land speed record for a tractor averaging 135 mph, but actually reaching an astonishing 153.7 mph (247 kph) at peak speed.
You can relive the moment the world record was broken here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXe-aQt_Lbs