New South Wales spreading contractor Simon Manwaring expects his new JCB 4220 Fastrac to significantly improve his efficiency and provide him with greater flexibility in all weather conditions.
Simon recently purchased the new 4220 Fastrac for spreading lime, gypsum and granular fertilisers for his Harden-based contract ground spreading business, SFM Spreading.
It is the third JCB Fastrac Simon has owned. He started out with a JCB 3185 and progressed to a JCB 3220 before purchasing the new JCB 4220.
Both of the older machines now have over 10,000 hours on them and Simon says they have proven to be unbelievably reliable.
The new 4220 Fastrac will be fitted with a trailed gooseneck spreader. Simon believes it will be 30-40 per cent more efficient thanks to its extra width and weight.
“I chose the 4220 for speed on the road and the four-wheel steer,” Simon says. “The four-wheel steer is the key. It has a lock-out at a certain speed, so when you turn it won’t tip over, allowing you to do headland turns so much more easily, in and out of rocks and up and down hills.
“I need this machine to get to places quickly and perform smartly. It can do up to 30 kph in and around rocks. With the four-wheel steer you can get in and around gullies and up and down hills and through boggy areas and if you start to bog you can steer it straight out. Time is money. If you can get the job done quicker, the cost is down.”
Simon says the 4220 Fastrac handles well on the road and is just like driving a car.
The variable transmission means he can run the engine at certain revs and use the transmission to adjust the speed.
“You can drive in manual mode and just use the joystick for speed, or you have power shift mode where it will go up and down the gears,” he says.
“The transmission means in different modes you can run the gearbox at different speeds and it has more power all round. It’s got dual caliper brakes right around it, so up and down hills there is plenty of braking capacity.”
The JCB 4220 Fastrac’s versatility means it can be used as a three-point linkage machine with different implements attached to the rear, such as an airseeder or disc chain.
“I bought this machine because of the versatility it gives me with other options to make money,” Simon says.
“The versatility is unbelievable compared to other machines. I can get a lot of work done with a JCB in the wet, so you don’t get any days down. They can get across the wet country, which is good for your productivity.”
Comfort and safety were also major considerations. The new CommandPlus cab provides space, comfort and increased vision, and the all-new hydro-pneumatic self-levelling suspension is standard.
“The suspension is unbelievable and the weight distribution is another thing I like. With the trailing spreader I need even weight distribution between the front and back axle. When you are in cropping paddocks that weight distribution is very important so you’re not making a mess of their paddocks,” he says.
“For all-round comfort you can’t beat it, compared to other machines I’ve owned. The controls are all on the seat and on the hand piece.
“The access into the cab with the steps is really good and that’s one of the features I looked at when I was buying.”