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The Engine on the World’s Fastest Tractor will Shock Students in Auto Mechanic Training

Published on July 4, 2019 by in Blog

Automotive School

There are more than a few world records related to speed. For motorcycles, that record sits at 605.7 km/h. Among monster trucks, that number sits a little lower at 159.5 km/h. And, if you’re curious, the speediest toy slot car ever recorded travelled at an impressive 1,583.4 km/h.

Honda even recently set a new acceleration record for lawn mowers, achieving a 0-100 mph time of 6.29 seconds. Joining this list of wild and whacky records is a powerful tractor by JCB, which set a new world record for fastest tractor.

Read on for a bit about this curious workhorse.

How Tractors Are Different from the Cars You’ll See After Automotive College

Tractors are built with large wheels and are meant to pull heavy loads. Whenever a vehicle needs to pull weight, high torque is required. The cars you’ll encounter after automotive college, on the other hand, generally have smaller wheels with less torque. There is a trade off between the two—a car will go faster and generate less torque, while a tractor will usually go slower and generate more torque. This is where it becomes difficult to make a tractor super speedy. Tractors have big, powerful diesel engines, but the power from the engine is converted by the gear box into lower-speed revolutions that pack force rather than speed.

Tractors are designed to pull, so they require a tremendous amount of torque in exchange for speed

Tractors are designed to pull, so they require a tremendous amount of torque in exchange for speed

Take a Look at the Team Behind This New Record

The previous world record for fastest tractor was held by “The Stig”, an anonymous driver of Top Gear, who drove a modified tractor by the name of Track-tor. The Stig was able to hit 140.3 km/h in the Track-tor in 2018. Now, British industrial manufacturer JCB and motorcycle racer Guy Martin have topped this record, taking a modified 4000 series Fastrac tractor to 166.7 km/h.

Unneeded parts were stripped away from the vehicle to lighten its load, and engine upgrades were paired with a new transmission, swapping out the CVT for a 6-speed ZF manual. Williams Advanced Engineering, behind one of the world’s top Formula 1 racing teams, assisted with aerodynamics to lessen the obvious drag produced by a speeding tractor.

An engineering company behind a top F1 racing team helped out with the tractor’s aerodynamics

An engineering company behind a top F1 racing team helped out with the tractor’s aerodynamics

A Look at This Powerful Engine for Students in Automotive School

This tractor has a 7.2-litre, 6-cylinder diesel engine, with a whopping 1,000 horsepower and 1843 pound-feet of torque. Upgrades to the engine include improved valve seats and connecting rods.

You may guess as a student of auto mechanic training that this monster engine produces an enormous amount of heat. An external oil cooler was added as well as auxiliary piston cooling to deal with the high temperatures. A locked differential delivers power to the rear wheels, which as you may know locks both wheels together on an axle so that they turn in unison regardless of individual traction. Farm meets Formula 1 with these modifications.

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