A NORTH-EAST steel firm is helping to make the latest version of a famous farm vehicle. 

Tata Steel has teamed up with JCB Landpower to create the company’s most productive tractor yet.

Using innovative design and engineering methods Tata Steel engineers at its Skinningrove, east Cleveland site have been able to reduce the weight of the next generation of JCB Fastrac machines making them leaner on fuel consumption, able to handle bigger loads and safer than previous models while retaining the strength required by farmers around the world.

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The steel is being provided by Tata in Scunthorpe, but it will be worked by the firm's Skinningrove team.

A three-way partnership involving Tata Steel, JCB Landpower, and GKN - the current manufacturer of the Fastrac 4000 tractor chassis – was formed to develop the vehicle which was previewed recently at the Agritechnica show in Hanover, Germany.

But using computer-aided engineering tools, engineers from Tata Steel designed a strong chassis which was as light as possible. 

Phil Clements, head of lifting and excavating at Tata Steel said: “Optimising product design from the outset is fundamental to achieving the best result, and this is why we work in partnership with our customers through our early vendor involvement programme.

"This is the first time we have worked with JCB Landpower and GKN Structures in this way, and we hope this successful outcome paves the way for many more collaborations.”