Alcon delivers bespoke braking solution for McConnel AGRIBUGGY

Alcon Components Ltd has again demonstrated its engineering expertise, experience, and adaptability by delivering an innovative bespoke braking solution for the upgraded McConnel manufactured AGRIBUGGY.  This is the first major contract for Alcon in the specialist agricultural vehicle sector and the announcement coincides with the LAMMA exhibition taking place in the NEC, Birmingham, 4/5 May 2022.

The McConnel produced AGRIBUGGY has long been a market leader in the field of specialist agricultural machinery.  To meet future emission standards, it was necessary to update the engine, so McConnel seized the opportunity to integrate a host of other upgrades enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the AGRIBUGGY, while also incorporating various elements of customer feedback.  The outcome is the only carryover parts in the upgraded version is the cab and some minor components.  The significantly improved performance of the Stage 5 Cummings engine combined with a stronger powertrain, OMSI axels with reduction hubs and other improvements required a major upgrade to the braking system without increasing the ground bearing pressure of the vehicle.

The bespoke Alcon braking system developed for the AGRIBUGGY includes front and rear calipers that are variants from the six-piston CIR15 cast iron caliper family and the four-piston CIR54 caliper family, respectively. Alcon engineers created a system from vehicle data supplied by McConnel that was required to safely balance the system and ensure sufficient safe and legal brake torques across all tyre specifications (the different tyres vary in rolling radius, which changes the required brake torque). Alcon were also asked to make the calipers compatible with mineral oil brake fluid. Mineral oil is used as it is vegetable-based and will not contaminate the soil should there be a fluid leak. Specific seals are used and the fluid has a lower boiling point, so the brake specification has to deliver lower temperatures accordingly.

The upgraded AGRIBUGGY now meets all current and future European emission standards, so is now available in Europe, in addition to the UK. The technical improvements ensure that the AGRIBUGGY remains a world-class product, competing with the very best in class, and as a result, McConnel has a very strong order book with a 5-month waiting list.

John Davis, Sprayer Sales Manager at McConnel said: “The additional braking efficiency of the new Alcon braking system has surpassed our expectations. Our customers have commented on the overall enhanced performance, which makes our new Agribuggy2 AB30 power braking system, twinned with the engine braking, our strongest and safest machine to date.

Jonathan Edwards, Group Sales Director at Alcon said: “We are very proud of the bespoke braking solution we have designed for the upgraded AGRIBUGGY.  Our quality and performance are born in the performance automotive and motorsport sector which combined with our experience of the heavy-duty demands of the military, means we have the depth of knowledge and understanding of specialist problems to produce effective solutions in any sector; the AGRIBUGGY is a perfect example of this in action.