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Combines and balers the focus of latest Claas launch

Combines and balers came under the spotlight at Claas’ recent launch, with efficiency-enhancing updates to its Lexions and heavy revisions to its Quadrants. Richard Bradley and James Rickard report.


Richard   Bradley

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Getting several family features from its bigger brothers, Claas' Lexion 600 series has been updated.

With developments to engines, driver aids and residue management system, Claas has updated its five model Lexion 600 series straw walker combines.

 

Previously only available on the largest 670 model, the manufacturers Terra Trac system is now offered on the Lexion 660. Suited to wider headers, Claas says its track system is popular as it reduces soil compaction and provides a narrower transport width.


To meet Stage 4 engine emission regulations, the manufacturer has switched engine supplier from Cat, to Mercedes. The 660 and 670 models feature the same unit currently in the larger Lexion 740 and 750 combines, whereas the smaller 620-650 models get the engine currently used in the smaller Tucano combines (see panel).

Horizontal cooling system is said to keep the engine bay cleaner.

Filtering down from its larger combines, the manufacturer’s Dynamic cooling system has been introduced on the 660 and 670 models.

 

The system uses a hydraulically driven, variable speed fan, mounted horizontally behind the engine, with a 1.6m wide rotating sieve.


Said to keep the engine bay cleaner, air is drawn through the radiator, which then exits through vents into the engine bay below, and out of the sides of the combine.


Grain unloading on the 660 and 670 models has increased from 110 litres per second to 130l/sec, and to 110l/sec on 620-650 models.

 

The straw chopping unit has also received an update, with 50mm wider and 50mm larger diameter drum and an extended floor. Claas says this gives a longer chopping time and more consistent chop length.

Changing from chop to swath on the Lexion 600 can now be done from in-cab.

Changing from chopping to leaving a swath can now be done from in the cab; no tools are required to adjust the stationary chopping knives or friction plate.


Rather than the previous hydraulically powered spreader, Claas says the acceleration of the chaff in the chopper has increased, thanks to the larger diameter drum; meaning straw spreading can be done using vanes, up to 12m.


Drive of the chaff spreader has also changed from hydraulic to mechanical, giving a more even spread. Automatic adjustments are made to compensate for crosswinds and slopes.


Auto crop flow control, introduced last year on 700 series, is now on the 600 series options list. The system monitors engine speed, threshing drum, impellor drum and straw chopping unit, and automatically stops crop intake, when a drop in speed is detected. Claas’ says this helps to prevent blockages, and allows the operator to push the combine harder, without the fear of causing damage.


The manufacturer’s automatic slope control and automatic cleaning control systems have also been made available to 600 series buyers. The former system looks at loss monitors and inclination meter to adjust the fan speed when traveling up or down slopes, whereas the latter adjusts the top sieve, bottom sieve and fan speed to reduce grain losses. The manufacturer says these systems aid the driver, and aim to get the best out of the machine.


All updates are available now for 2017 machines.

Lexion 600 combine range

Model Lexion


620


630


650


660 / 660TT


670 / 670TT


Engine


Mercedes 7.7 litre


Mercedes 7.7 litre


Mercedes 7.7 litre


Mercedes 10.7 litre


Mercedes 10.7 litre


Power (hp)


313


354


354


408


435


Grain tank (litres)


9,000


9,000


10,000


11,000


11,000


Straw walkers


5


5


6


6


6


Straw walker area (m2)


6.25


6.25


7.48


7.48


7.48


Separation area (m2)


8.23


8.23


9.85


9.85


9.8

Lexion 700 series combines

Following major changes last year, Claas has also updated its Lexion 700 series combines.


Of the four Lexion 700 series models available with the Terra Trac system, previously only the 760TT could achieve 40kph travel speed, now the 750TT can be specified with this.


Designed to suit controlled traffic farming systems (CTF), the manufacturer has revealed new unloading auger sizes, so grain trailers can run on the next set of tramlines when unloading.


The largest 7XL suits 12m systems and has a hydraulically folding end for transport. Smaller 4XL and 3XL are available to suit 10m and 9m systems respectively. Unloading rates remain at 130l/min. Claas say they have heavily reinforced the grain tank and turret to suit the extended augers.


Again for CTF systems header widths have increased to allow for overlap; the 12.0m is replaced with a 12.3m header, and the 10.5m with 10.8m.


Previously only available on smaller models, the two new headers also gain -10cm/+60cm cutter bar travel, without the need to manually install filler plates for harvesting rape.


Another feature taken from the smaller models is the ability to fit side knives without tools. When installed, the hydraulic pump is automatically activated and the travel range for the cutter bar is restricted, to prevent clashing with the reel.

Quadrant large square balers

Featuring heavier duty drivelines and components, new electronics, and an extended options list, Claas has heavily revised its line-up of six string, large square balers for 2017.

 

Producing bales measuring 120cm by 70cm, the new Quadrant 5200 and 4200 replace the current 3200 and 2200 models, while the larger Quadrant 5300, producing 120cm by 90cm bales, replaces the 3300.

 

In order to achieve greater bale density and higher overall output, bale chambers on all three new models has been strengthened and the length increased by up to 15 per cent.

 

Knotters are also beefier and feature a new bill hook, string guide finger and string clamping plate and disc design. This, says Claas, improves knot shape and ‘hold’ in all baling conditions. For maintenance, instead of being bolted down each knotter assembly can now be swivelled upwards.

 

Standard on the Quadrant 5300/5200 and optional on the 4200 is the firm’s new Automatic Pressure Control system (APC). Having entered the required bale density into the IsoBus terminal, APC then uses sensors to monitor the deflection of the baler’s main beam and knotter tension, to automatically maintain the target chamber pressure.

 

In addition, a new Knotter Control System is also available which monitors knotter stress to detect any broken strings or missed knots.

 

As an option, hydraulic drive to the 2.35m pick-up reel, top crop press roller and the power feeding auger can be specified. This allows pick-up speed to be varied, to match crop conditions, and it can also be reversed to remove blockages.

 

See forthcoming editions of FG for a full test drive report of the Quadrant 5300.

Variant variable chamber round balers

For 2017, Claas will be offering an updated version of its Variant variable chamber baler range.

 

Compared to previous models, the new Variant 400 series offers increased crop flow and features a new netting system and a heavier duty bale chamber.

 

As before, there are four models and two bale sizes in the range. The Variant 460RF and 465RC can produce bales from 0.90m to 1.55m in diameter, while bales up to 1.8m can be made using the 480RF and 485RC.

 

Standard on all models is a 2.35m wide pick-up, now fitted with a dual roller crop press with four height settings.

 

All models get a hydraulic drop floor which allows blockages to be easily cleared, says the manufacturer. The floor will also lower 30mm automatically to allow large lumps to pass through and be drawn into the baler.

 

While Roto Feed (RF) models feature the same feed rotor as before, Roto Cut models (RC) get a new rotor design, offering better crop flow in heavy, wet conditions.

 

On all four models, the bale chamber has been strengthened, in particular the front frame which has been reinforced, as has the tailgate. The latter has also been redesigned so that it opens and closes faster.

 

Net spreading and application has also been developed which now uses a stainless steel plate to feed net into the chamber. Said to improve net coverage across the full width of the bale, it also allows dust and dirt to fall away better, resulting in more reliable netting.

 

A new option is the availability of an extra wide netting trough which allows 1.3m-wide netting to be used, with net applied over the shoulder of the bale.

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