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Significant updates for Claas Jaguar foragers

Refining its flagship Jaguar self propelled foragers, Claas has introduced several efficiency enhancing features and options to its top two models. James Rickard gets under the panels to find out more.



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Updates to Claas' flagship foragers include new paneling which feature a curvy design, to prevent build-up of dust and debris, and larger vents at the rear for improved airflow.

Jaguar flagship models

Model

Jaguar 970

Jaguar 980

Engine

16.16-litre, V8, MAN

24.24-litre, V12, MAN

Power

775hp

884hp

Aimed at improving efficiency and wear life, Claas has made several major updates and introduced new options for its two flagship foragers, the Jaguar 970 and 980.

 

While engines and power levels remain the same as before, new standard features include improved shearbar and concave adjustment, a more accurate knife sharpening system, uprated axles and a more versatile transmission, and redesigned panels which bring with them better access and venting.

 

The options list has also grown which includes a clever split drive system to independently control feed roller and header speed, and the availability of a rear auto-fill system.

 

Both new models are available now to order, with production starting in December. Also, expect updates to eventually filter down through the rest of the 900 series range (930 to 960 models).

Split drive option

Designed to improve throughput, one of the most significant developments in recent years for the Jaguar is a new split drive option. Before, drive to the header or pickup was only a fixed mechanical speed, with only the feed roller hydraulically driven and adjustable to alter chop length. Now, a second hydraulic drive system can be specified which independently alters pickup/header speed – controlled from the cab.

 

In auto mode, pickup/header speed alters automatically in relation to feed roller speed. For example, if chopping short, you may want the header to slow down so it does not over feed the feed rollers, and vice versa. Alternatively, you may want to run it in manual, allowing you to adapt to changing crop conditions, particularly in grass when switching between light and heavy swaths.

 

Only grass pickups and maize headers can be used with the hydraulic drive. For direct disc, wholecrop headers, which require full power and a constant speed, the new hydraulic drive system can be combined with the forager’s mechanical drive system. When reverting back to hydraulic drive, a drive belt is simply removed from the mechanical drive system.

 

To prevent parasitic losses from the hydraulic drive lines, final drive is extended using drive shafts, said to be more efficient.

Sharpening and crop flow

Helping to improve setup, Claas has redesigned its shearbar linkage, clamping and holding mechanisms.

 

Previously, bolts where used to clamp the shearbar in-place once it had been adjusted. Now, this is done hydraulically, said to make adjustment much easier and more accurate.

 

Shearbar has also been repositioned so that it is at a true 90 degree angle to the chopping knives, resulting in better chop quality and longer life, says the manufacturer. In addition, it is now held in place on the shearbar frame by four bolts as opposed to three.

 

Link arms which adjust the shearbar have been beefed up and now provide a secondary operation as they are directly linked to the concave under the chopping cylinder. As a result, when the shearbar is adjusted, so too is the concave, keeping the gap between it and the cylinder at a constant, something often neglected with the old, manual system. Again, this is said to improve efficiency of the forager.

 

Knife sharpening has also been improved, with a new track design for the sharpening stone, reducing flex and vibration. This prevents it from being ‘shoved’ outwards as it passes over the centre of the cylinder, improving sharpening accuracy and knife life.

Transmission

Transmission-wise, it is out with the old single hydrostatic motor and in with a new dual motor unit. Claas says it offers more torque to the wheels both in field and on the road, and it is more responsive.

 

On the road, it can achieve a road speed of 40kph at a reduced engine speed of 1,300rpm. Another fuel saving trick during work also includes its ability to automatically drop engine revs from 2,000 to 1,400rpm, when the pickup/header is raised out of work, but maintain forward speed. Revs then get piled back on when the pickup/header is lowered again.

 

As an option, limited slip differentials can be specified for both axles. It can be controlled either manually; in automatic switch-on mode, which is triggered when wheel slip is detected; or in automatic switch-off mode when a given steering angle and speeds greater than 15 km/h are attained.

 

Furthermore, both models get an automatic parking brake which is applied when the operator places the control lever in the neutral position.

Attachment and auto-fill updates

Particularly with the new split drive option, attachment recognition is now a feature. This tells the forager what is on front of it, what width it is and what speed it is able to run at.

 

In future, the grass pickup will be equipped with Claas’ new Active Contour function which enables fast adaptation to changing ground contours and so reduces crop losses in hilly terrain. This builds on the current system which uses pressure sensors in the auger’s lift cylinders, and combines them with another sensor, which senses movement between the pickup and the auger.

 

Adding to its already side auto-fill option, Claas now offers a rear version, which can automatically control the spout when filling into a trailer which is following the forager.

 

Using a special camera, it targets the centreline of the following trailer, leaving the operator to control the flap angle. In corners, the system will control both spout and flap, targeting the centre of the trailer.

 

The same camera is used for both automatic side and rear filling, but has to be switched manually between side and rear modes, as the latter requires the camera to zoom. Rear mode only works when the trailer is being pulled by a tractor – it does not work when the trailer is on the forager’s pickup hitch, because of the camera’s zoom.

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