Designed to spread the weight of the forager, particularly when working with large maize headers, Claas has developed a tracked version of the Jaguar 960.
Taking inspiration from the Terra Trac system fitted to the company’s Lexion combines, Claas has become the first forage harvester manufacturer to launch a factory fitted track option.
First previewed at the 2017 Agritechnica, Claas says the tracked version of the forager will appeal to contractors who harvest maize on marginal and difficult land and AD units growing crops on rented land, where limiting compaction is a priority.
Three track widths are available 635mm, 735mm and 890mm. Total width of the machine on the narrowest tracks is under three metres, while on the widest set the total width is still under 3.5 metres.
Hydro-pneumatic suspension on the track unit keeps the operator protected from bumps in the road and the track unit can oscillate 10 degrees upwards and 13 degrees down to ride over any undulations. Road speed is 40kph.
To accommodate the extra length needed to fit the track units, the body of the forager has been extended by 1,000mm. This has enabled access to the internals of the machine to be improved, with larger maintenance areas and panels. The corn cracker is removed over the right-hand track.
The addition of the track units and the extended body adds some four tonnes to the weight of the machine.
The company has recognised the issue of scuffing associated with tracks, especially on grassland and has created a system to limit the shearing effect on the surface when turning on headlands.
When a turn is initiated, the front drive roller is raised, with pressure exerted onto the two mid rollers. This shortens the track length by one third.
Claas says the 635mm wide system when turning exerts a similar pressure to a machine fitted with 800mm tyres, but when running in a straight line has a contact area of more than double its wheeled counterpart and puts down 66 percent less pressure.
At present the track option has been tested on the Jaguar 960. For the time being the 960 will be the only model to have the track option, but expect in due course for it to be rolled out across the range.
The company does not have a firm time scale of when full production models will be available, but expects to have some test models on farm in 2019.