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HarvesTimes The journal for agricultural professionals


CLAAS news Product news Customer stories

Turn desire into reality

Jump in, close the door, relax. Put on your favourite sounds. Sit back. Start work. With a range of 75 – 530hp machines, CLAAS has a tractor to suit every application. Contact your local CLAAS dealer for a demonstration and turn desire into reality. claas.co.uk


Contents CLAAS and Dealer News



Financial results..................................................4 Helmut Claas......................................................5 CLAAS careers...................................................6 Customer Experience Centre..............................6 Dealer News.......................................................7 New special edition “Le Mans” package.............7

Stay connected with CLAAS UK

Product News 6


NEW ARION 400 Stage V...................................8 AXION 960 Sustainable Tractor of the Year.......10 DataConnect goes live......................................11 NEW TORION 956 SINUS................................12

Technical Feature CEMOS for Tractors.......................................14 DLG test results............................................16 AXION 870 with CEMOS, Ollie Hill, Leicestershire................................................18


Combine Straw Walker Feature LEXION 5000-6000.........................................20 LEXION 6800 TT, George Crane, Norfolk......22



Customer News Green Harvest ROLLANT 520, David Meredith, Glamorgan......24 QUADRANT 5300, Swinnerton Contractors, Shropshire........................................................25

Tractors 42



ARION 420, Chris Fogden, Thetford.................26 ARION 630, DAR Golf, Ireland..........................28 ARION 530 & AXION 800, John Bennett...........30 ARION 650, Bob Crump, Worcestershire..........32

TORION / SCORPION TORION 1511 & 1812, Nigel Baker, Somerset..34 SCORPION 635 VP, Jim Kirk, Devon................36 SCORPION 741, Simon Watchorn, Suffolk.......38

JAGUAR JAGUAR 950, TORION 1511, AXION 830, ARION 630, Josh Collins, Truro.........................40 JAGUAR 840 & ARION 530, Clive Pritchard, Chepstow.........................................................42

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Record results in a year of crisis

MAJOR INVESTMENT PROJECTS GO ACCORDING TO PLAN Despite the adverse effects of Covid-19, CLAAS succeeded in implementing its important investment projects as planned. At the Le Mans tractor plant, state-of-the-art production technologies have greatly increased flexibility and efficiency. At Harsewinkel, the first phase of a major redevelopment project of the combine assembly line was completed. The new sales centres in France and the UK were also launched along with the new high-bay warehouse in Hamm.

STABLE DEVELOPMENT IN GLOBAL NUMBER OF STAFF The number of staff remained stable on the whole throughout the year, standing at 11,395 worldwide at the end of the 2020 fiscal year (previous year: 11,448). In Germany, the number of staff rose by 1.7 percent to 5,596 (previous year: 5,503), whereas in France it declined by 1.0 percent to 2,279 (previous year: 2,301). Group-wide, the number of trainees was 714 (previous year: 735), of whom 430 were based in Germany (previous year: 414).

CLAAS Group in numbers 2020 in € m CLAAS has achieved record results in 2020, increasing its sales by 3.7 percent to 4.042 billion euros (previous year: 3.898 billion euros) with pre-tax earnings rising to 158 million euros (previous year: 136 million euros). “CLAAS managed to achieve growth in sales and to improve profitability despite the pandemic and shutdowns in production. In the process, our widespread international presence has paid off,” said Thomas Böck, Chairman of the CLAAS Group Executive Board. While sales in Germany, France and the other Western European countries remained stable on the whole, they grew significantly in Eastern Europe and especially Russia. However, the strongest growth in sales was outside of Europe, with North America proving to be the most important growth driver.

2019 in € m

Change in %

Sales revenue




Profit before taxes




Capital investments in fixed assets




Research and development




Balance sheet total 3,722.5



Number of staff on reporting date (30 September)




Looking forward, CLAAS expect sales and earnings to remain level, despite the coronavirus pandemic and the effects of international trade conflicts which are still smouldering, along with volatile producer prices and changes in the political framework for farmers in core markets.

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Helmut Claas Described as one of agricultural engineering’s most significant businessmen Helmut Claas, the long-time Managing Director, Chairman of the Supervisory Board and Chairman of the Shareholders Committee of the CLAAS Group, died on January 5th aged 94. During his lifetime, he oversaw the expansion of the CLAAS Group from a small agricultural machinery company employing around 100 people when he was born at Harsewinkel in 1926. Today, under his leadership the CLAAS Group has grown to become a world-leading manufacturer, employing over 11,000 in plants around the world. After graduating from school, Helmut Claas completed an apprenticeship as a machine fitter, prior to gaining practical experience working in metalworking firms, and further practical training in casting. In 1947, he was sent by his father, Dr August Claas, to work for Bill Mann, helping him set up his fledgling company Manns of Saxham and in particular organising a parts system for the company. The Manns family had been importing CLAAS machinery since the 1930s and in 1947 was one of three dealers in the UK offered the opportunity to sell the CLAAS SUPER combine harvester. Of the 50 allocated for sale in the UK, Bill Mann was given 17, but quickly sold both these and about 25 of those allocated to the other two dealers. Following this sales success, Bill Mann was made the sole UK concessionaire for CLAAS machinery. Based at the Mann’s Honey Hill Farm just behind the current CLAAS UK headquarters, Helmut Claas was responsible for providing an English description and relevant number for the parts, which were stored in cattle mangers on the farm and for identification were outlined on their greaseproof paper wrapping. Helmut Claas joined the family firm in Harsewinkel in 1957. In 1962 he was made Managing Director, before becoming the Personally Liable Partner in 1978 and the Chairman of both the Supervisory Board and the Shareholders Committee when the company was made a jointstock company in 1996. Helmut Claas and his family maintained a close affiliation with the UK and Suffolk in particular, where they own a farm which mainly grows arable crops along with forage maize for the AD plant that serves the new CLAAS UK headquarters. It is arguably as the leading agricultural engineer of his generation that Helmut Claas will be remembered, with world leading products such as the XERION, DOMINATOR, LEXION and JAGUAR to his name.

In recognition of his achievements, Helmut Claas was awarded four honorary doctorates (Dr. h. c.) from Harper Adams University in the UK and universities in Hungary, Bulgaria and Germany. In the year 2000 he received the honorary title of ‘Doctor of Agricultural Science’ from the University of Stuttgart-Hohenheim, which also made him an Honorary Senator in 2004. In June 2009 he was bestowed an honorary professorship by the Goryachkin University in Moscow. Also in 2009, Helmut Claas was made a Knight of the French Legion of Honour in recognition of his efforts as a pioneer of Franco-German cooperation. In November 2013 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of American Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). An important highlight was the awarding of the Diesel medal by the German Institute of Inventions in 2017. His legacy and contribution to agricultural engineering has been recognised throughout the industry, with tributes led by JCB Chairman Lord Bamford who described him as “a very important figure in the agricultural machinery business for more than six decades. The worldwide agricultural industry is going Read more to miss him tremendously.”




Employee Focus In every future issue of HarvesTimes we would like to showcase one of our employees who have undertaken new roles within our business. Our first case study is of Mark Palmer, the new Connected Services Specialist at CLAAS EASTERN. “I originally grew up in Cambridgeshire, just 20 minutes down the road from CLAAS UK headquarters at Saxham. I then moved to Shropshire in 2014, where I studied Agricultural Engineering at Harper Adams University. As part of my degree, I had to do a placement year relevant to my course and future career prospects. With their strong links to the university and reputation as an excellent employer, CLAAS was my first choice by a distance. After several interviews at Saxham I was offered the position of service engineer, based at Ulceby Cross. I accepted the offer on the spot and cancelled all other interviews, as I was so pleased to have secured my first choice. “During my 15 month placement at Ulceby Cross I worked on a range of CLAAS machinery, gaining an excellent product knowledge and developing my skills as an engineer. I spent two weeks of my placement year demonstrating CLAAS Sequence Management, as part of an in house training scheme, which I found particularly enjoyable. When I was offered the opportunity to continue working with CLAAS on completion of my degree, I didn’t hesitate to accept this offer as I had very much enjoyed my first 15 months with the company. “I then returned to university and the following year I graduated with distinction and also achieved the Douglas Bomford Trust prize. In July 2017 I began working as a service engineer at Sleaford. Here I further developed my product knowledge and gained an in depth understanding of CLAAS machinery. I achieved Master Mechanic in Combines and three more years of valuable workshop experience, which set me in good stead for a future career with CLAAS.

“Having developed a real passion for precision agriculture and the future of farming at university, the role of Connected Services Specialist for CLAAS Eastern is the perfect progression for me. I am particularly looking forward to learning more about the Connected Services CLAAS Learn more offer and interacting with customers and CLAAS Careers colleagues during training and field support.”

Customer Experience Centre Customers will soon be able to visit the new Customer Experience Centre at Saxham to test drive our tractors and material handlers and experience at first hand their capabilities and USPs, together with our product management team, who will be on hand to advise and assist. Activities will include towing trailers, simulating filling a silage clamp and loading grain, and driving over various obstacles. We’ll be able to demonstrate our automatic steering systems and highlight the accuracy with a physical footprint of the tractors’ movements in a sand filled area.




Dealer of the Year Awards 2021


New Special Edition ‘Le Mans’ Package Tractors Available on our ARION and AXION tractor ranges you can now really stand out in your field with the unique ‘Le Mans’ styling for your new AXION or ARION tractor. This special package includes a number of exciting new features including choice of paint colour and finish in black, gunmetal grey or metallic green, smart chrome decal stickers, chrome airhorns, extra LED lights inside and outside, an additional screen for Apple Car Play, air cab pistol for ease of cleaning, and some personalised features stylised just for you including mats and engraving on the CPS plate. Talk to your local dealer today for more details.

Two of our dealers were recently presented with our annual Dealer of the Year Awards. RICKERBY received the Dealer of the Year Performance Award for their outstanding achievements, coming out on top in all dealer KPIs - Key Performance Indicators. McCARTHY received the Dealer of the Year Progress Award having shown positive development in all areas of their business. Both dealerships are family owned and have a strong connection with their local customer base. We wholeheartedly congratulate them on their success.

Northern Ireland Dealers It’s all change but no change at ASHFIELD & WILSON in Northern Ireland, which has been acquired by neighbouring full-line CLAAS dealer ERWIN AGRI-CARE, so becoming part of a larger threebranch business serving the whole of Northern Ireland. Based at Dungannon and established 45 years ago, the company will continue trading under the ASHFIELD & WILSON name and with the same key personnel, providing sales and service of CLAAS tractors and machinery in Tyrone, Fermanagh and Armargh. Like ASHFIELD & WILSON, ERWIN AGRI-CARE is a long established family business and is based at Crumlin, Co. Antrim with a second branch at Limavady, Co. Londonderry. “CLAAS is delighted that two family owned Dealers have come together, to form one large dealership covering all of Northern Ireland with three branches at Crumlin, Limavady and Dungannon,” states Trevor Tyrrell, CLAAS UK CEO and Senior Vice-President Sales & Service for Western Europe. “This creates a very efficient dealer structure that will give customers first class Sales and After-Sales support across Northern Ireland for the full line of CLAAS products. “Both ERWIN and ASHFIELD & WILSON are top-performing CLAAS dealers, who have provided their customers with a personal and professional service for generations, and that is now secured and will continue well into the future.”




CLAAS ARION 400 Stage V m

This autumn will see the arrival of the new Stage V version of the popular ARION 400. As part of this, the ARION 400 range has not only been given a bit of a design makeover, but there is also a new more powerful top-of-the-range model and CLAAS Power Management (CPM) to boost power in the ARION 440 and above. Plus they also benefit from more hydraulic power, more lift capacity and a higher gross vehicle weight. New to the ARION 400 range will be the ARION 470, which has a rated power output of 145hp with a CPM boost to 155hp. As before, the specifications across the range include low cab or the groundbreaking PANORAMIC cab options, plus either the CIS or CIS+ control systems. Under the bonnet is the latest 4.5 l four-cylinder Fiat Powertrain engines which incorporate the latest 4-valve technology and turbochargers with intercooling. Turbochargers from the ARION 430 upwards are also fitted with a wastegate. The Stage V aftertreatment system cleans the exhaust gases using an effective combination of SCRoF technology (Selected Catalytic Reduction on Filter) and a diesel oxidation catalytic converter (DOC). This means that the engines not only run cleanly, but are still highly efficient, with low diesel and low AdBlue consumption.

EFFICIENT POWERSHIFT TRANSMISSION On the ARION 430 and above there is the option of either the 16x16 QUADRISHIFT or 24x24 HEXASHIFT powershift transmissions. The

REVERSHIFT clutchless reverser enables easy direction changing using the shuttle lever on the steering wheel console and optionally also via the multifunction control lever on the right-hand armrest – particularly handy for front loader work. SMART STOP is another convenient function designed to lighten the workload as it enables the transmission to be automatically disengaged when the brake is pressed, and is re-engaged when the brake pedal is released.

COMPACT, AGILE AND ROBUST The ARION 400 combines the benefits of a long wheelbase of 2.49 m (ARION 410 and ARION 420) or 2.53 m (ARION 430 – ARION 470) with a short overall length. Despite its compact dimensions, the robustly redesigned tractor guarantees safe transport of attached implements and exceptional stability for front loader work. This is partly down to its static 50:50 weight distribution without ballast but the gross vehicle weight has now been increased to 9.0 t, permitting payloads of up to 3.8 t. As on the previous series both the fully integrated front linkage and factory-fitted front loaders can be conveniently controlled by the multifunction control lever, with the option of also controlling the front loader by ELECTROPILOT (CIS or CIS+) or FLEXPILOT. PROACTIV front axle suspension, mechanical two-point cab suspension and various seating options will also be available to further increase driver comfort.

ARION 400 Stage V



NEWS JUST IN! The ARION 440 CIS was the clear winner in Profi’s latest group tractor test, comparing seven 120hp tractors. The ARION scored 769 out of a total of 1000, picking up top marks in the practical test segment for its HEXASHIFT transmission, cab comfort, ride quality – especially on the road, field work and implement attachment/use. The full report can be found in the May issue of Profi with a follow-up detailed report in June.









More details on website





CLAAS AXION 960 CEMOS wins Sustainable Tractor of the Year 2021

An international jury of 26 specialist journalists has selected the AXION 960 CEMOS as their Sustainable Tractor of the Year 2021. For CLAAS, the award underlines the relevance and uniqueness of the CEMOS for Tractors dialog system. This is the second year that the “Sustainable TotY” has been awarded and is intended to honor tractors that stand out due to their particularly sustainable technology. “With the Claas AXION 960, thanks to the CEMOS system, a big step towards a more sustainable farming has been done. All the technology available on this tractor is easy to use as never before. The optimisation of all the technology and all the electronics, and last but not least the optimisation of tyre pressures, allows this tractor to achieve a remarkable fuel saving and a much more efficient performance in the field and in any working condition”, says the jury’s explanation. CLAAS introduced the latest Stage V AXION 900 large tractor series in September 2020. A new option on these models is the ability to optionally equip or retrofit them with a The CLAAS CTIC tyre inflation system and the self-learning CEMOS for tractors dialog system was introduced in September 2020 along with the move to Stage V engines. CEMOS for tractors also recently received the “DLG approved” label for achieving fuel savings of up to 16.8 percent fuel savings and a 16.3 percent increase in productivity when cultivating (DLG test report 7096).

“We are pleased that the AXION 960 with CEMOS on board was able to convince the critical jury with a package of arguments”, summarizes Christian Radons, member of the CLAAS Executive Board and responsible for sales and service. “On our most powerful standard tractor, we not only combine comfort with first-class power transmission, but also with excellent overall performance. The unique CEMOS for tractors system has proven to significantly increase efficiency on top of the pure effects of ballasting and tyre pressure. This not only benefits farmers and contractors in terms of time and cost pressure, but also the environment in many ways. Fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and soil compaction are only three aspects that are positively influenced by CEMOS for tractors from a sustainability perspective. In addition, the integrated plough assistant also helps with achieving the ideal settings for ploughs from eight leading manufacturers. “ CEMOS for tractors can be supplied ex works on the AXION 900 CMATIC, AXION 800 CMATIC and ARION 500/600 CMATIC with CEBIS Touch, and can also be retrofitted to these tractor ranges manufactured since product year 2018. Using the online calculator at https://www.claas.co.uk/products/technologies/cemos-2020/ calculator, interested farmers and contractors can individually calculate the potential savings and CO2 savings for their business. As part of the “DLG approved” field test (DLG test report 7096), CEMOS for tractors was able to reduce fuel consumption for all test drivers compared to their own individual settings and at the same time increase the area output for 80 percent of the drivers - thus proving that it helps make the best drivers even better. The latest generation of CLAAS CTIC tyre inflation systems is available for all AXION tractors.




DataConnect goes live

DataConnect - the cloud-based system that enables the exchange of machinery data between CLAAS, 365FarmNet and John Deere, is now commercially available, with further partners to follow soon. DataConnect enables the exchange of essential machinery data between different platforms, so allows users with a mixed machinery fleet to view all fleet information within a single data platform of their choice. Previously, viewing such information required duplicating effort by using each manufacturer’s corresponding but separate platforms or web portals. The structure of this new direct cloud-to-cloud solution enables a seamless and automated data flow without any effort required by the customer. The real-time data exchange allows a live overview of the whole machinery fleet. Furthermore, DataConnect works without any additional hardware and software components and ensures secure data handling.

With this new approach, customers can view five different machinery data sets for their fleet: • current machine location; • historical machine location; • fuel tank level; • status of the machine in the field; • machine speed. Customers can decide which company’s digital platform they prefer to use to display all the data. As soon as they are connected, other manufacturers’ machines appear automatically. Machines are either displayed with icons in the respective brand’s colour combination or are visible in the icon’s information panel. Further partners and functions will follow at a later date.

More details on website




Agile new TORION 956


The TORION 956 SINUS is the latest addition to the TORION stable. With a maximum fully articulated load capacity of 5.5 tonnes, depending on the attachment, and a tight turning circle of just 4.45 metres, it’s a nifty performer in the yard or field. Key to a wheel loader’s ability to perform is the combination of a high lift capacity, manoeuvrability and stability, and in all these respects the new TORION 956 excels. Under the rear bonnet and ideally positioned to act as a counterweight sits a 106hp, Stage V 4-cylinder DPS engine, which is fitted with a wastegate turbocharger. Both the radiator and

radiator intake are kept clean by a reversible fan, which automatically activates regularly to blow away coarse dirt and dust. The axles are hydrostatically driven giving an infinite range of speeds within two driving speed ranges, selected by a switch in the cab. Maximum road speed is 40kph, which is unparalleled within this size of wheel loader.

TWIN STEERING SYSTEM As with the telescopic TORION 738T launched earlier this year, the new TORION 956 has a twin steering system, making it extremely agile around buildings and tight work areas. In addition to its central articulated pendulum pivot point, which pivots through 30° either way, the TORION 956 also has a steering rear axle with a turning angle of 25°. The pivot point and the rear axle also oscillate through 5° to ensure stability when on rough ground, and dampers reduce shock loading. These are connected by two steering rods, so that the rear wheels turn in sync with the pivot point. Combined, this results in the 2.60m wheelbase TORION 956 having an outside turning radius of just 4.45 metres.

COMFORTABLE CAB The spacious cab on the TORION 956 provides excellent all-round visibility and plenty of headroom. A heated seat with air suspension and a high back rest, plus an adjustable steering column, help ensure driver comfort over long working days. All the main functions are controlled using a joystick, or optional multifunctional control lever, and adjacent toggle switches, all built into



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the armrest and move with the seat. All the main machine information is displayed on a 7-inch height adjustable colour monitor, into which a video feed from a rear camera can be integrated. As standard, the TORION 956 comes with a 115 l/min hydraulic system to ensure it has plenty of lifting, digging or loading power. The CLAAS SMART LOADING system also comes as standard, which provides the operator with an automatic bucket return height and lifting and lowering height limiters, so ideal for repetitive loading work. The standard mast on the TORION 956 comes with Z-kinematics and has a maximum dump over height of 3.37 metres. Alternatively

a high-lift mast is available, which increases the dump-over height to 3.64m and maximum height to the pivot point of 4.01m. To keep downtime to a minimum, the TORION 956 features an automatic centralised lubrication system. Three different lubrication cycles can be selected depending on operating conditions, and the tank is easily accessible for regular inspection and filling. The radiator assembly is also easily accessed for regular cleaning and both the radiator components and air filters have long maintenance intervals for reduced running costs.




CEMOS for tractors

More details on website

Originally announced in 2018 and fully launched in September 2020, CEMOS for Tractors takes tractor optimisation and efficiency to a completely new level. CEMOS for Tractors is the first interactive and self-learning driver assistance and machine optimisation system for tractors. Just as CEMOS AUTOMATIC has revolutionised combine control and efficiency, so this new tractor version results in a significant improvement in efficiency compared with manual adjustment of the tractor and the implement.

soil conditions and the cultivation equipment being used. Having selected the implement, tyre configuration and total weight of the tractor, plus soil conditions, CEMOS will provide an initial recommendation for the optimum tyre pressure setting and ballasting. This information will then be revised automatically by CEMOS once the tractor starts work in the field.

This makes CEMOS currently the most comprehensive and effective process optimisation system for tractors while working in the field. Just as CEMOS has revolutionised how LEXION combines are now operated, so CEMOS Tractor looks set to do the same for tractors.

In the field, the operator can then call up suggestions as to how they can further optimise performance by selecting either the option to increase output or reduce fuel consumption. CEMOS will then provide options, such as to engage the diff lock, and will then evaluate the effect this has on performance and display this to the operator. Other changes, such as altering the droop or speed settings are done automatically.

CEMOS is available as an option available both ex-factory but also as a retrofit on all AXION 900/800 and ARION 600/500 CEBIS CMATIC specification tractors, in addition to the AXION 960 and 930 TERRA TRAC. It can also be retro-fitted to all these tractors with CEBIS TOUCH terminals built from 2018.

CEMOS can also be used to obtain suggestions to optimise implement settings. Here again, having initially entered details on the implement being used and working depth, etc, CEMOS will provide suggestions on alternative implement settings that can be used to help improve output or fuel efficiency.



Using CEMOS when cultivating, the operator can obtain specific ballasting and tyre pressure recommendations, depending on

A new feature for 2021 is the ability to use CEMOS to improve efficiency when mowing. The mowing assistant function can be used



with all brands of mounted front and rear mowers, and with both front/rear and butterfly combinations. As with the cultivation assistant, initially the operator needs to enter the working width, the type of crop being mown, whether the crop is being left in a swath or being spread and the PTO speed. CEMOS will then help the operator to align the cutterbar correctly, set the cut height and suitable overlap, in addition to adjusting the link arms and stabilisers. CEMOS will also provide advice on the correct conditioner speed and recommendations for swath drums or discs. Having set-up the mower, CEMOS for Tractors will also help with programming the headland management system and assigning the F keys, especially when using ISOBUS. It will then also ensure that for transport the mower bar is locked and the maximum height is not exceeded.

CTIC TYRE PRESSURE ADJUSTMENT The wheeled AXION 900 Stage V tractors are also the first tractors to combine CEMOS with the factory-fitted CTIC tyre pressure control system. This makes it possible for the first time ever to adjust the internal tyre pressure intelligently and dynamically while working, in coordination with the other parameters already mentioned and with the driver.

CEMOS ON THE AXION TERRA TRAC CEMOS for Tractors is also now available on the AXION 960 and 930 TERRA TRAC. While the basic operating principle and implement assistance for cultivators and mowers is the same, the tyre pressure and ballasting aspects of the system have had to be modified to reflect the differing traction and weight loading characteristics of the TERRA TRAC system. With the TERRA TRAC system a far greater proportion of the tractive force is transferred via the rear axle and track assembly. Because the track assembly is heavier and the tracks have a larger footprint, extra ballast is normally not needed on the rear axle and this is reflected in the tyre pressure settings for the front axle. As with a wheeled tractor, being able to select the optimum ballasting strategy will help avoid unnecessary compaction, while helping to ensure optimum traction with minimum slip.

More details on website




Proven efficiency in the field In trials conducted by the DLG in Germany, CEMOS for Tractors was shown to reduce fuel consumption by 16.8% in addition to a 16.3% increase in efficiency. For the trials which were conducted on a large farm in Saxony-Anhalt, the DLG brought together ten experienced drivers from Germany, France, Poland and Denmark. Here they were joined by test engineers from the DLG Test Centre to measure the ground speed and fuel consumption of all the test variants. For the tests, using two AXION 870 CMATIC tractors the operators carried out both shallow- and deep-cultivations on the test plots over a three-day period. In the first part of the test the operators, who in many cases had done initial research on the optimum setting, used their own initial settings for the front ballast, wheel weights, tyre pressure and engine droop and then continued to adjust these while working without using CEMOS for Tractors. Each of the tractors was supplied with a selection of different ballast weights and was fitted with the integrated CLAAS CTIC 2800 tyre pressure control system. Having completed all the runs using their own settings, all the test drives were repeated, but with CEMOS for Tractors activated. This time the drivers confirmed the suggestions for optimisation that they judged to be appropriate or requested alternative suggestions from CEMOS for Tractors. As indicated by CEMOS, ballast weights were replaced, tyre pressure was adjusted and engine droop changed as necessary. This process also continued until the optimum performance for the test plots and the prevailing conditions was reached.

HIGHER AREA OUTPUT WITH REDUCED DIESEL CONSUMPTION Having completed the test drives, the recorded values for all the drivers with and without CEMOS were analysed and evaluated at the DLG Test Centre and averaged to give an overall rating. The results: CEMOS went way beyond the mere effect of a tyre pressure control system: it was able to reduce diesel consumption by up to 16.8 percent and at the same time increase the area output by up to 16.3 percent for 80 percent of the operators. Taking these fuel consumption figures over 3000 operating hours of cultivation, a large tractor with a diesel consumption rate of 50 l/h without CEMOS for Tractors and 41.6 l/h with it could save up to 25,200 l of diesel and 67,000 kg CO2! In addition, by increasingly area output, the hours worked by the farmer or contractor are reduced by up to 490, which is equivalent to almost 50 working days.



Fuel consumption


Potential fuel saving over 3,000 hours

25,200 litres

Potential CO2 saving over 3,000 hours

67,000 kg

Potential time saving over 3,000 hours

490 hours



More details on website

The advantages of CEMOS: > Reduces tyre wear > Reduces soil compaction by optimising tyre pressure > Reduces operating costs by increasing work rates > Utilises the full potential of the machine > Reduces implement wear (plough assistant) > Improves carbon footprint of the farm Tested, certified and awarded the “DLGapproved” quality seal by independent test institute the DLG (German Agricultural Society): > up to 16.3% higher work rate (ha/h) > up to 16.8% lower fuel consumption (l/ha) HarvesTimes


TW Hill & Son, Farmers and Contractors, Leicestershire – by Nick Fone

CEMOS for Tractors

“Better than an operator”

Ollie Hill

For the last 18 months CEMOS for Tractors has proved itself in the field, helping Leicestershire father-and-son team Stephen and Ollie Hill cover more ground while burning less fuel. Farmers and contractors, they undertake a broad range of work from heavy cultivations and crop establishment to mowing, baling and wrapping. As such they need versatile prime movers capable of undertaking pretty much any task. “In the past we’ve tended to run a whole plethora of older tractors, each machine with its own job to do from lightweight topwork to heavyweight cultivations,” explains Ollie. “But a couple of years ago with some of the front-runners beginning to show their age we decided we needed to rationalise things, swapping out four old-timers for a pair of shiny new CLAAS tractors – an ARION 650 and an AXION 870. “While this made sense on paper, being considerably lighter than our old heavyweight tugs we were concerned about how well the new tractors would get on with our heavy draft cultivators on our heavy clay ground. Of course when it came to it, with their stepless gearboxes, the right weights on the nose and some decent rubber those concerns proved unfounded.” However with these two expected to undertake a much wider range

of jobs than the machines they replaced, getting the ballasting, tyre pressures and transmission settings right has become much more of an essential issue. So when Ollie was approached by his local CLAAS dealer to trial a new system to help with this he jumped at the chance. “We were really impressed by the way the stepless CMATIC transmission delivered the power to the ground but I was keen to get any extra guidance I could in setting them up right. The 870 came fitted with 500kg of rear wheel weights plus 1500kg and 900kg blocks to go on the front linkage. That gave us quite a lot of opportunity for tweaking things alongside being able to drop pressures as low as 0.4bar in the Michelin Machbibs.

CEMOS SANITY CHECK “What the CEMOS system provides is a sanity check about how best to go about making these changes. “When I set off doing a new job, for example with our combination sub-soiler cultivator, I do a couple of runs with the tractor set as I think best,” explains Ollie. “During this time the CEMOS computer is monitoring everything and then makes an assessment as to how things could be improved. It might suggest altering engine transmission droop settings or trying diff-lock. Alternatively it could propose altering how much air is in the tyres or how much weight is on the nose. “Almost always making the changes results in the tractor going better – either covering more ground or using less diesel.”


SURPRISING SUGGESTIONS Interestingly the fuel savings don’t necessarily come about with a reduction in engine revs. “With our old tractors I’d always try to keep engine rpm as low as possible for cultivations work to extract maximum torque out of the motor. If I try that with the 870, CEMOS immediately suggests altering transmission settings to let the engine rev up to somewhere between peak torque and peak power. Typically aiming for 10-12kph with our disc-tine-press combo the system has comfortably knocked fuel use back by 1-litre/hour compared with how it would run before we had CEMOS fitted.” This change in mindset is mirrored when it comes to ballasting, the system almost always suggesting a lighter footprint than Ollie anticipates.


to the farm workshop is generally timed with a fuel tank top-up if a serious pressure change is required. “I can really see the merit in pairing CEMOS with a proper on-board central tyre inflation system to give the opportunity to tweak pressures on the move and it’s one of the next things we’ll be looking at,” says Ollie. “CEMOS has added hugely to the capability of our tractors. At the core of it they’ve got modern engines capable of producing the power and fantastic stepless gearboxes that smoothly deliver the torque to the wheels so much better than what we’ve had before. “What CEMOS does is provide an extra level of finesse, constantly questioning my judgements and giving me a sanity check about transmission set up, ballast and tyre pressures. Ultimately that results in us covering the ground faster using less fuel.”

“Having had CEMOS for two seasons and working with the CLAAS team developing the system, I’ve learnt that I have a tendency to over-weight the tractor. The computer almost always tells me to drop weight off. It amazes me how you really don’t need to stack it on when you might think you do. “Just to prove me wrong CEMOS is constantly measuring tractor performance and how quickly I’m covering the ground. It’s proved the whole rig runs that much more efficiently the lighter it is and traction isn’t an issue with the way the transmission delivers the power. “Of course when you think about it, it makes sense – we’re not hauling unnecessary bulk about and consequently we’re not burning unnecessary fuel. On top of that we’re not screwing the ground up and we’re elongating tyre life.”

BETTER THAN AN OPERATOR The overall feeling is that the system is better than an operator in striking the right balance between ballast, tyre pressures and transmission settings and that’s where the efficiency gains are to be had. When it comes to adjusting the amount of air in the tyres, the tractor’s own compressor can be employed but in reality a trip back

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LEXION 5000-6000 straw APS SYNFLOW Threshing System


Automatic adjustment All settings for the threshing unit are applied by CEMOS AUTO THRESHING.


Large threshing drum: threshing drum 26% bigger for optimal crop flow.




Watch animation

2 7 5 6

Maximum separation performance Smooth acceleration of crop flow to as much as 20 m/s by APS SYNFLOW across all concave areas.



Large, additional separator drum with active separation delivers greater throughput.

LEXION 5000-6000


walker Pivoting concave bar

Gentle on grains and straw

Can be operated via CEBIS and can be engaged hydraulically from the cab. For a fast response to a change in crop type or the conditions in the field.

Parallel and synchronised adjustment of all concaves.


Hydraulic threshing concave flap

Smooth and even crop flow

Can be engaged hydraulically from the cab or manually from the outside. For a fast response to a change in crop type or the conditions in the field.

Synchronised setting of speed for smooth crop flow in all speed ranges.

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Introduced for 2021 in the UK and Ireland, the LEXION 5000-6000 straw walker range. With the unique APS SYNFLOW, this new series shares a host of exceptional features with the LEXION HYBRID 7000-8000 series, to deliver greater efficiency, productivity and outstanding performance.



George Crane, 810ha, Norfolk – by Nick Fone

Always one step ahead

George Crane

With a diverse range of crops all going for seed production, the Crane family need a combine that’s capable of handling everything that’s thrown at it. Last year saw a significant shift for the Norfolk business Hugh Crane Ltd., moving from a Hybrid LEXION 750 with 9.0m VARIO cutterbar to a brand-spanking new straw-walker 6800 TT equipped with a belt-fed CONVIO FLEX header.

WHY A STRAW WALKER COMBINE? “We’ve always had to balance the need for output with having a combine that’s capable of dealing with our wide range of seed crops. “Until now there hasn’t been a straw walker machine that could match our requirements in terms of workload. “The 750 was great for capacity, but we were cautious of potential issues with damper-than-ideal grass and linseed wrapping around rotors. So when CLAAS started talking about a walker combine that could match and potentially exceed the output of a Hybrid we were very interested. “In the past we’ve run straw walker combines so know their strengths. We took the view that if CLAAS was prepared to put it’s name to a machine capable of matching a Hybrid, we had the faith that it would do the job.”

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HOW HAS IT PERFORMED? “In terms of output the 6800 is quite phenomenal. It regularly exceeds the daily throughputs of the 750 and it does so comfortably. “It’s rare I’ll see engine loading getting anywhere close to 90% even when we’re unloading on the move and we’re chopping the straw with a blunt set of blades. “I’m convinced this is down to the changes made at the front end of the machine. That extra separator and concave plus the bigger diameter main drum means the crop flow is so much smoother and much more of the threshing is done up front. “With previous straw walker machines we’d always be driving to walker losses, this was our limiting factor, but that’s rarely the case now. We just leave it up to the CEMOS AUTO settings system to determine what’s best to get the best end result.”

HOW HAVE YOU GOT ON WITH CEMOS? “Initially I experimented a lot with trying to beat the computer and for a short while I might be able to get a bit more output or reduce losses. But that was only temporary. I quickly learned that I couldn’t maintain the level of performance that CEMOS can, constantly tweaking settings as crop conditions alter. “What’s interesting is that it’ll tend to run with the concaves wider and the drum running faster than I would, but it doesn’t seem to lose any more or smash the straw, despite some of the really dry conditions we’ve had this harvest.



Farm Facts FARM

 ugh Crane Ltd, near Norwich, H Norfolk FARMED AREA 810ha CROP Winter wheat 210ha, potatoes 162ha, sugar beet 120ha, peas 81ha, winter barley 120ha, spring barley 40ha, linseed 32ha, grass 40ha SOIL TYPE Predominantly sandy loams STAFF George and Nicholas Crane plus another 6 full-timers and up to 12 casuals for potato harvest “What I’ve learnt is how critical the Grain Quality Camera is to all of this – I have the system set to minimise returns, but even so the sample is super clean. “Normally everything we cut goes through our seed cleaning plant, this year certain crops like the oats have gone straight from the combine into a bin and are going straight out for seed. We never imagined we’d have a combine capable of doing that.”

competition and the 6800 is no exception – it’s got some really clever technology on board. “As seed producers we’re frequently changing varieties and every change requires a full clean down. CLAAS combines are well designed in this respect, crop doesn’t seem to hang up in the guts of the machine and everything is easy to get to to clean down.”

“As a family we’ve run CLAAS combines for the last 60 years – my grandfather was one of the first people in the area with an original SF.

“From a financial viewpoint, CLAAS combines always seem to hold their value well, so that when it comes to changing the depreciation isn’t crippling. When you start to look into it they’re actually very competitively priced combines – comparing spec-for-spec with the competition they’re pretty good value.”

“And, although we’ve remained loyal to the brand, we’re always keen to see what other manufacturers are doing. When it comes to innovation, CLAAS always seems to be one step ahead of the

“But it ultimately comes down to back-up. We all have breakdowns but we know the service we get from MANNS is always absolutely superb.”





David Meredith, 152ha with 1020 ewes, Glamorgan

Bale density upgrade After eight years of good service, last summer David Meredith reluctantly took the decision to trade his old ROLLANT 340 in for a new ROLLANT 520, but it’s not a decision he regrets. “I was sorry to see it go,” he says. “Over the eight years I had it, I never had to lay a spanner on it and it never missed a beat. But it was time to change and the deal RIVERLEA put together, along with the availability of zero percent finance, it was a ‘no brainer’ not to go for it, especially as the trade-in on the 340 was just about what I had originally paid for it.” Both the new ROLLANT 520 and the 540 have been completely redesigned and incorporate a heavy duty chassis, new thicker rollers with a ribbed profile and automatic lubrication. For maximum bale density, pressure is controlled by horizontally mounted tailgate closing rams, to which up to 180 bar of pressure can be applied. “There was nothing wrong with the old ROLLANT 340, which was a very good baler and I never had to spend a penny on it. But in comparison the new ROLLANT 520 is even better and there are definite differences between the two. For a basic baler and for what it is, it’s excellent.

BALES ARE 20% HEAVIER “The biggest difference is in the bale density and weight. The 340 made a good bale, but I have been very pleased with the bales from the ROLLANT 520 which I reckon are about 20% heavier. This has the benefit that there are fewer bales to clear and store, plus I need less net wrap and film. In fact, I have had to make a note to ease off on the density as the centres were too firm!” The ROLLANT is a key machine for David, who aims to do as much as possible himself on the 152ha he farms. The farm is split between

David Meredith

two units, one a hill and common land farm near Merthyr Tydfil and the second a lowland farm 20 miles away near Cardiff. The farms support a flock of 1020 mainly Welsh and Cheviot ewes and 20 suckler cattle. Between the two farms, David aims to make around 1000 hay or haylage bales a year, depending on the weather, all of which are for his own use.

A QUIETER MACHINE “Apart from bale density, it is also noticeable how much quieter the ROLLANT 520 is. The fibreglass panels are lighter, but will also be less prone to damage so the baler will stay looking good, the hydraulics are quick and having adjustable auto lubrication for the chains makes maintenance very easy; it certainly uses a fair bit of oil so it must be doing some good! I also like that they have also put a bush in the towbar which will be better for towing and the net wrap system on ROLLANT’s has always been extremely good and reliable.” David’s old ROLLANT, along with an AXOS 340 tractor that he still has, were some of the first CLAAS machines that he bought from RIVERLEA. Since then, the AXOS has been joined by a second AXOS 340 and an ARION 420, all fitted with loader brackets so they can be used for loader work, plus he has also for this year traded in his original VOLTO tedder for a larger version.

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“Over the eight years I have been running CLAAS machinery, I have never been let down and there is no-one that can touch RIVERLEA for their service and support, which is fantastic.”

Swinnerton Contractors, Shropshire



Unbeatable QUADRANT

Richard Hewer

By his own admission, Richard Hewer says he is a ‘little bit biased’ when it comes to QUADRANT balers. Having used many different makes over the years Richard firmly believes ‘there is nothing to beat the QUADRANT’. Last year saw Richard at the helm of one of two new twin-axle QUADRANT 5300RF balers bought from MORRIS CORFIELD by Mike Swinnerton. These replaced a QUADRANT 3300 which Richard had operated and a 5200. “The QUADRANT 3300, which was five years old and had done over 40,000 bales, was a great baler and it never missed a beat,” says Richard. “The 5200 was an animal – it would take in anything that we put in front of it. However the new 5300s are better still. There’s no comparison between them and my old QUADRANT 3300 which was no slouch, but when we had the 5300 on demo alongside it, it just walked away and is far smoother.”

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Baling mainly hay, silage and straw, Richard says that most years they would expect each baler to do around 10,000 bales. But the conditions last year meant numbers were well down and in one field he was only doing about one bale a hectare. Both the balers, which produce a 120x90cm bale, were specified with a four-cell weigh scale in the roller chute, moisture sensors, twin axles and air brakes. The standard specification on the balers includes the unique Automatic Bale Pressure (APC) pressure control system. Having set the desired bale weight and the quality of the baler twine, sensors monitor the load on the frame and the knotters to ensure that the desired consistent bale weight is maintained. In conjunction with this, the Knotter Control System (KCS) on the balers also warns the operator of any broken strings or missed knot. And being ISOBUS compatible, Richard is able to monitor all this through his tractor’s control terminal, avoiding the need for an additional terminal in the cab.


“I’ve used all makes of baler over the years, but I just keep coming back to the QUADRANT. They are so reliable and easy to use. There’s no messing, no rubbish – they just do what they say on the tin. CLAAS just keep upping their game with every new model. And they are also very good at doing updates, which has not always been the case with other balers I have used.

“Because we are selling bales, achieving a consistent, exact weight is important, but it’s also important to make a bale that’s usable, so I also drive to a wad size which works very well. The combination of the Automatic Pressure Control system and the weigher work very well together. The APC system is extremely good and I can just leave the pressure system to look after itself and then use the weigher to just double check the weights, but also have a record of exactly what has been baled. Having four weight cells means the weigher is very accurate; when bales are weighed going out later in the year they are always where they should be.

“Alongside that, the service and support we get from MORRIS CORFIELD is also excellent. They are a very good team and parts are never an issue. Whether they have the part you want in stock, need to get it from CLAAS overnight or rob something off a stock baler, they will always find a way to keep you going, which is essential.”

“The new knotter design is very reliable and I have not had to touch them. The latest TURBO FAN system is also a lot better and keeps the knotters really clean. In addition, the centralised greasing and electric auto-lube system means that general maintenance is very simple which enables me to get going as quickly as possible.”




Chris Fogden, 1200 sows, Suffolk – by Nick Fone

Hard working ARION 420

Chris Fogden

Feeding, bedding and looking after some 1200 outdoor sows and their offspring is a rigorous task that’s hard on both men and machines. It’s a job that is difficult enough when it’s dry but when the winter weather sets in things can get even tougher, explains Suffolk pig producer Chris Fogden.

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“We’ve tried other options but found that the 420 is the ideal combination of strong build quality and a light footprint. All fitted with loaders, they’re incredibly versatile, each one able to undertake any of the regular tasks on the unit.” Although the basic hardware might all be the same, specification varies between the three.

A tenant on the Euston Estate near Thetford, he’s very aware of the importance of having dependable machinery to keep his business running smoothly.

While all are fitted with FLEXPILOT multifunction joystick, two have the added benefit of being CIS-specification machines. While these retain mechanical spool-valves, they have a clear A-pillar colour display to allow operators to set the tractor up as they wish for each particular job. As important, this extra spec includes the CLAAS SMART STOP brake-to-neutral feature.

“Having strong, comfortable and, most importantly, reliable kit to do the work is critical to us,” he explains.

“The start-stop nature of the feeding job is hard on both the tractor and driver, requiring constant clutch use.

“At any one time we might have up to 3000 hungry mouths to feed so if just one machine lets us down we’re in trouble.

“Having SMART STOP on our feeder tractor has made a huge difference – you just hold the machine on the brakes and the transmission automatically de-clutches. Lift off the anchors and it smoothly takes up drive once again – on to the next pen.”

“Over time we’ve fine-tuned our daily workload to be as efficient as possible. Central to this are three 100hp loader tractors which do all the day-to-day chores, backed up by a CLAAS SCORPION telehandler.” The tractors of choice are all CLAAS ARION 420s, each of different vintages but all equipped with FL100 loaders.

WHY ARION 420S? “In our work we rarely need heaps of power, but need a machine that is robust enough to cope with months of being up to its axles in mud and muck.

CAB AND CONTROLS “In the middle of winter with sub-zero temperatures and the rain coming sideways we need to make the job as pleasant as possible. A decent cab with good heating and easy to operate controls is really important in making what can be a pretty grueling job bearable. “We like the simplicity of the mechanical spool-valves and the convenience of having all the key transmission and linkage controls



Farm Facts FARM Fogden Farms, Euston Park near Thetford FARMED AREA 48ha LIVESTOCK 1,200 Landrace x Large White sows producing ca. 30,000 weaners a year STAFF Chris Fogden plus 4 full-timers and 1 part-timer TRACTORS 3 x CLAAS ARION 420s with FL100 loaders TELEHANDLER CLAAS SCORPION 736 WHY CLAAS? on the armrest mounted loader joystick. It’s particularly responsive and we really appreciate having the facility to double up the hydraulic pumps to boost oil-flow when needed. “One of the most useful features is the engine speed preset. Because our feeder trailer requires an exact flow of oil to accurately meter out grub, it’s critical we always use the same engine revs that it was calibrated at. Being able to simply hit a button each time means there’s no risk of getting it wrong.”

HAVE THE ARION 420S BEEN RELIABLE? “We’re generally changing tractors out before they hit the 5000-hour point and we’ve hardly had any issues with the six that we’ve had. “That’s pretty impressive given the nature of the work they do. They go for months on end plastered in muck, so they probably don’t see the grease gun as often as they should. “But despite not having the most rigorous maintenance schedule they prove reliable time-after-time. They’re tough little machines really.

MAXI CARE “We do opt for the MAXI CARE service and warranty package because it provides us with one way of fixing our costs. I spend my life trying to manage risk, whether its pool-buying feed, fixing contract weaner prices or servicing machines – that way I can accurately budget to ensure we make some margin at the end of the year.”

“Up until ten years ago we ran a different breed of loader tractor but weren’t getting the back-up we needed. So we made the switch to CLAAS tractors because we knew the level of service we’d get from MANNS would be second-to-none. “Their mechanics are always really clued up and are out to us as quick as a flash. Of course being so close to CLAAS HQ helps - we never have any wait for parts. “We’ve now had six CLAAS loader tractors and they’ve just got better and better. I knew a few people running them previously and no-one had a bad word to say about them, but until you try something on your own farm it’s always a bit of an unknown. “Opting for CLAAS tractors was definitely a good move. Of course there are always things you’d change but we’ve seen these ARION tractors evolve hugely over the last decade – it’s been a case of continuous improvement on CLAAS’ part.

WOULD YOU HAVE ANOTHER ARION? “Given how the six we’ve had have performed and the continuing improvements CLAAS has made, almost certainly. “Of course it depends on the deal on the day but these ARION tractors represent really good value for money and seem to hold their value well, so we get a good trade-in price. On top of that CLAAS tends to offer some really good finance deals to make it affordable. “But ultimately the decision always comes down to the back-up – MANNS are just fantastic on that front.”



DAR Golf, Golf and race course construction and maintenance, Co Wicklow – by Alistair Chambers

ARION gets on course

The D’Arcy team at DAR Golf More details on website

DAR golf is Ireland’s largest golf course, football pitch and racecourse maintenance and construction company. Based in Wicklow in the east of Ireland, the company is family run and was started by James D’Arcy in 1979, when the main stay of the business was land reclamation for farmers. Over the years the business has grown to where it is now. Today DAR golf is run by James’s four children, Brian, Colin, Graham and Niamh. They currently employ 20 staff and run a very impressive fleet of machinery including excavators and a fleet of tractors. Central to this fleet of tractors are three CLAAS ARION 630s. The first of these tractors was purchased in 2019 from local CLAAS dealer KELLYS of Borris, and after a successful year with this tractor, two identical ARION were bought in 2020. The specification of these tractors is very impressive with CMATIC CVT gearboxes and very wide turf tires. According to Brian D’Arcy,

the CVT allows for infinite speed control from less than 1km/h to over 50km/h. This range is required due to the different jobs that Brian says the tractors need to be able undertake from very slow trencher work to travelling long journeys during the busy golf course “sanding” season. “It’s this ability to be the ‘master of all trades’ that make the CMATIC ARION perfect for our business. We have noticed that the ability of the CMATIC CVT to give variable speeds at very low speeds allows the trenchers to get through more work than conventional creeper boxed tractors in the day. “The tractors have different jobs all year round. Over the winter the ARION tractors are fitted with loaders and are used for loading sod both in the yard or on site. In the Spring they are on the road, covering up to 200 of Ireland’s golf clubs with sand.”

ARION WORK HORSES For this job they are the real work horses, often spending full weeks on the road away from the company’s base, towing a low loader with a teleporter and spreader on board, making them a totally self-sufficient outfit. “This is when the tractors really come into their own” states Brian, “with the ability to move the gear and get the work done.”


During this busy season the tractors have to work every day as DAR run to a very tight timetable, where missed days are not an option. Brian also highly rates the service he receives from KELLYS of Borris ‘it couldn’t be better’ and is ‘top class’ he states. He said that nothing has ever been an issue for them including the fitting of the turf tyres and custom black paint job that was specified by DAR Golf when the tractors were purchased.

THE SERVICE IS TOP NOTCH Over the Summer months the CLAAS ARIONs are involved in cultivation work on football pitches in every corner of Ireland. Brian says that the tractors cover at least 1000 hours per year with the 2019 machine having clocked a trouble free 2500 hours. Brian says that whenever new tractors are required in the business it will be a CLAAS as they have proved to be well liked by his operators, reliable and the service from KELLYS of Borris has been top notch.


“The tractors cover at least 1000 hours per year with the 2019 machine having clocked a trouble-free 2500 hours.” Brian D’Arcy



“The AXION is a good, proper slugging tractor. It holds on well and in difficult going will dig its heels it and just keep pulling.” John Bennett

JN & HM Bennett, 200ha with 230-cow dairy herd, Shropshire

ARION 530 and AXION 800


Future proofed The arrival of two new CLAAS tractors on John Bennett’s farm has set him in good stead for his own work, and given him options for future planning. Even though John Bennett’s family have bought machinery from MORRIS CORFIELD for many years, CLAAS tractors have not featured on the Bennetts farm at Stoke-on-Tern in Shropshire until the arrival of a 184hp ARION 650 in 2015. Next to arrive was a SCORPION 7035 and then in March last year the ARION was joined by a smaller 145hp ARION 530 CIS+, before itself being replaced last August by a 205hp AXION 800 CIS.

the ARION 530 gives it electric spools, etc for the wider range of work it does. I have kept the COPILOT TS steering system that I had on the ARION which is basic, but for our needs is fine. “Why do I have CLAAS tractors? Because I buy tractors from MORRIS CORFIELD. They are a great company to deal with and the service and support they provide is second to none. If there’s a problem, it’s sorted. If we need a part, it’s very unusual that they don’t either have it in stock or can’t get it overnight.”

“The main reason for the new tractors is that I took on two good lads last year, which has reduced the workload on the cattle, but during the summer when the cows are out this gives the opportunity to also do some local contract work. The tractors definitely have to earn their keep,” explains John. Farming a total of 200ha, the main enterprise is a 230-cow Friesian/ Holstein dairy herd. All the followers are kept on farm with calves taken through to finishing, meaning that in all there are about 550 cattle to feed and look after. To meet some of this requirement, 52ha of cereals and 34ha of maize are also grown.

THE HANDY ARION 530 “The ARION 530 is a great, handy ‘all round’ tractor which is not too large, so handy around the buildings, but is light and has plenty of power for field work. It’s already done over 1,300 hours and helped take the pressure off an older tractor. During the winter it’s on the feed wagon, but it’s equally at home with our 5-furrow plough or for jobs like raking and trailer work. “The ARION 640 was a great tractor and never let me down. Given the option I would have kept it, as it had plenty of life left in it. However, one of its main jobs was to drive a QUADRANT 3200, but it was at its limit and did struggle at times. I did consider going up to the ARION 660, but the difference in the deal that Norman (Duppa) put forward between that and the AXION 800, it made sense to go for the AXION.

THE SIZE OF THE AXION 800 MAKES SENSE “Physically the AXION is bigger and its extra height means you now can see over the top of the QUADRANT which you couldn’t with the ARION. It also gives me plenty of options for the future and I have already bought a 3.0m LEMKEN combination drill to go on it, and not having had front linkage before this has enabled me to pair this with a front press. Another option I am now considering for the future is to also do our own mowing. “The AXION is a good, proper slugging tractor. It holds on well and in difficult going will dig its heels in and just keep pulling. The CIS specification on the AXION is ideal for our needs, while the CIS+ on

John Bennett More details on website



Bob Crump, 160ha mixed farm and contractor, Worcestershire


205hp powerhouse

Bob Crump with sons Tom and Joe More details on website

The ARION 660 with CMATIC transmission and CEBIS touchscreen terminal is in a different league for Bob Crump who, with his wife Brenda and sons Tom and Joe, runs a mixed farm and contracting business, specialising in hay and straw. “It’s a fantastic tractor,” enthuses Joe who mainly drives the tractor. “It’s the first time I have had a vario gearbox but I would never go back to a gear shift again. Everyone who has sat in the cab with me has commented on how smooth the tractor is; for hedgecutting and baling it’s brilliant. Also the new CEBIS touchscreen terminal is great and so much easier to use than the old style terminal.” He adds that it is also extremely noticeable how powerful the tractor is and the large amount of torque the latest Stage 5 compliant engine generates. With a rated power output of 185hp with a CPM boost to 205hp, maximum torque is 849Nm at just 1,500rpm, which is held over a wide engine speed range so ensuring constant output and power delivery when under load.

NOTICABLE GRIP The other noticeable difference between the ARION 660 and their other two ARION tractors is the grip it generates, and how efficiently the 660 transfers power to the ground through its 42-inch rear and 30-inch front tyres. “It puts a lot of power down to the ground and will easily outpull the 650 on 38-inch tyres,” states Bob. “Overall the ARION 600s have served us really well, have proved cost

effective to run and hold their value well. The ARION 660 replaced a 17-plate ARION 650 that had done 4,800 hours and overall cost us just £6.50 depreciation per working hour. You can’t get much better than that. With the 660 we have also opted for a 5-year warranty to fix our costs.” In addition to a 55-cow suckler herd and rearing bucket-fed calves, the Crumps grow 60ha of cereals on their 160ha farm at Cliftonupon-Teme. In addition to general contracting, they also buy a further 240ha of standing straw for baling using a QUADRANT 3200, which is sold to farms throughout Wales along with 120ha of hay made each year. The new ARION 660, along with a 13-plate ARION 650 CIS with a loader and a second 14-plate 650 CEBIS are the latest Le Mans built tractors going back to a Renault bought in 2000. The first CLAAS tractor was an ARION 630 bought in 2013 and since then the tractors have been joined by a SCORPION 7040 and a DOMINATOR 118 MAXI, in addition to a DISCO 3500C mower and LINER tedders, all bought through MORRIS CORFIELD at Docklow.

OUR DEALERS WILL BEND OVER BACKWARDS “We get on really well with all the guys at Docklow. If we need something I know they will bend over backwards to sort the problem, or in a worst case will lend us something to keep us going,” states Bob. “Service and support like that counts for a lot for the job we are in. Jason (Parkes) is also very good on the sales side and will always come back to me. He is currently on the lookout for a good used combine to replace the DOMINATOR and I know I can confidently leave it with him and he will let me know when he has found something that he thinks will be right for us.”



Powerful Yanmar engine with up to 50kW (68hp).

Optimal all-round view and perfect view of tool carrier in every position, thanks to conical mast and intelligent cab design.

Low overall height of less than 2.5m.

Extremely manoeuvrable with small turning radius (40° articulation angle) and 10° angle of oscillation.

The reliable all round performer for your everyday task on farm. Fast and efficient with accurate handling and unobstructed visibility, the TORION 535 and 639 take the strain so you don’t have to. Call your dealer for a demonstration today.

34 Nigel Baker, Green waste composting, Somerset

Composting TORION

“I can’t afford downtime and that’s what I like about HAMBLYS.” Nigel Baker

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With up to 1,000 tonnes of compost to handle each week, Nigel Baker’s TORION 1511 is never idle, but has also given him the capacity to cope with a doubling workload in the last 6 months. The piles of compost created using the TORION are the only things that provide any height in the dead flat landscape surrounding Westonzoyland Airfield in the Somerset Levels, where Nigel Baker creates compost for Durston Garden Products. Traditionally a supplier of peat-based bagged composts, over the past 10 years Durston’s have moved away from using peat in their range of composts, with composted green waste now being used in about 80% of their products. The compost is typically a mix of green waste that has already been composted and graded down to 15mm, along with sawdust and horse manure. While Durston’s are responsible for haulage into and out of the site, it’s Nigel’s job to mix and turn the compost over the 11

weeks it takes to create the end product. Until a year ago, Nigel had relied on an excavator working on top of the heaps for mixing, turning and loading lorries, but with an increased amount of material to handle and lack of manoeuvrability around the large site he needed another solution.

THE TORION IS GOING ALL DAY LONG “A wheel loader was the obvious answer. An excavator works within a zone whereas a loader can work anywhere. I had looked at a couple of other machines when a ‘ag’ friend suggested that I try the CLAAS TORION as he said I would not get better aftersales service and support than from HAMBLYS and CLAAS. That’s what’s important to me.” says Nigel. “The TORION is going 8 to 9 hours a day, 6 days a week, but we have material coming in 24 hours a day, so sometimes you can come in to find six loads have been tipped overnight. The more you move the compost and get air into it, the better the end product, so the TORION is going all day long. Over the last six months intake has doubled, but we have been more than able to keep up.


“I can’t afford downtime and that’s what I like about HAMBLYS. Matt (McDonald – Field Sales Manager) and Leonard (Summers – Service Manager) are great and will always answer the phone. They will work around me, fit in with our workload and even come after we have finished for the day. That’s worth a lot and the civil plant industry could learn a lot from agriculture when it comes to support and service!

AGRICULTURAL MACHINE DESIGNED FOR TOUGH AND MUCKY CONDITIONS “I also like the fact that being an agricultural ‘spec’ machine, the TORION is designed for tough and mucky conditions. It’s designed very much with hard work in mind. For instance, the compost can be very dusty, so having a reversible fan to clear the radiator is ideal, and the VARIPOWER transmission means it climbs really well, far better than other loaders my drivers have used. Also it has greater clearance than some other machines and is far more stable. There are others I have tried where you can certainly start feeling a bit twitchy, but the TORION stays firmly planted to the ground.” Nigel opted for the TORION 1511 mainly because being a used


machine that HAMBLYS had in stock, it was immediately available. When he bought it, it had about 1,200 hours on the clock, but now a year later it’s showing 3,700 trouble-free hours. With the TORION having proved ideal for the job, an order is now in for a larger TORION 1812 to replace it. Unlike the 1511 which has a Z-bar linkage, the new TORION has been specified with a high lift mast and Agricultural kinematics designed to give more hold control when tipping and loading lorries. “The larger TORION will give us more reach for loading lorries and be better able to handle the large 4-tonne capacity BA Caulkett high tip bucket we have on the front, which I bought with a view to eventually having a larger loader to handle it. Also because the service intervals are longer, the running cost will be lower and servicing downtime reduced. Also fuel use, which is very good, should be lower as the engine will not be under so great a load. “I also have taken the MAXI CARE 3-year parts and labour warranty, which fixes my costs and means I won’t get any unexpected bills, and in turn has enabled me to give Durston’s a fixed cost for the next three years.”



Jim Kirk, 280ha with 600-cow dairy herd, Devon – by Mick Roberts

Hardworking handler “Our policy is to own all our equipment and we make all our own silage, with CLAAS equipment from HAMBLYS,” says Jim. “We recently invested in a new CLAAS 850 JAGUAR forage harvester as well as a set of triple mowers – a DISCO 8500 for the rear and DISCO 3200 FC on the front. We also use a LINER, 4-rotor rake. The SCORPION was purchased on three year’s finance with a 3-year/3,000hr MAXI CARE extended warranty. “I did think about extending that after we hit the limit, but because its well looked after and has been so little trouble, I thought it probably didn’t need extending. “Also HAMBLYS is down the road and always lend us a replacement when our one is being serviced – I have a great relationship with Richard Mann and he does look after us well,” adds Jim. The SCORPION is seldom stood still, with its main role involving loading the ingredients for six different mixes for the 600 dairy cows, 300 followers and 100 beef cattle into the farm’s SiloKing Trailed Line Duo 20 feeder wagon. Main operator, Mike Wright, spends ‘most of his waking hours’ on the machine. At 6ft 6in tall, cab headroom and easy access were, unsurprisingly, his main concerns when looking at telehandlers. So how does it fare?

EXCELLENT HEADROOM “Put it this way I’ve never hit my head! I can’t count how many times I get on and off during the day, but again it’s really, really easy. I particularly like the foot pedal for the steering column – I get up in the cab, sit down and my foot goes straight to the pedal in one movement. I know others like a lever under the steering wheel – but I prefer the pedal,” he says.

With 1,000 hungry mouths to feed it’s unsurprising a CLAAS 736 SCORPION has clocked up 4,000hrs in two years fulfilling its duties at Heanton Barton, Petrockstowe, Devon, which is a AHDB Strategic dairy farm. All telehandlers work hard, especially on dairy farms. But 4,000hr in two years is an impressive tally in anybody’s book. Jim Kirk, who runs the family farm with his father and brother-in-law, says second to the rotary parlour it’s the most important machine on the farm. “Until we bought the CLAAS SCORPION, we were relying on two tractors and loaders,” says Jim. “While that had the benefit of the loaders being able to work in two different places, eventually we got to the stage that, without a telescopic, we kept having to compromise.” After looking at all the options they narrowed it down to two machines. They decided on the SCORPION for a number of reasons, including the convenience of the local dealer, HAMBLYS, being just two miles down the road.

The cab is relatively compact and workmanlike with few frills. The single joystick gets praise from Mike, and the view to the back-right, over the boom, he adds, is excellent. “Overall the visibility is great. The tractor wasn’t bad, but this is so much better. Also, small things like being able to telescope the boom slightly when switching implements makes the job much easier. I try to park it inside overnight, but the heater and demister work quickly – and the air-con is quite nice, too.



“It makes loading the wagon so much faster and easier and it has a great turning circle. I can’t fault its operation at all,” he adds. With its lift capacity of 3.6t and 7.0m lift height, the SCORPION also brought a new dimension to other handling tasks around the farm. When it’s not on feed wagon filling duties, it can be found loading and unloading lorries, mucking out sheds, fetching bales… “It never stops,” adds Mike.

A BIG ASSET Operator Mike and owner Jim agree that in its two years on the farm the CLAAS 736 SCORPION has proved to be a big asset. “It’s fast, manoeuvrable and has good visibility as well as being completely reliable,” says Jim. “What more do you want? It’s on the go all day. Everyone is shouting for it – so probably our next move will be to get another one.”

Jim Kirk

More details on website

“It’s fast, manoeuvrable and has good visibility as well as being completely reliable.” Jim Kirk

Mike Wright



Simon Watchorn, pigs and arable, Suffolk – by Nick Fone


Best on the market “If we’ve got lorries to load and pigs to feed all in one day then trimming just a few seconds off each lifting and lowering cycle can make a huge difference. And, because the machines are out in the field a lot of the time, we’re not always working on nice, flat concrete. We’ve always felt the SCORPION to be a better planted, more stable loader than a lot of the competition. “All round visibility is also a real plus-point of these CLAAS machines – being able to see to each corner makes them easy and safe to maneuver in tight spots.” The latest is something a little bit special. To all intents and purposes it looks just the same as any latest generation, Stage V SCORPION 741. But under the hood it’s a pre-production machine with a new hydraulics package and a whole host of other new features. “Having run this pre-production machine for the last six months, we’re really impressed. It’s incredibly smooth and you’ve got a much better sense of feel. Critically, it delivers the grunt when you ask for it and feels much more powerful than our previous 741. “But it’s not all out-and-out muscle. It’s brilliant for fine finesse work – you’ve got really precise control to the point where you can place loads like a crane.”

Simon Watchorn

When you’ve got serious numbers of mouths to feed in any farming operation, bulk handling becomes a big part of the job. That’s certainly the case for Suffolk pig producer Simon Watchorn. With over 7000 animals on his farm near Bungay at any one time, his telehandlers are kept very busy getting feed and bedding to where it’s required. On top of that there’s a 450ha arable operation to take care of so there’s all the associated materials handling work that goes with that too. It’s no surprise then that the loaders clock some serious hours, generally accruing 1200-1500 hours a year. “Our whole system is based around having two handlers working flat-out,” explains Simon. “But with such a workload on four different sites, the reality is that we actually run four – two fresh front-liners for the day-to-day grind and two older machines for lighter duties.”

RELIABILITY, STABILITY AND VISIBILITY Over the years Simon Watchorn has run a wide range of different coloured telehandlers, but a decade ago he settled on CLAAS machines thanks to their workrates, reliability, stability and visibility. The last ten years five CLAAS SCORPION have seen action with the business “If we’re to get all our jobs done in a day then we need fast cycle times and hydraulic output is the key to this – something CLAAS handlers have always been strong on.

It’s a similar story with the new hydraulics package. Changes to the main valve block, more sensors and improved software means there’s now more feedback through the joystick, greater sensitivity to all boom functions and faster cycle times.

EXTRA FEEDBACK THROUGH THE JOYSTICK “The feel of the controls is a whole lot more precise. The extra feedback through the joystick means you can feel exactly where the tip of the bucket blade is. It’s now like the boom is an extension of your arm – any slight movement from your hand is mirrored by the attachment.” There have been improvements to the brakes too. Not only is there more engine-braking generated through the transmission, a new valve block with sensors to detect how hard the pedal is pressed means stopping power is much more progressive. “Gently feathering the brakes now means you steadily slow down, but jump on the anchors and the system detects your urgency, bringing the machine to an almost immediate standstill. It’s just a whole lot more proportional.” Having had the experience of running this latest generation SCORPION, Simon is convinced it’s now one of the most capable machines on the market. “The changes to the new 741 make it an absolute pleasure to drive. We’re often using our machines in and around people and animals so having that extra level of precision is fantastic from a safety point of view. “But it has also improved our workrates – shaving precious seconds off cycle times has made a huge difference, particularly when you’re doing bulk handling jobs like loading lorries or mucking out More details sheds. With this latest machine I think CLAAS has on website really got the handler job nailed.”


Pre-series report

“We’ve always felt the SCORPION to be a better planted, more stable loader than a lot of the competition.” Simon Watchorn



Josh Collins, Contractor, Cornwall – by Mick Roberts

Josh Collins

In less than three years turnover at JJ & HE Collins’ contracting business has increased ten fold, with this fast expansion involving some serious investment and financial decisions After starting out small, Josh and Helen Collins’ contracting operation, based near Truro in Cornwall, grew massively and quickly after they took over the goodwill and some machinery following another local contractor’s retirement.

CLAAS fleet in focus: JJ & HE Collins Forager: JAGUAR 950 (new) Wheel loader: TORION 1511 (new)

“We had been going about 12 months and it seemed too good an opportunity to miss,” explains Josh. “But, up to then we were harvesting about 320 hectares of silage with an old CLAAS JAGUAR 870. This year we are now looking at a total of about 3,200 hectares – of grass, maize and whole crop with a brand new CLAAS JAGUAR 950,” he says.


His forage fleet includes two CLAAS DISCO 8500 butterfly mowers, working on AXION 830 tractors along with a 3100 LINER rake and VOLTO 1320T Tedder. Other work includes baling with two CLAAS QUADRANT 3200s plus a CLAAS ROLLANT 540, new last year with MAXI CARE extended warranty.


2 x ARION 830 (1 new) ARION 810 ARION 640 2 x ARION 630 (1 new)

On top of this is other work including cultivations, potato planting, baling and general contracting. While the purchase included some used machinery, Josh says he not only needed to re-equip to meet the workload, he also required some sound, reliable advice about what to buy and how to pay for it all. “I realised, this investment was going to need more money than I ever thought I would be spending,” he adds. “I had never bought a new forager before! I wasn’t clueless, but it’s not a purchase you take lightly and make without a thorough understanding of all the finance options. Similarly, while I had a good idea about the numbers of tractors and other machines we required, I needed to know how to finance it and, most importantly, ensure it could pay for itself,” he adds.

FINANCE FLEXIBILITY After talking to banks he quickly realised they don’t really understand agriculture, especially contractors and were also not particularly flexible. “They all said sure we will lend you the money, but we need to see at least a full 12 month’s trading accounts – which being a new business we didn’t have,” he explains.

As an existing customer of his local CLAAS dealer, HAMBLYS, he already had good relations with staff at the Redruth and Launceston branches. “I’ve known Stewart Patten for close to ten years and consider him a friend as much as a business associate and somebody I trust. “We set out to limit the risk. So all the new equipment is owned, paid for through CLAAS Finance, which again is a company I trust. Some finance companies will keep on lending, whether they think you can afford it or not. But CLAAS takes a serious approach and HAMBLYS know our business,” he adds. “We are able to schedule the repayments, for example, to match our cash-flow, rather than have to pay the same set amount each month – like banks or some other lenders require.”

PRECISE BUDGETING To prevent any unexpected repair bills, he fixes the costs using MAXI



Cornish contractor puts confidence in CLAAS services

More details on website

CARE extended warranty and servicing packages for the tractors. “It’s not the cheapest option, but I know exactly what each tractor is costing me. There will never be any nasty surprises, because everything is included, apart from the tyres, which helps with budgeting,” he adds. For advice on the forager he turned to David Bray, Regional Sales Manager for CLAAS UK. “Going from 320 to 3,200hectares was going to be a bit of a challenge. Although I already owned a JAGUAR 870, until the takeover foraging before was a bit of a side-line – it wasn’t really a proper job for us! “David has a wealth of experience about owning and running foragers. We discussed the size of machine and workrates required for the area, depreciation/hr, fuel cost/hr, overall running costs as well as helping to calculate the charges we need to make a profit. “With such high capital cost machines it’s also important to structure

the repayments to ensure they also pay off the right amount of capital/annum so you are not left with negative equity in the machine when it comes up for replacement,” he explains. He does acknowledge that some farmers and contractors would wonder why you would go to your dealer and a machinery manufacturer for such detailed, personal business and financial advice. “Firstly you need to remember however much they want to sell a forager or a tractor, they still need to sell the next one… It’s a lot of business to lose for being greedy just once. But it’s about much more than that. I’ve dealt with HAMBLYS for years, they know me and I know them. I’ve also always admired how the family business ethos comes down right from the top at CLAAS and through to the dealers. “Also I feel CLAAS is looking after me in the same way as I like to look after my own customers,” he explains.



Clive & Robert Prichard, 260ha with 200-cow dairy herd, Monmouthshire

Sustainable efficiency

Reliability, service and support are key factors in helping Clive Prichard and his son Robert achieve their welfare and sustainability goals as part of their milk contract with Tesco. The main enterprise on the Pritchard’s farm near Chepstow in Monmouthshire is a 200 cow dairy herd, with a further 550 followers and replacements. They also have about 100ha of arable and maize, which is mainly retained for feed. They also run a well-established clay shoot and glamping business. With the dairy herd yielding about 7500 litres, of which around 3000 litres is from forage, the Prichards make around 2000 tonnes of grass silage and 1500 tonnes of maize using a JAGUAR 850 Speedstar. The Speedstar is due to be replaced by a new JAGUAR 840 for this Spring.

RELIABLE MACHINERY IS KEY TO QUALITY “We try to be completely self-sufficient,” explains Clive, “I am a great believer in being master of my own destiny and have always made my own silage. We are very conscious of the need to keep improving feed efficiency and to make the best quality we can, so having our own foraging machinery and running reliable machinery is key to that.

also have an ARES 697 on the mixer wagon, a SCORPION 7035 and a TUCANO 420 bought in 2015. “It could be said that we are over mechanised,” says Robert. “But it suits our business, the way we work and what we are trying to achieve. Even though I do also contract cut about 200ha of cereals, it could be questioned why we have our own combine. But most of our corn is crimped so we have a very narrow window of about 24 to 48 hours when it is just right for harvesting and have to go early. Also generally the windows of opportunity are less, so it is important that we have reliable machinery in order to make the most of those opportunities when they do occur.” Clive adds that it was one of his proudest moments when he was able to buy his first new combine in 2015. “I remember when I was 10 and how proud my father was when he bought his first new combine, a CLAAS EUROPA, which had a 7ft 6in cutterbar and cost £1,600, and I had always wanted to achieve doing what he did.” “The service and support we get from RIVERLEA is fantastic, and that is the reason we buy CLAAS machinery. I originally met Huw (Brown) by chance when he was working for Harold Johns in the early 2000s. I was looking for a hedgecutter and someone suggested I speak to him, and it has gone from there and we have stayed with him. The change to RIVERLEA in the area and the opening of their new branch at Raglan has been really good and we have been extremely pleased with how this has gone.

“It is also an important part of our milk contract with Tesco, who through their Sustainable Dairy Group are keen to work with their suppliers to help them improve efficiency and animal welfare, while also reducing their carbon footprint. As part of that there is a push towards increasing the amount of home grown forage used in the diet and the efficiency with which it is produced.”


In addition to the JAGUAR, the fleet of CLAAS machinery on the farm includes an ARION 630, two ARION 400s (a 440 and 410) with a further two ARION 530s due to arrive soon to replace two 450s. They

“The reliability has been great, but all machines at some stage will have issues and CLAAS really do stand by their product. As a business they are top of the tree and it is obvious that their customers and their views are very important to them.”

“It’s the whole package that they offer, from the relationship we have with Huw, through to the service and parts team who are fantastic, along with the support they have from CLAAS and the ability if necessary to get parts delivered overnight.



Clive and Robert Pritchard

“The service and support we get from RIVERLEA is fantastic, and that is the reason we buy CLAAS machinery.” Clive Prichard

More details on website


More than a tractor

“The fact that we are now on our fourth CLAAS tractor is testament to the product and our dealer. They are definitely fit for purpose. If they weren’t they wouldn’t be here.” Graeme McMillan, ARION 650

Turn desire into reality. Contact your local CLAAS dealer to discuss your next tractor decision. claas.co.uk

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CLAAS HarvesTimes Spring 2021  

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