ARION 400 PANORAMIC in the New Forest
7XL auger – the essential Controlled Traffic tool
NEW QUADRANT 5300, 5200 and 4200
Update on new LEXION 600
The journal for agricultural professionals
Engineer your Career – Join CLAAS in 2017
Masters of output
CMATIC GPS PILOT with S10 and S7 touchscreen terminal with camera port
FPT engines for high performance and low fuel consumption with 295hp* available (*with CPM)
Continuously variable CMATIC transmission 0.05 â€“ 50km/hr
CEBIS full colour screen with CMotion drive controller as standard
205hp to 295 hp CALL YOUR LOCAL DEALER FOR A DEMONSTRATION! Or call the CLAAS Hotline on 01284 777666. claas.co.uk
Come and see us at LAMMA
22 ARION 400 PANORAMIC in the New Forest
7XL auger – the essential Controlled Traffic tool
NEW QUADRANT 5300, 5200 and 4200
Update on new LEXION 600
Engineer your Career – Join CLAAS in 2017
The journal for agricultural professionals
Cover story JAGUAR press launch Yorkshire 2016
Contents Global News TractoCross in France..............................................04 New electronics centre............................................04 JAGUAR harvesting King Grass in Honduras...........05 Financial results.......................................................05
LAMMA is the largest national UK show that CLAAS attend, and we will be in our usual spot on Stand G1, right in the middle of the showground at this year’s show on the 18th and 19th January. In addition to the full CLAAS tractor range and models from the LEXION and JAGUAR ranges, also on display for the first time in the UK and Ireland will be: • The new QUADRANT 5300 large square baler • The new VARIANT 400 variable chamber round baler • The new RTK FIELD BASE mobile RTK transmitter
• The new S10 ISOBUS terminal
General News and Features
Information on all these new products can be found in this issue of HarvesTimes.
New headquarters planned for CLAAS UK..............07 Celebratory SENATOR.............................................08 CLAAS Lego...........................................................09
Engineer your Career...............................................10 HarvesTimes 30 years.............................................12 Happy Birthday Kids Times.....................................12 28 new Apprentices 2016........................................13 Farm manager of the year........................................29
Product News Advanced automation on LEXION 600....................14 Greater versatility VARIO 1230/1080........................16 7XL auger................................................................17 New specification ARION 400..................................18 Latest EASY introductions.......................................20 Cover story New JAGUAR Type 498......................22 New Variant 400 range........................................25
Quadrant 5000...................................................26 Customer Focus A real eye opener.....................................................28 AXION earns its keep below sea level in Wexford.....30 Tractor choice key for Kildare contractor..................32 Stand out ARION.....................................................34 Everything we want from a combine........................36 Pocket Rocket.........................................................38 From airline pilot to combine pilot............................40 A unique green machine..........................................42 Combine Reply Winners..........................................43
your Career, Join CLAAS in 2017
TractoCross success FRANCE You have to be tough to compete in Tracto Cross, where specially modified tractors race across rough sand tracks at speeds of up to 45mph. The first French Championships were held last year at Bélin, near Le Mans, where two tractors entered by a team from CLAAS Tractor came away having taken 1st and 2nd place. "Never before has our Tracto Cross team occupied the top two steps of the podium," enthused team manager Gilles Guyard. "A perfect result for tractor no.25: pole position with a two-hundredths of a second lead and three out of four rounds won." Victory in the fourth round went to tractor no.26, which managed second place in the overall classification. "The success is the result of a tremendous team performance," said a delighted Gilles Guyard of the team which had worked all through the winter on the tractors to get them ready for the season.
New electronics centre LOWER SAXONY Construction has started on a new dedicated electronics development centre on a five hectare site in the town of Dissen in southern Lower Saxony, which is scheduled to be completed in 2017. The building will be the new home for CLAAS E-Systems, which was created in 2014 when CLAAS pooled its electronics expertise into a single subsidiary. It will bring together over 150 employees, currently spread over a number of CLAAS subsidiaries in Gütersloh, Harsewinkel, Bad Saulgau, Paderborn and Denmark. At the centre they will be working on the development of control units, electronics architectures, terminals, camera systems, automatic satellite-guided steering systems and many other
Architect’s drawing of the new CLAAS E-Systems building in Dissen. solutions for an increasingly digital, networked agricultural sector. CLAAS’ involvement in electronics dates back to 1998 following its purchase of one of the leading agricultural software companies. Since then, a highly capable range of technologies designed to increase efficiency has emerged at the Gütersloh site under the EASY brand name. CLAAS has become one of the leading providers of solutions in the area of precision farming, and has received numerous awards for its innovative developments.
JAGUAR on the prowl in Honduras Agriculture and energy supply in Honduras Tropical Honduras is a part of the Central American isthmus. However, only about a third of the country is suitable for agricultural use and of this, only around 15% is currently actually used. In view of this and the climate phenomenon El Niño, there are often bottlenecks in the supplies of energy and food in Honduras, as well as a high dependency on imports. The inadequate energy supply network provides only about a third of the population with electricity. The poor infrastructure makes importing essential raw materials difficult, so home-produced renewable energy is becoming increasingly important. Honduras is the native country of the Jaguar – not the CLAAS machine, but the predator. Now, however, CLAAS technology is also to be found prowling the Central American country harvesting king grass. The JAGUAR 900 has proved ideal for harvesting king grass – a giant grass that can grow up to 5.0 metres high, which is harvested several times each year and used by the Elcatex Group as an excellent source of renewable energy, which they use for manufacturing textiles. The investment is paying off, as the cost of electricity and heating generated from king grass biogas is about a third of that produced by fossil fuels. And following the success of this first biogas plant, Elcatex is now planning a biomass steam power plant fuelled by king grass. For its fast growth, king grass needs not only a lot of sun, but also plenty of rain, so it only grows in tropical or sub-tropical regions. In just four months, around 65 tonnes of the giant grass grows on each hectare and the crop is harvested three times a year. This means that every year there is a yield of about 195 tonnes per hectare, compared to maize in Europe which yields 45 to 60 tonnes per hectare.
For harvesting, the Elcatex Group relies on a fleet of JAGUARs, which are kept harvesting for approximately 300 harvest days a year, with each JAGUAR harvesting about 1,000 tonnes of fresh mass a day. The longterm goal is 4,000 tonnes per day. Elcatex’s involvement with the JAGUAR started when they bought a used JAGUAR 950 and ORBIS 600 header from the USA. Two JAGUAR 980s, along with two ORBIS 600s, quickly followed and at the beginning of 2016 the fleet was supplemented by another JAGUAR 980. However, the machines don’t have it easy in Honduras. In addition to being in constant use for several hundred days of the year, the hard structure of the giant grass has a sandpaper effect on the individual mechanical parts, causing a great deal of wear. Also, because of the climate phenomenon El Niño, Honduras has periods of extreme drought alternating with periods of extremely heavy rainfall. During the seven-month-long wet season, approximately 2500mm of rain can fall making hazardous mud tracks inevitable. Nor do the farmers have it easy, as in tropical humidity and temperatures around 45°C (113°F) it’s like working in a sauna.
CLAAS remains resilient despite consistently weak markets The latest financial results show that CLAAS has maintained sales at the high level of €3.631 billion (prior year: €3.838 billion) in spite of consistently weak markets. However, income before taxes decreased to €93 million (prior year: €158 million), primarily due to a fall in volumes. “We have maintained our position well in rapidly shrinking markets,” said Lothar Kriszun, Spokesman of the CLAAS Group Executive Board. “Double-digit growth in Eastern Europe had a stabilizing effect. We are pressing ahead with our efficiency program and continuing our systematic investment in digitalization and
internationalization at CLAAS, thereby stepping up our efforts in tackling this longterm market downturn.”
the past decade, with one in every ten CLAAS employees now working in research and development.
The global market for professional agricultural equipment once again saw a significant decline in many regions this year. Since 2013, the combine harvester market has shrunk by 50% in North America and by 22% in Europe. CLAAS benefited from an increase in sales in Eastern Europe and stable development in France.
Looking forward, the driving forces in markets relevant to CLAAS remain fundamentally intact: Barring any temporary fluctuations, demand for agricultural commodities resulting from population growth and rising prosperity is set to increase constantly.
During the year, investment in research and development reached a new record high of €214 million and has more than doubled over
However, the negative development in terms of agricultural income and the impact of political and economic crises are leading to a general reluctance to buy when it comes to agricultural equipment.
Dealer news A number of CLAAS dealers in both the UK and Ireland have recently expanded their businesses in order to ensure that they can provide the high level of sales, service and parts support expected of them by an increasing customer base, especially for tractors.
OLIVERS Based at Wandon End near Luton, the trading area covered by OLIVERS extends into Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire and it is to better support customers in this area that the company has opened a new purpose-built branch at Tingewick near Buckingham.
customers with the best choice of machinery, such as tractors and selfpropelled foragers that are checked and prepared to the highest standard, GORDONS has opened a new dedicated Used Machinery Centre at its Castle Douglas branch
BREENS In southern Ireland, BREENS, who are based in Cashel, Co Tipperary, has opened a new branch in the west of Ireland at Ennis, Co Clare. This follows a considerable expansion in business on the back of increased sales of CLAAS tractors and other green harvest products, and so will enable them to enhance the service and support they offer in this region.
MORRIS CORFIELD MORRIS CORFIELD is currently going through planning ahead of opening a completely new branch on the derelict site of a garden centre at Ocle Pychard near Ledbury, Herefordshire.
With six branches covering the whole of the south-west corner of Scotland, used machinery is an important part of GORDONS business. To provide
CLAAS Eastern Following the introduction of the CLAAS Southern and CLAAS Western branding for dealers in the south of England last year, MARSH and SEWARD are the latest dealers to be re-branded as CLAAS EASTERN. Both dealerships have worked together for many years and the new branding better reflects this and the fact that CLAAS Eastern are a large multi-branch business that sells the full CLAAS product range over a wide geographical area. Under the CLAAS Eastern brand, the individual branches will trade as: EASTERN Brigg, EASTERN Catfoss, EASTERN Markham Moor, EASTERN Sinderby, EASTERN Sleaford, EASTERN Ulceby Cross and EASTERN Wilberfoss.
01. OLIVERS Tingewick 02. GORDONS Castle Douglas 03. BREENS Ennis 04. EASTERN Brigg
General News & Features
New headquarters building planned for CLAAS UK
The CLAAS Group has given approval for the construction of a new, state-of-the-art headquarters building for CLAAS UK and their dealer, MANNS of Saxham, on Saxham Business Park near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Over the course of the next five years, the multi-million pound project will see the complete redevelopment of the existing CLAAS and MANNS site. Within this will be the construction of a new, signature building that reflects both the importance of CLAAS within the UK agricultural industry and the site’s prominent position alongside the A14. “By giving go-ahead for this new building, both the CLAAS Group and the Claas family have shown their commitment to both CLAAS in the UK, and also to west Suffolk where we are now one of the largest employers,” says Trevor Tyrrell, CEO of CLAAS UK. The history of CLAAS and Saxham goes back to the 1930’s when local farmer Bill Mann started importing CLAAS combines from Germany. The MANNS company moved to the site at Saxham during the 1950’s and the current headquarters building has been a landmark alongside the A14 for many years. It was constructed in the 1960’s and has been extended piecemeal since then.
Today, CLAAS UK employs over 400 people throughout the UK and Ireland and is the market leader for both combine harvesters and self-propelled forage harvesters, and has a rapidly growing customer base for CLAAS Tractors. “When the current building was constructed, they would never have imagined that 50 years later we would now have over 100 people working on site and that as the headquarters for CLAAS UK, it would be providing sales, service, parts and training support to dealerships throughout the UK and Ireland, in addition to receiving visitors from around the world,” states Trevor Tyrrell. “The site is at maximum capacity.” The site is also the headquarters for the MANNS dealer group with six dealerships throughout the eastern counties. In addition, the CLAAS Academy training centre is located on the site, which provides over 4,000 training days for dealer personnel and customers every year. The redevelopment of the site will take place in phases, the first of which is to relocate the CLAAS Academy to a separate building on-site, which has already started. The next phase is planned to commence mid-summer next year and will see the construction of new office space and the MANNS dealership. The following phased elements will provide further offices, showroom and a parts storage and distribution centre, with completion expected in 2020.
Designed by architects Barber.Casanovas. Ruffles of Cambridge, the new state of the art building uses solar passive design techniques, renewable energy and rain water harvesting to support the daily operations. The building has a large north facing glazed facade to offer prominence to the A14 while providing views from inside the building to the surrounding countryside. A central feature of the design is a new Technoparc machinery showroom, which will serve both as a display area for MANNS, but also as a striking entrance and welcome area for visitors to CLAAS UK. “The design gives us a building that is fit for the 21st century,” says Trevor Tyrrell. “It will improve the customer experience for MANNS and for visitors to CLAAS UK, plus it will also enable us to provide a superb working environment for our employees. It will also incorporate a modern parts logistics warehouse, a more efficient workshop environment and allow us to make far better overall use of the site that will have a Health and Safety benefit.” The redevelopment of the site is at an advanced pre-application planning level and scheme intentions have been discussed with planning officers and Councillors, receiving support in principle, subject to the submission of the detailed application for consideration.
Celebratory SENATOR Just as we are celebrating 20 years and the 50,000th LEXION, 2016 is also the 50th anniversary of the launch of the CLAAS SENATOR in 1966, which represented a major step forward in combine development. Not only was the SENATOR the first CLAAS combine to be painted the now familiar seed green, but it was the first to have a detachable cutterbar and the cab and control layout was a major step forward from what had come before. In 1968, CLAAS celebrated a major milestone in combine production, when a SENATOR became the 200,000th machine, and was handed over to its new owner, Scottish farmer John Steven. In the November issue of Classic Tractor, John Prescott told the story of this special combine, which is still in existance and was visited by Sandy Cox.
01. Dr August Claas handed over the 14ft-cut SENATOR to John and Lorna Steven on 16 August 1968.
02. John Steven takes the wheel of the 200,000th CLAAS combine at the handing over ceremony.
General News & Features
800,000-piece LEGO® tractor
To celebrate the introduction of the new LEGO® Technic XERION, design and product teams from CLAAS and LEGO® came together to assemble a new LEGO® XERION at the home of the XERION – production line 4 at Harsewinkel. A film of this special model going down the production line and being put through its paces alongside its bigger brothers can be seen on the YourCLAAS section within YouTube.
All of us at some stage or other have built something that vaguely resembles a tractor using LEGO®. But professional LEGO® builders Sarl ERC Briques have taken LEGO® tractor building to a totally different level with this full-scale model of a CLAAS ARION 460 PANORAMIC tractor. Nicknamed ‘TractoBrick’, the CLAAS LEGO® tractor used up almost 800,000 bricks in 388 shapes, weighs 3.5 tonnes and rather than an evening, it took a team of four the equivalent of 146 days to build.
The LEGO® ARION was built for the Musée du Compa agricultural museum near Chartres in France, who wanted an eyecatching centrepiece for a new permanent exhibition in its great machinery hall, where it will line-up next 12 real tractors depicting the history of the motorisation of agriculture.
LEGO® Technic XERION On a slightly smaller scale however, ‘TractoBrick’ has not been the only collaboration with LEGO® who has introduced a new Technic model of the XERION 5000. LEGO® has not had an agricultural vehicle in its model range for many years, and
having looked at various options chose the XERION because of its unique design and features. Measuring 30cm high and 61cm long, the LEGO® XERION 5000 is made up of 1,950 bricks. As on the real thing, the cab on the model XERION lifts and turns around, while a switch behind the cab can be used to select the different steering options. The XERION comes with a rear crane or a dozer blade, both of which can be operated electronically. The LEGO® XERION 5000 is available through CLAAS dealers or via the CLAAS website.
ENGINEER your CAREER with CLAAS CLAAS UK has launched a new initiative to raise awareness of the opportunities available within its service and parts business and to attract young talent into the high-tech machinery service industry. Agriculture is probably unique in the machinery service world for the expectation placed on service engineers to manage themselves while being part of a team, and for the high level of customer contact they will experience. And it is this that makes the work both challenging, but ultimately rewarding when you receive recognition from the customer for a job well done. The agricultural service and support industry has changed out of all recognition in recent years, and the number of roles now available under that ‘broad brush’ title is extensive. There is still a solid, mechanical element at the heart of any agricultural machine, meaning there is still an important role for service engineers with the skills to work on engines and transmissions. However, alongside this are complex control and other systems contained in every machine, from the smallest tractor to a highly advanced machine such as the LEXION combine harvester. This means that there is also the need for service engineers highly skilled in electronics and electro-hydraulics. “While it is important to bring new blood into the industry, we are just as keen to hear from experienced engineers with many years of practical experience under their belts. School leavers and College graduates can join our apprenticeship scheme, or work directly in a dealership with the right qualifications or experience,” explains Trevor Tyrrell, CEO of CLAAS UK. “Many people fail to appreciate that agriculture is an exciting industry, with machinery that uses state-of-the-art technology on a par with aerospace and other cutting-edge industries. It is an industry that has embraced the internet, satellite technology and computers like no other, as we continue to develop machinery that will help farmers feed an ever growing population.”
Farmers have a very close working relationship with the machinery supplier and their service teams. However, unlike many commercial vehicle service roles where the service engineer has no contact with the customer, many service engineers are attracted into agriculture for that very reason, and to be part of a dealer service team where no two days are the same. They are expected to take responsibility for jobs right through from initial diagnosis, through to liaising with the customer and completing the job as professionally and efficiently as possible.
Being family owned, CLAAS is unique among the major manufacturers within the UK. The family ethos is at the core of the business and this extends throughout the company. As part of this ‘family’, for a service engineer with CLAAS there are many benefits available in addition to the opportunity to earn substantially over your base salary with regular overtime and incentives. “We are in a position where we can be completely flexible when it comes to our employees,” says Trevor Tyrrell. “Because we own many dealerships in the UK, Europe, the USA and Canada, we understand the job better. Apart from the job security that comes with working for a global company, if an employee wants to move within the UK or even migrate to work abroad, that is not a problem. The opportunity is there.” “We also have close links with the CLAAS importer in Australia and New Zealand, and all apprentices have the opportunity to spend three months working ‘Down Under’ during their harvest, which is our quiet winter period, and is a fantastic experience for them.” “We are completely flexible in how people work. If someone wants regular hours and to be workshop based, that’s fine. If they prefer to be mobile we will supply them with a new van, which typically will be equipped with about £50,000 of specialist tools. We will even insure their personal tools up to £15,000.”
Will Harvey • 2014 – I started a CLAAS Land Based Engineering Apprenticeship at Reaseheath College • 2015 – I am finding the course varied and challenging • 2016 – My career aspiration is to become a Master Technician “I feel confident that my career path is mapped out for me, I can see what’s achievable and that gives me goals to aspire to.”
For young service engineers, there are opportunities to join a CLAAS dealer either as a qualified service engineer having completed a college course or they can enrol on the industry leading four-year CLAAS Agricultural Apprenticeship scheme based at Reaseheath College in Cheshire or SRUC Barony in Scotland. For a qualified young engineer, while they will sometimes be expected to work alone,
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• 2010 – I started an Apprenticeship with Nationwide Platforms – a lift platform solution provider • 2012 – I qualified as a Mobile Service Engineer for Nationwide Platforms • 2014 – I progressed to a Senior Service Engineer with Nationwide Platforms • 2016 – I moved to MANNS as a Service Engineer “I moved from Nationwide Platforms as my interest in agriculture was far greater than that of construction, and I could see a focused career path for me with CLAAS.”
• 2000 – I started a Renault Agriculture Engineering Apprenticeship • 2003 – I qualified as a Service Engineer, Renault was then acquired by CLAAS. • 2006 – I became a qualified Master Mechanic “I see myself having a long term career with CLAAS, its a great feeling working for a family run company and we all share in the success of the business, which is a big incentive for everyone.”
• 2005 – I studied Electronic Engineering at West Suffolk College for 2 years, gaining a merit • 2007 – I started as an Apprentice Engineer at MANNS / Reaseheath College gaining a distinction • 2013 – I qualified as a Master Mechanic • 2015 – I progressed to Master Technician • 2016 – I was promoted to Workshop Foreman “I enjoy every day, I just love fixing things and it gives me real satisfaction to see our CLAAS machinery working to the best of its capabilities, it’s so rewarding.”
there will always be the full support of being part of a large team and they will have a mentor within that team that they can turn to for advice and assistance.
Management, should they wish to do so.
There will also be the opportunity to progress their career and as a result of annual training at CLAAS UK, they can achieve the higher level Master Mechanic and Master Technician roles, and ultimately progress on to more senior positions in
You don’t have to look far within CLAAS UK to find Sales and After-Sales Directors who started their careers as an apprentice with CLAAS or in a dealership, or have gone on to work within senior product or management positions. The opportunity is there today to Engineer Your Career.
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30 Years of HarvesTimes The two major additions to the forage harvester range were the new JAGUAR 61 and 75 trailed foragers, which brought the CLAAS forager range to two self-propelled and five trailed machines.
This Spring, HarvesTimes will be 30 years old and in recognition of this, as you can see we have given it a bit of a ‘makeover’! The format and design might be fresh and new, but the aims and objectives remain the same, to bring you the latest news and information on CLAAS and its product range, but most importantly the perennially popular features on our customers around the UK and Ireland. Looking back at that first issue in the Spring of 1987, the headline front page news reported on the latest additions to the CLAAS forage machinery range imported by MANNS, who was a member of the CLAAS Group.
There were also two new additions to the CLAAS mower range. The 2.10m cut WM210 cost £3,075, while the trailed WM275 mower conditioner cost £7,990 and at 2.75m was the widest model in the five mower range, which started at 1.67m. Other product features reported on the new ROLLANT RAPID 56 non-stop round baler and the introduction of a straw and chaff spreader developed by Manns for the DOMINATOR combine range. There were also customer reports on the recently introduced Roll-aWrap static bale wrapper and the benefits that the new technique of film wrapping bales had over the tedious job of bagging silage bales. How things have changed!
Kids In this
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CLAA S News
Happy Birthday Kids Times! HarvesTimes is not the only CLAAS magazine celebrating a publishing milestone this year as in 2017 Kids Times will be also be 10 years old. Open to young CLAAS enthusiasts up to the age of 16, CLAAS Kids now has over 3,000 members in the UK and Ireland, and as part of their membership receive two Kids Times magazines a year, in addition to the ever-popular CLAAS Advent Calendar. In addition to news on CLAAS and its product range, an ongoing theme within the
magazine over the years has been ‘Farm to Fork’, which through articles, games and puzzles focuses on educating children about their food, where it comes from and the role that farming plays in its production. When they reach 16, every member is also sent information on the career options within agriculture, including the opportunities to join CLAAS either through our highly successful Apprenticeship scheme or via other training or educational routes.
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28 new CLAAS apprentices start their training At Induction Days held at Reaseheath College in Cheshire and SRUC Barony near Dumfries, 28 new apprentices made their first step towards a career as agricultural machinery technicians with CLAAS. CLAAS is the only major machinery manufacturer to offer apprenticeship courses both in England and Scotland in order to meet the demand from throughout the UK and Ireland for places on its apprenticeship scheme. Of the 16 students at Reaseheath and 12 Barony students, over the next four years one will be studying on the specific Part Apprenticeship course created two years ago and the remainder will work towards achieving an Extended Diploma in Landbased Technology.
These high level vocational qualifications are provided by IMI Awards, who specialise in providing qualifications and accreditations for the automotive and related industries. They have worked closely with CLAAS to ensure that the courses meets their rigorous training requirements. Over the course of their Apprenticeship, the students will be continuously assessed for their competence and skills, using both workbased evidence and e-portfolios. For the first three years, the Apprentices will receive comprehensive training whilst at College, as well as CLAAS product and general technical training while working with their dealership. They will also spend time training both at the CLAAS UK headquarters in Saxham, Suffolk, and for those selected, may have
The 16 new students starting their apprenticeship at Reaseheath College are Dean Jarvis (Manns) who is doing the Parts course, while William Bates (CLAAS UK), Louis Copeland (Seward), Freddie Fox-Furniss, Jack Streeter, Henry Walsh and Jack Webb (all CLAAS Western), Ben Habberfield (Hamblys), Steven Jackson and William Rogers (both Olivers), Bradley Janney and Henry Newton (both Marsh), Charlie Last (Manns), Jonathan Randon (Kirby), Luke Thomas Oliver (Morris Corfield) and Einion Worth (S & B Roberts) are all studying on the technicians course. With them from CLAAS UK are Sarah Steggall (HR Manager), Andrew Dunne (Academy Manager) and Kelly Flack (Apprenticeship and Placement Coordinator).
the opportunity to visit the CLAAS Group headquarters in Harsewinkel, Germany. In their final, fourth year, the Technician Apprentices will also undertake additional advanced technical and industry training, so that by the time they qualify they will be eligible for LTA 2 status. This is just the start of their training with CLAAS. Having qualified, the young technicians will then have access to ongoing training and development aligned to the Landbased Technician Accreditation (LTA) scheme. Having gained LTA 2 status, with further training and dealer experience, they will have the opportunity to reach product specific LTA 3 (Master Mechanic) status before going onto the highest LTA 4 (Master Technician) level.
Studying at SRUC Barony near Dumfries are Jamie Bloag and Callum Rudd (both Gordons), Robert Clarke, Dean Nicholson and Michael Young (all Sellars), Andrew Frost, Dallin Jorgesen, Oliver Law and William Smith (all Rickerby), while Brendan McCarthy (McCarthys) and Peter White (Leinster Farm Machines) are both from Ireland.
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Advanced automation Launched 20 years ago, LEXION remains at the forefront of advancements in innovative design to optimise output and maximise efficiency. The new LEXION 600 range is no exception, as well as cost-efficient engines, it also benefits from a new straw chopper and other advanced features previously only available on LEXION 700 HYBRID models. As previously, the LEXION 600 range comprises of three 6-walker models (LEXION 670/660/650) with a drum width of 1700mm and two 5-walker models (LEXION
630/620) with a 1420mm-wide drum. In addition, MONTANA hillside versions of the LEXION 670 and 630 are also available, plus two TERRA TRAC versions, the LEXION 670TT which is joined by the new tracked LEXION 660TT. All 2017 LEXION 600 range models are now powered by Mercedes-Benz T4F compliant engines. The largest LEXION 670 and 660 have an engine capacity of 10.7 litres with power outputs of 435hp and 408hp respectively. LEXION 650/630/620 models come with 7.7 litre engines and power outputs of 354, 354 and 313hp respectively. To provide adequate cooling for the new 10.7 litre engines on the LEXION 670/660, a new feature adopted from the LEXION
Barry White talks about his LEXION 670TT in 2016 “As the biggest straw walker machine CLAAS builds, all the small details and improvements on the 670 mean we’re getting as much out of it as we would an older HYBRID or rotary combine.” “The MSS straw beater rotor means the walkers aren’t simply a passive means of getting the crop through the machine. It ruffles the straw and flicks any remaining fit grain out so our losses are kept to an absolute minimum.” “The straw drops off the back of the walkers into the swath rather than being blown down into the stubble. That means if it gets rained on it dries out so much quicker and, if the crop is green, the fluffy row has plenty of airflow through it to get it fit for the baler as quickly as possible.” “Being able to use TELEMATICS to see exactly what the combine has done on any given day is fantastic. The yield maps are providing us with accurate data on crop performance which is essential for our move towards variable rate fertiliser applications.” “Our ground tends to be damp and delicate around harvest and so the tracks have been superb in avoiding damage to the soil. Importantly they
make the combine that much narrower on the road so farm-tofarm moves are that much easier.” “But the thing that has really impressed us is how smooth they are. Crossing tramlines you don’t feel a bump and cutting on rough ground the header always stays level and stable.” The Whites’ 670 is equipped with the latest generation of VARIO header. “This is our first VARIO and it has been a revelation. Being able to move the cutterbar forwards and back means the crop is feeding in just right all the time no matter what height it is.” “That’s helped by the bigger auger which makes for a smoother transfer of crop and means there’s virtually no wrapping.“ “But the big bonus is just how quick it is to swap from one crop to another. Without filler plates to change, it takes me less than five minutes to attach the side knives with a single 13mm spanner and it’s done. In fact it takes me longer to lift them out of the box than it does to fit them.”
700 range is the unique CLAAS DYNAMIC COOLING system. DYNAMIC COOLING incorporates a variable fan drive that automatically adjusts the cooling capacity as required by the engine, which helps save up to 20hp and so reduce fuel consumption. Located horizontally behind the engine, the radiator draws in clean air from above the combine through a 1.6m wide rotating sieve filter. The air is then directed downwards through the radiator and engine bay, before exiting through louvers that direct the air down the side of the combine, creating a curtain of air that prevents dust rising. As a result, the engine bay is kept far cleaner and maintenance time is reduced.
Automated control CLAAS leads the way in the development of automated systems for combines, helping LEXION 700 operators achieve higher outputs, and much of this technology is now optionally available on the LEXION 600. Combine output is often restricted by an operatorâ€™s fear of blocking the combine by pushing it too hard. To avoid this, the CLAAS AUTO CROP FLOW CONTROL developed for the LEXION 700 range last year is now available on all LEXION 600 models using sensors to monitor engine speed, the APS drum, the impellor drum and the straw chopper, the CROP FLOW CONTROL system automatically reacts and alerts the operator to a potential blockage, so they can confidently push the combine to its maximum capacity. Another new feature is AUTO SLOPE control, which guarantees the cleanest possible sample and minimal losses on uneven terrain. AUTO SLOPE automatically controls the fan speed and continually adjusts this relative to the angle of the combine. When working uphill, the fan speed will be automatically reduced to avoid losses and then increased again as
it goes downhill to ensure grain is cleaned sufficiently. Taking this a stage further, the LEXION 600 is also now available with CEMOS AUTOMATIC CLEANING. Until now only available on the LEXION 700, CEMOS AUTOMATIC CLEANING fully automates the grain cleaning system to ensure the cleanest possible sample. Sensors throughout the combine automatically monitor and continuously react to changing harvesting conditions far more regularly and accurately than would be possible by the operator. In addition to continuously adjusting the fan speed, the system fully automatically controls the opening of both the upper and lower sieves to ensure that grain is cleaned to a far higher level than would be humanly possible. Depending on what they require, the operator has the choice of four operating parameters: Maximum Throughput; Minimal Fuel Consumption/ Straw Quality; High Grain Quality or an Optimum Balance of all of these.
Residue management Larger 6-walker LEXION 670, 660 and
650 models also now feature a new straw chopper and radial spreader to ensure that crop residues are efficiently chopped and then evenly spread across the wider cutting widths on these combines. In the straw chopper, the drum width has been increased by 5cm so that crop flow into and through the chopper is more uniform, resulting in a more even chop length. Acceleration of the chaff has been increased, resulting in a wider spread pattern. The straw chopper is now engaged from the cab and there is tool-less adjustment of the stationary knives and friction plate. The new radial spreader is now mechanically driven, meaning that the rotors maintain a constant speed for a more even spread and use less fuel. The radial spreader is hydraulically controlled from the cab and will automatically adjust the spread pattern to compensate for crosswind or when harvesting on a slope. To reduce the time spent emptying, the offloading time has been increased on LEXION 670/660 to 130 litres/second and 110 litres/second on the LEXION 670 MONTANA and LEXION 650-620.
LEXION 600 2017
for new LEXION 600
Greater versatility from VARIO 1230/1080 cutterbars The VARIO 1230 and a new addition, the VARIO 1080, are the latest cutterbars to now incorporate the new integrated filler plates and other updates such as a wider intake auger and quick-fit side knives. The new VARIO 1080 has been added in place of the VARIO 1050 because its 10.80m wide cutting width will fit better with CTF (Controlled Traffic Farming) systems.
As previously, the VARIO 1230 and 1080 feature a split knife, reel and header auger. The header auger and knife are both mechanically driven from each side through a gearbox ensure a positive, powerful drive when harvesting damp or heavy crops. The two knife sections overlap and are powered by synchronous motors that give a cutting speed of 1344 strokes/minute via drive shafts that extend to allow the knives to be moved. The diameter of the intake auger
has, however, been increased to 660mm to allow greater amounts of straw to flow into the combine. Unlike the original VARIO cutterbar where the knives could only be moved from -10 to +20cm for cereals and filler plates had to be added to extend it to +50cm for oilseed rape, the new integrated filler plates allow the VARIO 1230/1080 to be infinitely extended over a 70cm range from -10cm to +60cm. Even when fully extended and with the rapeseed plates in place, the knives can still be moved over a 20cm range. A particular time saving feature of the new VARIO 1230/1080 cutterbars is the ability to quickly and easily fit side knives without needing tools. The side knife unit simply slots into place in a matter of minutes and at the same time the hydraulics are connected using two flat-sealing couplers.
This automatically activates the hydraulic pump to drive the side-knives and restricts the range over which the table can be extended to avoid the side knives clashing with the reel. Additional panelling has also been added to the right hand side of the cutterbar to reduce losses and the reel-end and knife positions are automatically transmitted to the combine. Other features include wear-resistant bearings on the reel, exterior adjustment of the stripper bars and the top beam is angled to provide the operator with a better view into the cutterbar. Where LASER PILOT units are used, these can now be folded and adjusted without tools. For greater operator convenience, the cutterbar can also be automatically returned to the â€˜parkâ€™ position just at the press of a button.
New 7XL grain auger for CTF compatibility
Designed to match the CLAAS VARIO 1230 cutterbar, the 7XL auger is a completely new design. It features a folding end-piece that is 2.11m long and folds through 120 degrees around the back of the combine. As normal, the auger is operated using the switch on the multi-function CMATIC control and a safety mechanism ensures that the end-piece will only fold out or in when the auger is fully folded out in the unloading position. The 7XL auger has a total unloading reach of 12 metres, so when used in combination with the VARIO 1230 cutterbar, this ensures that the supporting trailer or chaser bin
can travel in the adjacent tramline. It is only available on LEXION TERRA TRAC models that have been fitted with a reinforced 13,500 or 11,000 litre grain tank. The addition of the new 7XL auger means that CLAAS now offers a complete range of unloading options for CTF, from 12m with the 7XL, or 10.5m with the 4XL and 9.0m with the 3XL. Other updates for the LEXION 700 include the option of 40kph on both the LEXION 760TT and 750TT and the availability of breakaway steps on all TERRA TRAC models.
William and Harry Barton, Nottinghamshire 2016 The Barton’s new LEXION 780 TT was kitted out with a pre-production 7XL folding unloading auger and 12.3m VARIO header.
“We’ve been working towards full controlled traffic for a number of years and the new combine made it all possible. With the over-size unloading auger we can drop grain into the chaser bin on an adjacent tramline every time so it never runs off the existing wheelings.” “The new chaff spreader is a major improvement – it’ll genuinely fling material out to the full header width and the auto wind compensation feature really works. We were skeptical at first but you can see it blowing the chaff and straw away from the next bout of crop.”
CTF break-through technology
New for the LEXION 700 HYBRID range for 2017 is the availability of an extra long 7XL unloading auger to provide full compatibility for working within a 12m CTF (Controlled Traffic Farming) system.
High horsepower technology for ARION 400 Tractors in the 90 to 140hp power range are expected to meet a wide range of demands, ranging from livestock farmers just wanting a simple, straightforward tractor for yard and grassland work, to arable farmers looking for greater sophistication for field work. The CLAAS ARION 400 range already offers a wide range of cab, transmission and specification options. However, to better meet the needs of arable users the ARION 400 is now available with new specification options previously only found on higher powered tractors in the CLAAS range. New is the availability of the 6-speed, 6-range HEXASHIFT transmission from the AXION 800 and ARION 600/500 ranges. The CLAAS CSM (CLAAS SEQUENCE MANAGEMENT) headland management system is also now available, designed specifically for the CIS colour display used on the ARION 400 which is also the latest machine in the CLAAS range that can be monitored using TELEMATICS.
DYNAMIC STEERING A completely new feature that is ideal for steering-intensive work is DYNAMIC STEERING. Currently it takes 4.5 turns of the steering wheel to go from stop-to-stop on the ARION 400. However, with the new DYNAMIC STEERING system, this can be reduced to as little as one turn, making handling significantly easier, especially when turning at the headland or when using a loader. With DYNAMIC STEERING, the driver has the option of either two automatic modes or a manual mode, selected using the CIS colour display. Using the Steering Angle Dependent mode, which will be applicable to about 90 percent of work done by a tractor this size, the steering speed increases the more the steering wheel is turned, so is ideal for loader work. In the Speed Dependent mode, the steering ratio is proportionally reduced as forward speed increases, so will allow for quick and easy headland turning, but stiffens up when in a straight line down the field for a smoother ride. In manual mode, four fixed steering ratios (2.5 / 2 / 1.5 / 1) can be selected depending on the operation.
AXION 400 6-speed HEXASHIFT transmission Compared with the standard 16-speed QUADRISIFT transmission, the option of the 24-speed HEXASHIFT not only provides the user with a wider overlap between gears, but also the option to change gear automatically using the HEXACTIV mode. Due to the wider range of gears, for road work the engine speed is automatically reduced to just 1850rpm to help save fuel and reduce noise in the cab. When in manual HEXASHIFT mode, the operator seamlessly changes through each gear and range using a rocker switch on the Multifunction Control lever. When the HEXACTIV mode is selected, both the range and gear changes are made fully automatically, leaving the operator free to concentrate on other machines or the implement behind.
CLAAS SEQUENCE MANAGEMENT (CSM) Previously only available on larger tractors with CEBIS, CSM is now available for the ARION 400 controlled using the CIS colour display. As on the CEBIS version, using CIS the operator can record and save a total of four headland sequences with up to 200 steps, which are then activated using either the CIS control panel or the Multifunction Control lever. Using CSM, operating sequences involving the electronic spool valves and linkages, engine speed and PTO or 4-wheel drive and gear selection can all be recorded. To record a sequence, such as turning on the headland, this is recorded on a time-related basis, and completed in three easy steps. It is then easily recalled using the appropriate function button on the Multifunction Control lever or the main CSM control panel, and the sequence is also shown on the CIS Colour display.
TELEMATICS machine monitoring
A further major benefit of CLAAS TELEMATICS is that tractor and compatible implement data can optionally be automatically recorded and allocated to individual field files, ensuring accurate record keeping of operations, application rates, etc, which can then be quickly and easily viewed, compared and analysed.
AXION 400 2017
The ARION 400 is the latest CLAAS machine for which TELEMATICS is available. TELEMATICS automatically records the tractorâ€™s operating data, in addition to its position, and automatically uploads this data to the dedicated server. This information can then be viewed remotely and also allows for remote diagnostics if necessary.
EASY precision farming
Latest EASY introductions The latest introductions to the CLAAS EASY range of precision farming solutions make it even quicker and easier for farmers to gather machine and crop data, and then interpret and utilise that data, for instance by being able to vary input application rates or to update farm management costings.
New RTK FIELD BASE The new tripod mounted CLAAS RTK FIELD BASE means that farmers and contractors no longer have to rely on picking up a consistent RTK signal from a static mast or a 3rd party signal, but can take their own mast with them from field to field. For complete flexibility, if required the transmitter can also be detached and used as a static mast, with a permanent power supply. • 2-3cm accuracy • GPS and GLONAS as standard • 3-5km range • Fully integrated 20 hour battery • Ready to work in about 3 minutes • Can be used with any RTK receiver • Reference points retained for repeatability
New RTK network for Ireland 2017 S10 terminal At the heart of all this is the latest version of the CLAAS S10 terminal. Unlike the smaller S7 terminal that is primarily for GPS steering applications, the S10 offers the combination of being both a GPS steering, camera and an ISOBUS control terminal. Until now the S10 terminal has only been ISO UT (Universal Terminal) and ISO AUX (ability to allocate actions to F keys in the tractor) compatible. For any other ISO functions, such as section boom control on a sprayer, this has required a separate screen in the tractor.
The new S10 incorporates all the latest ISO functions, so doing away with the need for additional terminals. Particularly useful will be the integration of task management using TC Basic, which will be standard on all S10 terminals, with TC Geo and TC SC functions being optional additions. The screen layout has been redesigned so that multiple windows can be displayed simultaneously. Implements are identified automatically and field lists are sorted (requires TC GEO) so that the current field is at the top with the next five closest fields listed after that.
From the middle of 2017, farmers and contractors in Ireland will be able to access a new RTK network established by CLAAS. This new network uses a dual SIM card mobile modem to receive a correction signal which has the benefit that the unit will always look for the strongest signal available in areas of poor network coverage. This means that the user will always have access to a consistent, strong signal so that steering accuracy is maintained. Unlike some other providers, the CLAAS RTK network uses an open signal, so can be used with any RTK steering system, regardless of manufacturer, making it extremely flexible.
New RTK FIELD BASE
‘Dumb’ implement output data recording using iBeacons CLAAS leads the way in the use of TELEMATICS for machinery monitoring and data gathering. Originally introduced on the LEXION combine range, TELEMATICS is now available on all CLAAS combines, JAGUAR foragers and CLAAS tractors from the XERION down to the ARION 400 and the data accessed via computer or on a tablet or smart phone via the app.
However, until now TELEMATICS has only been able to gather output and other data either from the combine, forager or tractor, or from ‘intelligent’ machines fitted with TONI (TELEMATICS on Implement), such as the QUADRANT baler. Now, however, using the TELEMATICS App it’s possible to quickly and easily obtain information data from a whole range of non-ISOBUS implements and attachments using an iBeacon. Typically costing only £15-20, iBeacons are small Bluetooth boxes that can be detected using a smartphone. Having attached the iBeacon to an implement, such as a plough or cultivator, once it has been recognised and linked using the TELEMATICS App, information on that implement can be saved and output data, etc gained and automatically uploaded via the App to the TELEMATICS field record. Using this output data, information such as running costs or data for maintenance schedules, can then be accurately recorded.
New Gatekeeper CLAAS Essentials Gathering all this output data using TELEMATICS, ISOBUS and iBeacons is only half the story, it’s what you then do with it and how you record, store and analyse that information. This is fine where the farmer carries out all field operations, but information can be missing from where a contractor is used for operations such as spraying or combining. To get around this, FarmPlan has introduced a new CLAAS specific version of its popular Gatekeeper management software. Called Gatekeeper CLAAS Essentials, this is basically a cut-down version of Gatekeeper that, for instance, a contractor can use in order to save field data, such as yield maps, etc from their CLAAS machines and then enable full transfer between them and the farmer.
Successfully established for many years, for 2017 the JAGUAR 980 and 970 (Type 498) models from CLAAS have been enhanced and are now available with many new equipment features.
These include a continuously variable front attachment drive, an enhanced crop flow system, redesigned running gear and the CLAAS AUTO FILL system for automatic trailer loading to both the side and rear.
Optimal crop flow by automatic adjustment of the drum concave The latest JAGUAR 980/970 models also feature a new enhanced crop flow system. One of its key features is the hydraulic clamping system for the shear bar which allows the shear bar to be adjusted both accurately and quickly. During shear bar adjustment, the hydraulic clamp is released allowing the shear bar to be adjusted without resistance, and so allows the shear bar to be set more accurately and puts less stress on the shear bar components. Once the shear bar has been set the hydraulic system clamps and holds the shear bar into position. This not only improves chop quality but also helps to reduce wear.
Hydrostatic drive adjusts front attachment speed automatically
In addition to the shear bar improvements, the sharpening system has also received an update with improvements to the access and maintenance of the sharpening system. Better guidance of the sharpening stone also helps to ensure that the chopping cylinder blades are in optimum condition.
The optional new continuously variable front attachment drive enables efficient power transmission at varying speeds. This is particularly advantageous when harvesting with the PICK UP and the ORBIS maize front attachment. If the chop length changes, the system automatically makes a corresponding adjustment to the front attachment speed. The result is a very even crop flow and improved chop quality. Furthermore, the operator can react to changing harvest conditions at any time by manually adjusting the automatically controlled front attachment speed.
JAGUAR 980 and 970
10 model range for 2017 With the introduction of these two new models, CLAAS will be offering three JAGUAR model series for the 2017 business year. In addition to the existing JAGUAR 800 series (Type 496), there will be the current JAGUAR 900 series (Type 497) for the JAGUAR 960, 950, 940 and 930, and the new JAGUAR 900 series (Type 498) for the 980 and 970 only. Hp (ECE R 120)
JAGUAR 900 (Type 498)
JAGUAR 980 JAGUAR 970
JAGUAR 900 (Type 497) JAGUAR 800 (Type 496)
980 and 970 models
AUTO FILL now also allows auto loading to the rear The CLAAS AUTO FILL system for trailer filling to the side during chopping, keeps losses to a minimum during the loading process while also significantly reducing the respective workloads of the operators of the silage trailer and the forage harvester. A new high-resolution camera on the discharge spout scans the contours of the silage trailer continuously during the run and automatically adjusts the crop discharge direction relative to the contours and the load situation. A new feature is trailer filling to the rear. When a tractor is pulling a trailer behind the JAGUAR, it will fill the trailer over the top of the tractor automatically, a function which is used when starting a field or dividing the areas to be harvested during maize or whole crop for example. The enhanced AUTO FILL system provides a further reduction in operator workload.
Efficient front attachment drive for every requirement The constant-speed mechanical drive that has proven itself over many years of practical use remains standard. However, the mechanical drive can now also be combined with the continuously variable drive. This split-power variant with mechanical and hydraulic drive provides high power transmission at a constant speed. This allows the DIRECT DISC and maize pickers to be driven powerfully and extremely efficiently.
New JAGUAR 980 and 970 models New fuel saving running gear
JAGUAR 980 and 970
The 2017 JAGUAR 980/970 also features new running gear that offers greater comfort and convenience for the operator. The new hydrostatic double motor, a variable hydraulic motor, has a wide speed range. The new hydrostatic system allows the JAGUAR to travel at 40kph at only 1300rpm, so enables on-road travel at very low engine revs, which in turn has a positive effect on diesel consumption. Fuel is also saved during harvesting thanks to an automatic engine speed reduction function when turning at the headland. As well as reduced fuel consumption, the new ground drive system also produces more hydrostatic power, which results in more pulling power both in the field and on the road. Operating in the field in first gear, the powerful ground drive allows the machine to run at up to 22Â km/h. Furthermore, the new JAGUAR 980/970 models offer very high tractive power and optimal responsiveness. A new optional automatic limited slip differential lock enables optimal traction at all times, even under difficult conditions. It can be controlled either manually, in automatic switch-on mode, which is triggered when wheel slip is detected, or in automatic switch-off mode when a given steering angle and speeds greater than 15 km/h are attained. Furthermore, both models have a convenient automatic parking brake which is applied when the operator places the control lever in the neutral position. Both new models are also equipped as standard with the CRUISE PILOT forward speed control.
Andrew Long, Yorkshire 2016 Yorkshire contractor Andrew Long has been running a pre-series JAGUAR 970 throughout this year, alongside an older 2014 JAGUAR 970 and a 2012 JAGUAR 960. Operationally he and driver Sam Horsfall have seen a considerable difference between the two 970s. Output from the new JAGUAR 970 has increased considerably due to the higher torque engine. Having the
variable front attachment drive makes it far easier to adjust crop flow into the forager dependent on crop and chop length, and the automatically adjusted concave means that crop flow through the forager is far better. One of the biggest differences has been blade life which has risen from about 1400ha in the old JAGUAR 970 to about 2000 acres in the new, due to the improved sharpening and shearbar adjustment system.
New front attachment developments In future, the PICK UP will be equipped with an ACTIVE CONTOUR function that enables fast adaptation to changing ground contours and so reduces crop losses in very hilly terrain. Both the ORBIS maize front attachments and the PICK UP can now be equipped with a front attachment module which, after one-time programming, does away with the need for future programming procedures. Furthermore, operating hours are recorded separately. In combination with the variable front attachment drive, the module monitors the front attachment to ensure that it is correctly adjusted for reliable operation in the field.
Automatic concave adjustment The new models also work with an automatically adjusted chopping cylinder concave. The chopping cylinder concave is attached directly to the shear bar mounting system and is automatically moved with the shear bar when it is adjusted. This means that the distance between the concave and the chopping cylinder remains constant as the blades wear, thereby ensuring an even crop flow, regardless of the condition of the blades. Furthermore, this arrangement saves fuel and reduces wear.
VARIANT 400 2017
New VARIANT 400 baler range Compared to previous models, the new 2017 VARIANT 400 variable baler range provides an increased crop flow plus a new netting system and a heavier duty bale chamber, making the balers more reliable and easier to use. Four VARIANT 400 models are available. With the VARIANT 460RF and 465RC, the bale size is variable from 0.90m up to 1.55m, while bales up to 1.8m can be created using the VARIANT 480RF and 485RC. A 2.35m wide pick-up is standard on all models, but this is now fitted with a dual Roller Crop Press. This has four height settings so that it can be quickly and easily adjusted for a more uniform and even crop flow, so allowing the VARIANT 400 to be operated at a higher forward speed.
Also standard is the PRO hydraulic drop down floor, which lowers 30mm automatically to allow large lumps to pass through and be drawn into the baler. In the event of a blockage, the operator simply lowers the floor so that the blockage can be forced into the baling chamber and the floor raised again to commence baling. The ROTO FEED fitted to the new VARIANT 480/460RF remains the same, but the VARIANT 485/465RC models feature a new ROTO CUT system. This has a new design of star rotor for an improved feed, especially in wetter crops, into the ROTO CUT unit, which is fitted with 14 knives that achieve 6,000 cuts a minute. On all four VARIANT 400 models, the bale chamber has been strengthened, in particular the front frame which has been reinforced, as has the tailgate. This has
been redesigned so that it opens and closes faster, meaning that bales are now discharged in less than 6 seconds. Belt guidance has also been improved for greater reliability and reduced wear. Another new standard feature on all VARIANT 400 models is the redesigned net spreading system. This incorporates a stainless steel plate over which the net is fed into the bale chamber. This has the benefit that net coverage across the full width of the bale is improved and also allows dust and dirt to fall away easily, resulting in more reliable netting. An extra wide netting trough is also available, so that 1.30m wide netting can be used which applies net over the shoulder of the bale for better weather proofing, especially when bales are stored outside.
New high capacity QUADRANT range Since the launch of the first QUADRANT 1200 large square baler in 1988, CLAAS has led the way in the development of high capacity large square balers. For 2017, this development continues with the launch of three completely new QUADRANT baler models – the QUADRANT 5300, 5200 and 4200. At the core of these new models has been the redevelopment of CLAAS’ oldest patented product – the knotter. The first CLAAS knotter was patented in 1921 and with over one million units now having been produced, CLAAS is still the only baler manufacturer to design and manufacture its own knotters.
AUTOMATIC PRESSURE CONTROL In addition to the new high capacity knotters, to further increase output and bale density, this new design of QUADRANT baler also features heavier duty drive systems, longer bale chambers and the new patented CLAAS APC (AUTOMATIC PRESSURE CONTROL) system. Standard on the QUADRANT 5300/5200 and optional on the QUADRANT 4200, APC takes high density baler performance to a new level, by ensuring that bale weight is maintained by automatically monitoring the knotters and the stress on the drive system. Having entered both the required bale density and the quality of the baling string being used into the ISOBUS terminal, by monitoring sensors recording the deflection of the main beam and knotter tension on three of the knotters, APC will automatically maintain the target chamber pressure. This ensures that a uniform bale weight is maintained regardless of variations in crop quality.
As an option on the QUADRANT 4200 and standard on the QUADANT 5300/5200, KCS (Knotter Control System) is also available where sensors are fitted to all six knotters. With KCS, stress on each of the knotters is monitored to detect any broken strings or a missed knot. This will then result in an alarm on the control terminal to alert the driver. Producing a bale measuring 70cm x 120cm, the new QUADRANT 5200 and 4200 replace the current QUADRANT 3200 and 2200 models. The larger QUADRANT 5300 produces a bale measuring 90cm x 120cm and replaces the QUADRANT 3300.
Hydraulic drive option At the front, all three new models have a hydraulically suspended 2.35m-wide pickup, fitted with a double roller crop press and POWER FEEDING SYSTEM (PFS) auger as standard. CLAAS is the first manufacturer to also offer the option of hydraulic drive to the pickup reel, top crop press roller and the PFS auger. By being able to vary the pick-up speed from between 200 and 260 rpm, hydraulic drive allows the operator to match the speed of the pick-up to the crop, using a higher speed for small swaths for example or reducing the speed to minimise damage in crops such as Lucerne or hay. The hydraulic drive also allows the PFS and crop press to be reversed in the event of a blockage. All three new models are available with either the ROTO FEED or the 25-knife ROTO CUT system. On the QUADRANT 5300/5200, for an even shorter chop length, these can be specified with either the 51-knife FINE CUT rotor or the SPECIAL CUT unit, which has 90 knives. All three models feature a pre-chamber ahead of the main chamber. On the QUADRANT 4200, the packing tines operate on a three phase cycle, driven by an oil-immersed gearbox and clutch drive
system with automatic overload protection. On the QUADRANT 5300/5200, there is electro-hydraulic control of the packing tines to provide optimum bale density and shape in varying crop conditions. On all three QUADRANTs, in order to achieve even greater bale density and higher overall output, the bale chamber has been further strengthened and the length increased by up to 15%. On the QUADRANT 5200 and 4200, the chamber is fitted with three pressure rams, while there are six on the QUADRANT 5300. On the QUADRANT 5200, ram frequency has been increased to 56 strokes/minute and on all models the ram, connecting rods and bearings have all been strengthened.
New knotter system The knotter system fitted to all three models features a new bill hook, string guide finger and string clamping plate and disc design, which creates a single, improved shape of knot with longer ends for greater ‘hold’ in all baling conditions with no string waste. All three new QUADRANTs are fitted with a hydraulically powered TURBO FAN system. Similar to the LEXION JET STREAM, these feature active oscillating diffusers that direct the air, which travels at 140 km/h, over both the front but also the sides of each knotter, ensuring they are kept clean at all times. For ease of maintenance, instead of being bolted down each knotter assembly can now be swivelled upwards. For working at night, both the string box and needles can be fitted with LED lighting. All three QUADRANT models are ISOBUS compliant. The QUADRANT 5300/5200 are controlled using the CLAAS COMMUNICATOR colour terminal and the QUADRANT 4200 uses the OPERATOR terminal, with the option of the COMMUNICATOR. All three can also be controlled using the EASY ON-BOARD app using an iPad or via any ISOBUS compliant terminal.
QUADRANT 5300, 5200, 4200
New for the LEXION 700 HYBRID range for 2017 is the availability of an extra long 7XL unloading auger to provide full compatibility for working within a 12m CTF (Controlled Traffic Farming) system.
01. QUADRANT 5300 02. AUTOMATIC PRESSURE CONTROL
03. New knotter system
04. QUADRANT 4200 05. New model
120cm x 90cm
120cm x 70cm
120cm x 70cm
PU/PFS Hydraulic Drive
Bale chamber length (cm)
Max baling pressure (bar)
Ram frequency (strokes/min)
Std / Std
Std / Std
Opt / Opt
A real eye opener Last harvest was quite a learning curve for Oliver Clarke. After many years of running the same make of straw walker combine, changing to a used CLAAS LEXION 760TT has meant Oliver getting used to not only a HYBRID, but also to having tracks. Bought through COMBINE WORLD member MARSH, the 2011 LEXION has had quite an impact on the business, not only in terms of its capacity and the speed with which crops can be harvested. The reduction in combining hours has had a knock-on benefit of giving more time to hit drilling dates, and for subsequent cultivations there has been a noticeable benefit from the tracks.
Cropping across the 680ha of cereals that Clarke Farms grow based at Lowdham near Nottingham, includes feed winter wheat and winter and spring barley, spring wheat for milling, plus oilseed rape and spring beans. “Until now we had always run the same make of combine, generally looking to buy low-hour used machines that we would keep for four to five years, and have had nothing to do with CLAAS at all,” explains Oliver who runs the farm with his father Gary, and brother Edward who helps out at harvest. “About three years ago we got talking to Will Clark of MARSH at the LAMMA show and the process started from there. He subsequently arranged for us to go to the factory at Harsewinkel and then finally we made the decision to change last year.” “Our old straw walker combine was getting on for about 11 years old and hardly a day would pass without some problem holding us up for an hour or so. It would comfortably clear about 24ha a day but if we were up against it and tried to push it on, the walkers wouldn’t cope.” The ‘new’ LEXION 760, which has a VARIO 1050 cutterbar, came from a local estate where it had been well looked after and been under a MAXI CARE contract so was well maintained. “The fact that we knew where the combine had come from, and that it had been thoroughly checked over by MARSH, would be mechanically sound and covered by a year’s warranty gave us peace of mind that should anything go wrong, it would be covered. Every machine will have a problem at some stage, but its how that problem is dealt with that’s important and we know that MARSH will not leave us stranded.” “Also Will has been a massive factor in the change. We did approach other dealers, but were impressed by Will and CLAAS in general and the way in which they treated us. Will is very approachable, has been very free with his time and been a great help in showing me how to set-up and operate the LEXION.”
Gary (left) and Oliver Clarke have been impressed by the benefits their used LEXION 760TT has given them, both in terms of harvesting output, but also for subsequent cultivations and drilling.
“Having been used to straw walkers, going to a HYBRID was a totally different concept. Initially I could not believe in rape, how Will kept encouraging me to go faster and faster, it was a totally different world. In beans I was used to going at about 5kph but with the LEXION I was doing 10kph. It’s one thing being told what to do, but another actually doing it, but now I know what the LEXION can do I will be well set for next year. The LEXION has given us back the flexibility of being in control and on top of the job again.” Due to the higher capacity of the LEXION, which will comfortably run at around 60 tonnes an hour in wheat and clear 40ha a day, Oliver adds that this then has the benefit that if it turns wet, they will still have capacity to spare. Because the Clarkes are now on top of the job, this autumn it has given them time to get oilseed rape drilled in good time and not be in a panic, which will help yields. However, it’s not just the LEXION’s greater capacity that has made a considerable difference. “We have never had a proper straw chopper before, so the fact we can chop and spread across the full cutting width makes a great difference. Now we have a finer chop and a full spread it gives the Sumo less to do and makes incorporation easier which will help with slugs.” “Also, before you could always notice the wheelings from the combine when cultivating. But with the tracks you can’t see a thing, the stubble is dead level and perfect. Also it’s great on the road and being half a metre narrower than the old combine, it’s far easier to get around.” “Other things like the VARIO cutterbar make it so easy to find the right spot to improve flow into and through the combine. We have been extremely impressed with its fuel use, which per acre is the same, but you are doing it in half the time.” “It’s very easy to get stuck in the way you do things, but the LEXION has really opened our eyes to the benefits of change.”
Tim Pratt named ‘Farm Manager of the Year’ Photo: Tim Scrivener
Congratulations to Tim Pratt, this year’s winner of the Farmers Weekly ‘Farm Manager of the Year’ award, which is sponsored by CLAAS.
He has also been responsible for bringing in outdoor pigs and sheep to help boost soil fertility and vegetable yields on the farm’s light soils.
digestate from which has helped cut the fertiliser bill by £50,000 but also boosted wheat yields by 1.5t/ha to more than 14t/ha.
Tim has been manager of Wantisden Hall Farms near Woodbridge on the Suffolk coast for the past 10 years, where he looks after 1351ha of mainly light, sandy soils, of which 785ha is contract farmed.
Tim faced strong competition from fellow finalists Simon Day and Sion Williams.
Sion Williams’ target on the Duke of Buccleugh’s 3,563ha Bowhill Estate near Selkirk in the Scottish Borders is that it should make a profit without subsidy from fat lambs and beef cattle. To achieve this, he is looking to make the most of better breeding and to spread fixed costs across larger stock numbers to increase overall output. The hill and upland sheep flocks total about 5,200 ewes, producing around 7,000 lambs that are fattened on the estate and is one of the biggest suppliers of lamb to Sainsbury’s. The Estate also runs a 500-cow suckler herd and a 32,000 hen freerange egg unit.
In addition to cereals, oilseed rape and maize for an AD plant built four years ago, cropping on the farm includes potatoes, onions, carrots, swedes, spring greens, vining peas and sugar beet. This means that there is hardly a week in the year when a crop is not being sown or harvested. Under Tim’s management, not only has the farmed area doubled, but he has invested in irrigation to boost vegetable yields and quality, and he was instrumental in setting up a vegetable marketing company, 3 Musketeers, with five other growers.
Simon Day manages 2,138ha for Worth Farms near Spalding in Lincolnshire where the cropping on the alluvial soils includes 240ha of potatoes, mainly Maris Piper and Marfona. Irrigation is extensively used to boost potato quality and value, but with fresh water in short supply, Tim has devised a system of blending saline ground water from the drainage dykes with collected rainwater and waste water from the vegetable pack house. In 2013, an AD plant was built, the
Do you know of anyone who could be a 2017 Award winner? Further information on how to nominate someone for the 2017 Farmers Weekly Awards can be found on the awards website: http://awards.fwi.co.uk
AXION earns its keep below sea level in Wexford “We looked at a few of the main brands but what really sealed it for us with the AXION was its fuel efficiency and compact but gutsy build.”
01. (l-r) Jonathon Leech, KELLYS of Borris, with customers Francis and Michael Furlong Junior in front of their AXION 850 tractor.
02. The sea wall around the farm was built over 170 years ago to help drain it.
03. Baling straw with the QUADRANT 3200 big square baler.
04. The CEBIS system and CMOTION joystick
03 Every now and then you come across a farm with a wonderful history, and that is exactly what Frances Furlong’s 500ha holding has. Consisting of flat sandy farmland, the holding is based close to the beautiful Curracloe beach in an area known as the “North Slob” in Co Wexford, on the southeast coast of Ireland. Fans of trivia may be interested to know that the nearby Curracloe beach was used in filming the memorable D-Day sequence in the Tom Hanks movie Saving Private Ryan in 1997. Amazingly, most of the Furlong farm is actually 2.0m below sea level, so to make it feasible for farming involved a huge undertaking. Firstly, the area was walled off with a huge sea wall around the perimeter (pictured) and reclaimed from the sea in the 1840s. Then in the 1960s further drainage infrastructure was put in place, with drains placed 22 yards apart across the entirety of the holding. These drains lead into a large central waterway in the farm from which rainwater is pumped out year-round using a high capacity water pump.
on the AXION earned strong praise from the Furlongs.
04 Today the Furlongs – Frances is helped by his father, Michael, and brother, Michael Junior - farm a mixture of grass and tillage at Slob Lands. Crops grown include oil seed rape, winter wheat, spring barley and beans. The ratio of winter to spring crops is about 45%/55%, and in the last six years the family run unit made the key decision to stop ploughing in favour of focusing on a minimum tillage system. Tillage and planting work is mostly carried out with a 260hp CLAAS AXION 850 tractor that the Furlongs bought from trusted local CLAAS dealer, KELLYS of Borris, in April 2015. Michael Furlong senior has been a customer of KELLYS for over 50 years, and the strong after sales service coupled with a good first impression of the AXION during a test drive was enough to seal the deal. Frances Furlong explained; “We looked at a few of the main brands but what really sealed it for us with the AXION was its fuel efficiency and compact but gutsy build. The engine make (Fiat Powertrain Technologies) and CEBIS terminal were two further big
pluses; it’s a very intuitive tractor to operate and the CMOTION joystick has all of the main controls at close hand. It’s also a very smooth drive on the road as well, with good visibility and lots of in-cab storage space. Asked about his experience with a min till system to date, Frances Furlong says he has no regrets over dropping the plough back in 2010. “Our fuel bill has been slashed by 20%, and that’s a conservative estimate. We now use the AXION to work a 3.0m Sumo Trio grubber that works well for our soil type. For planting we use a 4.0m Horsch Pronto. Yields are very impressive; we have recorded winter wheat yields of up to 15 tonnes/ha, but the average would be around 11.5 tonnes/ha.” The trusty AXION 850 isn’t the only CLAAS machine in the Furlong fleet. The team also own a LEXION 540 combine that they bought second hand two years ago. The line-up is completed with a QUADRANT 3200 large square baler that was bought new in 2011 from KELLYS.
Frances Furlong | 500 hectares | Co Wexford by guest writer Derek Casey
Special habitat It isnâ€™t just crops that thrive on this farm. Itâ€™s unique habitat means over 200 bird species have been recorded on the farm, many of whom are winter migrants from places as far afield as Greenland and Arctic Canada. White-fronted geese are the most numerous bird species found on the farm at this time of year. In fact, the local Wexford Wildfowl Reserve estimates that the North Slob area holds about 8,000 or 45% of the current world population of Greenland White-fronted Geese during the winter months!
Tractor choice key for Seamus Murphy | Contractor | Co Kildare | AXION 830
“The 830s are perfect for baling because they offer the right combination of gutsy power and a wide range of working speeds.”
Contractor Seamus Murphy with dealer principal Alan Douglas.
by guest writer Derek Casey
Kildare contractor Based in a rural village called Rathangan in County Kildare, father and son agri-contracting team JJ and Seamus Murphy have been CLAAS customers since the mid-nineties. The Murphys run a busy ship, offering a broad range of services to farmers within a 20 mile radius of their base on the eastern coast of Ireland. Silage making (both precision chop and baled), slurry spreading, maize harvesting, ploughing, planting and harvesting cereals are the key jobs. Common crops grown in the surrounding area include winter wheat, spring barley, oil seed rape and oats. As if that wasn’t enough, the Murphys also run a sucker and tillage enterprise on the home farm. At peak times of the year when jobs are coming in thick and fast the business needs to draft in further help and can employ five to six staff in total.
I visit the farm. As far as possible fleet maintenance is done in house to reduce costs, but if professional help is needed machines are duly whisked off to the local dealer DOUGLAS. Other CLAAS kit used by the team include three VOLTO tedders, two LINER rakes, a LEXION 750 combine, a JAGUAR 850 harvester and a SCORPION 7035 telehandler. Baled silage is big business in Ireland, with lots of Irish farmers still opting to make bales rather than a pit because it affords them more flexibility for grass management when growth rates are strong. When it comes to baling the Murphys run two balers that are usually hooked up to the two AXION 830s. “We find the 830s are perfect for baling because they offer the right combination of gutsy power and a wide range of working speeds,” says Seamus. “They are really compact tractors with a good turning circle for headlands. Another important consideration is that they aren’t too heavy on softer ground during a damp summer – which we get quite a few of! The two ARIONs are mostly used for drawing grass when we turn our attention to pit silage again. It’s good to have these options; I know from feedback that our customers appreciate us having safe modern tractors and being able to match a job to the right tractor where possible.”
Seamus Murphy recalls his first CLAAS machine arriving around the mid-nineties – a futuristic looking CLAAS JAGUAR. “It changed the way we work to be honest,” he explained. “It was in 1995 I think and prior to that we were using a trailed harvester, so the JAGUAR really advanced our work model at the time. The business has grown over the years to the extent that today we harvest around 1,000 hectares of silage and make about 17,000 round bales each year.” The flow of CLAAS machinery into the Murphy yard has been steady since the mid-nineties, but the first CLAAS tractor only arrived in 2010. Today the fleet includes six tractors in total; two ARION 640s, two AXION 830s, an AXION 840 and an AXION 850. The latter is the newest addition to the line-up and has just arrived from trusted local tractor and green line dealer ALAN DOUGLAS, who is based in nearby County Meath and offers constant back up and after sales support to the Murphys. As Seamus explains, the Murphy philosophy on tractors is all about keeping customers satisfied. “A range of power options are required to cater for differing jobs. For example, most of the mowing work will be done by the new AXION 850 this year that we will hook up to our CLAAS DISCO 3200 butterfly mower. On a good day that set up is able to mow close to 60ha for us – it offers serious productivity and at 263hp the AXION 850 has just the right amount of power. I’m a big fan of the new FPT six cylinder engine used in the AXION 850. I know it won’t be found wanting - even in the heavy crops of grass we get here.” You can tell this is a team that looks after its kit. All machines are clean and securely stowed away in the shed on the cold winter afternoon
Amongst other jobs, the Murphys use their two AXION 830s for baling 17,000 round bales each year.
Stand out ARION it means that we are able to offer a market for dairy black and white bull calves, mainly Holstein.”
Superb visibility and easy handling are just some of the benefits of the ARION 400’s new award winning PANORAMIC cab for Dan Burden. It also makes you stand out, which is important when you are starting out in contracting and looking to make yourself known in the local area.
Calves are sourced through a dealer from dairy farms with a known good TB status in Hampshire and Wiltshire. Fed on concentrates and barley straw, the aim is to have between 20-30 animals a month going out to Buitelaar at a live weight of around 420kg after 10 months, in order to kill-out at 200kg.
Starting out as a young farmer is increasingly difficult, but Dan and his wife Sam have been lucky that Hampshire County Council do still own farms throughout the county that are available for young entrants, and last year they were awarded the tenancy of a 32ha farm near Fordingbridge in the New Forest.
However, it was due to raising cattle for the store market that Dan got involved in contracting, and it was this in turn that resulted in him buying the ARION 450 PANORAMIC.
Combined with 20ha rented by his parents, this gives Dan a total of 52ha on which he is raising both conventional beef cattle for the store trade, but is also establishing a rosé veal unit.
“The first year we were here I had a local contractor in to bale 1,000 straw bales for us, but when he finished he suggested that due to the number it might be better to bale our own this year,” says Dan. “He also put me in touch with another large estate, but he sadly died fairly soon after. However, his
“Doing rosé veal has two benefits,” explains Dan. “Firstly it provides us with a guaranteed market and price, and secondly
03 “To have the PANORAMIC cab on the new ARION 450 was a given. When using the loader it makes the job so much easier.”
wife, knowing that we were looking at doing our own baling also forwarded my number to some of his other baling customers and it went from there.” It was with a view to buying a new round baler, that Dan approached CLAAS Western at Winchester last Spring, but did not expect that he would end up with not only a new ROLLANT 340, but also a new ARION 450 PANORAMIC with FL100 loader to go on the front of it. “I have always liked the look of CLAAS tractors, both the colour and their design. They look modern, smart and really stand out, which was why I originally bought the ARION 430. However, I was surprised when Ben Griffiths came back with figures not just for the baler, but also because the ARION 430 had held its value so well, what little extra it would cost to also replace the tractor. That, combined with the fact that CLAAS Finance was able to then tailor payments around our business, made it a ‘no brainer’.”
04 01. ARION 450 delivering feed to the Hostein black and white bull calves
02. Dan Burden 03. ARION 450 at work on the New Forest farm, giving Dan superb visibility. Dan also owns a CLAAS ROLLANT 340 baler and together the two machines are a perfect match for Dan’s livestock business
04. ARION 400 with the award winning PANORAMIC cab
Dan Burden | 52 ha | New Forest | ARION 450 PANORAMIC
01 “To have the PANORAMIC cab on the new ARION 450 was a given. When using the loader it makes the job so much easier because you don’t need to keep leaning forward when the loader is raised to see what you are doing, which is a great advantage in some customers barns where I have had to stack bales. Also it’s a lot safer on the road as you can clearly see the loader and that it is not near any cables or other obstructions. But generally, it makes the cab far lighter and combined with the front axle suspension and soft ride on the loader, it’s just a very pleasant place to be.” Aside from the PANORAMIC cab, when comparing the old style ARION with his new ARION 450, Dan says he has been particularly impressed by the cab layout.
“The cab is far more user friendly. The layout of the dashboard makes it very easy to operate the tractor and all the controls are nicely within reach. Also I like the fact that all the 130hp from the (FPT) engine is always available, so you have plenty of power but within a compact size tractor, and it uses so little AdBlue that it’s not an issue.” “However, the new multifunction control is superb. To have everything you need to hand on the one control – gearshift, spools, loader control, headland control, etc – is not only very effective but makes it all so easy. There are more than enough ‘toys’ on the tractor to keep me happy, but it’s still straightforward for when my father needs to drive it.”
In addition to baling over 2,000 bales last summer, having bought a used Twose 580, Dan has also now added hedge cutting to his range of services and he also offers muckspreading and fencing. “There are not that many CLAAS tractors around here, so the ARION and the ROLLANT do stand out. The ARION has been great and done everything I have asked of it,” states Dan. “It was certainly the right way to go. When I bought the first ARION, I looked at all four main makes and while the ARION was on a par for price, it offered so much more for the money, plus I benefit from the high level of service that CLAAS offer.”
Everything we want from a combine
The ruins of the original Cowdray House provide a backdrop for the famous polo pitches. The early Tudor hall was visited by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, but was destroyed by fire in 1793.
Cowdray Park If you Google Cowdray Park, it’s no surprise that fairly close to the top of the list of results will be a reference to polo, which has been played on the estate for over 100 years. Each year the Cowdray Park Polo Club hosts over 450 matches on its 10 pitches, culminating in the British Open Polo Championship and the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup, which is one of the leading tournaments in the world.
Farming at the estate
However, polo is just one element of the 6,400ha estate in West Sussex, which is owned by the 4th Viscount Cowdray and includes a championship golf course, a farm shop, event venues, 2,000ha of woodland, 1,900ha of land that is rented out and 1,400ha that’s farmed in-hand.
Managed by David Hamilton-Fox, the inhand farm supports two dairy units totalling 490 cows, 640ha of combinable crops and 36ha of potatoes for crisping. The last year however, has seen quite a change in the farm following the decision to close down two other dairy units. As a result, the maize
acreage has been reduced and cereals increased, pushing the acreage to beyond that which could be comfortably handled with their 2012 LEXION 640, prompting a change in combine to a new TUCANO 570 HYBRID. “We don’t have large 40ha fields and can be changing field up to four times a day, so the LEXION 640 realistically had a capacity of about 480ha, so fitted in well when we
Cowdray | 6,400 ha | West Sussex | TUCANO 570
had 400ha to harvest but would struggle with the larger amount,” explains David. Cropping is split between 274ha of winter wheat, mainly down to Group 1 milling varieties, with 167ha of spring barley, 88ha of oilseed rape and 66ha of spring beans. “September can be particularly busy with potatoes and cattle calving, so with the reduction in maize we have increased the spring barley area to help spread the workload.” Soils range from light sand to heavy clay, so in order to increase organic matter, five years ago David started growing catch crops and now runs a series of trials. “We started with Westerwolds but now we are trialling an oats/vetch mix that is sown at just 20kg/ha. We used to graze the Westerwold down with sheep and will also try that this year, before spraying off in February or even earlier if conditions are right, after which we will just go straight in with a single pass Mzuri drill.” CLAAS combines have been run on the farm since at least 1997 and with CLAAS Southern at Petworth just up the road, this ensures that service and support is readily at hand.
The TUCANO 570 at work.
“We looked at all options and having invested a lot in the remaining dairy units, cost was also a consideration,” says David. “A LEXION 700 would have been just too big, so it came down to either going up to a LEXION 650 or change to the TUCANO 570 HYBRID. Ultimately the TUCANO 570 gave us a lot more combine for the money and the benefit in output from a HYBRID. It also shares a lot of the technology found on the LEXION, but without all the sophistication of the LEXION 700, which we just don’t need. Straw is important to us as we do bale a lot, so that was a consideration but has not been an issue, but it does depend on the variety.” “With the change in combine, we have also gone from a 6.0m cutterbar up to a new 7.7m VARIO 770 with the integral filler plates and other updates, which is a great improvement. Overall, although yields were down this year, the TUCANO has given us a 15-20 percent increase in output. I have also been very pleased with the sample, which is important as we don’t have a cleaner so do rely on the combine, and it coped particularly well with spring barley.”
“Personally I have always liked Merc engines, so am pleased to see that they have gone back to using them in the TUCANO. The banked grease nipples make daily maintenance quick and easy. Overall, I was pleased with the deal, it’s a pleasure to operate and the TUCANO has done everything we want from a combine.”
“Overall, although yields were down this year, the TUCANO has given us a 15-20 percent increase in output.”
POCKET ROCKET ‘A little pocket rocket’ is how Ian Paxton describes his AVERO 240 combine, which he says has an output that is totally at odds with its compact size.
“The AVERO is an amazing little combine. I had always run 5-walker machines and it took a lot of self persuasion to go for a smaller combine,” he says. “But I have to say that what it can do in a day is fantastic. In a good crop it will happily sit all day at about 16 tonnes an hour, with peaks of 20. Across all crops it has averaged 1.5ha per hour and 2.0 ha in wheat, and will comfortably clear around 16ha a day, which is more than enough. Overall it completes harvest in fewer hours and uses less fuel than my previous larger 5-walker.” All of the 141ha that Ian farms at South Littleton near Evesham are down to arable crops, plus he does a bit of contract combining for neighbours, meaning the AVERO ends up harvesting about 162ha a year. His own cropping is mainly down to 80ha of feed wheat, growing Diego and Santiago, virtually all of which goes to Cargill’s wheat processing plant at Manchester where it is made into starch. The remainder of the acreage is down to oilseed rape and a break crop of either spring barley or, as in this year, beans as this will enable him to get on top of areas of blackgrass. This is Ian’s second AVERO. The first was bought in 2012 which was replaced by a new combine for last harvest, complete with a new style VARIO 560 cutterbar with integral filler plates and the AVERO was also specified with 3D sieves and yield mapping. “I have always run my own combine, because you not only then have an asset, but you also have control. I only have a cold air drying system in bins so having my own combine allows me to choose when to go and harvest, rather than when it suits a contractor,” explains Ian.
“I was never intending to buy a new combine,” states Ian. “Historically I have always tended to run older combines and when I initially contacted Ed Parker (who is at WESTERN Evesham) I was looking for a good 4-5 year-old machine. However the choice was not great and a lot of them had as many hours on them as a 20-year-old combine. It was Ed who then suggested costing up a new AVERO and the deal that he came up with did make a lot of sense.” “Again I was not really looking to replace the AVERO for last harvest. CLAAS had done a number of updates to the old AVERO over the years, so I felt it would be good to have a fully up-to-date model, but I did also like the look of the new VARIO cutterbar, because the integral fitter plates and hook-on knives would save me a lot of time. Speaking with Ed, he had a market for the old AVERO in Austria and it had held its value very well, so again the deal was right and it made sense to replace it to take advantage of the latest features.” One of the great benefits for Ian of the small AVERO is its size. With heavy clay soils, the combine’s light weight means that compaction is kept to a minimum. This was brought home to Ian during his first harvest with his old AVERO in 2012 when, while other neighbouring combines were struggling to
cope with the conditions and getting stuck, he could carry on harvesting. Another benefit of the AVERO is that with the standard 650-wide tyres, the combine’s overall width is still below 3.0m, which makes it easy for Ian to move the combine around local roads. “The new VARIO cutterbar really makes the most of the AVERO’s capacity. To be able to set it up for oilseed rape in 5 minutes is great and it’s extremely convenient to have everything to hand stored on the trailer. You can see the difference that the combination of the VARIO and AUTO-CONTOUR make and it’s easy to find that ‘sweet spot’ where the crop just starts smoothly flowing into and through the combine.”
Ian Paxton | 141 hectares | Evesham
“I was never intending to buy a new combine...”
“Having 3D sieves also makes a noticeable difference,” adds Ian. “Previously on some fields I would have to go up and down, but now I can work across the hill without any losses and it has totally changed the way that I harvest those fields.” “It never struggles for power. I only chop the rape and beans as all the straw is baled for my father-in-law, who uses the bales in an industrial burner to heat his glasshouses.” “When you find something that works well you stick with it, and that is certainly the case with the AVERO,” says Ian. “It’s convenient having CLAAS Western just down the road at Evesham and I like the way that CLAAS operate, that I can speak directly with the service engineers, rather than having to go through the dealer management, as it makes it far easier to get a problem sorted and is a huge benefit to me.”
Steve Skipworth | 520 hectares | Newbury
Until five years ago, the 520ha that Steve farms at Adbury near Newbury was managed as one unit with another family farm in Buckinghamshire, and shared a combine. However, following of a change in policy, the two farms are now run separately by Steve, who had been an airline pilot with FlyBe and still has his own plane, and his twin brother, who retained the combine leaving Steve with the option of either buying his own combine or using a contractor. “For me, the main justification for running my own combine was the fact that my on-floor drying system struggles to cope if grain is too wet. The air will just go round the wet grain so you end up having to keep moving the grain to dry it down,” explains Steve. “I therefore try and avoid harvesting above 18% and in a difficult season, I can pick and choose when I harvest and maybe just go out for a few hours at the end of the day, which would not be possible with a contractor. Also finance is still cheap.” Another major consideration is the fact that where possible cropping is aimed at premium markets. Working on a six year rotation, in addition to spring barley, winter wheat is split between seed crops and Group 1 and 2 milling varieties, winter oats go for milling and the spring beans are for human consumption. “I did also grow oilseed rape but have dropped it this year – it was making me go grey!” quips Steve. “We had always run the same make of combine, but I wanted a change and rather fancied a CLAAS,” says Steve. “I spoke to a number of dealers, but John Texter (OLIVERS Reading) was the first to come back. He suggested a TUCANO and arranged for me to see another one on a farm near Abingdon.” “What I like about the TUCANO is the fact that it is still closely related to the DOMINATOR, so at its heart there is all that experience and expertise. It’s
From airline PILOT
to combine pilot
Having control over harvesting his 300ha of cereals is an important consideration for Steve Skipworth, who states that having spent all year nurturing and doing your best to manage the crop, to then at the last hurdle leave everything to chance is too big a risk.
very well designed and for someone who had never driven a combine before, the training course at Saxham was excellent, but it’s so easy and straightforward to operate - everyone loves driving it.” “Another major advantage of the TUCANO over what we ran before is the servicing cost, which was about £1000 for the first year and never above £1500 for the following years, compared to at least £4000 a year for the other machine.” After four years and having clocked up nearly 1000 hours, that original TUCANO 440 has now been replaced by a new TIER 4 TUCANO 440 with the latest VARIO 770 cutterbar. “The new TUCANO is excellent. Daily maintenance is far easier; the big new side panels make it extremely easy to get in but the layout is so good, there is no clutter where dust can gather, so it stays remarkably clean. Also I like the fact that virtually all the grease nipples are in banks and there are very few individual nipples,” states Steve, who applies his pilot’s eye for daily machine checks to his combine. “We didn’t have LASERPILOT before, which makes harvesting far more efficient and that, plus having a wider cutterbar, meant that while we budget on finishing in 20 days, we got it all done in 18 this year, although the conditions were good.” “Also being able to now tweak the concave using CEBIS makes life much easier, and having LASERPILOT you have the time to do it. Other niceties include the fact that you don’t now need to change
“Another major advantage of the TUCANO is the servicing cost, which was about £1000 for the first year and never above £1500 for the following years.”
the belt for the chopper, although we do bale about 80% of our straw. The new VARIO cutterbar is also a great improvement – it’s dead easy to use. The direct drive is far better and I like the way it remembers your previous settings.” “One option I definitely wanted was climate control, as it can get chilly in the evenings having just air conditioning. However, with all those years of combine development it’s the little things you notice that are important, like having the rubber mounting for the bottom step and having an on-board compressor. I had another combine on trial and it didn’t have a compressor. To be able to just plug in the air-line on the TUCANO and quickly blow out the radiator or whatever is brilliant and makes such a difference.” “The old TUCANO held its value well, which in itself means makes it definitely cheaper to run our own combine, but with a lot of premiums at stake, the potential of losing crop quality more than justifies the cost,” concludes Steve.
A unique green machine by guest writer Ewan Pate
01 To say Steven Robertson is a CLAAS tractor enthusiast is a bit of an understatement. He and his father William rely on three high capacity CLAAS tractors to keep on top of the varied workload in their Aberdeenshire contracting business including a highly personalised and uniquely liveried topspec 295 hp AXION 870 CMATIC. “It is partly boys with their toys, I’m afraid,” said Steven. Only partly though, because many of the extras are practical in the extreme and helped him put 1200 hours on the tractor in the six months following delivery in March 2016. “There have been many long days but the cab suspension is great. It is just like sitting in a car and the comfort has really made a big difference. So has the autosteer and the variable transmission. Now when I come home at night I am still fresh. My wife says I am annoyingly cheerful and never stop talking whereas before I was exhausted when I came in,” Steven added. He is the third generation of a family which has loyally served the farming community of the Buchan area of Aberdeenshire for the last 75 years, and operate in a 30 mile radius from their base near Ellon over a variety of soil types including some very heavy land near home. William (69) and Steven (43) have only two regular part-time members of staff to help cope with the seasonal demands and the vagaries of the climate so reliable high capacity equipment is a must. They know that well and have trusted CLAAS to
02 provide their combines since 1987 when they bought their first, a 5.0-metre cut DOMINATOR 108. Since then they have had 14 CLAAS combines with the fleet now consisting of three LEXIONs - a 570+ with a 7.5 metre header, a 750 with a 7.5 metre header and a 9.3 metre cut 760. All three are fitted with four wheel drive, which apart from helping on slopes also cope well with slippery clay in a wet harvest . Very little of the straw is chopped – most is needed for either bedding cattle or covering overwintered carrots on some of the lighter land. The good experience with the CLAAS combines and with local dealer SELLARS at nearby Oldmeldrum led naturally enough to changes in the tractor fleet. Nowadays there are three CLAAS tractors in the Robertson’s machinery fleet – the new 295 hp AXION 870 CMATIC, a 2013 registered 264hp AXION 850 with a HEXASHIFT transmission and a similarly equipped 2009 Arion 640 which pushes out 175hp. With a workload that includes everything from baling and bale wrapping to destoning for carrots it is important that the tractors can do everything that comes their way and that is how the Robertsons operate. All three of the CLAAS tractors are equipped with 50 km per hour gearboxes to give added flexibility. The AXION 870 does “a’thing” according to Steven but one of its main jobs is sowing. When it comes to oilseed rape most of the crop is established into winter barley stubble using a modified 3.5 metre Simba Xpress, where the standard front tines on the SE toolbar have been replaced with heavy duty LD legs allowing for deeper work. “I normally work between 10 and
03 11 km per hour and find the variable transmission really handy for keeping the speed right,” said Steven. The CMATIC transmission has also proven a real boon when it comes to de-stoning work ahead of carrots especially in fields where soil type changes along the run. The Robertsons also offer a silage chopping service using a trailed forager. “In this case the 870 can be set to alter the forward speed depending on the thickness of the swath while keeping engine revs at the optimum. This is really handy although I have to say it takes a heavy crop to slow the outfit down when you have 295hp on hand,” comments Steven. The AXION 870 is also fitted with the topof-the-range CLAAS GPS Pilot autosteer which has proved such a boon that the older 850 is about to go back to SELLARS for a two day retrofit of the same system. The RTK guidance is monitored and controlled through a CLAAS S10 in-cab screen and keeps the tractor on the straight and narrow to a tolerance of between two and three centimetres. “The RTK steering is very good and a great help in this area where we are often working across sidlings (side slopes). I trust it completely now. One evening this autumn I drilled a 10ha field in fog so thick I could hardly see the front fertiliser tank. It was dark too when I finished the field and I couldn’t see a thing. But when I went back to have a look after the crop had emerged I was delighted to see it was dead straight with no misses!” enthused Steven. His tractor also has auto-turn fitted which eases the workload when the pressure is on.
01. 32 forward facing lights 02. Fleet line up 03. Arion 640 ready for hedgecutting
04. On-cab advertising 05. Full monty showing bespoke tool box and foldaway steps.
06. Customised signwriting
STEVEN’s WISHLIST When Steven Robertson approached his SELLARS sales contact, Brian Penny about quoting for a new AXION 870 tractor he had a specification list which would have made a lesser man quail. Apart from some topline options and some custommade features Steven had decided he wanted a machine that would stand out.
Steven and William Robertson | Aberdeenshire
“I have nothing against the standard CLAAS green but I thought I would like a slightly different colour to make the tractor look special,” said Steven.
Combine Reply Winners Mr N G Hall, Dollerys Farm, Reading Mr Angus Janaway, Bidden Grange, Hampshire Mr P Saxon, Birkin Farm, Leeds Mr Richard Emerson, Slate House Farm, Boston Mr Edward Gilbert, Wistow Grange, Leicester Mr Robert Miller, Ormiston Mains, West Lothian
These are our lucky prize draw winners, replying to our combine mailshot from October 2016 and who each received a case of champagne.
20 YEARS OF LEXION
Walking into the Future
NEW features for 2017 LEXION straw walkers.
POWER SPREADER Mechanically driven, ensuring perfect spreading. Automatic crosswind and slope compensation.
NEW MERCEDES ENGINES.
ili eliab ty
DYNAMIC COOLING Creates a curtain of air that minimises the amount of dust drawn into the cooling system.
Visit us at LAMMA on 18th and 19th January at Peterborough Showground. Talk to your local dealer today or call the Hotline on 01284 777666. L e gCLAAS acy claas.co.uk/products/combines/lexion670-620-2016 01
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AUTO SLOPE adjusts the fan speed to maintain the crop flow in the cleaning system no matter which angle the combine is working at.
The latest issue of the CLAAS HarvesTimes magazine, including information on the latest additions to the CLAAS product range, customer stori...
Published on Jan 17, 2017
The latest issue of the CLAAS HarvesTimes magazine, including information on the latest additions to the CLAAS product range, customer stori...