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Handler improvements benefit North Yorkshire mixed farm t One of the first new Claas Scorpion telescopic handlers was bought by a North Yorkshire mixed farm. u Buildings are a mix of modern and traditional and space is tight but the new Scorpion offers superb visibility, which reduces risk of damage.

A large poultry unit, sheep, cattle and arable crops mean the Anderson family’s materials handlers are kept busy throughout the year. This made the farm, near Bedale, an ideal test user for one of the first new Claas Scorpions. David Williams saw it at work. All-new handler range Claas Scorpion telescopic handlers are a firm favourite with users, enjoying high standards of back-up from the company’s impressive dealer network. An agreement with long-established German family-owned Liebherr to manufacture the machines for Claas has seen a recent switch from the previous supplier, Kramer. The change provided opportunity for a totally new design although from a distance the characteristic Scorpion shape is retained. Liebherr is known for heavy industrial machinery including large articulated wheeled loaders and part of the companies’ agreement is that Claas has added a selection of these to its agricultural range, badged Torion. The new Scorpion line-up includes

7 models from 3.5-5.6t lift capacity and lift heights from 6-10m. Deutz engines produce 136hp for all except the largest 2 models which both have 156hp. Loading cycle times are significantly faster than before with uprated hydraulic oil flow rates of 106 litres/min from a single gear pump and 160 litres/min from a dual load-sensing pumps upgrade. The two highest capacity models come with the dual pumps standard, but with 200 litres/ min. Established Varipower and Varipower Plus hydrostatic transmissions are retained. These have three speeds, controlled through the joystick. A new feature is the automatic parking brake which engages if the driver leaves the seat, the machine

stops or the engine is switched off. As soon as the accelerator is depressed to start movement, brakes release automatically, saving wear. Dynamic cooling is new to the Scorpion. Featuring on many of the latest tractors this adjusts airflow to meet the cooling requirement, saving fuel when possible and reducing noise. Fan reversing is also included; automatic with manual override, to reverse airflow direction keeping radiators clear of dust and debris. Cabs are all new, boasting much improved visibility and a totally new control layout. Initially gauges are bundled together within a 3.5in screen but from early 2018 a larger 7in display will be an option. Operator assistance features include Smart Loading, with modes such as a bucket return option for cyclic loading operations, with bucket position memorised using a button on the joystick. Fine control of hydraulic functions is available through a toggle button which halves hydraulic operating speed. For transport tasks Smart Roading automatically reduces engine speed to the minimum required for the selected travel speed, saving fuel, wear and tear and noise. Dynamic Power is on the biggest 746 and 756 models, adjusting engine speed in response to joystick movements, and providing extra power and speed when faster response is needed. The previous Scorpion had multiple steering modes but the latest variant includes a new fourth manual crabsteering mode as standard. This allows front axle steering to be controlled independently providing advantages for applications such as working beside walls and compacting edges of silage clamps.

Scorpion has what it takes

The Anderson family farms approximately 255ha and arable crops include wheat and barley grown mainly for feed, oats and oilseed rape which is sold from the farm. Permanent pasture, used for livestock grazing, accounts for approximately 90ha and there are 54,000 free-range hens, 340 breeding ewes, 420 gimmers and 600 lambs, and cattle include 140 dairy-cross heifers, so there is plenty of work to keep 2 handlers busy. Pictured with the new Scorpion are (l-r) David, Nick and Freddie Anderson.

Trading as William Anderson Farmers Ltd the Anderson family farms at Ainderby Myers Farm, near Bedale and moved to Claas handlers from a competitor brand in 2011, due to frequent faults and poor back-up. The Scorpion 6030CP, which lifts 3t to 6m, was chosen partly because of the reputation for excellent back-up from local Claas dealer Sewards at Sinderby, now Claas Eastern, as well as recommendation from neighbours

using similar machines. “Our handlers work a lot of hours,” explained partner Nick Anderson. “Seasonal tasks include bale handling in the field and muck loading, but every day we load feed for 54,000 hens which totals 2,500t per year, plus another 200t of cereal for the cattle. Our Scorpion was due for replacement in 2017 having worked 6,500hrs and we had no hesitation ordering another Claas. “The service from Claas and the dealer has been superb. When faults occur we have barely put the phone down and an engineer appears in the yard. We are always dealt with fairly, and when things have gone wrong out of warranty then sometimes the manufacturer has contributed to the cost. It’s real old-fashioned quality service and we can’t ask for more than that.” When a quote was received for a direct replacement, there was also the option of a pre-series version of the new model, expected to arrive up to six months before general release. “We knew we would be well looked after by Claas and knew Liebherr’s great reputation so were confident to order the new model, even though we had only seen pictures on an i-Pad,” commented Nick. “It eventually arrived in November, later than expected but we kept our old machine in the meantime which left with over 7,000hrs worked but remained reliable.” The farm is across three sites up to five miles apart so there is a lot of road work. “The previous Scorpion had 30kph maximum speed and wasn’t the best to drive on the road so operators tended to avoid it and use something else,” he added. “The new Scorpion does 40kph and its on-road performance is excellent. They are totally different to drive and better visibility is a big help on the road too.”

Cab improvements Nick said the new cab is significantly better than the previous version. “The main advantage is the all-around visibility,” he explained. “The view to the right is improved by the low boom continued over...

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Farmers Guide Magazine February 2018 Issue

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Farmers Guide Magazine February 2018 Issue