Claas announced updates to its Scorpion telescopic handler and Axion 800 tractor ranges at an elaborate launch in a quarry in eastern France
Claas announced updates to its Scorpion telescopic handler range at an elaborate launch in a quarry in eastern France. The event also provided an opportunity for the company to confirm the final specifications of its four Axion 800 models, the new range previewed at Sima earlier this year. Farmers Guide machinery editor David Williams was there.Claas staged an impressive launch of its new Scorpion telescopic handlers, and confirmed specifications of its new Axion 800 range tractors at a launch in a quarry in eastern France. Scorpion
To date, more than 10,000 Claas telescopic handlers have been supplied of which in excess of 5,000 are Scorpions, the brand introduced in 2005, and since 2006 has seen a seven-fold increase in the number of units sold. The range now caters for lift capacities from 3-6t and lift heights up to 9m.
There are six new models, three each in the small and large series.The new models incorporate the Claas Power System concept which aims to combine the best match of components to achieve optimum performance. A new one-piece chassis is used and the boom is mounted lower to ensure a low centre of gravity and increased stability. It also improves the operator’s vision to the right side over the boom. Larger tyres can now be fitted providing better performance in difficult working conditions. All the new models are claimed to offer increased performance over their predecessors.Six new Scorpions will be available, with increased performance over their predecessors. In the small frame model range, the 6030 CP and 7030 are replaced by a new 6030, a 7030 and a 7035, all powered by 122hp (90kW) 3.6-litre, 4-cyl Deutz engines. The larger 7040, 7045 and 9040 have been replaced by the 7044, 7055 and 9055, the 7044 with the 122hp (90kW) Deutz engine, the 7055 and 9055 with 4.1-litre 4-cyl 156hp (115kW) power units.Engines
The engines all meet Tier 4i emissions requirements, the 122hp versions using a maintenance-free diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) system, and the 156hp engines equipped with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) and the DOC.Engine cooling is improved; air is drawn in from above, channelled through the cooling radiator, past the engine block and exiting through the top of the cowling, together with the exhaust gases. Claas explained that this design reduces the amount of dust and dirt passing through the engine compartment and, by having the exiting air blown upward rather than down to the ground, it helps prevent dust being blown up off the floor.Transmission
Drive is hydrostatic, the Claas stepless Varipower drive system automatically co-ordinating speed and thrust up to the maximum 40kph travel speed.
A new larger Varipower Plus transmission is fitted on Scorpion 7055 and 9055 models which, as well as providing extra thrust, is designed to be more economical. At the maximum travel speed of 30kph in four-wheel steer mode and 40kph in two-wheel steer, this automatically reduces engine speed to 1,800rpm or 2,000rpm, depending on model, reducing engine noise and fuel consumption. A ‘Smart Roading’ function is also available to operators; the driver sets the required travel speed using the accelerator pedal and the engine rpm is reduced automatically while maintaining the set speed.For maximum traction the front differential can be 100 per cent locked, using a push-button on the joystick.Operator environment
Cab improvements include more space and better visibility, a wider body providing five per cent extra volume. Controls are improved, a new rotary switch on the right dashboard used to select between three steering modes, and the main joystick now has extra buttons allowing it to control up to 13 different functions.The new models have three speed range options, one more than previously, and the biggest change is that the operator can now select between the ranges without taking his hand from the joystick, hare and tortoise buttons used to shift between them. Because the transmission is infinitely variable hydrostatic, there is actually only one mechanical drive range available, but the buttons set a maximum speed in each of the three electronic ‘ranges’; (0-7, 0-15 and 0-30/40kph). If a lower speed range is selected, the machine will not exceed the maximum travel speed available in that range, but extra engine power is available for more demanding tasks, plus it provides a speed restriction for those working in confined areas. The operator can switch between the ranges just by touching the button at any time, including under full load.Control
Claas introduced its Smart Handling feature in response to the requirement for stability control systems to be fitted to telescopic handlers. Whereas most stability control devices simply monitor the load being handled and lock the boom movement if the load is becoming unsafe, the Claas Smart handling system includes automated features to assist the operator; for example, automatically retracting the boom when the stability is compromised rather than locking its movement. With the telescopic arm fully retracted the overload protection is deactivated to allow bucket filling and pushing operations to be carried out with full power available.The new Claas handlers have four operating modes; Bucket, Stack, Vertical lift and manual. In all four modes the Claas system adjusts the loader’s drop rate to suit the weight and angle of the load; the higher and heavier the load, then the slower the maximum drop rate.Vertical lift mode is a new feature, and maintains the horizontal distance between the front of the Scorpion and the load being handled, the telescopic boom adjusting while the boom is raised and lowered so that while the load is moved up or down vertically, it remains above the same spot on the ground, regardless of the arc of movement caused by the boom lifting or lowering. This is said to be of considerable benefit when working with the attachment against a vertical surface, such as when stacking pallets or loading lorries.Another new automatic function designed to increase efficiency is a bucket return positioner, the operator saving in the memory a boom and attachment position, to which it will automatically return at any time with the touch of the button. Claas said this is of particular benefit during rapid loading operations.Increased hydraulic performance
Load-sensing hydraulics are standard on the three larger models, and an option on the smaller machines. Increased flow rates over previous models are provided; the 9055 and 7055 with up to 187 litres/min, the 7044 with 140 litres/min and the three smaller models have 100 litres/min as standard through a gear pump, or can be specified with up to 140 litres/min and load-sensing hydraulics.Saving time when changing attachments, a new hydraulic pressure release button is provided on the boom end. This prevents problems caused when trying to connect or disconnect pressurised pipework.
On the larger models two handy storage boxes are provided in the top of the rear counter-weights, each with lockable lids, handy for stowing tools, ropes and lifting straps.Availability
The larger models are due to start production this autumn, the smaller models in spring 2014, and at present all the previous models with the exception of the 9040 are still available.Axion 800 tractors
Claas has confirmed final specifications for its Axion 800 series which, while sharing the styling characteristics of the flagship Axion 900 range, are actually very different when one delves under the tinwork.
There are four models, from 215-264hp (158-194kW) and the new tractors are the first to be launched which meet forthcoming Tier 4 (final) emissions requirements.
The new tractors share the wasp-shape chassis design of the 900 series, which allows tight steering angles and improves manoeuvrability. The engine oil sump is formed within the frame, and Claas explained that the rugged chassis design, while providing a compact layout and shape, allows the use of integrated front linkages with up to 5.6t lift capacity without the need for reinforcing struts.
A long wheelbase (2.98m) is said to provide 50/50 weight distribution front and rear, the overall tractor length 5.26m.
Rear lift capacity is 10.2t. The engine
Power is provided by 6.7-litre, 6-cyl FPT engines with common-rail fuel injection, and use Claas’ own management system. A variable geometry turbocharger helps provide high torque at lower revs, and a characteristic of the design is a very flat power curve with constant power available within a 500rpm speed range. A Visctronic fluid-driven fan is standard, reducing power demand when maximum cooling isn’t required.
Emissions are controlled by a DOC and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) using Adblue.
Claas anticipates that most tractors sold in this power range will be used for heavy field work at under 10kph, and has designed its transmission and final drive to accommodate the high stresses involved. As a result, the engines are set up to provide maximum power at all times, rather than having lower rated power with a boost facility. A new power and fuel saving feature is that when a front PTO is fitted, it can be completely disconnected when it is not needed for longer periods, saving the energy required to rotate idle drive shafts. Claas claims that decoupling the drives can save up to 0.4 litres of fuel per hour. Transmission
Initially, the Axion 800 can be specified with the Claas Hexashift gearbox which provides six splits and four automated groups. Standard equipment Hexactiv provides auto shifting through powershift splits and ranges if required. The Claas CMatic CVT transmission which provides infinitely variable speed control will become an option later.
The rear axle and chassis have been designed to accommodate the largest diameter tyres currently available; 900/60R38 standing 2.05m tall.
Pneumatic brakes are standard on 50kph machines, and optional on 40kph models and, when fitted, a handy air take-off point is provided by the left-hand cab steps allowing a hose to be plugged in, providing air for adjustment of tyre inflation pressures as well as for blowing out cooling radiators, a feature which will be appreciated by those working in dusty environments. Similar cab
The cab is similar to that of the Axion 900, with four pillars and a four-point mounting system. Again, like the 900, it is mounted well forward of the rear axle and with a single-piece windscreen and a curved rear window provides a clear view of front and rear attachments.Control systems
Claas Information System (CIS), or Claas Electronic on-Board Information System (Cebis) controls can be specified, the more basic CIS system expected to appeal to those for who mechanical controls are adequate. Cebis provides full electronic control through the Cebis terminal unit integrated into the armrest. Cebis includes functions such as intelligent headland and implement management as well as connection options for Isobus-equipped implements which allows them to be controlled using function keys in the armrest or via the CMotion joystick.Maintenance
Like its bigger Axion 900 brother, the Axion 800 has a hinged radiator assembly which folds out to allow easy cleaning. A handy new feature is an integrated steel tool box under the left hand cab step, which slides out on rails.Easy crop care
At the new product launch, Claas was showing the latest addition to its Efficient Agriculture Systems (Easy) range; an optical crop sensor.
The Claas Isaria crop sensor is mounted on the front of the tractor and measures the leaf canopy, using two sensor heads, one each end of a longitudinal carry frame. Data from the heads is used to calculate the crop’s optimum nitrogen uptake, and the information is used to regulate the application of fertiliser from suitably-equipped spreaders, the whole process carried out in one pass.The Claas Isaria crop sensor will be available in the UK in limited numbers for 2014. The optical sensors are designed to work at a height of 80cm above the crop and record data from a circular area of 50cm diameter. Active lighting means the system is equally accurate for day or night-time operation. The sensors use biomass reflection as the measure for crop analysis, measuring the light reflected by the crop under the sensor heads.Claas explained that as yield over an area can fluctuate greatly, there is a risk of over and under-fertilisation. The Isaria crop sensor can either use the Isaria fertiliser system which, without prior calibration, measures the nutritional status of the crop while driving enabling optimum nitrogen supply to the crop, or it can use a map-overlay process. This, combined with yield mapping data, considers the yield potential and, in addition to the actual and calculated nitrogen supply, it ensures the optimum rate is applied to each area.Claas has offered a crop sensor within its range previously, but only in Germany, and the new sensor will be available to many more markets, including the UK. “We are very pleased to be working with the manufacturer; Fritzmeier, and able to offer the latest technology available,” commented Claas UK electronic systems product specialist Edward Miller. “We are working in conjunction with SOYL which has considerable expertise and experience of this area to ensure we provide best support for our users.”The new crop sensor will be sold through and supported by Claas dealers. “It means we are closer to completing our EASY product portfolio,” said Edward, “and with the Agritechnica event due to be held in November this year, it is likely that even more precision farming products will be launched.”
As well as trials of the crop sensor on the continent, Claas UK has had one in use on a farm in the UK, and Edward said it is expected that marketing and sales of the device will begin during 2014. “We will restrict the number available to users during the first year, because it is vital that we establish effective after-sales support and can provide the specialist advice to enable users to get the most from the product,” he added.