There are tractor revisions and forage line additions for the 2017-18 Claas range of farm equipment. Martin Rickatson reports from Germany.

Claas has refreshed its Arion 500 four-cyl and 600 six-cyl mid-hp tractors and revised the Axion 900 line at the top of its conventional range, in a move which also sees the firm introduce new spec levels and a new touchscreen operating terminal.

The Arion power bracket has been extended in both directions, with the 125hp 510 at the base of the line and the 185hp (205hp max) 660 heading the range. All use DEF (AdBlue), while diesel capacities have been raised.


Changes to the Hexashift six-speed powershift include a cruise control function which matches engine speed to selected forward speed, and the Smart Stop brake/clutch feature. Meanwhile, the continuously-variable CMatic option now includes foot throttle deactivation for the cruise control and two storable engine droop values, selectable at the press of a button.

A completely new ProActiv front axle suspension system features a triangular suspension cylinder arrangement in which the units are angled outwards, while the number of 50hr grease points has been cut to just four. ‘Intelligent’ control provides active roll stabilisation on bends and reduces pitching movements during braking and acceleration, claims Claas. The firm is also offering a new Dynamic Steering system, allowing the driver to alter the number of steering wheel turns needed to achieve the same steering lock.

All models are available with either the established five-pillar cab or a new four-pillar option with full-length left-side door, as on larger Claas tractors. Further changes include an electronic brake on the Revershift shuttle lever. Engagement is automatic if the driver leaves the seat.

In addition to the 110 l/min load sensing hydraulic system, there is now a 150 l/min option. Arion 630 models and above can now be specified with 42-inch rims and a maximum tyre diameter of 1.95m.

Meanwhile, Claas has introduced a new mid-spec level for Arion 500/600 and Axion 800 tractors. Between the mechanical spool valve CIS specification and the CEBIS ‘electronic’ tractors is a new CIS+ spec for customers seeking electronic spool valves but not the level of technology offered by CEBIS. CIS+ is available for tractors with either Hexashift powershift or CMatic CVT transmissions, both of which are operated using the Claas DriveStick. Specification includes the ElectroPilot joystick – which now features shuttle buttons – and 7in CIS pillar display, which as well as providing information can be used to control valve timing and flow rates, headland management sequences and ISOBUS implements. Meanwhile, top-spec tractors get a new CEBIS touchscreen terminal, which now includes a quick-adjust ‘Direct Access’ feature for frequently-used functions, operated by tapping the machine silhouette on the display, or by the armrest controller.

Alongside the 500-600 Arion updates, Claas has also revealed a refreshed line of Axion 900 tractors topping its conventional range. These now include higher engine outputs with a new top model, refined CMatic CVT control and the new CEBIS touch display.

A variable-geometry turbo on the 8.7-litre FPT Cursor 9 Stage IV engine is claimed to optimise charge-air pressure according to current load and engine speed, meaning 70% of maximum torque is available even when idling. Maximum outputs have been increased to cover the 325-445hp (ECE R120) power band – there is no boost feature – and torque output is up by 18% at up to 200 rpm lower engine speed. Claas claims further fuel savings of approximately 2.0 l/hr from a reduced auto idling speed from 800 to 650 rpm when stationary. The tractors also benefit from the same CMatic and CEBIS Touch updates as the Arion 5/600 models.

Up to eight spool valves are fed by 150 or 220 l/min load-sensing hydraulic systems, controllable via rocker switches, the ElectroPilot four-way joystick or configurable armrest function buttons and multifunction control lever. Using CEBIS, the driver can assign priority to any spool valve, and can define a ‘ramp up’ and ‘ramp down’ for each valve to specify how quickly each should deliver the pre-set oil flow.

Other introductions include LED work and road light packages comprising up to 20 lights, removable tool drawer, external battery terminals, wide-angle mirrors and a compressed air connection by the left-hand cab access steps.


…and adds to grassland line too

Although Disco disc mowers account for most Claas UK mower sales, the firm says drum mower demand remains significant, and it has brought some disc mower features into its latest Corto drum models.

A new 3.05m Corto 310F front mower now sits alongside the Corto 3200F, incorporating 3D contour following based on integrated lateral and longitudinal linkage geometry. Swath disc adjustment has been simplified, and it’s possible to fit a second set of swath discs for very narrow swaths. Crop flow is said to have been improved, and flexible rubber collision protection has been added, features also said to have been included in a revised 3200F design. A new option, carried across from the Disco disc mowers, is Active Float hydraulic suspension.

Meanwhile, the Corto 310 rear mower has been replaced by the 3.05m Corto 3200 Contour, which features two large and two small drums. Features include a main pivot point sited at the centre of gravity, designed to work in combination with the standard Active Float suspension. Options include hydraulic transport locking and an upright parking frame with castor rollers.

Claas has also updated the 1.85m Corto 190 rear drum mower, to include folding protective covers on both sides, mechanical breakback protection and a parking stand. Options include spring suspension and hydraulic headland lift.

Also new for next season is a new 5.2m model Claas tedder, the Volto 55. Replacing the Volto 52, its four 1.5m-dimeter rotors feature 29-degree angled Max Spread tines for greater crop movement, said to allow reduced engined speed, increased forward speed and higher throughputs.

Lastly for 2018 is a new single-rotor rake, the 3.2m Liner 320. Eight tine arms each have three 9mm diameter spring tines clamped in place using a cotter pin. Working height is adjusted using a lockable hand crank. The standard single axle is fitted with 16/6.5-8 tyres; a tandem axle is optional.


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Claas has announced new tractor, drum mower, tedder and rake products for next season.

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The revised Axion 900 line is topped by the new 445hp Axion 960, while the Arion 500 and 600 models have also been updated.

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The new CIS+ spec for Arion 500/600 and Axion 800 powershift or CVT tractors combines electronic spool valves with the simple A-pillar display.

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A completely new ProActiv front axle suspension design has cut significantly the 50hr maintenance required to just four grease nipples.