The steeply rolling countryside of Scotland can prove testing for combines whether big or small.

Without hillside slope compensation, they’re often slowed to snail’s pace to limit losses on banks with the result that harvest output can be seriously curtailed.

So when Lanarkshire contractor, Scott Hamilton, was offered the opportunity to have a pre-series of Claas’ new Trion 530S equipped with Montana body-levelling, it was no surprise he jumped at the chance.

Until last year, he had run two Claas level-land machines – a 2008 Tucano 430 and a 2019 Lexion 630. But with the business’ harvest acreage growing, particularly grain for crimping, there was a need to freshen things up.

“The Tucano was a great wee combine but with 12 years hard labour under its belt, it was beginning to show its age. As a contractor, you’ve got to have reliable kit and although it never let us down, the years of cutting crimping grain had been hard on it.

“We wanted to stick with a five-walker machine because our small field sizes really don’t allow us to make the most of anything bigger. Initially, we were looking at second-hand Lexion, but when we learned about the new Trion Montana the deal was too good to turn down.”

In early August, he took delivery from local dealer, Gordons, of a brand-spanking new Trion 530 with 6.2m Cerio cutterbar and full Montana body-levelling.

“Previously, with our old Tucano, we’d clear 30 acres in a good, long day. The Trion will comfortably do 40 acres. That extra 25% comes from a combination of factors. The bigger sieve area makes a huge difference.

"Even when we’re really pushing it, we’re getting a cracking sample. In fact, you struggle to get much rubbish in the tank no matter how wide open you have the sieves set.

“The longer straw walkers also contribute – you’ve got that little bit extra opportunity to shake out any remaining grain. But the biggest difference is without doubt the Montana hill-sider system.


On the level as the Montana systems keeps all of the cleaning mechanisms working straight when doing hillside work

On the level as the Montana systems keeps all of the cleaning mechanisms working straight when doing hillside work


“We’ve always had level-land machines up until now, which means you’re constantly keeping an eye on the loss monitors. Ultimately, when you get on the banks, you have to pull the stick back to limit on grain going over the back.

“With proper body-levelling keeping everything running horizontal, you just keep cruising at the same pace up or downhill or working across side-slopes – it really is fantastic.

“The system responds so smoothly you don’t even notice it tilting the combine over and from a driver comfort point of view, it’s brilliant – on really steep ground, I’m no longer hanging onto the steering wheel to try and stay in the seat.

“It also has an impact on hill-climbing – while usually we’d opt for a driven rear axle, the Trion is just two-wheel-drive. Despite that, it rarely struggled with traction, probably because the levelling system puts the weight where it’s needed.

“While any good operator will try to alter sieve and fan settings going up and downhill, it’s not a reality with our region’s small fields. Montana does away with the need for all of that. It is absolutely magic – I wouldn’t buy another combine without it," he added.

“The new cab is a pleasure to spend the day in. It’s quiet and roomy. I’m 6ft 9in and I have no issues with legroom. Being used to the new Cebis touchscreen and multi-function handgrip from our Jaguar 850 forager, altering settings comes as second nature to me.

“I really like the fact you can just go straight to the function you want to change using the armrest switches and it then pops up on screen. The way everything is clearly displayed with the central machine silhouette and the fast-access hotkeys down the side of the screen means you don’t get bogged down trying to navigate menu pages. That means you can constantly tweak settings to keep the combine running at its best.”

“The 10,500-litre tank on the Trion is 20% bigger than on the Tucano and means we can keep travelling that much further without having to wait for trailers. The CEBIS screen showing the distance left to travel until the tank’s full is a really nice operator-friendly feature.

“Having all that tank capacity is great but you’ve got to be able to unload it sensibly. In combination with the camera mounted on the auger, the new pivoting spout makes filling trailers so much easier, even unloading on the move on our steepest ground.”

Claas has a range to suit all farms

With the introduction of the new Trion range of combines, Claas completed the final stage in the total replacement of its combine range, which started with the introduction of the new generation Lexion 8000/7000 combines in 2019.

The Trions are a new range of combines, with a total of 20 models available with not only conventional five and six-straw walker machines, but also single and twin rotor hybrids. They can also come as Terra Trac and Montana hillside versions.

They rely on well proven Claas straw-walker and Hybrid threshing technology and come with a massive separation area for high-capacity threshing

Power comes from a British-built 8.9 or 6.7 litre Cummins six-cylinder Stage VCummins engine and the base models are two 500-series five-straw walker models, three 600 six-straw walkers, and three 700-range Hybrids – two with a single rotor and one with twins.


Claas Trion range replaces the Tucano and this is one of the larger models, the Trion 750

Claas' Trion range replaces the Tucano and this is one of the larger models, the Trion 750


Common to all is the well-proven APS primary threshing system designed to thresh out up to 90% of grains, leaving just the harder to thresh grains for the secondary separation system.

To keep maintenance downtime to a minimum, the completely redesigned and less complex drive system for the Trio means that there are now six fewer belts on Hybrid models and three less on straw walker machines compared to the Tucano range they replace.

Another new feature is the Jet Stream cleaning system using six or eight turbine fans, meaning this is now used across the complete Claas range.