CLAAS unveils its biggest cat yet

THE CLAAS Harvest Centre network will showcase the latest incarnation of the world’s most efficient and popular forage harvester, the Claas Jaguar 900, at the National Fieldays.

The new 900 series boasts numerous technological advancements, including a continuously variable front attachment drive, an enhanced crop flow system, automatic filling guidance and reconfigured running gear.

Claas Jaguar and Greenline Group product manager Luke Wheeler says CLAAS now offers 14 models across the JAGUAR 900/800 series, making it the largest range available on the market.

“Initially, the new Type 498 machines will be equipped with Tier 4 Final engines only, but this will be extended to include Tier 3 options in 2018,” says Luke.

“In the meantime, the existing 900 Series Type 497 and 800 series Type 496, which are both equipped with Tier 3 engines, will continue to be available.”

First released in 1983, Claas Jaguar now accounts for more than half of all forage harvesters sold globally.

The JBC Frastrac in action with a cultivator.

Forage harvesting

A complete line-up of Claas ‘greenline’ forage harvesting technology will also be display, including the award-winning Shredlage maize processor, which intensively processes corn kernels and ‘long-chop’ silage in one, efficient operation.

Claas V-Max V20 and V-Claas V24 chopping cylinders are used to produce a chop length of 26mm to 30mm, about 10mm longer than conventional silage.

Two specially-designed Loren Cut rollers that fit into the existing Claas Multi Crop Cracker MCC-L processor then smash corn kernels to a fraction of their normal size while simultaneously shredding the stalks into planks and strings.

“This intensive conditioning increases the amount of surface area of fodder exposed to microbial activity in the rumen, which improves the availability and digestibility of the starch content,” says Luke.

Milk yield

“University studies have shown Shredlage can significantly improve milk yield and feed conversion efficiency.

“The need to supplement with other fibre sources, such as straw, can also be reduced or even eliminated, producing even greater savings.”

This innovative technology was recognised with a special Jury Prize in the 2017 Machine of the Year awards presented at SIMA earlier this year.

Also making its debut at the National Fieldays is the high performance JCB Fastrac 4220, 235hp tractor, which boasts continuously variable transmission, all-round self-levelling suspension and optional four wheel steering.

Its four equal-sized tyres, 50/50 weight distribution and all wheel disc braking allow operating speeds of up to 60km/h.

JCB product manager Steve Gorman says the proven Fastrac concept means operators can perform multiple jobs and at higher operating speeds without compromising stability, safety or comfort. “The 4000 series raises the bar even higher in the mid-range category,” says Steve.

Complete line-up

A complete line-up of advanced technology tractors from the 320hp to 410hp Claas Axion 900, the 205hp to 295hp Axion 800, the 158hp to 184hp Arion 600, the 145hp to 165hp Arion 500, and the 100hp to 130hp Arion 400 series will also be on display.

Claas Tractors group product manager Dave Knowles says Claas now offers continuously variable transmissions on 18 different models across three series spanning 145hp to 410hp.

Whereas the existing Axion 900 and Axion 800 Cmatic models utilise ZF Eccom or Terramatic transmissions.

“Claas has shown remarkable commitment to developing its own CVT unit for the Arion 600/500 platform, this project,” says Dave.

“All told, the company has invested more than €40 million in this project, including more than 30,000 hours of pre-production testing and retooling its factory in Paderborn, Germany.

“I doubt if any other manufacturer has invested this much into the development of a single component.”

Claas Harvest Centre will be located at site M52–58 at this year’s National Fieldays, from June 14-17, 2017.


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