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Thursday 8 December 2016

Different Claas - the next generation of Lexion 600

The next generation of Lexion 600 combines will benefit from new engines and features previously only available on hybrid models

Derek Casey

Published 24/08/2016 | 02:30

Instead of the Caterpillar engines previously used, all 2017 Lexion 600 range models will now powered by Mercedes-Benz engines
Instead of the Caterpillar engines previously used, all 2017 Lexion 600 range models will now powered by Mercedes-Benz engines
The new Quadrant balers will feature heavier duty drive systems, longer bale chambers.
The 7XL auger is a completely new design and features a folding end-piece.

Some 20 years since the Lexion combine was first introduced, Claas has led the way in the development and use of advanced technology to help users maintain high outputs and cost efficiency.

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As part of the ongoing development of the Lexion 600 straw-walker range, Claas has announced that next season's models will benefit from new engines, a new straw chopper and other advanced features previously only available on the higher capacity Lexion 700 hybrid range.

As before, the Lexion 600 range comprises of three 6-walker models (Lexion 670/660/650) with a drum width of 1700mm and two 5-walker models (Lexion 630/620) with a 1420mm-wide drum. Special Montana hillside versions of the Lexion 670 and 630 are also available, and in addition to the Terra Trac Lexion 670TT, a new tracked version of the Lexion 660 has been added to the range.

Instead of the Caterpillar engines previously used, all 2017 Lexion 600 range models will now powered by Mercedes-Benz T4F compliant engines. On the largest Lexion 670 and 660, the engines have a cubic capacity of 10.7 litres with power outputs of 435hp and 408hp, respectively. Lexion 650/630/620 models come with 7.7 litre engines with power outputs of 354, 354 and 313hp, respectively.

To provide adequate cooling for the new 10.7 litre engines these now feature the dynamic cooling system originally developed for the 700 range.

This system incorporates a variable fan drive that automatically adjusts the cooling capacity as required by the engine, which Claas says helps save up to 20hp and so reduce fuel consumption. Located horizontally behind the engine, the radiator draws in clean air from above the combine through a 1.6m wide rotating sieve filter.

The air is then directed downwards through the radiator and engine bay, before exiting through louvers that direct the air down the side of the combine, creating a curtain of air that prevents dust rising. As a result, the engine bay is kept far cleaner and maintenance time is reduced.

Interestingly, Claas claims that combine output is often restricted by an operator's natural fear of pushing the combine too hard (perhaps they haven't seen enough Irish contractors in full flow on a Friday evening).

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At any rate, to avoid blockages caused by over eager operators, the Class crop flow control system developed for the Lexion 700 range last year is now available on all Lexion 600 models as well.

Using sensors monitoring engine and drum speed, the impellor drum and the straw chopper, this system automatically reacts and alerts the operator to a potential blockage so they can confidently push the combine to its maximum capacity. Another new feature is auto slope control, which guarantees the cleanest possible sample and minimal losses on uneven terrain. Auto slope automatically controls the fan speed and continually adjusts this relative to the angle of the combine.

When working uphill, the fan speed will be automatically reduced to avoid losses and then increased again as it goes downhill to ensure grain is cleaned sufficiently.

Residue management

Larger 6-walker Lexion 670, 660 and 650 models now benefit from a new straw chopper and radial spreader to ensure that crop residues are efficiently chopped and evenly spread across the wider cutting widths on these combines.

In the straw chopper, the drum width has been increased by 5cm so that crop flow into and through the chopper is more uniform, resulting in a more even chop length.

Acceleration of the chaff is also increased, resulting in a wider spread pattern. The straw chopper is now engaged from the cab and there is tool less adjustment of the stationary knives and friction plate.

The new radial spreader is mechanically driven, meaning that the rotors maintain a constant speed for a more even spread and use less fuel.

The radial spreader is hydraulically controlled from the cab and will automatically adjust the spread pattern to compensate for crosswind or when harvesting on a slope. To reduce the time spent emptying, the offloading time has been increased on Lexion 670/660 to 130 litres/second.

7XL auger for tramlines

Among a number of updates to the Lexion 700 hybrid range for 2017 is the option of a new extra-long unloading auger to provide full compatibility for working within a 12m CTF (controlled traffic farming) system.

Designed to match the impressive Claas Vario 1230 cutter bar, the 7XL auger is a completely new design and features a folding end-piece. The folding end-piece is 2.11m long and folds through 120 degrees around the back of the combine.

This means that Claas is able to offer a complete range of unloading options for CTF, from 12m with the 7XL, or 10.5m with the 4XL and 9.0m with the 3XL. As before, the auger is operated using the switch on the multi-function control and a safety mechanism ensures that the end-piece will only fold out or in when the auger is fully folded out in the unloading position. The new 7XL auger has a total unloading reach of 12 metres, so when used in combination with the Vario 1230 cutterbar, this ensures that the supporting trailer or chaser bin can travel in the adjacent tramline.

The new 7XL auger is only available on Lexion Terra Trac models which have been fitted with a reinforced 13,500 or 11,000 litre grain tank. Other updates for the Lexion 700 include the option of 40kph on both the Lexion 760TT and 750TT and the availability of breakaway steps on all Terra Trac models.

Round and square balers

In baler news, for next season Claas is launching new models for both round and big square balers. Starting with the latter, three completely new Quadrant baler models - the 5300, 5200 and 4200 will hit the market for Claas in 2017. At the core of these new models has been the redevelopment of the firm's oldest patented product - the knotter. The first Claas knotter was patented in 1921 and with over one million units now having been produced, Claas is still the only baler manufacturer to design and manufacture its own knotters.

The new Quadrant balers will feature heavier duty drive systems, longer bale chambers and the new Claas APC (automatic pressure control) system. APC ensures bale weight is maintained by automatically monitoring the knotters and the stress on the drive system.

This means a uniform bale weight is maintained regardless of variations in crop quality.

The bale chamber has been further strengthened and the length increased by up to 15pc. On the Quadrant 5200 and 4200, the chamber is fitted with three pressure rams, while there are six on the 5300 model.

Finally, in terms of round balers, Claas will focus on the new Variant 400 range. Compared to previous models, these models provide an increased crop flow and feature a new netting system and a heavier duty bale chamber, making the balers more reliable and easier to use.

As before, there are four models and two bale sizes in the Variant range. Standard on all models is a 2.35m wide pick-up, but this is now fitted with a dual roller crop press. This has four height settings so that it can be quickly and easily adjusted for a more uniform and even crop flow.

Also standard on all models is the hydraulic drop down floor, which allows blockages to be quickly and easily cleared from the cab. The floor will also lower 30mm automatically to allow large lumps to pass through and be drawn into the baler.

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