Tucano combines are a winning combination from Claas
Published 27/08/2014 | 02:30
The new generation of Tucano combines from Claas include a 4-wheel drive axle feature that should prove popular with Irish operators, reports Jamie Casey
Originally launched for the 2008 harvest, the Claas Tucano combine range has proved extremely popular with smaller to medium sized arable farmers and contractors, wanting a high capacity combine without all the additional bells and whistles of the Lexion range.
One of the reasons the Tucano has stood out in the medium sized sector is the use of the well-proven Accelerated Pre-Separation (APS) threshing system, and more recently the APS hybrid system. Both help ensure that high outputs can be maintained even in difficult threshing conditions.
For the 2015 harvest, a complete new range of Tucano models will be available that remain true to the principle of providing arable growers with an alternative to the Lexion -while still drawing upon that range for some of its new features in order to further boost output and productivity. The new Tucano is available in three ranges with a total of six models.
Topping the line-up will be the new Tucano 570 which is fitted with an APS hybrid threshing system. The four-model Tucano 400 range uses the APS system in combination with straw walkers, whilst the Tucano 320 has just a single conventional drum and straw walkers.
From the outside, the most notable difference is the appearance of the new Tucano range, which more closely follows the Lexion, especially with the adoption of a top-pivot type unloading auger.
The main benefit of this is an increase in loading height and discharge speed, which is now about 30pc higher. On the new Tucano 570 hybrid this means that its 9,000 litre tank can be emptied in less than two minutes.
The new Tucano is powered by a Tier 4 compatible Mercedes-Benz engine, with the exhaust gasses treated using selective catalytic reduction and exhaust gas recirculation. Fresh air for the engine is drawn in through a rotating radiator screen and active pre-separation ensures that fewer particles get into the two air filters.
For difficult or hilly conditions, a new 4-wheel drive axle is available, which uses two central hydrostatic motors integrated into the axle and provides 30pc more traction.
This will be an important feature for Irish users as operators prepare the difficult ground conditions that come with a wet summer.
The new Tucano can be used with the complete range of Claas cutterbars, including the new Vario and Cerio models, which are quickly mounted using the simple multi-connector.
On the Tucano 400 and 570 models, Claas says that the APS threshing system accelerates and subjects the crop to a high centrifugal force, so that 30pc of the easily threshed grains are removed in the pre-concave, leaving the main drum and concave to handle the harder to thresh grains.
Both the accelerator and main drum are synchronously driven, so that the crop maintains an even flow and speed to avoid damaging the straw.
Having passed through the APS threshing system, on the Tucano 400 and 320 models, the remaining grain is separated using either five or six straw walkers for efficient separation.
The two larger six walker machines have three-channel sieves, which have the benefits of being stronger, which provides greater separation and improved material control.
The Tucano 570 hybrid uses the APS threshing system in combination with a single 570mm diameter rotor.
This wide diameter rotor achieves a high centrifugal force at a low rotor speed, so that maximum secondary separation can be achieved without damaging the straw.
Unlike the previous model that had six pre-set drum speeds, the drum speed on the new Tucano 570 can be infinitely adjusted over a speed range from 480 to 920 rpm. This gives the operator far greater control over grain separation and straw quality, especially if the straw is to be baled.
As crop conditions change, the operator now has the option to close either the first or both concaves, so that throughput can be better maintained.
This means that in damp conditions, the large separation area can be better used to achieve improved separation of harder to remove grains, or in very dry conditions both concaves can be fully opened for maximum throughput.
The main operating and cutterbar functions are controlled using either a multifunction joystick control or the new ground speed control lever.
From the seat, the operator can also easily monitor the grain tank level and the quality of the crop through a wider, centrally positioned grain tank window.
The grain tank lids are also now controlled electronically using a switch in the armrest. Finally, all the new Tucano models can be used with the full range of Claas steering systems.
Revamped Arion 400 range should have broad appeal
IN recent years Claas has completely renewed its medium to high horsepower tractor ranges, with the launch of the Arion 600/500, Axion 800, Axion 900 and Xerion ranges.
Now Claas has turned its attention to tractors below 140hp, completely redeveloping the popular Arion 400 range. During the recent press launch I got a chance to take this tractor for a test drive and my hunch is that the updated Arion is set to broaden its appeal.
Instead of the previous three models, the Arion range has been expanded to six models.
For each of these models a number of specifications and cab options are available, including a new panoramic cab which sets a new standard in cab visibility. It features a one piece windscreen which is joined to the roof pane without a crossbeam.
This gives the operator an unrestricted 90 degree field of vision over a front loader and gives the cab a large feeling of space that is unprecedented.
The new Arion maintains the even weight distribution that is a common feature on Claas tractors. The Arion 400 also features a 'wasp waist' design to the bonnet, which allows a tight turning lock for maximum manoeuvrability. This also provides plenty of space above the front axle for the radiator assembly.
Where the Arion is to be used with a front loader, the brackets can be bolted directly on to the engine frame and transmission, and a front linkage can be fitted to the front chassis. This ensures maximum stability and ease of access for servicing.
The new Arion 400 range, which vary from 90hp up to 140hp, is powered by a fuel-efficient four-cylinder, 4.5 litre Fiat Power Train (FPT) turbocharged and charge-air-cooled engine.
This engine uses a combination of selective catalytic reduction technology and a diesel oxidation catalytic converter to meet the latest Tier 4 emissions regulations.
All the components are housed under the bonnet in a manner that maximises visibility.
Drive to the axles is through the well-proven 16 forward/16 reverse speed transmission.
The four power shifts and four ranges can be changed manually without needing to use the clutch. Alternatively, there is also the option where gear and range changes are all made fully automatically.
The transmission and other main operating functions are controlled using a new multifunction control lever.
This is designed so that all the gearbox functions can be controlled using a thumb-operated rocker switch. Depending on specification, this feature also includes options for the headland and linkage controls. For tractors fitted with loaders, this control lever will double up as the joystick. For once, this doesn't look or feel like a cheap aftersales addition.
The range of hydraulic options available for the Arion 400 reflects varied working demands with three different hydraulic circuits available for each model in the range.
For general work, a 60 litres/minute open circuit hydraulic system is available.
Where a higher flow rate is required for more demanding work, a 98 litres/minute open centre hydraulic system can be specified. This actually combines two pumps; one with a flow rate of 57 litres/minute for the control systems and a second of 41 litres/minute for the rear linkage, which can be merged if required.
Finally a 110 litres/minute load-sensing hydraulic circuit is also available with optional power beyond, which is a first for this size of tractor.
Up to three mechanical or four electronic spool valves can be fitted. Two additional spool valves can be fitted to the front of the tractor for a front loader. The spool valves are all clearly colour coded and an oil spillage container is also fitted to the tractor.
Two PTO options are available - 540/540 eco or 540/540 eco/1000. Speeds are selected using buttons on the 'B' pillar.
There is an automatic PTO function that will turn the it on and off according to the height of the rear linkage.
This has a maximum lift capacity at the ball ends of 4.5 tonnes on the smaller Arion 410/420, rising to 5.75 tonnes on the Arion 430-460.