Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Thursday 18 January 2018

New coupling system for front PTO transmission is top Claas

Derek Casey

Derek Casey

Back in February at the SIMA trade fair in Paris, the new Claas Axion 800 tractor had its premiere and was introduced to the international press. However, it is only this week that the specifications of the four different models, which were not available at that time, have been revealed.

When the Axion 900 was introduced in 2011, Claas claimed to be presenting a new kind of design philosophy in tractor construction. The firm now says its Axion 800 has been designed and developed according to the same principles, with the first machines set to arrive on the market from 2014.

Like the Axion 900, the new Axion 800 has a long wheelbase with a weight distribution of 50pc at the front and 50pc at the rear and a compact design. To ensure that the tractor remains manoeuvrable despite its bulk, its front chassis also shares the 'wasp waist' shape of the Axion 900. The radiator package sits on the widest point of the front axle carrier, while the engine is mounted on a narrow oil pan integrated within the frame. Claas claims the advantage of this slender design is that it allows high steering angles and a small turning radius.

The design enables the use of front linkages with lifting forces of 3.5t or 5.6t without additional reinforcing struts. The rear linkage achieves an impressive maximum lifting capacity of 10.2t.

Operator comfort

Like the 900 series, the new Axion 800 series is equipped with a four-pillar cab and the Claas comfort concept with four-point cab mounting. Vibration damping for the lifting gear and front axle suspension is also used, thus providing improved operator comfort.

I sat into both the Axion 900 and 800 models and on inspection the similarity of the two tractor models in terms of design is obvious.

The cab on the 800 is not just located further towards the front, but is also larger and wider. Visibility is impressive. Thanks to a single-piece windscreen without cross-struts and a curved rear window, the driver has a clear view of the attached implements both to the front and rear.

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The new Axion 800 is the first Claas machine equipped with a Stage IV engine which meets all future exhaust treatment requirements.

This is achieved with a two-stage system consisting of a diesel oxidation catalytic converter, combined with an SCR catalytic converter.

With four models ranging in output from 200hp up to 270hp, the Axion 800 completes the Claas tractor range. In terms of the bigger picture, the Axion fits in between the lower powered Arion 500/600, which range from 145hp to 184hp, and the Axion 900 with 320hp right up to 410hp.

Claas says the new six-cylinder Fiat Powertrain engines have a 6.7-litre displacement and provide up to 8pc more torque than the predecessor model with a constant power range of up to 500rpm.

This means more torque and more power at a reduced rpm, and thus less fuel consumption. Another new feature of the Axion 800 is that the full engine power can be used at all times during any application and without limitation.

AUTOMATED

As a first step, the Axion 800 will initially be provided with the Hexashift gearbox, with six load levels and four automated groups, or with the Hexactiv power shift unit. It is expected that a Claas C-matic infinitely variable gearbox will follow in the future.

One of the key features for me is that the development team from Claas has come up with a new coupling system for the front pto transmission on the Axion 800.

If this pto is not required on a seasonal basis, the entire transmission can be decoupled from the engine. The background to this purely mechanical development is that the front pto transmission of a tractor is normally driven permanently by the engine but only used seasonally.

This means that the gears which rotate continuously in the transmission fluid require drive energy, even if the transmission is not under load.

By decoupling the transmission, Claas claims that a further 0.4 litres of diesel can be saved per hour. There are three power take-off shaft assemblies available for the Axion 800: 540/1000, 540/540 ECO/1000 and 540 ECO/1000/1000 ECO.

In terms of operation, the Axion 800 uses the tried-and-tested concept of the Arion 500/600, with Claas Information System (CIS) or Claas Electronic on-Board Information System (CEBIS) versions available.

CIS is the basic version with mechanical control units, thus making this version ideal for customers who require a tractor with few electronic controls. It is the version that will probably sell better in Ireland.

CEBIS version tractors are equipped with electronic control units, with the CEBIS terminal integrated into the armrest. The CEBIS version includes intelligent headland and implement management functions as well as comprehensive connection options for Isobus devices.

Many tractor and implement functions can now be operated via function keys in the armrest or using the Claas motion multifunction control lever.

All Axion 800 models are equipped with a load-sensing hydraulic system with a maximum efficiency of 110 or 150 litres/minute and up to seven control devices.

Irish Independent