CLAAS Harvest Centre has announced that demonstration models of the much-anticipated AXION 960 TERRA TRAC (445 hp) half-tracked tractor will be hard at work in Australia from early 2021, with commercial deliveries commencing later in the year.
Billed as the world’s first half-tracked tractors with full suspension, the AXION 960 TERRA TRAC (445 hp) and AXION 930 TERRA TRAC (355 hp) incorporate the proven tracked assembly technology utilised in the company’s industry-leading LEXION and JAGUAR grain and forage harvesters.
CLAAS Harvest Centre General Manager of Product, Tim Needham, says the ‘half-track’ tractor concept combines the benefits of tracked and wheeled machines. “In short, TERRA TRAC improves traction and reduces soil compaction, whilst still retaining the driving characteristics of a wheeled tractor,” he says.
“Combined with the front axle and unique four-point cab suspension already found on the AXION, this is arguably the most comfortable tractor on the market.”
Both models will be initially available with 635 mm (25”) or 735 mm (29”) track widths, with a 890 mm (35’’) option to be made available in the future. “With a total footprint of 3.87 square meters, the 890 mm track is 35 percent larger than a 900/60 R42 tyre, which equates to 15 percent more tractive power and a 50 percent reduction in ground pressure,” Tim says. “It is also worth noting that all four widths keep the external width of the tractor to less than three metres.”
The rear axle of the AXION has been substantially modified to accommodate the TERRA TRAC units, which in turn, have been modified to improve traction. “The size of the drive wheel has been increased to meet the specific power transfer needs of a tractor and to handle the high levels of torque,” Tim says.
“Likewise, the transmission inside the track unit has been strengthened to transmit higher torques. “Each assembly can pivot up to 23 degrees longitudinally. “Combined with its individually-suspended rollers, this allows each unit to maintain optimum ground contact in all soil conditions, terrain and operating speed.”
The tracks use a force-locking drive and are maintained at a higher tension for even pressure distribution. Specially-designed friction blocks on the drive wheel reliably transfer drive forces to the track belt and at the same time ensure thorough self-cleaning of the contact surfaces.
The continuously variable CMATIC transmission allows the tractors to be precisely operated at speeds anywhere from 50 m/h to 40 km/h.
An intelligent drive control system means the tracks are capable of performing tight turning manoeuvres, with steering assist activation making the turning circle as small as five metres. The driver can also adjust the tractor’s ground clearance by up to 12 cm via the CEBIS terminal. “This enables the operator is able to select the optimum height for the implement being used behind the tractor or increase ground clearance when baling or grain carting,” Tim says.
AXION 900 TERRA TRAC will be equipped with Stage V emissions standards compliant engines and can be fitted with the optional CEMOS machine optimisation and CTIC automatic tyre inflation systems.
Both TERRA TRAC models feature the super-efficient 8.7-litre Cursor 9 six-cylinder FPT engine. “There is no boost system, meaning full power is available for every task, if required,” Tim says.
“Peak torque of 1600 to 1860 Nm is achieved at just 1400 rpm and maximum power at 1800 rpm. “Full torque can be called up at all speeds, with top speed reached at 1400 rpm while the idling speed is just 650 rpm.”
Emission control is performed by a selective catalytic reduction and diesel particulate filter system with AdBlue injection and enlarged filter and reaction surfaces, eliminating the need for exhaust gas recirculation.
CEMOS is an award-winning operator assistance system that optimises machine and implement settings to maximise throughput or fuel efficiency. “This system is based on ‘dialogue’ with the driver,” Tim says.
“At the start of a job, the driver enters a range of information about operating conditions, such as soil humidity, soil type and working depth; machine data, such as tractor tyres and front, rear or wheel ballast; and implement data into the CEBIS touchscreen terminal. “The system actively explores the potential for improvement and passes on suggestions to the driver.
“The driver can either confirm the suggestions or instruct CEMOS to investigate alternative optimisation possibilities. “The system then recommends the best pressure for the front and rear tyres to reduce wheel slip, ground damage and diesel consumption. “This makes it possible to achieve intelligent dynamic internal tyre pressure adjustment in interaction with other parameters, such as ballast, and real-time performance data.” CLAAS claims the CEMOS system can significantly improve efficiency and throughput compared to manual adjustment of the tractor and implement settings.
The CEMOS machine optimisation system and factory-fitted tyre pressure control system, are both controlled via the 12” CEBIS monitor or CMOTION control lever. “With a maximum front and rear lifting capacity of 6.5 and 11 tonnes, respectively, and a hydraulic flow rate of 220 L/min, the AXION 900 TERRA TRAC continues to be one of the best lifters in its class,” Tim says.
The AXION 900 TERRA TRAC also offers the highest level of comfort during work and transport, thanks to the four-way cab suspension, active suspended driver’s seat and front axle suspension, as well as automatic load and brake compensation.
The wide, curved rear window gives the driver an excellent view of implements.
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