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CLAAS announces upgrades to variable round balers

Published on 30 November 2016

CLAAS has unveiled its new VARIANT 400 series of variable round balers, which are due for release in New Zealand and Australia in 2017.

With significant improvements to its intake, crop flow, wrapping and maintenance systems, the balers are now even more powerful, reliable and easier to use when harvesting hay, silage and straw.

The VARIANT 485 produces 0.9–1.8 x 1.2 m bales, while the VARIANT 470 produces 0.9–1.55 x 1.2 m bales. Both are available with ROTO FEED or ROTO CUT cutterbar options.

CLAAS Greenline Group Product Manager, Luke Wheeler, says the two models feature a new star rotor structure that turns through 360 degrees instead of the current 180 degrees. “With 14 knives, the rotor achieves 6000 cuts per minute, ensuring material is evenly distributed into the bale chamber and helping to create uniformly-shaped bales,” he says. “This is a particular advantage when baling narrow swaths.”

A dual roller crop press developed for JAGUAR forage harvesters and QUADRANT square balers, is now also available for the pick-up. “The dual roller crop press is suspended and can be mechanically switched between four different settings without the use of tools,” Luke says. “It allows the intake to be quickly adjusted to suit different operating conditions and ensures a more uniform and faster crop flow, allowing higher operating speeds."

The PRO specification features an extra-large 2.35 m pick-up width with hydro-pneumatic suspension. “In these models, the cutting floor automatically drops when there is a risk of blockage, meaning that the baler can always be driven at its optimal level of performance,” Luke says.

The two oscillating castor guide wheels that steer the pick-up along the ground have been reinforced and can now be folded when using the XXL pick-up to reduce the transport width. The 400 series features edge-to-edge net wrapping as standard, as well as an overhauled netting or twine intake. “A new plate assists with the insertion of netting or twine into the baling chamber, which means that you can be sure that the tying process will start properly under all conditions,” Luke says. A new spiral roller ensures netting stretches from one corner of the bale to the other during the tying process.

VARIANT 400 can be specified with a wider 1.3 m netting trough that lays the netting over the edges of the bale. “Rounded edges are particularly useful if the bales are to be stored outside,” he says.

Other improvements include a reinforced front frame for low-wear belt guidance and the addition of a wide lubricating brush that coats all chains with oil, regardless of the bale count.

New models are also available with a central lubrication system. CLAAS has also redesigned the pivot of the tailgate for rapid discharge. “The tailgate can be opened and closed even more quickly, allowing bales to be discharged in less than six seconds,” Luke says.

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