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CLAAS Release First Half-Track Tractor Models
Published on 12 December 2019
CLAAS has announced the commercial release of the world’s first half-tracked tractors with full suspension, the AXION 960 TERRA TRAC (445 hp) and AXION 930 TERRA TRAC (355 hp).
Unveiled as concepts at Agritechnica two years ago, the two new models incorporate the proven tracked assemblies 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 broadacre tractor on the market.”
The AXION 900 TERRA TRAC is available with 457 mm (18”), 635 mm (25”), 735 mm (29”) and 890 mm (35”) track widths.
“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. It is also worth noting that all four widths keep the external width of the tractor to less than three metres,” Tim says.
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 crawler tracks 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 low speeds, or at the other end of the scale, up to 40 km/h on the road.
An intelligent drive control system means the tracks are capable of performing tight turning manoeuvres. The driver can activate three levels of steering assistance or 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.
The AXION TERRA TRAC has an operating weight of 16.5 t and a maximum gross weight of 22 t, giving it a load capacity of 5.5 t. CLAAS has also modified the design and position of the 860 litre fuel tank.
The CLASS API system is expected to be available in New Zealand and Australia within two years.