Super Versatile Tractor has a Bag of Tricks
Ambrose Doolan | Doolan's Precision Seeding
Coonabarabran district farmer, Ambrose Doolan, says he is genuinely impressed with the efficiency, versatility and comfort of his new CLAAS AXION 950 advanced technology tractor.
Ambrose and Lisa Doolan run more than 1000 registered and commercial Angus cows and 1000 ha of cropping across several owned and leased properties based around ‘Toorawandi’. They purchased their first CLAAS tractor, a 145 horsepower ARION 530 ‘utility’ tractor, in 2017. Comfort was a motivating factor, with the ARION boasting four-way cab suspension, a suspended driver’s seat and automatic load and brake compensation.
“It was a big step up from what we were used to,”.
“Lisa had refused to drive our old tractor because it was so uncomfortable.”
Based on that experience, Ambrose had no hesitation in selecting a CLAAS AXION 950 the following year when it came time to replace his cropping tractor. "Again, we were looking for a new tractor to replace our existing tractor, ideally something that was more efficient and more comfortable,” he says.
“The AXION offered another 70 horsepower and we were confident it would have the same comfort as our ARION.”
Like all CLAAS tractors, it features a long wheelbase and a low centre of gravity for greater stability, equal weight distribution over the front and rear axles for greater traction and a compact shape and narrow waist for maximum manoeuvrability. The super-efficient 8.7 litre six-cylinder FPT engine delivers 410 horsepower and an impressive 1650 Nm torque at just 1400 rpm.
There is no boost system, meaning full power is available at all times. This is combined with a continuously variable transmission, which seamlessly transfers full engine torque without any reduction in performance, even at low speeds. “We immediately noticed a significant increase in fuel efficiency,” Ambrose says.
“We were using less fuel even though we were working faster and the days went a lot quicker because it was more comfortable.
“There is always ample power – it takes a lot to get a sweat out of it. So, all of that is more productivity at less cost.”
The Doolans have since taken delivery of a new AXION 950, this time configured with front and rear linkages, six high-flow hydraulic circuits and wide front and rear tyres. “Our old AXION only had 2000 hours on it but O’Briens Machinery in Scone made us an offer on a new model that we couldn’t refuse,” Ambrose says.
“We took the opportunity to get front linkages, which means we can use a front fertiliser hopper with our Väderstad Tempo planter, and six hydraulic circuits so we can run our Väderstad Rapid cultivator-planter.
“It comes down to how many hats does your tractor have to wear and then tooling it up accordingly. We also increased the size of the tyres to 900 mm rear and 710 mm front so we can get all of that power to the ground without dual wheels.”
The AXION is controlled via the CEBIS operating system, which features a multi-function control lever and 10” touchscreen display in the right-hand armrest. “The last AXION was good – this one is even better,” Ambrose says.
“What I really like about this tractor is its versatility. Most 400 horsepower tractors are one-trick pony that pulls something, whereas we can and do use this for everything – seeding, spreading, slashing, feeding out and harvesting.”
To learn more, view and compare specs across the entire range of CLAAS AXION Tractors, click here.