Claas Arion 530 CIS review | Top Tractor Shootout 2014 – Winner

By: Jaiden Drought

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Claas Arion 530 CIS 1 The Class felt very stable with a full bucket of sand, even on the rough paddocks experienced at Grasslandz. Claas Arion 530 CIS 1
Claas Arion 530 CIS linkage The five-pillar cab was a stand-out feature with a large glass area. Coupled with the four-point cab suspension, it was by far the smoothest ride of any tractor there. Claas Arion 530 CIS linkage
Claas Arion 530 CIS loader work The large bucket on the Stoll loader meant loading the 8-tonne trailer hardly took more than five buckets. Claas Arion 530 CIS loader work
Claas Arion 530 CIS operator seat Large passenger seat will be good for the kiddies, while the cooler box underneath the base will keep the Scooby snacks cold. Claas Arion 530 CIS operator seat
Claas Arion 530 CIS seat and controls The large comfortable seat and armrest controls made operating the Claas a dream. Claas Arion 530 CIS seat and controls
Claas Arion 530 CIS steering column The steering column folded well out of the way via a small cast pedal on the floor. Claas Arion 530 CIS steering column

After much deliberation, the judges of the 2014 Top Tractor Shoot Out named the Claas Arion 530 CIS the overall winner on the day, Jaiden Drought reports.

Full list of Top Tractor Shoot Out 2014 reviews

A new and improved model, the Claas Arion 530 CIS won the edge over its competitors with its classy cab, impressive suspension, operator comfort and ease of use — all for under $130,000. Whatever your area of farming, you won’t be disappointed by it.

First up on the morning of the Shoot Out, Claas Tractors Product Manager for New Zealand Dave Knowles was pretty excited to tell us about its improvements.

Main points for the Arion 530 CIS (with the Stoll loader in the Claas livery) were the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) engine, four-point cab suspension, and the new (and very stylish) five-pillar cab, which was a very comfortable place to be.



Build quality

Engine and Transmission

Cab and controls

Linkage and Hydraulics



Verdict and Awards




Claas -Arion -530-CIS_1

Most people would have had some experience with Claas harvesting equipment and would recognise it has a reputation of being well put together.

The Claas tractor is no different and the excellent build quality, combined with the new flared bonnet and refined cab, makes this the most comfortable of any of the test tractors.

Small touches, like the cast pedals, LED rear lights, and a large comfortable seat, highlight Claas has gone the extra mile.

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Claas is fitted with the EGR system which works in three steps.

 The first is the cooling and recirculation of exhaust gases. Second is the DOC (diesel oxidation catalytic converter), and third is the DPF (diesel particulate filter), which periodically burns itself clean through the regeneration system.

Regeneration of DPF filters consumes between one and two litres of fuel and Claas estimates the unit needs to be swapped anywhere between 3,500 and 7,000 hours, depending on the workload (the harder they work, the longer you will get from a filter).

The DPF filter on the Claas needs to regenerate at around 130 hours. This takes place automatically, the revs will increase slightly, and a little symbol appears on the dash to let you know it is taking place.

Part of the reason for the new large bonnet is to contain the increased cooling packs. These help to keep the EGR system cool, with a massive 35 per cent increase in cooling capacity, as it’s no secret they generate a lot of heat.

All this has been developed to meet Stage Three B emissions standards. Another handy inclusion is the use of a new variable geometry turbo, a tweaked common-rail system which operates at 2,000 bar.

Claas has done away with the ‘boost’, citing customers’ desire to have the power available to them all the time.

Claas has the Hexashift transmission, which offers four ranges with six powershift gears in each range.

One of the problems with the previous models was the delay between the ranges but the new models have this sped up sowe couldn’t fault the transmission at all.

A new feature is the last forward or reverse gear is automatically saved — so when loading a wagon, for example, a forward speed of 6km/h (B6) and a reverse speed of 4km/h (B4) can be selected so you don’t have to continually change up and down gears.

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Claas -Arion -530-CIS_seat -and -controls

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more comfortable option than the Claas, with its four-post cab suspension and optional independent front suspension combining to form one of the most comfortable tractors around.

The 530 we judged didn’t have the front suspension option, although the cab suspension and boom suspension on the Stoll loader fitted proved to be more than ample in the comfort department.

Another feature we really liked was the five-pillar cab design, which allows the size of the main entry/exit door to be reduced and makes it easier to open and close — particularly in the wind.

A new feature of the cab is the larger back window, which meant rear visibility of implements was very good.

The steering column and dash all fold up and out of the way as one piece, by using a cast-iron foot pedal matching the heavy duty cast clutch and brake pedals as well.

The large comfortable instructor seat will keep the kiddies happy when riding with mum or dad in the tractor and, better still, the base folds as storage and the air-conditioner cooler box has room for a couple of two 1.5-litre bottles and some Scooby snacks for the long days.

Overall the cab was very pleasant, light, and comfortable with loads of adjustment for individual drivers.

The comfort of the cab suspension and the electric joystick for the loader, plus a mixture of electronic and manual adjustments, made the Claas a clear winner in the Best Cab category.

The main tractor functions are mounted on the armrest for convenience.

Regarding the power take-off (PTO), Claas has gone away from the manual levers with the engagement and speed selection now done via the push-button approach. Four-speed PTO on this size machine is generous and is also fitted with the soft-start feature, making engagement using the auto PTO function very comfortable when on the power harrow.

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Thankfully the linkage has been made much easier to fire up and is now also fitted with a damper and lock switches for on the road. The depth control wheel is in a comfortable position, sitting at the front end of the armrest.

Lift capacity of 6.5 tonnes in the rear will prove to be more than ample and there was plenty of room to work between the tractor and machine when hitching implements.

Main rear linkage functions are directly accessed via push-buttons and dials in the right-hand back cab pillar, with the transport lock, shock absorber on/off, height limiter, drop speed etc. all clustered neatly together.

The electronic pilot joystick was the best of any loader controls tested over the two days and, depending on the set-up, can also be switched off to give you two electric rear remotes.

Time and flow control options can be timed into the headland management system. Handy features also include a 100 litres per minute flow rate and load-sensing hydraulics as standard, as well as pressure relief levers on the rear meaning the operator doesn’t have to climb in and out of the cab frequently.

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Claas -Arion -530-CIS_loader -work

The Claas handled the power harrow comfortably, mainly due to the tractor having the highest rated horsepower of all six tractors, but the main point of the power harrow was not only to see how the tractor performed, but how easy it was to set up and operate.

Hitching was easily taken care of with the external hitch controller on the mudguard and easy-to-adjust stabiliser arms. The slightly-increased wheelbase on the new model meant the tractor’s balance didn’t change with the harrow on the back, and even with the heavy packer roller always felt well planted.

The operation was a breeze, with the raise and lower linkage buttons and two programmable engine speed buttons located on the armrest.

The auto PTO was very simple to activate, with linkage height limiter and push-button PTO controls all located on the rear right-hand pillar.

Given the simplicity of the controls, combined with the programmable engine settings, we felt this was the most user-friendly on the power harrow and performed faultlessly.

With the increased wheelbase this machine felt very stable fully laden and, combined with the fact it was the only tractor fitted with an electronic pilot joystick, we felt the Claas the most enjoyable to drive for loader work.

The electronic joystick is an optional extra, fitted along with mid-mount hydraulics, so the system can be plumbed into the CIS armrest. The fact this is a factory option means the system is neatly tailored in.

Also on the joystick are two buttons for the third and fourth service on the loader and, in this particular case, the Claas had the fourth service plumbed in as a hydraulic quick-hitch.

Overall, the machine felt very stable and smooth to operate. The only downside was the large bonnet somewhat obstructing low forward visibility.

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The 246-litre fuel tank was the biggest of any tractor on the day.

The combination of three pre-filters before the fuel gets to the common-rail engine should help keep the moths out of the fuel lines.

Five hundred hour service intervals for the engine and 1,000-hour for transmission and hydraulics are now standard, and for day-to-day operation the left-hand step opens up with a place for a good-size toolbox, the battery slides out for easy access, and it all stows away neatly out of the dust.

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Three points of innovation on the Claas Arion 530 CIS stuck out for us:

  • Cab suspension. Claas is the only manufacturer to offer four-point sprung suspension and although this is not new on its tractors, it was light years ahead of the others on the day.
  • Three-fuel-filter strategy for cleaning the diesel before it gets to the engine.
  • Full dish front rims (and dynamic guards) which eliminate cracking of the rims and centre dish caused by repetitive loader work.

That in addition to the large cab, 145hp, electronic joystick, hydraulic quick-hitch, 24 speed changes without using the clutch etc makes us very impressed with the value for money this tractor represented.

Even though the ground was so rough, the spacious cab and smooth suspension made the machine a pleasure to drive.

As they say, ‘the proof is in the pudding’, as we all fought to take it back to the Claas stand for one last drive.

Top Tractor Shoot Out 2014 Awards Won:


Best Cab Layout

Best Transmission (shared with Valtra N113)

Best User Friendliness

Best Suspension

Top Tractor Shoot Out 2014 Winner


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Make/model: Claas Arion 530 CIS

Engine: DPS 4 cylinder turbocharged with intercooler

Max. output: 145hp (106.7kW)

PTO: Dyno hp

Transmission: Hexashift 24x24

Number of powershift: Six speeds, four ranges

Hydraulic flow: 110 litres per minute load sensing

Rear lift capacity: 6,500kg

Fuel tank capacity: 246 litres

Service intervals: 500hr engine / 1,000hr transmission

Price as tested (incl loader): $129,995

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For the full test report, get a copy of NewFarmMachinery magazine issue 11, on-sale July 14. Subscribe to the magazine to never miss an issue.


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