VIDEO: Tractor of the Year arrives in Australia

By: Carene Chong, Video by: Guy Allen

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Claas’ new Axion 800 series tractors, which 260hp model Axion 850 was named 2014 Tractor of the Year, has arrived in Australia and made its public debut at the recent Henty Machinery Field Days.

Click here for full list of videos from the Henty Machinery Field Days 2014

According to Claas, the new four-model line-up which horsepower ranges from 200 to 270hp, fills an important gap between the Arion 500/600 series (145 to 184hp) and the Axion 900 series (280 to 400hp).

In addition to the 2014 Tractor of the Year award, Claas also snagged the Machine of the Year 2014 award presented at the Agritechnica international trade fair last year for the Axion 850.

Claas Harvest Centre Sales rep Adam Hayward says the Axion 800 tractors are larger than life machines with a long wheelbase that suits just about any farming application.

"You can see this machine doing everything from haymaking to ploughing and seeding… it’s for all aspects of agriculture really," he says.

The Claas Axion 810, 830, 840 and 850 tractors share the same design and technologies as its larger siblings in the Axion 900 series.

This includes the compact design with long wheelbase and ‘wasp waist’ front chassis for manoeuvrability.

The robust construction enables the use of front linkages with lifting forces of 3.5 or 5.6 tonnes without additional reinforcing struts.

Energy-efficient engines

According to Claas, the Axion 800 range is the first tractor series from the brand to comply with Stage IV (Tier 4) engine emissions standards.

All models are powered by a six-cylinder 6.7L Fiat Powertrain Technologies (FPT) engine.

According to Landpower (Claas’ Australian distributor) Tractor Specialist Michael Allan, the new engine provides up to eight per cent more torque than the previous model with a constant power range of up to 500 rpm.

"Put simply, this means more torque and more power at a reduced rpm and therefore less fuel consumption," he says.

Fuel saving feature

A new patented decoupling function for the front power take-off transmission can be found on the entire Claas Axion 800 line-up.

"Normally, the front PTO is driven permanently by the engine regardless of whether it is in use or not," Allan says.

"This means the gears rotate continuously in the transmission fluid, which requires drive energy, even if the transmission is not under load."

The decoupling function on the tractors enable the transmission to be shut off from the engine if the front PTO is not required for any length of time, thus achieving fuel savings of up to 0.4L per hour.

Claas adds recent tests conducted by leading German agricultural evaluation facility, DLG, confirmed the Axion 850 tractor to be the most efficient of all tractors in the 200 to 270hp category.

The model had an average fuel consumption of 248 g/kWh across all three measured categories, which are drawbar, drawbar plus PTO and mixed (drawbar plus PTO and hydraulics).

Powershift or CVT transmission

The new Axion tractors offer the same HEXASHIFT transmission found in the Arion 500/600 series or the optional CMATIC continuously variable transmission (CVT).

"HEXASHIFT really is about driving comfort, transferring engine power to the field or the road, efficiently and easily," Allan says.

"The operator can shift effortlessly through all six powershift speeds and the four automatic ranges using their fingertips or automatically."

On the other hand, the stepless CMATIC transmission has four mechanical ranges capable of delivering precise ground speeds from 50m/hour to 50km/h.

"The CMATIC transmission provides three driving models – automatic, drive stick or manual – all of which can be activated on the move."

Choice of controls

The Axion 800 range is configured with the Claas information System (CIS) as standard.

CIS features mechanical spools with two optional electronic spool valves and is ideal for customers who require a tractor with fewer electronic controls.

Operators who require greater control can opt for the Claas Electronic On-Board Information System (CEBIS), the same technology found in Lexion and Jaguar Harvesters and Xerion and Axion 900 high-horsepower tractors.

"CEBIS features up to six electronic spool valves and, most importantly, the CEBIS terminal with a 21cm screen incorporated into the armrest," Allan says.

"It enables operators to control all the key operating function via the integrated CMOTION multi-function lever."

Comfort factor

Claas’ Axion 800 tractors are equipped with a four-pillar cab, unique four-point cabin suspension, vibration damping for the lifting gear and front axle suspension, thus providing significantly improved operator comfort.

"The cab is not just located further towards the front, but is also larger and wider," Allan says.

"The single-piece windscreen and curved rear window offer unobstructed views, front and rear."

Other features include an air-suspended seat, fully-adjustable steering column and unrestricted all-round visibility.

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