Claas upgrades Variant 400 round baler models

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More power and improvements to the intake, crop flow and wrapping have been added to Claas’ new Variant 400 variable-chamber round baler models.

The Class Variant 400 series features 360 degree rotor star structure

Claas announced the pair of new balers this week, saying the range is reliable and easy to maintain when baling hay, straw, or silage.

The models are the Variant 485, which produces bales at 0.9-1.8 diameter x 1.2m, and the Variant 460, which produced bales sized at 0.9-1.55m diameter x 1.2m.

Changes to the rotor structure, which comprise four pointed stars arranged in a helix, mean both models can turn a full 360 degrees – an improvement over the previous 180-degree range - before feeding the crop into the chamber.

Claas Harvest Centre product manager – Greenline Blair McAlwee says the rotor achieves 6000 cuts per minute, helping to ensure material is evenly distributed into the bale chamber to created uniformly-shaped bales.

"The rotor rotates in the opposite direction to the four hydraulically-tensioned endless belts, which start rolling the bale automatically," he says.

"The operator can control the density and the soft core from the terminal."

Both variable-chamber round balers feature two castor wheels, which can be adjusted without tools and can stay with the machine during transportation. The pick-up has four rows of tines across its 2.1m operating width.

To optimise crop flow, the angle of the leading roller can also be adjusted without tools, while short augers on either side direct the crop to the rotor. Optional dual roller crop press, initially developed by Claas for Jaguar forage harvesters and Quadrant square balers, is available. 

Another optional extra on the round baler models is Claas’ Roto Cut cutter bar which includes 14 knives which can be removed easily for sharpening. 

"The dual roller crop press is suspended and can be mechanically switched between four different settings without the use of tools," McAlwee 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.

"In these models, the cutting floor automatically drops 30mm when there is a risk of blockage, meaning that the baler can always be driven at its optimal level of performance.

"The terminal issues an alarm to warn the operator to reduce forward speed and releases the pressure on the knives," he adds.

"Once the floor has slipped back into place, the knives are pressurised again."

Other standard features of the 400 series balers include edge-to-edge net wrapping and an overhauled netting or twine intake. 

The Variant 485 and 460 balers incorporate edge-to-edge net wrapping and ability to take 1.3 netting standard

A reinforced front frame for low-wear belt guidance and the new chain-lubricating brush are included. A central lubrication system is also available.  

"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," McAlwee says.

"Vairant 400 models are specified with a wider 1.3m netting trough that lays the netting over the edge of the bale. Rounded edges are particularly useful if the bales are to be stored outside."

Claas has changed the pivot of the tailgate, meaning it can be opened and closed in six seconds and a total time, including bale discharge, of nine seconds. 

The balers can be controlled via the Communicator II terminal or through other Isobus-compatible terminals. 

Drive chains, automatic oiler and optional auto lubrication systems are located on the left side of the machine while the hydraulics, electrics, net applicator, and shelving for two spare rolls of netting are located on the right-hand side. 

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