With travel restrictions now more or less lifted, companies are once again feeling confident enough to invite the press abroad to view their latest machines, Claas being the latest to do so.

Most manufacturers have been doing their best to keep up over the last few years, innovation and development should never be allowed to lapse, and Claas has not been idle.

Consistent innovation and development

At the press launch there were no big surprises on the tractor front, indeed, they were hardly mentioned at all, apart from the Xerion which is celebrating 25 years of production this year.

Claas Xerion tractor
The Claas Xerion tractor celebrates 25 years of production in 2022

Claas is somewhat different from the other tractor makers in that it is a company which considers harvesting machinery as its core business, with tractor production as an important part of the mix, rather than central product line.

This has ensured that it stays at the head of the pack when it comes to combine and forage harvester design and production, although they are not all slow when it comes to tractors, the aforementioned Xerion being a case in point.

Lightweight mowers

Overall there was no new machines, the updates to the present range contained many improvements that will be appreciated.

The major forage item was a new set of plain mowers which are designed to be light in weight and easily managed by more compact high horsepower tractors, which do not share the same mass or wheelbase as six-cylinder models.

Disco mowers tractor
The new 9.9m mowers were mounted on a 155hp Arion 550, a somewhat optimistic combination for Irish conditions

At the top end of these three new mowers rests the Disco 1010 which has a novel method of packing itself away for transport.

Known as ‘vector folding’, the two mower beds are set back at a small angle when folded to ensure the overall height remains below 4m while keeping the centre of gravity as close to the tractor as possible.

Lexion range expanded

Switching to the harvesting of cereals there has been some movement within the Lexion range with various changes to engine ratings, a new cab and three new models at the 549hp mark.

These are the Lexion 8600, with or without Terra Trac, and the Montana 7700.

Claas has also looked at what digital technology can do for the combine harvester and has developed an additional feature to help with the automation of the combine’s settings.

Claas combine harvester germany
Changes to the Lexion range include the new Lexion 8600 Terra Trac

Up until now a harvester’s automated settings system has reacted to the crop as it enters the machine. Claas has gone a step further and its combines can now monitor the crop ahead of the table, before being cut.

By being able to assess the density of the crop and the ratio of straw to seed, the threshing process can be altered in anticipation of the crop arriving at the drum, rather than reacting to it.

Small but consistent steps forward

This is another incremental step in improving overall efficiency and demonstrates an apparent focus on using digital technology at machine level rather than filling the cloud with data that nobody really knows what to do with.

Claas event tractor 2022
Little was said about the tractor range, suggesting there may be some big news next year

Claas was also keen to emphasise its connection with family-run businesses, as it too is still very much owned and run by Cathrina Claas, who is very much hands on and provides the drive to take the company forward.

There were many other changes brought to our attention during the event and we will be returning to these over the next few days on Agriland.