Bigger crops along with the need to reduce labor needs have long been a driving force for larger equipment. Claas has been leading that charge with its combine line since it launched the first Class VIII machine back in 2004; followed by the first Class IX machine. Now comes the Class X, top end of the new 700-Series line rolled out in time for the fall farm shows.
While the Big 770 will get a lot of attention, the new Lexion combine line offers a host of other features that'll get attention of combine buyers no matter what size you're seeking. The line includes five 700-model machines, along with the 670 straw walker model.
First thing you may notice when you see the machines is that the look definitely says Claas. While Caterpillar dealers are an important part of the marketing and support for these machines, the new combines definitely say Lexion is a Claas machine. The company could only use the Cat branding for a few years after the two parted ways a few years ago.
Second, is the cab which is big. The roomy operator station gives you easy access to the Cebis control system - long a Lexion staple - that's been upgraded in the new line. In addition, Lexion has teamed with Ag Leader and has integrated that technology into the combine - so users can upgrade to the latest in precision ag technology and auto-steering capabilities easily.
In addition, Lexion is adding telematic capabilities that will allow you to manage and monitor machines remotely. That system can also help dealer support machines since the telematic system can report equipment issues and dealers can alert farmers in case action is needed.
Finally, you'll see enhanced heads for this machine including a new draper header with an aggressive material handling design aimed at bringing in the biggest crops.
Fast mover and more
Lexion has always offered track machines in and the Terra Trac system is further improved for the 700 series line. This third-generation system has two hydraulic dampening cylinders and the ability to flex over varied terrain. In the latest design, that hydraulic system is built into the track (when first introduced it was an outboard system).
Those are great benefits, and on the 750, Claas has ramped up those improvements for an interesting feature. "With the 750 we have the ability to go 25 miles per hour," says Bob Armstrong, marketing director, Claas. "Actually, that's 24.9 miles per hour." He notes that the rising need to move equipment longer distance as farms grow was what drove Claas to push the speed envelope for that Class VIII machine.
The five-machine 700 series line - with the company's APS Hybrid System threshing setup combines the accelerated preseparation - or APS - with the Roto-plus axial system to clean the crop.
Picking your combine class
Now ranging from Class VI to Class X the Lexion line can currently lay claim to being the widest ranging choice of harvesters. Grain tank sizes range from 280 for the 670 straw walker model to 360 for the top end 770.
Here's a quick rundown of the models and key features - to figure out the class for the machine just add three to the middle model number. For example, the 730 is a Class VI machine - 3 plus 3 is 6.
- 730 - Power comes from a Caterpillar C9 inline-six cylinder diesel with 311 horsepower. Grain tank size is 300 bushels.
- 740 - Caterpillar C9 engine, 350 hp. Grain tank at 300 bushels.
- 750 - Caterpillar C13 inline-six cylinder engine, 425 hp. Grain tank at 330 bushels. This model also features the option (with the Terra Trac system) to move at road speeds up to 25 miles per hour.
- 760 - Caterpillar C13 engine, 462 hp. Grain tank is 360 bushels.
- 770 - Mercedes Benz OM 502 LA V8 diesel, 523 hp engine. Grain tank size is 360 bushels. This is a Class X machine, the largest available to the market today.
New draper head
The new machines get a host of new header options. One that will catch the eye of many small-grain producers is the MAXFLO draper header. Draper headers are becoming very popular and a competitive point in the harvest market as well.
This Claas entry features a new intake system that uses intake augers rather than the traditional center-feed belt. Compression augers are mounted laterally onto the intake auger, which the company says provides a natural flow into the feeder housing.
The new draper head is available in 35- and 40-foot widths.
Of course there are new corn heads as well - both are chopping models. There's the 18-row, 20-inch chopping head and the 12-row, 22-inch model. Claas can lay claim to being the first with a 16-row head, the 18-row just expands the line.
You can learn more about these combines by visiting ClaasofAmerica.com.