If last weeks topic—Gleaner’s new
transverse rotaries, in case you didn’t read it—wasn’t enough to
satisfy your desire to see new combines. Here are some more for you
to look at it. Claas has just unveiled its new, 700 Series Lexions.
Claas has five models available for
2011 in its new 700 Series Lexion combine line up.
Along with the introduction of these
new machines, Claas is also working to make its name more familiar to
U.S. and Canadian farmers. The partnership it had with Caterpillar
that launched the Lexion line on this continent has officially been
dissolved, and Claas has assumed sole responsibility for servicing
the North American market.
But Caterpillar dealers will still be
the primary retailers of these combines. And Caterpillar, itself,
will continue to maintain a working relationship with Claas; it will
still supply some of the parts that get bolted onto every Lexion
chassis in the Omaha , Nebraska, assembly plant. That includes the
Accert C9 and C13 Accert engines.
Farm journalists were given a preview
of the new machines at a ceremony at the Lewis and Clark Landing on
the banks of the Missouri River in Omaha a few weeks ago. That choice
of locations was symbolic. Just like those two infamous explorers who
opened up the American midwest, Claas has been gradually opening up a
new market for its equipment on this continent.
And the new 700 Series machines seem to
represent, in part, another step in that exploration and development.
Gone are the large Cat decals that once dominated the side panels of
these machines, replaced by the Claas name. The Lexions will,
however, continue to wear Caterpillar yellow paint, rather than
Claas’ standard green and white. One step at a time, it seems.
Aside from the Lexions, the company
only offers North American farmers a limited line of forage equipment
and its specialty Xerion tractors. Will we soon see the company’s
full line of equipment available here? “It would be nice to offer
our dealers a full line of equipment,” commented one marketing rep
when asked. But no one from the company was willing to speculate on
if or when that will happen. Getting a support network in place for
such a move would be a very large undertaking.
For now, at least, the company is busy
proving itself to farmers with that selected offering of machines,
including the Lexions. Becoming a household name takes time.
But the real story here is the
combines, themselves. They represent a significant redesign over the
previous 500 Series. The 700s use a hybrid design: a conventional
threshing cylinder matched with dual rotors. Another model, the 670,
is available with straw walkers instead of rotors for those who want
to leave straw in good condition for baling.
The five machines that make up the 700
Series line range from the 730, a class 6, to a giant Class 10, 770
model. But, strictly speaking, class 10 doesn’t exist yet. The
current rating system only goes to class 9. However when class 10 is
added, that is where the 770 will fit in.
The new combines have an updated cab,
which offers more room. Enough, in fact, for a full-sized buddy seat,
not the child-sized versions most passengers had to squeeze into
before. Also inside them is a new version of Claas’ CEBIS electronic
system. And the 700s use a pre-separation cylinder that threshes
about 30 percent of the grain before it even enters the main
If you’d rather run on tracks than
tires, the new TERRA TRAC system is capable of a record-breaking 40
k.p.h. transport speed. And they offer an adjustable suspension
The brand new TERRA TRAC system
offers adjustable suspension.
The 700s can be matched with new header
options; and at the rear, the PRO CHOP spreader can distribute straw
and chaff across a full 40-foot cut.
For more on the new Lexions, keep an
eye out for a full report in an upcoming issue of Grainews.
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