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Claas Xerion tractor’s turning cab turns heads

Farmers at the Farm Progress Show in Iowa gathered to watch Claas 
show off the spinning cab on its Xerion tractor

While many Canadians have only recently seen Claas’ Xerion tractor for the first time, Drew Fletcher, Claas’ product manager, tractors, says it’s not a new machine. Claas has been manufacturing Xerion tractors at its headquarters at Harsewinkel, Germany for quite a while. “We’ve had it about 10 years in a full-line manufacturing system.”

In the past, Claas has sold a few smaller horsepower units in Western Canada. Fletcher said, “That was the old version. The small little version. That’s just not enough horse power for you guys up in Western Canada.”

The Xerion changes that. It’s available in three power levels: the 5000 with 530 hp, the 4500 with 435 hp and the 4000 with 435 hp.

Drew Fletcher Claas tractor product manager

Drew Fletcher, Claas product manager, said that tractor ladders in Europe are more vertical. “Here in North America we like easy access and we’re in and out quite a bit.”
photo: Leeann Minogue

“This is the first one in the 500 horsepower mark,” Fletcher said. “It’s Tier 4 compliant. We’ve had it in tests in North America for about three years.”

The Xerion has a CVT, a continuously variable transmission. “It’s the only one with it in this horsepower class,” Fletcher said. “All the rest of them are powershift or partial powershift.” Claas’ brochure says this feature allows precise speed control and maximizes fuel efficiency

On the 4500 and 4000 models, 31 m.p.h. travel speed is standard, to save time during transport. This is optional in the 5000.

Fully turning cab

tractor cab

The cab of the Xerion turns right around for better rearward visibility. The operation takes about 30 seconds.
photo: Leeann Minogue

What makes the Xerion stand out is its fully-turning cab.

“It’s the same cab that we share with the Jags and the Lexions,” he said, referring to Claas’ Jaguar forage harvesters line and line of combines. “But the thing about this cab is it lifts up and spins around and sits back down,” Fletcher said. His demonstration of this feature drew crowds at the Iowa Farm Progress Show.

One use Fletcher suggested for this feature: “Guys up in Western Canada that also contract snow removal out in the oil patch, can put an 18- or 20-foot snowblower on that thing.”

If you have a front-mounted blade, he said, “you can take that blade, put it on the three-point hitch (standard on the Xerion), spin your cab around, and that puts you right over the edge of the blade so your visibility is fantastic.”

Hydraulic reversing fan

“The hydraulic reversing fan is standard,” Fletcher said. This provides reverse blow out of the radiator. For air seeder operations, Fletcher said, “at the push of a button, it blows all the chaff back off so you don’t have to stop each hour and blow it out.

“It also has on-board air with an air hose that comes around so you can air up tires and blow stuff up.”

Modifications for the North American Market

“We’ve done a lot of things to change the European standard for North America, including putting duals on it, because in Europe, that’s a no-no,” Fletcher said.

axle pinion

Changing to duals for the North American market meant adding another pinion to the axle.
photo: Leeann Minogue

“You’ll notice that those axles have got five pinions.” In Europe, they have four. “We had to go to a much larger diameter so that we can take the extra torque loads and strain of putting duals on. We also had to put a dual steering cylinder up front.”

The Xerion, Fletcher said, “is not a bend-in-the-middle tractor. It’s a rigid frame with four-wheel steer.”

There were also other changes for the North American market. Due to width restrictions in Europe, “their ladder was basically straight up and down.”

Changes were needed to make sure the Xerion could handle double shoot air seeders. European hydraulic systems didn’t have enough flow for western Canadian needs. For North America, “I had them redesign the hydraulic system and piggyback two pumps together.” The North American Xerion can be ordered with three separate hydraulic systems. All totalled, the combined flow rate is about 138 gallons per minute, more than the 117 in European models.

And further detailed changes were necessary. “Lighting changes, safety systems, all that legislative-type stuff too,” Fletcher said.

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