German ag equipment manufacturer Claas has been steadily growing its presence in Canada and the United States for several years now. The yellow paint scheme once used on its combines sold here was the result of a joint marketing partnership between Claas and Caterpillar. However, the companies parted ways a long time ago, and Claas is now finding its own way in the North American ag equipment market. That’s the reason Claas equipment now sports the brand’s traditional green and white look. This summer, the brand once again added to its North American offerings.
In June, Claas announced the introduction of the new 6000 series straw-walker combines, which include two models — the Class 7, 6800, and Class 8, 6900. The brand says the 6000 series are “redesigned and redeveloped from the ground up.” These two machines offer a 25 per cent capacity improvement over the brand’s previous walker model, the 670. These models are intended to appeal to those looking for improved straw quality. Claas claims they leave an extremely high percentage of long, baleable straw.
The 6000 series redesign has gone through 6,000 hours of field testing over eight years in 10 different countries to encounter a pretty wide range of crop conditions.
Both models use the brand’s new APS Synflow Walker threshing and separating system. An accelerator drum speeds up crop flow through the machine and feeds it more evenly through the main threshing cylinder. The brand claims the APS system forces material to flow through the straightest path of any machine on the market. It enters the machine through a 67-inch-wide feederhouse and maintains that mat width right through to the chopper.
The system also uses an additional separator drum behind the main threshing cylinder. And the threshing cylinder diameter has been increased to 30 inches (from 24 on the previous 670 model) to improve centrifugal force. The concave has 132 degrees of wrap around it to maximize threshing efficiency. Overall, the combines’ total threshing area has been increased by 20 per cent.
The cleaning system uses the new Jet Stream airflow system, which improves airflow to reduce the amount of material loading on the sieve.
To make changeover between crops easier, there is in-cab control of the dual-range threshing gearbox and hydraulic concave setting. Also, the operator is able to make more precise on-the-go machine settings than was previously possible, which helps minimize losses.
Automatic self-adjustment capability
However, while operators now get more precise input options, the real news in combines lately is in automatic self-adjustment capability. Those systems keep settings at the optimum level without operator input, reducing — or eliminating — the need for an experienced operator. And Class is prepared to have the 6800 and 6900 compete with the best in this area, too. The brand introduced its Cemos automatic combine adjustment all the way back in 2013, and the latest version is at the heart of the efficiency of these new models. The “self-learning” system automatically tests alternate thresher settings on the go to determine the best one to use as conditions change throughout the day.
The 6800 and 6900 both come with a standard 385-bushel hopper, which can be upgraded to 435 bushels. The 18-inch unloading auger hits an impressive 5.1 bushels per second. Operators can slow that down when needed for things like topping up loads on the grain cart.
For power, the 6900 gets a 12.8-litre, six-cylinder MAN diesel rated at 466 horsepower. The smaller 6800 gets a 10.7-litre Mercedes-Benz OM 470 LA rated at 402. The dynamic cooling system pulls clean air from above the combine through the radiator, pressurizing the engine compartment and vents down the panels along the side of the combine, providing a “curtain effect” that minimizes dust accumulation around the entire machine. This extends regular air filter servicing intervals by up to two weeks; and the cooling fan runs at full speed only when required, reducing power demands by up to 20 horsepower.
The engines’ Dynamic Power management system allows for a fuel consumption reduction of up to 10 per cent when the combines are not running at peak loads.
To get machines into the field sooner each day, an automatic system distributes grease to 74 lubrication points, which reduces the time required for daily servicing by up to half.
If traction or soil compaction is a concern, both combine models can be ordered in a Terra Trac version, which uses Claas’ rubber track modules instead of tires on the drive axle. The 35-inch-wide belts ride on the brand’s hydropneumatic suspension system. The Terra Trac doesn’t slow the combines down either, it allows for the same 40 kilometre per hour road speed as the wheeled models.
Inside the cab, the control arrangement and features are similar to what Claas uses on the 7000 and 8000 series models.
Both 6000 series combines will be available for the 2021 harvest season. According to Torey Hadland, Claas’ regional sales manager for Canada, approximate MSRP for the 6800 will be $500,000 and the 6900 will come in right around $550,000.