Saturday, 31 March 2018 08:55

Room with a great view

Written by  Mark Daniel
Claas Arion 400 series. Claas Arion 400 series.

The dictionary defines ‘panoramic’ as “an unbroken view of the surrounding region”, so the new Claas Arion 400 series tractors should be worth a closer look.

The six-model series has machines from 90 to 140hp, but the New Zealand market will see the existing Tier 3, 420 and 430 models continuing, and supplemented by the new 440 and 460 Premium models, delivering 120 and 140 hp respectively. 

The 440 and 460 are configured to meet Tier 4 Final emission regulations, achieved with the use of SCR.

Built at the company’s Le Mans plant in France, the new 400s are powered by four-cylinder, 4.5L Fiat Power Train (FPT) engines with no need for exhaust gas recirculation for emission control. 

A huge improvement to the layout of the cooling package, and forward mounting, allow easy access to all the machines’ radiators and air cleaners.

The Quadrashift semi-powershift transmission has four ranges and four powershift steps to deliver 16 forward and 16 reverse speeds, and it has the Quadactiv function that allows fully automatic shifting of all speeds, alongside field and transport modes. To complement this set-up, the Revershift function enables clutch-less forward or reverse shifts via a column-mounted shuttle lever or multi-function controller. 

Also useful is the SmartStop function which at speeds less than 9km/h brings the tractor to a stop by pressing the brake pedal, which in turn cuts the drive. Lifting the foot off the brake reinstates drive and the tractor moves off.

At rear, a GIMA axle has a lift capacity of 5750kg with the aid of twin lift rams, and offers 540, 540E and 1000 PTO speeds. Diff lock function sees 100% locking to the rear and LSD to the front axle with automation via speed or linkage position. 

The hydraulics have a tandem open-centre set-up with one pump delivering 60L/min to the hydraulic valves and the other 40L/min to the rear linkage. Locking both pumps together creates a combined flow of 100L/min for high-speed loader operations. Three rear remotes are fitted as standard, alongside two mid mount valves dedicated for loader use and controlled by the ElectroPilot system.

The jewel in the crown, the Panoramic cab, allows unrivalled forward and upward views that make the tractor ideal for loader operations. The view through the arc of the MX-sourced FL120 loader is unsurpassed, and although large areas of glass and laminate are used, the 6-post structure still meets all ROPS and FOPS safety regulations. 

When not being used for loader duties, a clever sliding roof screen can be moved into place, and a folding sunscreen. The cab has rear mounted 2-point suspension working in combination with a solid front axle. 

A load bearing sump assembly removes the need for chassis rails, and the resulting ‘wasp waist’ allows tighter turns, making loader fitment easier with the use of cast towers.

In the cab, the obligatory air suspension seat works with the tilt and telescope steering column to make the operator comfortable, and a multi-function lever to the right takes care of all key functions including powershifts, range changes, loader operation, engine memories and rear linkage. A CIS display at the front A-pillar gives a clear view of essential tractor information.

Looking at the complete package, the New Arion 400 series raises the bar in loader tractors in the all-important 100-140hp sector, with the Panoramic roof putting it clearly in a league of its own.


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