Farm machinery maker Claas is celebrating having made 150,000 tractors since it bought the Renault brand in 2003.
The six-model series encompasses 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 140hp respectively. The 440 and 460 are configured to meet Tier 4 Final emission regulations, which is achieved with the use of SCR.
Made at the company’s Le Mans plant in France the new 400s use a four-cylinder, 4.5L Fiat Power Train (FPT) engine, so removing the need for exhaust gas recirculation for emission controls. A huge improvement to the layout of the cooling package and forward mounting allows easy access to all the machines’ radiators and the air cleaner.
The Quadrashift, semi-powershift transmission comprises four ranges and four powershift steps to deliver 16 forward and 16 reverse speeds. It also features the Quadactiv function that allows fully automatic shifting of all speeds, alongside field and transport modes. To complement this set-up, the Revershift function gives clutch-less forward or reverse shifts via the column mounted shuttle lever or multi-function controller.
Another useful inclusion is SmartStop, a function that stops the tractor at speeds up to 9km/h 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 the rear a GIMA rear axle has lift capacity of 5750kg with the aid of twin lift rams and 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.
Hydraulics are delivered via a tandem open-centre set-up in which one pump delivers 60L/min to the hydraulic vales 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, plus two mid-mount valves dedicated for loader use and controlled by the ElectroPilot system.
The jewel in the crown, the Panoramic cab, gives unrivalled forward and upward views that make the tractor ideal for loader operations.
The view throughout the arc of the MX-sourced FL120 loader is unsurpassed and, although lots of glass and laminate are used, the six-post structure still meets all ROPS and FOPS safety regulations.
When the rig is not being used for loader duties, a clever sliding roof screen can be moved into place, as well as a folding sunscreen.
The cab has a rear-mounted 2-point suspension system working with a solid front axle. A load bearing sump assembly removes the need for chassis rails, allowing a ‘wasp-waist’ that makes for tighter turns, and 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 get the operator comfortable, while the multi-function lever to the right takes care of all key functions including powershifts, range changes, loader operation, engine memories and rear linkage, while the CIS display at the front A-pillar gives a clear view of essential tractor information.
The new Arion 400 series raises the bar in loader tractors in the all-important 100-140hp sector, with the Panoramic roof clearly in a league of its own.