Thursday, 30 January 2020 11:23

World’s first half-track tractors unveiled

Written by  Mark Daniel
The Axion 900 Terra Trac in action. The Axion 900 Terra Trac in action.

Claas has announced the commercial release of the world’s first half-tracked tractors with full suspension.

The tractors are the AXION 960 TERRA TRAC (445 hp) and AXION 930 TERRA TRAC (355 hp).

Unveiled as concepts two years ago, these new models incorporate the proven tracked assemblies utilised in the company’s LEXION and JAGUAR grain and forage harvesters.

Said to incorporate the benefits of tracked and wheeled machines, TERRA TRAC improves traction and reduces soil compaction, while still retaining the driving characteristics of a wheeled tractor. 

Additionally, with the front axle and unique four-point cab suspension already found on the AXION, the company suggests this is arguably the most comfortable broadacre tractor on the market.

Offered with a choice of 457 mm (18”), 635 mm (25”), 735 mm (29”) and 890 mm (35”) track widths; the total footprint of 3.87 square metres. The 890 mm track is 35% larger than a 900/60 R42 tyre – equating to 15% more tractive power and a 50% reduction in ground pressure. 

Whatever track option is chosen, the overall external width of the tractor remains at less than 3 metres. 

The rear axle of the AXION has been extensively modified to accommodate the TERRA TRAC units, which in turn are modified to improve traction.  Drive wheel diameter has been increased to meet the specific power transfer needs of a tractor and to handle the high levels of torque. Likewise, the transmission inside the crawler tracks has been strengthened to transmit higher torques.

Each assembly can pivot up to 23 degrees longitudinally, which in combination with its individually suspended rollers, allows each unit to maintain optimum ground contact in all soil conditions, terrain and operating speeds. The tracks use a force-locking drive and are maintained at a higher tension for even pressure distribution. 

Specially-designed friction blocks on the drive wheel reliably transfer drive forces to the track belt and at the same time to ensure thorough self-cleaning of the contact surfaces. 

The continuously variable CMATIC transmission allows stepless control of speed from zero up to 40 km/h road speeds. To facilitate tight turns, the driver can activate three levels of steering assistance or adjust the tractor’s ground clearance by up to 12 cm via the CEBIS terminal. This allows the operator to select the optimum height for the implement being used behind the tractor or increase ground clearance when baling or grain carting.

The AXION TERRA TRAC has an operating weight of 16.5 t and a maximum gross weight of 22 t – giving it a load capacity of 5.5 t served by an 860-litre fuel tank.

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