New tractor turning heads in Great Southern
A REVOLUTIONARY four-wheel-drive tractor with a unique rotating cab is turning heads throughout the Great Southern region as it undergoes commercial demonstrations this autumn.
The German-built CLAAS XERION Trac VC is an amazingly versatile machine that can be configured for just about any agricultural purpose imaginable.
By rotating the cab through 180 degrees, it can be converted from a conventional forward-facing tractor into a self-propelled machine suitable for swathing,
mowing, spraying, mulching or silage packing.
Manager of CLAAS Harvest Centre Katanning, Paul Wells, who took delivery of the first XERION in Western Australia, says he’s receiving ‘incredible’ inquiry from farmers.
“We’ve already got eight demonstrations booked in everywhere from Narrogin to Mt Barker and Jerramungup and we’ve only had it for two weeks,” he says. “Farmers are using it for everything from spreading lime to seeding and they are very impressed with the traction, its driveability and smooth variable transmission.
“Farmers are surprised at a tractor of this horse power and size having a variable transmission.
“It’s much bigger than what they were expecting. “CLAAS is a relatively new player in the tractor market and most farmers associate the brand with mid-size front wheel assist tractors.”
An engineer from the CLAAS factory in Germany is accompanying the XERION to provide technical support and to ensure it is demonstrated to its full potential.
The XERION will find a ready audience with growers who have already experienced the legendary performance of CLAAS LEXION combine harvesters.
“There is a tight group of farmers who are looking for something different – advanced technology that increases their productivity and is fully backed by aftersale service,” Mr Wells says.
“CLAAS and Landpower are meeting this need. “The LEXION has a great reputation for performance, reliability and durability and farmers are thinking, ‘If CLAAS builds tractors like they build harvesters, then they must be good.’
Landpower Australia Product Manager, Steve Reeves, whose company distributes CLAAS machinery in Australia, says the XERION has already undergone thorough evaluation in the eastern states.
“We’ve put the XERION through its paces over the past five months in a variety of broadacre, cotton and fodder conservation applications,” he says.
“This program has shown that it is fully up to the challenges of Australian farming conditions and our climate.
“It received phenomenal interest when we displayed it at Ag-Quip and Henty Machinery Field Days last spring,” Steve Reeve says.
“We have also had serious inquiry from the forestry and mining sectors.” Mr Reeves says the XERION’s incredible versatility is its major drawcard.
“Big articulated four wheel drive tractors are all too often overpowered and underutilised,” he says.
“With farm costs rising, it makes sense to have one tractor that is not only incredibly powerful and fuel efficient but can also be utilised throughout the year.
“With its 380 hp six-cylinder, 8.8 litre Caterpillar Tier III engine, the XERION is ideal for broadacre and row cropping applications.
“Reverse the cabin and it can become a self-propelled mower, spray rig or swather. “It also makes a great silage pit tractor with a blade mounted on the rear linkage.”
The XERION is also available in fixed and saddle cabin configurations. The latter has the cab mounted over the engine, turning the tractor into an agricultural prime mover for pulling large fertiliser, grain, manure or fodder trailers or as a self-propelled sowing or spraying unit.
The flagship of CLAAS’s tractor line-up, the XERION is bristling with a host of innovations, such as constantly variable transmission, six different steering modes, GPS guidance and intelligent control systems.