A demonstration model of the new Claas Axion 960 Terra Trac half-tracked tractor will be in Australia from early 2021, with commercial deliveries starting later in the year, local distributor Claas Harvest Centre says.

Billed as the world’s first half-tracked tractor with full suspension, the 445 horsepower Axion 960 Terra Trac and 355hp Axion 930 Terra Trac are the first models in Claas’s 900 Series with Stage 5 Emissions Standards – launched worldwide by Claas last month.

Claas Harvest Centre product manager for tractors, Shane Barratt, says the tractors have the tracked assembly technology used in Claas’s grain and forage harvesters, as well as a drive control system and steering assist activation that makes the turning circle as small as five metres.

“In short, Terra Trac improves traction and reduces soil compaction, whilst still retaining the driving characteristics of a wheeled tractor,” he says.

“With a total footprint of 3.87 square metres, the 890 mm track is 35 per cent larger than a 900/60 R42 tyre, which equates to 15 per cent more tractive power and a 50 per cent reduction in ground pressure.”

Both models will be initially available with 635 mm (25″) or 735 mm (29″) track widths, with a 890 mm (35’’) option to be made available in the future.

“It is also worth noting that all four widths keep the external width of the tractor to less than three metres,” Barratt says.

Check out our review of the Claas Axion 870 here

Claas has modified the Axion’s rear axle to accommodate the Terra Trac units – increasing the size of the drive wheel, strengthening the track unit’s transmission and using individually-suspended rollers to allow it to maintain an optimum ground speed in all soil conditions – anywhere from 50 metres per hour to a top speed of 40km/h.

The Terra Trac models also have four-way cab suspension, an active suspended driver’s seat and front axle suspension, as well as automatic load and brake compensation, a curved rear window and an ability to adjust the tractor’s ground clearance by up to 12cm. 

“With a maximum front and rear lifting capacity of 6.5 and 11 tonnes, respectively, and a hydraulic flow rate of 220 L/min, the Axion 900 Terra Trac continues to be one of the best lifters in its class,” Barratt says.

He adds that both Terra Trac models come with an 8.7-litre Cursor 9 six-cylinder FPT engine, which achieves its peak torque of 1600-1800Nm at 1400rpm, and maximum power at 1800rpm.

“There is no boost system, meaning full power is available for every task, if required,” he says.

“Full torque can be called up at all speeds, with top speed reached at 1400 rpm while the idling speed is just 650 rpm.”

Emission control is performed by a selective catalytic reduction and diesel particulate filter system with AdBlue injection and enlarged filter and reaction surfaces, eliminating the need for exhaust gas recirculation.

The Claas Tyre Inflation Control (CTIC) system is retrofittable onto Claas Arion tractors.

Intelligent options
As part of Claas’s 2021 model lineup, the manufacturer will also make two new options available for the Axion 960 and Axion 930 Terra Tracs, as well as other models released next year.

The first is the installation of Claas’s CEMOS operator assistance system which Barratt says helps use the best settings to either maximise throughput or fuel efficiency.

It relies on the driver entering information into the CEBIS touch-screen terminal – covering operating conditions such as soil humidity, type and working depth, as well as machine data – such as tractor tyres and any ballast or implements attached.

Barratt says the system will then actively explore any potential for improvement and pass suggestions onto the driver.

 “The driver can either confirm the suggestions or instruct CEMOS to investigate alternative optimisation possibilities,” he says.

“The system then recommends the best pressure for the front and rear tyres to reduce wheel slip, ground damage and diesel consumption.

“This makes it possible to achieve intelligent dynamic internal tyre pressure adjustment in interaction with other parameters, such as ballast, and real-time performance data,” he says.

The other new feature is Class’s CTIC automatic tyre inflation system – which the company will make available across new Axion and Arion tractors, as well as being a retrofittable option for existing Arion 900/800 and Arion 600/500 series machines, regardless of their year of manufacture.

Barratt says the system, which can be controlled by any ISOBUS terminal, means the operator can switch between a tyre pressure for roads and one for a paddock at the touch of a button.

The system comprises an auxiliary compressor with an air delivery rate of up to 2800 L/min – which Claas says can adjust the tyre pressure in 600/70 R28 and 710/70 R38 tyres from 0.8 bar (12 psi) to 1.8 bar (26 psi) in less than 80 seconds.

“Control can also be integrated into the CEMOS, an award-winning operator assistance system that optimises machine and implement settings to maximise throughput or fuel efficiency,” Barratt says.

“This makes it possible to achieve intelligent dynamic internal tyre pressure adjustment in interaction with other parameters, such as ballast, and real-time performance data.”