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Feature: Axion 900 terra

The Axion 900 Terra Trac, the world's first half tracked tractor, is making its way to NZ in early 2021

Demonstration models of the much-anticipated 445hp Claas Axion 960 Terra Trac will be hard at work in New Zealand from early 2021.

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Billed as the world’s first half-tracked tractors with full suspension, the Axion 960 Terra Trac (445hp) and Axion 930 Terra Trac (355hp) incorporate the proven tracked assembly technology utilised in the company’s industry-leading Lexion and Jaguar grain and forage harvesters.

Claas Harvest Centre product manager Luke Wheeler says the ‘half-track’ tractor concept combines the benefits of tracked and wheeled machines.

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

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

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

“It’s also worth noting that all three widths keep the external width of the tractor to less than three metres.”

The rear axle of the Axion has been substantially modified to accommodate the Terra Trac units, which in turn, have been modified to improve traction. 

“The size of the drive wheel has been increased to meet the specific power transfer needs of a tractor and to handle the high levels of torque,” Luke says.

“Likewise, the transmission inside the track unit has been strengthened to transmit higher torques. Each assembly can pivot up to 23 degrees longitudinally.”

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 ensure thorough self-cleaning of the contact surfaces.

The continuously variable CMATIC transmission allows the tractors to be precisely operated at speeds anywhere from 50m/h to 40km/h. An intelligent drive control system means the tracks are capable of performing tight turning manoeuvres, with steering assist activation making the turning circle as small as five metres.

The driver can also adjust the tractor’s ground clearance by up to 12cm via the CEBIS terminal.

Both Terra Trac models feature the super-efficient 8.7-litre Cursor 9 six-cylinder FPT engine.

“There is no boost system, meaning full power is available for every task, if required,” Luke says. “Peak torque of 1600 to 1860Nm is achieved at just 1400rpm and maximum power at 1800rpm.

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

CEMOS system

CEMOS is an award-winning operator assistance system that optimises machine and implement settings to maximise throughput or fuel-efficiency.

“This system is based on ‘dialogue’ with the driver,” Luke says.

“At the start of a job, the driver enters a range of information about operating conditions, such as soil humidity, soil type, and working depth; machine data, such as tractor tyres and front, rear or wheel ballast; and implement data into the CEBIS touchscreen terminal.

“The system actively explores the potential for improvement and passes on suggestions to the driver.

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

“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.”

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