Claas Axion 830 CMATIC review

So what’s the new Claas Axion 800 series got over its predecessor? Well, given that it won Tractor of the Year in 2014 from a panel of judges from 20 European countries, it comes with an impressive reputation and credentials.

The engine change is the most noticeable addition with the ‘old’ DPS (Deere power system) power plant being dropped in favour of the new FPT (Fiat powertrain).

As one of the world’s most regarded engine manufacturers, the new engine slots in nicely, deep in the belly of the Axion to allow the ‘wasp’ type waist a decent turning circle, even though it is shod on 600 fronts. The second major improvement is the new cab.

While the wheelbase is the same as the old model (just shy of three-metres), for contractors wanting to carry heavy front and rear kit, the maximum permissible weight has jumped from 12- to 14-tonne. To be fair, the new model is 700kg heavier, but this is a healthy weight increase.



As mentioned, the swap to FPT has been a good move given that between seven and 10 percent fuel savings have been recorded. Unlike other FPT engines on the market, which rely on high boosted power to reach their maximum output, the new Axion has the power all the time – that’s sure to sit well with a large number of potential buyers.

The 255hp six-cylinder 6.7-litre engine in the 830 features benefits from common rail engine technology along with four valves per cylinder, charge air cooling and a variable geometry turbo. After-treatment is taken care of with SCR (selective catalytic reduction) and a DOC (diesel oxidation catalyst) to meet Stage IV emission requirement, although unlike the 900 series, this cannot be bought in with a tier 2 engine.

Another great feature of the Axion is the massive cooling packs – handy when running long hours with machines like front mowers which like to clog up the front grill.


The main attraction in the transmission department is the inclusion of the revamped CMATIC stepless trans built by ZF. There are two variations: Our test 830 had the ZF Terramatic 25, while the larger models get the Terramatic 28. Either way, non-stop from 0.05km/hr to 40km or 50km/hr with top speed achieved at just 1600rpm and 1300rpm for 50- and 40km versions respectively.

Axion 830_0

The CMATIC has four mechanical ranges which are automatically selected by multi-disc clutches so there is no need to shift manually between ranges. The high mechanical component of the transmission (verses hydraulic power) provides efficiency by getting more power to the ground.

Operation in the cab is straightforward with the large right-hand armrest where the CMOTION controller is nestled allowing three operating modes: Auto (foot pedal), CMOTION (hand control) and manual mode.


Given the new cab from the Arion 500 to the Axion 900 series (all equally impressive), I knew the cab was never going to be a disappointment. Low set door handles open the large one piece doors ensuring you don’t turn into a kite in windy conditions, while the large comfortable air seat and foot-operated tilt function for the dash/steering wheel make individual operator adjustment easy. All controls are clustered to the right of the operator.

Opting for the four-post design has allowed for expansive views with the large rounded rear window and the one-piece doors offer excellent visibility. Given the size of the machines the Axion will no doubt be towing, these are handy features.

The cab scores almost top marks in my book, although the GPS monitor is separate to the CEBIS screen which isn’t a major issue.


The Axion models are equipped with load sensing hydraulic system with flow volumes of 150L/min as standard. There are a range of hydraulic spool options from three to five rear- and two forward-facing mid-mount valves. As with all electric spools, time, volume and continuous flow functions are altered in the CEBIS monitor. Power beyond and ISOBUS is also fitted as standard.

A great feature on the Claas hydraulic system is that all the rear hydraulic couplings have release levers, so they can be connected and disconnected even under pressure.

Maximum rear lift is 9.6 tonnes and either 4.6 or 5.8 tonnes on the front should prove to be suffice. The front and rear linkage both have dials which set for depth control. These are mounted on the armrest, although the rear linkage can be moved to the pre-set working depth or transport position at the touch of a button on the CMOTION lever and in small increments for hitching rear implements with two buttons on the right-hand B pillar.

Axion 830_9

The verdict

There is plenty to like about the new Claas Axion 830. The key stand out for me is the quality feel it has which is streaks ahead of its predecessor. The switch to the FPT engine from DPS won’t sway many although full engine power available in all operations will certainly excite most.

The large, well-appointed cab with the flexibility and functionality of the right hand CMOTION controller/armrest will leave operators wanting for nothing.


  • Large comfortable and functional cab
  • Quality feel about the tractor
  • 50-50 weight distribution gives the tractor a very balanced feel
  • Over 20 different functions controlled from the armrest is excellent
  • Plenty of adjustment safely outside the cab on both the front and rear linkage
  • Up to 5 rear and 2 front spools
  • Top notch operator comfort
  • Very well equipped tool box tucked neatly and cleanly under the main steps
  • Excellent all round visibility


  • No side brakes on 50km version
  • Park brake is through past forward on shuttle level

Read the full review in issue #218 of Farm Trader magazine. Subscribe here.

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