In the same year that the Tractor of the Year competition celebrates 25 years, the winner of the 2024 Open Field award reached the same milestone. Claas has offered its flagship Xerion range for a quarter of a century and the success of its latest flagship was dedicated to Helmut Claas, who passed away at the start of this year, and who oversaw the development of the Xerion range.
The Xerion 12.650 Terra Trac is powered by a Merecedes-Benz OM473 engine, with 653hp put to the ground through a ZF Eccom 5.5 continuously variable CMATIC transmission, making it the most powerful tractor in the world to be fitted with this type of gearbox. Front and rear steering axles share an equal proportion of the weight, with traction ensured by the four Terra Trac triangle track systems. While the unit has a significant bulk, the additional footprint of the tracks helps to minimise soil compaction.
A massive 3,100Nm of torque is available at just 1,300rpm to keep fuel consumption as low as possible, even during the most strenuous of tasks. And to handle the largest possible implements, three load-sensing pumps are employed to supply up to 537 litres per minute to eight double-acting spool valves. Rounding out the backend is a 13,500kg capacity linkage.
In the cabin, control of the Xerion is handed by the CMOTION joystick and the CEMIS 1200 terminal, with a full suite of precision farming systems available to get the maximum out of the machine. These include ISOBUS connectivity, GPS Pilot guidance, section control and variable rate application. Dynamic Steering minimises the amount of turns lock-to-lock, and several steering modes are available to suit different operations.
One of the key features of the Claas range is the option of the CEMOS self-leaning system, which takes operator-inputted data about the operation and the implement, to provide real-time assistance to improve performance based on the desired result. This could be adjustments to the implement set-up to reduce fuel consumption, additional ballast to increase traction and changes to the speed of the machine. Using the CEMOS system, Claas states a possible reduction in fuel consumption of 17%, with work rates increasing by around 16%. As the system uses artificial intelligence, the company adds that is constantly learning as it is used to improve the relevancy and effect of the advice given.
When we had the opportunity to drive it, back in July, the first thing that stood out was how easy it was to drive. Despite its size, it felt responsive and manoeuvrable, and the visibility afforded by the huge cab and rotating seat meant we had a full overview of the operation, especially handy when using the guidance system as we could see if there were any issues with the Horsch cultivator at the back.
The technology packages are easy to navigate using the CEBIS screen and all machine functions are clearly displayed, meaning that when changes are made, the operator gets instantaneous feedback.
While tracks haven’t always been able to offer the same comfort as tyres, the four-point hydro-mechanical cab suspension effectively separated us from any undulations in the ground, providing us with a smooth ride during the test drive.
When it came down to numbers though, it was the possible work rates that convinced the jury that the Xerion deserved the title of Tractor of the Year. Its power output and torque, combined with the continuously variable transmission and intelligent technology options means that a serious amount of work can be completed each day.
For more information go to www.claas.co.uk