Combine models don’t go for long these days before getting an update, thanks partly to the relentless requirement to improve the cleanliness of their exhausts.

So it is with Claas’ Tucano, which was launched back in 2008 and is now at the front of the queue to get some updating.

See also: Claas launches new mid-range Tucano combine harvester

Model numbers stay the same, other than the 570 Hybrid, which takes over from the 540.

Headers

Until now, Claas’ widest header was the V1200, launched in 2009. However there’s now a V1230 model that gets an extra 300mm of width. It’s aimed at farmers using controlled traffic farming (CTF), who need a bit of overlap.

The new header has a split reel and a linear-driven knife instead of the traditional wobble box. Also, there are now six auto-contour bands instead of four.

Claas-770-header

At the same time, the current Vario 900 and 750 models have been replaced with the 9.3m Vario 930 and 7.7m 770. Main changes, says Claas combine specialist Tom Pine, are increased forward-backward movement for rape crops – -10cm to +60cm now, compared to -10cm to +20cm before – even with rape plates in place.

Side-knives can now be fitted without resorting to tools. Once they’re connected, the hydraulic pump automatically gets the drive ready for action. There’s a lower cost mechanical-drive Cerio header option now, too, and intake auger diameters have expanded to 660mm.

Combines

Power is up by 8% on all models except the 440, courtesy of new Tier 4 Mercedes engines. Grain tanks are also a bit bigger, with the old hand-cranked type replaced by an electrically operated side-opening lid.

The familiar up-and-out style of discharge auger has been replaced by a Lexion-style turret-type that swings across to fill the trailer. The change apparently gives an extra 30% of height, which is good for clearing increasingly high trailer sides, allows longer augers to be fitted and neatly eliminates four annoying daily grease nipples.

Tank unloading times have been cut from 75 litres/sec on the old models to 105 litres/sec for the 570/450/440 and a zippy 90 litres/sec for the 430/420/320. So the three biggest models, for instance, dump a whole load into the trailer in less than two minutes.

Other changes include drawing air through the rotating radiator screen so that fewer dust particles get to the new dual-filter system. So filter cleanouts should be weekly rather than daily.

2015 Tucano model range

Model

570

Hybrid 450

440

430

420

320

Threshing mechanism/width

APS/1,580mm

APS/1,580mm

APS/1,580mm

APS/1,320mm

APS/1,320mm

Conventional/1,320mm

Grain separation

RotoPlus

6 straw walkers

6 straw walkers

5 straw walkers

5 straw walkers

5 straw walkers

Grain tank (litres)

9,000

9,000

8,500

8,000

7,500

6,500

Discharge speed (litres/sec)

105

105

105

90

90

90

Engine output (hp)

354

313

286

286

245

245

Cab

Improvements in the cab include the ability to change the concave gap electrically from the Cebis monitor, marking a welcome end to the business of hauling a stiff lever up and down. In fact the concave is hydraulically pre-tensioned and opens as the pressure increases before returning automatically to the set working gap.

Claas-multicontroller

Other changes, says the company, are a reduction in cab noise, a bigger window in the grain tank, a refrigerator box and bottle holder. Central lubrication is now an option, as is a reversing camera.

The 570 hybrid now has a drum speed that can be infinitely adjusted from 480-920rpm, whereas the outgoing 470 had just six pre-set drum speeds. There’s also the ability to close the first and second concaves independently of each other, which should help in damp conditions, and the changeover from swathing to chopping (previously tediously manual) now gets some electro-hydraulic assistance.