30 August 2002

Two-tier Lexion range for

better buyer choice…

Six years after launching the Lexion combine

harvester range, Claas has decided to

introduce a two-tier specification – the no

frills standard build and the its-got-it-all

Evolution models. Andy Collings reports

WHEN it comes to harvesting – combine harvesting or foraging harvesting – Claas says it has the lions share of the market.

Since the introduction of the companys Lexion combine harvester range in 1996, Claas claims to have sold 1325 models in the UK, and its Jaguar self-propelled harvester range is reported to dominate European sales.

Dominance

With the intention of retaining its dominance of the harvester market, Claas has taken a hard look at its customers needs and concluded that not all require the high specification, all-singing models offered.

"Over recent years we have developed a number of add-ons – self-steering laser pilot, self-levelling sieves, auto contour headers, to name but a few," says sales and marketing manager Trevor Tyrell. "Good harvesting aids as they are, if maximum output is to be achieved, there is a cost factor not all are prepared for."

As a result, Claas is set to offer a two-tier Lexion combine range – the entry level Lexion and the Lexion Evolution ranges.

This strategy has enabled the company to offer the basic, no-frills model at significantly reduced prices. Yet, for those requiring the full spec Evolution version, the price is understandably higher.

For example, this years Lexion 480 has a list price of £196,000, while for 2003 the entry level 480 is listed at £183,600 and the 480 Evolution at £203,600.

So, with the introduction of the Evolution models, Claas would now claim to be in a position to offer 16 versions of its Lexion combine.

In standard build the Lexion is available with five straw walkers as the 410 and the 420, six straw walkers as the 440 and 450, and the range is topped off with the rotary 470 and 480 models.

Basic in the frills department these may be, but they still retain several Claas innovations.

Threshing system

For example, the companys APS threshing system with its accelerator drum is standard, as is the automatic overload concave breakaway system. These models also benefit from the ISS secondary separation system, raking tines above the straw walkers, which help to spread the straw and shake out remaining grain.

Other features, which only a few years ago would have been seen as big developments, include the Cebis control system, which is designed to automate combine settings in respect of the crop being harvested.

In comparison, the new Lexion Evolution models are described by Claas as being a high specification, premium product range.

Straw walkers

The range comprises the 410, 420 and 430 five straw walker models, the 440, 450, 460 six straw walker and the 470 and 480 rotary models, the latter pair are also available as track versions.

Setting them apart from standard builds, Evolution models are equipped with a Multi-Finger separation system which, when compared with the ISS, is said to provide improved secondary separation.

Introduced last year, the MSS employs rotating tines to tease straw out as it passes along the straw walkers. A retracting tine design prevents cropping wrapping.

For the rotary model, a variable rotor speed drive is now available for both the 470 and 480, allowing in cab speed changes from 350 to 1010rpm.

Standard models retain the manually changed three-speed box.

Climate control

Evolution spec also includes climate control and the makers Auto-Contour cutter bed, the range topping Lexion 480 Evolution having a 7.5m Vario.

Claas has also introduced a hillside combine to its line-up. The Lexion Montana is available based on either the 430 Evolution or the Rotary 470 Evolution.

Its hillside build includes use of a two-range hydrostatic overdrive transmission, which senses when, say, a hill is being climbed and will automatically adjust the hydraulic pump to a slower speed setting so increasing available torque.

Through use of a front axle which has a cam-type final drive that can be rotated by hydraulic rams, the Montana is able to remain level on side slopes of 17% and longitudinally on hills of up to 6%.

Further hillside refinements are to be found on the header mounting system, which allows the auto contour cutter bar to move independently of the elevator so the required cutting height is maintained.

Fore and aft

The header can also be pitched in a fore and aft action to help ensure that the cutter bar is always presented to the crop in the most suitable way.

Recognising that hillside work is not just about self-levelling and hill climbing ability, Claas has equipped the Montana combine with a new braking system to ensure that the machine can be stopped effectively.

For the first time on a combine harvester, says the company, the Montana employs a multiple wet disk brake system. &#42

Claas Lexion combine range for 2003

Model Header Type HP Secondary Price £ Separation

Lexion 480 25ft Vario Rotary 431 VRS rotor 225,100 Evolution TT

Lexion 480 25ft Vario Rotary 431 VRS rotor 203,600 Evolution

Lexion 480 25ft Contour Rotary 431 3-speed rotor 183,600 Standard

Lexion 470 25ft Auto-Contour Rotary 339 VRS motor 177,700 Montana

Lexion 470 25ft Auto-Contour Rotary 339 VRS motor 169,500 Evolution

Lexion 470 25ft Auto-Contour Rotary 339 3-speed motor 160,300 Standard

Lexion 460 25ft Auto-Contour 6 walker 339 MSS 181,000 Evolution TT

Lexion 460 25ft Auto-Contour 6 walker 339 MSS 156,700 Evolution

Lexion 450 25ft Auto-Contour 6 walker 299 MSS 149,800 Evolution

Lexion 450 22ft Auto-Contour 6 walker 299 ISS 138,200 Standard

Lexion 440 22ft Auto-Contour 6 walker 276 MSS 136,800 Evolution

Lexion 440 20ft Auto-Contour 6 walker 276 ISS 132,600 Standard

Lexion 430 20ft Auto-Contour 5 walker 276 MSS 136,100 Montana

Lexion 430 20ft Auto-Contour 5 walker 276 MSS 127,500 Evolution

Lexion 420 20ft Auto-Contour 5 walker 235 MSS 122,100 Evolution

Lexion 420 18ft Contour 5 walker 235 ISS 111,100 Standard

Lexion 410 18ft Auto-Contour 5 walker 209 MSS 107,400 Evolution

Lexion 410 18ft Contour 5 walker 209 ISS 101,100 Standard