German manufacturer Claas has updated its header range to complement its recently launched Lexion combine models, with the new offerings including its widest-ever front and a greater range of draper-type cutterbars.
The increased appetite of the revamped APS Synflow threshing system in the Lexion 7000 and 8000 series combines, particularly its new flagship 790hp 8900, meant the firm needed a wider cutting width to optimise performance.
The result is the release of the Vario 1380, which at 13.8m (45ft) is Claas’s widest Vario model yet and features a split knife, reel and 660mm header auger.
Both the header auger and knife are mechanically driven from each end via a gearbox, to offer a powerful drive in tough conditions or heavy crops.
The two knife sections overlap and are powered by synchronous motors that give a cutting speed of 1,344 strokes/minute via extending drive shafts that allow the knives to be moved.
As on the rest of the Vario range, the 1380 is fitted with integrated filler plates that allow the table to be infinitely extended over a 70cm range from -10cm to +60cm.
Even when fully extended and with the rapeseed plates in place, the knives can still be moved over a 20cm range.
Side knives can be quickly and easily fitted without needing tools by slotting into place in a matter of minutes, with the hydraulics also connected using two flat-sealing couplers.
This automatically activates the hydraulic pump to drive the side-knives and restricts the range over which the table can be extended to avoid the side knives clashing with the reel.
Other features include wear-resistant bearings on the reel, exterior adjustment of the stripper bars and the top beam is angled to provide the operator with a better view into the cutterbar.
In addition to the wider Vario, there is also a new range of Convio draper cutterbars in five working widths – 13.8m, 12.3m, 10.8m, 9.3m and 7.7m.
Two types will be available – the Convio has a rigid table, so is suitable for cereals and similar tall crops, while the Convio Flex has a flexible cutterbar for those cutting crops close to the ground, such as peas and herbage seed.
While the Convio has a rigid knife and table, on the Convio Flex both these components and side belts are flexible, with the knife bar moving over a range of 225mm, from 90mm upwards and 135mm downwards.
Both cutterbars use the well proven Auto Contour system, that utilises information from sensors under the header to ensure precise ground contour following, while Active Float allows the operator to alter the ground pressure of the table depending on ground conditions.
Both models feature a new reel design with an adjustable cam track that if necessary allows the reel to be set so that it picks the crop up ahead of the knife bar to help laid crops feed better.
A unique flip-over concept offers an efficient transfer of the crop to the draper belts, with minimal losses, and prevents it wrapping on the reel.
The reel is hydraulically driven and features an automatic torque-control system. When activated, the torque applied to the reel is automatically adjusted dependent on the harvesting conditions.
It also incorporates automatic height control to prevent the tines from digging into the ground.
Automatic belt speed sees the Cebis system adjust belt speed relative to the forward speed to ensure an even crop flow into the machine and includes driver warning for belt slippage or a stopped belt.
If necessary, using a button on the Cmotion control, the operator can reverse just the side belts while the machine is on the move, or a switch on the armrest allows the reel, centre belt and feeder housing to all be reversed.
As with the conventional Vario cutterbar, hydraulically powered side knives for harvesting oilseed rape can be fitted without needing tools.
Automatic cutterbar detection
Along with the rest of the Vario and Cerio range, both models are compatible with the front attachment module on the new Lexion 8000 and 7000.
Once mounted, the module will automatically detect the header type, its width, number of sections, the previous work and Auto Contour settings and the parking position of the reel, plus it also records the working hours.
By automatically setting the combine and cutterbar up, this keeps downtime to a minimum and helps the operator get cutting quicker.