Claas tractor range returns to normal after supply issues

The Claas tractor range is back up to full strength, with all Arion and Axion models fully available once more following a production hiatus caused by ongoing supply chain issues.

To ease the supply situation, managers at Claas UK chose to limit the choice of tractors to the most popular individual models in each range to minimise the number of factory-built variations.

This trimmed the Arion 400 line-up to the 115hp 430 and 145/155hp 470, and the Arion 500s to the 165hp 550 CMatic.

Similarly, the larger Arion 600 series was pruned to leave the 165hp 630 and 185hp 650 with Hexashift semi-powershift, and the 630 and 185/205hp 660 with CMatic stepless drive.

See also: Driver’s view: Claas Arion 450 CIS Quadrishift

Axion 800 and 900 variants were also limited to a select handful of models to simplify matters as the factory in France sought to cope with the component delays and shortages also experienced by other manufacturers.

Patrick Frawley, product manager for high horsepower tractors at Claas UK, says the factory is now future-proofing its supply chain by sourcing selected components from more than one supplier.

Stepless push

With factory operations back to normal, the company has the complete range of tractors and specification variants available again – but continues to focus on selected models by including extra equipment as standard and having a particular push on the stepless CMatic machines.

In the Axion line-up, these are the 235hp 830, 280/295hp 870, 355hp 930 and 445hp 960, all equipped with FPT engines and stepless ZF Eccom hardware operated by control software developed in-house.

Four models in the Arion ranges have been selected for the “focus” treatment.

As an example, the 185/205hp Arion 660 CMatic is available with the higher output 150-litre/min hydraulics, higher spec tyres and GPS Pilot guidance-ready as standard.

It also gets the usually optional four pillar cab, a better seat, LED lighting and 4t front linkage included in the package.

The stepless Arion models use the EQ transmission engineered and built by Claas Group’s own components business, which by mid-2023 had produced a milestone 10,000 units.

“CVT is now widely accepted as the default transmission for high horsepower tractors, and it continues to gain ground in the up to 160hp sector,” says Patrick Frawley.

“Its advantages in terms of efficiency and economy are now well known, but some people still think a CVT tractor is too complicated for a seasonal driver.

“My argument would be that an inexperienced operator can do a whole lot more damage to a powershift tractor’s transmission. With an automatic CVT, it’s so simple to do the basics.”

Next up for Claas will be a range of more powerful Axos models of around 100-120hp to complement the 92hp and 103hp Axos 200 machines introduced last year.

Like those, the newcomers will be built by Agritalia, the contract manufacturing division of Carraro Group, to fill the void left when Claas stopped sourcing tractors of this size from SDF.

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