New CLAAS Offerings Aim to Fill Niches

New CLAAS Tractor and Combine Aim to Fill North American Niches

Joel Reichenberger
By  Joel Reichenberger , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
The new CLAAS Trion 740 combine isn't the biggest thing a farmer can buy, but the company hopes its mix of a slimmer size, off-the-shelf technology and a new cab can make it a great option for mid-sized operators. (DTN/Progressive Farmer photo by Joel Reichenberger)

BOONE, Iowa (DTN) -- The newest offerings from CLAAS aren't exactly fresh off the drawing board. Both the 900-series Axion tractor and the 740 Trion combine have been operating in other global markets. But the company said the machines are ready for the United States and that both machines could slide into areas of need for American farmers.

The tractor introduced this summer is the 900 series of the CLAAS Axion, featuring the company's Terra Trac rear tracks, making for a half-track machine. The Axion 960 comes in with 440 horsepower and the Axion 930 at 350.

"The star of the show and the main feature is the Terra Trac," said Greg Frenzel, a CLAAS of America product manager. "We've had it for 25-plus years in the CLAAS group, the technology and the development, and now we've brought that over to the CLAAS Axion 900 series tractor. The reason we really put this track on the Axion was two main reasons. There's the pulling force or traction, getting the traction to the ground and getting all of the power to the ground. And then there's the compaction."

CLAAS said the track offers a 25% larger footprint and, in turn, 25% less ground pressure.

"We want to reduce that compaction, and this will help us put all the power to the ground while reducing that compaction," Frenzel said.

The setup also means the tractor can work without front weights on the tractor, though the example the team showed at the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, in August was loaded with weights because it was pulling a large grain wagon.

"That means less berming when you're turning, so if it's the front wheels wanting to snowplow, we don't have that on his tractor," Frenzel said.

The tractor was introduced in June, and deliveries are taking place now.

CLAAS also took the opportunity to show off its newest North American combine, the Trion 740, a product specifically meant to be an option for mid-sized American farms.

"It's a brand-new machine in that segment, which we don't really see a lot of anymore," said CLAAS combine product manager Blake McCullough.

Rather than chasing the biggest farmers, the Trion 740 aims at the class 7 market.

"This machine had a different development than a normal machine, where we kind of go out and look for the biggest and baddest thing and try to develop all this new technology," McCullough said. "What we did with this one is took a bunch of things that we had in our engineering box already, kind of compressed it and put it into a new machine."

There are some differences from the brand's Lexion line. For instance, where those machines thresh in the front with three cylinders and lead into two rotors on the back, the Trion leads into one large rotor.

"That really works with the size of the machine and this power and productivity requirement," McCullough said. "You don't need the two rotors that have that endless separation capacity. The single rotor does really well."

The Trion also features a new cab, headed next year for the Lexion line. The design was unique from the ground up. It includes a new swiveling seat, a new design in the head area, better visibility, a new steering column and foot pegs, more storage and even a new refrigerator.

The Trion was launched worldwide last summer, except in the United States, where it debuted earlier this summer.

Joel Reichenberger can be reached at

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Joel Reichenberger