There’s no doubting Daryl Thompson’s new Claas Xerion tractor has an imposing physical presence.
But the Southland, New Zealand, contractor says there is much more to the machine than just muscle. Thompson’s business offers pit silage, ground work and effluent disposal services. His operation runs about ten tractors of the same brand, but the new Xerion – which arrived in November 2010 – is the first Claas tractor he has owned.
Sitting on four equal-size tyres, the Xerion 3300 VC model generates about 330hp and features a reversible cab.
Along with its high horsepower and front linkage, the reversible cab makes the Xerion a perfect match for Thompson’s big Claas 9300 mower unit. Pit silage is a major part of the business and the ability to mow large areas quickly is crucial.
Thompson and his team run a Claas Jag 870 harvester through the entire season, adding a second harvester, a Claas Jag 820, during the peak November-December months.
“So we needed a tractor that would keep our mower running at full capacity in front of two harvesters.”
Thompson says the Xerion has made a massive difference to mowing efficiency.
Incorporating a 50kph transmission, it is driven to the client’s farm with the cab in the standard position.
“Then, when you get to the paddock, the cab is hydraulically lifted and swung around so that it is sitting over the top of the mowers to give you an excellent view of the mowing unit.”
Thompson says another advantage of this configuration is that the tractor’s radiator unit is at the rear of the machine and this protects it from dust and debris while mowing.
He says the mowing unit has a good suspension system of its own, and this – combined with the Xerion’s exceptional suspension and stability – means mowing on uneven terrain is a breeze.
“It just floats across the paddock and you certainly don’t feel the bumps. The Xerion is an amazing machine to operate. Visibility is fantastic, all the controls are just where you’d want them to be and the four-wheel steering is great for quick turns at the end of a row.”
Its TRAC system distributes weight evenly across the front and rear axles to provide good traction and enormous lugging power.
An infinitely variable and fully reversible gearbox optimises engine power and the
Xerion 3300’s transmission system offers four driving modes to suit various conditions.
Thompson says he likes to use automotive mode while mowing because speed and gear changes are controlled through the accelerator pedal – much like an automatic car.
“It’s nice and simple. You use your left hand for steering and this leaves your right hand free for operating the other mower controls.”
Cruise control mode can also be activated from the fingertip lever and this is ideal for road travel. Thompson says it is great to drive on the road and carries the big mower unit with complete ease.
While the Xerion is likely to be his main mowing workhorse for many years to come, the versatile tractor will also be utilised for other jobs, including cultivation work and effluent spreading.
His slurry tanker holds 14,000 litres and weighs 18-19 tonnes fully loaded, but the Xerion will tow this spreader “no problems at all”. He says it has the power and functionality to handle a wide range of tasks.
“We might also use it as a stack tractor if the need arose during whole crop harvesting.”
Tel. Paul Holdaway 0419 243 888