With the debut of its Jaguar 960 Terra Trac model, Claas has become the first manufacturer to launch a forage harvester with a factory-integrated crawler track system. The new concept offers optimal soil protection under all conditions. An intelligent headland protection system prevents damage to the grass cover and enables year-round operation.

Gentle on the soil – even in grassland

The new Jaguar 960 Terra Trac sets new standards for soil protection. Tests conducted by Kiel University of Applied Sciences have confirmed that even when the crawler track system is used with the narrowest track version (635 mm wide), the resulting contact area of more than 1.3 mis over twice that provided by 800-size tyres. In combination with the tyre pressure adjustment system, which is also available ex factory for the rear axle, the Jaguar 960 Terra Trac offers optimal soil protection, one of the benefits being that it does not sink into the ground so deeply when operating in difficult, wet field conditions. This makes the going that much easier for the transport vehicles following the harvester. Two other track variants with widths of 735 mm and 890 mm are also available.

The headland protection system of the Terra Trac crawler drive system comes into its own in grassland. During a turning manoeuvre, the support rollers in each track unit are pushed down hydraulically, the front drive roller is raised and the contact area is reduced by about a third. This results in the visible avoidance of damage to the grass cover by the shear effect when turning. Measurements by Kiel University of Applied Sciences have shown that the soil pressure with the support rollers lowered is less than that exerted by a wheeled machine.

Perfectly integrated and narrow on the road

As a result of the decades of Terra Trac experience which Claas can call on, this technology is integrated perfectly in the new Jaguar, the chassis of which has been extended by about one metre in order to accommodate the crawler tracks. The pivoting mounting system allows the machine to be operated in even the most difficult conditions. The crawler track units are able to oscillate upwards by 10° and downwards by 13° with robust end stops limiting their vertical travel.

On the road the Jaguar 960 Terra Trac also sets new standards. Equipped with the 635 mm tracks, it remains within an external width of 3.0 metres and is therefore very straightforward to license for use on public roads. With the wide 890 mm tracks, the machine remains within an external width of 3.5 metres. The suspended chassis enables a top speed of up to 40 km/h and provides optimal driving comfort.

The extended wheelbase results in a significantly larger maintenance compartment and excellent accessibility by means of maintenance panels above the crawler tracks. The corncracker, for example, can be removed very easily above the crawler track on the right side.

Optimal crop flow and innovative automatic functions

The Jaguar 960 Terra Trac uses the proven chopping technology from the 900 model series. The all-hydraulic continuously variable front attachment drive enables efficient power transmission at varying speeds. If the chop length changes, the system automatically makes a corresponding adjustment to the front attachment speed. The result is a very even crop flow and consistently good chop quality.

Following adjustment, the shear bar is clamped in place hydraulically and remains in the required position reliably. This makes for consistently high chop quality.

The machine is also equipped with an automatically adjustable drum concave. The drum concave is attached directly to the mounting block and another pivot point and is automatically moved with the shear bar when the latter is adjusted. This means that the distance between the drum concave and the chopper knives remains constant over the entire length of the drum concave, thereby ensuring an even crop flow, regardless of the condition of the knives. Furthermore, this arrangement saves fuel and reduces wear.

The Claas Auto Fill system for offloading to the side during chopping keeps losses to a minimum during the offloading process while also significantly reducing the respective workloads of the operators of the forage transport wagon and the forage harvester. A high-resolution camera on the discharge spout detects the contours of the forage transport wagon continuously during the run and automatically adjusts the crop discharge direction to the contours and the load situation. A new feature is support for offloading to the rear, a function which is used when starting chopping or subdividing the areas to be harvested.

Terra Trac – 30 years of soil protection

Soil compaction reduces yields and takes a great deal of work to eliminate again. This is why Claas attaches great importance to soil protection, starting with measures taken during the machine development process. It was 30 years ago that the company presented the first series-production combine harvester with full rubber tracks. The Terra Trac concept, almost in its current form, followed a few years later. Since then, Claas has pursued the systematic development of crawler track technology on the Lexion large combine harvester. The benefits of this system for combine harvesters comprise:

  • 66% lower soil pressure compared with wheeled machines
  • 40 km/h on-road travel with a transport width that complies with road traffic licensing regulations
  • high level of driving comfort through hydropneumatic suspension
  • smooth front attachment guidance and excellent directional stability
  • high stability on side slopes
  • potential for cost savings through protection of soil structure and reduced effort required for subsequent tillage

As the next logical step, Claas is now equipping the Jaguar forage harvesters with this concept which has been optimised specifically to meet customers’ requirements.