A number of new features are now standard on the three widest CLAAS VARIO cutterbars that benefit performance, ease of operation, setup times and maintenance.

The CLAAS VARIO range of cutterbars are currently available in working widths from 5.0 to 13.8 m. However, it is the three largest working width versions, from 10.8 to 13.8 m, that have been updated with additional equipment and optimised standard features, including a new reel drive and improved access to the stripper bars for the intake auger.

Powerful rapeseed knives with tool-free fitting

For 2022 models, new rapeseed knives will be available for the VARIO 1080, VARIO 1230 and VARIO 1380. These feature mechanical drives with an integrated overload clutch and a 50 percent greater cutting force. This means that even the most challenging areas at the edges of fields and along hedgerows or those with heavy weed growth can be driven through reliably without any difficulty. A well thought-out plug-in system with quick-release couplers allows the rapeseed knives to be fitted on each side in a matter of seconds without using tools. When performing this task, operators also benefit from the 33 percent lower weight which makes handling the knives even easier.

Fitting and removing the dividers for grain threshing is also made easier thanks to a new clamping system. Dividers continue to be available in three versions/lengths, as before.

Intake auger height adjustment via CEBIS

Another measure to improve comfort and convenience is a new hydraulic height adjustment system for the intake auger via the CEBIS terminal. This allows the operator to react to changing harvesting conditions immediately with fingertip control from the cab. Using this system, infinitely variable hydraulic adjustment (within a range of 25 mm upwards and 10 mm downwards) can be applied to the divided auger via the central bearing.

The control unit for height adjustment fitted directly on the cutterbar has also been updated. In addition to enabling activation and deactivation of the appropriate work lights on the combine harvester to aid fitting and removal of the cutterbar at night, this unit features a rotary switch which can be used to easily move the auger into a transport position and a cleaning position. Another rotary switch can be used for infinitely variable adjustment of the auger height – any such adjustment being synchronised with the same function in CEBIS.

Access to the stripper bars has also been improved and can now be reached and adjusted easily from the rear of the cutterbar.

New reel drive

The VARIO 1080, VARIO 1230 and VARIO 1380 also benefit from a new driveline to the reel, which delivers the torque directly from the hydraulic motor. This has the added benefit that being narrower, the drive unit hardly extends to the side at all compared with a chain drive. This makes it possible to use the full 700 mm adjustment range of the VARIO table, even with rapeseed knives fitted. Another advantage is the extension of the maintenance interval for the drive from 100 to 500 operating hours.

Another new is the pressure-dependent reel height adjustment, which automatically adjusts the reel speed to the ground speed. A sensor measures the hydraulic pressure in the reel drive. If large crop volumes cause this to increase to such an extent that the drive can no longer maintain the required reel speed, the reel is automatically raised to a certain extent until the required speed is attained once again. If there is a reduction in the pressure, the automatic system lowers the reel to the set height again. Both the level of drive torque necessary to trigger the control system and the response of the latter can be set separately in CEBIS. This function already exists for the CONVIO and CONVIO FLEX draper cutterbars from CLAAS.