While many sectors of the agricultural machinery were hit by the ravages of Covid-19, the effects of the pandemic did not prevent the privately-owned Claas Group from enjoying a 3.7% increase in sales during 2020.
Boasting a new cab and a host of improvements, the new series comprises six models with lift capacities from 3.2 to 5.6 tonnes and a maximum reach of 6 to 9 metres.
CLAAS Harvest Centre product manager – JCB, Steve Gorman says the new Command Plus cab raises the bar for comfort and functionality even higher.
“It features the same adjustable steering column, control layout and function-grouped switches utilised in JCB Fastrac tractors and wheeled loaders, making it easier for operators to switch from one type of JCB machine to another.”
Overall, the cab is 12% larger than the previous model, with a wide door opening and adjustable push-away steering column with working position memory, making for easy entry and exit.
A lack of bare metal inside the cab means is 50% quieter than the previous design, while the elimination of the front cross-member from the roof allows operators to view raised booms and implements more easily. In addition, a large front wiper and two roof-mounted wipers sweep 92 percent of the curved windscreen glass.
A seat-mounted joystick and control pod configuration is standard in Agri Torque Lock4, Agri Super and Agri Pro specifications.
A large, tablet-like digital instrument display is attached to the windscreen glass, with a Bluetooth radio and integrated microphone and speakers allowing hands-free calls and entertainment.
Power is taken care of by the 4.4 litre JCB EcoMAX engine that delivers 109 hp or 125 hp, while high specification models are fitted with a 4.8-litre version delivering 145 hp.
All engines are equipped with SCR and a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) to comply with Stage IV emissions standards.
Transmission choices include the 40 km/h four-speed JCB Powershift manual transmission, 40 km/h TorqueLock4 transmission with direct-drive torque converter lock-up in top gear and the 40 km/h six-speed JCB Autoshift transmission. The unique JCB DualTech VT transmission combines hydrostatic and powershift elements in one unit.
“Gear shifting, speed and direction changes are taken care of with one simple control using the joystick, while the transmission is also fitted with a switchable disconnect function on the brake pedal”, says Gorman.
The new series also features a hydraulic system with a flow rate of 140 L/minute for rapid boom operation, with the Auto Smoothride System (SRS) engaging at speeds of over 4km/h, improving load retention and comfort when travelling at speed on roads and in the field.
A boom end damping system improves material retention and makes for a smoother work cycle.
Hydraulic auxiliary connection venting can be activated from the seat or at the headstock for safe attachment changeover, while options include twin-line air trailer braking with seven-pin electrics and an anti-lock braking (ABS) socket, or a combination of twin-line air and single-line hydraulic braking for trailed equipment.