Next year the CLAAS VARIO cutterbar range will see the addition of a new model, the VARIO 1080 which, with the wider VARIO 1230, incorporate new features, such as integrated filler plates, previously introduced on smaller width VARIO cutterbars.
The new VARIO 1080 has been added in place of the VARIO 1050 because its 10.80m wide cutting width fits in better with CTF (Controlled Traffic Farming) systems.
As previously, due to their width the VARIO 1230 and 1080 both feature a split knife, reel and header auger. The header auger and knife are both mechanically driven from each side through a gearbox ensure a positive, powerful drive when harvesting damp or heavy crops. The two knife sections overlap and are powered by synchronous motors that give a cutting speed of 1344 strokes/minute via drive shafts that extend to allow the knives to be moved. The diameter of the intake auger has, however, been increased to 660mm to allow greater amounts of straw to flow into the combine.
On previous versions, the knives could only be moved from -10 to +20cm for cereals and then extended to +50cm and filler plates manually added for oilseed rape. The new VARIO 1230/1080 are fitted with integrated filler plates, which means that the table can now be infinitely extended over a 70cm range from -10cm to +60cm. Even when fully extended and with the rapeseed plates in place, the knives can still be moved over a 20cm range.
A particular time saving feature of the new VARIO 1230/1080 cutterbars is the ability to quickly and easily fit side knives without needing tools. The side knife unit simply slots into place in a matter of minutes and at the same time that hydraulics are connected using two flat-sealing couplers. This automatically activates the hydraulic pump to drive the side-knives and restricts the range over which the table can be extended to avoid the side knives clashing with the reel.
Additional panelling has also been added to the right hand side of the cutterbar to reduce losses and the reel-end and knife positions are automatically transmitted to the combine.
Other features include wear-resistant bearings on the reel, exterior adjustment of the stripper bars and the top beam is angled to provide the operator with a better view into the cutterbar.
Where LASER PILOT units are used, these can now be folded and adjusted without tools. For greater operator convenience, the cutterbar can also be automatically returned to the ‘park’ position just at the press of a button.