Twenty-five years ago, Claas launched the Lexion 480 but also featured an entirely new threshing concept which remains unrivaled for its performance still today.
The patented APS Hybrid System, a combination of the accelerated pre-separation (APS) threshing unit and the ROTO PLUS residual grain separation system, was a world first at the 1995 Agritechnica show. It became the global benchmark for throughput and grain quality as well as multi-crop capability in the high-performance combine harvester segment. With the APS threshing unit and two smooth-running axial rotors for gentle residual grain separation, this technology-enabled grain throughput rates in wheat of more than 1378 bu/hr (35 tons per hour), which increased to more than 1575 bu/hr (40 tons/hr) when longer rotors were introduced in 1996. Other trend-setting features were the active swivel-action spreaders capable of spreading straw across the entire cutting width of the front attachment and the advanced VISTA CAB with a CEBIS screen.
In 1998, the LEXION 480 again pioneered new technology by becoming the first large combine harvester to be equipped with front-axle rubber tracks. The TERRA TRAC system reduced ground compaction significantly as headers were becoming ever wider and heavier — and they did so while keeping the transport width within the 11′ 6″ European road restrictions. Another breakthrough came in 2011 when road travel on crawler tracks at speeds of up to 25 mph became possible — a record at the time!
In 2002, Claas celebrated the production of the 10,000th LEXION combine — a 480 TERRA TRAC. In 2008, the LEXION 600 set a Guinness world record: harvesting 19,547 bu (532 tons) of wheat in 8 hours with a single combine harvester. And in 2011, a LEXION 770 TERRA TRAC broke this record by threshing an incredible 24,802 bu (675 tons) of wheat in 8 hours in the UK.
Into new dimensions with a new generation
2019 saw Claas launch the latest generation of its successful large combine harvester lineup with the new Lexion 8000-6000 model series offering more performance, more throughput, more intelligence, and even more comfort — as well as the largest grain tank in the market at 510 bushels and an impressive unload rate of up to 5.1 bu/sec. This award-winning Lexion lineup — including two Machine of the Year 2020 awards for the APS Synflow Hybrid threshing and separation system — has once again set standards for fuel efficiency with the most advanced Man and Mercedes-Benz engines. One unique feature offered in the latest series is the Cemos Automatic machine optimization system. Still the industry leader, this self-learning system continuously optimizes areas such as primary separation, cleaning, secondary separation, and engine load.
Jan-Hendrik Mohr, the Claas executive board member in charge of Business Unit Grain Harvest, explains:
“With so many positive characteristics, it is clear that Claas will continue to rely on the APS SYNFLOW HYBRID system in the upper-performance classes. The LEXION is better equipped than any other combine harvester to face the diverse needs of the global market. Satisfied, loyal customers all over the world are the best proof of this. However, the pressure of costs and time, as well as expectations regarding comfort, continue to increase, which drive our engineers to work every day on the further development of CLAAS combine harvesters.”
Incidentally, wheat is not the only crop in which the Lexion combine excels. Just recently, a class-8 Claas Lexion 8600 TERRA TRAC harvested a record 57,926 dry bushels (2,041 tons) of corn in 8 hours, averaging 7,240.75 bu/hr (255 tons/hr). In addition to its impressive performance in corn by 37 Ag and Nebraska Harvest Center, the Lexion proved to be extremely capable of delivering superior grain quality in side-by-side soybean tests.