Test Your Pronunciation Skills with Claas Tractors
By Tom Seest
At ClassicTractorNews, we help classic tractor lovers keep up with the latest news for classic and vintage tractors.
CLAAS has been manufacturing agricultural machinery such as tractors, balers, and combine harvesters since 1913 in Harsewinkel, Germany.
CLAAS acquired the former Renault tractor plant in 2003 and introduced their flagship AXION tractor series with seed-green livery: five variants that range from 163 to 260 horsepower were available at first.
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CLAAS is an agricultural machinery manufacturer headquartered in Harsewinkel, Germany, employing around 11,500 worldwide and boasting an annual turnover of approximately $4 billion (20% in Germany). CLAAS leads in European combine harvesters while also being among the world’s premier providers of self-propelled forage harvesters, agricultural balers, and green harvesting equipment. Furthermore, they produce tractors as well as cutting-edge farming information technology solutions.
Franz Claas established his small Clarholz company for the production of milk centrifuges in 1887, gradually diversifying his offerings over time to include straw binders and cutters for mowing machines. By 1913, August Claas registered this new venture with his brothers Franz and Theo as a private enterprise.
CLAAS has always placed great emphasis on innovation. August CLAAS developed an improved knotter in 1921 that led to significant company expansion; shortly thereafter, in 1936 came Europe’s first combined harvester designed specifically to address European conditions – all helping CLAAS become a global player.
CLAAS expanded its presence in non-European markets during the 1990s by opening new production and sales locations outside Europe, purchasing majority shares in Renault Agriculture to begin producing standard tractors and building an electronics development center in Dissen, Lower Saxony.
CLAAS products are sold in more than 150 countries around the world and remain family-owned and managed. Cathrina Claas-Muhlhauser, granddaughter of August Claas and current CEO, oversees CLAAS with the aim of revolutionizing agriculture through digitalization.
CLAAS North America manufactures LEXION combine harvesters at its facility in Omaha, Nebraska. These harvesters are then sold under contract with Caterpillar as Caterpillar LEXION combine harvesters. In North America, this location also holds responsibility for developing its North American LEXION model series; until 2019, these combines were painted yellow and black but now sport the typical CLAAS green-white-red color scheme.
“CLAAS” can be difficult to pronounce due to its complicated syllabics and letters, so breaking it into parts may help ease its pronunciation and understanding. Pronounce “Claas” like the name of Chicago while pronouncing “Action” like a nation.
CLAAS was established in 1913, and founder August Claas quickly set to work, transforming a small company into one of the leading agricultural machinery producers worldwide. August’s drive for innovation remains paramount today and led him to produce what would later become the world’s first combine harvester in 1936 – designed specifically to address European harvest conditions as the inaugural model to enter mass production.
As soon as this machine proved its success, CLAAS expanded its product offering and started making other farming equipment such as mowers, balers, tedders, and silage trailers. Furthermore, exporting products out of Europe began around 1989 – this continued into the 1990s with factories being opened in India (1989), Russia (2005), and China (2012), further expanding CLAAS’ global presence; today, the CLAAS brand can be found in over 150 countries around the globe.
CLAAS of America was established in Columbus, Indiana, in 1979 as a subsidiary of CLAAS AG from Europe. Today, its dealer network spans across North America, with more than 650 dealers being part of it; president and general manager Eric Raby can often be seen at Farm Equipment trade shows in Decatur, Illinois, informing dealers about new products or branding issues.
Raby shared his views about how their North American dealer network has expanded and the plans they have for the company in terms of branding and colors that have recently been introduced. Also, explaining the significance of this campaign and how it could help expand business for them.
After World War II, the development of combine harvesters resumed. The Christopherus-Hutte plant produced its inaugural models, which hit the market in 1946. Shortly afterward, a factory opened in Paderborn, as well as CLAAS’ straw baler factory in Metz (France).
CLAAS has also expanded into other countries: in 1989, a production and sales location was opened in India; later that same year, a development center for electronics was set up in Dissen (Lower Saxony), while five spare part centers were also founded as CLAAS subsidiaries in Argentina in Sunchales Provinz Santa Fe Province in 2000.
CLAAS’ flagship tractor, the XERION, is distinguished by four equal-sized wheels known as Terra Trac that provide exceptional soil protection, comfort, and power delivery. According to CLAAS’ claims, this design provides unsurpassed soil protection as well as power delivery capabilities.
This Mercedes engine delivers 490hp for superior performance and meets Tier 4 Final certification (dual fuel capability). According to its manufacturer, low revs and an extended power curve help achieve its high torque figures.
CLAAS’ current product portfolio boasts one of the largest tractors ever, as demonstrated by this tractor’s impressive bonnet. Inside, its four-post cab is also designed with operator comfort in mind and offers more headroom than most rivals; furthermore, it includes a multifunctional control lever and CEBIS touchscreen terminal built into the operating armrest for added convenience.
The rear lift arms of XERION machines are one of their key components, made from 55mm steel with Cat IV hooks capable of lifting 10 tonnes continuously – an astounding piece of engineering that shows just how versatile this machine truly is.
Kinsman Contracting offered us the unique opportunity to spend some time with their CLAAS XERION machine, and it truly impressed us! A large specialist machine designed for our type of work, this impressive CLAAS was ideal thanks to its long wheelbase, equal tire size, and variety of steering modes, making this a highly maneuverable machine.
This is an incredible example of a large agricultural company investing in research and development to enhance their products for customers’ benefit. We cannot wait to see what’s in store for the CLAAS XERION in terms of competition! In the meantime, if you’re in need of CLAAS dealers in the UK, please get in touch –
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