Claas To­rion ag-spec wheel loader

HEADS TO THE FARM Hav­ing brought you the news from Agritech­nica about the new Claas To­rion wheel loader range, Chris McCul­lough looks at the new ag-spec ma­chines in depth

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Contents -

Farm­ers and con­trac­tors in the mar­ket for a new wheel loader built specif­i­cally for agri­cul­tural use now have a new name on the mar­ket to choose from.

The new Claas To­rion se­ries boosts seven mod­els in three cat­e­gories rang­ing from 63hp to 228hp, built by a merger be­tween two strong Ger­man ma­chin­ery man­u­fac­tur­ers.

In a joint ven­ture, Claas and Lieb­herr have been de­vel­op­ing the new To­rion range over the past two years and launched the range at the huge Agritech­nica Show in Ger­many at the end of last year.

We were at Agritech­nica when for­mer Claas man­ag­ing part­ner Hel­mut Claas and Lieb­herr In­ter­na­tional pres­i­dent Willi Lieb­herr pulled the cov­ers off the new ma­chines.

The goal for the two com­pa­nies was to in­tro­duce a wheel loader specif­i­cally man­u­fac­tured for the agri­cul­tural mar­ket sec­tor, some­thing both Claas and Lieb­herr say has never been achieved be­fore.


The small­est To­rion 535 and 639 mod­els are pow­ered by 63hp and 68hp Yan­mar en­gines and can be used in a va­ri­ety of agri­cul­tural jobs on both live­stock and crop­ping farms.

Both four-cylin­der en­gines meet the re­quire­ments of ex­haust stan­dard Stage IIIB (Tier 4i). Ex­haust treat­ment is car­ried out via a diesel par­tic­u­late fil­ter (DPF) with in­te­grated diesel ox­i­da­tion cat­a­lyst (DOC). Claas says the use of SCR tech­nol­ogy is not re­quired.

The fil­ter re­gen­er­a­tion mode can be ad­justed ac­cord­ing to the con­di­tions, the com­pany adds, with ei­ther man­ual or au­to­matic re­gen­er­a­tion, as pre­ferred.

In the To­rion mod­els, fresh air is drawn in from the ra­di­a­tor cool­ing pack­age and pre-fil­tered. The air fil­ter is read­ily ac­ces­si­ble on the left of the ma­chine en­gine com­part­ment.

A dust ex­trac­tor valve is de­signed to ef­fi­ciently re­move dirt and dust par­ti­cles from the fil­ter, which pro­tects it and makes ser­vic­ing eas­ier.

In these smaller To­rion mod­els, the gen­er­ously sized ra­di­a­tor cool­ing pack­age en­sures there is plenty of cool­ing ca­pac­ity in all cli­mate con­di­tions. The in­tel­li­gently de­signed air sup­ply route guar­an­tees high cool­ing ca­pac­ity right from the out­set. The heat given off by the en­gine can leave the en­gine com­part­ment without be­ing drawn back into the sys­tem.

The tip­ping load of these mod­els is 3.45 tonnes and 3.85 tonnes re­spec­tively, and clear­ance height is less than 2.5m.

The in­fin­itely vari­able hy­dro­static drive has two drive modes: F1 from 0-6km/h, and F2 from 0-20km/h. The driver can switch from one drive mode to the other at the touch of a but­ton, de­pend­ing on the ap­pli­ca­tion.

Press­ing gen­tly on the brake/inch­ing pedal al­lows in­fin­itely ad­justable de­cel­er­a­tion of the ground speed, with the en­gine speed re­main­ing the same. Fully de­press­ing the pedal au­to­mat­i­cally de­creases the ground speed down to zero, and ac­ti­vates the ser­vice brake (hy­drauli­cally op­er­ated drum brake).

For spe­cific agri­cul­tural jobs that re­quire higher oil flow but slower speeds, such as bed­ding or sweep­ing live­stock houses, the creep speed fa­cil­ity is ideal.

This means the ma­chine is driven at a con­stant speed in a set inch­ing po­si­tion and the re­quired flow of hy­draulic oil can be con­trolled with the ac­cel­er­a­tor via the en­gine speed.

Claas says that the cab and boom on both mod­els are po­si­tioned for max­i­mum vis­i­bil­ity and the rounded rear win­dow pro­vides the op­er­a­tor with an op­ti­mum view to the rear when on the move.

Be­ing smaller in stature and hav­ing a sharp 40-de­gree ar­tic­u­lat­ing an­gle al­lows these load­ers to op­er­ate in more con­fined ar­eas.


Mov­ing up in size, the mid-range of To­ri­ons con­sists of three mod­els rang­ing from 140hp to 167hp.

The To­rion 1511 is the big­gest in the mid-range at 167hp, the 1410 is rated at 155hp and the 1177 at 140hp. These three mod­els are pow­ered by DPS en­gines, which have de­mand­driven en­gine cool­ing and have al­ready proven their worth in the Claas Arion 500 se­ries trac­tors.

All these mod­els have a three-range hy­dro­static Varipower trans­mis­sion.

The con­ve­nient hy­dro­static Varipower trans­mis­sion pro­vides three drive modes, from 0-6km/h, 0-16km/h and 0-40km/h for op­ti­mal ad­just­ment to the con­di­tions.

Claas says the mod­els in the mid-range To­rion se­ries are there­fore ideal for farms and con­trac­tors re­quir­ing suf­fi­cient power for silo com­paction or for han­dling grain, fer­tiliser and other bulk ma­te­rial.

The en­gine is po­si­tioned low and well to­wards the rear and acts as a coun­ter­weight, mean­ing that high tip­ping loads of 7.75 to 9.75 tonnes are pos­si­ble. All mod­els fea­ture Smart Load­ing, in­clud­ing a pro­gram­mable bucket re­turn func­tion and de­fined lift­ing and low­er­ing lim­its.

All three mod­els in the mid-range To­rion se­ries are equipped with a stan­dard 7-inch touch­screen, which serves as a cen­tral in­for­ma­tion hub for op­er­at­ing the ma­chine, and is ex­tremely easy to use.

There are two dif­fer­ent joy­sticks avail­able for pre­cise and sen­si­tive con­trol, in­clud­ing all boom func­tions.

The di­rec­tion of travel can also be changed eas­ily via a tog­gle switch on the han­dle.

A mul­ti­func­tion lever, which is avail­able as an op­tion, has an ad­di­tional four-way con­trol lever that can be used to con­trol a third and fourth hy­draulic cir­cuit, for fill­ing and dump­ing a high dump bucket or open­ing and clos­ing a silage grab.


The largest To­rion 1812 and 1914 mod­els have dy­namic-cool­ing Lieb­herr en­gines that de­velop 195hp and 228hp.

These big­ger ma­chines, with tip­ping loads of 11.1 tonnes and 12.4 tonnes re­spec­tively, have been de­signed for con­trac­tors and large farm­ing busi­nesses that have the high­est de­mands in terms of power and per­for­mance.

The Lieb­herr en­gines in these larger mod­els meet Stage IV emis­sions stan­dards with no ad­di­tional diesel par­tic­u­late fil­ter, but it is avail­able as an op­tion.

Both large mod­els are equipped as stan­dard with the Dy­namic Cool­ing sys­tem. An op­tional au­to­matic re­vers­ing fan sys­tem for very dirty work­ing con­di­tions is also avail­able.

Sim­i­lar to the mod­els in the mid-range se­ries, these two largest To­rion mod­els have op­ti­mal weight dis­tri­bu­tion with the en­gine lo­cated well to­ward the rear.

This means that the en­gine can be ac­cessed eas­ily, mak­ing main­te­nance a breeze. The boom is avail­able with ei­ther agri­cul­tural or Z-kine­mat­ics, the agri­cul­tural kine­mat­ics be­ing par­tic­u­larly well suited for all agri­cul­tural ap­pli­ca­tions.

Both ma­chines can be equipped with a high-lift boom as an op­tion, pro­vided they are us­ing agri­cul­tural kine­mat­ics. Mea­sur­ing 3m, it is 40cm longer than the stan­dard boom, and can achieve load­ing heights of up to 4.64m (at the pivot pin).

While the ma­chines are on their way to Aus­tralia, their re­lease date is un­known at this stage.


Both Claas and Lieb­herr have a strong his­tory in en­gi­neer­ing that has de­vel­oped over decades from a ded­i­cated fam­ily base.

That re­li­able fam­ily struc­ture re­mains solid in both com­pa­nies to this day, al­beit a few gen­er­a­tions down the line.

Claas was founded in 1913 by the Claas broth­ers Au­gust,

Theo and Franz, orig­i­nally pro­duc­ing straw binders but later de­vel­op­ing a strong knot­ting sys­tem to tie bales.

Au­gust’s son Hel­mut, now 90, was the man­ag­ing part­ner of the Claas Group for many years and was pleased to un­veil the new To­rion mod­els at Agritech­nica last year.

In 1958, Hel­mut en­tered his par­ents’ fam­ily firm in Harsewinkel and was ap­pointed as di­rec­tor of the en­gi­neer­ing depart­ment four years later.

He was re­spon­si­ble for a num­ber of in­no­va­tions that put Claas firmly on the map, in­clud­ing the Dom­i­na­tor com­bine har­vester se­ries de­vel­oped in 1970.

Fol­low­ing on from this the Lex­ion se­ries was de­vel­oped, also in Hel­mut’s era, and was con­sid­ered as the most ad­vanced and ca­pa­ble com­bine har­vester world­wide.

In 2003, Claas took over the Re­nault Agri­cul­ture trac­tor di­vi­sion and has made many ad­vance­ments with trac­tors since then.

To­day, Claas very much re­mains a fam­ily busi­ness, with Hel­mut’s daugh­ter Cath­rina Claas-Mühlhäuser lead­ing the cor­po­rate group as chair of the Su­per­vi­sory Board.

Claas em­ploys around 11,500 work­ers world­wide and re­ported a turnover of 3.8 bil­lion euros (about A$5.8 bil­lion) in the 2015 fi­nan­cial year.

Lieb­herr is also a fam­ily busi­ness that started off in Ger­many back in the late 1940s when Hans Lieb­herr recog­nised the need for tools and ma­chin­ery for the con­struc­tion in­dus­try. To­gether with de­sign en­gi­neers and trades­men, he de­vel­oped the TK10 in 1949, which was the com­pany’s first mo­bile tower crane.

This set the Lieb­herr com­pany off on its jour­ney to de­velop var­i­ous con­struc­tion ma­chines and a spin-off ven­ture into re­frig­er­a­tors.

To­day the Lieb­herr group has man­u­fac­tur­ing bases in a num­ber of coun­tries around the world and re­mains fam­ily run.

At the end of 2016, the group em­ployed 42,308 peo­ple and had a turnover of just over 9 bil­lion euros (about A$13.7 bil­lion), the third-high­est turnover in the group’s his­tory.

1. The Claas To­rion 1511 wheel loader is the big­gest mid-range model at 167hp 2. The small 639 model has a sharp 40-de­gree ar­tic­u­lat­ing an­gle 3. Hel­mut Claas, who built the Claas group, with Willi Lieb­herr, pres­i­dent of Lieb­herr In­ter­na­tional 4....


Above: With a tip­ping load of 12.4 tonnes, the 1914 loader is the largest in the Claas To­rion range

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