24 February 2017, 10:47
After running a comprehensive series of practical tests on the new VARIANT 485 RC PRO round baler from CLAAS, the German Agricultural Society (DLG) has awarded it the highly sought-after “DLG APPROVED” quality mark. The test programme included a range of practical application checks, functional checks in grass silage and straw, and hands-on assessments of operating characteristics by farmers. The baler’s performance at a reduced PTO speed was also assessed. The final test report from DLG confirms the good results returned by the VARIANT 485 RC PRO.
New variable round baler
The new range of VARIANT 400 variable round balers from CLAAS feature a raft of key design improvements in terms of crop flow, bale shape and bale wrapping. These came under rigorous scrutiny during the extensive range of DLG practical tests, for both grass silage and straw. The tests were carried out on a VARIANT 485 with a ROTO CUT cutterbar and hydraulic PRO cutting floor.
Higher belt speeds at nominal engine speed, higher tailgate opening and closing speeds, and other technical enhancements are designed to give the VARIANT 485 RC PRO a higher throughput per hour, and this was fully borne out by the DLG testers. In the field tests, they found a throughput, including all idling and turning times, of 40.4 t of silage fresh mass per hour with a baler travel speed of 5.1 km/h and with 14 knives engaged. The crop flow reached values as high as an astounding 165.4 t/h.
Optimum bale compression
The testers were also impressed with the compression performance of the CLAAS baler. At a travel speed of 3.6 km/h (DLG specification) and a bale density of 100 percent with seven knives engaged, the silage bales had an average density of 449.4 kg/m3 fresh mass, with 38.3 percent dry mass. Another positive feature noted by the testers was the uniform density distribution as measured on the DLG test rig, showing a firm bale core with maximum density between the bale core and peripheral layer.
Significant fuel savings from reduced rpm
The CLAAS VARIANT 485 RC PRO returned particularly impressive results in the test carried out at reduced PTO speed. Baling at 800 rpm instead of 1,000 rpm reduced the input power requirement and fuel consumption across a range of comparison variants by between 12.8 and 27.9 percent in terms of fresh mass, with at least the same throughput and baling density.
“Good” mark returned by users
In the hands-on tests of operating characteristics carried out by six farmers, the baler was then rated for hitching and unhitching, operation and settings, baling quality, quality of work, and cleaning and maintenance. The overall result assessed by the users across all these test criteria was “good” (2.2). They highlighted the well-structured setting options with intuitive menus and problem-free operation of the ISOBUS terminal.
DLG is a politically independent agricultural sector organisation. The quality mark of the DLG-Test Center Technology and Farm Inputs is synonymous in the marketplace as an impartial validation of top product quality.