The first XERION 3300 SADDLE TRAC mastered more than 10,000 hours
of test operation. The powerful and versatile tractor developed
by CLAAS has been working daily for 16 hours continuously in the
open pit mines of RWE Power AG since November 2003.
A XERION at the open pit Hambach. The 4.5 ton crane loads rising
“The XERION works well and has never let us down. Transmission
and engine run entirely trouble-free”, is the comment from
Franz Schmitten, fleet operations manager. The machine worked under
extreme conditions in the Rhine open pit fields for almost three
and a half years.
RWE Power AG uses it for transporting rising pipe
supplies in the coal industry. The XERION weighs 18 tons with the
optional 4.5-ton crane. A 22-ton trailer is used to transport wet-pit
pumps and well drains.
The XERION’s special strength is its towing capacity.
This enables the heavy machine to drive in deep sand, which is
common in many open pits. The XERION even masters hills with 8%
to 10% incline without hesitation. The XERION is a marathon runner
as well: It drives up to 180 km in a single shift in the pit and
on public roads.
“When we got it, the XERION was almost still a prototype”,
Stefan Raffel remembers. He is one of the many drivers. “There
were a few small causing complaints, nothing serious.” Only
a few components of the radiator, the mounted crane and the axles
were replaced. Despite the high performance the vehicle is a fuel
miser: Fuel consumption was around 16 to 25 litres per operating
hour, depending on operating conditions.
A second XERION is on the
A tractor not only requires power,
the power must be brought to the ground – XERION is better
able to do this than many of the competition. In earlier times
Unimogs and trucks did the heavy towing work in open pits, but
these got stuck over and over and needed recovery. This wasted
much time. These problems are luckily part of the past. “The
XERION has become indispensable for our transport operations” Franz
Schmitten says. “We
are very satisfied – we will order an additional XERION to
replace an older rising pipe transport vehicle.“
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