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Stackyard News Jul 07

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Claas Xerion Tractor Passes Endurance Test

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 pipe equipment.
Laverda M306

“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.

Trouble-free operation

“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 list

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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