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Sweet taste of success – a Claas harvest of world records

No world harvesting record is safe when a CLAAS is near. This was proven once again when Bob Stewart, a US farmer of the Stewart Farms Partnership in Yorkville, Illinois, beat two world records in a day with a CLAAS LEXION 760 combine harvester.

What makes the achievement even more noteworthy, is the fact that the LEXION 760 is not even the biggest CLAAS combine – it has two bigger brothers: the LEXION 770 and the LEXION 780! To set new world records is nothing unusual for the Stewart Farms’ people: In 2010 they already – also with a CLAAS LEXION – set a world record for harvesting the biggest maize crop in ten hours: a massive 1 300 tons.

Everything is not the same anymore:

  • However, the Guinness world record rules have changed. Harvesting records are now only recognised for periods of 8 and 12 hours – not any longer for 10 hours.
  • The LEXION 760 has also changed since 2010: It is now more powerful, feeds faster, its sieves and grain tank are bigger, and it is now fitted with the unique dynamic cooling system where air is sucked in from the top and forced down over the engine.
  • The 2018 record breaking team had the advantage of CEMOS AUTOMATIC, a unique and powerful operator standby system in the LEXION. This system adjusts all the harvesting and cleaning functions continuously and automatically and uses CRUISE PILOT to determine the groundspeed. This means that the LEXION’s formidable capacity is utilised continuously without tiring the operator unnecessarily.
If you use a CLAAS LEXION 760 in an attempt to set a new world record for maize harvesting, you first of all need enough ripe maize on your farm so that the combine harvester can gobble mealies non-stop for twelve hours (Yellow and Black are the colours of the CLAAS LEXION in the USA).

And now – here they come!

The 2018 world record attempt is a dramatic “nice to read” story. The operating team decided to aim at both the Guinness records (8 and 12 hours) and, just for the hell of it, see what they could do about the previous 10 hour record. Conditions were not ideal. The day before the onslaught 12 mm rain fell. (The mealies in the first semi-trailer had a 17 to 18% moisture content and the soil was soggy. But this did not deter the team – they depended on their CLAAS LEXION to come up with its best efforts under trying conditions.

Bob Stewart was in control when the engine of the LEXION 760 TERRA TRAC, with its 16 row maize header, kicked in and the big harvest kicked off just before 9 o’clock on 26 September. It soon became clear that the big challenge was not to pick the cobs, but to transport the results of the hungry and furious LEXION feast fast enough. After 8, 10 and 12 hours trailers were loaded until the combine’s grain tank was completely empty and the machine moved to the side of the field to assess the progress exactly.

There were enough honest and trustworthy observers to verify the weighing process. The following results were recorded:

The 10 hour result showed an improvement of 6% on the team’s previous record and the tonnage harvested after 8 and 12 hours weighed in as new world records. This amounted to the LEXION 760 delivering an average of 135 tons of maize per hour – a lorry load every twelve minutes!

It takes a tough combine . . .

Establishing a new world record not only depends on fast and efficient harvesting by the combine, but even more on the confidence that it could be depended on to work non-stop for twelve hours at full capacity. Should the machine be forced to stop to allow repairs, the ticking stopwatch ticks on . . . and a new world record becomes pie in the sky.

However, similar to so many fastidious farmers, the Stewarts of Stewart Farms realise one can depend on CLAAS through thick and thin – CLAAS is indeed the image of German technology and efficiency. South Africa’s farmers have a further advantage as they can depend on the dedication, expertise and service delivery of the local CLAAS distributors, Kempston Agri.

If you also want to harvest your crop with a world champion, email Michael Howell to , or Etienne van Wyk to, or phone 043-703-3100. You can also visit the website You can watch a video of the world record effort on https://youtube/vFHpe9MZCrw.

Where a CLAAS LEXION is attempting to set up a new world harvesting record, the transport have to run non-stop to carry the product to the silos.

Part of the Kempston Group.

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Impossible = possible with Zimmatic centre pivot irrigation

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