Review - LEGO 42054 Claas Xerion 5000 Trac VC

The 42054 Claas Xerion 5000 Trac VC is one of the three new Technic sets released in the second half of 2016. It's quite a large set at just under 2000 parts but still only half the size of the 42055 Bucket Wheel Excavator. The Claas Xerion really stood out to me as a quite unique build.

Box Contents

  • Plastic wrapped instruction book and a sticker sheet
  • 4 x 104x44mm Tractor Tyres
  • 4 x Wheels
  • 1 x Medium Motor
  • 1 x Battery Case
  • 15 x numbered bags of parts
  • I don't recall any other large Technic sets having numbered bags, so this was a surprise. The #1 bags built the main Tractor, while the #2 bags built the crane arm. I think normally the numbers are used to help reduce the number of parts you have to sort/search through. In this case, probably about 80% of the parts are in #1 bags so it didn't help much to separate them.

    Parts

    There is one new part design - the huge 23798 Tractor Tyres which I'm fairly certain are the largest produced so far?

    These tyres are no joke!

    Comparing with the next two biggest tyres I own - the 76023 Tumbler wheels and 42037 Off Roader

    There are several parts appearing in new colors (well mostly Lime):

  • 2 x 32202 Hose Soft Axle 16 in Lime
  • 1 x 87080 Technic Fairing # 1 Small Smooth Short, Side A in Lime
  • 1 x 87086 Technic Fairing # 2 Small Smooth Short, Side B in Lime
  • 1 x 64681 Technic Panel Fairing # 5 Long Smooth, Side A in Lime
  • 1 x 64393 Technic Panel Fairing # 6 Long Smooth, Side B in Lime
  • 4 x 44375b Dish 6 x 6 Inverted (Radar) [Solid Studs] in Red
  • 4 x 15038 Wheel 56 x 36 Technic Racing Medium with 6 Pin Holes in Red
  • Build

    The build starts off with some framework and the rear axle.

    It quickly starts to get weird. I found myself using the term "weird" quite a lot while building this! One of the features of this model is the ability to switch between normal/4wd/crab steering - a term I enjoyed explaining to my kids :) The use of the asymmetric triangle beams on the steering axle shown below is the first hint of this mechanism.

    Sliding the lever actually causes the axle to turn, due to the asymmetrical positioning of the triangle beams. This is why there are some weird non-standard supporting structures around it.

    The three settings and how they move the axle

    Next up, we add some more framework and connect the front wheel axle.

    There is a linear actuator on each end, which provide the same function. Either the counterweights or the crane arm can be attached on either end, and raised/lowered via the actuators.

    The single medium motor is mounted at the front (under where the battery compartment will go) and drives all power functions.

    There are lots of sliding mechanisms in this build and I often found myself wondering what they will be for. An example here is the beams used to connect the battery switch to the 'tooth' switch.

    OFF

    ON

    The rear mud-guards are connected to the main body, whereas the front guards are connected to the wheel steering mechanism and so turn with the wheels.

    The front engine cover has a nice shape.

    Next up, we build the cabin components.

    The completed Tractor just by itself looks awesome!

    The counterweights are added to the front of the tractor using a simple but clever mechanism that secures it while making it easy to remove. A couple of half-bushes to secure the actual weights down would have been nice though as they just fall off the axles when handling the tractor.

    Now we open all bags labelled #2 (i.e. the rest of them) and start building the crane arm, which doesn't take long.

    The finished build with all attachments in place.

    Functions

    There are plenty of functions in this model. Some of which use the single medium motor, while some are manual.

    Powered Functions:

    • The cabin can move 180 degrees via the 'tooth' switches on the right side of the tractor. The cabin has a little wheel underneath it so it lifts up and rolls around to the new position. A Clutch gear is used to prevent damage to the gear train/motor once it has reached it's final position if the motor is left on.
    • The crane arm can be moved up and down.
    • The crane arm can rotate 360 degrees - as long as it is extended all the way up or it collides with the cabin.

    CABIN FACING REVERSE

    CABIN FACING FORWARD

    The crane arm can actually be used at the same time as the cabin rotation if you wish.

    Manual Functions:

    • HOG steering is a little tricky. With such large wheels, they don't turn easily and the cabin would often move before the wheels. Lifting it off the ground or turning while moving is better. I would have liked the wheels to be able to turn a tad more. The turning radius even with 4 wheel steering is quite large.
    • Steering selector - normal/4 wheel/crab steering via the manual switch in the rear. Sometimes it was hard to move without some jiggling.
    • The engine compartment is accessible by raising the hood and using the axle to prop it up. This also gives you access to the battery compartment.
    • The top of the crane arm can be extended/retracted via the manual gear wheel.
    • The crane arm claw can be opened/closed via the manual gear wheel.
    • The entire crane arm unit can be raised/lowered.
    • The stabilisers on the crane arm can be extended/raised. When locked in place, and the unit lowered sufficiently it will actually push the tractor off the ground and the rear wheels are free to rotate.
    • The crane arm and counterweights use the same attachments and so can be swapped if desired.

    CRAB STEERING

    4 WHEEL STEERING

    OOPS

    B-Model

    The B-Model is a Class Xerion 5000 Trac VC with Silage Plow. It requires taking apart only the crane arm and counter weight attachments. It uses most of those parts to create the Plow which attaches to the rear and can open up wide or close via the connected power functions.

    While this doesn't have the same level of functionality as the crane arm attachment, I think it looks much nicer! Maybe this was a reason why they split the bags into #1 and #2 as the B-Model only uses parts from bags #2. Anyway I decided to go ahead and build it.

    It connects to the main Tractor via a couple of clever mechanisms that lock easily into place.

    The switch (shown as a red axle connector above) connects the Plow to the motorised gear chain. When the motor is switched on, the outer fins open up or retract.

    The linear actuator is used to extend half of the Plow out to give it an angle. I have no idea if this is a typical feature of Silage Plows.

    Summary

    Weird! But in a good way :P

    I found the unusual techniques quite refreshing and interesting and they kept me guessing how everything was going to work together. I found myself making lots of small mistakes during the build, I'm not sure if that was due to an increase in complexity or simply because I was tired (I tend to build only late at night).

    The changeable steering mechanism is awesome and something I've never seen on a Technic model before.

    The Tractor is a beautiful recreation of the real Claas Xerion. The curves and angles of the engine/cabin are captured very well.

    While the Crane Arm was ok, I like the Silage Plow better. And since the B-Model keeps the main tractor intact it is easy to build both and decide for yourself.

    The 42054 Claas Xerion is available now for US$180 via LEGO.com.

    Disclaimer: This LEGO set was provided for review by The LEGO Group. Anything said in this post is the opinion of the author and not The LEGO Group.

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