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  1. #91
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    Apr 2013
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    Romania
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    none

    Default Re: "Powersafe" clutch on BCS

    Hmm...interesting. So, there is a chance... Thank you.

  2. #92
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    Default Re: "Powersafe" clutch on BCS

    Hi!

    I've attached a JPEG file with dimensions for a different 2-Wheeled Tractor (Bertolini 318 Shuttle). I need to know these dimensions for BCS 750 (Honda GX390). Thank you.

    Best regards,
    Alin Miron
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails "Powersafe" clutch on BCS-bertolini-jpg  

  3. #93
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    60
    Location
    Germany
    Tractor
    BCS 740

    Default Re: "Powersafe" clutch on BCS

    Hi Joel

    It's good to see you in this forum! I know that you are a very busy man, so thank you for taking time out of your calendar, to share your knowledge and experiences with all of us.

    I fully agree that communication is indeed difficult, and misunderstandings do occur. As some of us don't have English (or American ) as our mother tongue, our wording and grammar is not always perfect. Adding to the difficulties when communicating, are different cultures and social conventions around the globe.

    If each and every one of us does our best to keep a decent tone when writing, and tries to read what others are writing with an open and positive mind, perhaps misunderstandings can be minimized and everyone can feel comfortable writing in this great forum, even if some might have different opinions.

    The success that you and your company has had for over 35 years, indicates that the open and honest way that you inform - not only about all the advantages of your equipment, but also about the disadvantages, is the way to keep good and long term relations to your customers. If you carry on this way, your business will easily prosper well beyond the next 35 years too!

    As I looked for a 2-wheeled tractor 2 years ago, I found your website. It contains more hands-on information than any other website that I have found by a huge margin, and was one reason why I chose a BCS in the end. There are endless websites out there, basically copying glossy brochures and using all the right sales-words to praise their product, but offering very little useful information to a potential buyer. Sadly the same goes for the 2 dealers I visited

    I have seen the Erreppi RTS 120 on your website, so perhaps you could please tell me the weight of the trailer? Thank you.

    Thank you also to anyone contributing with their knowledge and experience to this forum!


    Best regards

    Jens

  4. #94
    New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    14
    Location
    Owenton, Ky
    Tractor
    BCS 850

    Default Re: "Powersafe" clutch on BCS

    Hi there Jens,

    Joel here from Earth Tools...thanks for the reply you posted on 5-15-13. Yes, I was aware that the machining for the "transport" gear was still present in the PowerSafe units...when I made my last visit to the BCS factory, I checked out the PowerSafe assembly line to make sure of this. So I knew that by changing the outer "quadrant", the transport gear could be achieved. I am curious, though...when you tested the 740 with the gear quadrant changed so you could access the 4th gear, what did you experience regarding whenever the unit is "clutched" in 4th gear? I have noted that PowerSafe units have a tendency to stop IMMEDIATELY when clutched, even in 3rd gear...you get none of the "roll-down" you get with the standard clutches, where the transmission sort of "winds down" after squeezing the clutch, giving a "soft" stop. The PowerSafe clutch stops the machine so fast, I have noted that in 3rd gear with engine at full throttle, when clutched, the wheels stop so abruptly that they actually will SKID to a stop on a concrete floor. This seems to indicate some sort of "braking" mechanism withing the hydraulic clutch, although I haven't torn one down yet to see how such a feature might function. My concern with "activating" the Transport gear in a PowerSafe model (by changing the quadrant) is that if this same tendency exhibits itself in that gear as well, the sudden stop could be quite dangerous to the operator....6 or 8 MPH to 0 MPH INSTANTLY is quite a shock.
    To answer your question about the Erreppi trailers: According to the manufacturer, the shipping weight is about 625 pounds (285 KG)...which I think seems on the light side. These things are HEAVY! However, the Erreppi driven-wheel trailer will not fit any BCS tractor sold in North America over the last 15 years...none of the BCS tractors sold here recently have a "synchronized PTO" option to give you a "ground-speed" PTO for these trailer to plug into. The only BCS walk-behind tractor model still in production that is available with a synchronized PTO option is the model 760...and this has never been available in North America due to EPA restrictions on the diesel engine it is equipped with. If someone has an older BCS machine (model 735, 737 or 745) that is equipped with a synchronizer, this Erreppi trailer can be gotten to fit those. We sell the Erreppi trailers to fit the Grillo G107 or G131 model tractors, which are still available with the synchronized PTO option. Since you are in Germany, though, the 760 would still be an option for you.
    Best regards, Joel, Earth Tools

  5. #95
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    60
    Location
    Germany
    Tractor
    BCS 740

    Default Re: "Powersafe" clutch on BCS

    Hi again Joel

    As I only use my BCS 740 in the front-PTO mode with a sweeper and a mower, I immediately changed back to the standard gear quadrant after my little test earlier. Today I got the time to do the test again, and I hope I can help answering your questions.

    I also have the impression that there must be some kind of braking mechanism in the powersafe clutch, but I don't find that it's a problem when sweeping and mowing, and I haven't been able to make any skid marks yet. It does stop quickly when the clutch lever is squeezed or the red "stop lever" is released, and then it sits there as if the wheels are locked. You can't push or drag the tractor as long as a gear is engaged, disregarding the position of the clutch lever, as one would expect with a "normal" clutch when the lever is squeezed. When mowing, I actually find this feature rather useful, as I can park the tractor with the engine running on a slope to empty the bag on the mower, without risking that the tractor will move. It works a bit like pulling the parking brake, only that it somehow seems to block the wheels instead of using the brakes.

    In the 4th worm gear, I have the impression that things work a bit different. When squeezing the clutch lever - or letting go of the stop lever - the tractor will not free-wheel as much as with a normal clutch, but will come to a stop after a short distance as if you were braking a little bit. I surely see your concern, but it comes to a stop pretty comfortable and quite different to the 3 working gears. I can push the tractor forward with the 4th gear engaged and the clutch lever squeezed, but I can't pull it! When pulling the wheels locks like in the working gears.

    I have no experience with the cone clutch, but I'm happy with the way the powersafe clutch works for me.

    I look forward to hear if you and some of the other very experienced guys will have similar experiences, when you get more familiar to the powersafe clutch. As I don't know in detail how the powersafe clutch works, I feel a bit uncomfortable leaving the engine running with a gear engaged and releasing the red stop lever to prevent the tractor from moving. Is this a genuine neutral, or is it better so select neutral and thereby perhaps put less stress on the clutch?


    Best regards

    Jens

  6. #96
    New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    14
    Location
    Owenton, Ky
    Tractor
    BCS 850

    Default Re: "Powersafe" clutch on BCS

    HI Jens,

    All very interesting. I'm gong to switch out the gear quadrant on a 749 (the USA version of the 740) and try it in 4th gear myself, to see what it does.

    Actually, even on a "standard" clutch BCS tractor, when it's in gear and the clutch is pulled, you can't roll it because the gear reduction is too low. (well, MAYBE you can roll it in 3rd gear, but it's tough) But the PowerSafe definitely has something else going on; the "braking", or whatever it is, is much more pronounced.

    As far as leaving the tractor in gear vs. not: I'd say if you are walking away from it for under a minute, it's fine to leave it in gear and just let the PowerSafe disengage power. Otherwise go ahead and shift into neutral, for safety's sake, and if on a hill, you can engage the parking brake. (Remember, the PowerSafe system opens the clutch when you let the red lever up, regardless of the gearshift position...so putting the gear selector in neutral will not have a bearing on clutch "stress" or wear.)
    Best regards,
    Joel, Earth Tools

  7. #97
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    60
    Location
    Germany
    Tractor
    BCS 740

    Default Re: "Powersafe" clutch on BCS

    Hi again Joel

    I've just been mowing again, and I would say that my BCS 740 comes to a hold after about a foot or so when the clutch lever is squeezed - or the red stop lever released - when running at full throttle in 3th gear.

    Thank you for your info on the PowerSafe clutch. I just can't help having this odd feeling, that leaving the engine running with a gear engaged, is not good. It resembles stopping at a red traffic light in a car with a manual transmission, and just press the clutch pedal all the time, instead of selecting neutral and release the clutch pedal. I hope I'm wrong?


    Best regards

    Jens

  8. #98
    New Member
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    Feb 2013
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    14
    Location
    Owenton, Ky
    Tractor
    BCS 850

    Default Re: "Powersafe" clutch on BCS

    Hi Jens,

    The "risk" of leaving the tractor in gear while the engine is running with the clutch pulled (or, in the case of the PowerSafe, the safety handle released) to achieve a "neutral" is that if the clutch should somehow malfunction while in this mode, the machine will of course start to drive. If the transmission is in actual neutral (and the PTO disengaged), then naturally this cannot happen, regardless of what may go wrong with the clutch.
    I will give an example of what I am "comfortable" with, from my own personal experience: When I am mowing with the lawn mower & grass bagger, I will generally drive a full bagger to wherever I am dumping it, then squeeze and lock the clutch handle to achieve a temporary "neutral" while I empty the bagger. I will typically leave the tractor wheel speed selector in gear during this process, BUT I DISENGAGE THE PTO. I guess this illustrates my level of trust in the clutching system: I trust it enough to leave the wheels in gear for a minute or so, but NOT enough to leave the PTO engaged while I am near a potentially dangerous implement. (I have an older BCS 850, so it is the older type manual clutch. However, if I was using a PowerSafe unit with hydraulic clutch, my procedure would be the same, except that instead of locking the clutch handle in the squeezed position, I would be letting go of the safety lever.) If I am leaving the machine unattended for much more than a minute, I just shut it off...I am too conscious of fuel use to let the thing sit there and run.

    Regarding the "stopping" system in the PowerSafe units: I have tested several new PowerSafe machines prior to selling them, and there is no doubt that each one of them has the same "immediate stop" tendency....they ALL have "skidded" on a smooth concrete floor when coming to a stop in 3rd gear, full throttle. What you report in terms of the stopping distance after your tractor has been in service for awhile, however, tells me that whatever braking mechanism they have in there must "wear" fairly quickly, allowing a slightly more "gentle" stop. No doubt, more experience with this system will get me increasingly familiar with the "ins and outs" of it. Thanks so much for your feedback!!
    Best regards,
    Joel, Earth Tools

  9. #99
    New Member
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    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: "Powersafe" clutch on BCS

    Hi, Joel here at Earth Tools again...since many of our customers (and potential customers) use this forum for reference, I wanted to give an "update" on our experiences with the BCS PowerSafe hydraulic clutch: For starters, there may be some confusion out there as to the nature of this clutching system...it is NOT a "hydrostatic" clutch. It is a oil-immersed, multi-disk flat-plate type clutch, very similar to a motorcycle...the difference being that instead of SPRINGS pushing the multiple disks together, this system uses HYDRAULIC PRESSURE (generated by a hydraulic micro-pump) to press the clutch disks together, which transfers power. When the clutch handle (black handle on the bottom of the left-hand handlebar grip) is squeezed (OR when the red safety lever [above the left-hand handlebar grip] is LET GO) a valve is moved, so hydraulic pressure no longer flows to the clutch plates, and they relax, stopping power transfer.

    We have sold a fair number of PowerSafe machines this year, and so far they are mostly performing well. We did have two incidences where customers broke the oil-filter mount off the bottom of the clutch housing when brush-mowing on rough terrain...Funny, when I first saw the PowerSafe units displayed at a trade show in Italy in 2010, I told the BCS engineers that the oil filter was "too exposed" on the bottom of the clutch housing, and recommended that they put a skid plate under it or something. They smiled and nodded, and of course made no changes...what could an American know, anyway? Well, an American knows that not everyone on the planet is using a walk-behind tractor in manicured hayfields and garden plots...in this country, brush-mowing in very rough terrain is common for walk-behind tractors. Luckily, both repairs were fairly minor, about $25 or $30 in parts; the larger problem being that the bolts that were holding the filter mount on were snapped off inside the clutch housing. Luckily both customers managed to get the broken bolts out...otherwise it would have been a very costly repair. I have informed BCS of this problem (again), and hopefully we will see a skid-plate or some kind of additional protection for the filter mount in the future.

    I find it interesting that even within my company (Earth Tools), the attitude toward the PowerSafe clutch is changing somewhat on an individual basis... My sales and service managers, for example, tend to favor the PowerSafe systems (especially for customers using high-torque implements) because they know that the system is more "brainless" in terms of being "user-friendly" to persons who really do not understand much about how to use a clutch, period. I must say that with the slow change in generations, is it true (and sad, to me) that many Americans have simply never been exposed to anything but an automatic transmission or a hyrdostatic drive, and they don't have the foggiest notion of how to use a clutch properly. Therefore, when they have to use a machine that has a simple mechanical clutch, they are much more likely to ruin the clutch quickly through too much "slipping" (using the clutch for a speed control, letting the clutch out too slowly, etc.), especially with high-torque, power-consumptive loads like large flail mowers, chippers, etc..
    The PowerSafe clutch makes the process of engaging power easier because it builds pressure relatively slowly to the clutch disks...therefore, even if you "drop" the clutch handle, the power to your "load" (large mower, etc.) will engage slowly over about a second or two, so you don't risk stalling the engine most of the time. With a "manual" (purely mechanical) clutch, you have to use your brain a little more to employ techniques to keep from stalling the engine, while at the same time not overheating the clutch (this is no different than driving a stick-shift car or truck). So the PowerSafes are an "easy sell", for this reason.

    However, for me personally, at this early stage of selling this system, I am still not convinced of the overall durability of the PowerSafe system...we just don't have the data. Everybody thought DDT was great, too, until they figured out that it was killing entire ecosystems (This is an extreme example, but my point is: we need DATA OVER TIME to prove the ins and outs of any system). Walk-behind tractors are designed to last thousands of hours of service. Until we have PowerSafe clutches out there in the field (not in some controlled test environment) with at least a thousand hours of service with no problems, I am not "sold" on the durability...and there is simply no question that if there DOES prove to be any service issues with the PowerSafe clutches at some point, they are NOT going to be user-friendly to repair, because this is a pretty complicated system; I expect that most repairs would have to go back to a dealer.
    With the desire to get more direct use data and experience on this system ourselves, we sold our 7-year-old BCS 853 this Spring and took a new 749 PowerSafe as our "Shop BCS demo tractor".

    So, to sum up, I will still say this regarding the PowerSafe: So far, mostly pretty good. If you are a "Techie" and want the latest technology BCS has to offer, fine, go with the PowerSafe (we keep them in stock!), and help us generate usage data. However, if you are more concerned with in-the-field serviceability (and don't mind learning to use a clutch properly, if you don't know how), then the manual clutches are pretty darn well proven on many equipment types over at least 100 years (at least 50 on walk-behind tractors)...on my own personal walk-behind tractor, I had 2000 service hours on the original manual clutch before it needed to be replaced, and many of those hours were operating high-torque implements.

    Food for thought...

    Happy farming and gardening,
    Joel / Earth Tools

  10. #100
    Bronze Member
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    Aug 2011
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    85
    Tractor
    BCS 710

    Default Re: "Powersafe" clutch on BCS

    Thanks Joel and Happy Holidays!

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