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  1. #21

    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    1,862
    Location
    The Fabulous Foothills of Northern California

    Default Re: Calling all Gearheads

    Kip, strange enough, I knew next to nothing about "hydrostatic drive". Heck, I thought perhaps I got involved in the wrong forum, one for people much smarter then me. I not only didn't know what it was, but thought perhaps it was something to do with water and a way to drill holes. The more I investigated it, the more I learned. I already own a "geardrive" tractor, use a shuttle shift at work and am quite familiar with torque converter drives. I enjoy using them all, it beats the heck out of my well worn wheelbarrow and shovel. I now own a "geardrive" hydrostatic tractor. The advantages of hydrostatic become apparent after about 16 hours of use. Would I ever consider a "geardrive" again, sure. Am I disappointed with my decision to go hydrostatic, not at all. Are the extra horsepower wasted heating hydro oil a problem, nuh uh. Its going to be a decision you make based perhaps on as much as we say here as with the few experimental minutes trying out the various types at a dealer. I think it takes some hours to recognize where and when the hydrostatic is ultimately superior to a gear or manual transmission. Prior to that, your going to be pretty excited in whatever you use, especially if its your first tractor. If you choose to go with a manual transmission, you will be very pleased with it. They work well, put more of the engines power to the wheel and have been around for many decades. If however, you want to get the ultimate in manuverability, safety and a very simple to operate tractor, you will not find anything comparing to hydrostatic. If a good portion of what you will do is either loader work (nothing comes close to matching a hydrostatic drive for loader work) or small area or obstacle mowing, get the hydrostsatic, otherwise the manual will do you fine. I did not find hydrostatic to be much more expensive then a manual transmission and figuring it may well be a life long investment, didn't really care. Get what you want, get the facts, listen to folks who use both and may offer a more objective opinion. The folks that are purists and feel that even power steering is cheating are few. They exist and several of us here have had our troubles with them. They are certainly entitled to whatever they like, sometimes there reasons have merit. It is not the job of myself or anyone else at TBN to persuade or convince you to get anything except pass on our experiences with what we know. I offer to you and others my experience using almost every type of transmission made, value it as you desire, Rat...

    P.S. I get 25% of all tractor sales in this country regardles of brand for all folks that purchase hydrostatic drive. This is why I will so frequently discuss hydrostatic drive and the merits there of.

    P.S. P.S. Go KINGS, BEAT LA - If Shaq was really tough, he'd be playing football, but then the NFL doesn't put up with whinners

  2. #22

    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    433
    Location
    Canton, Texas
    Tractor
    Deere 5520 MFWD

    Default Re: Calling all Gearheads

    Mark, I am not sure I understand your reasoning behind the comment that the shuttle shift or power reverser give up HP. As I understand it, (and I have a power reverser) all the power reverser does is to engage a wet clutch electronically, and then shift into one or the other direction. As I understand it (I could be wrong here), there is still a direct coupling of the engine and the tires, so I am not sure that I understand your remark. I suppose that while the wet clutch was slipping during transitions between forward and reverse, you could lose some HP, but that is the case with anything with a clutch.

  3. #23
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    3,239
    Location
    Eastern Virginia
    Tractor
    EarthForce EF-5 mini-TLB (2001)

    Default Re: Calling all Gearheads

    rf33 - It depends on what type you have, but if you have the ability to shift gears without using the manual clutch, your wet clutch is engaged by hydraulic pressure, and it's this system that costs you hp anytime the clutch is engaged. If you only have the ability to shift from forward to reverse without using the mechanical clutch, then you may have a different system, one that doesn't incur power loss.

  4. #24

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    133
    Location
    Farmersville, TX
    Tractor
    Kubota B7500DT,June 2000

    Default Re: Calling all Gearheads

    Thank you. I totally agree with you on the safety issue. When I purchased mine I was looking at it as a 1 time purchase. Reliabiltiy and routine maintenance cost were also big issues. I also am independant and a DIY person. I hate giving dealers or mechanics my hard earned money for stuff that I can do. What is the routine maintenance cost of hydro -vs- gear over the life of the tractor? If it came down to it how many people could work on a hydro -vs- adjusting or replacing a clutch? I wish the manufacturers would put actual Dyno HP ratings out instead of the estimated ones. On my B7500 the book shows an " estimated 1 HP " difference. I'm betting its more than that. One more thing is the hydro whine. My neighbor down the street was using 1 last night and at times you could hear the whine over the sound of the engine. Personally it would drive me nuts if I had to listen to that all day. Well just my thoughts and opininions here.

  5. #25

    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    1,862
    Location
    The Fabulous Foothills of Northern California

    Default Re: Calling all Gearheads

    TBone, while you are correct that shuttleshift, synchroshift, powerreverser or whatever a brand is using to identify this very easy to use transmission is the difference between night and day, the difference between hydrostatic and shuttleshift is years and light years when it comes to use. With far more hours of experience on shuttle type tractors, I can attest to the abilities of it as well as my relatively new hydrostatic with a mere 125 hours. When doing loader work, there is no comparrison between the two. I suppose it is why they offer only hydrostatic on the kubota L48 TL/TLB and JD 110 TLB.

    Contrary to whats being said here in this thread and at various other times here at TBN, it seems to be the passion of some of the folks with gears to only offer fault with hydrostatic while singing the praises of manual or manual with shuttle. To say that hydrostatic consumes more HP is accurate, does it make much difference that a few HP is lost to this convenience, no. Heck if they are that concerned, remove the hydraulic pump, it uses HP you know, get a set of come alongs and big screw jacks and run your loader and 3 pt hitch manually, you get more HP to the wheels this way. Silly, sure, it demonstrates my point though. Is hydrostatic the only way to go, no. Should those of us with hydrostatic not tell folks considering the purchase of tractor to consider it or what we feel the merits are to hydrostatic? What about those of us with all three types of transmissions, should I stop telling folks my experiences with them? Is hydrostatic whine an issue with some tractors, I suppose, not mine, it's actually quieter then my gear drive International. Is a geared shuttle shift cheaper then a hydro, maybe, not always, depends. If its Kioti, it is sort of. They don't have hydro the last time I checked. With Kubota, the L4610 I considered, HST was actually cheaper by a few hundred dollars then the shuttle and GST counterpart. Its not a forgone conclusion that shuttle is cheaper.

    If value is what you want, price is only one way to evaluate it.
    If a cheap price is what your after, buy a chinese tractor, stay away from SnapOn tools and for that matter buy all your tools from China.
    If your needs don't involve large amounts of loader work, you don't consistently stop and go, switch between F/R and will not have inexperienced folks use your tractor, a shuttle shift will be fantastic. I really like my L4850 shuttleshift
    If you have need to do any of the mentioned motions or are concerned about a inexperienced person using your tractor especially on slopes (its not unheard of for sons, daughters, wives and friends to use a tractor to cut some grass), then hydrostatic offers a fantastic choice. It took a number of hours for me to realize all the benfits of hydrostatic, but they actually do exist. Working at my home the benefits of hydro on the steeper hills is second to none. I'd really like to see what some of the manual transmission folks as well as the hydro folks have done with their compact tractors, if its half of what I've done here at my place, I'd be impressed. With 112 hours on my L48, I have now removed approximately 700 yards of material, leveled, and moved it all to a new location, all on a slope that makes many folks pucker. My loader bucket is shiny bare steel now and my boxscraper even shinier. In the end, its going to boil down to show me what you've done don't tell me what you got. Rat...

  6. #26
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    762
    Location
    Greater Springfield area, Massachusetts
    Tractor
    Kubota B2910, also Honda HT3813 with mower and front blade.

    Default Re: Calling all Gearheads

    Hi Kip,

    I'm not a gearhead...I only have a hydro, but I'll give you my $0.02 worth.

    One advantage of the hydro is that it is easier to teach someone else how to operate the tractor. There have been a few times when I have had my wife operate the tractor (when I use it as a diesel wheelbarrow, for instance) and she does it without a problem. I don't think she'd even attempt it if she had to use a clutch.

    That said, I also think that the simpler operation of the hydro implies that it can be safer to operate ( A corollary to the K.I.S.S. principle.)

    One other point...we often see comparisons between a gear/hydro tractor to that of a gear/automatic transmission on a car. Although in terms of ease of operation, the comparison is similar, there is one other important difference. Even with an automatic transmission in your car, the vehicle's speed is mostly set by the accelerator, the transmission just figures out what gear is best for the operating conditions. With the hydro on the tractor, you can set the throttle anywhere you want and independently set your groundspeed and direction solely by the position of the hydro pedal. Very helpful. Full throttle and the tractor can just creep along.

    Good Luck in your decision. You will be thrilled with whatever you get, but as you've found out, the decision isn't quite as easy as it might seem.

    Rick

    P.S. I do have to question your budget reasoning a bit though. If I understand you correctly, you're cutting into your tractor budget to help pay for cabinets for the house? In 30 years, you'll be on your second (if not third) set of cabinets, but your tractor, with good care, will most probably still be running strong. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img].

  7. #27
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    436
    Location
    Mississippi
    Tractor
    Kubota M-4900

    Default Re: Calling all Gearheads

    Rat,

    I think we basically agree on everything you said. I was not concerned about the HP loss on the hydro, I was not concerned about the extra cost (if indeed there was any) of the hydro, I was not concerned about inexperienced persons being more comfortable with the hydro because I don't have inexperienced persons operating my equipment.

    I was only concerned about getting a good dependable tractor that suited my needs. I don't have a fel, I don't do a lot of work in small cramped places where I have to change directions constantly.

    My property is 3/4 of a mile long and I do mostly rotary cutting, road improving, etc. I can literally go for miles without reversing. There's only one place on my land that a hydro would be helpful and that's working around a 1 acre pond with the cutter. I usually back the cutter out over the water to get the vegetation in the edge of the water. The shuttle is nice when I do that. A hydro would probably do it better but that's only a small percentage of what I use it for.

    Like some others, the whine that I have heard on some hydros would drive me nuts. I got rid of a one year old tractor with 120 hours on it mostly because of the noise.

    I'll concede this to you and all the other hydro lovers out there. If i owned a couple of acres of land and had a compact tractor, I would probably look real hard at hydros. For my use on an ag tractor I wouldn't have one.

    TBone

  8. #28

    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    1,862
    Location
    The Fabulous Foothills of Northern California

    Default Re: Calling all Gearheads

    Actually TBone, when I make a reply, I sometimes make the mistake of pulling a reply from someone and then using them as the example. In your case, I actually read yours and felt, heres a level headed person who makes sense to me. Your reply to mine was right on. Most of the comments were actually addressing replys to others and not specifically yours. I really do enjoy the shuttle shift on the L4850. Its a wonderful idea. Believe it or not, there are those that believe even that is much to nice to have and feel the only true tractor is one with manual steering, gear shift and stop, change gears, stop, reverse stop, forward etc. I wonder if they also mail in their responses to TBN, after all the computer is kinda like hydrostatic drive, its just to high tech and easy. Rat...

  9. #29
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    436
    Location
    Mississippi
    Tractor
    Kubota M-4900

    Default Re: Calling all Gearheads

    Hey Rat, Thanks for the re-reply. I think we are in agreement - Some things are done much better with a hydro while some are done (maybe not necessarily better) just as well with a gear tractor.

    As I age gracefully I find the high tech stuff (power steering/shuttle shift/rubber tires) more and more appealing. I have a neighbor that has an old 135 Massey Ferguson with manual steering and if I had to drive that thing very much I would have to hire my tractorin done. I guess something is wrong with it but it takes all the strength in both arms to turn it!

    WAY DOWN DEEP I'm afraid if I spent a few dozen hours on a hydro I couldn't live without one.[img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img][img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

    Have a happy and safe Memorial Day.

    TBone

  10. #30

    Default Re: Calling all Gearheads

    <font color=blue>...has an old 135 Massey Ferguson with manual steering and if I had to drive that thing very much I would have to hire my tractorin done...</font color=blue>

    Be nice now... [img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    If you had nothing... then you'd be telling us how much you loved it... [img]/w3tcompact/icons/blush.gif[/img]

    I've had a couple MF135s through the years and loved everyone... next to the Ford 9n/8n series... I'm told the Massey 35/135 is the next most owned throughout the entire world...

    Remember... everything in life is relative... [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]


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