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  1. #1
    Silver Member kiphorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    112
    Location
    Central PA
    Tractor
    TC 24D

    Default Calling all Gearheads

    The new house is started and it looks like we're going to blow our budget on some of the allowances that the builder included in his price for the cabinets, fixtures, etc.

    The money to pay for these items has to come from somewhere, so for now it looks like it comes out of the tractor fund. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/frown.gif[/img]

    My question, should I get the tractor I want without the hydrostatic transmission or should I go a little smaller and get the hydro.

    I own 15 wooded acres. I'm partially clearing 2-3 acres for the house meaning 2-3 acres of grass to cut in a partially wooded area.

    My driveway will be 800' long (gravel) with a slight uphill grade. We get approx. 2-6 snowstorms of approximately 6" and the occasional 12" storm each year.

    I want to use the front end loader to keep the under brush in check in the woods around the house.

    My original thoughts were to buy something in the 25-30 hp range. Can I do what I've noted with a gear tractor, or will the shifting become a major inconvenience? If shifting is out, will I be able to satisfactorily complete the tasks with a 20-25 hp tractor?

    What are shuttle shifters, sync reversers etc.? Do they offer a viable alternative to the ease of a hydro transmission?

    Thanks for the help.


    Kip


  2. #2
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    10,982
    Tractor
    NH TC25D

    Default Re: Calling all Gearheads

    Kip, a third alternative is to get what you need/want but buy used. Of the three alternatives, (1) Smaller hydro, (2) Right size but gear or (3) Right size hydro, I'd go with option 3.

  3. #3
    Super Member RobS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Posts
    6,233
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Tractor
    John Deere 790

    Default Re: Calling all Gearheads

    Kip, I'm a gearhead and I can tell you you'll be fine with gears if you need. Think about it, a couple of decades ago everything was gear and everyone got a long just fine. Sure, a hydro may be faster/more efficient in certain situations but with gears you get more seat time [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    BTW, good luck on your new house. I suspect if I had waited to get the tractor until after we started construction I wouldn't have one for a long time. As it turns out we accelerated our construction plan by a couple of years even after buying the tractor [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    856
    Location
    South West Pa/Greene county
    Tractor
    Long/Landtrac360DTC

    Default Re: Calling all Gearheads

    <font color=blue>Can I do what I've noted with a gear tractor, or will the shifting become a major inconvenience? </font color=blue>

    While hydro is convient, it is not in any way a necessity. With a little practice, you can operate a gear tractor just as efficiently as a hydro tractor.

    <font color=blue>What are shuttle shifters, sync reversers etc.? </font color=blue>

    A shuttle shifter is a second shifter that selects foward or reverse. You pick the main gear (usually 1 to 4) and use the shuttle to pick foward or reverse. I believe a sync reverseer allows you to shift from foward to reverse without clutching.

    Have you considered/looked at Kioti or Long tractors ? While they are not one of the "Big Three" they offer a well made tractor at a reasonable price. You can get a lot more bang for your buck.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    111
    Location
    Armada, Michigan

    Default Re: Calling all Gearheads

    Kip, I grew up using nothing but gear tractors with and without loaders. What you are describing will be no problem with a gear tractor. Hydro is nice but, being an old farm boy, I prefer to keep things simple, like gears.

    Shamless plug...check my web site.

    Vince

  6. #6
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    3,645
    Location
    western,pa.
    Tractor
    Kioti DK 35

    Default Re: Calling all Gearheads

    I agree with Ed.You do not need hydro. for your uses.
    A sycronized transmission with reverser would work just fine.
    To save more money to get the size tractor we wanted with the extra features that come standard on them Ed went with a Landtrac and I went with a Kioti Dk and we are both very happy with our choice..

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    874
    Location
    Monroe,Washington
    Tractor
    New holland TC29-9x3 Woods 1012 FEL, Woods, 7500 Backhoe / Kubota L345DT 4WD, Kub FEL, Kub Backhoe

    Default Re: Calling all Gearheads

    Sounds like you have a great peice of property, that will supply you with countless projects over the forth coming years.

    I've been into the compact tractor scene going on Twenty three years. Most of it in comercial property maintenance as well as tight residential excavation. That means a whole lot of FEL time, as well as backhoe use. And all of it has been with a standard transmission. I'm quite confident that with a few hours under their belts, most people can become just as profeicent with a gear tranny as with The hydrostatics. In fact I've witnessed more incidents occurring ( such as slapping something accidently with the FEL, or swinging an implement on the 3PH into something) from complaceicency on hydro's, than gear tractors. Those who operate gear tractors seem to develop a certain amount of precision.

    In fact I just took delivery of my new N.H. TC29, with Backhoe and FEL on Monday. And yes it has the standard 9X3 tranny. I actually had to go with the TC29 over the TC33 be so I could get the standard tranny with the live PTO. No regrets though. I'm substituting experiance for a couple of horsepower. But with a property the size of yours a few more horsepower can always come in handy.

    Good luck on your new purchase, and happy tractoring.

  8. #8
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    340
    Location
    Fairfax, Franklin County, Vermont
    Tractor
    1999 Cub Cadet 7260

    Default Re: Calling all Gearheads

    kiphorn - I agree with the others. You'll get along just fine with a gear drive tractor. I've been driving tractors since I was a kid in high school, all gear drive. There isn't anything you can do with a hydro that you can't do with a gear drive, and with a little practice, just as quickly. Hydro is a convenience, not a necessity. I don't want to start a hydro vs gear war here, this is just my opinion.... The money I saved by buying a gear drive vs a hydro enabled me to buy a bigger tractor, a decision I have not regretted. Go for the gear drive! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Corm

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

    Default Re: Calling all Gearheads

    Ditto to the gears! Personally I would pick a geared tractor with a syncro shuttle over a hydo if they were the same price.

    I know many (most) swear by the hydros and if all I did was fel work I might agree (I don't even own a fel). But for general "tractor work" I can do it better and faster with what I have.

    If I had to give up my syncro shuttle though I might rethink my position on hydros. This feature makes as much difference as day and night.

    TBone


  10. #10
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    3,239
    Location
    Eastern Virginia
    Tractor
    EarthForce EF-5 mini-TLB (2001)

    Default Re: Calling all Gearheads

    Kip - You said you were calling "gearheads", and that's what you've gotten so far, with one exception, I guess. It depends on what you want to hear, I guess. If you want assurance that it's a good idea to buy a Ford, you'll get a lot more favorable responses if you only poll Ford owners, that's for sure.

    If, on the other hand, you wanted a more diverse set of opinions, and one based on a wider range of experiences and backgrounds, you'd do well to ask "Which is better: Hydro or Gear?" Which is, in fact, a question that's been asked a few dozen times here on TBN. I'd suggest you do a few searches into the wealth of info from back posts to get as much info as you can before plunking your hard-earned dollars down on anything.

    I've been running tractors/and heavy equipment for over 30 years, and I'll disagree completely with most of the advice you've gotten so far in response to your question. (Of course, you've gotten the ones you asked for an opinion to respond, so maybe you're happy - if so, just ignore me. If, on the other hand, you want additional un-biased information, hear me out.) One thing I can say with quite a bit of certainty is that it is not true that you can get as good at controlling a gear machine as you can with a hydro, unless you get really good at, and don't mind, burning the clutch up. There is no other way.

    I'm going to rant a little here. I just love (insert emoticon for extreme sarcasm here) the old lame line that "hydros are for beginners". It's very effective at appealing to the macho tractor man image, but it's a lie. I consider myself to be a pretty fair operator. By which I mean that I've got lots and lots of seat time, average coordination, and I keep my eyes and ears open. That's about all it takes to be a pretty fair operator. I know guys who are better, and I know a couple who have less experience than I do who I'd say are just as good. But, the only people I know who aren't better operators with HST are those who won't use it.

    As to the safety issues: Is it possible to operate a gear tractor just as safely as a hydro? Almost. Is it likely that you're going to? Not a chance. It can be done, but not if you're tired, not if your mind ever wanders, not if you ever make mistakes. If you can say none of those things affects you, you need professional help. Is it possible to make safety related mistakes on a hydro tractor? Sure, but there's a lot less opportunity. And just remember the old adage about pilots "There's two kinds: those who've landed a plane without remembering to put the landing gear down, and those who will." Meaning, if there's a mistake that can possibly be made, you'll eventually make it if you live long enough and use the tractor enough. That's why it's important to cut down on the number and severity of the consequences of them.

    Now, back to your questions: Can you do all those things with a gear tractor? Sure. People have been doing them for years. Can you do them better and more safely with a hydrostatic tractor? Just as surely. This is not a matter of debate, except among those who haven't given hydros a chance, have only used ancient versions from before the technology was perfected, or have let their love of gears cloud their vision. I can say that because I was one of the latter for a long, long time. You see, I'm a gearhead, too - that's why I answered your message. My wife has an automatic transmission car, but nothing I buy has an automatic in it. Except my tractor. Sometimes, you've just got to bite the bullet and admit it when technology has improved your options markedly. My advice: do a little more research, get some "demo" time with both, and try to save enough money somewhere else to get the hydro, or go with an "almost new" one. And, the next time you want an answer to a question, don't ask the ones you already know the opinion of. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]

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