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  1. #41
    Gold Member ddb123's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
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    481
    Location
    Southwest MO
    Tractor
    Kubota L3540

    Default Re: Gear driven or HST

    I read your other posts and I'm sorry to hear about your other tractor.

    It sounds like you would definitely prefer the HST for your uses. I started with a gear model, and although I did like it and gear does have its charm (my cars and trucks always have and always will be manual transmissions), in a tractor you need to be paying more attention to what you are DOING than shifting and slipping the clutch just right and giving it just the right throttle. The HST is a miracle and it lets you focus on the task at hand. I went from a fully paid-for gear tractor to a now-in-lots-of-debt HST tractor and it was absolutely worth it. I intentionally riled up the crowd with my first post (I thought it was funny), but the fact is, for most people most of the time in a "home use" situation like you described, the HST is hands-down the best option.

    For six acres, you'd probably be fine with the B3200, although if you don't need a mid pto the B3300 is probably a better value. If your terrain is hilly at all, you would probably benefit from the wider wheelbase of the L3200. Try out the 3pt with an implement hooked up before you buy, as the dreaded "jerky 3pt hitch" is the bane of the standard L series Kubotas. I really love the B series Kubotas, but I went with a larger tractor because weight is usually your tractoring friend. I have never regretted the extra size and weight of my tractor compared to the B3300 I almost got instead (on the contrary, I'm almost always happy that I have more ground clearance and more weight -- aka traction).

    My hearty recommendation would be to get an L3200 and be sure to avoid the jerky 3pt hitch -- it only effects some of the particular tractors. Although they both have the same hp, the engine will never notice the additional weight. But the tires will, in terms of increased traction. You may be thinking that the smaller B3200 would be better for around the house, and you would be correct to an extent, but the HST gives you such precise control that you will confidently operate an L3200 near your home. L3200s aren't that big, anyway.

    My girlfriend wouldn't touch my gear L4300, but she competently operates my HST L3540.

    I can't speak to differences in resale value, nor to maintenance. I have always heard that HSTs are bullet proof (you'll never have another wasted clutch), and I do think it's telling that large machinery often has an HST. They really are maintenance-free except for changing the fluids.
    Kubota L3540 HST
    Kubota L4300 Gear *gone!*
    Ford F-350 6.9L diesel

  2. #42
    Super Member 94BULLITT's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    7,466
    Location
    Frederick County, VA
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2360 & L4240 HSTC

    Default

    The b3200 can have a mid pto for running a snowblower or a mower. The L does not have a mid pto option. The L has a stonger loader and 3PH. You can get a skid steer quick attach on L. You have to get a aftermarket ssqa for the b.

  3. #43
    Platinum Member
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    May 2011
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    765
    Location
    Trent Hills, ON
    Tractor
    Kioti DK40SE HST

    Default Re: Gear driven or HST

    Quote Originally Posted by hmeadows View Post
    Thanks to everyone that replied to this thread. TripleR makes a great point. I should have given you all more information. I have 6 acres of land, four has been cleared and two are wooded. I use my tractor mainly for the FEL (spreading dirt, hauling cut wood, etc.) but I'm planning on grading a driveway about 50 yards long and 10 feet wide, brush hog the other two acres, to thin out the under brush and with a rotary tiller for a small garden. I'm leaning toward the HST so my wife and daughter can use the tractor. My main concern between gear driven or HST is which one would need less maintenance. I have a small gear driven grey tractor now with less than 150 hrs that needs a clutch already. This is my first tractor and has been an expensive experience. I purchased it used about 15 months ago with 70 hrs. As for the other half of the question, should I buy a kubota B3200 or L3200. If I wanted to sell it later on which one is the more popular. They both are about the same tractor except the
    L3200 is a lot more beefier.
    Given your history with a clutch, and your uses I think an HST is better for you. I've never regretted getting one and with the proper maintenance I can't see why an HST isn't going to last for many clutch lifetimes used on your lot.
    2011 DK40SE HST

  4. #44
    Elite Member
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    May 2012
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    2,972
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Tractor
    Bobcat CT225

    Default Re: Gear driven or HST

    Quote Originally Posted by hmeadows View Post
    My main concern between gear driven or HST is which one would need less maintenance. I have a small gear driven grey tractor now with less than 150 hrs that needs a clutch already.
    Something does not add up there. A tractor's clutch should last thousands of hours if properly adjusted and not abused by the operator.

  5. #45
    Platinum Member npalen's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
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    673
    Location
    Beloit, KS
    Tractor
    Kubota B9200 HSTD and Allis 720

    Default Re: Gear driven or HST

    A little off topic here but one area where hydrostats really shine is harvesting equipment such as combines. My first combine as a farm kid was a Deere Model 55 which had a gearshift in conjunction with a manually operated variable speed belt system. Then the newer 95's had the same except power operated variable speed belt system. Since then they are now all hydrostatic with two or three gear ranges even the newer 400 HP machines. Driving a combine during harvest is constantly changing speeds, stopping, backing etc.
    I promised myself, when retiring at age 66 earlier this year, that I would stay out of the grain fields. Didn't happen. It just gets into your blood.

  6. #46
    Super Star Member
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    Missouri
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    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: Gear driven or HST

    Quote Originally Posted by hmeadows View Post
    Thanks to everyone that replied to this thread. TripleR makes a great point. I should have given you all more information. I have 6 acres of land, four has been cleared and two are wooded. I use my tractor mainly for the FEL (spreading dirt, hauling cut wood, etc.) but I'm planning on grading a driveway about 50 yards long and 10 feet wide, brush hog the other two acres, to thin out the under brush and with a rotary tiller for a small garden. I'm leaning toward the HST so my wife and daughter can use the tractor. My main concern between gear driven or HST is which one would need less maintenance. I have a small gear driven grey tractor now with less than 150 hrs that needs a clutch already. This is my first tractor and has been an expensive experience. I purchased it used about 15 months ago with 70 hrs. As for the other half of the question, should I buy a kubota B3200 or L3200. If I wanted to sell it later on which one is the more popular. They both are about the same tractor except the L3200 is a lot more beefier.
    Thanks for the additional information. Our primary machines right now are a BX2200, BX2660, John Deere 2305, Kubota Grand L5740 HSTC and Kubota M8540 HDC, we have several older geared models, but I had to quite driving them; getting too old.

    In any given day I may be operating a geared and HST tractor, so I am use to quite a few hours with both types.

    Full disclosure, I HATE quarter inching valve 3PH such as on the B3200, but lots of people like them, so I would go to the dealer, have them put something fairly substantial on the 3PH, see if you can easily control it and see how gast it leaks down, in this size my favorite is the B3030 or if in a cab B3000, but cost is significantly higher.

    Due to the jerky 3PH known to exist on the L3x00 tractors do the same thing as with the B3200 though since it is position control, it won't leak down. I MUCH prefer an independent PTO over live or transmission driven. The L3200 has the much older style transmission driven with over running clutch. It is an annoyance in a gear drive tractor, we have tractors with them, but less so with an HST because you are not clutching to change gears or direction. Here is a link:TractorData.com - Power Take-Off

    As to size, either will do and only by putting as much seat time as the dealers will let you, will you be able to pick the right one and you may even want to rent one as close to what you are looking for for a weekend to get a real feel. From my own personal experience two of my favorite tractors did not impress me on the lot and only came into their own after I got use to them. Another thing I noticed is often times a tractor seems to "shrink" once you put it on your property and use it a while.

    I try to stay away from recommending out right HST over gear or vice versa as we are all different. My brother just bought a synchro shuttle Kioti after looking everything over for literally years and LOVES, it; me not so much though I drove one for 12 years, Case not Kioti. However, you mentioned your wife and daughter using it and I believe they will be happier and use the tractor much more if it is an HST. My wife has taken over the two BX's, often uses the John Deere and bush hogs with the Grand L when needed. My daughter is very comfortable on our small HSTs as is my grand daughter.

    Choosing the "right size can be confusing no matter how long you have been driving/operating unless it has been with a similar machine, our M8540 was simple as we needed to replace a Case of the same size. Other times you can leave the house convinced you want one and come home with another, we went to buy a B2920 and came home with a BX2660 and another time we went looking for a B3200 or L3400 and came home with a L5030 HSTC.

    Much of what I like in a tractor costs more and makes operating it easier, but for many years I got by with a bare bones machine and was happy to have it.

    I agree with joshbardwell, no way your clutch should be worn out, we have geared tractors over forty years old with the original clutch.

    I hope I haven't muddied the waters too much and as I have said before:

    If you can pick a tractor with:

    1. Just the right horsepower, no more no less.
    2. Just the right weight, no more no less.
    3. Just the right loader/backhoe performance, no more no less.
    4. Just the right tires.
    5. Just the right transmission for ALL of your needs.
    6. Just the right price, no more; don't worry about the "less" part, won't happen.
    7. Just the right size; not too big and not too small, just right.

    If you can do all this and more that you aspire to in your tractor selection, you can retire from your present job and become a very successful tractor consultant.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

  7. #47
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    5,552
    Location
    Central Texas, Jarrell
    Tractor
    Kubota 5030HSTC

    Default Re: Gear driven or HST

    I can only repeat what TripleR said. He knows his tractors. He gives good advice. Believe it.
    Joy is having the tools you need and needing the tools you have!

    Kubota 5030 HSTC, BB, Danueser PHD, LA853 QA HD FEL w JD toothbar, 3pt chisel, 3 pt disk, 6' shredder, Kubota FEL hay spike, 3pt hay fork w carryall, Kubota RTV 1140

  8. #48
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
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    Bethel, Vermont
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    John Deere 4400 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV, Z920A Zero Turn Mower and assorted implements

    Default Re: Gear driven or HST

    Quote Originally Posted by jenkinsph View Post
    IIRC Roy has problems with his right leg/foot so operating a hydro tractor won't work well for him. I can understand his using his left leg for the clutch and having a combination that works well for him. Gotta do what works for you and be thankful we can use these tractors at all.
    Yep, bum right leg and foot from a stroke. That wouldn't stop me from operating an HST...except maybe for the close work. I'd have less problems with Deere's 2 pedal HST then I would with kubota's treadle type pedal.
    That's not why I have a gear transmission...I just prefer gears.
    But when it comes to people buying a tractor, they just need to determine what they like best.

    These threads do give me an opportunity to harrass all those quiche eating girly guys though!! Keeps an old man occupied.
    Roy Jackson

    "Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one."
    -Joseph P. Martino

  9. #49
    Super Member
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    somewhere usa
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    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: Gear driven or HST

    Roy,
    This old man has owned and operated gear and hydro tractors and I will tell you straight out for close in work the hydrostatic is waaay better to operate. The ehydro's are better than the early hydro's too, sometimes you have to try something new and use it for awhile to recognize the differences. I have about 1800 hours operating the hydros' and several thousand hours operating the gear transmissions on tractors. Both types of transmissions have their place but with so little hydro experience how do you place judgement on them?

  10. #50
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
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    Bethel, Vermont
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    John Deere 4400 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV, Z920A Zero Turn Mower and assorted implements

    Default Re: Gear driven or HST

    Quote Originally Posted by jenkinsph View Post
    Both types of transmissions have their place but with so little hydro experience how do you place judgement on them?
    If you go back and read most of the threads (over the last ten years or so), you see I mostly promote gear transmissions rather then demote HST.
    You're correct...most responders do not have adequate experience in both types of transmissions to make an educated post on the merits. Even the relatively few hours I have on HST is likely more then most have on gears.
    What I mostly promote is the OPs get on the tractors and see what they prefer most. They are the ones going to be living with their decision.

    But, it's just an internet forum and harassing the girlyguy HST owners is fun. That's what it boils down to...
    Roy Jackson

    "Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one."
    -Joseph P. Martino

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