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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    66
    Location
    Western Mass
    Tractor
    MF1531

    Default HST vs GEAR

    Thanks to all of you helping me get educated here before buying my first tractor, now, another question. What's the real deal with HST vs gear besides ease of use with HST? I have been reading some things about lower RPM's and fuel consumption with gear, and also that it's mostly self preference. With gear, is the clutch just for getting into gear or do you also have to "let it out" to get moving as you would when driving a std tranny car? Is one more reliable than the other or prone to be more trouble-free? As for my use of the tractor, it will be lot's of stop and go, hauling, and bull work with no mowing.
    thanks all-

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    23,027
    Location
    South Bend, Indiana (near)
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year

    Default Re: HST vs GEAR

    Read, read, read and then read some more. After your eyes get bleary and your brain is full, go to some dealers and test drive, test drive, test drive. Then, if you can, get some seat time on the models that appeal to you in real world conditions, like FEL work.

    I have personal preference for HST for homeowner/landscaping work, but you may prefer gear or shuttle shift type transmissions. Good luck in your research. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    553
    Location
    Maine
    Tractor
    Kubota M5700 @ B2650HSDC

    Default Re: HST vs GEAR

    That topic has been brought up many times on this forum and rightfully so as it is a very important decision for you to make.Unless you go with gst or a hydraulic shuttle shift type transmission ,which is what I now have you will have to push in the clutch just like you would in a car in order to go from forward to reverse or change gears.With the hyd. shuttle shift you still have to use the clutch to change gears but use just a hand lever to chage directions which is great for loader work..I considered the hst but my dealer wasn't for it as I do alot of heavy pulling,such as hauling logs and ground implements such as a plow, disc harrow , cultivators etc..The gst in the kubota line is a good choice as you can shift on the go with no pushing on the clutch peddle as it is done for you with hydaulics,I have never used one but others can give you more info on that type transmission or you can go back and read other posts on this forum.Like said before go to your dealer and try them out and let the dealer know exactly what you will be using the tractor for.
    Good Luck,
    Herb

  4. #4
    Elite Member SnowRidge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    3,091
    Location
    East Tennessee
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT-425 / Branson 3520

    Default Re: HST vs GEAR

    If you haven't already done so, I suggest taking a look here. There are really well done explanations of tractor transmissions, PTOs, and 3 point hitches. They are worth the read.

    I have two machines, one is a standard shuttle shift with dual stage clutch, the other is all wheel hydraulic drive (slightly different than a hydro CUT, but close enough for this discussion). Personally, I agree that hydros are superior for mowing and close quarters loader work, but other than that, I don't care for them.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member DmansPadge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    1,678
    Location
    Orange, TX
    Tractor
    Kubota B2620, Toro 2000 Series Z Master

    Default Re: HST vs GEAR

    If you haven't already you might want to search through the forums. You can find this topic debated quite a bit. Here is a recent post.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    560
    Location
    Baldwinsville, NY (10 miles NW of Syracuse)
    Tractor
    JD 4310, ehydro, 4WD, R4s

    Default Re: HST vs GEAR

    I would say that the Gear is superior for some things and the HST is superior for other things. This is pretty well documented in numerous TBN threads. There is a large gray scale in between the two "superior" camps. I think most people are somewhere in the gray scale with many being close to the middle. In that case I think the HST becomes more of a convenience and the question becomes whether the added price is worth it. Only you can decide if your tasks are clearly in one camp or the other or some where in between. I prefer HST because of the tasks I do but, for the tasks you described briefly, I think a Gear tractor would be a good choice. Try them out to find out what is best for you. Don't forget to work all of the controls such as steering brakes, differential lock, clutch, shifter, etc. to see which set of controls work best for you. As you have probably read on TBN, some manufacturer's do a better job than others in control layout and useability.

    Jeff

  7. #7
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    110
    Location
    Central Maine

    Default Re: HST vs GEAR

    hey, welcome. i just took delivery of an L3130 HST. i must say, i'm very satisfied. lot of stops and starts, and never have to use the clutch once. just use the clutch once when you start the tractor and that is it. unless you change speed ranges, but that is rare. push the pedal forward to go forward, and press back to go in reverse. it's also excellent on hills, you don't have to slip the clutch. also good when trying to ease into something like a pile of dirt or backing up to an impement, just "two more inches". it's not the same thing as an automatic tranny in a car. in this case, you're controlling the flow of hydraulic fluid to a hydraulic motor. you won't be disappointed!

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    1,171
    Location
    North of the Fingerlakes - NY
    Tractor
    Ford 4000; Ford 2000(both 3cyl.);JD40; 2004 Kubota L4300; 2006 Kubota B7610; new 2007 Kubota MX5000

    Default Re: HST vs GEAR

    It's just a matter of the right tool for the job, btown. The word 'superior' gets misused.

    For mowing, snowblowing, and tiller work; the HST is the right tool. It'll give you infinite control of groundspeed while keeping PTO speed constant at the optimum for your implement. Think of groundspeed as the rate at which work is fed to the implement; infinite control of work feed rate can't be beat.

    For loader work in close quarters or with lots of reptetition, the HST is also the right tool. Reversing is effortless and precise control of movement is easy. You can do these things with gear but it's more difficult and more prone to error.

    For ground engagement bull work; gear is the right tool. Plowing, discing, skidding logs, and grading all require raw pulling power; and that's delivered most efficiently with gears. Also, gears make sense for open field work, such as raking hay, where tractor speed is held constant over long stretches.

    HST is not strictly a convenience feature like an automatic transmission in a car. For constant speed open field work, the gear tractor is actually more convenient....no need to hold your foot on the hydro pedal or juggle throttle and cruise control settings; just set the throttle and go. HST is simply the best way to do SOME jobs; on others it isn't. So choose wisely. It's not a matter of "I hate to shift and I've always driven an automatic; therefore I'll get HST on my tractor.".

    Ideally we'd all have two CUTs in the barn; one HST and one gear. Practically we get the transmission that best serves our purpose MOST of the time and make do with it the rest of the time.
    FWIW
    Bob

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,121

    Default Re: HST vs GEAR

    Great post, I am from the gear camp but will admit that there is a place for HST. You are right on with where each is better and have explained it such that no one should be offended (I wasn't so lucky when I tried a few weeks ago). The only thing I would add is that the greater initial and maintenance expense associated with the HST may be significant for some folks.

  10. #10
    Super Member JerryG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    7,191
    Location
    Northwest Arkansas
    Tractor
    MF 1440-4 PowerShuttle

    Default Re: HST vs GEAR

    Let me give you a run down on all the Manual types of the transmissions. The hydro explanations are always beat to death and most donít know the difference between all of the standards transmissions.

    1. Manual Shift: plain old standard shift transmission. No synchronizers thus you have to stop and clutch for each gear change. You canít shift on the go without grinding gears. Usually have 6-8 forward gears and 1-2 reverses.

    2. Synchro-Shift: Basically the same as the manual shift except it has synchronizers and can be shifted on the go. The clutch should always be used for starts, stops as well as shifting. Usually have 6-8 forward gears and 1-2 reverses.

    3. Shuttle Shift or SynchroShuttle: This is a standard transmission that may have as many gears in reverse as forward. There is lever on the left of the steering that performs the forward to reverse gear change. Most Shuttle Shifts are some synchronized gears or they may be fully synchronized. The clutch must be used to start, stop and change directions. Usually has 9, 12 or 16 gears in each direction. May have a gear as low as ľ MPH on the 16 speed models.

    4. Power Shuttle: With this Standard transmission, you can change forward to reverse directions and also start and stop without using the clutching. Most if not all Power Shuttle transmissions have fully synchronized gears. Usually has 9, 12 or 16 gears in each direction. May have a gear as low as ľ MPH on the 16 speed models. (JD calls this a Power Reverser)

    5. Power Shift: This standard transmission has all of the benefits of the power shuttle as well as being able to shift between gears without the clutch. It can be started, stopped, changed from forward to reverse and the gears shifted without the clutch. Usually has 9, 12 or 16 gears in each direction. May have a gear as low as ľ MPH on the 16 speed models. (Massey Fergusons DynaQPS is a powershift and Kubotas GST is essentially a powershift.)

    If I have accidentally made a mistake on any of these let me know. I caught a place or two where I swapped items and had to change them.

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