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  1. #1
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    JD 990

    Default Some basic questions about tractors

    I’m new to tractors and would like to know:

    (1)Why are gear driven transmissions considered more efficient and reliable than hydro for heavy duty work? What is considered heavy duty work?—(tilling, plowing?)

    (2)How difficult is it to operate tractors with gear transmissions?

    (3)What is a Power Beyond Kit?

    (4)How many Selective Control Valves do I need if I plan to use a tiller, front end loader, brush hog, blade, and possibly a snow blower. Where should the SCVs be located?

    Thanks,

    Steve

  2. #2
    Super Member Bob_Skurka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some basic questions about tractors

    I have smaller tractors (24hp and 30hp) and don't have Power Beyond on either so I'll toss that question to someone else.

    As for Question (1) a gear transmission is slighly more efficient than a hydro because of the design efficiencies of mechanical connections versus fluid power. Regarding HD work, I'm not so sure that is accurate, as commercial loaders are almost always hydro transmissions, but there are tasks that are better suited to gears and others that are better suited to hydro. Mowing the lawn is easier/faster with a hydro, especially if you have to maneuver the tractor around trees, landscaping, corners, buildings, etc. I wouldn't consider "tilling" with a tiller to be a "gear" job, but tilling with a plow is definately better done with a gear tractor. So is box blading. Front end loader work is more efficient with a hydro.

    (2) how difficult is it to operate a gear tractor? Heck, even I can do that and I sell candy to kids and tobacco to people addicted to nicotine, so it can't be too tough to operate a gear machine if I can! I simply prefer hydro for use around my property. But anything I do with a hydro I could do with a gear, but it would take me longer. Then again, I don't pull a plow in the field.

    Selective Control Valves are not needed for the implements you are talking about. A tiller will operate off of the PTO and is hooked up to the 3pt hitch. The front end loader will have its own valving and plumbing for its hydraulics. The bush hog will operate off the PTO and is connected to the 3pt hitch. The blade (grader or box) simply hook up the the 3pt hitch and are not powered in any way. A snow blower will be powered by the PTO, and hooked up to the 3pt hitch. It is possible that the chute rotation control is going to be hydraulically controlled (that is an optional feature) it would require a selective control valve (2 hose outlets) at the rear of the machine, that is the normal place to install them. 1 control valve has 2 quick connect hose outlets.


    Steve, by the way, please fill in part of your profile. How big is your property, how much mowing will you be doing, how much tilling, how long of a drive do you have to maintain, etc. It will help others who are trying to help you if we know some basics about your potential needs.

  3. #3
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
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    John Deere 4400 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV and assorted implements

    Default Re: Some basic questions about tractors

    As Bob has stated, mechanical transmission of power is more efficient then fluid power. Look for a 10 to 15% loss in usable power.

    Not, as everything, it's a trade off...hydros are more user friendly just as an automatic tranny in a car is more user friendly then a stick. But, that trade off consumes efficiency.

    Gear transmission are simple to use...it's not like you have to upshift as you accelerate. You select the gear best suited for the task at hand. For moving down a street, that might be high gear. It's that simple...

    If you expect to do a lot of loader work, the hydro or one of the reverser type gear trannys would be your best bet. Even using gears, I'm reasonably quick..but not as quick as a hydro transmission.

    However, I don't want to spend the extra $'s on a hydro... I realize it might take me a bit longer...but not that much longer.

    I'd rather spend the money on other implements.

    Some folks might try to persuade you a hydro has a higher resale value. I will admit they might be more appealinbg to some folks.
    But, as a percenage of the original price, based upon a small sample (two tractors), the resale value was comparable between the hydro and geared machines.

    There ya go....

  4. #4
    Elite Member
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    western,pa.
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    Kioti DK 35

    Default Re: Some basic questions about tractors

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( Regarding HD work, I'm not so sure that is accurate, as commercial loaders are almost always hydro transmissions, )</font>

    Most all the commercial loaders I have ever run or been around were torque converter/power shift transmissions.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Some basic questions about tractors

    These guys have answered the questions really well, so I will just tell you that I have a manual gear shift on the tractor I just bought and love it. I pondered the Hydro, but after using the shifter....its easy. I have all the implements you just mentioned except for the snowblower. (get a quick attach for your implements!)

    790 with all the implements I could find [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  6. #6
    Member
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    JD 990

    Default Re: Some basic questions about tractors

    From what has been posted so far, it seems that a gear driven tractor would be a better a choice to perform a variety of tasks (plowing/tilling, mowing, road maintenance, loader work, etc.) on a 50 acre “hobby farm”. Although not as convenient as a hydrostatic transmission it is more efficient, less expensive to buy, less expensive to maintain (?) and more reliable. So if I compare a JD 4310, JD 990 and JD 4320, the JD 990 seems to be a better choice. The 990 will provide considerable more traction and power than the 4310, and will be considerably cheaper than the slightly more powerful and more convenient 4320. Is my thinking on this correct? Are there other things I need to consider?

    Steve



  7. #7
    eee
    eee is offline

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    Default Re: Some basic questions about tractors

    less expensive to maintain (?) and more reliable.


    Sorry,
    but neither one of the above is a proven fact.
    I have a hydro and I abuse the heck out of the thing,no problems with my hydro so far.

  8. #8
    Elite Member Tractors4u's Avatar
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    Athens Alabama
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    Deere 4310, Kubota L355, John Deere SST18 Spin Steer, 2006 Polaris Ranger

    Default Re: Some basic questions about tractors

    Your kind of comparing apples to oranges when you are comparing the 4310 to the 990. I considered the 990 when I bought my 4310 because there were close in price. The 4310 is 32hp vs the 40hp 990. The 990 is a bit larger also. I have the 4310 with shuttle shift or as deere calls it, "sync reverser". I think it is a good compromise between hydro and a true gear tractor.

  9. #9
    Elite Member rockyridgefarm's Avatar
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    Deere 4310 HST MFWD

    Default Re: Some basic questions about tractors

    A buddy of mine bought two reversers tractors at the same time I bought my Hydro. let me see, both of his have been torn down at least twice since then. I will take my hydro any day. (buthis aren't Deeres and his dealer got run outta town...)

    power beyond is the plumbing for a backhoe.

    Bob had a great answer, but a little nitpicing here... The loader is controled using a Dual Selective Control Valve. And the third function is actually built into it. You have to add a little plumbing and a control. You could use that for angling the chute on a snowblower, or operating the cylinders on a 4in1 bucket.

  10. #10
    Super Member Bob_Skurka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some basic questions about tractors

    <font color="red"> it seems that a gear driven tractor would be a better a choice to perform a variety of tasks (plowing/tilling, mowing, road maintenance, loader work, etc.) </font>

    I'm going to have to agree with "roughcut" and his statement. The durability of a hydro is well established. As for your question, well there is a HUGE debate about which is better gear or hydro. We won't solve that here. As for your specific tasks, either machine will do all those jobs. Mowing is often considered best done with a light weight tractor with hydro, and hydro will certainly be faster. Loader work are pretty much considered by many to be hydro tasks, a medium to heavy tractor wtih proper balance via ballast is needed, hydro will be faster than gear. Tilling with a tiller is easy with a hydro or a gear, I've done it both ways, I see no advantage to either transmission for a tiller and it can be done equally well with a light, medium or heavy tractor. Road maintainence (long runs of box blading) is a gear task. Using a moldboard plow to till the earth (something almost none of do) are probably better suited to a heavy tractor with gears.

    There are some sophisticated gear machines that are a good compramise between the two transmissions. But in any case, a simple mechanical gear can to any task and a hydro can do any task and you can learn how to use either.

    I think the bigger question is how much of that 50 acres is going to be mowed? How long is the driveway to maintain? etc. Let the tasks decide the tractor size, type. If you are maintaining 500' by 12' of driveway, that is an insignificant % of that 50 acres. But if you are mowing 12 acres that is a big deal.



    Mike regarding the nitpicking, I didn't realize that JD had that as a function on all their loader models, I know that there are all sorts of things that can be done with various brands, I was giving a basic answer.

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