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  1. #1
    Veteran Member countrybumpkin's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
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    1,463
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    Southeast Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota L3410; Kioti NX5510C

    Default Which transmission ?

    I'm new to the compact tractor world, I'm looking at the L3130 or L3430 4WD FEL. Not really sure what trans to get, I was thinking of the GST but didn't know pros and cons of the FST, GST, HST. Any help would be great.

  2. #2
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    19,183
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Which transmission ?

    Sorta may depend on the type of work you wish to use the tractor for.

    Egon

  3. #3
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Mar 2000
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    Texas

    Default Re: Which transmission ?

    Welcome to Tractorbynet, Countrybumpkin, glad to have you join us. I'm not sure whether anyone can help you a great deal with your question. It's kind of like someone asking whether to get a manual transmission or an automatic in a truck. Some folks have real strong opinions one way or the other; some are happy driving either. The important point is that it's only that person's opinion. They are all "good" transmissions, so the right one for one depends on several things: (1) what kind of work you'll be doing (mostly FEL work? plowing? mowing? long straight runs? a lot of maneuvering in tight places?), (2) what kind of experience have you had (I know you said you're new to the compact tractor world, but have you been operating big agricultural equipment, or new to tractors in general), (3) how fast do you want to get jobs done?, (4) is the price difference important to you?, (5) will you use it enough for a little difference in fuel economy to be important, etc.

    OK . . ., now I'll give you my opinion. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] I prefer the HST even though I've got more experience with manual transmissions. The HST requires less effort; don't have to use the clutch or move a lever to change directions, I can more easily precisely control speed, especially very slow speeds when necessary; no worry about slipping a clutch. Safer in my opinion, especially for new operators, don't have to worry about having it in the "right" gear, stops quickly just by taking your foot off the pedal, rarely have to use the brake, don't have to worry about a wet shoe slipping off the clutch pedal, etc. Now some folks want a manual transmission. The HST uses some horsepower so you have just a little less to the wheels; not important to me since the HST would spin the wheels so I didn't need any more power to the wheels. The manual transmission might get just a little better fuel economy; again not important to me because the difference was too small to matter for the amount I used my tractor. If you're making long runs, as in plowing, planting, or spraying chemicals, the manual transmission may provide a more consistent ground speed. I guess you could say the GST is in between. I've never even used one myself, but you have the more direct, postive drive to the wheels, yet can shift without clutching. The only complaint I recall reading is that there is a slight lag time when shifting, and if you're going downhill at the time, it might feel like it's going to run away. I think those who understand that transmission know how to handle that, so for some people and some uses, it's the right choice.

    Hope this helps just a little bit; the choice is yours.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    182
    Location
    S.E. Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota L3400

    Default Re: Which transmission ?

    I purchased an L3400 last week and was expecting delivery today..but looks like it'll be tomorrow instead...arghhhhh!!
    Anyways, I was faced with the same decision, as anyone is thats looking at these tractors. I decided on the gear drive. I've been using a Ford 8N for the better part of 10 years now so shifting gears when need be is no problem for me. You have to remember too, that its not like shifting gears on a car. Typically, you find the best gear for the job and just leave it there. Higher gears means faster speed but less torque. Lower gears are for high torque and lower speed. Personally, and I know that there are those who would argue, I can't see how an HST would give better speed/torque control, but I'd be happy to be enlightened. Another point to consider is HP loss. With the 3400 the loss is about 1.5hp at the PTO when using the HST transmission. That may not sound like much, but its roughly approaching 5% of the engines net output, which is for the L3400 is 33.3hp. I'd rather have that extra 5% at the PTO as opposed to it being lost in the tranny. I think the bottom line is a matter of application and convenience. If your major job is to cut grass, then convenience is probably going to win...go with the HST. If your buying a tractor to do brute force jobs, then every hp counts...consider the gear drive.
    All of course, IMHO.

    ....Tony

  5. #5
    Super Member Dargo's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    5,980
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    S. IN
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    Jinma, Foton, TYM, Belarus, Yanmar, Branson, Montana, Mahindra and maybe some green and orange too.

    Default Re: Which transmission ?

    Yeah. So instead of a L3400, I bought a L5030HSTC. Even with the hydro I still have more PTO hp. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  6. #6
    Super Member txdon's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
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    8,304
    Location
    Central Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota L5030HST, 1947 Farmall A, Hustler FasTrak

    Default Re: Which transmission ?

    I use my FEL a lot. I move sand and clear brush. I am so glad that I have HST. With one hand on the steering wheel (spinner knob) and one hand on the joy stick I don't have a third hand to also shift every time I change directions. There is not much to add to Bird's post, just be thinking of the jobs you will be doing with it the most and do a couple of test drives. You do get the cruise control with the HST which is really nice for mowing. I see you have the two most important things 4WD and a FEL. Happy tractor shopping. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  7. #7
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    415
    Location
    Columbia County, PA
    Tractor
    JD1010, JD B, TC40A (new)

    Default Re: Which transmission ?

    TonyV...I have been seriously considering the L4400 tractor with the manual transmission for the same reason as you have stated. Only thing that is keeping me from it is that the transmission is not synchronized at all, that would make this series of tractors top notch IMO. To get a synchronized transmission you are in the GL line-up with more bells and whistles then I want.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member GaryE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    723
    Location
    Winterport, Maine
    Tractor
    L3710 GST

    Default Re: Which transmission ?

    I try to stay out of which (fill in the blank) threads I should buy. But I thought I would just add one thing to this thread. When I bought my L3710 GST I was afraid I was going to have problems with the FEL work. The first day I was moving snow and I was sure I made a mistake. But in less than two hours of use, it was second nature and I was a happy camper. For me, the GST was the way to go!

    If you want the few extra PTO HP and are comfortable with shifting, don't be afraid of a GST. Get your dealer to let you play with all three.

    Good luck with your choice....

    Gary

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    182
    Location
    S.E. Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota L3400

    Default Re: Which transmission ?

    Hi Jim (dknarnd). With 88 acres to tend, I'm sure you must have plenty of seat time on a few different tractors. How often do you find the need to shift on the fly? I guess this is really going to be a deciding factor as well. In my personal experience...which mind you up to now has been on an 8N, I'd put her in gear, and there she'd stay until the job was done, except of course when I needed to back up. I guess also its just a matter of what you're use to. Gear drives don't bother me, and I'd rather have the low end torque that goes with them. I guess my attitude is that I've bought this tractor to do work, not take Sunday cruises on...the more power I can have, the more better. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]...just up to the nether limits of my budget, of course. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] (Darn you Dargo!! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img])

    ...Tony

  10. #10
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    415
    Location
    Columbia County, PA
    Tractor
    JD1010, JD B, TC40A (new)

    Default Re: Which transmission ?

    My experience has been and still is on vintage 50's and 60's tractors. I manage without shifting on the fly (well maybe a little grind every now and then) but it would be nice to be able to do it. My brother lives about 1/4 mile from me so I get a little road time in where it would be nice to shift on the fly when getting on and off or when traveling to a different field. As far as changing while working I'm same as you, put it in gear until your done.

    I can understand where HST would be excellent for FEL work and mowing. The cutting I do is open fields so there is not much need for varying the speed other than on rough areas and the perimeter cuts. The other work is skidding logs and soon I will be back into food plots so no HST is really needed there. Since the majority of my seat time is cutting work and I have a minimum cutter size of 6' I just can't justify giving up HP for transmission, while working within a budget.

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