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  1. #1
    Member savedbyzero's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    45
    Location
    N. Cali
    Tractor
    Kubota L3710

    Default HST versus shuttle shift

    This forum, and the site in general is a wealth of information. That being said.
    I am on the hunt for a bigger tractor than my current one. I have a 29HP w/shuttle shift. I am considering an HST. I have been told in hilly areas, which is what I have, the HST is a pain in the rears, also somewhat dangerous. I won't go into the speakers reasons. I am quite comfy with a SS trans, but would like to have the convenience of the HST.
    Please...any thought would be helpful.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    819
    Location
    GA, TN
    Tractor
    Kubota L4330HST

    Default Re: HST versus shuttle shift

    Welcome to TBN!

    For hilly areas, slick places, precision work, etc., etc., HST is the ONLY way to go (IMHO). Do a search on here on HST and you will find dozens of threads on this same topic!

    - Jay

  3. #3
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    280
    Location
    Western US

    Default Re: HST versus shuttle shift

    Saved,

    A hydro will run circles around any other kind of transmission if your primary use is PTO work - mowing, blowing snow, tilling, etc. If you are into heavy tillage, then you want a gear transmission with a shuttle. Or if all you are doing is dirt work (dig and carry cycles) then it is even money - hydro vs shuttle.

    As for a hydro being dangerous on a hill, that is so much horse manure - the hydro in most modern tractors will have dynamic braking coming down the hill. The only tractor I know of that was a Nantucket sleigh ride to the bottom was the old Case Ingersoll and they had a retarder valve on some later models to brake them - otherwise, you best be holding on to the steering wheel with both hands!

    Hydros are easy to operate and most people can master them in a matter of about an hour.

    Given reasonable care and on time oil and filter changes, a hydro will last a long time and you will enjoy doing your chores becasue it is so easy to use.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Silver Member nolefan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    152
    Location
    S Fla, Western N. Carolina
    Tractor
    Kubota L2800HST, Kubota RTV900

    Default Re: HST versus shuttle shift

    I recently purchased my first tractor and settled on the HST. One of the reasons was my experience with a hydrostatic transmission in my utility vehicle on my very steep, hilly terrain. There the transmission braking has proven to be a great feature. After 70 hours on my tractor, mainly brushcutting, I can tell you that I was very comfortable with the HST especially on steep inclines. In my opinion it would be safer since you are not using the clutch unless you are changing gear ranges. With a standard transmission, if you go to change gears into reverse or another gear and accidently forget to brake fully or miss the gear then there is more likelihood of freewheeling which can be dangerous, especially on hills. This is just my opinion from my limited experience and I am sure others may disagree.
    Kubota RTV 900, Kubota L2800HST, 5' Rotary Cutter, 6' Box Blade, Toothbar

  5. #5
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    3,146
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Tractor
    Fullsized JCB Loader/Backhoe

    Default Re: HST versus shuttle shift

    East Tennessee here... (hilly)

    Rented a kubota L-35 for a weekend. It is/was a GST.

    Little did I know when I was on a hillside and shifted between gears that when the machine went to change gears it would go through neutral and freewheel....

    Scared the pants off me the first time it happened. After that I ended up having to absolutely MASH the brakes with all my weight to hold the machine on the slope while it changed gears. I might add...the slope wasn't THAT bad so it's not like I was trying to climb the Sears Tower or anything like that! (or what ever the Sears Tower is now called)

    My backhoe has an electronic type shifter, probably much like your shuttle shift however mine does more of a 'click' like a turn signal rather than having to man handle the lever. I can move mine with my pinky finger quite easily.

    Count me in the HST camp especially if you are on hills!!

  6. #6
    Veteran Member KB9UDE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,015
    Location
    North of Tower Hill, IL
    Tractor
    John Deere 3320

    Default Re: HST versus shuttle shift

    Check out the John deere 4x20 series with a Power Reverser tranny. I would not trade mine for a HST... I am on my third PR and will buy another. I would love to have a factory cab JD but in this series the only trans avaliable is HST, so a no go for me...

    John

    John Deere 4000 Series Compact Utility Tractors
    John






    John Deere 3320 - 72D Auto Connect deck



    Acts 2:38

  7. #7
    Elite Member timswi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    4,868
    Location
    Beaver County Pa
    Tractor
    Kubota BX23 & RTV1100

    Default Re: HST versus shuttle shift

    I agree with everyone here..On hills the dynamic braking is a godsend. Besides, if the wheels would begin to slip downhill, you can catch them up with a pedal bump. Not so on a gear machine, you just bounce along until you regain some ground.
    BX23TLB & RTV1100 with 72" Power Angle Plow

  8. #8
    Elite Member dex3361's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    3,568
    Location
    N. of Charleston WV
    Tractor
    Kubota L4400-1 HST,FEL, 3x3 remotes, TNT. BX1500 54 mmm

    Default Re: HST versus shuttle shift

    I have an L4400 HST and I got it because of working on the hills. I was told the same thing as you about haow dangerous they were on the hills. Dont buy that for a minute, an hst is the machine to have on the hills for the reasons stated above. I rarely use my brakes in any situation if I lift my foot the tractor stops. I will give this warning when you shut your tractor off on the hills set and lock the brakes. The tractor can creep forward and empty the hydraulic oil out of the hst pump/motor and then supposedly the tractor can freewheel. I have never had this happen to me and I always set the brake on any tractor geared or hst when shutting down and getting off the tractor on a hill. I have owned both geared and hst for years and the most useful for me and what I do (bush hogging, FEL work, and dragging logs). I feel for these uses a hst is by no means unsafe on the hills.
    Randall



    1Timothy Chapter 2:
    3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
    4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
    5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
    From: The HOLY BIBLE

  9. #9
    Super Member RadarTech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    5,076
    Location
    North Carolina
    Tractor
    2007 Kubota L3400

    Default Re: HST versus shuttle shift

    Savedbyzero,
    While I can't comment on the JD with the power reverser tranny, I can comment on the HST with steep hills.

    Our driveway is so steep that in heavy rain we must use 4x4 or in some good conditions front wheel drive cars.

    With that said, HST has been great..
    ONLY once have I ever had an issue. That was in cold weather, no snow, that my jacket was open and hooked the gear range shift. when I changed directions and turned to my right to back up it pulled me into neutral.

    I was pointed downhill, and was backing up. hit the brakes and pushed the bucket down and got stopped. Then I promptly zipped the jacket up....


    as for everything else-- I test drove shuttle, gear, and HST. And I would never do to shuttle or gear, especially with a loader.....

    But as always... YMMV..


    J

  10. #10
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    6,138
    Location
    East PA or 750 mi. east of a short man named Dar___
    Tractor
    Kubota, AGCO, New Holland LB

    Default Re: HST versus shuttle shift

    I have no problems doing loader work with a shuttle, but a hydro leaves more hands free for the bucket, steering, etc. I also dislike the whining & moaning sounds of the HST.

    Other than that the big thing to watch when buying an HST is the pedal set-up. Some are better than others.

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