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

    Default HST Operation

    I have (and love) a gear transmission. I was thinking about hydros the other day and I was wondering how they work. My lawn mower is hydro but it's pretty simple compared to what I imagine a tractor has. My questions are:

    How do you manage to use steering brakes?

    What purpose does the clutch serve?

    Is the ability to go back/forth quickly hard on the drivetrain?

    Do these things have gears driving the wheels like a gear tranny does and the hydraulics just control the ratio/power/speed?

    I'm not looking to be "converted." These questions are just to sate my curiosity if anyone feels like educating me. A new tractor is out of the question right now, and I really like my gears anyway (always had standard-tranny cars and trucks -- I just really enjoy clutching and shifting and whatnot).
    Kubota L3540 HST
    Kubota L4300 Gear *gone!*
    Ford F-350 6.9L diesel

  2. #2
    Platinum Member jpm1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    563
    Location
    Panther Lake, Oswego County New York
    Tractor
    Mahindra 2810 HST, Kioti DK35SE HST

    Default Re: HST Operation

    With a Hydro there is no clutch. You have 3 ranges. . .Low, medium and high range. Heavy pulling is usually done in Low range, Loader work for the most part and all other work, Medium range works good and High range is for transport.
    Most Hydro's have 2 pedals on the right. Pedal on the left is forward and right pedal is reverse.Some have a "rocker pedal" with this style "toe" is forward and "heel" is reverse. The brake pedals are on your left side so using the brakes to help steer is possible, its just a matter of getting use to doing it with a different foot.
    The best part of a Hydro, IMO is the ability to go quickly from forward to backward without drivetrain damage and operator fatuige. Great for loader work and rear mounted blowers. I am currently running 2 Hydro's with no problems what so ever. Hope this helps . . .John
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -my-tractors-jpg  
    Lord, Help me to be the man my dog thinks i am . . .John. Mahindra 2810HST, 108H loader with Quick tach buckets and forks. Kioti DK35SE HST with loader, Hyd. top link and second set of rear remotes, 60" and 66" buckets, Kubota 900 RTV and a bunch of other good stuff
    Buy more equipment, It makes life easier.!

  3. #3
    Super Star Member Thomas's Avatar
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    Apr 2000
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    12,082
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    Lebanon,NH.
    Tractor
    Kubota L2800HST w/Frontloader & CC LTX1046

    Default Re: HST Operation

    On my kubota brakes are the same side as F/R pedal...foot of pedal you slow to to stop.
    HST for loader work and many rear attachments sure makes the job easier.
    Cost for filters fluid will be tad higher $$$'s.

  4. #4
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    104
    Location
    Norman, OK
    Tractor
    Mahindra 3316HST

    Default Re: HST Operation

    Quote Originally Posted by jpm1 View Post
    With a Hydro there is no clutch. You have 3 ranges. . .Low, medium and high range. Heavy pulling is usually done in Low range, Loader work for the most part and all other work, Medium range works good and High range is for transport.
    Most Hydro's have 2 pedals on the right. Pedal on the left is forward and right pedal is reverse.Some have a "rocker pedal" with this style "toe" is forward and "heel" is reverse. The brake pedals are on your left side so using the brakes to help steer is possible, its just a matter of getting use to doing it with a different foot.
    The best part of a Hydro, IMO is the ability to go quickly from forward to backward without drivetrain damage and operator fatuige. Great for loader work and rear mounted blowers. I am currently running 2 Hydro's with no problems what so ever. Hope this helps . . .John
    Beg pardon...there is a clutch on my hydro; it's used for selecting ranges, and also for engaging or disengaging the PTO (clutch, engage lever, release clutch). I also have the brakes on the right, so split-braking (or any braking, really) is a challenge while driving forward. I suppose you could put your heel on the forward pedal and your toe on the appropriate brake. I've never done it, but I have flat, open land with no need to make sharp turns.

    I love my hydro, but I would caution anybody to think carefully about using a hydro for mowing or other constant-speed jobs without a cruise control. I'd hate to be holding that pedal down for three hours. For loader work, though, there's nothing finer.

  5. #5
    Super Star Member
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    Mar 2009
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    16,071
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: HST Operation

    Quote Originally Posted by ddb123 View Post
    I have (and love) a gear transmission. I was thinking about hydros the other day and I was wondering how they work. My lawn mower is hydro but it's pretty simple compared to what I imagine a tractor has. My questions are:

    1. How do you manage to use steering brakes?

    On a John Deere, Kioti etc., brake with your left foot. On a kubota do the "Kubota Shuffle" by crossing over the left foot. You can also use the cruise control lever in lieu of the foot HST and do right foot braking. I rarely need to use split brakes, but for me it's not a big issue.

    What purpose does the clutch serve?

    On the Kubota it disconnects the drive train making it spin faster for easier starts, or so I am told, manual says to use it to change between ranges and on live PTO models to engage/disengage PTO.

    Is the ability to go back/forth quickly hard on the drivetrain?

    No, that is one of their purposes.

    Do these things have gears driving the wheels like a gear tranny does and the hydraulics just control the ratio/power/speed?

    A quick Bing or Google search will answer all your questions.

    I'm not looking to be "converted." These questions are just to sate my curiosity if anyone feels like educating me. A new tractor is out of the question right now, and I really like my gears anyway (always had standard-tranny cars and trucks -- I just really enjoy clutching and shifting and whatnot).
    For in depth answers use the "search" function and you will find hours of information mixed with opinion.

    I drive and like both types.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

  6. #6
    Super Member
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    Feb 2006
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    8,118
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    VA
    Tractor
    JD2010, Kubota3450,2550, Mahindra 7520 w FEL w Skid Steer QC w/Tilt Tatch, & BH, BX1500

    Default Re: HST Operation

    An HST trans is basically a variable displacement pump driving a hyd motor. You control the pump displacement with the foot pedal. The top output torque of the trans is limited by the setting of an internal relief valve to govern the max pressure fed to the motor.
    llllarry
    This side of 40
    JD2010, Kubota L3450/FEL w SK QC, L2550 w FEL
    Mahindra 7520 [Pinky] /FEL w Skid Steer QC/w Tilt Tatch & BH, BX1500 [Mighty Mouse]
    IH37 Baler, CCM165 Drum Mower, JD Rake
    JD 127 bushog, Flail, SK Tilt Tatch , KK tiller, Rhino rear blade, Post driver, post auger, chipper, pallet fork, Grapple/Loader Buddy, Homemade Splitter/DC Welder

  7. #7
    Super Star Member k0ua's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
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    14,205
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    Branson, Mo.
    Tractor
    Kioti DK35se Hydrostat

    Default Re: HST Operation

    Not only will you find hours of "opinions" about gear vs hydro, you can even get lots of opinions about 2 pedal vs single pedal. here are my opinions, I like my single pedal best, but I think it is what ever you get used to. I have more hours on gear tractors than hydro. but I will never go back to gear. Hydro is just too convienant to use, and gives so much better control. I have not worn out my hydro yet going back and forth rapidly, and that is the majority of what I do.. Yes I second the motion for the cruise control if you were to mow long stretches with the hydro. Even my el cheapo kubota has it. My hydro has a clutch, but it is only used as a safety switch to start the tractor, and to engage and disengage the PTO. You don't even need it when changing ranges, just make sure the hydro pedal is centered (neutral) and you are not moving. Some hydro tractors have no clutch, and do the PTO thing with an electrical/hydraulic button. My split brakes are on the right, not so good, but useable by using the cruise lever to maintain forward speed and using right foot to steer via split brakes. Or there is the Kubota/Ballet TuTu shuffle where you cross your legs and brake with your left foot, but since I look terrible in a TuTu, it's not for me. The range lever is a actual gear shift the hydro is in front of that driveline wise, and the final reduction gears are gears. I am not trying to convert you, but if you have never done loader work with a hydro tractor you have missed a major treat in life.

    James K0UA
    James KUA

    Kioti DK35se hydrostat with 2 QA buckets, 48 inch. King Kutter Rotary Cutter. 750 lbs ballast box. Loaded tires, Construction Attachments SSQA Lightweight Pallet forks. EA 50 inch single lid "wicked" Grapple. Satisfied Everlast PA160 welder owner How to add a link to a post . Best way to search TBN


  8. #8
    Gold Member ddb123's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
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    481
    Location
    Southwest MO
    Tractor
    Kubota L3540

    Default Re: HST Operation

    Thanks for the great answers guys.

    TripleR, search on the iPhone app is my weakness. It doesn't let you narrow results in any way, so searching for HST operation will return any thread that has those words anywhere in it. Thank you for helping clear that up my questions. The various differences between manufacturers really confused me.

    James, seeing your posts about HST in several other threads got me thinking about it. The far majority of my work is/will be mowing and hogging. Some loader work occasionally but so far I've only used it as a wheel barrow, moved a couple attachments, and knocked down and moved deadwood cluttering my woods trail. Seems like HST would be nice when trying to back up to attachments though. I do use the split brakes a lot but would probably be using cruise too in that case. Maybe someday when I get a new tractor I will look seriously at hydros.

    Thanks for responding everyone, cleared up the confusion for me and made my break times much more enjoyable!
    Kubota L3540 HST
    Kubota L4300 Gear *gone!*
    Ford F-350 6.9L diesel

  9. #9
    Super Star Member k0ua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    14,205
    Location
    Branson, Mo.
    Tractor
    Kioti DK35se Hydrostat

    Default Re: HST Operation

    Quote Originally Posted by ddb123 View Post
    Thanks for the great answers guys.

    TripleR, search on the iPhone app is my weakness. It doesn't let you narrow results in any way, so searching for HST operation will return any thread that has those words anywhere in it. Thank you for helping clear that up my questions. The various differences between manufacturers really confused me.

    James, seeing your posts about HST in several other threads got me thinking about it. The far majority of my work is/will be mowing and hogging. Some loader work occasionally but so far I've only used it as a wheel barrow, moved a couple attachments, and knocked down and moved deadwood cluttering my woods trail. Seems like HST would be nice when trying to back up to attachments though. I do use the split brakes a lot but would probably be using cruise too in that case. Maybe someday when I get a new tractor I will look seriously at hydros.

    Thanks for responding everyone, cleared up the confusion for me and made my break times much more enjoyable!
    Hey I noticed you are in SW Mo.. if you want to come by some time I live near Branson, and have a kubota L3400HST, and a gravel pile.. You are welcome to come and try it for yourself if you want.

    James K0UA
    James KUA

    Kioti DK35se hydrostat with 2 QA buckets, 48 inch. King Kutter Rotary Cutter. 750 lbs ballast box. Loaded tires, Construction Attachments SSQA Lightweight Pallet forks. EA 50 inch single lid "wicked" Grapple. Satisfied Everlast PA160 welder owner How to add a link to a post . Best way to search TBN


  10. #10
    Gold Member wcampbell47's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
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    486
    Location
    Texas Coast
    Tractor
    Kubota 7510 and B3200

    Default Re: HST Operation

    I have 700 plus hours on my gear 7510 and 47 hours on my HST B3200. I was of the opinion when I bought the 7510 that gear was better for mowing. I was WRONG. The HST allows me to slow the forward motion when I hit a rough patch easier than the gear. Would have to downshift or slip clutch. Mowing around objects is much easier. PTO stays the same speed when switching between forward and reverse motion. Not so with the gear. Most of my mowing is small in size so maneuverability is hugely important. The HST is way more maneuverable than the gear even though the latter is the smaller of the two tractors.

    Cheers!
    Caution: Some of my posts may be politically incorrect.
    Kubota B7510 & B3200

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