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  1. #1
    Veteran Member
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    Default After a 1 1/2 Years, finally drove the Tractor

    We have owned the olive farm for a year and a half now and I have been afraid to drive the tractors. With pretty good reason, we have a lot of hills. I feel a little bit like Goldilocks, the Goldini Tractor is to big and the Staub articulating tractor looks to small. I finally screwed up the courage to drive the Staub. I almost freaked out on this little hill, but I just gritted my teeth and held on. I figured my husband has been driving on that little slope and he hasn't been killed yet so it must be ok.

    I am so proud of myself!!! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

    Since owning the farm we have cut down a lot of trees that border our orchards. We cut down some kind of humoungus bushes with yellow flowers, that were actually more like trees. My husband needed to finish repairing the roof and we were short on time before we start harvesting the olives so I just inhaled and said, I'll drive the little tractor and stack the firewood. You can see in the picture (attachment) that I am straining a little bit. I am reaching down to shift gears. My abs got a good work out loading and stacking the firewood and shifting gears on the little tractor. Which is a big reason I wanted the olive farm, it provides us with physical excercize.

    The tractor is dangerous though. The shaft that goes from the motor out to the back, is not covered down near our feet. Gives me the willies but it was manufactured that way, I suppose it has something to do with the articulating feature. But it s creepy.

    Today I drove up our biggest hill, but I was too chicken to drive it back down. I told my husband I would drive it down the big hill if he was right there with me. He was fixing the roof so I jsut left it and walked down.

    The thing is that little tractor doesn't have very good breaks. My husband says if I ever loose it going down a hill to put it in neutral and use the brakes, and if that doesn't work pull the lever under the seat and drop that 3PH Cargo box to stop it. See why I am scared to drive it down the hill? But at least I drove it up the hill.

    So now at least when I read all your posts about what you are doing, I can say that I am a member of YOUR club, TBN!!! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]


  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: After a 1 1/2 Years, finally drove the Tractor

    I am replying to myself to see if I can get that picture attached. 2nd Try
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Elite Member Cliff_Johns's Avatar
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    Northern Illinois
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    JD 4110

    Default Re: After a 1 1/2 Years, finally drove the Tractor


    Tractors on hills are very scary, no doubt about it. If I remember correctly, you have some very steep hills. Taking things one step at a time is a good technique. Congratulations on you first step.

    Cliff

  4. #4
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
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    Default Re: After a 1 1/2 Years, finally drove the Tractor

    Congratulations!!!!
    I am very happy you did give it a try! These smaller tractors can be rather intimidating on slopes. You may get used to it (I did), but never...NEVER get complacent. That's when things go bad...real quick!

    "My husband says if I ever loose it going down a hill to put it in neutral and use the brakes, and if that doesn't work pull the lever under the seat and drop that 3PH Cargo box to stop it."

    I've got to disagree with you husband here, as far as shifting into neutral. If you take it out of gear, the tractor loses any engine braking. By reducing RPM, that will help slow the tractor down. Please do not shift or even try to shift. Once you go in neutral, the tractor will free wheel down slope. You're just along for the ride then. Very dangerous!

    I would be very concerned about an exposed drive shaft, just as you are. If there is no way to cover it, then you've got to ensure no clothing or anything can be caught by that drive shaft. That means no laces or baggy pants, scarves or anything. I suggest you blouse your pants into a pull on boot (just like some military fatigues. You could also use some kind of elastic band...even tape (duct tape works well).

    Enjoy your tractor experiences and post often on TBN! We don't have too many European visitors.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: After a 1 1/2 Years, finally drove the Tractor

    Thank you for your advice. My husband had he cargo box loaded with cases of olvies, which ae heavy by the way, and he did have a problem going down the hill loaded. I wasn't there but my nice saw it and she described it as a rodeo ride.

    He says it is dangerous when the cargo box is loaded with olives, goig down the big hill. Now I dont' know if he drove down head first or backed down, but he did loose control of the tractor and it just went down the hill by itself. See why I am scared to drive down that hill?

    I don't know about engine breaking, we literlly crawl along in the slowest speed you can imagine, I mean it is slower than walking even. The hill has a lot of rockes, both big and smaller like a big piece of gravel, but that is the soil composition around here. Eventually, sooner rather than later we do need to cement these hills. Other farmers have cement. We have the cement, a cement mixer, rebard, gravel, everything. We jsut didn't get around to that yet. We are still busy cutting down trees. I hope next year we can do the two big hills in cement, I think it would be a lot safer.

    I dont' know what you can really do, if the tractor is sliding down the hill and it is in gear, jsut leave it in gear then? See when you put the tractor in neutral it seems to stop. Aren't all tractors like that?


  6. #6
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
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    Default Re: After a 1 1/2 Years, finally drove the Tractor

    "I don't' know what you can really do, if the tractor is sliding down the hill and it is in gear, just leave it in gear then? See when you put the tractor in neutral it seems to stop. Aren't all tractors like that?"

    If the tractor is sliding...wet grass is very slick, for example...there isn't much one can do except hope (or pray) for the best. I do not operate on wet grass. Of course, I don't use my tractor to make my living, so I'm not losing money if I put off a task.

    An easy way to describe engine braking is by driving your car in a lower gear (1st or 2nd). Run the speed up, then take your foot off the accelerator pedal. You notice how the car slows down. That's engine braking. Now...do the same thing again, but when you take your foot off the accelerator, also shift into neutral. You'll notice the car will coast and take longer to slow. Same thing applies to tractors.

    Now, if I apply my tractor's brakes without depressing the clutch pedal, it hardly slows at all. I'm sure yours doesn't either.

    So, going down a slope is best in a lower gear (make the shift before starting down the slope!) at a low RPM. This is how you do it now, if I read your post correctly.
    And, if the tractor runs too quick or seems to be out of your control, lower the load on the 3 Point Hitch as your husband said. That will tear up some ground, but may prevent an accident.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: After a 1 1/2 Years, finally drove the Tractor

    If I read correctly what you wrote, push the clutch pedal in and brake, but you don't take it out of gear, don't move it to neutral. Really when we are on the ills we are in creeper mode. Actually a baby creeping probably goes faster thn the tractor. it is s-l-o-w.

    Now that you mention it, the brakes do work much better with the clutch in. The parking brake works real good.

    Here is how the tractor is set up.
    Left stick, you move the stick up and down thorugh these choices.

    Reverse
    Neutral
    forward but really slow even if you don't change the throttle there is some abbreviation but it is in Italian)
    Neutral
    Forward but faster (another Italian abbreviation)

    Right stick, there are combination numbers on the little nob
    2 & 4 (real slow)
    3 & 5 (faster)
    I know there is another set of numbers but I didn't use them and can't remember them.

  8. #8
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
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    Default Re: After a 1 1/2 Years, finally drove the Tractor

    "If I read correctly what you wrote, push the clutch pedal in and brake, but you don't take it out of gear, don't move it to neutral. Really when we are on the ills we are in creeper mode. Actually a baby creeping probably goes faster than the tractor. it is s-l-o-w."

    In normal driving, yes..push the clutch in and brake...in normal movement. If you're using the parking brake, the tractor should be stopped and the parking brake applied, then shut the engine off. Personally, I only use the parking brake when the tractor is in neutral and idling while I'm off the seat. If I park the tractor for any length of time, I turn off the engine and leave it in gear. My John deere 790 will not start unless the gear shift lever is in neutral and the clutch depressed, but your tractors may not have that safety feature. It is highly unlikely your Straub has such safety features.

    Now, going down a slope, do not step on the clutch...that would eliminate any engine braking as I'd described in an earlier post. Using the brakes when going down slope (with the engine braking) just helps slow the tractor a bit more, but the brake won't stop the tractor. If you must stop on the slope, you will need to apply the brakes and step on the clutch...but use the engine braking as long as possible. Best thing is to plan your trip down a slope so there is no need to stop on the slope.

    The way you describe the levers, I am guessing the left lever is the range (reverse, low and high range) and the right lever is the gear shift. I could well be wrong, but that's the way it reads.
    I suspect the numbers you cannot recall are 1 and 6. 1 (or first gear) would probably be slower then 2 (or second gear)...but that is a guess.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member LarryD's Avatar
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    Whidbey Island, WA.
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    Default Re: After a 1 1/2 Years, finally drove the Tractor

    I'm not sure of the size of the hill you're going down but I can inagine the pucker factor when the tractor starts to slide. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]

    I have a small hill (15') that is way to steep to mow sideways or even uphill, strictly downhill. When I first attempted this hill, I put the mower in 1st and went for a pretty good ride, gravity overcame the gears the tires just slid. The next trip down I used 2nd and found it was just the right combination of speed and resistance to keep the tires rolling yet maintain control. Maybe you could pick a test area with a good landing zone and try several gears to find the right speed.

  10. #10
    Super Member N80's Avatar
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    Kubota L4400 4wd w/LA 703 FEL

    Default Re: After a 1 1/2 Years, finally drove the Tractor

    I have a lot of hilly trails. For going down steep ones, I put it in first gear, low and the engine braking allows for a nice controlled decent and I can add a little breaking when needed.

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