Does HST Transmission Rob Horsepower??

   #1  

clan scott

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-I heard from guys at work that the new tractors with HST transmissions rob the PTO of HP? What is the difference between HST and Shuttle Shift? Would like to buy a tractor to bush hog about 20+ years of brush overgrowth on 70 acres. I'm a fan of the FORD 10 series tractors but the new tractors seem inviting.
 
   #2  

lens12

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HST does require power. It uses a hydraulic pump to run a hydraulic motor. The shuttle shift usually uses gears with hydraulic clutches to engage & disengage gears which doesn't use as much power.
 
   #4  

K5lwq

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For mowing I would prefer gear transmission. HST does not "rob" HP but uses HP just like any other thing on the tractor would. So yes there is less HP available for the mower.
 
   #6  

jeff9366

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Tractor PTO is mechanical/gear all the way through.

Engine power transfer to the PTO will be the same whether tractor has a gear transmission or an HST transmission as PTO does not interface with the wheel transmission.


Engine power transferred to tractor wheels will be higher with a gear transmission.

HST is easier to use and speed choice infinite but it is pump/hydraulically driven, which is less efficient transferring energy than mechanical/gear drive.

Only a few tractor brands offer an HST transmission on tractors generating more than 60 engine horsepower. Over 60 engine horsepower most new tractors are available only with gear + shuttle shift.

HST and Gear/Shuttle are equally reliable.

HST and Gear/Shuttle are more reliable than traditional Gear/Clutch .

VIDEO:

Neal Messick, Messick's Tractor, ( five stores in Pennsylvania )
relates that Messick's sales are 90% HST in tractors of 60 horsepower or less.
 
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   #7  

jeff9366

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Would like to buy a tractor to bush hog about 20+ years of brush overgrowth on 70 acres.
You will probably need a $10,000 to $12,000 Brown (brand) Tree Cutter weighing over one ton to cut trees twenty years old.

To power a 72" Brown Tree Cutter you will need a 80 to 100 engine horsepower, 4-WD tractor.

LINK: Brown Manufacturing Corporation - Brown Manufacturing Corp | 800.633.8909





March 2012:
clan scott


"I'm looking for feed back regarding the appropriate HP tractor I should have.

I will be purchasing a 76 acre old farm parcel and will be in the market for a tractor very soon. The land is grown over now for at least 9 years." (March 2012)
 
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   #8  

ruffdog

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Will the OP be mowing a very open area or will it be trails or have many obstacles? Open field mowing go shuttle but if you have to maneuver around stuff, go HST.
 
   #9  

MossRoad

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This discussion is really getting old.

Just determine how much PTO horsepower you need and buy a tractor, gear or hydrostatic with that much PTO horsepower.
This is what most reasonable folks on TBN have been saying for 2 decades.

An HST does not "ROB" power. It uses power.

Yes, a gear tractor with a 30HP engine will deliver more power to the wheels than an HST tractor with a 30HP engine, due to efficiency losses in the transmission of power from the engine to the fluid and back to the rear end.

However, if you get an HST tractor that's spec'd to provide 30PTO HP, it will supply the same 30PTO HP that a geared tractor spec'd to provide 30PTO HP will. In order to do that, the HST tractor will probably have a few more engine HP to drive it at the same time the PTO is in operation.

It's really not that big of a concern on small tractors. Just get one that's rated to do the jobs you want to do and be happy.
 
   #10  

TractorGuy

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YES! Would I trade it for more PTO horsepower? Nope.
 
   #11  

CobyRupert

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... all HST (old and new) uses a certain amount of HP just like a 5 foot mower uses less HP than a 6 footer.

....unless the 5 foot mower is traveling 20% faster than the 6 foot mower, (or conversely, the 6ft mower is traveling at 83% speed of the 5 foot mower) then they’re using the same amount of horsepower.
 
   #12  

MossRoad

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....unless the 5 foot mower is traveling 20% faster than the 6 foot mower, (or conversely, the 6ft mower is traveling at 83% speed of the 5 foot mower) then they’re using the same amount of horsepower.
AHHHHHHH!!!!!! Math test!!! o_O
 
   #13  

crazyal

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I always love when HST comes up. You have those who are die hard gear people who think the HST guys succumbed to the dark side. Then there's the HST guys who feel like they've seen the light. I had a geared tractor (never again), have a shuttle shift, and an HST. For doing almost anything the HST is the tractor I use. For brush hogging, it's a no brainer. With HST I can set the engine at near idle, engage the PTO, rev the motor up to get the brushhog up to speed, and then go at any speed I want. If I need to slow down or turn the PTO stays at the correct speed.

I'm sure there's a point where a scut will have an engine just too small but that's what wallets are for. For those who say "more debt", so what? Spend a day or two pushing a clutch to shift gears while doing dirt work and suddenly HST looks good. Or try pulling a log with a geared tractor and have it get caught. Simply letting off the HST pedal and that's it. With gears unless your foot is near the clutch you're most likely going to stall the engine (or worse). They all work, they all do their job. But there's a reason why almost every sub 60hp tractor sold is HST.
 
   #14  

Stan B

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Spend a day or two pushing a clutch to shift gears while doing dirt work and suddenly HST looks good.
HA! That's me! Sold a 1959 Oliver 550 and bought my Kioti CK3510 HST. Finally, the calf on my right leg is approaching the same size as the left leg.
 
   #16  

k0ua

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Now, lets see.... about those tires... :)
 
   #17  

Cougsfan

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Every spec sheet I have looked at where manufactures offer both a HST and shuttle shift version of the same tractor, the rated PTO HP is the same. They don't rate the HP at the rear wheel, but you could assume the HST will be lower due to inefficiency of the HST. Is that a big deal? Not usually.
 
   #19  

v908

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HST and Gear/Shuttle are more reliable than traditional Gear/Clutch .
How so? I have 900 hours on my Yanmar with manual transmission and have only replaced the clutch once (several years ago).
 
   #20  

Shenandoah MF1760

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-I heard from guys at work that the new tractors with HST transmissions rob the PTO of HP? What is the difference between HST and Shuttle Shift? Would like to buy a tractor to bush hog about 20+ years of brush overgrowth on 70 acres. I'm a fan of the FORD 10 series tractors but the new tractors seem inviting.
There are limits to how big you can go with an HST. I'm at the top of Massey's line with a 59.9 HP HST tractor. The specs say that my PTO is only 44.4 HP. That's probably measured at the PTO itself and not accounting for any losses that the driven device gearbox may impose. I went HST so that the wife etc won't have any issues operating the tractor. Otherwise, I probably would have gone up a level from a compact tractor to a utility tractor.
 
   #21  

RancherGuy

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I have to respectfully disagree with many of the HST comments here. It seems that those who quote the advantages have not experienced the disadvantages, or perhaps they have seen or ridden on someone else's, or they think that HST on a lawnmower is the same as on a tractor.

Do HST consume more power than geared? Absolutely. So a bigger engine is required to get the same work done.

What impact does HST have on PTO power? Depends. If you are the manufacturer, you will do a PTO test with the tractor sitting still in neutral - whether HST or geared. If you are going to be traveling, the transmission will take some of that power - a lot if the transmission is stressed.

Why is HST so popular? Because people drive automatics, and probably have a HST lawnmower. So they understand the concept of no shifting. They can also instantly change speed or direction with only one foot.

Here is what has not been said here. HST is noisy. I had an L3800 HST and found that if I had to push the transmission to 50% or more, there was a lot of noise. But to get the heavy beast to move I found myself pushing the pedal to 80-100% all the time. The screaming drove me crazy. I spent $200 just to replace the transmission oil with what I was told would abate the noise. That money was for the fluid - not labor. There was very little improvement. I sold that tractor with 100 hours.

At the same time I had a 2002 Kubota L3710 GST. I still have it and love it. Really do. The GST transmission is a dream. If I am to buy another Kubota, I would see if GST is available. If not then definitely geared. Dead last would be HST. That's my opinion, YMMV.
 
   #22  

ptsg

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Great post Rancher with nice points and common sense. I agree 100%.
 
   #23  

bcp

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Your land and work makes a difference. For hilly land, utility work, or loader work, I want HST. For flat land or mainly field work, I like gear.

Bruce
 
   #24  

LittleBill21

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I was going to make my own post, but this thread is close enough. I already knew i wanted a HST, but after using the tractor now for several hours, i think anyone in a small tractor not, mowing acre's for miles, would be absolutely nuts to buy a gear model. i move my tractor sometimes inches at a time, if i had to use a clutch the entire time, it would sit in the barn, HST on a small tractor is prolly 80% more efficient over gear. and no my HST doesn't whine, that seems to be a Kubota thing.
 
   #25  

piper184

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All drive trains consume power. Some more than others. For me I don't think fuel efficiency is much of an issue unless I was farming thousands of acres.
In my case it all comes down to reliability and repair-ability. Gear boxes are easy to fix. HST, not so much. I have more time than $$ so it is gearbox all the way. Learned to drive a stick shift and tractors with poor brakes on hills so shifting and footwork is not a big deal. Did run a shuttle shift a couple of times and find that a handy feature for loader work. More up front $$ so I make due without it. I can hear my neighbor's HST approaching way before I hear the engine. My riding lawnmower has a trans axle. Don't much like it but my wife does.
Now if I could just buy a new pickup with a real V8 and without that #@%$$^ automatic tranny. :)
 
   #26  

s219

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I had an L3800 HST and found that if I had to push the transmission to 50% or more, there was a lot of noise. But to get the heavy beast to move I found myself pushing the pedal to 80-100% all the time. The screaming drove me crazy.

That is about the opposite of what you want to do. It was like shifting into high gear. You should have modulated the treadle to a low setting (20-30%) and throttled up instead. No wonder it made so much noise for you! When an HST whines it's a good sign you're doing something wrong.

I also have an economy L model and this is one of the noisier HSTs Kubota sells, but there is a difference between normal noise and intense whining/screaming.
 
   #27  

3gunr

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My hst only whines when at low rpm and barely moving forward or backward , Otherwise it is not bad at all. I do wear ear protection when mowing or tilling for long periods.
 
   #28  

ArlyA

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Gear box trannys loose a pretty small percent of HP, like in the 1 or 2% area.

Constant Velocity Transmission (CVT) come in next with a tad more loss, like in the 3 or 4% but I'd say that still reasonably good.

HST loose quite a bit more HP but how much, depends on where the transmission is being operating at. That is if you're trying to go fast, then its loses are rather high. There losses vary from something over 5% to 15. This is why slower machines tend to use HST systems since they don't need to go high speeds anyway.
 
   #30  

Bearcat81

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For mowing I would prefer gear transmission. HST does not "rob" HP but uses HP just like any other thing on the tractor would. So yes there is less HP available for the mower.
I agree. And, gears are maybe less prone to 'go wrong' (as my thrifty relatives would say) versus the 'more complicated' HST. I have both. Plowing and 'bush-hogging' seem easier for me in a gear. My wife prefers the HST...
 
   #31  

Egon

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With the ability of an HST to modulate ground speed at a set engine RMP it may get by with a smaller engine than a fixed gear transmission.
 
   #32  

jeff9366

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Gears are maybe less prone to 'go wrong' (as my thrifty relatives would say) versus the 'more complicated' HST. I have both.
If comparing Gear/Shuttle to HST reliability is about the same. Gear/Shuttle will yield better fuel economy, which is important to 'big ag".

In Gear/Clutch combination the traditional clutch, not the gears, is the weak point. And that is the reason few subcompact tractors are offered with a Gear/Clutch option.

Clutch rebuilds at my local Florida Kubota dealer are $1,200. Clutch rebuilds are probably $2,000 in New York or Western Washington. Clutch rebuilds are NOT warranty repairs.

Anyone buying a Gear/Clutch tractor for operation by employees is making a bad decision. The clutch will be abused and employees will run the FEL into immovable objects regularly.
 
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   #33  

ptsg

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If comparing Gear/Shuttle to HST reliability is about the same. Gear/Shuttle will yield better fuel economy, which is important to 'big ag".

In Gear/Clutch combination the traditional clutch, not the gears, is the weak point. And that is the reason few subcompact tractors are offered with a Gear/Clutch option.

Clutch rebuilds at my local Florida Kubota dealer are $1,200. Clutch rebuilds are probably $2,000 in New York or Western Washington. Clutch rebuilds are NOT warranty repairs.

Anyone buying a Gear/Clutch tractor for operation by employees is making a bad decision. The clutch will be abused and employees will run the FEL into immovable objects regularly.
Seriously, how do you come up with this stuff?? I just can't get it. :rolleyes:

"In Gear/Clutch combination the traditional clutch, not the gears, is the weak point. And that is the reason few subcompact tractors are offered with a Gear/Clutch option." - No, this is not the reason why SCUTs are offered mainly with HST. The reason is most likely due to the fact that most SCUT and CUTs owners, use their tractors to mow the lawn and/or move snow around, plus all that some can drive is automatic transmissions and can't handle a clutch at all. Definitely not because the clutch is the weakest link. The operator yes, can make a clutch look like the weakest link.

On this side of the pond, it's very common hear clutches lasting over 4 or 5k hours, easily. Some a lot more, but then again, probably 95%+ of the vehicles are manual transmission. So it's not a big deal at all to use a clutch, even on loader tractors.

Also, tractors from 15HP and up are using hard on farming for a living by most people who owns tractors. Tasks like plowing a field, disking, using rippers, etc. Pretty much tasks that would make an hydrostatic transmission cry.
 
   #34  

ArlyA

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15hp and up for the agricultural business?? I'm guessing the farms in Europe, might be a tad smaller than those in north America. :unsure: Most of my family are in the AG business.
 
   #35  

ptsg

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15hp and up for the agricultural business?? I'm guessing the farms in Europe, might be a tad smaller than those in north America. :unsure: Most of my family are in the AG business.
A small tractor can fit places where a big one can't. If you don't believe, go search a little bit about farming in Europe.

Also, small tractors can farm too. Very common for people that sell at the local market to have a small 15 to 30 tractor that can easily fit inside a small greenhouse or small plots.
 
   #36  

ArlyA

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A small tractor can fit places where a big one can't. If you don't believe, go search a little bit about farming in Europe.

Also, small tractors can farm too. Very common for people that sell at the local market to have a small 15 to 30 tractor that can easily fit inside a small greenhouse or small plots.
Of course I know the farms there tend to be smaller. I am not disparaging European farming at all, they have different geology, soils, history, what they grow and everything else make it different, not necessarily bad or good. Here is a video of harvesting winter wheat very near where my family operate there farms. Its very different than there, not better or poorer. Would anyone care to guess the HP of the tractor towing the grain cart has?? :unsure:
 
   #38  

Hay Dude

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Drawbar Horsepower is different between gear & HST
Make sure when you buy a tractor, whether its HST, gear, powershift, IVT, CVT; toss the manufacturers specs aside and find independent tests, like Nebraska tests/Tractor Data tests or even ask the dealer to do a dyno test if he has one.
For example, my MX-270 is factory rated to make 235 PTO HP and 270 engine HP.
Tractor data tests show 271 PTO HP. My own dyno test was 270, which leads me to believe the 8.3L Cummins is making over 300HP.

Some tractors will test lower than claimed, some higher.
 
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   #39  

wolc123

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Compared to gear drive, a hydro drive transmission converts a higher percentage of an engine's hp to heat. That heat energy is not useful to get work done. If you are looking to get the most work done, per gallon of fuel, then a gear drive is the best option.

So the answer to the op question is YES, a hydro robs hp because it converts more of it into a useless form (heat), than does a gear drive.

That said, I am willing to be robbed a little bit for smaller jobs because my time is worth more to me than a few gallons of fuel. I much prefer mowing my 1 acre lawn with my 15 hydro tractor than my 15 hp gear tractor. I only use that gear tractor in times of frequent rains, when the grass grows too thick and overpowers my 15 hp hydro. At those times, the hydro bogs down and I can get the job done faster with the gear.

For big jobs, like open field mowing, I would not dream of using a hydro transmission.
 
   #40  

Hay Dude

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The price you pay for convenience
 
   #41  

4570Man

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In theory yes but a when you’re comparing a compact tractor the HST one will almost always be done faster. Even in a test that’s a direct comparison of driveline power like pulling a wagon up a hill the HST could end up winning. A compact gear tractor never has enough gears to get the right one and you have to compromise on to slow. The HST could go exactly the speed you want.
 
   #42  

Hay Dude

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The convenience of not having to feather a clutch or keep one hand on a shifter when doing a delicate operation or where speed could vary widely & rapidly, HST is nice.
 
   #43  

Emainiac

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I owned a gear shift for 15 years and never thought twice about having to use the clutch so frequently. I would grade my driveway, plow snow and haul logs, so it really was not an issue at all. Then the time came for me to get a larger tractor last year and since all the dealer had was HST, I figured I'd test drive one since they are so popular. I spent an hour on their lot and didn't really have a chance to put it to work. But I was anxious for a new ride so I bought it and had it delivered a day later.

The big day came and I was planning to spend the weekend spreading about 15 yards of loam. Inside of the first hour, I knew I had made a mistake. I would approach the pile and the machine would bog down and then finally get the balls to lift a load. It almost felt like a 1-2 second delay from what I knew. No where near as responsive as my gear was. Needless to say, I was disappointed and called the dealer and he asked me to stop by so he could "teach" me how to drive an HST, because they are clearly different than gear. Even after spending an hour learning that you do not press down on the pedal when approaching a pile, it just did not feel right to me.

Since they did not have a gear version on the lot, I drove to another dealer and hopped on a shuttle shift version of my tractor and knew in 10 seconds flat that was what I wanted. It fit like a glove. So I returned my HST with 3 hours on it and waited another 3 weeks for a shuttle version to come from the factory. Best decision I ever made.

I'll agree with earlier posts that HST is more popular because the majority of suburban tractor owners (who make up a lot of the tractors sold) are clueless how to use a clutch. There is no doubt that HST's have their place for certain types of work, as do shuttle/gear. It is a personal preference and I cannot think of a single occasion where my shuttle did not do everything I have asked it to do, even delicate task that require me to move only an inch.

While you may not spend much time using the clutch with an HST, you make up for it reaching for the cruise control.
 
   #44  

4570Man

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I owned a gear shift for 15 years and never thought twice about having to use the clutch so frequently. I would grade my driveway, plow snow and haul logs, so it really was not an issue at all. Then the time came for me to get a larger tractor last year and since all the dealer had was HST, I figured I'd test drive one since they are so popular. I spent an hour on their lot and didn't really have a chance to put it to work. But I was anxious for a new ride so I bought it and had it delivered a day later.

The big day came and I was planning to spend the weekend spreading about 15 yards of loam. Inside of the first hour, I knew I had made a mistake. I would approach the pile and the machine would bog down and then finally get the balls to lift a load. It almost felt like a 1-2 second delay from what I knew. No where near as responsive as my gear was. Needless to say, I was disappointed and called the dealer and he asked me to stop by so he could "teach" me how to drive an HST, because they are clearly different than gear. Even after spending an hour learning that you do not press down on the pedal when approaching a pile, it just did not feel right to me.

Since they did not have a gear version on the lot, I drove to another dealer and hopped on a shuttle shift version of my tractor and knew in 10 seconds flat that was what I wanted. It fit like a glove. So I returned my HST with 3 hours on it and waited another 3 weeks for a shuttle version to come from the factory. Best decision I ever made.

I'll agree with earlier posts that HST is more popular because the majority of suburban tractor owners (who make up a lot of the tractors sold) are clueless how to use a clutch. There is no doubt that HST's have their place for certain types of work, as do shuttle/gear. It is a personal preference and I cannot think of a single occasion where my shuttle did not do everything I have asked it to do, even delicate task that require me to move only an inch.

While you may not spend much time using the clutch with an HST, you make up for it reaching for the cruise control.

I wouldn’t be that apposed to a good shuttle shift transmission and not at all apposed to a torque converter transmission like a lot of construction equipment has. But those are a totally different beast than a dry clutch gear trans.
 
   #45  

Cougsfan

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Wow, this thread is really getting a little tribal! I grow weary of reading "if anyone who doesn't agree with my particular choice of transmission, they are obviously mistaken." Having owned and/or operated HST, geared tractor with dry clutch or shuttle for many years, I can understand how someone could prefer one over the others, either way. None can claim absolute superiority for all conditions, and each have advantages in certain conditions. And if one has any ability at all to adapt, one could easily live with any of them under most any condition.
 
   #46  

buck12

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Kubota 5460HSTC
Wow, this thread is really getting a little tribal! I grow weary of reading "if anyone who doesn't agree with my particular choice of transmission, they are obviously mistaken." Having owned and/or operated HST, geared tractor with dry clutch or shuttle for many years, I can understand how someone could prefer one over the others, either way. None can claim absolute superiority for all conditions, and each have advantages in certain conditions. And if one has any ability at all to adapt, one could easily live with any of them under most any condition.
Well stated. For my uses after owning a gear drive tractor for 12 years and now a HST for almost two years, HST is better for me. Both will accomplish the work I need to do on my property but the HST is faster and easier to operate.

There is no right or wrong, just what works best for the most of the users uses.
 
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   #47  

5030

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....and ALL transmissions have parasitic loss of power between the flywheel and the final drive. Obviously, HST's have more than standard gears. All distills down to what you prefer.
 
   #48  

5030

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I'll agree with earlier posts that HST is more popular because the majority of suburban tractor owners (who make up a lot of the tractors sold) are clueless how to use a clutch. There is no doubt that HST's have their place for certain types of work, as do shuttle/gear. It is a personal preference and I cannot think of a single occasion where my shuttle did not do everything I have asked it to do, even delicate task that require me to move only an inch.
Why I prefer my hydraulic shuttles. One, there is no dry clutch to wear out and two it's extremely manageable especially when moving in small increments. The 'clutch' is a wet multi plate wet pack so there is basically no wear. In 6000 hours, I've never adjusted the freeplay on the 'clutch' pedal and that is 99% loader work.
 
   #49  

CoyPatton

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Yanmar YM2002D with Koyker 110 FEL
It amazes me how many commenters have dropped a portion of the question (seemingly to support their position). The ‘from the PTO’ has disappeared from their responses.
Perhaps it was poor word choice, but at the same time it is out many will state the hp issue from gear drive to HST drive.
Frankly the brand makes little difference in this discussion. Stay in the same brand your choice green, blue, red, orange or whatever. Select a model that comes in both a gear and HST drive, and you will consistently see that in the HST drive less hp gets to the PTO. This makes the tradition engine hp description much less useful. And face it 99% of tractor buyers ate doing so for PTO project involvement, be it mowing (finish or rough), tilling, broadcasting material or any number of activities. So now with the movement so strongly toward HST, PTO hp becomes more important than engine hp.
The simple fact is that with an HST tractor, more hp will be consumed prior to reaching the PTO than on a gear driven tractor. Is this a bad thing? Probably not! But for PTO operations, the buyer needs to aware!
 
   #50  

Cougsfan

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Ferguson TO35, Branson 4720CH
To continue splitting hairs that don't make much difference; the PTO drive does not go through the HST, so there is no power to be lost to the PTO because of a HST. So if the tractor is stationary the PTO HP on a HST or shuttle will be identical. If the tractor is being driven, engine hp is being used to both power the PTO and to move the tractor. The HST does use more of the engine hp to drive the tractor, making less available to the PTO. But in a situation such as mowing heavy brush where PTO hp is an important consideration, the PTO is usually consuming the bulk of the engine HP while moving the tractor isn't using much power at all, so the real world difference is quite negligible. However in the extremely rare instances you are mowing thick brush while going up a steep hill at maximum speed in high range, you would likely see a noticeable difference.
 
 
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