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Driving a hydro


OrangeMetalGuy

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OrangeMetalGuy
New owner of a 716H... just curious, do most of you hydro operators keep your foot off the clutch/brake and just do all the driving/stopping via the control lever? I think I read somewhere that you should depress the clutch when starting because it means less mass the starter has to spin.
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Depress the clutch to start the engine and then slowly release the clutch as the engine warms up to engage the hydro pump. If you release it too fast the engine may stall. Once it is running just use the hydro control lever to move from forward to reverse. There is no need to use the brake/clutch unless you are in a panic situation. In fact if you do use the clutch/brake and then don't move the hydro lever back to neutral before you release the brake pedal, you can shock the driveline and get a very abrupt launch. It is a good idea to occassionally depress and release the brake/clutch to make sure the idler pulley moves freely. Infrequent use can cause the idler pulley bracket to sieze to the pivot shaft and not allow the idler pulley to fully return after you release the brake/clutch pedal. This can cause loss of forward/reverse motion or reduced speed and torque due to belt slippage. When moving the hydro lever between forward and reverse it is best to pause briefly in neutral so the tractor comes to a complete stop and also move the lever slowly to minimize shock to the driveline and prevent excessive wheel spin.
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OrangeMetalGuy
Thanks, that is a lot of good information to have. I'll keep my foot off that pedal after starting and make sure to stop before changing direction.
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I use the brake/clutch on mine when working in tight places. I drive it just like a manual transmission with the hydro lever just slightly set in the direction I want to go. I mow around fences into corner around tree and flowerbeds and along a couple deep ditches. I am not smooth enough on the lever to navigate the rough areas, so I use the foot clutch. Out in the open areas I never use the clutch, just the lever. My opinion, do what is necessary or at least what is most comfortable for you.
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