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rfsmith1952

Gears VS Hydro

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rfsmith1952
Now that I have a gear tractor (Homelite T-10) and a hydro tractor (Homelite T-12) I can compare the two for working. Neither of them can mow, so it's just utility work: plow, trailer, etc. With both tractors operating well (Shssss, don't jinx it:O) I find myself preferring the hydro. That may be because the geared T-10 still has the plow and chains on, but I think it's because with the Hydro I can really go VERY slow when backing up the trailer. Of course, no gears, no clutch also helps. Gears VS hydro....jury is still out.

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HubbardRA
I currently have 3-speed, shuttle, and hydro tractors. I find that each has it's uses. I mow my lawn with the shuttle because of the smoothness of engagement with the lever. Much smoother than a Sunstrand hydro. I use the hydro when moving one of my trailers into and out of my small backyard. It is also much nicer with a tiller. I also prefer the hydro when pushing snow with a blade, because I have a hydrolift on that machine. I use the 3-speed for pulling work trailers and dragging heavy objects. I prefer to grade dirt with this machine instead of the hydro because the foot clutch frees up one of my hands so I can use one for steering and one for lift. There are a lot more things I do with them. Sometimes it just depends on which one has fuel in it, or which one is the easiest to get started. Once you get more than 2 or 3 they sort of get lost in the noise, and you just use which ever one you have the needed attachment hooked to at the time. My philosophy started out as getting a tractor for each attachment, but changed to just a tractor for each attachment during the summer season or the winter season. I change attachments once a year. Ran out of storage space for tractors, and things like batteries get costly when you are trying to keep a bunch of them all running at the same time. All the transmissions are strong, and each has an advantage over the others in specific areas. Bottom line is that they are all fun to drive. I am only in my early 60s so I can still use a clutch and drive without power steering and use a manual lift. I try to have one cushy tractor :D, but that is more for show than anything else.

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PhanDad
As to me, no more gear tractors. For my uses, hydro is the way to go. And Rod, Have you ever used a Vickers hydro? I ask, because I think it's smoother to use than the Sundstrand and I was wondering how the shuttle compares to a Vickers.

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Kent
I'll point out one more big difference I've noted using them on steep slopes... the hydro potentially lets you use the tranny as an engine brake going downhill MUCH better than a variable or standard 3-speed. (I've never used a shuttle)... Last thing you want to do on a steep slope is try to use the clutch/brake... so using engine braking on the hydro is a very good thing. I've actually had my HB-216 skid the 8.50 Dico ags, going downhill, using the engine braking... Note, however, that I added a short piece of garden hose on the Sundstrand hydro linkage, replacing the stock spring. The spring on the stock linkage would compress on steep slopes with the pressure from the engine braking pushing back, and let the tractor "run away." With the piece of rubber hose, it still has some "cushion" for engagement (though you have to be slow, gentle and intentional on control movement), it's quite "touchy." But it will not compress enough to let the tractor free-wheel... If you're going to use a Sundstrand hydro going down VERY steep slopes, be careful, and tweak/shim that linkage spring, or you risk a runaway...

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rfsmith1952
I notice the hydro, in reverse, with the trailer full of stone or soil, on a backwards downhill grade, will free wheel about maybe one full rear wheel rotation. With more engine rpm it doesn't freehweel as much. Kent, this is a Vickers, but I will look at linkage a little differently now. Thanks. Bill: I want to plow with the hydro once before I lean one may or the other. Thanks for your help in getting her going!

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deezay
I've got a hydro on my 916 and I love it. I use it for mowing, seeding, plowing, and dethatching. I just picked up a 4211 with a 5spd and this was my first weekend using it besides just driving it. It was good pulling the dethatcher, but I haven't hooked a mower to it yet. I noticed it's top speed is a lot lower than my Allis. Seems to go about 5mph. It's a good work tractor and it's turning radius is much tighter than my 916.

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SmilinSam
quote:
Originally posted by RayS
All hydros here and no plans to ever go back to shifting gears.
Same story here, although after having had one good shuttle I would agree with Rod in that the shuttles do shift smoother to mow with. But, even that shuttle finally wore out.... so all hydros again.

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rokon2813
Each will have its different advantages. I tend to prefer the 3 speed for everything, but I 'm a bit different anyway :O I grew up as a farmer, and anything but gears just don't "feel" right. In my particular yard, I like the positive speed control of the gears for mowing. I have some steep side slopes where I move around on the seat a lot, and I like the control of the set speed in one gear with both hands free to hold on. I have one steep enough that I slide off the seat far enough that the bars on the tire tap my wallet as they go around }:) I also have the hi low, for the slow speed stuff like tilling. The only dis advantage I can think of, if you do a lot of backing, you are either shifting the hi low constantly or backing veeery slowly. Even the gears will "slide" or freewheel down hill if it steep enough. I've also found if you have a lot of small slopes, both the hydro's and variables and even the shuttles tend to speed up a bit going down, and slow a bit going up. So at times, you are constantly on the handle adjusting the ground speed. Of course, if you follow the operators manuals, you would never work slopes that steep. ;) Now, if you go to foot controlled hydro, thats a whole different discussion sm01sm01

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rfsmith1952
Thanks for the input. Foot controlled hydro is where they are right now with today's riding mowers. Annually, I rent a loader/back hoe for a day, it is a small one with foot controlled speed forward and backward. I really like that machine, and a lot of it has to do with no gears, throttle, clutch, etc. toe forward...heel back

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Talntedmrgreen
quote:
Originally posted by rokon2813
Now, if you go to foot controlled hydro, thats a whole different discussion sm01sm01
I LOVE my Vickers, and would love another. I haven't tilled with it yet, but I'm certain it will eliminate the need for my HiLo's. I like the 3-speeds simply becuase I grew up with them, and they have always worked well for me. They do engine brake well on my slopes, and I like to control my ground speed with the clutch when pulling or pushing a plow. The only drawbacks I have experienced with the hydro's are that the lack of foot control while using hydrolift/plow creates the need for 3 arms, and unless they are tuned in perfectly, they may creep or take off with the bump of the control lever. They are my favorite for mowing....they FLY compared to a 3-speed! ;)

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RickS
I really like hydros as well. My favorite is the foot controlled Legacy I have. It is much easier to steer, go forward, and raise the implement. Granted that takes one hand and two feet; but I don't need three hands to control my speed, steer, and raise the implement. Rick......

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rfsmith1952
Well, I agree with the three hands story. I have been backing a trailer loads of topsoil, downgrade, to an almost level 10 ft ramp, up the ramp to a raised vegetable garden. I find the hydro jumpy (or maybe I'm jumpy)It freewheels backwards downhill a bit then catches and stops. I over control and even sent the trailer off the ramp and into the bed once. So, now I get the trailer in the general area,unhook it from the T-12 and hook a cable up to trailer. Then I hand winch it the last ten feet across the ramp. That being said, on level grade, I could thread a needle with this tractor.

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GregB
Kent, Would you happen to have a pic of the hose replacing the spring on the Hydro? My place is all hills, I now know where it tends to run away, but it would be nice to reduce the likleyhood. Thanks

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Kent
quote:
Originally posted by GregB
Kent, Would you happen to have a pic of the hose replacing the spring on the Hydro? My place is all hills, I now know where it tends to run away, but it would be nice to reduce the likleyhood. Thanks
Greg, that one is already in storage in Tennessee. But, I simply removed the "boxed in" spring on the control rod on the right in this pic, and replaced the spring with the same length of garden hose. The hose will "bend" just enough to provide a bit of cushion when you first engage, or change direction, but it still is very "touchy" and you need to get used to it... This is a pic from when I first built this hybrid... I intially tried stretching the spring, but that didn't work, so I "shade-tree engineered" it... [img]http://www.simpletractors.com/images/var_hydro/full_tunnel.jpg[/img]

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RickS
Ray, The faster he goes the quicker the lawn gets cut. Don't know about the quality of the cut at that speed; but the drifting around the corners is fun. Rick......

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BLT
quote:
Originally posted by hotrodtractor
I love the hydro's but the gear drive does one thing a hydro never will.............wait for it..... go 20mph with pulley changes :o)
And closer to the coffin when you make an abrupt turn. I got my cornering baptism on a Farmall "M".

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jmhusby
When I stopped helping on the farm just about everything was power shift. Nothing nicer for going up hills or through wet spots when you don't have to stop and shift. When it comes to mowing or snow blowing I'll keep my Prestige with the foot control. It frees one arm for raising and lowering and adjusting the shute. Love the job the Sunstar does on the blower but it takes a few turns to get back to controlling speed with the hand lever. Guess its nice that we have the machines where we can make our own decisions.:D:D Would hate to see us all driving Yugo's with three on the treeXX(XX(

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hotrodtractor
you guys gave me a good chuckle. yup the hot rod is pretty useless as a tractor but sure looks cool and really draws a crowd. Agree corners are a white knuckle ride. Never had an attachment on it except a sickle bar and carry all for show. What's interesting is in 1st gear it's pretty slow enough to mow grass I think. I think it's about as fast as a normal 3 speed in 3rd gear. But regardless the hot rod harley lives a easy life. I mow with the 75th hyrdo as stopping between shifting is for the birds.




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