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Can Hydros pull?

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My hydros will usually pull until the tires loose traction (same as my gear drive), or the engine stalls. I did pull with my hydro once until the belt slipped. Pulled with another and the belt snapped. None of my hydros ever whined.

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A hydro in good shape will not slip very much at all. I believe the reason you don't see many hydro's in tractor pulls is that they are not as effiecent as a gear drive or belt drive. Running all the stuff in the hydro takes a little more power away from an engine and if the rules make the engines equal the hydro will have less power to the wheels. I used to work at a international harvester farm equipment dealer. IH had 2 hydro model farm tractors, a 60 horsepower and a 100 horsepower model. They were ideal for loader work or such things as spraying because of the complete control of ground speed and instant forward-reverse. If used in heavy pulling such as plowing they would not slip but created an awful lot of heat in the tranny, and would not pull quite as fast as the same tractor with a gear drive tranny. Mike

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I pulled an AC "B" model farm tractor out of it's resting place of several years with four flat tires this summer. Don't know if it was a good idea, but I couldn't get the D-17 started,(don't tell anyone my AC wouldn't start!)

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Leroy, I don't know if your post is about tractor pulling or just hydros in general but here is the skinny on pulling garden tractors. Hydro garden tractors are considered to have about 2hp disadvantage. They can work as a pulling tractor ONLY with the hydro lever full forward or full speed (transferring full torque). Remember that a hydrostatic transmission is not only variable speed but also variable torque. If you have ever had your hydro tractor start to spin on a slippery surface, you back down to creep and it stops spinning and climbs the hill. Sort of like slipping the clutch. So the variable speed aspect it not necessarily an advantage in pulling. Hydro against hydro the Sim/AC's do very well, but they usually fall short to a gear shift tractor. In tractor pulling you want all the horsepower and torque to the wheels that you can get. One more note. You can't change top speed in a hydro, We gear our stock pulling tractors to typically run faster than the full speed of a hydro.

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Hi Leroy, I was into tractor pulling for about five years, and agree with Mike about the loss of about 2 hp. Also as stated, hydro's will produce alot more heat. I know a guy that tried to be competitive with hydro's. In 1 year he burnt up 3 before he decided they didn't work very well!!! Gear drive best for tractor pulling but hydro's do work great for occasional pulling in my opinion. Dan

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