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Kubota HST GST Shuttle or Gear Transmission

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jjradtech
Join Date: Jun 2009
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2009-06-05          163231


Hi All,
I am from s.w. georgia and new to this forum.
I am looking to buy a tractor, 24 to 30 hp in the next
several months. I like the Kubotas and have a dealer locally. My question is concerning a HST transmission
with the front end loader. I was all set to go with this transmission until today, when a Kubota salesman at a dealership, said he did not reccommend a HST with a FEL,
due to the load on the transmission.He strongly reccommended the shuttle shift. Any thoughts, info would be greatly appreciated. Also I am not a mechanic, this will be my 1st tractor purchase. Also this tractor would do more mowing (4acres) than any thing else.
thans--jerry

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bvance
Join Date: Jul 2004
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2009-06-05          163232


Jerry,

I'm a big believer in HST. I have a BX HST model, so it is considerably less HP than what you are looking at, so perhaps what the dealer is telling you might be true, but several others on this Board with more experience with larger tractors and HST vs gear will weigh in soon.

If a loaded FEL has no effect on the transmission, I would go with the HST for ease of use.

Some on this Board prefer gear to HST, but I think if you polled everyone on this Board, HST would win the popularity contest. It's just easier, faster and I believe more precise in tight situations. Many mfg. make HST in pretty big industrial equipment and it works just fine, so if Kubota has engineered it right (and they do very well at this) I gotta believe an HST would be just fine.

Brian ....

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
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2009-06-05          163233


Ground engaging implements put a bigger load on the transmission than anything.

My guess is that if you were to use the loader all day, every day then the shuttle shift might outlast the HST, but you'd probably have to do a clutch replacement or two in the shuttle during that comparison. Then again if you had to use the loader all day, every day you'd be better off with a skid steer.

I'd ask the sales guy exactly what he bases his opinion on - then get the HST anyway. But there's nothing wrong with a gear. I just like the fine control the HST gives you, and if your family is ever gonna use it the HST will be easier for them to operate as well. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
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2009-06-05          163234


Shuttle shift eh? Me thinks the dealer doesn't have a HST in stock and still wants to make a sale. I'm jis' sayin'.

I agree with all the above--especially the skid steer comment. The non-dedicated, loader-equipped machines a. aren't designed to be used everyday for loader work and b. the loaders themselves are not designed and built for that type of abuse. I define abuse as moving stuff on a regular basis that is stiffer than mulch or manure. Anything above and beyond that you will damage the loader bucket. Forget about scraping or digging dirt. Can it be done" Sure, but at what cost?

Deere makes or rebadges a nice-sized loader/backhoe which is dedicated as a loader/backhoe---not designed to be removed. Not sure about a PTO and being able to mow with--probably not.

I have a 33-HP New Holland TC33D (HST) with Supersteer and 4x4---love it. I don't have a loader on it though---I have a much bigger skid steer for those chores (78-HP). I do have to say that it would be nice to have a loader, but it would be used strictly for lite lifting or moving chores when I can't get the 8,000 lb. skid steer through. The CUT weighs about 3,500 as equipped.

I know of two machines the next size larger than my CUT--a Deere and a New Holland (40-ish HP)--both have loader buckets that have the cutting edge bent 3-4 inches down. These guys know better but think they're running backhoes or even dozers and are/were convinced these machines were up to the task--until they looked at the buckets. The Deere has broken the loader mounts twice and shattered the rear ring-and-pinion, and snapped something in the front end.

Both these guys could have hired me (or anyone) to do their work for less than half of what they have in repairs now. Pride goes before...a bent bucket or broken tractor. ....

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Art White
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2009-06-06          163239



Earthworks, how could you see through that salesmen and you aren't even there! ....

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auerbach
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2009-06-06          163244


I'm no authority so correct if wrong.

There are several varieties of HST among and within makers (Kubota has more than one kind in its own line). They are more civilized to use, especially if a single pedal gives infinitely-variable forward from the toe and backward from the heel. So you might want to test drive various ones.

The shuttle-shift is designed for excavating all day with constant back and forths. (So the salesman might have been overinterpreting the loader.) It's a tiny bit less power-robbing, a possible factor if you're being paid by the job.

Every system might need servicing. Replacing wear parts in the clutch is not exactly a shade-tree operation, but generally the shuttle system is simpler to service, another reason a commercial operator might prefer it. ....

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kthompson
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2009-06-06          163254


I don't have a fel but for mowing I really like the HST. Now if you have a level, open lawn a gear probably would be about as easy until you go to turn.

Why not ask for a chance to try each type trans? You should have this tractor for many years, take the time to be sure which suits YOU. I understand there is a model of Kubota that has a touchy HST when you stop in reverse. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
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2009-06-07          163255


Art, before you go off half-cocked, reread my post.

I said "me thinks". Where I from, that's a nice way of stating an (educated) opinion--based on dealing with equipment SALESMEN.

Oh, that's right, YOU'RE a SALESMAN.

And funny, YOU weren't there either.

And I'll say it again: "Me thinks" perhaps you being a salesman--I stepped on a nerve?
....

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auerbach
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2009-06-07          163259


It could have meant the opposite but I interpreted Art's comment as saying that you were correct and clever. ....

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kwschumm
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2009-06-07          163265


Quote:
Originally Posted by auerbach | view 163259
It could have meant the opposite but I interpreted Art's comment as saying that you were correct and clever.


That's how I read it too, Art was agreeing with EW.
....

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earthwrks
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2009-06-07          163267


If Art was agreeing with me then my deepest and sincerest apologies. If not, LOL...

Art? ....

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kthompson
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2009-06-07          163278


Quote:
Originally Posted by auerbach | view 163259
It could have meant the opposite but I interpreted Art's comment as saying that you were correct and clever.


I third it.

Think the problem is EW is not use to such compliments and felt there must be a hidden message. :) Or he is worried Ford is next, enough to make us all worried. ....

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dannw1431
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2009-06-08          163295


Hello

I purchased a new Kubota L3240 HST with FEL last January. I use it for a farm tractor with a mix of use with the loader and mowing fields. So far it's really been great. I really like the sensitivity of the HST forward / reverse fine control as well as speed between switching between forward and reverse. With a manual transmission you'd be riding the clutch all the time and with the HST there is none of this.

I had some concerns about the HST when I bought it, because it's so much different from my previous tractor with a manual transmission. But now having owned it for about six months, I really like it, and glad I purchased this option.

I hope this helps
/Dann
....

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earthwrks
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2009-06-08          163308


Kenny aren't YOU are Ford-fan?

My only connection to Ford is my bro-in-law builds the F- series and they're working three shifts.

I know you were trying get-my-goat as you say about Ford but Ford hasn't had a real relationship with New Holland since '96 if memory serves (and it doesn't always--you "feel my pain" as Clinton would say LOL)

Compliments. Hmmmmm the jury is still out on that one--Stay tuned. ....

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kwschumm
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2009-06-08          163313


Quote:
Originally Posted by earthwrks | view 163308
Kenny aren't YOU are Ford-fan?My only connection to Ford is my bro-in-law builds the F- series and they're working three shifts.I know you were trying get-my-goat as you say about Ford but Ford hasn't had a real relationship with New Holland since '96 if memory serves (and it doesn't always--you "feel my pain" as Clinton would say LOL)Compliments. Hmmmmm the jury is still out on that one--Stay tuned.


Not sure if Art will see this or not. Lately he just seems to swoop in now and then. We miss him.
....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5242 South Carolina
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2009-06-08          163320


Quote:
Originally Posted by kwschumm | view 163313
Not sure if Art will see this or not. Lately he just seems to swoop in now and then. We miss him.


I would think this is a busy time of the year for Art. ....

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earthwrks
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2009-06-09          163327


Hey Kenny, "Kubota" sounds more like "Obama" Motors than Ford tehehehe. ....

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kthompson
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2009-06-09          163339


EW, right now I would put my money on about any Japanese company over any US company with the actions and attitudes of our current federal boys and girls to make it. :-( ....

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JOHNWTHOMAS
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2009-06-11          163367


I also belive Art was agreeing. Back to OP I've bought 8 Kubotas in the past 6 years and getting ready to buy 9th. The HST is the tractor for me. With FEL it is absolutely the only tractor for me. Using one hand on steering wheel and one hand on the fel stick takes all of my hands so I don't have another hand for shifting. I remember in the 50's a car with an automatic transmission was an always probably going to tear up but no one thinks that way now after a few decades of proof. Believe the Kubota HST has a proven record of dependability. Never talk to that salesman again because I also believe he didn't have what you wanted or he had his own personal tractor for sale that he was trying to sell so he could get an HST. ....

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daveinnh
Join Date: Feb 2004
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2009-06-13          163416


I have a Kubota L4310 HST w/ a loader. I use a bucket, pallet forks and WR Long grapple. No problems with the HST.

The HST excels at loader work, tight mowing (5' rotary mower), an working in thight areas. You lose some HP, but try both for YOUR type of work.

....

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earthwrks
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2009-06-13          163418


My service manual says that my unit loses 1 hp at the PTO versus a geared machine (28 v. 29). You'd be hard-pressed to perceive one or even five horse--plus or minus. ....

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hardwood
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2009-06-14          163422


Some of us, and I'll admit we're in the minority still like the solid feel of gears.
Hydros were the greatest thing ever happened to combines and lawn mowers, tractors no.
Now how many of you who rave about a hydro in tractors have ever driven a gear drive tractor with a shuttle reverser for an extended period of time using a loader, heavy hard pulling rear mountred ground engaging equipment not just a spin around the dealership lot?
OK EW, remember the bet is still on. ....

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earthwrks
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2009-06-14          163426


Franky,

I have to admit I'm not up on my tranny nomenclature (Kenny that means proper names of).

My extent of using what I think was a shuttle shift was on a '97 New Holland 555E full-size 4x backhoe. While strong the power to the wheels just feels...mushy or vague--put it in gear and then use the Fwd/Rev lever on the steering column to make it go while using the foot throttle. And if you changed your mind on which direction you wanted to go you had to wait for everything to disengage. PITA. And my dad's JCB backhoe was the same way. My mid-size backhoe was a true hydro. Simple as operating my CUT. I had many people comment how I was able to move so quickly back and forth not realizing I was not having to manually shift.

And the contractors I know who do have shuttle shifts say they are anywhere from $4000-$5000 to have rebuilt.

To me a hydro CUT is like a hydro dozer---you set the throttle and feather the speed to the tracks via the joy sticks. It's easier than driving a car IMHO. Excavators are the same way. ....

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bvance
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2009-06-14          163427


Hardwood,

I have a HST BX for my small home place that I use several times a week in the summer and an L model 'Bota at my get-away place that has a shuttle clutch and FEL and several attachments. Sorry, I still prefer the HST. I've used the L for all sorts of stuff, and pretty heavy applications as we own several hundred acres and use it heavily. One of these days, I will trade the L gear for an L HST. We also have a NH Skidsteer, which is the same concept as an HST, and I love it too. The HST is a lot more precise in tight situations and faster and less jerky.

I grew up on a ranch as a kid using all types of gear driven tractors, and then used a shuttle clutch in a variety of construction related equipment and hated them.

I thought when I got the HST, I wouldn't like it, but love it and wouldn't trade it for a shuttle clutch.

I realize, different strokes for different folks, you like your gear and I like my HST, but I have given both an honest chance and still like the HST!

Have you given the HST an honest chance?

Brian ....

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hardwood
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2009-06-14          163428


Bvance, yes I've operated hydro farm tractors since the 1970's, hydro combines since they came out at about the same time, never operarted a hydro dozer or excavator tho.
EW, OK, I've watched operators of shuttle trannys whom I can understand would spend big money to repair their abuse of them. A clutch pedal is meant to be used in conjunction with the reverser switch, anyone who doesn't use the clutch to let the machine come to a stop before changing directions is going to destroy it.
So to each his or her own, but I've been around and used hydros all this time and as I said before, combines and lawn mowers make great use of them but on a tractor it's kinda like stepping on a marsmallow. ....

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bvance
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2009-06-15          163436


Hardwood,

I certainly respect your preference for the gear drive tractors, and this issue is very much a preference issue.

If you haven't been to Kubota's website lately and taken a look a the L series tractors, do so and take a look at the HST Plus video. It's about 5 minutes long and Kubota has added some interesting features to their HST drive tractors. Some of these features may be a bit foofy, but all in all I was impressed with all of the new features they have added to the HST and in my opinion, they have even enhanced the HST.

One of the reasons I like the HST, especially for loader operations, is it frees up a hand and I find that very helpful, if not mandatory for loader applications.

Brian ....

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hardwood
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2009-06-15          163441


Brian;
As you said it is a preference issue and certianly not an issue to leave any hard feelings over, I'll take a look at the Kubota video.
Someone either now has or is coming with a CVT transmission in a compact. I have driven them in full size Deere demo tractors, they are a true gear drive and really quite a simple design. Frank ....

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kthompson
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2009-06-17          163479


Hardwood, notice comment in another thread you thought you may have hurt some feelings on this one. I don't think so and hope I said nothing that gave you that impression. When it comes to asking for preference such as type of trans to me all shared the reason for their preference and if anyone got their feelings hurt, that was they were looking for hurt feelings.

It is always good to me to hear the options and the why behind them. I have a good friend who uses the shuttle trans and he really likes his. Has he ever used a hst, not sure but if you ask him he has no reason to try one. ....

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earthwrks
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2009-06-17          163481


Kenny, me thinks Franky was jis' lookin' fer reason to take his helmet down off the shelf. It was gettin' purrrty dusty with me agreeing him lately LOL

Okay Frank I'm readdddy! ....

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hardwood
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2009-06-17          163482


No, I'm not upset with anyone, I get a bit carried away with my opinions now and then.
I was beginning to think that EW aws starting to see the light, but it looks like the helmets wiil get banged around a bit.
At coffee today a couple fellows were discussing crawler tractors so I perked an ear up. One of the guys said he had recently traded an ancient crawler with not even a reverser, just shift gears for every move type machine for a newer Deere hydro drive, ( I don't remember the model number of his Deere). Anyhow he says his Deere hydro is just the cat's pajammas compared to the old machine.
This is prime time spraying season here in the cornbelt and I did think about that every HiBoy type sprayer built in the last 25 years are compleely hydro drive wirh a drive motor in each wheel hub.
So after all the smoke has cleared we all win with our preferences. So far we have choices in our inputs, I wonder sometimes how long before big brother will TELL us what we can buy/have/posess/shoot/drive/drink/etc./etc.. ....

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Murf
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2009-06-18          163489


I wasn't following this thread, but just now read through it.

I'm surprised nobody mentioned the (IMHO) excellent hybrid unit that Kubota has had for years now, the GST machine.

It has an automated hydraulic clutch connected to an 8 speed gear transmission. It functions much like 'shuttle shift' unit in that it has 8 forward and 8 reverse gears and F-N-R is on the steering column.

The really nice part about it, and something HST units just can't touch, is the 'single range' of the transmission. You can go from the lowest gear to the highest in a single jump if you want to, and on the run to boot!

With a HST you are limited to 1 of 2 or 3 ranges unless you stop to change them.

While I do agree a HST is sometimes more convenient, I personally wouldn't make it my first choice, even though I have one at home myself.

The other issue with 'working' (and I mean real work) a HST is heat, even plowing snow in the bitter cold we have heat issues with some of our HST's. Some tasks in the summer require cool down breaks on a regular basis with them.

Best of luck. ....

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dannw1431
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2009-06-18          163494


Something else is wrong if your plowing snow and overheating the machine in the winter. Should never happen, unless your snow weighs more than my snow here in MA :) ....

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earthwrks
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2009-06-18          163496


Quote:
Originally Posted by Murf | view 163489
With a HST you are limited to 1 of 2 or 3 ranges unless you stop to change them.


Murf is that due in part or in whole to the trans not having syncronizers? And now that I think about it, it would probably require some fancy footwork to use the clutch too between shifts, eh? ....

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conestoga540
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2009-06-19          163504


Hi;
I have had 2 kubotas tractors w/GST (Glide shift) transmissions, presently a L4200 cab tractor. I use it for mowing, loader work on a horse farm and snow removal.

The GST is an extremely versitile and efficient transmission. The reverser is great for loader work. You still have a foot clutch to inch up to things and the clutchless gear shifting is perfect for mowing. I mow with a woods RM99 mower its a big mower but the PTO HP of 37.5 is fine for what I mow but I would not want lesss than 35 with that mower. I think you would be ok with a hydro too. If you are not used to running a tractor the hydro is simpler, but you lose a few hp at the pto. I cant believe you would hurt the trans of any decent 30 hp tractor using a loader let alone a Kubota. Get what you like to run best. ....

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Kubota HST GST Shuttle or Gear Transmission

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bvance
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 280 The Great Pacific NorthWet, Olympia, WA
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2009-06-21          163539


Hey All,

Has anyone gone to Kubota's site and looked at their new L models and watched the HST Plus video. Pretty cool stuff. If you do, I would appreciate your thoughts on it.

Brian ....

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bvance
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 280 The Great Pacific NorthWet, Olympia, WA
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2009-06-21          163541


Frank,

Just for the record, you did not upset me with your thoughts and opinions. :) I always appreciate your thoughts. That's what this board is for.

We may not always agree....and that's precisely why they actually run the horse race!

Brian

....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7199 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2009-06-22          163548


Quote:
Originally Posted by earthwrks | view 163496
Murf is that due in part or in whole to the trans not having syncronizers? And now that I think about it, it would probably require some fancy footwork to use the clutch too between shifts, eh?


I'm pretty sure if there was an easy (cheap?) way to synchronize them so you could shift between ranges on the fly the manufacturers would be on it like white on rice.

It's a big sticking spot for a lot of users.

Dan, by "plowing snow" I mean plowing municipal sidewalks commercially. In most cases the plow clearing the street has dumped a good part of it's spoils on the sidewalk on top the snow fall that was already there. It's not unusual for our machines to have a full blade of snow for 14 straight hours non-stop.

When you push for a few minutes then stop to back up, turn around, etc., it goes a long way to cooling the system compared to a full throttle / full load situation.

Best of luck. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2009-06-22          163565


From my experience plowing snow with trucks, I feel, it has to be the most taxing chore ever--even heavy towing a trailer. Around here you see more trucks in transmission shops in the winter than any other season---and we only get maybe 5'-6' for the season. ....

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