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Kubota Tractor HST vs gear drive

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xgzx
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2002-05-03          38124


Looking for my 1st tractor, have decided on a B7500. How much cheaper is the gear drive compared to the HST? I figured $14,000 for B7500 gear drive, LA302 loader, and 60" MM mower. Does this sound like a good deal, or should I try to go lower due to the gear drive?

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Art White
Join Date: Jan 2000
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2002-05-04          38131


The price difference is 1600. at retail but that is a small amount if you figure the resale value of a hydro vs the gear drive. You will get the price difference back not only in the use while you own it but also if you make a change. ....

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chim
Join Date: Oct 2003
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2002-05-04          38135


Go for the HST. My B7500/HST/302FEL/R4 tires was $12,800 and the Landpride AT2560 rear-mount finish mower was another $1,300. I'd check around for pricing. There was a $1,500 spread between 3 Kubota dealers all within 20 minutes of my place, and the mower prices ranged from $1,300 to $1,799. This is my third tractor. First was gear, second and third are HST. A couple years ago, I almost replaced tractor #2 and was looking at gear tractors due to cost. Glad I didn't settle for one of them.


The dealer I bought from had a Kubota on the lot (can't remember model number) that looked used but had only an hour or so on the meter. The decals were discolored, and some parts looked weathered/faded but there was no apparent wear on the unit. I asked about it, and was told it was a gear tractor, and nobody wanted it. The dealer said he is thinking of putting a backhoe on it to try to get some interest in it. If you are going to keep it a long time, the HST will make it a lot nicer to use. If you decide to sell it for some reason, the HST will make it a lot more marketable..............chim ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
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2002-05-04          38138



In terms of demand, many people think HST is a higher quality product and are willing to pay more for it. Both HST new and resale prices should be higher than a gear tractor. Saying a used HST commands a higher price that a gear tractor is not exactly saying the same thing as saying that the higher initial costs can be recouped when if the tractor is sold. What should be compared is the ratios between new and resale price plus differences in expected maintenance and similar operational costs. The relative difficulties of selling used tractors also should be considered.

Except for oddities like Rolls (probably the Rolls of yesteryear), generally it costs more to use higher quality products over the long run. A long time ago, Rolls was thought to provide less expensive transportation than ordinary cars because they lasted indefinitely and seldom had to be repaired. Thatís a way of saying that Rolls had a better price/quality ratio than a cheap car. Of course the high initial price did keep most people from opting for quality.

I'm not actually differing with Art's comment, which I take to mean that it doesn't cost as much as the up front difference in price may seem. But the way I think about it is: Why would somebody pay more to use a lower quality product? If the true long term costs of HST actually are similar or lower than for gears, I take that to be an indication that manufacturers are not appropriately discounting prices for new gear tractors to true market prices. Of course, that couldn't happen in a theoretically pure market, but it also probably means that nobody should have to pay list prices for new gear tractors if they negotiate. Of course there are people like me who don't necessarily think their gears are lower in quality.

....

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ramblingman
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2002-05-04          38142


ijustthinkhatwellyeah. what did u just say ? ....

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xgzx
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2002-05-04          38143


Well, first off, I'm not buying it to sell it. I don't see myself buying another one ever as long as this one lasts my lifetime (which is the reason I'm buying a Kubota, for the longevity, right?). As far as durability, I would think that a gear drive would be stronger, more rigid, and less cost to fix if something did go wrong. As far as workability, I'd have to think that for what I'll be doing (alot of dragging, pulling heavy objects, as well as digging, when I can afford that outrageously priced backhoe)the gear drive again might be better. Putting that kind of strain on a HST just seems to me as not a good idea. I understand that the HST would definitely be better for cutting the lawn, but thats only a small part of what I'll be doing with it. I guess I just look at them different than most, because looking at used ones, I tended to shy away from the HST, rather than think it was better. I would have to say that HST is definitely more universal(just about anyone can drive one)but not really better as far as quality. Considering the work I plan on useing it for, do you still believe the HST is more for me? ....

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
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2002-05-04          38144


During my test drive phase I found it awkward and uncomfortable to hold the HST pedal down for long periods. Plus the constant roar of the engine at a set throttle was hard to get used to. I bought a Deere Gear 4100 and am not sorry. I do not mowÖgot nothing to mowÖ but if I did I donít think I would long for a different tranny. I am a happy camper just picking the gear I want and controlling my speed with the ďgasĒ pedal. ....

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Kubota Tractor HST vs gear drive

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
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2002-05-05          38159


My comment was intended for anybody who might be interested in mixing tractors and economic concepts. A lack of replies would be a sufficient indication of a lack of interest.

For persons who arenít interested, the unadorned idea is that if somebody thinks they can buy and operate a HST model as cheap or cheaper than a gear model, they are likely to be disappointed. That's just not the way the world works.

Economics does seem to ramble, but then so does a creek to people who don't notice or care about the lay of the land.
....

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Peters
Join Date: Feb 2002
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2002-05-05          38168


Having had both, there are advantages and disadvantages with both. Make sure you have the cruise control.
If you main application is mowing there is really little advantage only different actions to achieve the same results. If you have a lot of areas than you need back in, under trees etc. then the HST is better than a straight gear. I am not sure concerning a shuttle shift, probably no advantage. For corners with the shuttle shift you can slow a little keeping the engine speed constant. With the gear you need to slow the speed of the engine and tractor a little.
For FEL loading or back blading the only advantage of the HST to the shuttle shift is that you can release the peddle and the machine stops. You do not need to hit the brake in most cases. You can move backward and forward very quickly.
The disadvantage is that the transmission is using HP to move the hydraulic fluid. You do not have the torque available that you do with gear. If you are using the tractor for plowing, disking, pulling logs etc. then you will not be happy with the loss of torque.
Also as with any hydraulic transmission they are more expensive to fix and more prone to need repair.
Eric ....

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Tah
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2002-05-05          38173


I've operated all 3 (gear, hydrostatic & glide shift) and I don't think anything beats the hydro for loader work. Frees up your hands and you can keep your eyes on what you are doing with the loader. Makes loader work quicker. I've had a Kubota B2910 w/ FEL for a year now and it works great. Maybe if HP is a consideration, you might want to consider bumping up a model or two? The cruise control does come in handy for longer runs.
Good luck with your purchase and you can't go wrong with a Kubota. ....

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xgzx
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2002-05-05          38177


Peters,
Thats the way I see it as far as torque is concerned. Same as in a car. Direct drive will yield more ft/lbs, which is what I need. I would love to bump up a model or 2, I was contemplating the 2410, but the budget doesn't allow it. I'm scraping just to get this one! I guess it comes down to a test drive, I haven't been on a hydro yet, but still leaning towards gears. ....

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Roy Jackson
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2002-05-05          38185


I run gears on a Deere 670. Since one doesn't really shift that much while operating (except for loader work), gears are fine with me.
Once you get operating, you don't need to look at the shifting when you do it...just as you don't look at the shift lever when you're changing gears in a car or truck.

Now, the biggest downside in my particular case is the single stage clutch. This means when one depresses the clutch, the PTO driven implement stops too. Well, one does learn to live with this limitation, but my next tractor will have a dual stage clutch or an independent PTO.
As far as loader work...basically just shift between a forward gear and reverse...not that tough.
I think HST is great, but I don't think I'd pay the extra $1500 to $2000 for it. ....

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TomG
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2002-05-06          38190


I like my gears just fine. The extra power and lower fuel consumption are nice, but probably are mostly rationalizations. Most compacts are over powered in the sense that the tires spin before the engine quits so they can tolerate some power loss. Fuel costs on any diesel compact are pretty insignificant.

But, I'm happy enough to rationalize. The reality probably is that I just like my gears. I do have four ranges that provide four reverse speeds, which gives a decent choice of ground speeds when running a 3ph snow blower. The three forward gears plus reverse are synchromesh so there's no coming to a complete stop and then still grinding going forward to reverse--I'd probably go wild doing loader work without a synchromesh reverse.

I do think HST might be a thing to have in weak moments. Shifting ranges twice per bucket load isnít a great joy. Easing into a pile sometimes takes low range, because low gear in second range isn't slow enough or the rpm isn't high enough. Then, shifting to a higher range is needed to go fast enough to take the gravel anywhere. In addition, perching on the side of a mound trying to dump a load on top isnít a thrill. I
keep one foot on the brakes so it doesnít roll back and the other foot on the clutch and have to wait for the slow bucket curl to dump at low rpm. With both feet occupied, I need a third foot to work the foot throttle. Well, I could set the hand throttle higher, but then my ground speed is too fast. Of course, I'd have enough feet if I shifted to neutral first, which also would be easier on the clutch throw-out bearing. Hmm, HST's don't have throw-out bearings.

Oh well, no problem because the one thing I can do that no HST can is to run calibrated ground speeds. Of course, I don't have a planter or spreader or anything that requires calibrated ground speeds. The point is that all the good reasons in the world arenít going to change my mind. I like those gears. No reason for other people though I guess.
....

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Art White
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2002-05-06          38192


This past weekend I got to do some work with a L3010DT. I found it quite nice to shift and was not a problem to operate after a few minutes on it. The tractor that I had taken in trade had 2000 hours on it and was no way as nice and crisp to shift. The used tractor was hard to figure out which gear it was in until the clutch was out. The tractor was traded as the clutch was weak. ....

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PeterB
Join Date: Jul 2003
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2002-05-06          38194


I have a JD4400 with HST and a Ford 8N. The HST is great and wouldn't do without it in certain applications. For instance:
Rototilling, nice to move real slow and start/stop at high engine rpm.
Post Hole auger, easy to move forward or reverse a couple of inches to keep the auger vertical.
Using 3 Point Hitch boom pole, easy to place heavy load within inches of exact spot.
Brush Hog, easy to slow forward motion while keeping rpms high when going through extra thick grass.

Of course for sheer classic driving pleasure, you can't beat an 8N. ....

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DRankin
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2002-05-06          38196


Gears can be a challenge doing loader work, until you learn the cadence. I had the "need three feet problem" too, but I found if I set the throttle at mid-range and worked a bit slower in a lower gear the problem went away. the hardest thing for me to "unlearn" after thirty five years with stick shifts in my cars was, that on the tractor, the stick in my right hand was not for shifting. I shifted several FEL loads into some interesting places before I got the hang of it. ....

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Mrwurm
Join Date: Feb 2002
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2002-05-06          38199


I recently purchased my first hydrostatic compact (NH TC30 30hp). I have found that when pushing the loader bucket into a pile I can spin all four tires in low range. In high range or medium I can't spin the tires even in two wheel drive. I have tried using the smallest amount of pedal pressure all the way up to pushing it down all the way (which stalls the tractor). I am not too impressed. If I have to shift to low range each time I fill the bucket and then shift back to med or high range for transport, whats the point in having hydro?

Oh, maybe I did'nt explain that well. What I mean is that I can't get enough power to the wheels to fill the loader bucket in med or high range. The tractor just sits there. No spinning. No forward motion. Low range handles it just fine.

Jerry ....

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DRankin
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2002-05-06          38202


That would seem to cancel out some of the supposed benefits of an HST. ....

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Art White
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2002-05-06          38203


Thanks for the info on the TC30 I've been running a B2710 and that will spin the tires in both medium and low range while loading the bucket. ....

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xgzx
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2002-05-06          38216


mrwurm, that is very interesting. Seeing as I am looking at a smaller hp tractor, the problem will be even worse for myself while useing the FEL, which I will be doing quite a bit. Most of the cars and trucks I have owned were manual, and I enjoy manual trans quite a bit. It just gives the feeling of being in complete control of the machine. Shifting forward and reverse constantly will not bother me at all(I think). I don't know, I see the positives and negatives of both, I guess I'll have to put in a little time on both before I make a decision. I also have another question that maybe someone here can answer; I was on the Kubota website last night and saw the B1700, B2100, and B2400 models there. Whats the difference between these and the B7400-B7500 models? B2100, same hp as B7500, both are just about the same in size, both use the same implements. Whats the difference? ....

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dcsmith
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2002-05-06          38221


I just purchased a B-7500 HST 3 weeks ago. I have always had a Gear driven old Kubota. This thing totally rock and rolls. I move alot of dirt with a 3-point bucket, box grader and straight blade. (I own a small Christmas Tree farm). I plan on adding a loader soon. You will not regret the Hydro. When I go in reverse I still reach for the stick, it takes some time to get used to; WAR HST ....

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pbenven
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2002-05-07          38246


I think this one of the most-discussed subjects amongst tractor people. Here's my take: get the HST.

I had a B5100E (11hp, 2WD, 6F and 2R gears). Problem 1 - PTO powered equipment stops when you press the clutch. This is most problematic for things like snow blowing and tilling. The way to make sure that you always have enough power to complete a 'pass' without having to press on the clutch is to go real slow. For me, that meant snow blowing in low 1 - that's slow. Problem 2 - speed adjustments. With a manual you either have to adjust speed with the throttle, change gears or ride the clutch. This will result in a change in engine RPM (except in the case of riding the clutch). There is something to be said about being able to adjust your ground speed without changing your engine RPM. This is often overlooked by people who have never driven an HST before.

Yeah, the HST robs horse power. But I can still spin my wheels which to me means that it would be horse power wasted anyway (except when talking about PTO horse power, which on the HST is only 1 less than the B7500DT). ....

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Peters
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2002-05-07          38252


I am not sure that my objective is to spin my wheels, but I can say that in loading it all depends on the material you have as a base. For example if I am removing sand from a pile on cement should I want to or expect to spin my wheels?
With my old gear tractor JD750 I normally loaded in 2 high, 4th gear, but if the pile was solid I loaded in 3 low. With out syncro I never really shifted gears. I would run about 1500 rpm and then add power as I entered the pile.
With the HST on the JD 955 I load in high with a soft pile and low with a hard pile. I cannot spin my wheels in high, but at any rate I am travelling much faster as I was in 4th on the 750. In low I am travelling about the same speed.
As my turn around time is much faster I am doing far more work than I could have with the other tractor.
I while back I was shot down for saying that most of the larger tractors were hydro. Unfortunately on the west coast with few farm lands most of my experience with large tractor had been large 4x commerial loaders. Any of these that I operated or saw were hydros. i was certainly suprised at the ease with which you could operate a behemoth with the hydro.
A friend brought a larger JD home the other day and we removed a large dead tree and some stumps from my property. Again very simple to operate even if you are having to stand it on 2 wheels. ....

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BillMullens
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2002-05-07          38258


I believe that, apart from the ones on this board that have actually done time studies or maintenance cost studies over a considerable period of time, most people's choice is purely personal. For me, I couldn't justify the extra grand for a hydro, especially already having plans to build a backhoe. I used the money I saved getting a standard transmission to buy the backhoe parts sooner.
Also, preferences seem to be regional. Here in central WV, there are a lot of older Farmalls and 8N's still around; tradition dies hard. There are not a lot of modern compact tractors, and I've never seen a hydro in use. Hydros may be the best thing since sliced bread, but if a cheaper alternative is just as effective, for your use, save the money for implements. I don't regret the gears at all. I would have bought a hydro if money were no object...but it is.
Bill
....

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xgzx
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2002-05-07          38274


Well, went to one dealer, heres the quote:
B7500 gear trans,foldable ROPS,R4 tires-$8975
60" mm mower-$2100
LA 272 FEL-$2400
(LA 302 FEL $200 more, is it worth it)?
Kubota B4672A backhoe 16" bucket-$5700
Grand total-$18975.00
Sound reasonable?
Going to visit other dealer tomarrow, but I don't see much difference, I was there before, quote was about the same. ....

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TomG
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2002-05-08          38335


For people who do mostly field work, there's probably not a lot of difference operating a HST or gear TX. It's mostly setting the rpm, selecting the right ground speed for ground and implement and then mostly driving around. HST and gears work pretty much the same. Personal preferences aside, less expensive probably wins out a lot. Too bad I didn't look at some of the farm tractors I saw driving around today to see if gears or HST are more common around here. ....

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dcsmith
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2002-05-08          38340


$18,000 G ? Buy the freaking HST, you really can't be worried about another 1k? ....

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pbenven
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2002-05-09          38362


Tom, I think most of the larger tractors use GST or shuttle-shift. The GST is really cool - "automatic" (descriptive term only) hydraulic clutch, you just select the gear and the tractor takes care of changing it for you. The SS is closer to a manual shift in that you have to clutch to select your gear, but you can go from forward to reverse with just a flip of the shuttle lever.

I agree that the gear and HST are probably equal out in the field. My machine doubles as my lawn mower and snow blower, so the HST is a huge advantage for me. ....

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xgzx
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2002-05-09          38392


Well, I did it. I took the big plunge. Here's the kicker, I got the HST! The dealer had just got in a shipment of about 30 B7500 (no exageration, they were all lined up down the street), all of them were HST. No gear drive at all. Well, I got all the equipment that I listed in the post above, with the HST for $19400. $425 more than the gear drive, I couldn't pass it up. I'm pretty happy with the deal. I rode the HST there, first time on one, and loved it. Can't wait to get it home. ....

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jwonder
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2002-05-09          38394


WOW! Thats a great price! Which dealer did you get that from? Maybe he wants to unload one of the other 29! ....

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pbenven
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2002-05-10          38420


xgzx, Good for you. I was adament about a gear drive until I tried an HST. It's been a year and I have no regrets - except that I didn't get a loader (that's next on the list). Did you end up with the 272 or the 302...Yeah, right - as if you're going to have time to read this post with a brand new tractor sitting around.

Enjoy and be safe.

Paul ....

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xgzx
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2002-05-10          38431


Well, I still have time getting in a few more posts before it arrives! As far as the HST goes, the dealer told me that in all the years he's been there, they have never had to replace a HST. He also said "it will NEVER go bad on you." To which I said "never say never." He understood what I ment, and just added that he is that confident in the product. He also added that if I purchased the gear drive, not to blame them when I come back hateing it, because thats what happened with a few of there other customers.
I ended up with the LA272 loader, I had to make some compromise to get that price. I don't think I'll miss the 60-90 lbs. lifting weight difference. I hope...
BTW, I got it at a dealer in northeast OH. ....

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Alan L
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 9 Texas
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2002-05-10          38460


"..HST...more prone to need repair"

Everything I read says that the HST is at least as reliable as any other transmission. In fact, clutches tend to be a problem with gear tractors.
....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-05-11          38467


Sort of a conventional wisdom (guess that means it could be right or wrong and I don't know which) is that HST has higher maintenance costs. The idea may be a somewhat different idea than reliability. Something could be pretty unreliable and still have low maintenance costs if it has very long service life but tends to require many low cost repairs.

I do know that hydraulic pumps and motors loose efficiency over their service lives. Eventually a point is reached where insufficient volume is pumped at working pressures for acceptable operating speeds, or achieving acceptable operating speed results in overheated pumps. I also know that large pumps and motors are expensive to replace and some of them are not very rebuildable.

Many pumps used in HST's have a fairly complex linkage between a swash plate and the pump pistons. This area also is subject to wear and failure, but I have no idea about service life of repair costs.

Anyway, this is just stuff to think about. Maybe somebody here knows some specifics. I do recognize the usefulness of HST even if I do have gears. I just stumbled into a tractor decision. I needed to trench for an underground electrical service; winter was closing in; and I couldn't find a contractor to come to the country. My 1710 was the right tractor at the right time and place. Incidentally, it has gears. Since I live with them, it's easier if I'm sort of fond of them. Some lesser know benefits of HST are: positive breaking in neutral and no place in the operating controls where the tractor free-wheels.

....

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Peters
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3034 Northern AL
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2002-05-11          38473


I am still interested in trying a tractor with a full syncro and shuttle shift for comparison. I know that the HST is much better for the work that I normally do with my small tractor, landscaping and mowing, than the straight gear JD750 I had, but can not truly compare with a modern shuttle shift tractor as I have never really worked with one. Maybe Art White or someone can enlighten us, who has had a number of different tractors. I guess I value the opinion of someone with experience rather than our comments with who have limited experience with the different types. ....

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Art White
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 6877 Waterville New York
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2002-05-11          38488


You have asked for the impossible answer for everyone. Different applications require different solutions. One point that I will bring up again is that the Hydro has been a better long run performer for cost of repairs over the gear drives. That covers clutches and shifting forks etc. from novice users and tire wear from a more positive horsepower to ground engagement. The hydro puts the least horsepower to the ground of all tractors but yet on loader work and mowing the cycle time is far faster and you can get more work done in less time. Many of the newer tractors do have syncromesh transmissions on the gear drives and are as easy to shift as a new car. The shuttles use several types of systems including hydraulic and they to are easy to navigate. I do like to sell the hydro's as they are easy to teach different types of people how to operate. The new tractors all drive better than 10 years ago. The tractor does need to fit the owner and they need to look around. I am spoiled by having the options I do and the resourses to find out the short comings as well as just listening to my customers and there feelings of products as well as your opinions here on the board. ....

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Alan L
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 9 Texas
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2002-05-11          38503


I don't know how the HST works at all. What I do know is before I bought my HST tractor 3 years ago My dealer says he has not had a single HST failure. Ever. Of all the people on these tractor boards, at least those with Kubotas, I have not read one single ocurrence of HST failure. Seems like maybe one JD or one NH had something that was covered by warranty, but as far as any expensive repairs on tractors out of warranty - NONE. My dealer says they just don't break period. He said replacing clutches on gear tractors is inevitable, especially when it is being used for loader work; whereas, the HST should last as long as the tractor with no repairs, assuming proper maintenance is done.

So I don't know where this "conventional wisdom" that they require more and/or more expensive repairs comes from. Could it be that you have more hydraulic fluid to change, and thus more maintenance expense there? ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-05-12          38517


My conventional wisdom came from discussions similar to this some years back. As is often the case on this Board, more specific information becomes available, and I'm always happy to have my conventional wisdoms cured if necessary. Art is in a position to know about maintenance cost stats.

Accepting Art's comments is pretty easy. However, I'm less enthusiastic about ideas like 'they never fail' or 'should last as long as the tractor.' Within the past several weeks there was a discussion on this board about failure of a fairly new PowerTrac HST. Where I'm coming from is the idea that everything has a service life and most mechanical devices have rated service lives. So, I wonder what the rated lives of HST pumps are compared with overall tractor ratings?

Another conventional wisdom is owners expect to need new hydraulic pumps from time to time. I'm not sure why a HST pump would be any different. HST pumps are essentially the same as many pumps used in closed centre hydraulic systems. True enough that most anything can be designed to last almost indefinitely, but I don't know whether HST pumps have designs so the expected lives are similar to other major components such as the engine. The service life ratings are likely to be somewhere in engineering data. At any rate, what is definite is that a pumpís volumetric efficiency declines with use, and a pump just doesn't last indefinitely.

One thing that might distort maintenance cost stats is that HST's are fairly new and tend to be on compacts that may not see a lot of hours. A large percentage of HST equipped tractors may be nowhere near the expected service lives of their HST pumps and may never be. It's also possible that HST maintenance cost stats could look very different when the now newer compacts start aging. Purely speculative here, but it's an interesting subject.
....

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xgzx
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2002-05-12          38526


While I was walking around the dealers yard, I noticed 2 VERY OLD Kubota tractors. They were compacts, about the size of the B2200. Physically, they were in rough shape, but both ran well, one was running for a customer, and my dealer said the other also ran excellent. They were both about 20-25 years old, and I believe both were HST. The dealer was the one who pointed this out, when I was questioning the long term reliability of the HST. He says Kubota has been making HST's for 25 years (I personally don't know if this is true)and that the old ones still run great, with the usual maintenance, and the new ones are even better. Well, If my new tractor will run as well as these two did after 25 years, I'll have to say that my money was well spent. I just couldn't believe these horrid looking machines could start and run so well if I didn't see it with my own eyes. And apperently they don't have a problem reselling them, either! ....

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Peters
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3034 Northern AL
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2002-05-12          38527


The HST systems on the larger loaders certainly last longer. At the pulp mill we burned hog fuel for the power boilers. The loaders ran 12 - 7 and needed to be tending the the pile at all times. Some 8K of hours per year. The loaders were replaced every couple of years and there was always a spare.
I don't remember a drive going out, certainly lost an engine periodically with the dust etc., 16K on a machine is a lot of hours. ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-05-13          38553


The trouble with conventional wisdom is that seldom can anybody ever say 'I saw this' or 'I heard that.' I'm happy enough to move on from conventional wisdom since there are now a few 'I saws' and 'I heards' around. I'd be even happier if there also were some 'mean time before failure' or 'expected service life' stats around. I guess it is up to me to dig them out since it's my particular interest. I do have an attitude that good engineering produces equipment where the expected service lives of major components is similar. Auto manufacturers didn't follow that principal when the bodies started rusting away when the mechanics were almost new, and produced many seriously unhappy customers. If I had to guess, I'd say that tractor manufactures stay close to good engineering principals and maybe HST service lives are as long as other components.

Ford/NH probably has made HST's for 25 years, but the earlier applications went on sub-compacts or garden tractors. The '10-series goes back to the early 80's. HST was an option for 1110's and 1210's but not for and larger. I'm not sure if HST was offered for larger compacts in the original '20-series that dates from the late 80's. Ford and NH merged during production of the '20-series, and I believe that HST has generally been available in NH produced compacts.
....

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Art White
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 6877 Waterville New York
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2002-05-13          38557


Let's get into this age a little. First to offer a line-up of hydro drive tractors was International Harvester. In 1966 we had the Cadet's with hydro drive, that meant a pump and a variable speed hydrostatic transmission, many are still out there today the model would be a 123 followed by the 105 and the 125 in 1968. At the same time they used them in 45 horsepower and larger farm tractors and later in 1972 up to the 1066 hydro a tractor rated at over 115 pto horsepower or about 145 horse power in compact tractor language. Those tractors only used a two range unit that is still used on farms through out the United States but not in the numbers as in the past. Unfortunatly many of these tractors were sold for the conveince and not for there best purpose of loader and PTO work and were sent out to the rigors of tillage work where they proved to be less than desirable on the big disc harrows and field cultivators that the farmers used them on. Given that oil and filter changes were done when needed they proved to be a vary reliable unit. For some customers to not want to trade out of one tells me a lot of there confidence in it. In the large tractor industry there are many new multi gear easy shift tractors but none like the hydro's, many are getting close to offering the infinite speeds with-in a gear but not across the whole speed range. International Harvester was the first company to mass produce these units and it is with nearly 35 years of experience with these unit that I feel comfortable with them.

....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-05-15          38627


I was talking to my NH dealer the other day. The service manager confirmed what emerged here. they've been selling NH compacts with HST for almost 20 years and only replaced a couple of HST pumps--those were on fairly new tractors. Keep up the maintenance and they should last as long as the tractor.

The service manager did say that some volumetric efficiency is lost in older pumps and that might make an old pump run hotter. That's probably only an issue for somebody doing heavy pulling on a very hot day and trying to get finished and home in time for supper.

Some years back there was a discussion about HST operating temperature and oils. The idea was that synthetic oils ran cooler than petro oils. I never was certain whether there was a problem with them running hot.

I never did come up with service life stats, but guess I'm happy enough. In my net search, I did come across results of recent Nebraska Farm Tests, which placed several NH farm tractors on top of the heap. The comparison tables contain a column for percent torque rise. Guess I'll have to figure out exactly what that means.
....

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mdpinh
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 26 MA
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2013-08-02          187783


I Feel that you won't be sorry with hst if you go up to the right HorsePOWER to do the work. It makes any chore
easier and that means you can do more. ....

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gaspur
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 16 Elberton, Ga.
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2014-02-26          189256


I wish all of you would try the Glide-Shift transmissions before buying. This tractor gets all of the horsepower to the ground, a gear to gear type that will shift from forward/reverse without using the clutch. This tractor controls loads well going downhill too. The tractor has 8 forward , 8 reverse speeds that can be changed without clutching, never have to stop a bush hog from running. I use the clutch mostly coming to a stop, but could just shift to neutral. I have been running all 3 types and prefer the Glide-Shift.gaspur ....

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charlieK
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 107 kentucky
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2014-02-28          189299


will vouch for the GST also--12 forward and 8 reverse and no holding foot on go pedal ....

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