Hydro vs Gear: Kubota Review  -- Kubota Tractors Discussion Forum and Review Hydro vs Gear: Kubota Review -- Kubota Tractors Discussion Forum

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 12-11-2003, 19:40 Post: 70880
wildbill



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 Hydro vs Gear

I need some advice. I am looking at purchasing a compact tractor like a Kubota 3430 4WD. I am trying to decide between the GST or Hydro transmission. I have no experience with the Hydro but I do like the experience I had in a test drive at the dealer. My concern is with the relative capability of each and which one will best fit my application. Money is not the object here. My uses will be varied; loader work; gardening/ground work; mowing; all about equal time use. What is the optimum choice for me.






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 12-11-2003, 20:53 Post: 70886
Chief



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 Hydro vs Gear

Get the hydro. It is best suited to a wide variety of applications especially grass mowing. MUCH less time used do to no stopping to shift gears backing up, changing speeds, etc. With the hydro you just push down more on the go pedal. Hydro is great in the garden as you can creep at a snail's pace with a tiller. Moving items like trailers are very easy with hydro as no clutching is done and very fine movements are easy. You can get most jobs done without a hydro but it sure makes life a LOT easier. I had gearshift tractors for about 12 years until my buddy made me try an ehydro at his John Deere deal. I have NOT regretted the choice I made.






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 12-11-2003, 21:16 Post: 70889
wildbill



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 Hydro vs Gear

Thanks Chief. What about comparison bewteem the JD eHydro and the Kubota Hydro? Is pulling power equivalent given the same PTO HP?






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 12-11-2003, 21:21 Post: 70890
Art White



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 Hydro vs Gear

Chief is right! The hydro is best for the work you have described. Kubota's simplistic design gives excellent longevity and consistant petal feel for long life and effortless operation. The hydro is perfect for loader work as well as PTO work such as tilling and mowing. The GST as much as it is unique and an excellent performer is better suited for more open conditions or for very large areas.






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 12-11-2003, 22:07 Post: 70898
Chief



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 Hydro vs Gear

wildbill, I personally like and feel the ehydro is superior to stand hydro due primarily to pedal response and engagement rate selection offer by the motion match feature. Motion Match gives you a soft and firm engagement, acceleration, and deceleration rate. A conventional hydro is more jerky and you can stall the tractor out doing jobs like loader work or pulling heavy. With the load match feature the controller will automaticly modulate the ehydro against the engine preventing lugging the engine down and or stalling it. The electronic cruise control is very nice for doing creeper work like roto-tilling.

I think the ehydro will actually pull more than a conventional hydro due to the above features. When I was on active duty, we used John Deere 4710's to tow CH-47 helicopters on the flight line that weighed as much as 50,000 lbs. and they barely broke a sweat. The soldiers loved those tractors and have found it difficult to tear them up. The separate drive pedal design I think was a good safety feature as well for working in very tight spaces.

I would recommend you try the ehydro and compare it to the others and see what your impressions are.






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 12-11-2003, 22:30 Post: 70903
Art White



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 Hydro vs Gear

Chief, I spent about a half hour to an hour on a e-hydro this past week playing with a loader on a couple loads of stone dust from ten wheelers. I guess I found the way you didn't want the switch for loader work as it was spinning the tires all the time and I found the way it was far to forgiving as it wouldn't climb a hill with a load and I found that frustrating. It really does take some getting used too as for part of what I was doing I thought I had it mastered, then I had to change the switch to get the rest done. Ch47's really weigh 50,000lbs I know they are a lot more then the C-D models heuys? We've been using 600lb Cadet garden tractor hydro's to tow 15000lb ag tractors from time to time for quite a few years I guess that would be a proper comparison.






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 12-12-2003, 09:32 Post: 70932
AC5ZO

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 Hydro vs Gear

There is no denying the popularity of the hydro transmissions. I went with gear primarily because all of the tractors that I have had previously have been gear and I am very comfortable with the gear transmissions.

I think that hydro transmissions are much easier to learn to operate well for new users. And for many (perhaps most) applications, hydros are outstanding performers. There are definitely differences in the way the hydros perform from one brand to the other. Of the hydros that I tried, I personally liked the JD the best.






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 12-12-2003, 10:07 Post: 70938
kwschumm



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 Hydro vs Gear

Aside from the pedal layout I thought the Kubota and JD hydros were about the same in basic operation, but the LoadMatch feature of the eHydro is definitely a great feature. With LoadMatch on it's very, very difficult to stall the eHydro.

I think hydros are less costly long-term, at least anecdotally. You see lots of clutch replacement questions here but rarely an expensive repair required with hydros.

Lastly, by far most CUTs sold are hydros and it may well be easier to resell a hydro machine than a gear.






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 12-12-2003, 10:28 Post: 70940
Chief



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Art, sounds to me like the tractor you were operating may not have had enough ballast for the rear tires to get good traction. The part about not being able to climb a hill reinforces that. I think you would have that problem on pretty much any tractor. But you are to be roundly congratulated for over coming your fear of John Deere tractors and trying it out. Did you let anyone see you doing this??? Wink yeah right The ehydro does take a little getting used to but once I made the adjustment, I liked it. The CH-47's weigh in around the mid 20,000 lbs. range in empty flight configuration but after prepared for ship load out with all the "stuff" the soldiers put in them, they can go as high as 50,000 lbs. "Fat Cow" configured CH-47's approach that weight when fully loaded out mission ready as well.






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 12-12-2003, 10:31 Post: 70942
shortmagnum

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 Hydro vs Gear

I hear alot that most CUTs sold are hydros, but an orange dealer in Texas told me that the shuttle shift (DT) was the best seller (for the L3130). And the dealer I purchased from in Mason WI had more DTs than any HSTs or GSTs. Maybe a question for Art or another dealer, could this be a regional thing? What are the percentages of hydros vs gear sold?
Dave






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