Hydrostat Vs Shuttle Shift – Pros and Cons

Hey it's Brock here with Rock Hill Farms And I'm out here today to have a Conversation about the different Transmission options that are available To us when we purchase a tractor So there are basically three types or Really if you want to get technical There are two types of Transmissions you Can get on a tractor you've got the Hydrostat and the gear drive there are a Lot of variations and types of gear Drives but we'll get into that in a Minute So I spent all day today going around to Different dealerships of different Brands and trying to understand how Their gear drive transmissions work Asking the salesman what the advantages To getting a Gear Drive or a shuttle Shift transmission are and it was kind Of interesting seeing the different Configurations and hearing their answers But we'll start by talking about Hydrostat because that's you know that's What most compact tractor owners have And a hydrostatic transmission as most Of you know is very simple to operate When I got my tractor my younger son was 14 I believe and he came out here and it Took me about 30 seconds to tell him how To run it and he could just jump in it And go it's probably easier to drive This than it is a car And hydrostat without a question is the

Most convenient option if you're doing Frequent start and stop type work loader Work if you've got a pile of rock that You want to take from here and move it 30 feet and spread it out Or moving firewood rounds or a lot of The type of work that most of my viewers Probably do There's nothing better than a hydrostat Because you have a forward pedal and a Reverse pedal or you have a treadle Pedal for the Kubota guys but you have You just push a pedal to go forward you Push a pedal to go back you almost never I never touch the brake hardly to Operate unless I'm stopping on a hill Because when you let off the pedal it Just stops Very convenient now the question is If hydrostats are so convenient why Would you look at anything else well I Think there are a couple reasons The first point I would make is that Your large tractors are not even Available in hydrostat and there's a Reason for that I've actually speculated Between two main reasons for that The first being that it's harder to make A hydrostat with that much power and for A long time I thought they just can't Make one But then I realized I don't think that's It at all I it that could be a part of It or it could be cost prohibitive to

Make those bigger hydrostats but I think A big part of it is that those guys Running a big tractor a hundred horse ag Tractor they're not making constant stop And start they're doing long runs and It's actually more convenient to have a Gear drive transmission in those cases So what I'm really talking about today Is the spot in between maybe 35 horse And below is only available in hydrostat Maybe 70 horse and above is only in gear Drive what if you want a tractor between 40 and 70 they're usually available in Both so why would you choose a Gear Drive Number one option it's cheaper Second reason is that you're Specifically wanting to do Task that involve these longer runs the Third reason is My opinion and what I've been told by Some of the salesmen is that you Transfer more of your horsepower Directly to the wheels and to the PTO And that you lose some of your power to The hydrostat so now let's talk a little Bit about the different types of gear Drive transmissions and I want to Preface this by saying something that's Going to immediately become evident and That is I'm not an expert on the finer Details or the mechanics of how these Systems operate So this is going to be kind of a broad

Overview of the information I've got From the salesman and my limited Experience running them so I've got a 1941 John Deere Model A up there it's a Very simple system you push on the Clutch and you have a gear selector you Have to come to a stop push the clutch In select a gear and that's the gear you Operate in Simple as it gets the advantage to a Simple system like that is once again it Transfers a higher percentage of the Power to the wheels second Advantage is It's a less complex system there is less To go wrong And it allows your gear to control the Speed of your tractor and when you think About that aspect of the Gear Drive it's Kind of like my tractor has an Electronic cruise control that I find a Little bit cumbersome to use It's a little bit finicky when I'm I'm Going one speed with the cruise control And I want to change to another speed Messing around with it and um That's having cruise control on a Tractor sounds like this new thing like Oh it'll just go the same speed the Whole time and I don't have to control My speed with the pedal I'm like you Mean like every Gear Drive tractor ever Made So as an example I did a job where I Mowed 49 Acres

For that job Wide Open Spaces I would Have preferred to set it into gear set The throttle and mow at the same speed The whole time so that's the basic pros And cons between the Gear Drive and the Hydrostat now let's talk about the Modern equivalent And why it exists And the reason we have modern versions Of these gear drive transmissions is Because of the type of convenience that People want from a hydrostat but they Want it with the advantages of the Gear Drive so with a gear drive transmission If you're stopping and starting and Forwarding back a hundred times in an Hour that's going to be really annoying To stop every time you go into your rock Pile and shift your lever So now we have what's called a shuttle Shift with the shuttle shift I can be Going forward go into my rock pile flip A little lever next to the steering Wheel and automatically goes into Reverse without me pressing the clutch And that makes it feel almost like it's A hydrostat the most common shuttle Shift I see is a 12 forward 12 reverse And that 12 gears is achieved by having Three ranges and four speeds within each Range And to shift between ranges you still Have to stop and push in the clutch Which is no different really than the

Hydrostat because to go from low medium And high range in your hydrostat you Also have to stop but that's the only Time you have to stop to switch on the Modern shuttle shift so within each Range you've still got your four gears And those gears are synchronized and What that means is you don't have to Come to a stop to switch gears so if you Go into medium range One you're in fifth gear and you can be Driving and say you want to shift up you Can go from that's basically fifth gear You can go to seventh without stopping You'll push in the clutch and make your Shift one of the nicest of the shuttle Shifts I drove today was the tym 5835 I Did a separate video on it last week From the national farm machinery show But it basically has three clutches on It So if you're driving and you push in the Clutch pedal it takes it out of gear and You'll slow down and stop If you pull your shuttle shift to Neutral Same thing happens you'll slow down and Stop And you can use that lever in the Neutral position as a clutch You've got a third one that is electric Over hydraulic on your gear selector on This hand that means if you're driving In fifth gear and you want to up shift

You push a little button right here and Just move it into the next gear and Felt very natural and fluid to do that I Rambled a little longer than I meant to About how these different transmission Types work but it brings me to my next Point that I was thinking about today I was looking at a lot of 50 to 60 Horsepower tractors that can be Purchased with a hydrostat or you can Save money and get it with a shuttle Shift and get more of that power to your Wheels I was asking myself which would I go for And I thought you know if you get the Really nice shuttle shifts that are Really well set up it's going to feel Once you get used to it it's going to Feel almost as comfortable as the Hydrostat then I start thinking are There downsides because we mentioned Earlier that there are advantages To the hydrostat and there are Advantages to the Gear Drive the Gear Drive advantages was less moving parts And things to go wrong And when you go electric over hydraulic You might kind of lose some of that Because I've got three clutches two of Them are electronic So I wonder what you guys think I don't Know if I provided any value with this Video but it's just what was on my mind

Today and I wanted to share it so I Appreciate you taking time to watch the Video I'll put links on the screen to a Couple more of our videos And I'll see you next time

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