Branson Alterative. and I'm I going over Board?

   / Branson Alterative. and I'm I going over Board? #41  
There are so many times that I inch the tractor. For example while curling the grapple forwards before closing the jaws. For pallet forks it's important to go really slow so you don't damage anything. The controls are limited compared to a fork lift and so is the visibility. I'm very glad I got an HST. I would not want to be slipping a clutch to do that.

I recommend getting test drives with an HST and shuttle tractor and pretending to do work. Drive up to a "log" and grab it, etc. Your imagination won't be accurate but it's better than nothing. (it'd be cool for dealers to have a demo area with stuff to do but I have not heard of one doing that).

I think the lower end tractors with "shuttles" basically have a forwards/reverse transmission but not the automatic clutch that bigger shuttle tractors and many industrial machines have. Be sure to test drive.
Just like with HST, after you have a shuttle, you quickly learn how to use it efficiently. I use a grapple very often, easily more than 50% of the time. No problems whatsoever. That's what multiple gears are for. I especially prefer it on hills here in East Tennessee.
   / Branson Alterative. and I'm I going over Board?
  • Thread Starter
I live in NJ in a wooded area with 2.3 acres. I grew up on a dirt road in NH back in the 60's on a gentleman's farm. My dad was a master machinest and yet we always had some beef cattle, an occasional pig, we burned 12 cord of wood each winter in a Sam Daniels furnace which was in the basement of a 200 y/o house and we made maple syrup every March sometimes up to 100 gallons a season and burned an additional 12 cord of wood in about a months time making the syrup. We hayed in the spring/summer/fall and when I was old enough to drive my dad had bought an old used IH 330 utility with a FEL. Prior to that he had MF 30 and a 35 industrial with an FEL and a BH. He had several heart atacks and had to sell the MF 35. I loved that tractor and he had bought it new. They were all collar shift transmissions. The IH had a torque converter which I would use on an occasion but pretty much stuck to the standard gears.

About 10 years ago now I purchased a used 2005, JD 990 (collar shift, 3 FW, 1 R with 3 ranges giving 9 fw and 3 r) with a 300CX FEL and an 8B BH. It had only 75 hours on it. I have used it for all kinds of things for myself and neighbors and I have added a lot of things to it with a whole lot more that I want to do as well. I love the tractor. It has 40 hp and it is a MFWD. I wouldn't want anything smaller. I would love to have more lift power on the FEL and even more power in the BH. I have some times been tempted to look at something else but I always come back to the points that it is a simple tractor like what I grew up with. There are no electronics on it. It is a complete Yanmar JD tractor. It runs like a top and it is easy to service. When I am doing a lot of FEL work I could wish it was a shuttle shift transmission with 12 FW and 12 R but it isn't. It is built like a tank. I also would not want a HST drive. I have tried them before and yes they have their advantages but what happens when you run into a problem with them.

This is just one more perspective for your intake. I am in my 62nd year now. I still have a lot of things that I want to do with the 990. I am just too busy at my work with everything. That is what happens when you have to run a company. But there are times I am happy to just get on the tractor and work. The 990 has paid for itself over and over again. I have seen prices on it now where I could sell it for more than I paid for it so it has been a great investment. I hope this gives you a little more input to help you in your decision making process. See some pics below. The first two are when I got my PTO chipper and my winch.
Thank you.
Nices pics.