Newbie Questions about clutch and pto

hendr1x

Member

Equipment
L3130
Jan 21, 2021
30
1
8
New England, US
Hello everyone,
I've recently got my first tractor, a L3130. I had a few newbie questions...

1) Its a manual. When I've been shifting, I notice it feels weird to be partially engaged, so I tend to try to avoid it. I bring down the RPMs to make the shift as fast/gentle as possible. Does this sound right? My only experience is with cars so I'm basically doing the same as I treat them.

2) I just got a wood chipper. In it's manual it says to gradually engage the PTO and not to engage it fully until the flywheel is moving. My tractor just has a level with two settings. Do I just move it to "on" or can I do something else to make things more smoothly

3) My tractor has Independent PTO. As I understand it, this means the PTO will spin regardless to what I do with the clutch/tranny. I was wondering how my RPMs effect the PTO speed however. Does my tractor always run at 540 or does it change based on my RPMS?

Thanks so much for any help you can provide - J
 

Ktrim

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Lock in clutch on chipper WI throttle all the way down then throttle up when it gets spinning. Also throttle back down before disengaging chippr clutch
 

GreensvilleJay

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Don't know the tranny in your tractor, but typically that have straight cut gears so you pick a gear,clutch and slowly let out clutchs...and go...
you do NOT drive like a car and 'shift gears'...

Hopefully others who own your tractor model will reply

3) there should be a mark (red ???) on the tachometer to indicate '540 RPM' for the PTO. Maybe 3/4 full throttle ?
 
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Ktrim

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Don't shift through gears like a car. Put in gear you want, let clutch out and go.
 
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MapleLeafFarmer

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Lots incl. B and L kubotas
Dec 2, 2019
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Don't know the tranny in your tractor, but typically that have straight cut gears so you pick a gear,clutch and slowly let out clutchs...and go...
you do NOT drive like a car and 'shift gears'...

Hopefully others who own your tractor model will reply

3) there should be a mark (red ???) on the tachometer to indicate '540 RPM' for the PTO. Maybe 3/4 full throttle ?
I questioned his use of word "shifting" as well.
hopefully he isn't up-shifting / downshifting while moving like a car.
 
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ken erickson

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Nov 21, 2010
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I thought the same about shifting but this model was available with two different gear transmission.
Not knowing which one 8 or 12 speed and the particulars of each, it may well be possible to shift while moving.
IMG_8817.png
 

6869704x4

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Did you verify the PTO spins with the clutch pedal all the way down?
 

GreensvilleJay

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I'd have to see pictures of the actual gears, but if straight cut and NO 'synchronizers', the only proper way is to select a gear and clutch out...you cannot 'shift like a car', as they have 'synchros'.
 
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hendr1x

Member

Equipment
L3130
Jan 21, 2021
30
1
8
New England, US
Sorry...I have the 8 speed. I never shift while moving however I've never thought about it. I've never traveled at high speeds either. Even when you are in 8th gear you start from a stand still? My question was really just wondering how bad it is to feather the clutch. When I'm driving a car it feels natural...on the tractor it feels strange...I basically try to drop it in gear as quick as possible but obviously don't drop the clutch.

I'll keep shifiting, starting the chipper at low rpms. Seems like that is the best way. Just gets a little annoying when doing loader work to adjust rpm, then shift, then bring it back up over and over.

Did you verify the PTO spins with the clutch pedal all the way down?
Just confirmed. Yes, it spins.


3) there should be a mark (red ???) on the tachometer to indicate '540 RPM' for the PTO. Maybe 3/4 full throttle ?
No mark on my tach.

Thanks for all the info guys!
 

trial and error

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Is it possible the clutch or pressure pattern is worn not allowing the clutch to fully release, thus causing shifting into a gear to be troublesome. That's just my .02
 

hendr1x

Member

Equipment
L3130
Jan 21, 2021
30
1
8
New England, US
Is it possible the clutch or pressure pattern is worn not allowing the clutch to fully release, thus causing shifting into a gear to be troublesome. That's just my .02
I wouldn't say its troublesome....I just want to make sure I'm doing it right and it feels a lot different then the cars I've driven obviously.
 

Russell King

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If you are just changing from one gear to another you don’t have to reduce the engine RPM. Just push the clutch down and then shift the gear. You may have to wait a couple of seconds to reduce the grinding of gears. Cars have synchronizers that help with shifting by getting the gears spinning as you are shifting. Tractor don’t generally have that since you are generally sitting static putting it into one gear and using that gear for quite some time.

The back and forth of loader work is tough on gear dr tractors and will wear the clutch. I hear you should avoid feathering the clutch to get the bucket full. That is probably a difficult skill to acquire.
 
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NCL4701

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I wouldn't say its troublesome....I just want to make sure I'm doing it right and it feels a lot different then the cars I've driven obviously.
Working with the clutch and “throttle” on a tractor is NOT identical to a car/truck despite some similarities. Aside from not shifting in motion (many tractors won’t and if yours won’t it will let you know with all manner of grinding sounds if you try), main difference is tractors have governors similar to a generator. Difference with a tractor v generator is the RPM is fixed on a generator but is variable in a tractor. The slider thing on a tractor commonly referred to as a “throttle” is actually the variable governor control that sets the RPM. And yes, that matters. You control the governor; the governor controls the throttle.

For PTO work, yes you should engage and disengage at idle as a general rule. Disengaging at high RPM will prematurely wear out your PTO brake. Engaging at high RPM can be done so long as you’re able to feather it in with the clutch (not sure about your model) but it’s just not necessary. If you can’t feather it in with the clutch, definitely engage at idle to minimize shock loads.

You also mention repetitive RPM adjustment for loader work. Pick a gear, set the RPM, use the clutch to change gears (I don’t know if you have to clutch to reverse or not with your specific model) but let the governor deal with the throttle up/down for changing engine load requirements while the RPM remains relatively constant. You shouldn’t have to constantly fiddle with changing RPM to do loader work.

Also, if you want to start in 8th gear, go ahead and set the RPM up near where you plan to end up, 75% max RPM or more if you like. Ease out on the clutch and remember the governor is going to start opening the throttle to maintain the set RPM as the clutch puts more load on the engine so you’re going to have to recognize the actual throttle position will lag a bit as you load up the engine.

I have noticed the mechanical governors with the centrifugal ball type variable valves in our antique gassers have more lag than whatever Kubota uses on the L4701.

But yes, it’s different operating something that has a Governor and no direct operator control of the throttle.

Edit: According to


540 PTO is at 2550 engine RPM. That info should be in the Owner Manual.

Edit part 2:

Downloaded the WSM from


Suggest you do the same if you haven’t already. Get the Owner Manual as well and read it a couple times at least.

540 PTO RPM is 2550 engine RPM per the WSM.
IMG_1274.png
 
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hendr1x

Member

Equipment
L3130
Jan 21, 2021
30
1
8
New England, US
You also mention repetitive RPM adjustment for loader work. Pick a gear, set the RPM, use the clutch to change gears (I don’t know if you have to clutch to reverse or not with your specific model) but let the governor deal with the throttle up/down for changing engine load requirements while the RPM remains relatively constant. You shouldn’t have to constantly fiddle with changing RPM to do loader work.
So here is the rub. Most of the time I am doing forward and backward shifting. With heavy loads I need to have high rpms to lift but, basically just because of my experience with cars, it feels like it would be too high to drop on the clutch. It also feels like I shouldn't feather in the clutch to make it less "impactful" so I'm dropping the rpms between shifts. I might be wrong on all counts here...but I think this really distills down my stress...I want to take care of the machine and I'm worried about the clutch wear.
 

NCL4701

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So here is the rub. Most of the time I am doing forward and backward shifting. With heavy loads I need to have high rpms to lift but, basically just because of my experience with cars, it feels like it would be too high to drop on the clutch. It also feels like I shouldn't feather in the clutch to make it less "impactful" so I'm dropping the rpms between shifts. I might be wrong on all counts here...but I think this really distills down my stress...I want to take care of the machine and I'm worried about the clutch wear.
Your tractor. You have final say on how you drive it.

My current tractor is HST. I have a LOT more hours on clutch/stick w/o shuttle.

Not telling you to dump the clutch or feather it to where you’re slipping it for 20 seconds every time you change direction. Just like a car/truck the transition from start of pressure point on clutch to fully engaged and foot off should be smooth but very short once you have a little time to get used to it.

For me, RPMs are staying constant, shifts are quick but smooth. If it isn’t too rough for me as the rider/driver and all four wheels are staying on the ground it isn’t too rough for the machine. You may have heard it said, “It isn’t a bulldozer.” True, but it also isn’t a lawnmower.

Your machine. Your time. Your repair bills. Do what you’re comfortable doing.

If you know someone local who has experience driving a gear/shuttle tractor, it sounds like you would benefit from 30 minutes to an hour of hands on instruction. And I mean that with the greatest respect and sincerity. I looked to see if you were somewhere nearby but no clue where Modern247alpha# is.

For peace of mind and efficiency of operation, reading the OM thoroughly is also likely to help. Not sure how much operation instruction is in the WSM I linked as I didn’t read much of it.

Maybe you just need to put some hours on it to get used to it. So long as you aren’t riding the clutch slipping it near constantly or forcing gear changes despite gear grinding, pretty unlikely you’ll be able to mess anything up.
 
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GreensvilleJay

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BX23-S,57 A-C D-14,58 A-C D-14, 57 A-C D-14,tiller,cults,Millcreek 25G spreader,
Apr 2, 2019
10,576
4,451
113
Greensville,Ontario,Canada
re: So here is the rub. Most of the time I am doing forward and backward shifting.

You really should have an HST tractor for this operation. I spent 2 decades ,sometime 8-10 hrs a day) doing it with a manual tranny tractor, with 'Armstrong' steering. NOT 'fun'. Some days I got good at it, the sweet rhythm combination of clutch, gears, throttle and steering but man was it NICE to upgrade to HST. Smooth operations from then on.

If most of your work is short haul, back and forth loading/unloading consider a 2nd dedicated tractor or a swap. Life is too short, with some of it spent splitting a tractor to replace clutches and other parts.
 

hendr1x

Member

Equipment
L3130
Jan 21, 2021
30
1
8
New England, US
This all makes sense. I think what you provided was exactly what I what I was looking for. Just getting peoples opinions/experiences. I'll talk to my local farmer as well. Thanks everyone.