1977 - Volume #1, Issue #1, Page #32[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
All-Hydralic Tractor Is First Of Its Kind
"It's fully hydrostatic, with no clutch, gear-drive transmission, transfer case or drive lines," explains Robert Klepper, president of Hydra-Pow'r, Inc., Arvada, Colo. He's the inventor and prime developer of this just-introduced new concept in high horsepower (350 to 600 hp) tractor power.
Each wheel has its own individual hydrostatic drive motor. "Overall efficiency is comparable to gear-drive tractors and exceeds the efficiency of powershift transmissions," says Klepper. "This greater efficiency is achieved through exclusive Štraction sensing' control circuits that allow the tractor to feel its way through varied field conditions without wheel spin. With conventional transmissions, if a wheel spins, it spins faster than wheels still driving. On the Hydratiller, if one wheel spins, it rotates no faster than wheels still driving and additional horsepower is immediately transferred to the remaining drive wheels."
Because of its all-hydraulic drive, the Hydratiller produces comparable horsepower at less total weight than conventional tractors, thus reducing soil compaction, Klepper points out. "For example, our 450 hp model weighs 34,000 lbs., versus about 50,000 lbs. for a conventional tractor of the same horsepower."
The Hydratiller shifts on-the-go, features infinitely variable speed, and carries a two-year warranty on the self-lubricating drive system. The entire tractor has only 4 zerks to grease, all of them on the steering mechanism. "I don't believe there's a tractor made with a drive system as rough and rugged as this one, or that's as easy to service and maintain," according to Klepper.
Price tag for custom built Hydratillers, fully equipped, is $68,000 for a 350 hp model, and $128,000 for the largest-available 600 hp model. They're powered by Cummins diesel engines and equipped with 24.5 by 32 duals on all four wheels (30.5 by 32 duals optional).
The all-hydrostatic drive is quiet and virtually free of vibration. These features, plus the fact the tractor has no clutch or gear shift, allows the cab to be isolated from the tractor and drive train to minimize noise. "We haven't gotten a decibel reading on it but it'll be among the lowest on the market," says Klepper.
The new Hydratiller is available with an optional hydraulic-drive pto which runs at a constant speed regardless of engine speed. A six-spool system delivers hydraulic power to equipment towed behind the tractor.
Much of the initial testing of prototypes was done on Montana wheat farms, and in central Illinois. "We think it has excellent application here in the Corn Belt," says Larry Volta, of Volta Farms, Plano, Ill. He also heads Volta Construction, Engineering and Manufacturing and has worked closely with Klepper and his Hydra-Pow'r Company in testing, designing and marketing the new Hydratiller tractor.
For more details, contact Larry Volta at the above address (ph. 312 553-0228) or call or write: Robert Klepper, President, Hydra-Pow'r, Inc., 7957 Fenton St., Arvada, Cole
80003 (ph. 303 429-0581)
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