Treadle pedal VS. Twin touch pedal
We're going to have a short talk about one of the most decisive topics in the tractor community; twin touch pedals versus a treadle pedal.
John Deere's marketing campaigns for many years have very loudly trumpeted the superiority of their twin touch pedals. I'm here to tell you that most of the preferences on these things are clearly simply preferences. There's not one system of pedals on the floor that is dramatically better than the other.
Kubota really has two different pedal designs and this is the older style of the two. It's one single pedal that you use for both forward and reverse. I wear a size 11 shoe, to give you an idea of how this fits for me and I tend to prefer this style of pedal. Again, that is my preference, somebody else might feel very differently about that. I prefer it because I like to press forward to go forward and press backwards to go backwards.
You can work this pedal in a lot of different ways. You could do it toe heel style. Some guys will also rest their entire foot on top of the pedal and rock back and forth, or some other guys will even press with their toe and when they want to go in reverse slide their toe underneath the pedal and lift upwards. There's really three different ways that you can position your foot on this pedal in order to operate the tractor.
The design chosen by several other tractor companies is the twin petal design, one for forward and one for reverse. The thing that's always been a little bit weird for me about this, personally, and again my preference, is I find it very odd to press forward on the pedal to go backwards, particularly, when I'm turning around and facing behind the machine.
Another thing that's a little bit different too is these are typically sold as automotive style but the pedals are in the reverse position that they should be to really be that way. Where the gas pedal would be in your car is actually reverse and where the brake would be is actually forward. The one thing this does achieve is a little bit cleaner space on the platform. I have a little bit more room down here to put my feet. We do have to give the twin pedal design a little bit of an edge there for just simply having a cleaner platform.
One thing I don't care for on this electronic variation of the two pedal design is that there's a lot of free play in these pedals before the sensors start to pick up the pedal movement. That is a little bit different than the Kabuto that I've been on that I haven't noticed that free play before.
If you take a quick look here with me, we're going to start the tractor up. As I step down on the pedal, I'm going to move quite a bit. See I got that much free play right here when the tractor is doing nothing. I've got the same-- actually a little bit less going in reverse.
Somebody could tell me if this is out of adjustment or if this is normal, but there's quite a bit of free play here. What that was causing me to do when I was on here before was, I would press, press, press, press, press and I'd be pushing my foot through the free play, and then all of a sudden I'm going a lot faster than I wanted to go. Again, it could be that these are out of adjustment in some manner, but if that's reality for most people that I find pretty undesirable.
Kubota's newest HST plus tractors have another pedal option. These are a little bit more modern treadle pedal design, giving you many of the same options that you have on the mechanical pedal, where you can go forward with your toe, reverse right here with your toe. You can straddle the entire pedal back and forth, or you can slide your toe underneath and lift for reverse. I typically find myself doing this forward with my toe and reverse underneath.
Different people seem to do this differently depending on what's most comfortable for them. Again, these are personal preferences. One way is not necessarily better than the other.
Another real pet peeve of mine when it comes to hydrostatic transmissions in these tractors are all the funny names that are made up for features. John Deere has things like eHydro and motion match and whatever screwy name they decide to come up with next week. They're masters of marketing and masters of making you think that they've come up with something new. In reality, these two tractors have exactly the same transmission features.
Kubota does offer two things the Deere has not incorporated yet. One is the power up button on your loader stick to raise your engine RPMs when you go into a loader application. The more important one is Hydro Dual Speed, which gives them an extra range selection in your transmission options that computer could shift on the fly. When you go into a pile of dirt the tractor can drop down into a lower range. That's something that only New Holland has ever offered on a tractor before. They did that 10 or 15 years ago and that feature is not in their product line anymore.
Today, Kubota is the only company offering that Hydro Dual Speed option, which from my experience is really worth watching. We've done more studies and videos on exactly how all this transmission features work.
If you haven't gathered, I'm a little frustrated with John Deere acting like a politician. Trying to slice this all up into little subgroups, trying to appeal to us that their way is the only way forward. The pedal issue is absolutely nothing more than an issue of personal preference. Really, to find out what's best for you, is to go out to your local dealer, get a set of keys and drive all these tractors around and find which one is the most comfortable for you.
We can help you through that process, give us a call at Messick's. We're available at 800-222-3373 or online at messicks.com.