Ok I will add my two cents. For snowplowing and blowing and mowing I use a hydro. For Lawn spraying, seeding and spreading fertilizer I use a Gear drive. Reason being for the hydro on those jobs is the no stop choice of speed. But for the spreading and spraying I feel I get a more constant sped with a lot more accurate control and coverage with a gear drive. So the short sweet answer to your question is depending on the job at hand. that my take on it. ( my advice is free and i strive that most get there moneys worth from me for it.) Good luck. Jim
I love my 100 but I wish it had a creeper. Without it, running the snowthrower is difficult in heavy wet snow. Also breaks traction in the snow easily. Someday I'll put nice new skins on it with fluid and a creeper. But unless you're plowing or pulling, most other activities a hydro is perfect. And I wouldn't hesitate to plow with my 1450. It's just a beast and it's sooooo nice being able to custom fit the speed to what you're doing. Sure, there may be more maintenance involved but it pays off. And it's not like you have to do constant maintenance. A good go-over and you're good for years...
I do feel as a work horse pulling a trailer full of fire wood the gear would work best. I have very little grass to cut just a small parking area at the top of the property. I have 34 acres and maybe 50 x 25 foot spot grass
I'm pretty much a gear drive fan, drove lots and lots of tractors as a kid, and they were ALL gear drive, all but ONE of the trucks I ever drove were all gear drive except the 1974 Diamond Reo readymix truck, it had an Allison automatic in it, OH, and my 2018 Ram 1500 is an automatic too, still technically a gear drive because there are 8 speeds, but it shifts itself. The next summer I had a truck with 20 forward gears and 4 reverses, and I used every single one over that summer. And semi's I drove had anywhere from 6 to 13 speeds.
My 982 is a hydro, it became my #1 mower because it mowed my yard in 4 hours, my 72 took 6, 38 inch mower vs 50 inch. But now days the TANK zero turn wins, 54 inch deck and mows in 2-1/2 hours or less, and of course, a hydro, TWO actually, one for each drive wheel. Had a 129 for 15 years too, it was my mower tractor of first choice too, 44" deck vs 38".
The FARMALL PLANT I worked at used lots of Cub Cadets for maintenance work, mowing, pushing snow, towing huge carts hooked into trains full of trash, parts pickers used them too, They started using gear drives, and bought one 123 hydro, and then ordered more hydro's to replace every gear drive they had. The hydrostatic braking was great for the way they used them.
Well.. I'm a HYDRO guy..... we have 11 Cub Cadets, 10 IH Cub Cadet's and a new ULTIMA Zero Turn.... in those 11 the count is 11 HYDRO and 0 Gear drives. We had one, a 124 that was used to mow only... and the clutch always seemed to be doing something... from the rattle, to the funny noise when pushing the clutch. We rebuilt the entire clutch, and still had problems with it with new parts. So this one gave us a bad taste for gear drives. Dad and I prefer the higher horsepower HYDRO tractors.... 1450's, 1650's, 149's, and 782's....
SCOTT - I actually sold it to my SON. He had a '14 Ram 2500 CTD he REALLY liked, but traded it on a brand new '18 Mustang GT 6-speed with the Performance Pkg #2, gives you about all the Shelby options with more "Stealth", His Mid-Life Crisis. He needed something he could haul lumber in, he converted his garage into a clone of Norm Abrams' shop. He polished the F250 all up. People would leave their phone numbers on the truck trying to buy it, follow him to places like Farm & Fleet, pull into gas stations he was at. Meanwhile his actual RARE car nobody ever looked at twice, and it was a gorgeous dark metallic KONA blue. I think the Mustang scared him and he traded it for an Explorer ST so he looks like a Wisconsin State Trooper now. The old F-250 needed some work, but SON found an App for that on his phone! It still runs pretty good with about 320,000 miles, but needs injectors, but the question is how much bigger than stock, and then what to install for a turbo, and then how long will the LUK clutch and 300,000 mile plus ZF trans last with the increased HP.
There is a DANA 60 frt axle sitting in front of the shop for it. Reverse shackle kit would be installed too.
After over a half million miles on Ford pickups I was ready for something different. I did price a new F-150 with the 5.0L V-8 but this RAM was sitting on the lot. I really like the RAM, I don't drive it lots, but it puts a smile on my face every time I get in it.