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TAS Country : April 12th 2012
10 Tasmanian Country Friday, April 13, 2012 News Hobby Farming Riding the clutch can be costly ask SOTA THE majority of small ca- pacity tractors sold in Australia still have an old style ''dry clutch'' type ar- rangement for changing between gears --- as well as forward and reverse. This is for good reason. The basic design has been around nearly as long as the internal combustion engine. It is an old yet proven design in tractors and cer- tainly keeps the manufac- turing and maintenance costs down compared to the more sophisticated ''wet clutch'' and clutchless hydrostatic transmissions. A dry clutch, however, is a wearing component and as such is not covered by warranties. Misuse can severely shorten the life of the clutch plate, necessitating costly repairs. It is timely to look at simple procedures that will maximise the life of your clutch. Modern manual cars have smooth-shifting and forgiving, synchromesh gearboxes, but don't forget that in a tractor the mo- mentum stored in its heavy flywheel is con- stantly in contact with the clutch plate. It is just the amount of pressure that varies. In other words, the clutch is slipping and therefore wearing, even when the clutch pedal is fully depressed. This is why internal oil leaks from the engine or transmission can cause the clutch to burn out -- they are lubricating the sur- faces. Just resting your foot lightly on the pedal may cause slippage, even though you may not detect a difference in how the tractor performs. If you add to the equa- tion heavy front-end-loader work, you can understand why mechanics have seen clutches burned out after just four hours on a brand new tractor. Do not ride the clutch! Keep your foot off the clutch pedal when not us- ing it. The extra weight from your foot will cause the clutch plate to slip and the clutch plate to burn. The trick is to quickly disengage, slowly re- engage. Depress the clutch speedily to disengage the clutch and return the pedal slowly to re-engage it. This simple tip will help to minimise a lot of clutch plate wear. Do not drop the clutch and do not use the clutch to jerk a load or to abruptly put the tractor under load. Do not drop the clutch to rock your tractor if you are stuck (engage your diff lock). Ease a clutch, do not drop it! It's either in or out. Don't try to feather the clutch when scooping up loads in the bucket for that extra inch forward. If you need to do that you are in too high a gear. Select a lower gear. Keep it in one gear when PTO engaged. In many small tractors the PTO is also run off the same clutch plate. If you need to change up or down a gear or a range or select forward or reverse with the PTO engaged and un- der load, then bring the tractor to a stop. Disen- gage. Select Drive/gear/ range. Engage PTO. Pro- ceed, bringing up the revs as you go. Maintenance is also cru- cial to clutch longevity. Maintain or have the clutch serviced at the ap- propriate intervals outlin- ed in your operator's man- ual. As it is a wearing component it will need to be adjusted to take out any excessive free play that develops as a part of nor- mal use. If you are in a situation where you need to replace the clutch, make sure you get the flywheel and pres- sure plate machined as well. They are designed to accommodate this. It is an expensive prop- osition to have a profes- sional replace a clutch plate in a tractor, as they need to be split to access these power-train com- ponents. The bellhousing, tra- ditionally, is an integral part of the tractor's chas- sis. If you are going to the expense of replacing the clutch, it is cheap in- surance to have these oth- er components in tip-top order as well. D D D D D D D D EVERY CIGARETTE YOU DON'T SMOKE IS DOING YOU GOOD In 5 days most nicotine is out of your body In 1 week your sense of taste and smell improves In 1 month skin appearance is likely to improve Today quit before getting pregnant and your risk of having a pre-term baby is reduced tothatofa non-smoker In 12 months your risk of heart disease has halved In 8 hours excess carbon monoxide is out of your blood In 3 months your lung function begins to improve In 1 year a pack-a-day smoker will save over $4,000 STOP SMOKING START REPAIRING Advertisement australia.gov.au/quitnow Authorised by the Australian Government, Capital Hill, Canberra 26 Trevor Street, Ulverstone, Tas Phone: 6425 7191 • Fax: 6425 7193 TASMANIA 2019813-120413 Used Stock Sale Used Tractors $ Massey Ferguson 8220, 5500hrs, 155hp 46200 Massey Ferguson 265, 4500hrs, 2wd 13200 Landini Myhtos 90hp, with new Burder Loader 60000 Used Power Harrows Amazone KG403 with packer roller 13800 Amazone KE303 with cage roller 9900 Kunh HR3503 with cage roller 12100 Kuhn HR3503 with cage roller 13200 Used Spray Units Croplands 12m boom spray 4950 Hardi 800ltr 15m boom spray 3850 (all prices include GST) Call us for all your machinery needs stock arriving every day Harvest Centre
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