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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Read somewhere the old Cases can 'runaway' going downhill? Guess it makes sense in the case of hydraulic drive. My yard is hilly and am wondering if its really that big a deal or not...in other words - if my wife mowed the lawn with a '72 444 would it be possible for her to get hurt?
 

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If you property has steep hills, then the answer is yes. While I might look at your property, jump on your tractor and go cut your lawn for that cold beer you promised, I know how to handle the tractor on steep hills.

The term "steep" is subjective however, you might want to give serious consideration to purchasing a holding valve kit and installing it on the tractor unless you think this might be a way to avoid the costs of a divorce. :trink:
 

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When I first got my 446 the hills were a serious problem. The retard feature never seemed to do much in controlling down hill speed either. My property is pretty hilly and my neighbors that I mow is very hilly.


Ever since I changed out my TCV with one that was in better shape, the retard feature will actually slow the tractor down now and it's a lot more manageable. So much that I wouldn't consider buying a holding valve at this point.

It's really going to be about how experienced you are with the machine, what kind of shape it's in, and what your property looks like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, there are a couple of areas that my current tractor (late 90's cub with manual) will speed right up and if I'm in a high enough gear will get hauling pretty good. I usually mow that area sideways. There are other areas that are downhill for long distances but not very steep. I'll have to give it a try and if needed at least theres a 'fix' for it.
 

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Rockdog said:
Well, there are a couple of areas that my current tractor (late 90's cub with manual) will speed right up and if I'm in a high enough gear will get hauling pretty good. I usually mow that area sideways. There are other areas that are downhill for long distances but not very steep. I'll have to give it a try and if needed at least theres a 'fix' for it.
Prior to "giving it a try", please go to the Tech section/Operator's Manuals and READ CAREFULLY the procedure for controlling the tractor on steep grades using the travel lever. This is an 800 pound tractor. That's enough weight to do some serious harm to your body parts if it ends up on top of you.

Secondly. that "brake" is not really a brake in the true sense of the word. It's a parking brake primarily so don't rely on it to stop the tractor. And if you do step on it, there is a spring that is designed to pull the travel lever into neutral and that's NOT where you want the travel lever to be.

Lastly, any braking mechanism is only as good as the amount of traction the tires can find. OEM turf tires are not known as high traction rubber. Steep hills often require the use of tire chains, wheel weight, tire loading and even Ag-style rubber.

An out of control tractor is dangerous. It's only funny if you survive the ride. Some new owners that have experienced such a ride have sold their tractor right after.
 

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Rockdog said:
Read somewhere the old Cases can 'runaway' going downhill? Guess it makes sense in the case of hydraulic drive. My yard is hilly and am wondering if its really that big a deal or not...in other words - if my wife mowed the lawn with a '72 444 would it be possible for her to get hurt?
Rockdog: I have a 1983 224 without the holding valve and a 1986 446 with the built in holding valve. IMO, tremendous benefit and safety factor having the holding valve if you have any grades on your land. Yes, you can hold it back with the travel control lever on grades (my property grades, my experience), but its not the smoothest operation IMO. I wouldn't put the wife on the GT with grades without the holding valve or some major coaching and reading of the operators manual on the travel control lever operation. JMO :222: :446: Best Regards, Rich
 

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i will add this.
for the RETARD to operate correctly,
the engine MUST be at or near W.O.T.
i have a HILL that i test on.
if used properly the original valve will work just fine.
of course the travel/ hold is the best. (idiot proof)
i DID not say that. (SMILE)
thank you. boomer
 

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I have virtually nothing but hills in my yard and my wife mows our grass/weeds 90% of the time. It is a night and day difference using a tractor with the holding valve feature. She want to get on the tractor and go, not technically worry about how to slow down on the hills. Every time I have her drive a new tractor she asks if it has brakes. Most of the time I don't know because I have never used brakes because I don't use them, I use retard. It has become second nature, but I still really believe the holding valve is great!

With that being said, my wife won't drive my 646 because it "ran away" on her a few years ago. With that being said, since then I broke the brake rod when I caught it on something a few years ago and I haven't had any problems because I know how to use it in retard correctly, but I have to be totally aware of what is going on. My 646 is a lot heavier than a 444 so sometimes I am along for the ride.

-Justin
 

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Depending upon how steep your hills really are then you need to think about the possibility of rolling over if you go across the grade. The high wheel tractors have a higher center of gravity and if you hit a bump crossing a steep grade you could roll it. Filling the tires and/or adding wheel weights can significantly improve stability. Another option to consider is a low profile model 200 series as they have much lower center of gravity. The holding valve will do nothing to help with this issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I guess 'steep' is a subjective term. I'd have no problem mowing 'sideways' even with the 444 so I guess being from Michigan originally I'm used to things being completely flat. Doubtful my wife will be using this Case until a holding valve or some other alternative can be installed as I cant get her to understand edging around tight spots by riding the clutch in high gear is 'bad' (I get the 'eyeroll'). I've been waiting for the Cub to die for a couple of years now (so I could get a decent tractor) and it just wont stop. Course she refers to the Cub as 'her' tractor so I guess this one will be 'mine'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
She's already gonna look at me like I'm crazy when I bring the thing home. If it isnt shiny and new it must be junk. I have the feeling she'll be afraid of it anyway so I shouldnt have to worry about that. Same goes for the "I dont know what happened - it just started making a loud noise and then after an hour it made a 'bang' and stopped" phone calls.
 
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