Just picked up my new 4010 4x4 gasser. Jeez Louise what a PITA between waiting for one eventually showing up at my local dealer, the OTD pricing battles, etc etc. Anyway, finally got it and putting it to work.
A question on what current conventional wisdom is regards running in high gear or low gear at low (5-10 mph) speeds for extended periods with no trailer loads to minimize belt slippage/overheating etc.
I’ve searched the Mule forum and current thinking seems to be - don’t worry about belt/trans issues running in 2wd high below ~10 mph for however long you want or need. What say you?
I’m not new to Mules, had a 2012 4010 diesel and a 2017 Pro FX EPS gasser. Liked them both (probably the 4010 diesel best but huge bed on Pro FX was nice), but also did not run them a lot (neither had more than ~400 hrs before being sold). Used them exclusively on ~40 acre property (mild hills) for burn pile runs (lots of downed trees after storms), extracting ZTR from muddy spots, moving stuff to/from tractor shed, downed branch pickup before ~6 acre grass cutting, etc. The only times I got above 10-15 mph was for mailbox and trash can runs from the house to property entrance (about ¼ mile R/T), running fence lines. Never ran trails.
When pulling/hauling big-ish loads in either 2wd or 4wd I always used low and rarely got above 10 mph. I got it in my head that in general when running below ~10 mph it was ‘best’ done in low even with no loads, and that for speeds above ~10 mph up to governed max it was ‘best’ done in high. I was sure that the owner’s manuals mentioned something about this – but my memory is obviously not so good. After checking the 2012 4010 / 2017 Pro FX manuals online, there is nothing mentioned about ‘recommended’ speed ranges in high or low.
So it probably was just a caution from the dealer about ‘use low if 10 mph or slower, use high if above 10 mph, don’t use high for extended periods below 10 mph or else trans/belt issues may develop’.
My current situation is different; only 3.5 acre place now, very flat, probably 90% of the time won’t get above 10 mph or need 4x4.
‘21 Mule SX manual indicates “use high range for sustained low speed riding can lead to premature wear of the torque converter belt and pulleys. Use low range for these conditions.” pg 73 operators manual. Never new that, probably saved me some headaches down the road