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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
When I was in college I drove a Zamboni to pay the bills. Zambonis are pieced together from a variety of off the shelf parts, but the drive trains are hydraulic as the heart of the machine is a giant engine driven (usually a 4 cylinder Ford or Volkswagen industrial engine running on propane) hydraulic pump which provides power for the conditioner (the thing that drags on the ice) lift, snow tank lift, and propulsion. A large hydraulic motor is mated to a full time single speed transfer case of some sort in the center of the vehicle. From there the drivetrain is totally conventional. Front and rear driveshafts transfer power to the front and rear axles (Spicer, I think). The hydraulic motor is governed by an adjustable valve that essentially allows for infinitely variable speeds in forward and reverse, kind of like a lawn tractor. You can creep along at extremely low speeds but still have a chit load of torque at your disposal. We actually had a ramp that went from the rink down to the machine room (it was under the bleachers) that was about 30 degrees-the machine could creep along slow as molasses (the valve barely pushed forward) with a full load of water and snow (the shavings from the ice)-somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-11,000lbs. It would just roll right up smooth as anything-no chugging, etc...

I can't see why it wouldn't be possible to mate a large hydraulic motor to a transfer case (no need for double and triple cases since the hydraulic motor can turn so slowly) and then run lines to a pump mated to a small engine-hell you could mount the engine pretty much anywhere you can run hydraulic lines too! In Zambonis the engine basically sits in the center of the machine underneath of the big snow tank in the front. You'd also have plenty of power for a hydraulic winch, steering, and anything else you could think of to power. The only real downside I could see would be cost-the hydraulics in those machines aren't cheap-in any event, I was just curious if anyone else had ever built a rig with the same idea. Cad track loaders use the same concept of a centrally located engine turning a large hydraulic pump, but instead of using one motor to turn a conventional drivetrain they use four hydraulic motors, one at each wheel, to propel the machine. Not sure if this would be a better or worse idea.
 

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Search in the Toyota section,

A guy took a Toro zero turn lawnmower and mounted its guts in a Toyota chassis, powering the Toy tcase.
 

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Search in the Toyota section,

A guy took a Toro zero turn lawnmower and mounted its guts in a Toyota chassis, powering the Toy tcase.
^This. Badass truck and interesting ideas:smokin:
 

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Lots of equipment is hydro driven and they all have one thing in common........they are all really slow
It would be ok for creepy crawling type stuff but it would not have shit for top speed or wheel speed for bumping up stuff.

If you were going to do it individual wheel motors would be the way to go, that way you could skid steer it like a bobcat. It would make front digs look stupid.
 
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