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MTD + New IVT transmissions for ride on mowers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 3parsnips, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. 3parsnips

    3parsnips LawnSite Member
    from uk
    Messages: 4

    Can anyone give any information about MTD and a New production line making New toroidal transmissions for ride on mowers.?
    Or can anyone point me in the right direction for another discussion forum that may be able to help.?
    Could be that a new production line has been started in Cleveland, Ohio

    A 50/50 joint venture has been entered into between "MTD Products Ltd" in Cleveland Ohio and the British company "Torotrak" to manufacture a New "Infinitely Variable Transmission" (IVT)

    The name of the NEW 50/50 ownership company that has been set up is to be called : "Infinitrak"

    An announcement was made in the (UK) on 3rd November 2005...see :



    Infinitrak expects to commence manufacture of IVT units in 2006.

    Production in the first full year of manufacture is expected to exceed 100,000 units.

    Initially,Infinitrak will supply products exclusively to MTD Products Inc, for incorporation in vehicles and products it manufactures and distributes.

    Infinitrak plans to commence sales of IVT units to third parties by 2008.

    Infinitrak LLC will be owned jointly by Torotrak and MTD, with each company holding 50% of the membership interest. The Board of Managers will
    comprise 6 members, 3 from each company.

    Torotrak and MTD anticipate that Infinitrak will be formed and the joint venture will commence on or before November 14, 2005.

    *check out the Torotrak website

    New toroidal infinitely variable drive,several Video links to see how the TRK IVT works etc..



    I would be grateful for any further information on the above news item.

    Has production of New IVT Trans..started yet.?
    Has a new factory been set up yet.?
    What is the address of the New Factory.?
    Are there any pictures available of the factory.?
    Are there any pictures of the New IVT trans..?
    When will the new transmissions be sold.?
    What products will have the new IVT fitted.?

    Any information would be appreciated


    3Parsnips (UK)
  2. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    I read about this some time ago, but I really couldn't tell you much about it beyond what my own perceptions are.

    I don't think it is implemented on anything yet, but basically is a complex CVT type drive system, like those found on automatic ATV's. But it is NOT a CVT at all in that sense, nor does it operate the same. But the end results are similar if you understand what I mean????

    It is a torque driven design with seamless contiously variable drive with no gears. It seems to have all the benefits of CVT drive plus more, and none of the downfalls.
  3. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,852

    I heard something about a new MTD zero turn. It was my understanding that all four wheels would drive for better hillside stability. Wonder if its the same as this?
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087


    But there is this thing that's been bugging me. I good while ago I got some info on a new ztr that was supposed to come out. Don't know the MFG. Anyways, it was supposed to have steerable front wheels. No, not the Gizmow. I only ever saw diagrams of it and it was red.

    Is this the one you speak of because I would sure like to find that again just to see if any progress has been made?
  5. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Oh, I forgot to add....

    It is my understanding that one 'IDEAL' application for this type of drive would be a gas powered ride-on spreader.

    You would set the engine throttle at the sweet spot for power/torque.
    Then you would set the ground speed to the desired level.

    Then, since this is a torque sensing drive system, the drive speed would never falter going up and down hills and the engine rpm would never falter either because the drive ratio varies to present a consistant load.

    Does that help you understand how this system is supposed to work?
    Unlike the CVT, the IVT is a 2-sided coin.

    However, my guess is tha MTD got into this for drive systems for lawn and garden tractors to replace the hydro transaxles and auto-drive trans systems with something else. But the IVT has many more and better possible applications.
  6. 3parsnips

    3parsnips LawnSite Member
    from uk
    Messages: 4


    Thanks for the replies so far..keep them coming please..

    What Torotrak say about their new transmission :

    Benefits of off-highway :

    Clutch-less shuttle
    The IVT can move between reverse and forward without the use of a clutch. This provides a smooth shuttle and eliminates clutch wear problems.

    High overdrive during transport
    The IVT provides a high overdrive, which both reduces fuel consumption and can be configured to deliver faster maximum forward speeds.

    Reduced part count / complexity
    The technology provides a full IVT transmission without the complexity and inefficiency of a hydrostatic equivalent and is significantly cheaper. The cost of a Torotrak IVT is equivalent to a power-shuttle transmission.

    Safety on the construction site / farm
    Accurate low speed control, when used in conjunction with proximity sensors, can prevent collisions with people or objects not in the driver's line of vision.

    Fuel economy
    Running the engine at a lower speed, a high overdrive and the lack of a torque converter (construction) or a starting device (agricultural) all produce improved fuel economy.

    Ease of integration
    An alternative to developing an IVT for a specific application is to purchase a standard Torotrak Variator cartridge, which can be installed into a transmission in a similar way to the implementation of a hydrostatic unit.

    Additional Benefits for Agricultural vehicles :

    Geared neutral feature - no separate creep transmission :

    The IVT has a feature termed 'geared neutral' where the engine can be connected to the road wheels whilst the vehicle is stationary. This eliminates the need for a separate creep transmission and can provide maximum wheel torque at zero speeds, or speeds close to zero, with a low power input.

    Accurate planting and spreading :

    Accurate low speed control combined with vehicle position control enables accurate planting and spreading. In addition, the IVT allows an integrated powertrain and vehicle control to optimise vehicle operation and may be combined with precision farming systems.

    Improved productivity :

    The torque control nature of the IVT means it can provide continuous torque at the wheels even when starting from rest. In addition, the IVT can maintain constant peak power levels to pull through tough spots in the field. If the need to stop the tractor arises there is no need to raise the implement when restarting.

    Benefits for OPE :

    The full-toroidal Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT) provides an efficient, refined, smooth drive with no gear changes. Its precise control and ability to shuttle seamlessly from forwards to reverse allows ease of manoeuvrability around obstacles. The consistent and easily controllable delivery of power to the wheels reduces the tendency to wheel spin, on slippery surfaces such as grass, and leads to a consequent reduction in ground damage. IVT is also very quiet in operation and therefore offers reduced noise pollution.


    Check out HOW IT WORKS :


    Latest design addition (New Epicycloidal Roller Control (ERC) (3183kb) :

  7. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    The above are the reasons for the MTD interest.

    1) Clutchless shuttle makes it suitable to replace their Auto-Drive tranny. No more stopping to change to reverse. The smooth shuttle and lack of wear also make them a suitable more durable replacement for their hyrdro transaxles.

    2) Simplier and a lot CHEAPER

    3) Safer operation and lack of the risk of hydralic pressure, which is good for liability. Can also be used with additional safety devices to stop the mower.

    4) Simple to change over to this system without a major design change.

    5) Stops in place, needs less input power, and has solid reliable drive engagement at low travel speeds without 'taxing' the drive.

    6) Torque control will make it better for 'working' the drive in harsh spots or beyond regular mowing.

    7) I believe MTD just thinks this will be a more reliable, better performing drive system that is also more cost effective.

    In all honesty, drive systems beyond the old gear drive type actually have a pretty high failure rate on lawn tractors and such.... And replacing a hydro or autodrive transaxle costs as much as a new lawn tractor.

    In my opinion, these sound better suited to the application.
    Time will tell I guess.

    As far as the commercial market is concerned, I do not look for these to JUMP on the scene and be integrated into ZTR's. But I can certainly see them making there way onto the single drive hydro and IZT driven commercial walkbehinds as a replacement for those systems.
  8. 3parsnips

    3parsnips LawnSite Member
    from uk
    Messages: 4

    Hi ENVY,

    Thanks for your comments

    I notice on the Torotrak website they mention :

    Outdoor Power Equipment Market

    "The initial focus of Infinitrak's business within this market is the riding mowers and tractors sector, which includes commercial mowers, lawn and garden tractors, compact tractors and utility vehicles."



    On the 3rd November 2005..In an Official News release to the London Stock Exchange..Torotrak announced :

    "Torotrak plc (‘Torotrak’) today announces the signing of an agreement in principle to form Infinitrak LLC, a joint venture with MTD Holdings Inc (‘MTD’) of Cleveland, Ohio."

    "Torotrak and MTD anticipate that Infinitrak will be formed and the joint venture will commence on or before November 14, 2005."

    "Torotrak will vest in Infinitrak exclusive global rights to IVT technology in the 0-25kw power range, and exclusive North American rights in the 25-45kW power range for certain Products"..(Compact Tractors).

    "MTD and Torotrak anticipate that IVT units in this market will be sold under the brand name Infinitrak™."

    "Infinitrak expects to commence manufacture of IVT units in 2006. Production in the first full year of manufacture is expected to exceed 100,000 units."

    " Initially, Infinitrak will supply products exclusively to MTD Products Inc for incorporation in vehicles and products it manufactures and distributes. Infinitrak plans to commence sales of IVT units to third parties by 2008."



    The joint venture between MTD and Torotrak was due to be formed on 14th November 2005...It would seem that the two companies would have been working together for some before that date.

    The statement says that the newly formed company (Infinitrak) expects to commence manufacture of IVT units in 2006 and that Production in the first full year of manufacture is expected to exceed 100,000 units.

    Would it be possible for you to ask around and see if you can find out :

    Has production actually started yet.?
    Where is the factory located.?
    When will the first (IVT) equipped vehicles be available to buy.?
    What vehicle models will be the first to have the new IVT transmission.?
    + any other interesting information

    Presumably INFINITRAK will want to launch their new transmissions in the Spring at the start of a new mowing season...will that be a launch of a new product for spring this year..or will they just be getting ready for spring 2007.? (Production in first year of manufacture to exceed 100,000 units.)

    When does the Mowing season start in U.S.?

    I would be grateful if you could spare the time to find out some more information on the above



    * Another interesting paper describing the IVT transmission from December 2005 :



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