Fallbrook Aims to Mow Down Market With Hydro-Gear Licensing Deal

San Diego’s Fallbrook Technologies says it has struck a deal for what is literally a “greenfield” application of its NuVinci continuously variable transmission. The venture-backed company, which has been steadily expanding the market for its transmission technology, has signed a licensing agreement with Hydro-Gear of Sullivan, IL, a leading maker of drive systems for lawnmowers and the outdoor power equipment market.

Under the agreement, Fallbrook and Hydro-Gear say they will develop a new application—an infinitely variable transmission (IVT) for zero turn radius (ZTR) riding mowers, which pivot rather than turn, as well as other types of mowers, and garden equipment. The IVT transmission, which incudes forward, reverse, and zero output (idling) within its range of gearless input-to-output ratios, enables the mower to move quickly forward and backward without manual shifting. The innovation represents the latest in a series of technological advances over the past decade that have transformed riding mowers into more powerful, sophisticated, and versatile machines that also are used to plow snow, haul firewood, and carry out other chores.

Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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