I was the owner of a Big Red and now the new Pioneer 700-4. In reguards to your transmission question, the only issue I ever had with the transmission was in the winter when it got pretty cold it was slow to shift into 3rd untill it warmed up. The "fix" was 0 W 40 synthetic oil. I still warmed it up for about 5 min in cold weather but no more issues after the synthetic oil change. That was a no brainer for me because I use it in all my vehicles. I use mobil one and have for many years. We put 350 hours on the Big Red and already have over 50 hours on the Pioneer. I have no issues with the drive train in these vehicles and would recommend them to anyone.