Hydraulic/electric ATV?

Can someone point out the fallacy of building a 4x4 golf cart type vehicle using four hydraulic hub motors with the hydraulic pump driven by a DC motor? There must be some efficiency loss, but is it miserable?

For off-road work (firewood, hauling tools, etc) you could steer by wheel control (ala bulldozer). It might be hard on tires but would save all the tie rods, steering gear, etc.

Reversible pumps are available, but if you steer with the wheels, then you probably want a one direction pump (and electric motor) and use valves to control direction. Any ideas on how to “sync” the wheels?

Seems like an interesting approach. Is this pretty much like a Bobcat Skidsteer?

I cant speak to effiency but the easist way i can think of to sync the wheels per side would be to have just two motors and run chains to the other wheels. though im not sure it would be nessary, IIRC bobcats arn’t really “synced” they just run off tghe same hydro lines. as for l/r syncing i believe a proportioning valve of some sort could do that. you could likely just use the drive system from a hydrostatic zero-turn lawn mower simply replace the I/CE with an electric motor. run chains to the front wheels for 4WD and you’re set. you could even do a 6x6 ARGO style.

The problem as I see it would be speed. The faster the hydraulic motors turn the faster the fluid needs to travel through the lines. The friction of the fluid traveling through the lines and fittings would cause a huge loss at speed. That being said, I’ve driven 4WD vehicles with a hydraulic motor on each wheel; They’re unstoppable. Would make an awesome rock crawler.

But this is just speculation on my part. I’m no mechanical engineer.