View Full Version : walkin behind

Hunter Landscape
03-01-2001, 11:09 PM
i am thinking about opting for a 48" walk behind with sulky to replace my JD 525 front deck mower. I have been offered a price (before negotiations) of $2200 for a 48" Bobcat belt drive var. speed walk behind. I have heard some good stuff about Bobcats but have not heard anything that I know of regarding this model. It is mostly flat here so i think that a belt drive should suffice even with a sulky.
What sulky (type / brand ) do y'all recommend??
This mower has a 15 HP Kohler eng and I am sure that this will catch some grief, but hey, that is why I am asking :).

03-01-2001, 11:18 PM
Don't waste your money on a belt drive mower to pull a sulkey with. A belt will do the job but remember this, extra pull on the belts causes them to stretch. Any wet conditions and the belts stretch faster and they start to slip. Most belts run at least $70 a set. The money you can save on belts can buy you a new hydro this year. Lesco has a 48" hydro for $3,499 right now. 17hp kawi,electric start.

03-01-2001, 11:59 PM
What a load of horse crap! I have two Lesco 48 inch belt drives, and one bobcat 48 inch belt drive. I replaced the belts on the bobcat when I bought it used. The Lesco mowers are on the third season with the stock belts. Contrary to what earthscapes says, you do not replace belts every week! I have a brand new set waiting for backup in case one breaks, though. And for the record, all three mowers pull a set of Jungle Wheels with NO ill effects. Let me know how much it costs you when you replace a hydro pump. Several hundred, I can tell you.
I see it like this: when a belt drive breaks, 90 percent of the time, it can be fixed in the field. If a hydro breaks down, it is out of commission while in the shop. Belt drives definately have their place and there is a lot to be said for the simplicity of the machines!

03-02-2001, 12:18 AM
A little belt dressing goes a long ways.

03-02-2001, 12:26 AM
Simplicity is the key. I have a Toro 44" and a snapper 48" If and when that belt stretches all I have to do (once in a blue yard) is take 45 seconds to pull the pin and adjust the belt back out. I have only been mowing for 6 years, and I have never had any problem with any big deck I have ever owned.

03-02-2001, 12:27 AM
I can just about ditto lake G's comments above for the lesco 48 belt.

apparently, based on comments here about other mowers and my own experience with the lesco, the lesco belt system is the best there is out there.


03-02-2001, 12:35 AM
I have never used a Lesco, but I just love my Toro. It might not be the best out there, but it gets the job done. Tell me about the Lesco

03-02-2001, 01:31 AM
I've been using an Exmark hydro since 93 and have never had to replace a hydro motor. The blade belt goes once a season and thats about it. IMHO the "human energy" savings with a hydro is worth the extra money!

03-02-2001, 08:35 AM
I guess what I like the best on my Exmark hydro's is the instant forward to reverse. I had a belt drive that I traded in on my 2nd hydro. I didn't like shifting between forward and reverse all the time. It also seemed that the grips were much harder on my hands than the hydro. Other than that it did fine. I feel it is definately worth the extra for the hydro.

Island Lawn
03-02-2001, 09:17 AM
Yeh, I heard this hydro vs. belt argument before...
There must be something to those hydros.
After demo-ing both, I decided on belts(eXmark 48"MetroHP).
(no sulky...yet...but I like two wheels better)
(jungle wheels sound good)

Reverse assist instead of actual reverse. But the quality of cut seems to be IDENTICAL! The price was the biggest difference for me.
I saved $$$ on the belt drive. And thats the bottom line!
It has been quite an upgrade from my 21" crapsman.
I figure, when I spend the $ for hydro, It will be a sitter!

To me, it was more of a diff in quality of cut between fixed decks and floaters.

Lesco mowers are popular around here, and seem to do alot of people just fine. I looked at them, but my eXmark dealer was 45 min closer and seemed to have a better service dept/record...more helpful too.

03-02-2001, 09:47 AM
JD belt dive 36" w/ jungle wheels-no problems after 1 full year in rain, etc.
Stop the lies!!!

03-02-2001, 10:03 AM
Personal preference - use what you can afford..
I have a hydro, started with a hydro will always have one!
My biggest complaint about the hydro is that it doesnt always track straight like a belt (no matter how you fine tune the drive motors), find myself adding or letting off power to one or the other pumps to keep the line (I like straight lines). Hope this helps.

03-02-2001, 10:06 AM
Guys if I could do it over for my small trim walkbehind that is a scag 36 inch belt drive, It would become a 36 inch great dane surfer, and if you need something bigger then a 36 inch walkbehind do yourself a favor and but a ztr.

lawrence stone
03-02-2001, 10:16 AM
The only problems with belt drives are the mechanically inept owners who have no clue as how to set up and adjust the controls to give optimum performance.

They are slower when going up hill pulling a 60 LB sulky and a large Stone.

I am going to sell off 2 belt drive wb's and buy a new 20hp toro hydro traction unit this spring.

My Toro mower inventory will be as follows this spring:

New 20 hp hydro w/ 1991 62" deck

1995 18hp command belt w/1995 44" deck (pesticide app veh)

1991 16hp magnum belt with 1985 52" deck

1987 16hp magnum belt with 1987 52" deck

All of the above have a jrco attachment bar. Any of my four sulkies fit the above 2-mod 1994 diamond plate turf rider stand ons, a toro standard sit down sulky, and a 48" sit down aerator I am making out of a new tru core unit this spring (delivery will be in 10 days).

I also have three 21" mowers two 1989 commerical self propelled(pre blade brake) and a commerical lawn boy push.

Richard Martin
03-02-2001, 11:24 AM
extra pull on the belts causes them to stretch. Any wet conditions and the belts stretch faster and they start to slip

I'd like to see you stretch the belts on an Exmark. They use the double belt made into one and you could tow a tractor trailer with one of these things. The main difference I see between a hydro and a belt drive is backing ability. I have had both.

03-02-2001, 12:59 PM
Is the next best thing to a hydrosatic drive unit. The easiest way to think of how to compare a variable speed to belt drive is this. Belt drives are like a deck with 1/2 inch spacers. Variable speeds are like a deck with 1/4 inch spacers.

With the variable speed, you can get your machine to run as though the gears are 1mph/1.5/2mph/2.5/3mph/3.5/etc. The major advantage IMHO of a hydro is that because there is independent pumps to run the drive tires, that there is less competiton for hp when mowing under adverse conditions(ie. wet conditions/in the rain/etc.). With the variable speed drive you can almost accomplish this feature.

Just for the record when the rains hit us hard in the spring, the only ones mowing out there with us are the other contrcators who have upgraded or purchased hydros.

Hope this helps.

Hunter Landscape
03-02-2001, 01:18 PM
Thanks for your input Kris.

When the heavy rains come, I feel that my 52" Grasshopper should do well. If it's too wet, then i can just go mud-slinging with the Chevron "tractor" tires on it.


03-02-2001, 01:52 PM
I used my sulky with my 36" exmark wb and it works great. It is just now ready to have the belts tightened just a bit. Stones right, you really only tell a difference when your pulling up a hill.

I would not buy another walkbehind hydro. They are not worth the extra money since I use the Lazer HP. If you have any intention of buying a ZTR anytime in the future don't waste your money on something you will make your backup mower.

03-02-2001, 07:13 PM
Hunter, I have 4 Bobcat wbs, 2 36nch & 248nch. The 48s are Peerless trannys and are far superior to the Dalton gearbox variable speed 36rs. The variable speed axle constantly rotates, there is no neutral, and wears the belts down quite a bit quicker. The Peerless models also have cogged belts wich vertually elliminate slipping. Hope this helps, Russ