View Full Version : hydro walkbehind controls
06-28-2007, 12:52 PM
I ran a couple of searches on this subject and couldn't find much, and I'm sure there's someone else wondering the same thing. I'm looking around and there appear to be some decent deals on used hydro walkbehinds. But I'm looking at the pictures of the handlebars and don't see how the controls work. The one I saw online is an older gravely and has a pistol grip-type lever under each handle, and another lever above each handle. It also has a larger lever in front of the right handlebar. I've attached an image so everyone can see what I see.
I have got to figure the bottom levers (pistol-grips) control the forward speed, squeeze them and the respective wheel slows, like a belt drive. The big lever on the right limits the speed when the pistol grips are released. The wierd little levers on top somehow contol the reverse speed, maybe you push on one of those to do a zero turn.
I'm sure I'm way off base, how do you run and turn one of these?
06-28-2007, 10:49 PM
I've never used that particular machine...the little levers on top of the handles likely are the 'thumb locks' to lock the drive levers in place when you have to step away from the machine.
The way it works is, you release the drive levers to go forward, squeeze to brake, and if you squeeze even more, the machine goes in reverse. That's a zero-turn model, to do a zero turn simply you have one wheel moving forward while the other wheel is going in reverse.
Not sure about the big lever on the right...could be to control the ground speed as you said. I was trying to see what's on the dash on the machine but kind of small to make out.
You should be able to find an owner's manual if you have the model number or serial number.
06-29-2007, 12:06 PM
Thanks for the reply, Hoolie. :drinkup:
The gravely in the picture is one I borrowed from an ebay listing since you could see the controls pretty well. I've seen a few older models locally going for between $500 and $2k, and didn't want to show up for a test drive and get myself hurt :o! I ran a couple of belt-drives last summer (nothing real impressive for what I was willing to spend). It sounds like the dual hydro works about the same, only with the added reversing/zero turn feature.
Something like this could be a pretty sweet replacement for my 30" snapper for about the same as a Lowes/HD lawn tractor.
06-29-2007, 06:34 PM
A hydro will feel a bit 'jumpy' at first compared to a belt-drive...the controls are more sensitive, so it may seem awkward at first but you'll get the hang of it quickly. Otherwise everything is the same. If you can get a good deal I would take it, you'll be happy :drinkup:
Once you get a Hydro you'll never go back to belt drive ever. I tell my new guys its like the clutch on a motorcycle, you got be soft with it. The other post had it on the money. The two top mini levers are the neutral locks. Their will also be some kind of safety lever and the far right bar often is the speed control. The best thing I can say for you is the faster you can dis-engage the neutral locks the better. To start, you should practice dis-engaging in reverse. But, after an hour or so you'll be mowing like second nature. I will never buy a belt drive again. Hydro all the way... LATER...
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