PDA

View Full Version : advantages of hydro vs. gear


jhawk71
07-05-2002, 11:20 PM
On a walkbehind what are the advantages of hydro vs. gear? The only difference that I know of is you dont have to shift. Well i am new to the buisness so i was just wandering.
Jhawk71

Firefighter Dave
07-06-2002, 04:19 PM
I am also new and have been looking at the differances in mowers. I started my own business this year (just using a redneck 21" push mower) but want to really dig in next year. I have pinned my choice down to the Exmark HP 48". This is a Belt driven mower. The differances that I found out was price... about $3,000 more. The only thing the sales man said was that thier could be a lot of slipping of the belt if the grass is wet. But the only time it would slip is if you were trying to go all out. You'll just have to cut a bit slower or cut when the grass drys some more. I am not looking to make a career out of this business. This is something I do on the side. But if your going to be rushing to one job to another you might want to get the hydro drive so you don't have to wait for the dew to dry.


Dave

:blob2:

rodfather
07-06-2002, 05:03 PM
and the answer is...THE WORLD

odin
07-06-2002, 05:30 PM
The difference is like night and day the hydro is better all the way round.
When you back up the reverse is instant and also after a 12 hour day you will be less tired then when driveing a belt drive.
A hydro wont slip like a belt drive in wet conditions and the hydro is just much more productive.
If a belt drive is all you can afford it is still a good choice but wont be as productive as its hydro cousin would be.

MOW ED
07-06-2002, 07:56 PM
Speed
time=money

simple formula.
Mow faster make mow money.

Hydro is the only way to go. No shifting, slipping drive belts, higher resale and better reliability. Don't look at price, its a piece of machinery. You buy it to make money. You will sell it and make money.

Doc Pete
07-06-2002, 10:00 PM
Originally posted by Firefighter Dave
I am also new and have been looking at the differances in mowers. I started my own business this year (just using a redneck 21" push mower) but want to really dig in next year. I have pinned my choice down to the Exmark HP 48". This is a Belt driven mower. The differances that I found out was price... about $3,000 more. The only thing the sales man said was that thier could be a lot of slipping of the belt if the grass is wet.
:blob2:

Dave,
First, find another Dealer. That's your best advice. Second, do your own research, since even many Landscapers aren't that savy. Naturally, as has been already said, a hydro is a much better machine. You'll make 15/25% more money with a hydro. Last, if you really do your homework, you'll refuse to settle on Pistol grips. I'd like to see you with a Hustler, but just don't do the same thing the "other guy's" are doing and buy something with pistol grips. Like my dad says, "50,000,00 Frechmen don't make it right"..... In other words, just cause almost everyone else has pistol grips, doesn't mean "YOU" have to.......
Pete

Firefighter Dave
07-06-2002, 10:32 PM
Thank you all for your input. Don't get me wrong, I do know that a Hydro is better, I really do. Like I said I am new to the business (side business from being a fulltime firefighter) and want to start off slow and inexpensive. This year I started off doing lawns in a modular community, next year I want to do small residential, maybe an acre or two. Maybe only 30 a cut, so I really think that the belt will be fine to test the waters. Obviously hydro will be in my future if my business takes off.

Dave

:blob2:

Tony Harrell
07-07-2002, 07:23 AM
You can get an eXmark belt drive for around 2k. It's a good machine and simple to work on. I'll probably keep my belt drive as a backup when I move up to the hydros.

Doc Pete
07-07-2002, 08:59 AM
Originally posted by Firefighter Dave
Thank you all for your input. Don't get me wrong, I do know that a Hydro is better, I really do. Like I said I am new to the business (side business from being a fulltime firefighter) and want to start off slow and inexpensive. This year I started off doing lawns in a modular community, next year I want to do small residential, maybe an acre or two. Maybe only 30 a cut, so I really think that the belt will be fine to test the waters. Obviously hydro will be in my future if my business takes off.

Dave

:blob2:

Not to be an old fuddy duddy, but you asked for our helped and you've already made up your mind. You've already done this for a year, so you should know if you want to do it or not. Actually, buying a belt drive pistol grip machine may bother your hands so much you may stop mowing altogether.
As we all say, after you spend some time pulling that big belt drive backwards when it's in tight places in the middle of a heatwave, and getting sticky belts from the morning dew that make the belts grab, you'll be kicking yourself for not getting the hydro. I did the belt drive thing for 4 years, and now won't run a belt drive regardless of what someone would pay me.

Pete

MOW ED
07-07-2002, 09:31 AM
Dave,
I was in your shoes 7 years ago and this site was not here for me to use. I am a fulltime firefighter also. I know how much time you have and it lends itself well to doing lawns which I really like also.
I started out with a Toro lawn tractor not knowing any better. I demolished that in about a year and a half with only 10 customers. After I bought a Walker things went great guns. I also had to buy a walkbehind for real wet days. ( I didn't have a Walker 52"SD then). I didn't think I could afford it but found out that if I didn't have it I was losing time and money.
I tried Scag and Snapper and a few others but it was all done when I tried the Toro Hydro with the T-Bar.

You have to get over the "I think I'll save a few bucks and see if the business takes off" mentality. It WILL take off and you WILL be kickin your ***** for not spending the little extra in the beginning.

You will do as you want but I will be another to tell you not to go cheap off the bat. It makes the job less enjoyable when you have something that isn't what you expected.

Turfdude
07-07-2002, 04:35 PM
Personally, I think hydros should be purchased on 48's & up. You can easily weild a 36" belt around turns as fast as the hydro. The only exception MAY be making a turn up a hill if there is a fence or other stationary object at the botom of the hill and you're doing a verticle mow. But there are ways around that...

You should never have to use reverse or shift gears on a belt drive machine anyway. As far as the pistol grips, you can always adjust the tension, or find a smaller spring if it bothers you. The key w/ turns is to just squeeze enough to stop belts from driving but not enough to engage brake, then just pull machine back 1/4 turn and ease back out on brake. You basically can mimick a zero turn this way w/ not a whole lot of effort. I did this for many years w/ 48 and 52 belt drives. If you're looking for hydro - most guys wind up getting velkes, jungle wheels, proslides, etc. My opinion - the extra wheel tracks look like S**T so go for a Stander!

These machines really mow well and take up very little trailer space.

Bob

MOOSE
07-07-2002, 05:45 PM
Firefighter Dave, Welcome to the site... The other guys are RIGHT. Hydro all the way, cut faster and make more money.

How about u cut my lawn since u do modular community. U mow in my community. I hate to bring the equipment home.

Anyways, research some of the mowers out there. Exmark makes a good hydro and it's the only way to go.

jhawk71
07-08-2002, 10:57 AM
THanks guys i am not going to buy another mower for a while but when i do i will probally get a 48 wright stander, yet i am not for sure so thats why i am asking you. I have a cousin who has a wright stander and he loves it so i know one person likes it.
Jhawk71

turfman33
07-08-2002, 04:29 PM
I have a JD belt drive. Slips like crazy when wet. I have to get off the Velky, push it until it engages then jump back on. Even at slow speed. I wish I would of known about Hydro before I got the belt.

Steve

jhawk71
07-08-2002, 06:52 PM
I have a scag belt drive the belt never slip just my wrist will hurt when i am done.
Jhawk71

J. Davis
07-08-2002, 08:05 PM
I have a Toro SFS 44 inch belt drive with the Kaw. 15 horse and it work great in wet or dry conditions. (No pistle grips...T bar) The difference between the hydro and the belt was around $2000 dollors...That is alot of money to spend to increase the speed of the hydro machines and not to change gears, would rather spend the extra money on a ZTR machine (Toro or others) and keep the belt drive for the back-up machine or for hills or other areas that need the slow care of a mid size walk-behind...:D

gogetter
07-08-2002, 11:48 PM
Let's not forget fatigue! On a hot day I get very fatigued from having to pull back on the handles of my 36" belt drive on every turn!
I just started using a hydro and love the way it turns with NO effort. Legs and hands are much less tired at end of day.

Firefighter Dave
07-19-2002, 11:59 PM
WOW WOW WOW WOW!!!

Okay so I was wrong to think to go with a Belt Drive instead of a Hydro. I tested a Hydro today in a parking lot of all places... Boy was it cool!! Exmark Tacer HP 48". Then the sales man had me just go through the motions on the Belt drive.... that shifter with the knee thing just SUCKS!!!! So it's well worth the extra $1,000 for a Hydro... $4,999, can see paying an extra $200.00 for an electric starter.

WHY DIDN'T YOU GUYS TELL ME I WAS OUT OF MY MIND FOR WANTING THAT BELT DRIVE? WHY DOES ANYONE WANT THAT STUIPID BELT DRIVE?

Dave

:blob2: :blob2:

Ax Man
07-20-2002, 06:22 AM
Cause they like jumping over dollars to pick up nickles.
I'm so glad I found this site, to get opinions from you other guinea pigs!

Doc Pete
07-20-2002, 08:49 AM
Originally posted by Firefighter Dave
WOW WOW WOW WOW!!!

WHY DIDN'T YOU GUYS TELL ME I WAS OUT OF MY MIND FOR WANTING THAT BELT DRIVE? WHY DOES ANYONE WANT THAT STUIPID BELT DRIVE?

Well, if you like the Tracer, a Hustler Hydro WB is that much better than the Tracer and less money......... And, if you don't go try a Hustler, you'll "Still" be out of your mind for not trying it before you buy..........:p
Don't forget, you'll still have pistol grips, the Hustler has none, and does everything autmatically..... Come on, you're ready to advance, go all the way..........

SLS
07-20-2002, 09:19 AM
Exmark Turf Tracer, eh? :D

A proven, durable, exceptionally great cutting machine.

It is a time proven winner. :)

I won't be trading mine in anytime soon...it's sweet!

Firefighter Dave
07-20-2002, 10:34 AM
Yeah... I was really impressed with it... Now if I can get a stupid trailer pick out...waiting to hear from one dealer.... I found out I can goto to Wells Cargo and pick up the trailer on my own and it would be less expensive than picking up the dealer, hence no shipping charge.

Dave

:blob2: :blob2:

Darryl G
07-20-2002, 11:18 PM
Dave - I have an Exmark Turf Tracer HP 48 and love it. I went with the ECS, 17 Kawi and electric start for $4,900. I added the Trimmer Trap Bull Rider 2 wheel, caster-type, stand-up sulky, which I really like. It turns it into a stander. What I can't understand is why a $5,000 machine doesn't come with an hour meter!