View Full Version : Reverse on WB's

08-04-2002, 06:49 PM
I don't understand the posts I see about WB's that don't have (or have assisted) reverse. I have a 36" Sapper w/12.5 Kawa belt drive and it will back up with me standing on the sulkey....up hill... faster than I want to...and I weigh in at about 275! Is it the hydros that don't reverse, or is it other brands beside Snapper? I'm currently looking into getting a 52" Snapper hydro from a friend, and haven't thought to ask him about reverse. Also, why aren't the Snappers well thought of here? I've been using mine for 2 years (bought used) and haven't had any problems at all. Just curious.

08-04-2002, 06:55 PM
Many of the belt drive WB's won't back up, but they assist you pulling them in reverse.

All the hydro's I know of have a positive reverse.

08-04-2002, 06:57 PM
Thanks for the quick reply!

08-04-2002, 07:33 PM
Its because of the nature of the pulley systems on belt WB's. The tensioning pulley on top only works effective when the belt in moving in the forward direction. If it goes backward the tensioning pulley gets pushed away. For a belt reverse to be effective it would need a second tensioning pulley below each belt. Because reverse is used so infrequently since you must physical shift into that gear instead of simply squeezing the handle like a hydro it makes no sense to complicate the pulley system.

edward hedrick
08-04-2002, 10:56 PM
Some belt drives have an idler for reverse Gravely was one.

I use a Toro T bar. you put tension on belt instead of a spring.

Have no problem in reverse even with a Sulky. Ed

Richard Martin
08-04-2002, 11:07 PM
I recently picked up one of those Gravelys (Pro 40) for $150. The setup Gravely used was kinda klunky and prone to needing repairs often. The mower is, of course, beat but it will do for bush hogging work that comes my way. The neat thing about the mower is the deck discharges from the right and left side at the same time.

08-05-2002, 02:19 AM
My eXmark metro has a reverse assist. You only need to actually kick it into reverse if your having to pull back up a slope. Usually just pull back and go.

What happens if your going with full reverse and it pins you to a wall? It could crush you. If you have a hydro, by letting off the controls it would go forward again. With a belt, you let off the controls and it continues to pin you.

08-06-2002, 12:08 PM
No. you let go of the OPC handles and the mower dies.

Cut 2 Please
08-06-2002, 12:33 PM
I had a 1995 Snapper 42" Hydro WB with a 14hp kaw. I sold it back in May because of a bad wrist injury and did not think I would be able to use it again. I was having way to much pain operating the controls. Since then I have been rehabing my wrist and it is at about 80%. I would have no problem using the controls now and I kick my self several times a day for selling that machine. I guess I was really discouraged at the time. It was a great mower and never gave a minutes problem. I recomend them highly.

08-06-2002, 05:16 PM
Originally posted by Gomow
No. you let go of the OPC handles and the mower dies.


I was in the process of repairing a hydro mower that was dropped off a retaining wall some years ago.

Started it and got pinned between the truck and mower, while I got lucky as my cell phone was keeping it from going back any further. I had let go of the OPC and the linkage rods were out of adj and it kept going. I yelled and one of the guys shut it off.

Rare instant but yes it can happen, and has before on a toro belt drive also going down a hill.

08-06-2002, 06:11 PM
Originally posted by LAWNGODFATHER


I don't think there is any way to eliminate operator error 100%.

if you are going to let a mower pin you then you probably shouldn't be operating it in the fashion that you are.


08-06-2002, 06:19 PM
Originally posted by geogunn
I don't think there is any way to eliminate operator error 100%.

That's right, that's why OPC' are not error proof either.

08-06-2002, 06:20 PM
well, if you let go and it dies normally, you are still pinned. and if you are injured by it, you might not have the ability to move it to unpin yourself.

08-06-2002, 11:02 PM

Actually if the deadman switches (OPC's) are PROPERLY working on a snapper walkbehind mower, the only way you can engage reverse is w/ the throttle in full low AND w/ the blades OFF. The first was a feature that I forgot about, as I had to get a machine back up a steep hill that a rookie operator abandoned. Called the dealer and he reminded me of this important detail. Reason is so operator has better reaction time and should not be able to pin himself/herself against an immovable object, or trip over something and run over themself.