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View Full Version : how does a hydro walkbehind work?


stevesmowing
10-10-2004, 08:43 AM
Right now I have a belt drive w/b and was wondering how a hydro operates as far as the pistol grip controls. How do you change speed, reverse etc.

yz250fpilot
10-10-2004, 09:42 AM
Right now I have a belt drive w/b and was wondering how a hydro operates as far as the pistol grip controls. How do you change speed, reverse etc.


On a hydro w/b, all speeds in forward and reverse, after setting the max speed, are controlled by the levers without ever taking your hands off the grips.

Initially, you set a lever for your maximum speed desired. After that, the left and right hand levers, when fully released, drive the respective wheel at the max speed you have set by the lever. Pulling the levers inward reduces the speed at the respective wheel. There is a neutral point for the hand levers, and when each lever is pulled past that, closer to the hand grip, the respective wheel starts to turn in reverse.

Steve

geogunn
10-10-2004, 10:17 AM
stevesmow--that is a good description. but there are other things to know that are important.

for example, there is a true reverse on the hydro which can be quite nice.

but other things, such as the fact that there is no such thing as "neutral" with a hydro. the neutral on a belt unit to me is pulling the handle a bit so that the belt quits pulling. a little more squeeze and you tap the brake. this initiates the turn and my unit turns nicely and just that easily.

with the hydro, you have to do a longer turn or a Y turn to keep the inside wheel turning. otherwise, you tear up the grass and make a "turn divot".

there are advantages to both drive systems with the most KUDOS going to the hydro.

GEO

Fareway Lawncare
10-10-2004, 11:09 AM
Hydro has neutral position....& turns faster...one wheel spins forward...one back...Full Control Over both wheel independant of each other in Forward & Reverse....

There is no performance "advantage" to belts.

grassworks
10-10-2004, 11:48 AM
I used belt drive walk behinds for 10 years before my first Hydro. Could not convince me thier was enough difference to warrent the cost. After finally purchasing and using the Hydro for 2 days I could no longer use a belt drive again.

PMLAWN
10-10-2004, 12:08 PM
Go to a dealer and demo a hydro. That is the best way to tell how they work. I have both types and for my work the hydro is the way to go. For me the biggest concern is the lack of true reverse and the instant reverse for smaller properties. I will not buy any more belts as the hydro units cost less. Yes you read that right--The hydro units cost less to own and operate because you are much more productive with them. The price is more but you will make that up over the years that you will be using them so the cost is less. I don't believe anybody can prove that a belt can be as productive as a hydro unless you never stop or turn or use the unit on hills. Even if you factor in maintenance costs the hydro units are a better buy for me.

MTR
10-10-2004, 12:30 PM
Right now I have a belt drive w/b and was wondering how a hydro operates as far as the pistol grip controls. How do you change speed, reverse etc.

I have both worlds, 36" eXmark Metro and 52" eXmark TTHP, the two is "completlely" different beasts with most of favor in the TTHP. If not because of hydro I would not be able to expand my biz base at all, the Metro belt was tiring me to death with all the volume, but as soon as I acquired the TTHP, I am able to pick up left and right new accounts and make some serious money. The reverse factor alone on Hydro system is worth priceless when you doing at least 10 lawns a day. I would not suggest anyone to buy a belt WB cause it is pretty much useless except for a backup on downtime or repair for your main hydro unit. (Belt WB is not a good backup either, it sucks to cut your accounts with it, I am trying to replace my belt with another Hydro WB as soon as money allowed).

stevesmowing
10-10-2004, 05:36 PM
do you hands get less tired using a hydro than a belt with pistol grips?

KINGjosh
10-10-2004, 06:01 PM
I am currently using belt Wb's and it is pretty tiring after bout doing 15 lawns a day. Although i can say my dam forearms and hand musles grew enourmously after the first year. I cant wait to get my first hydro. Looking to get a 48-52" turf tracer or a 52"Z rider. Kinda sick of velkies and sulkys

geogunn
10-10-2004, 11:46 PM
do you hands get less tired using a hydro than a belt with pistol grips?

no. your hands suffer more abuse. T-bar or hustler style are options.

GEO

Fareway Lawncare
10-11-2004, 12:26 AM
BumpKiss, Belts will kill every Part of Your Body More than a Hydro...T-Bar's Suck w/Hydros...

Geo...Arn't you the Guy that said Hydros have no Neutral Position ?

Neutral either Wheel or Both & have full control of the Other...


Have you Ever Run a Hydro ?

HOOLIE
10-11-2004, 12:39 AM
Yeah, I don't see a problem with divots with a hydro. I mean, it's got zero-turn, you're not gonna tear the grass up. I'm actually mowing faster with the new hydro without a velke because I don't have to cut as many border passes due to the zero-turn. And the reverse makes it easy to get in and out of tight spots, reducing the amount of trimming.

MTR
10-11-2004, 01:56 AM
do you hands get less tired using a hydro than a belt with pistol grips?

Don't get a pistol system regardless of hydro or belt!
Hustler's H bar or eXmark 's ECS and Stander Quad bar are the best control in the market that allow you to mow from 8 am till 5 pm without insidiously harming your arm and hands...
I love ECS and Quad bar of Stander...they are the best.

stevesmowing
10-11-2004, 08:58 AM
i am looking at a used hydro which has pistol. However for $200 there is a kit on ebay to upgrade to ecs. Why do you think ecs is better?

geogunn
10-11-2004, 09:35 AM
BumpKiss, Belts will kill every Part of Your Body More than a Hydro...T-Bar's Suck w/Hydros...

Geo...Arn't you the Guy that said Hydros have no Neutral Position ?



...there is no such thing as "neutral" with a hydro.

yup. I said that. but I can see that it was poorly worded.

what I meant was when I start a turn with my belt unit, the inside wheel kinda goes to neutral and that isn't so with a hydro. if the hydro goes to the neutral position while turning, you got a turn divot.

and yes, fareway, I have quite a bit of time on a hydro unit.

BTW fareway, who are you calling BUMPKISS? if it's me, watch the name calling, *******.

GEO

KathysLGC
10-11-2004, 10:03 AM
Hand position. The ECS is a more natural position then standard pistol grips but the ECS is pistol grip. I've never had any issues with my arms getting tired from using the pistol grips all day. I do notice with the ECS I often hit the nuetral lock with my thumb knuckle and it's a pain. Also with the ECS your hands are closer together which helps protect them and for me on a Velke, it helps me turn easier.

Fareway Lawncare
10-11-2004, 10:32 AM
If the inside wheel on a hydro goes into neutral while turning then You Don't Know how to Operate a Hydro....

you can make those wheels do Whatever You Want...Whenever you Want...

Gravely_Man
10-11-2004, 11:05 AM
A lot ot great information in here. Go to a dealer and demo a hydro for yourself and you will see the difference.


Gravely_Man

geogunn
10-11-2004, 11:30 AM
If the inside wheel on a hydro goes into neutral while turning then You Don't Know how to Operate a Hydro....

fareway--let me translate for you. making a turn divot "equals" not knowing how to operate a hydro.


GEO :dizzy:

stevesmowing
10-11-2004, 12:02 PM
do you turn a hydro w/b like you do a belt w/b or like u do a ztr rider?

MTR
10-11-2004, 12:25 PM
do you turn a hydro w/b like you do a belt w/b or like u do a ztr rider?


Have you seen an A1 Abram Tank in Iraq attacking?
Have you watched it when turning left or right? They are the best explanation of TRUE zero turn, each side goes in different direction and so easy to watch. It is the same principle that you operate your Z or a Hydro WB, how simple as that.

as for question, a hydro can turn like belt only if you want to operate that way but the belt will never never operate the way hydro system works cause they are no match, they are machine of the past as time progress...less and less its system will be used. Only hydro and so on.

KathysLGC
10-11-2004, 01:26 PM
Yes a hydro turn very similar to a belt drive. To make a left turn with a belt drive you squeeze the left pistol grip to loosen the belt tension so that wheel is free-wheel and the right wheel will carry the mower thru the turn. (I used to pull on the left side so as to not make a divot or just do a 3 point turn)
With a hydro to make a left hand turn you squeeze the left pistol,ECS, Etc. grip past the neutral point to make that wheel go in reverse which gives you a zero turn. If you want to see it first hand grab your home cheapo lawn push mower, push the handle bar down so only the rear wheels are on the ground and turn the mower left and right. You'll see the wheels going in the opposite direction.