48 gear drive vs 36 hydro

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by bstroman, Dec 17, 2006.

  1. bstroman

    bstroman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 55

    ok, with year in clearance my dealer (husqvarna) has 36 hydro left and will sell it for 2800, which is the same price is a 48 belt drive. I hear everyone complaining about belt drive walk behinds so I am questioning my decision to purchase one. I have a flat yard and all my properties are flat except for one.

    Questions... Will the hydro 36 out perform the 48 gear drive or will the extra deck size make a huge difference over the hydro unit.
     
  2. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 2,994

    I have the Husq 48 belt drive.....go with the 36 hydro.
     
  3. Haulin' Grass

    Haulin' Grass LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 55

    With overlap it's not much different deck size but I'd get the biggest mower for my money. Belts are cheaper to replace than a hydro pump also. My walk behind is a belt but I don't use it much anymore up until a few years ago. I vote for 48 belt drive.
     
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I likely would never buy either of those machines, if for no other reason than the controls are most likely not T-bars.
    If they both had T-bars, I'd take the 48" belt drive.

    I've never in 5 years had any real issues with belt-drives, except one transmission's planetary gear sheared on me, thou it took close to another year before it finally failed completely.

    But then I've always used T-bar controls and I do shift them like they're Formula I's :)
     
  5. prostriper

    prostriper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 336

    You would be just about the same with either mower. The hydro is alot faster on the turnarounds due to instant reverse. I would go with the hydro. You don't have to replace and adjust the belt system. What it lacks in deck size it wil make up for in less maintenance and headaches and increased productivity in the field.
     
  6. Ed Ryder

    Ed Ryder LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 541

    Man oh man. A 36 incher is a toy!

    You got flat ground; go with the 48. Use gloves to save your hands. When you get cash built up, buy a 60" rider.

    You want to mow those lawns as fast as possible.
     
  7. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 2,994

    The 36 will fit in more places...such as gated back yards. Meaning you wouldn't have to use the 21 or turn down the job.
     
  8. DoetschOutdoor

    DoetschOutdoor LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S. IL
    Posts: 1,818

    No one can really answer this question without knowing the sizes, obstacles in yard, etc of your properties. If you have small yards or yards with alot of obstacles, the 36 hydro will outperforme the belt drive by a long shot since you will constantly be needing that instant reverse. But then if you have alot of open space or large lots, the size of the 48 might be better. IMO it just depends on the sizes of your yards and if you need that instant reverse, like I do for all my properties.
     
  9. Rhett

    Rhett LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,071

    The hydro hands down. Had a 36 hydro and 48 belt drive on the trailer at one time. Even on large open flat lawns the 36 out performed the belt. The 48 basically sat on the trailer until replaced with a 48 hydro. Plus the hydro allowed me to get more done in one day without feeling like I had been run thru the wringer.
     
  10. ha305

    ha305 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 68

    Get the hydro, do you have hills? The belt is uncontrolled going down a sharp hill. When the belts get wet they blow.
     

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