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A little belt drive w/b shopping

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Scag48, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    I called my Exmark dealer who I've been doing business with for years. Sold me my TTHP over 5 years ago, great dealer and I trust them. Anyway, told them I was looking for a belt drive w/b and he told me to look at Gravely instead of Exmark. I can't afford a hydro unless it's used and even then I'd really prefer a 32" to get through gates if I can get one. Anyway, he was telling me that the Gravely units are a much better belt drive than Exmark in regards to belt slippage, overall controlability, etc.. Now, he did say that the Metro wasn't a bad unit, it's just that Gravely was a slightly better belt drive. He sells both and is recommending Gravely for a belt drive, but we both know that a TTHP would be the hands down choice for a hydro. I'm just looking for a few opinions on Gravely belts.

    My other option is to order a 32" Toro belt drive from Alamia. $2400 with free shipping is extremely appealing. I know, I know, support your local dealer, but by the time I pay sales tax the same mower would more than likely be almost $800-900 higher in price. Anyone ever ordered a mower from Alamia?

    Still trying to decide if I really want to get a w/b at all. It would require a trailer and a place to store the trailer, both are expensive options. But I'm burning too much time loading/unloading out of the back of a truck, screwing around with hand tools in the bed of the truck whereas they'd be on racks on the trailer. Plus, if I get the right w/b I could probably mulch and not bag, which would save me at least 2 hours a week of time just driving to and from my dump site, not including the incurred fees for dumping. This doesn't even include the extra time saved by not having to empty a catcher 2-3 per account. I'm thinking even a 32" belt drive could save me around 4 hours a week and if I figure I'm making $40 per on the low end, I'm basically throwing away $160 a week. Multiply that by 4 weeks and I'm in the $640 a month range. Hmmm, seems like I'd probably cover the investment of a trailer and w/b fairly easily. None of these numbers even include the time saved for running a larger mower vs. a 21", just convenience issues I have right now with my current setup. Just thought I'd throw up an update, stir the pot a little.
  2. ironman1994

    ironman1994 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    Scag, I just purchased a used Gravely 32" belt drive and I love it. I dont have but 5 yards that I use it on, but I'm able to knock them out in about half the time now and it has allowed me to feel more confident in trying to pick up another 10 accounts for the year.
  3. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    I dunno, a lot of people love their Toro t-bar belt driven mowers. An LCO just around the corner has like 4 of them, all belt driven.

    They must work pretty well, they seem really popular. I'm itching to try one out, just haven't had the opportunity.
  4. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    The Alamia unit is with pistol grips, I would prefer a T-bar, though. I'm actually headed to a local Toro dealer to see if they have anything on the lot, seems like every dealer here no matter what the brand doesn't stock anything.
  5. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,570

    I have a used 32" Toro with T bar a first for this season. So far I really like it. I haul it in my pickup. Able to get by mowing with out dragging a trailer. Just a pit of planning.
  6. SSS 18734

    SSS 18734 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 182

    I really have no complaints with my 34" Gravely W/B other than the fact that it can be a bit hard to maneuver in tight spots, and that it doesn't turn like a zero turn unless i manhandle it a bit.

    The only time I have ever had the belts slip was after I power washed every square inch of the mower. I have never had mine slip in the rain. Great mower and is great at discharging, especially with double blades. And is very reliable for the 200 or so hours I have had it - starts first pull every time.
  7. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    I think I may have another option. I went to USA Ramp's website and looked at their reciever mounted ramp. Since the tailgate stays down, you get an extra couple feet of bed space and a 500 pound mower that far back wouldn't hurt a truck anyway. I'd still have to solve the problem of keeping hand tools stored in a rack, but I think I could build an expanded metal cage for the truck and bolt racks directly to that. Not having a trailer here is definately an advantage, most places there isn't very much parking, if any, and not having a trailer really, really simplifies the operation that's for sure. Will report my findings after I visit the Toro dealer.
  8. traman

    traman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 712

    my be one of our sponsors up top can help you out power equipment warehouse
  9. sensor419

    sensor419 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 36

    I have a 48 inch Gravely belt drive. It is a great mower. Well built, good cut, like the height adjustment. I would recommend Gravely.
  10. dwost

    dwost LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,666

    Season #6 and still love the mower. I do want to upgrade to a Z but that has nothing to do with the quality of the machine or cut. It's top notch and I'd buy another in a heartbeat.

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