Just today I told my co-worker how much I like our new Exmark HP.....built like a tank, no maintenance issues, etc. Then snap, the deck belt broke today at 98 hours. Bad Karma? All the pulleys, tensioners, seem o.k.. No rubbing wear on the belt. In two 18 inch long sections, the belt has 1/8 inch diameter nicks in the fabric casing on the belt side,each about 4 inches apart. It is at one of these nicks that the belt snapped in two. At each "nick", if I wiggle the belt sideways, the interior cords seem to be broke. I did do some foolish stuff today trying to beat an on-coming storm. I mowed faster, more wreckless, and bounced around just a bit. I mowed for a few minutes with the deck in travel (highest) setting. "Idiot", as Napoleon Dynamite would say. I mowed over some pine cones and small branches (finger size) that fell in a bad windstorm a few weeks ago. The dealer says one of the most common reasons for belts to break are "sticks" thrown up into the belt area. I want to rule out mechanical problems and I believe this was a fluke, poop happens thing. Any opinions besides "slow down, idiot"???? Haste makes waste. As always, thanks!