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Hydro v. Belt Drive

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Jmill88, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. Jmill88

    Jmill88 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 129

    I am planning on starting part time next year and am going to buy a 36" walk behind to start. This is probably a stupid question, but can you guys explain the big differences between these two. Are hydros worth the extra expense?
    I am thinking of getting a quick 36 or a used Exmark or Toro. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
  2. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,612

    From what I understand, Belt drives are the same. With Hydros, you dont get slipping because there are no belts to get wet. This seems enough to me because I like to start early in the morning when dew is still on the ground. Hills would be a challenge to with slipping belts.
    I plan to try and demo bolt before a decision.
  3. All_Toro_4ME

    All_Toro_4ME LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,578

    Big difference between the two? Reverse. Yea seriously, you get reverse assist on gear/belt drive walkbehind mowers. Takes more practice when mowing so you dont tear the turf. With hydro, you have instant reverse, no shifting gears for faster speed, no slippage of belts or drive belts to replace. Oh yea, another big difference between the two, the price. Hydros are the cream of the crop when compared to belt/gear drive units. But at the end of the day, the belt drive/gear unit will get the job done just as well, might wear you out a little more though.
  4. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Posts: 1,383

    On my Toro 36" belt drive, I have never had a problem with belts slipping unless I just washed the mower. Yesterday, I was mowing in the rain and no problem.

    The hydro's are superior though. It's the instant reverse that is the biggest bonus over belt drives.

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Posts: 5,225

    i mow hills in the rain no problem with my belt but after a long day in the hot sun a belt drive will wear you out
  6. MileHigh

    MileHigh LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,466

    The same?...WHAT???

    Belt and hydros arent even in the same league. Hydros have instant reverse, no belt slippage when jumping curbs, hills or when wet. And the biggest thing way less user fatigue. Plus if your concerned about efficiency which is money in my eyes...belt's pull sulky's like crap...or at least nothing like DUAL hydro pumps to wheel motors to much bigger drive tires than your belt.

    I had to mow in the rain today...My belt drive metro barely makes it in days like this...When it's rainy I'll whip out the 21" before that ARSE BUSTING belt drive comes off the trailer. The belt sometimes will slip going up the trailer ramp....I HATE BELT DRIVE..and when I see them...I always laugh a little and am so glad that I least I have a couple of hydros to make my day much smoother.

    And I have found that hydros are so much faster in reaction and smoothness. I get beat up when using my belt drive...It feels like a darn aerator compared to my hydros...and I'm talking about a 2007 Exmark.
  7. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,612

    Thats why I mentioned the Hydro not haveing belts to get wet. :hammerhead:
  8. Mike's LawnCare Landscape

    Mike's LawnCare Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 488

    I like the hydroes better make sure and get one with 2 pumps not 1 if you can get it in the size your looking for !!
  9. lawnbandit

    lawnbandit LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    save your money. you'll just me a low baller...how about you start out window cleaning or picking up dog crap. thanks:drinkup:
  10. Jmill88

    Jmill88 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 129

    Nice. No wonder customers don't appreciate those that work in this industry.

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