Whats the advantage of an electric clutch on a walkbehind mower?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by SoloSulkySurfer, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. SoloSulkySurfer

    SoloSulkySurfer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 224

    I bought an 1998 toro proline and it has an electric clutch, I also have a bobcat wb 1999 and it has a manual belt engage lever. Why put a $200 part on when you could just use the lever. Whats the benifit of an electric clutch?
  2. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    The electric clutch is simple really and I think it probably saves on wear and tear on your belt as it engages faster then a person would do if it were manual. It is also on there for safety as it will disengage if it is connected to a seat switch or any other safety switch...the electric clutch could really be disengaged for anything...tilt sensor, speed sensing, operator presence.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    At least on a Toro if you're manually engaged and the osp switch trips the whole thing shuts down instantly engine and all, but with an electric clutch if you trip it the only thing that stops is the blades (but the engine stays running). Also on certain models it's easier to keep belt tension with an electric clutch, the only other thing I know is all float decks have this clutch and all fixed decks are manual so there's likely something to do with that as well.

    Personally I prefer the manual engages, but...
  4. KGR landscapeing

    KGR landscapeing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,544

    moving parts give you more to screw up. electric means one more wire to chase when it stops working. ya how do floating decks work anyway since i am in the learning mood?
  5. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Nah, i have 2 Ferris 36 fixed deck mowers, a hydro and a gear and they both have an electric clutch.
  6. bigclawn

    bigclawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 413

    Gee--never had to replace a lever!!
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    It's kind of like on a Ztr, the deck swivels somewhat independent of the frame itself... That is, the part where the engine sits and the blade deck are not a solid piece, instead they are joined via an intricate system of suspension frames with pieces of steel and chains that hold one over the other...

    How to describe it, the front casters are joined to the rear frame (the part that holds the engine) via a 'bridged' type of steel tubing, so the wheels are all one piece... Then, chains are attached to the tubing and these chains in turn hold the deck, the deck thus 'hangs' from the frame and now the deck can 'float.'

    What it does for the operator is it eases scalping issues somewhat, keep in mind the deck itself is still solid if it's 48" floating then it's still 4 feet of solid deck... And it only swivels and adjusts by 1-2 inches up-and-down but it does so independent of the frame and thus adjusts itself better to the terrain.

    Also even though it still takes time and doing, but deck height is usually adjusted with pins and clips requiring no tools (but it still takes time, practice, and making sure it's even lol).

    They're heavier, and as a result usually a little slower and they get stuck (like in mud) easier too, at least Wb's the float decks are almost twice as heavy as the fixed decks, but the float is easier to operate. As you said, more moving parts, more parts to break, and they cost more, too. I like them, but I'm married to my fixed decks.

  8. KGR landscapeing

    KGR landscapeing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,544

    i was asking more so as to how the deck is driven if its able to move up and down how do u keep the blades moving from a staionary pulley on the motor i know who the floating works
  9. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    The floaters use a very wide pulley on the rear (Near the engine). This allows the belt to move up and down with the deck.
  10. KGR landscapeing

    KGR landscapeing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,544

    see that was all i needed to know short and to the point. that would make sense beable to give u the angle that you would need thanks

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