$3000 hydro vs. $2000 belt '36 WB?


LawnSite Member

I am home owner and has a 3/4 acre yard.

I am deciding to get a new '36 WB. I am trying to decide whether to spend

~ $2200 for a toro proline, belt drive, fix deck 12.5 kaw, T bar


~ $3100 for a 2003 gravely hydro fix deck, 15 kaw, with pistol grip (discountinued model) I think.

I am not sure I can justify the extra $1000 just for home use...what do you think?


LawnSite Fanatic
Memphis, TN
Get the Toro. Its a better deal for a homeowner. You don't need to spend the extra just to have a hydro.


LawnSite Member
Clinton, NJ
I too am a homeowner and was on the fence with the belt and hydro. I wound up buying an Exmark TTHP 48” hydro for my 1 acre. For me I liked the easy maneuverability of instant reverse and ease of making a turn. Since I’m not going to buy a mower for a very long time I decided to buy what I wanted. The best piece of advice is demo both and see for your self.



LawnSite Senior Member
Hershey, Pa
I'd say get the belt drive either one is nice and better than a 21" that most homeowners use!


LawnSite Member

Thanks for all your replies.

I think hydros are just too much money to spend. let's say if I paid $3200 for a mower, with that money, I can probably hire someone to cut my lawn for 3 to 4 yrs (??) This is not counting time spent on mowing and maintenace, etc.

I think I am going to go with a belt drive 48, instead of 36.

I have 3/4 acre and pretty flat land. There are trees all around but not too bad. I am buying a commercial mower to try to cut down on mowing time and get a good cut. My current Honda rider (9 hp) with 30' deck takes me about 2 - 2 1/2 hrs with bagging.

The honda does not cut very nicely (a lot of scalping). I think it simply does not have enough blade speed....this is no matter how sharp the blades are or how slow I go.

I am consider either Toro T bar (14 KAW from last year, but sold as new); Toro pistol (15 KAW, new from internet) or a slightly used Exmark 48 (15 KAW from a private guy). KAW engines seem to start easier becuase they are twin cycles, based on what I read.

Questions about 48 WBs -

1. Can a small guy (<140 lbs) like me handle a 48? It seems huge!!

2. Do they cut nicely?

Thanks again for the replies.


LawnSite Bronze Member
North Jersey
I bought myself a used Scag 36 and I had a little trouble getting use to it at first, but after a while, it became very easy to manuver. A 48 will take some getting used to(ie. how to make a proper turn without leaving marks), maybe go to your local dealer and ask to demo one of their mowers. Do they cut nicely? Yes if you maintain and take proper procedures to get your mower ready to cut (blade height etc) you will have a gorgeous lawn. You might not even need a stripping kit. Good luck with it. What part of NJ are you, I would be more then glad to help you select the right dealer and mower.

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