Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, May 12, 2006.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    looking to buy a 36" hydro. can anyone tell me if there are any drawbacks to these vs. belt driven mowers? my operation is based on speed and efficiency, and today after all that rain, my belt drives were struggling. i couldn't mow in 4th and 5th like i usually do, and they had a rough time going up hills (even slight inclines) as well as up the ramp after each lawn. one employee told me that with his former employer they used hydros, and the drawbacks are as follows: there is more tearing on the turns if you're not careful, they are alot heavier, and although they can cut tall wet grass better, they can't be used when it's actually raining. (he said he didn't know why, but his boss told him this, and whenever it started to rain, the hydros went away and they used belts, until it stopped raining.) any input please
  2. Idealtim

    Idealtim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 939

    2more expensive
    3hydro takes alot of power to drive
    4 larger motors=more gas
    5maintenance more expensive
    6repairs are a bit**
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    The only "drawback" of a hydro vs a belt machine bg is that they will cost you an addtional 55 cents per hour to operate in terms of original purchase price over the course of the lifetime of the machine...whoopie f***ing doo. But, you will save in terms of productivity time and comfort at the end of the day. You've been to my shop and seen my equipment...did you see any belt WB's lately?
  4. Quail Creek LC

    Quail Creek LC LawnSite Member
    from IOWA
    Messages: 155

    They cost more, but are well worth it in the end. Much more efficient, less wear and tear on the body. As far as tearing up grass, I leave more marks with a belt drive than a hydro. Why couldnt you run a hydro in the rain?? I do all the time with 0 problems.
  5. Mr Ricochet

    Mr Ricochet LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    Mr Gedd, It is not very often that I can add some input as I am solo and only owned a 36 and 48 belt Exmark.............. I demoed a 48 Exmark TTHP hydro on 10-15 properties last week and, was truly amazed at what can be done with a hydro. You simply NEVER stop moving when using a hydro, always going forward until you want to go in reverse and then with a squeeze of the handles your going backwards then, release the handles your going forward. Awsome, especially if you do a lot of 8000 sq ft props. You will be much quicker with the hydro................................You mentioned that you cut in 4th or 5th gear. I am assuming you use a sulky. I use a Proslide with my 48 belt and, was wondering how I would handle that with the hydro as, you reduce speed with the lever in between the handles taking one hand off of the handle bar. With the belt you just shift with your knee never taking your hands off the bars. I don't know if that would be a problem..............Anyway, I was so impressed with the hydro that instead of buying the WB, I am going to save a little more and get a rider. You won't be sorry if you buy a hydro.
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Mr. Gedd??? :laugh:
  7. Mr Ricochet

    Mr Ricochet LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    Yes Mr Father. I hope I didn't offend Mr Gedd.:)
  8. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    LOL...you'll find out soon enough that bg is one of out most entertaining and colorful members. I see you are fairly new to LS...welcome.
  9. 6'7 330

    6'7 330 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,821

    Whoever said hydros can’t mow in the rain must have had brain stem drain. The ONLY thing any thing near a drawback would be price. The hydros give you a positive true reserve, and your employees less operator fatigue. No slipping belts in wet conditions, and productivity increases are well worth investing in a hydro.
  10. PGA

    PGA LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    If your looking to save time and be more efficent then you wont beat a hydro. I cant see any reason besides price that any would reccomend a belt driven mower.

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