Are Gear Drive w/b's obsolete?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by petekief, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. petekief

    petekief LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    is there a market for them? with hydros priced not all that much higher when you take into consideration the life span of a w/b is there still a commercial market? i think the bigger guys who have several crews might get them because they are cheaper, lighter, hard to hurt, and they don't use them themselves anyway. Am i right or wrong? i want one just because i never had one and want it for ditches i think it would be great where a lighter posi-traction mower would be needed but i'm solo and buying a non-hydro seems - - - i can't justify it. are they obsolete??
  2. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    I think for ditches the hydro would be the way to go....We used to have all gear driven WB's but I got rid of 3 40" gravely WB and one 36" scag and replaced them with one 36" hydro and a 48" hydro with velke's and I haven't looked back, I have had zero production issues, so basically I cut my fleet of WB in half by getting hydro with velke... The guys don't get tired as fast and I have probaly picked up a few hours in labor savings....

    All thinsk considered. if I needed a Used WB for my house, I'd consider a good gear driven belt drive....But it would only see 2 hours of use each month, so it woudl last at least my life time...and it would be worth the 3-400 bucks....

  3. Harvest

    Harvest LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    I use all belt drive walk behinds but i wouldn't in a ditch because they slip easily when the belts get wet. I prefer toro t- bars because you apply the pressure on the belts and not a spring. But currently use an encore exmark and gravely.
  4. Josh.S

    Josh.S LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,085

    My encore 36" is gear driven.. the thing works great, but you can't really mow in the rain, especially not up hills in the rain at all.. the belt would just slip...
  5. lawnwizards

    lawnwizards LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,439

    if you keep everything well adjusted and good belts, a belt driven walkbehind will handle pretty good. i can't say it will handle better then a hydro because i've never owned one, but i can do ditches and hillsides good and keep it straight.
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    I'm surprised they're still around...I think you have to have a grudge against yourself to use one of them all day long.
  7. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,693

    I would guess that there are more than 80% of the WB machines are belt driven on trailers in our area. Those t-bar machines just don't wear out apparently because I see a LOT of those, and everyone looks like it has been to war. And I would guess that less than 50% pull sulkies.
  8. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    dont get me wrong WB wiht belts are not horrible, they do have their place, the ones I sold were 10+ years old and still had life in it sold each one for 500 bucks...I coudlhave gotten more, if I tried....Anything will last long if you take care of it.....
  9. David Grass

    David Grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    I have stated this before, a belt drive T-bar toro in the right hands is great, if you are in the mountains. why? you always keep the deck above in elevation and let it float back on you by barely letting up, I hardly ever actually used reverse, I mean really once every 3 days, maybe in a pinch situation. I miss my T bar, but have H bar Hydro, yes fast and easy but each one behaves different (actually my wife uses the Hustler H bar the most). I use a Walker with 52 SD deck, also much better than any Z in the mountains, so, if you are only in a flat area like FL, well Hydro system is probably great for you, and the Walker's speed may slow you down, but here in the mountains it is hard to beat (note the larger deck for better stability on hills).
  10. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    My only problems with the walker (other than speed) what its tendency to point up hill (like a weather vane) if you started to slip if you were not going across the hill rather than straight up the hill.

    Well I gues I never liked the "bucking bronc" with the walkers either, but that was some thing you learned...

Share This Page