Belt drive truths

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Scag48, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    I didn't think I'd ever get to this point, but I'd like to get a 36" w/b for my new venture. The last w/b I bought was an Exmark TTHP 36" and have believed that hydro is the only way to go, definately much easier to maneuver, maintain, etc.. But, as I'm starting up again, I'm pretty strapped for cash. I realize it takes money to make money, but until I get off the ground the loan I'm already taking is about as much as I want to handle. So, I've been finding some used Exmark belt drives on craigslist for around $1,000. I work in the Seattle area, that equates to rain most of the time, are belt drives actually completely worthless if it's raining? Basically I'm looking for someone to completely talk me out of a 36" belt drive, I really don't want to use a 21" as a main mower, but if that's what it takes I guess there's no way around it, I hate buying equipment that costs me more time than it should.
  2. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,366

    We had pretty good luck with Scag belt drives and bad luck with the Snappers. We would get build up in the wheel pulleys but maybe they have made some changes in the last 5 years. Wet conditions are tough with belts.
  3. Palmer'sLS

    Palmer'sLS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 535

    its been my experience with the 48" belt drive i had, that even when the belts were soaked, it would still pull me with a proslide. Now that said, i wasnt able to turn smoothly, but i never had to "call it a day" due to the belts not pulling.....hydros are nice tho:walking: :walking: :walking:
  4. jlouki01

    jlouki01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    A belt drive is completely useless in the rain. It's even more useless if the ground is real wet and it slings muddy water up on the belts. Add a sulky to that mess and you have yourself a real mess....
  5. SSS 18734

    SSS 18734 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    My 34" Gravely w/b belt drive does great in the rain. I can drive my trailer around in a downpour, and still get up the 30 degree angle of a driveway to get it in the garage. The only way I have gotten the belts to slip was right after washing it with the hose.

    I wouldn't want to use a sulky in the rain, though.
  6. traman

    traman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 712

    you have a cat 216 and a cat303cr and we are having a problem spending the money for a hydro???? stop it your killing me. to answer the question if am mowing and it starts raining, i usually don't have any trouble mowing buy if the mower is just siting outside in the rain and then i try to mow ,thats when the belts slip
  7. Shades of Green LService

    Shades of Green LService LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,011

    If you have a lot of rain i would NOT get a belt driven WB. Trust me you'll be using curse words you never thought you knew. Stick w/ Hydro.
  8. jeffscap

    jeffscap LawnSite Member
    Male, from Western New York
    Messages: 160

    There are about 196 threads on this subject with alot of input.Do a search and read some other post.IMO hydros are the best with the rain factor considered.If you mow some sloped areas when it's wet, the belts aren't your best friend while trying to complete your job.It's worth it in the long run to go hydro. We have all hydro machines and seems to work the best for us.Way back in one of those post someone said, and I quote, "Belts are for the guy with a hobby-Money is made with a hydro.":waving:
  9. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Not mine, they both belong to my old man.

    I know the hydro is the better machine, it's obvious, I've had one and will never argue that the choice should be obvious if you can afford a hydro. But, I don't have my TTHP anymore and now that I'm at college I'm on a shoestring budget until I can get this maintenance business generating some decent figures.
  10. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    Even if you do start to encounter a slipage problem the cure is usually pretty simple. Just replace the drive belts. They'll usually only slip in the wet if the belts aren't adjusted properly or they are glazed.

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