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belt drive vs. hydro

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by jajwrigh, Oct 14, 2003.

  1. jajwrigh

    jajwrigh LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Martinsville, IN
    Messages: 1,405

    I am well aware of the major advantages of a hydro walk behind mower, but there is the issue of price. My local dealer has made me paranoid about reliability issues with the belt drives. I had my heart set of a metro hp in the 48". My dealer has been pushing me towards a turf tracer 52" There is a huge difference in price and I want to know in the metro hps are capable of 20-30 hours a week of use without major problems?
  2. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    Your dealer is looking to make a few extra dollars is what it sounds like. Belt drives walk behinds are no less reliable then hydros....just not as good in wet conditions. The advantage of a belt drive is that they are not costly to repair like a hydro. The most expensive thing that can break on the drive system is the tranny. A new tranny is under 200 dollars.
  3. Lazer_Z

    Lazer_Z LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,578

    I just have one question if you want a 48" then why is your dealer pushing you on a 52" ? and to answer your question what ever you chose will stand up to more than the hours your asking with proper care
  4. locutus

    locutus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,266

    I love my exmark belt drive. Before there were hydros, most all commercial mowers were belt drives used upwards of seventy hours a week. Belt drives are easy to work on, most parts are not that expensive and they are very durable. Under what condition will this guy be willing to sell you a belt drive if you want it?
  5. jajwrigh

    jajwrigh LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Martinsville, IN
    Messages: 1,405

  6. jajwrigh

    jajwrigh LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Martinsville, IN
    Messages: 1,405

    He will sell me what ever I want. I am just going to purchase the equipment that I want or go elsewhere. Thanks for your import guys!!
  7. naturescape

    naturescape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,696

    At this point, I'm about ready to get sell my ExM TT 48" and go BACK to beltdrives.

    Sure, hydros are supposed to save all that time turning, but I've used 4 hydros in the last 4 years (by Scag, Snapper, and ExM), and I get divots constantly -- no matter how I turn or how gently. The machines are just too heavy and don't control evenly or smoothly as they are under too much power. Pulling back on one side of a belt drive on each turn used to give me SO much more control and feel.
  8. MTR

    MTR LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,280

    jajwrigh, don't let your dealer pull your legs! I have evidence that the belt WB is as durable as other commercial mowers perhaps last longer besides being so cheap to repair cause there is nothing much to fix! all basic and simple.
    I know friends who use old belt 36" Bunton and a belt 36" Scag cutting 6 days all -day a week for years (with sulkies) and they still use them as "main mowers" even to these days. Reasons? never have to repair or sit at shops like those costly hydro mowers or Z, just cut and make profit is that what they told me, which make me think harder and more why should I even bother looking at those hydro stuff or Ztr since my Metro is doing what is supposed to do and I am very happy with my fixed 36" Metro.
  9. jajwrigh

    jajwrigh LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Martinsville, IN
    Messages: 1,405

    Guys this feedback has been much appreciated...I will rest assure now because I know what to expect out of a belt drive wb!!
  10. naturescape

    naturescape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,696

    Well, I demoed a belt drive ExM Metro the other day, and I must say I believe I was wrong saying I may switch back to them.

    Once you get used to a hydro, it seems pulling back the belt drive mower on turns is just too hard to do. I guess it is a matter of what you get used to. I guess I'll stick to the Exmark hydro. BUT, I do wish that all hydros would automatically counter-rotate on turns, as the Hustler supposedly does. I think automatic counter-rotation (where the mower automatically turns the opposite wheel backwards on turns) is going to be the next big thing on mowers.

    But yes, the belt drive is certainly no less RELIABLE a machine than the hydro.

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