Belt Drive vs. Hydro

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by shawes, Jul 12, 2004.

  1. shawes

    shawes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Looking to purchase a 36 walk-behind to mow my yard and perhaps a few more yards as a little side business. Is it necessary to spend the money on the hydro. What are the benefits of the hydro vs. the belt drive. Thanks
  2. jaguar4000

    jaguar4000 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    belt drive will do you just fine! Not worth the extra for hydro unless maybe you are in business full time and even then I believe most are using belt drives unless maybe the walk behind is there main mower in use all day every day. I have owned 2 belt drives myself, a Gravely Pro 50 w/ 18 kohler and a Bob-cat 36 w/ 12.5 kaw. They were both great machines and put many hours on both. As I am no longer in the business except for equipment I run on a tree farm I am also shopping for a belt drive 36 like yourself for my own personal lawn. Own a ransomes jag w/ 61 deck used on tree farm, but way too big for my home lawn.
    Deciding b/w Exmark 36 w/ 12.5 kaw or scag 36 w/ 15 kohler. Can get Exmark for 2,200 or scag for 2,300. Checked out the Exmark today- just gotta decide- Both are great mowers. Would go w/ a Bob-Cat but too much extra cash for my own lawn, and frankly if I was in the biz full time would stay w/ the Exmark or scag. A Gravely would do you just as well too. Just make sure you have service w/ your dealer- GOOD LUCK!
  3. Mico Landscaping design

    Mico Landscaping design LawnSite Member
    Messages: 238

    I have tried the hydro's i dont care for them cuz there so dam jumpy .. I stick with the belt driven one before any thing :)

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    If you have hills to mow on than I would see about demo-ing a hydro. Belt will not go backwards. They have an reverse gear but it is only an assist. Also will over run going down a hill. A hydro will be faster to turn and reverse. If you have an open flat lot than the belt will be fine but try to demo them both. I have a 48 belt and a 36 hydro and on my small to mid size lots the 36 is faster because it is more maneuverable. If you were in business than I would say hydro for sure.
  5. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    if you are only going to mow a few yards, part time you will not be able to afford a HYDRO.

  6. SouthernFried

    SouthernFried LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    Things break...belts are easy to replace.

    Hydros great for rainy areas tho...less belt slippage :)
  7. LawnMower

    LawnMower LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    Iv had both, and I would never go back to a belt drive. They slip in the rain, especially if you have a sulky that you ride on . You cant pack up. Well you just need to shift the thing into revers and push down on the hand levers. Its about as awkward as meeting your girl friends parents. The inside wheel always dose a squerly whirly when you turn. The inside wheel cant turn back-wards, to spin the mower like a hydro. It stays put and digs the grass.

    But like some of the others said, there in expensive, and on long flat yards there fine.

    I love my hydro because I can maneuver the mower like I can maneuver my own body. It backs up with its own power with out man handing the machine. You can speed up and slow down or go back wards just by the levers that your hands are already on. There only jerky when your first learning how to use the machine. Like anything, ones you get used to it, you become smooth.

    If I had to make a choice when I was starting out. I would have spent a little more on the hydro, just so I could go under trees and bushes.Hydros can do the trim a lot faster so it saves time and money.

    Good luck

  8. chefdrp

    chefdrp LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,384

    I have a hydro. Couldnt even think about using a gear.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I like hydros over belt drive (but I own a belt drive) If your just doing a couple yards a week there's no need to spend a $1000 or more extra.

    Hydros are great, belts slip, but we are tough guys and can deal with that sort of thing.
  10. dlandscaping

    dlandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 835

    I have toro t-bars belts and their reverse is a true reverse not just an assist. Going down hills can be handled with gear, you just have to almost brake the machine. A hydro would be nice, but until I decide I want a sulky I will not buy one.

Share This Page