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Belt drives vs. Hydrostatic - pros & cons

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Budman, Apr 4, 2002.

  1. Budman

    Budman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    Question - are belt drives more difficult to manuever, about the same, or less difficult than hydros? I have a bunch of trees to mow around. Which setup would be better for me? Would I save much mowing time with a 48" versus a 36"?

  2. shannonslc

    shannonslc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    hydro's are faster,easier to control.started out with a 36 belt now run a 36 hydro. much nicer much more expensive to buy.
    :blob3: :blob4: :blob1:
  3. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I don't know if a hydro is really faster especially if both mower travel the same speed. I would get a hydro if I used one more than I do. I only put 7 to 10 hours a week on my walkbehind and since the hydros are almost double the cost of beltdrives I couldn't justify the cost. I choose instead to spend the big bucks on a first class ZTR.
  4. A.U.steve

    A.U.steve LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Hydros kill belt drives for ease of operation, l had a 37'' belt drive and upgraded to 44'' Hydro both with rider sulkies, a lot faster, no belt slippage and heaps less maintenance twice the price and twice the machine.

  5. Budman

    Budman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    Thanks for the replies! Cost is not really a factor, because I would be buying either one of them used. Probably have about the same wrapped up in either one. Of course, the hydro would be more expensive to repair.

    Does the 48" vs. 36" cut make that much of a difference? The belt drive is 48", hydro is 36". I will be cutting around a lot of trees, so manueverability is an issue.

    Keep the info coming!
  6. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    I personally prefer the 48" over the 36" for the offset deck. I had a 36" and it was tough getting close to things, IMO. The 48" has a nice offset which really helps to get a close cut, also IMO. All my mowers are Exmarks and hydros. I use my w/b alot so it was worth the extra $ to me for the hydro drive. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with a belt drive, I guess it depends on your individual situation. Good luck.
  7. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    If your cutting around a lot of trees, get the 48". This is due to the deck offset like TJLC said. With a 36" when you go around a mulched tree ring, the rear trim tire will be riding all over the mulch! I would go with the 48" belt. I only use mine about 4 hrs a week!, so belt has always been fine for me! Just too much maintenance with the hydros, and if theres a problem with a hydro, its BIG $$$. When there's a problem with a belt drive, its fixed (usually by yourself) for under $50. They are real simple to work on.

    Do you do this commercially or is this just for your home yard?
  8. sunrise

    sunrise Banned
    Messages: 247

    a reverse that works
  9. goodbeus

    goodbeus LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    yea, go with the hydro....if the lawn is wet, the belts will slip on the belt driven system...with a hydro, you can still cut grass while it's raining, but you can't with a belt system....
  10. tlcservices

    tlcservices LawnSite Member
    from fl
    Messages: 61

    there is no compaision for the owner/ operator. a fleet would be different. belts ground speed is faster and who cares if they have to make wide turns

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