Belt on Lazer

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by Lawn-Scapes, Oct 17, 2001.

  1. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    How long should the belt that goes to the clutch/pulley last.. and what would cause it to wear out prematurely?

  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Messages: 4,258


    I'm not sure how long the mule drive belt should last but I can tell you that 1,000 hours is not uncommon but 400-500 hours is more realistic. In many cases they will last one full season.

    Belt failures occur for the follow reasons listed most common to least common.
    1. Belt is thrown - generally a stick, rock, pinecone, or foreign object of some type get lodged between the belt and the pulley and causes the belt to walk off a pulley. This can also occur if a belt is not properly tensioned. When a belt is not properly tensioned the mower is most likely to throw a belt when the "load" changes significantly and abruptly such as upon engagement, disengagement, or when going from light grass to heavy grass.

    2. Belt becomes hot and begins to loose structural integrity over time. According to our current belt supplier as well as our past suppliers if a belt exceeds it maximum operating temperature by as little as 25 degree it can shorten the life of that belt by as much as 50%. Over time this can cause a belt to become weak and fail. How does a belt get hot? Most often the cause is belt slippage. When a belt slips it gets hot, when it gets hot long enough it fails.

    To prevent your Mule drive belt from slipping be certain to inspect the belt tension adjustment outlined in your operators manual and inspect the spring loaded idler pivots to ensure the are rotating freely and have been lubricated properly. All spring loaded idlers should be lubricated weekly and we would prefer that monthly they be lubricated with the belt/spring tension removed. This would also apply to section 1 as well.

    3. Abrasion can also cause a belt to fail prematurely. The can occur when the belt continues to run against a non-rotating surface such as a bent belt guide, frozen idler pulley or debris.

    4. Misalignment is one of the least common. Most manufacturers do a good job of designing equipment to maximize the life of the drive belts.

    5. Defective belt is also rather uncommon but it does occur. A defective belt will usually fail either instantly or in the first 15 hours of use. If a repeat failure occurs you should then look at the above causes. It would be extremely unlikely to get two defective belts in sequence.

    6. Improper application of belt is usually a result of using non-OEM belts on your mower. Many belts may look the same but may be completely different. An off the shelf belt from an automotive parts store as an example generally can not sustain the stresses of a commercial lawnmower.

    If something isn't clear drop me a note and I'll try to cover it a little better.


  3. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    Speaking of misalignment of belts.

    I was talking to my dealer about my Lazer bottoming out in gulleys and ditches due to the low placement of the mule drive idler pulleys and their respective low mounting brackets. It seems as the Lazer line may be "engineered" for low 2" - 2 1/2" cut heights IMO. I normally cut at 3 1/4" - 3 3/4"+. My mule drive belt leaves the idlers and angles back upward to the deck pulley which is angled forward due to proper deck pitch. This upward angle really baffles me, as it seems that it is level and straight at about 2" (who cuts there? golf courses?). There should be an adjustment for either HI or LO on these idler pulleys as to not put so much bending on the belt. By raising the mounting bracketry of these idler pulleys, I could gain ground clearance and possible be able to back over a curb.

    This machine has been all that everybody raves about, but I figured a little user input is always helpful!

  4. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Messages: 4,258


    First let me address the belt angle. On most machines you will not have perfect alignment of belts. A belt is designed to take a certain amount of mis-alignment. That's one of the reasons why we use belts. The belts on your Lazer are minimally effected by the mild angles they are in at different cutting heights. The angles are so slight they simply are not enough to effect belt life. As I stated earlier it is not uncommon for some customers to get 1,000 + hours out of a mule drive belt. The field is always the best true test of any product and at this time the field would indicate we are, for the most part in pretty good shape on the belt life of the Lazer mule drive.

    We do get several comments on the angles at the back of the Lazer frame getting hung up in low areas. Most people think the angles are there to protect the belt. Well they're right, but the angle is also there to function as a "wheelie bar" if by chance you should inadvertently try to drive it up a hill the is steeper than we intended the mower to be on. The angles are really there for your safety. This is always a battle, functionality vs. safety, convenience vs. safety etc.

    I agree user input is bay far the most important part of our product development. Any operator input is always considered, sometimes we receive suggestions that can be easily implemented and other times it can take a little longer. Rest assured I have already discussed your comments with our engineering staff and you have now made the official list of things our product planning committee will consider for next year.

    Thank you

  5. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810


    Thanks for the detailed reply. Funny.. I had just under 400 hours when I decided to take a good look at the belt. Some cracking, slightly frayed edges and looked worn where it rides the pulley. I probably could have gotten another 100 hours out of it.. but decided to change it last night and keep it for a back up.

    You mentioned.. thowing a belt. Well the deck belt was thrown and tension spring too. I hear strange noises (like vibrating) from the deck belt when I am going up a steep hill. Yet this belt looks good as new... How long should it last?

    Thanks again..

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