Belt or Hydro?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by guest543, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. guest543

    guest543 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    My 16 year old son is cutting yards for money; and has been for 4 years now. I help him for no charge. I do this so I dont have to provide him money for the things he buys (gas, dates, sporting equipment, etc...). We cut 4 yards that take us approximately 2-3 hours each. He makes $40 for 3 of the yards, and $60 for the 4th yard. We have always used $100 Walmart mowers, a Stihl weedeater (12 years old), and a broom. We are thinking about upgrading to equipment that speeds things up a bit, without comprimising qualilty. We must do a fantastic job, as we have many neighbors asking us all the time if we could do their yards, but we just don't have enough time to handle more lawns on a consistant basis; (occassinally, we do cut other yards when time permits). I attribute this to using lightweight mowers. I have always liked the cut from small mowers. They leave no tire tracks, they are easy to handle, and because we both use the same type of mower, they cut the exact same height. In researching riding mowers, I've heard there is a major difference between belt driven and hydro transmissions. What exactly is the difference? I do know what belt driven is, but I don't know anything about hydro.

  2. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    :confused: :confused: :confused: I didn't think there was anyone selling belt driven riders????:dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy:
  3. Dixie Rob

    Dixie Rob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 107

    Never seen a belt driven rider. However, if you are lookin for a walk behind for the weight issue, then there is belt and hydro. I have a belt driven and wish it was a hydro, because the grips you hold on to, to steer are pistol grips and wear you out very fast. I would do my yard and would feel like I've worked for 10 hours with my hands.
  4. jtkplc

    jtkplc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,656

    Use the search feature. There is a plethora of information on the "belt vs. hydro" topic.
  5. guest543

    guest543 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    My bad. Earlier I posted a question here asking if $1200 was too high for a 7 year old, 36" deck, zero turn, stand behind mower. I assume a walk behind is the same thing as a stand behind, No? Anyway, someone here posted a question to me asking if it was belt driven or hydro, and I still don't know what hydro means.
  6. guest543

    guest543 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    I'm also wondering if I should look to purchase a new mower from places like Lowe's or Home Depot; or should I look at smaller businesses for a new mower.
  7. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,398

    As far as I know, there are no belt driven commercial ride-on mowers. You will find many commercial walk-behind mowers that are belt driven though. You can attach a velke to a walk behind mower so that you have something to stand on but we still call them walk behind mowers.

    Think of a hydro as a transmission without gears - you never have to shift and can go at any speed you want up to the maximum speed. Each wheel is controlled seperately with hydros so you can have one tire turning forward and another tire turning backward - very handy.

    At lowes or home depot, you will find homeowner quality mowers. They work fine for mowing 1 lawn per week. If you want commercial quality, then look in the yellow pages for a commercial dealer.

    The mower from HD will serve you fine for a little while. The commercial mower will serve you fine for a really long time - thousands of hours.
  8. Signature Landscaping1

    Signature Landscaping1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,496

    I would say go for a hydro, but get what ever you can afford or want to spend on it.
  9. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,413

    he can get belt drive w/b and put a sit down sulkie on it ...
  10. guest543

    guest543 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Thanks to all of you for your responses. A special thanks to PTP for the "extended version" response. I now have a much better idea of what is out there. I'm thinking we should go ahead and spend the extra money and purchase a hydro from a commercial dealership. Even if my son moves away for college in a couple of years, and he isn't around to grow his lawn care business, I will have a nice mower for years and years.

    Now, are there any brands out there that I should avoid? From the little bit that I've read here so far, it seems that a test drive is the way to determine which fits us best.

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