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Belt Vs Hydro 32 options best choice

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by flatland-4-life, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. flatland-4-life

    flatland-4-life LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    I am going to have to buy a 32 walkbehind, my 36 won't fit all these yards.

    I know some of you have never used walkbehinds , belt drives, T bars and pistol grips, but I need advice from those that have been around most styles.

    I have never used a belt drive walk behind.
    I have used pistol grips so ofton that it does not bother me.
    I need a reasonable priced 32 [ newer 32 standers cost atleast $5000 ]
    which leaves them out just to make 10 back yards easier.
    Used 32 walk behinds are around in belt drives.
    I only see new 32 hydros in a couple brands.

    Ok so do you think I might freak out on a belt drive and hate it
    after only using hydros?

    Some of you have had to have used belt drives for years what you think?
    Pros and cons.

    Here are a few things that I have read on here that get me doubting an easy purchase.

    Belt drives are hard on the body and do not have reverse. ??
    Ferris Single hydros are not much better than belts and are hard to steer??
    New 32 Dual hydro BOPS are priced great small and light weight, but clog all the time in all grass types and the bagger tabs always bend??
    Hydro 32 Wright standers are pricey and super heavy but the best choice??

    Just get a used 32 Belt Scag with grass catcher and run it until the wheels fall off and burn then fix it and go some more.. lol

    Please add to this list in anyway you want.
    Belt drives ok for a couple hours a day?

    Thanks in advance:usflag:
  2. Coumbe

    Coumbe LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 272

    I would use your belt drive 32" till its dead. I have a 32" WRIGHTstander> but I use it a lot more than you are using your 32"
  3. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    What type of lawns do you intend to use this mower on? Are you planning on walking behind the mower or will you use a Sulky? Are there a lot of hills or will the areas be flat.

    The Ferris SD is just as easy to use as any other hydro with one exception. You will have to walkbehind it (no sulky or Velke). They are a manual steer mower but it's not hard to steer on flat land. If you have hills then look for another mower. I have a Ferris HydroWalk 36 so I do know what I'm talking about.

    The belt drive mowers aren't awful to use either. I've been using them for 16 years. The only advantage a hydro has over a belt is the instant reverse. The belts have a reverse assist. You put it into reverse and give the mower a pull backwards. It's not that big a deal. If you have a lot of hills then the belt is easier to use than the Ferris SD.

    You may have read about problems with the belts getting wet and slippage. That used to be a problem when they used 2 individual belts to drive each wheel but with the joined belts they have now it is rarely an issue.
  4. flatland-4-life

    flatland-4-life LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    I have been looking at all of the different equipment from the posters around here and I see a lot of belt drive 48's listed. Makes me think that if people are still using belt drives on big areas, then a belt drive 32 would not kill me. I just want to be able to control it easy.

    Richard, Thanks for offering some advice.
    No I will not use a sulky or anything.
    I have a bunch of smaller gated city yards that a 21 kills me on.

    Ok dumb question for you.

    I have a pistol grip exmark hydro 36

    If I get a pistol grip belt does it work about the same except for reverse?
    Squeeze left turn left?
    Squeeze right turn right?
    Stopping you just release both sides?

    Told you it was a dumb question.

    Thank You again
  5. rem-md

    rem-md LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Opposite on the belt dirves - release the handles to engage the drive wheels - squeeze the handles to stop the wheels.
  6. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    Squeeze left turn left
    Squeeze right turn right
    Squeeze both ... STOP

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    As a small mower, used just a few times, I would go with the belt and save the money. They are not hard to use and you will learn it in just a few min.
    I am a big believer in Hydro for a mower you use all day, but this sounds like a replacement for your 21. Belt will serve you OK.
  8. onlythebest

    onlythebest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 536

    i use a toro t-bar 32 and its not hard at all. like you, i use it for small gated back yards where a 21 just takes too long! the belt drive is very simple and easy to use. instant reverse would be nice in some situations but if you drive it like it has no reverse its unlikely you will have a problem. also a belt drive is easy to work on if needed (so far). also, at first i didnt intend to get a sulky but now i am looking into it and me buying the belt drive over a single hydro leaves that option available.:canadaflag:
  9. W.L.M.

    W.L.M. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    I ran hydros for my father and I switched to belt drives when I started my own business and the change wasn't all that hard. They take a bit more effort to run but I haven't had any problems yet. As for a 32 go with a belt drive, I am planning on picking up a 32 gravely here shortly.

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