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Belt vs. Hydro on hills

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jtrice11, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. jtrice11

    jtrice11 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    I'm considering buying another walk behind, the dealer told me that a belt drive is inferior to a hydro on hills. Has anyone had experience with this? I think a belt would be just fine. I'm not mowing a mountain, just a townhouse complex on a hillside.
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    The hydro has no-fail power because there is no belt slippage, such as may be the case on a hill with a belt-drive. All my wb's are belt driven as well, and they do fine for me, especially as it appears hydros only come as pistol grips whereas my belt drives have the t-bar (of course, they're toros).
  3. Appalachian landscape

    Appalachian landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    either mower will work well with an experienced operator. belt drives will take off when going down a slope, kind of like throwing a golf cart in neutral down hill, and you must ride the "brakes". a hydro mower won't do this and will drive up hill or down hill at the same speed. that being said, you should always mow across a slope whenever possible.
  4. MTR

    MTR LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,280

    Your dealer is correct. Nothing stick like glue on hills like twin hydro walk. With belt walk you can't cut up and down, at best only crap walk, but hydro walk you can do vertically or horizontally cause it won't slide or slip and you don't have to negotiate (squeeze the grips trying to balance on hills) the way you do with belt. Morning, evening, wet or dry, hydro takes over. There is big big reason why hydro sell for 5k and belt sell for 2.5 or 3 k.
  5. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    I have a hydro 52" mower and it holds a hill pretty well. The amount of tire contact with the ground is a biggie, but turning while going up or down a hill is where you see the biggest difference. I know what some will say about turning on a steep hill, but we all know good and well that its inevitable sometimes unless you want to use a 21 or a hovermower.

    Hydros are just so much more maneuverable. Once you've used both a belt and a hydro, you'll probably agree with me when I say that they're not quite the same machines. The control you get with hydro drives is simply amazing to anyone who's had to contend with belt drive mowers.
  6. PR Fect

    PR Fect LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,076

    Hydro for the hills. Belt can wreck you backing up on a slope. Yes both are OK with an EXPERIENCED operator. But why work harder? Let the machine do the work.
  7. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,967

    Hills are one thing but, wet conditions are another. A belt will slip even from heavy dew. That's the reason I'm getting a hydro Bob-Cat next.
    Someone once told me, when it's wet something has to give. Well, there is a bit of truth in that but, the belt takes too long to recover from wet conditions.
    Now, let's talk about a wet hill!
  8. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    Let's don't and just say we did. :help:
  9. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Exactly. BTW, nice signature line there Mark :D
  10. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    Yeah, it's all about the relationships, right? Some relationships are more forgiving than others!

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