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Belt vs. Hydro

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jazak, Aug 6, 2006.

  1. jazak

    jazak LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 843

    I will be buying a 36" WB next year and was wondering what you guys think. I have used my dads friend's 48" Viking before and loved it. The main reason why I ask this question is because of the major price difference between the two. I am going to go take a look at a belt my dealer has next week and see if he would let me demo it. I am really leaning toward the hydro since it will be my main mower until I turn 18. (I will then be purchasing a 48" WB & 52" ZTR) I was alos wondering what you guys think of floating deck vs. fixed deck for this size mower. My dad only has used belts and fixed decks so he can't answer this otherwise I wouldn't be posting. He is also leaning towards the hydro to because of all the good he has heard. My main problem is with the price, I can easily afford it but just that extra $2K is it worth it?

    BTW If you guys need info on what type/size yards I mow to help you understand more let me know.
  2. jazak

    jazak LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 843

    Oops posted it in the wrong forum. Just realized thanks for moving.
  3. chrisa123

    chrisa123 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    i personally have experience with a scag 48 gear and a 61 hydro and hydro is the way to go. especially if your putting in long days. the hydro is a lot easier on your back arms ect/ more productive. spend the extra cash and go w/ the hydro
  4. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 2,412

    One thing to consider is resale will be higher if you get a hydro. Your value will drop like a rock if it has belts.
  5. NNJLandman

    NNJLandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,306

    Both the previous posts are correct, in the long run the hydro is the absolute way to go. My first mower I purchased was a Scag 36 belt which I still run today, great machine, but after demoing a Exmark Viking the decision was made, the hydro was the way to go. With the Viking my time is cut in half, being able to go in reverse so quickly is great. You just havta consider how much work you have and what you will be needing it for. Like you said if your going to have this mower for a while, the hydro is the way to go, it will pay for itself quickly plus Exmark offers wonderful financing plans.

    As for the fixed deck over the floating deck, I found the fixed deck to be best for me, The floating deck seemed to pertain more towards estates and lawns that have to be exceptionally manicured. If you have hilly properties then you could also take it into consideration because the fixed deck does scalp if its at an odd angle on the crest of a slope. My final suggestion was for right now....go with the hydro fixed deck, it will be more expensive then the belt and less then the floating deck, but itll be the money maker.

  6. PaulJ

    PaulJ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774

    I've run both belt and hydro. If you can, get the hydro. It will be much easier on you and much more productive. You can run it like a Z even with the right type of sulky, and take full advantage of the speed and extra power that most hydros have. Get the biggest engine you can. and Look real close at the Hustler with H-bar steering, It's the best IMO. Or any of the other NON-pistol grip machines.
  7. jazak

    jazak LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 843

    I was looking at Exmark's Viking & TTHP. Around me its hilly so I may go with the TTHP. I also will be able to put down at least $3000 on the mower so the payments shouldn't be that bad. I was also going to go take a look at hustler mowers soon the dealer is only 10-15 minutes away.
  8. tru turf

    tru turf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

  9. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    I'm kind of surprised in this day and age belt driven machines are still offered. :rolleyes:
  10. 6'7 330

    6'7 330 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,821

    Easy choice...when several phrases come into to you're thought process.. more productive, postive true reverse, less tired at the end of you're ,or you're employees day.


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