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Belts or Drive Shafts???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bigbob, Apr 20, 2000.

  1. bigbob

    bigbob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Got another question for the forum reader. While shopping for a ZTR, I've noticed that most manufactures use a belt to the mower deck. However, a few manufactures deliver power to the deck via a drive shaft. What are the pros and cons? I would like to hear your personal experience.<p>----------<br>Bigbob<br>Houston, TX
  2. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,695

    Anytime you turn power 90 degrees you're going to loose a little. I also like having a little bit of give when it comes to blades incase you stike something that won't give.
  3. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    I own both. There is a lot more maintenance to a drive shaft mower. 2 U joints to maintain, plus a gear box to keep full of oil. A belt drive seems to last much longer and is cheaper to buy.<p>----------<br>&lt;a href=&quot;http://www.townserver.com/elm/&quot;&gt;Eric@ELM&lt;/a&gt;<br>
  4. DMC300

    DMC300 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 325

  5. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,003

    Agreed. When I bought my Grasshopper I thought the driveshaft system was the bomb. Well I decided to do a little work on it recently and discovered, I need over $300 in parts to fix it. How much is a belt? :) Shafts and gearboxes eat power too, no question.<p>
  6. grasscapeinc

    grasscapeinc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 175

    I use belt and shaft drive, and I definately like shaft drive better.
  7. paddy

    paddy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    its more a question of packaging the engine. the reason shaft drives are used is for horizontal shaft engines, they are available with more power (350 chevy if you want), and more practically available in diesels. but, they have to make a 90 degree turn to power the deck, the gearbox is the most effective way of doing that. belts are more simple, but they have less potential engines available.
  8. AB Lawn Care

    AB Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 585

    Belt drives are good for commercial becouse when they hit somthing there will be less damage.But gear drives provide a better cut than belt.You just have to choose between the 2.I own a walker and use a 54'' gear.I bought it becouse it has a better cut than the belt version.Take your pick!I'm sure that some belt drive decks on some mowers have a cut close to or better than gear.You will just have to do some research!<p>from:Adam<p>AB Lawn Care

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