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i am going to buy a 36 in. walkbehind in the very near future. it is most likely going to be an exmark metro. my primary mower is a walker mt20. i am really trying to get rid of pushmower. will the metro be alright for slopes and pulling a sulkie? i just dont believe the hydro is worth double the $. also i know hydro is better but are belts really all that bad?....... clay
 

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I would say that belts are that bad, as far as free-wheeling down the hills. Have to use the brakes alot. Wet belts are a problem, too. Other's here can tell you more, or do a search here. Much good info, as most members here have vast knowledge on most subjects of lawncare.
 

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36"come up off the ground you will have to put extra wieght up front to keep it on the ground and if it rains while your mowing belts suck.I would say unless you have to get your mower in and out of gates get the 48 or 52 " hydro trust me I have the 36"Exmark metro and Im going to buy the 52" hydro in the spring and trade the 36.
 

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I like hydros alot more. With my Bunton belt drive I have a property with a large hill and plenty of room at the bottom so I just let her fly. Don't even touch the brakes on that one. I just use my weight along with pushing and pulling on the grips to keep her straight. It takes a heck of a lot of practice to keep the lines straight, and it wears you out....QUICK!

Another thing you want to stay away from is the Buntons. Their quality has taken a serious nose dive ever since Textron bought it. I'm constantly eating up the belts on that machine, and had a horrible time attempting to get customer support from Textron. For example: The new drive belts I bought at the end of last season only lasted 2 weeks before they started slipping so much I couldn't even load the machine on my trailer without me getting behind it and pushing, and that's after making all the adjustments to the tensioners.

As far as sulkys, stay away from the "Mowersulky" made by Havener Enterprises. I experienced problems with their cheap construction, and tried to get it taken care of through my the Bunton dealer who sold it to me. Even though it was still under warranty they turned me to the manufacturer. I then contacted Havener Enterprises and they told me to take it to the dealer. The easiest way to avoid this problem is not to buy anything else from either of them.

My suggestions are to go with a hustler hydro and a bullrider.
 

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I have the metro 36" belt drive.
Awesome mower. I use it for cutting ditches, cutting properties, and one account that has a very very steep hill.
NO problems at all. I have cut in the rain, no problem with the belts.
I like mine so much, I plan on buying another one with the 48" deck....
Best money I ever spent.
The only thing I would change with the 48" is a floating deck. Dont need it on the 36".
good luck

:D
 

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2000 eXmark Metro. Its got the original belts on it. Its pulled a lot of weight on sulky before. Guys from 150 Lbs to 290 Lbs. I have both hydro and belts. The belts work good and not a problem. No downtime with it. Just works and makes money. Hydro is a little nicer to use, but harder on the hands. Not worth the extra money for me no more than a w/b is used anymore. I've never had to put weights on this one for sulky. Only time the belts ever got to wet to put on the trailer was I washed the grass off the belt assemblies one time and until it dried it would go up the trailer gate. Other than that its never been a problem. Used it in rain, dew, etc and never had a problem.

Wheel Plant Automotive tire Motor vehicle Tire
 

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Originally posted by metro-hp_48
I always thought a hydro would be easier on the hands, Hoss. I know my hands don't like useing the brakes alot going down hills with this belt drive. Haven't gotten a hydro yet.
Belts only have the small amount of tension on them. Hydros have more tension on them. I can run a belt pistol all day compared to my hydro pistol. Much more pressure on the hydros.
 

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Thanks Hoss. I never would have thought that. I always figured that it would be the other way around. Thought that was one of the advantages to a hydro, figured there was little tension compared to the springs on the belt drive. (the Exmark was alot easier than a Deere/Bunton I had previously)
 

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I have found hydros to be MUCH easier than belts. My hydro with the ECS controls is a dream. WAY less fatique on the hands.

And someone mentioned the front popping up a lot on the 36". Not mine. Never. I need no weights, the front end stays in place with no effort.

There are reasons the hydros are almost twice the cost, trust me. I've used both, and wouldn't use belt again, even for a back-up, hydros are just too sweet.

My $.02

~Nest
 

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I've had the same experiences as 65hoss. Our 36 belt has power to spare, and has no problems pulling a two-wheeled sulky with a 250lb operator. Our 36" is used basically where you would use a trim/push mower, while the bigger machines do everywhere else, so I don't see the need to get the hydro.

JMHO
 

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hey Clay, I am in the same boat with you, I was considering the 36" Exmark metro fixed deck/belt drive which my local dealer is having a sale on, its only $2199, the 48 is $3499, however I was trying to see if i should go with the fixed or floating decks, and hydro vs belt.. you guys hands down is the hydro floating deck really worth the extra 1,000 - 1,500 bucks over a regular fixed with belt..and also should I go with the 48 vs the 36, i know the 36" can get into fences. but how much more productive is the 48 over the 36.. so basically I have just asked you all 3 questions..

hydro vs belt
fixed vs floating
36" vs 48"
 

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I've never had a problem with belts slipping on my ExM beltdrive mowers, even in very wet conditons.

The hydro is going to be much better in terms of maneuverabilty (mainly instant reverse), but if you are doing larger areas that may not be a problem.
 

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I prefer the floating deck. Some peolpe like their grass shorter or taller than others, and it seems that the resale value of the floating deck would be retained, so not ever lost. Of course, I only had a Deere/Bunton fixed deck, and had to be unbolted to change height. (unlike the Exmarks that adjust alot easier) but with the HP, no matter what height, the deck-pitch stays the same. As far as hydro or belt drive, just a personal preference.

I had to go with a 48", cause it seemed of more value vs. money, considering the extra foot of cut. I had no gates to get through.
A did pick up some gated yards, not too long after, and the 999.99 price tag of the 21" Metro just seemed a bit much, to say the least (I'm cheap). It seems like with most, a 36" is a must have item, and a good starter mower.

I never had any slipping probs. with the Exmark belts, and the belt tension springs can be adjusted if I did. I just hated the sound of the wet belts, and didn't see that it could be good for them.
(not that it hurts them) I just super-baby mine, and don't like it (or me) to get wet, unless I'm doing the wash/wax thing.
 

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I started out with a 2000 Exmark Metro 36" deck with 15hp KAW. also belt driven. This is an excellent mower for just starting out. Since then I have purchased a hydro, which I am very pleased with, however my belt driven still has its place on small lawns and getting into smaller gates. I would highly reccomend this mower. I also have a one wheel velke behind mine, I weigh (well normally, I've gained 30 lbs. this winter, damn) 200 lbs. through most of the year. Good luck!
 

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I went to my dealer monday, I looked in the corner and there was a 03 Metro HP 48" 15 Kaw.
I asked they said it was left over. It looked lonely so i bought it. I might have it today but with the construction on my house it might have to wait till monday. Pics soon!!!!!>
john
 

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I think the downsides of belt driven mowers are a little overstated.If you get a Jungle wheels sulky you wont have trouble with wheelies because you stand behind the axle and for the front end to come up your weight has to come up as well.
 
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