Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by hagen, Aug 20, 2002.

  1. hagen

    hagen LawnSite Member
    from texas
    Messages: 33

    I look at an ExMark today. It looks to me like you would lose power after the belt makes such a long trip, from the rear of the motor to the pully's under the deck. Is the belt hard to replace??? In heavy grass does the blade speed decrease ???
    PTO or Shaft drive looks like would lose less power...any thooughts ???
    How about their diesel engine on the Lazer Z XP
  2. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Messages: 949

    The only way you would lose power differently from belt to shaft drive is if the belt was slipping which is very rare fo they usually remain fairly dry. Typically the engine will bog down with heavy grass before the blade belt slips.
  3. spomerhome

    spomerhome LawnSite Member
    from Arizona
    Messages: 39

    I'm told you can change a belt in the field in about 20 minutes and that you only use 1hp from the engine to run the spindles. (met rep for a demo today)

    Hope this helps
  4. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,979

    A shaft drive will eat more horsepower than a belt. A couple reasons for that are the added weight of the shafts and the gearbox that will be at the deck on shaft driven models. Plus it still in some way relies on belts.

    Couple things to think about. I'll use my 721 Grasshopper for reference. The clutch at the back of the engine uses two belts to drive a pulley which attaches to the heavy powershaft. It passes through two pillowblock bearings under the tractor. It then couples with a short shaft with two U-joints. Then finally on to the gearbox at the deck. The gearbox drives two belts that turn the blades. I had to replace the powershaft, pulley, pillowblocks, gear box and U-joints. These parts were over $500. So not only are they power robbers, they cost a lot to replace.
  5. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    i cant say the mule drive is the best system ever. but its the best ive owned ,and last a long time. i have a post called lazer belt ,on this forum ,that shows an easy way to install mule drive belt.
    still going to be 20 min tho.
  6. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943


    I have approx 600 hrs on my Lazer and have the original belt. It was chewed up by an oak branch last month, but continues to work fine. The mule drive arrangement is by no means "new" it is a VERY proven design with many, MANY decades of use!

    However, I feel that the Lazer HP, DC, and others with veritical shaft engines have a simpler straight shot from engine to deck. They also have less moving parts and pulleys.

    I also agree with Keith about shaft drive. Had that same system on my JD Frontrunners. Had engine to shaft belts off one time and it took all I could muster to spin that big drive shaft. Not to mention its appetite for U-Joints, slip joints and driveshafts!!! ($$$)

    The only improvement I'd like to see on the Lazers, is greater rear frame clearance. Those heavy pulley supports just hang too low. Another 2" higher, and I could hop curbs, and not get hung up in ditches.
  7. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,979

    Yeah speaking of the mule drive type system, my Yazoo/Kees is a carbon copy of the Lazer. Both belts on the mower are original with 1440 hours :eek: I'm going to change them this week though :D Then again, I said that 6 months ago ;)
  8. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    cant explain why, but i believe u somehow get more time out of mule drive belts. could be that it is one more tough belt. only one i ever broke was my fault for running it with a twist in it. last wk.
    nothin could stand that.

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