How does a gear drive mower work/handle

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Dodge2, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. Dodge2

    Dodge2 LawnSite Member
    from ottawa
    Messages: 134

    See I'm wondering about buying a smaller WAM like a 32-36 size, and I was wondering on how a gear drive one works, like does it handle like a snowblower or like a manual car. Any help would be great, and a video of one would be better(seeing is beliveing). Thanks
  2. CFB

    CFB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    The machine is always going forward, you break with the right to turn right, break with the left to turn left. Both to stop. A thumb switch that you flip to release tension of both belts to neutral or park. To back up there is a sweet spot between full brake and no break that you just get a feel for that allows the machine to be able to be pulled back. Can be very tiresome backing up a lot, but most that have gear learn to live with a little more trimming and don't back up much. 5 speeds that I just left in the same gear all the time.
  3. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    You don't normally shift. You pick your gear (1 thru 5), put it in gear, let the clutches out and go. Most mowers have a reverse assist that helps you pull the mower back. I've been using gear drives forever and they're not nearly as bad as a lot of people here at Lawnsite make them out to be.
  4. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 5,717

    Richard is right. My belt drive are lighter/ simpler and takes a lot less hand pressure pullihg against the springs than my Exmark tthp did. Reverse is nice if you have a lot of of small sections or need to use a sulkey.The belts sticking to the pulleys after they get rained is on a pia but I think a floating deck is more important than drive if you have to choose due to finances.

    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,526

    check out the toro "t-bar" they are gear drive but they dont work like pistol grip. they are very easy to use.
  6. Dodge2

    Dodge2 LawnSite Member
    from ottawa
    Messages: 134

    Can you change gears while your moving?
  7. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    I used my belt drive for the first time yesterday. I noticed that its VERY tiring at first because you try to steer it like a push mower. I found myself tugging and pulling rather then braking with each hand. It got better later in the day but I think the only way it will be easy is if I get a sulky and im always positioned behind the handles.
  8. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    Toro T-Bar is the only way to go if your running a belt driven mower. Very Easy.
  9. RLS24

    RLS24 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,603

    My 48" is very easy to handle. When I got it last year, it took a couple solid days of mowing to get the stripes nice and straight and get the hang of how it responds to the controls and whatnot...but its a very simple machine to use. just make sure you take care of the that gearbox, especially if its a Peerless!!
  10. jlawnman

    jlawnman LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Messages: 171

    If your using a sulky, best have a hydro... The 5 speed will tear up in a few short years if you put too much stress on it... It will last a LOT longer if you just put it in one gear and go. Yep... get used to a lot more trimming and don't back up... I take at least two laps around the whole area and then commense with the striping. That way you don't have to turn as sharp leaving way fewer torn spots in the lawn... I used to have a hydro 48 with a velke... That is a lot of mower for not a lot of money...

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