how does a hydro walkbehind work?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by stevesmowing, Oct 10, 2004.

  1. stevesmowing

    stevesmowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 847

    Right now I have a belt drive w/b and was wondering how a hydro operates as far as the pistol grip controls. How do you change speed, reverse etc.
  2. yz250fpilot

    yz250fpilot LawnSite Member
    Messages: 168

    On a hydro w/b, all speeds in forward and reverse, after setting the max speed, are controlled by the levers without ever taking your hands off the grips.

    Initially, you set a lever for your maximum speed desired. After that, the left and right hand levers, when fully released, drive the respective wheel at the max speed you have set by the lever. Pulling the levers inward reduces the speed at the respective wheel. There is a neutral point for the hand levers, and when each lever is pulled past that, closer to the hand grip, the respective wheel starts to turn in reverse.

  3. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    stevesmow--that is a good description. but there are other things to know that are important.

    for example, there is a true reverse on the hydro which can be quite nice.

    but other things, such as the fact that there is no such thing as "neutral" with a hydro. the neutral on a belt unit to me is pulling the handle a bit so that the belt quits pulling. a little more squeeze and you tap the brake. this initiates the turn and my unit turns nicely and just that easily.

    with the hydro, you have to do a longer turn or a Y turn to keep the inside wheel turning. otherwise, you tear up the grass and make a "turn divot".

    there are advantages to both drive systems with the most KUDOS going to the hydro.

  4. Fareway Lawncare

    Fareway Lawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 2,222

    Hydro has neutral position....& turns wheel spins back...Full Control Over both wheel independant of each other in Forward & Reverse....

    There is no performance "advantage" to belts.
  5. grassworks

    grassworks LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    I used belt drive walk behinds for 10 years before my first Hydro. Could not convince me thier was enough difference to warrent the cost. After finally purchasing and using the Hydro for 2 days I could no longer use a belt drive again.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    Go to a dealer and demo a hydro. That is the best way to tell how they work. I have both types and for my work the hydro is the way to go. For me the biggest concern is the lack of true reverse and the instant reverse for smaller properties. I will not buy any more belts as the hydro units cost less. Yes you read that right--The hydro units cost less to own and operate because you are much more productive with them. The price is more but you will make that up over the years that you will be using them so the cost is less. I don't believe anybody can prove that a belt can be as productive as a hydro unless you never stop or turn or use the unit on hills. Even if you factor in maintenance costs the hydro units are a better buy for me.
  7. MTR

    MTR LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,280

    I have both worlds, 36" eXmark Metro and 52" eXmark TTHP, the two is "completlely" different beasts with most of favor in the TTHP. If not because of hydro I would not be able to expand my biz base at all, the Metro belt was tiring me to death with all the volume, but as soon as I acquired the TTHP, I am able to pick up left and right new accounts and make some serious money. The reverse factor alone on Hydro system is worth priceless when you doing at least 10 lawns a day. I would not suggest anyone to buy a belt WB cause it is pretty much useless except for a backup on downtime or repair for your main hydro unit. (Belt WB is not a good backup either, it sucks to cut your accounts with it, I am trying to replace my belt with another Hydro WB as soon as money allowed).
  8. stevesmowing

    stevesmowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 847

    do you hands get less tired using a hydro than a belt with pistol grips?
  9. KINGjosh

    KINGjosh LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 531

    I am currently using belt Wb's and it is pretty tiring after bout doing 15 lawns a day. Although i can say my dam forearms and hand musles grew enourmously after the first year. I cant wait to get my first hydro. Looking to get a 48-52" turf tracer or a 52"Z rider. Kinda sick of velkies and sulkys
  10. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    no. your hands suffer more abuse. T-bar or hustler style are options.


Share This Page