Hydro Questions

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by BRIAN GALLO, Sep 12, 2002.


    BRIAN GALLO LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    I am thinking about getting a hydro walk behind this fall or next spring. I have always used gear drives, and am wondering if I'll actually see a 30% increase in productivity like the catalogs claim. I will admit that I experience some belt slippage in the spring, but as far as reverse goes, I really only use it to get the machine off of the trailer. I usually run in higher gears, and manage to keep mowing in a forward direction. I plan on getting the same deck size I use now, and am finding it hard to believe that if a lawn takes 35 min. now, that it will only take 25 min. just because I got a hydro???? I thought I'd ask you guys because I find catalogs to be inherently full of hype. I would just as soon spend the $$$ on a rider but my lawns are to hilly, so I'm looking for any way I can get more done with less fatigue.
  2. 30% increase in production, maybe but you will notice you wont be as tired man handling the mower all day. Better traction on hills, not really brakes but less squeasing or forcing the grips to slow down.

    I would say same deck sizes you would be less fatigued at the end of the day over the belt drive, but you will see an increase, it just wont be by speed but by the little extra areas you can fanagle the mower in.

    Most cases the 30% is over the belt drive on open areas you can run it at the faster speeds the hydro's can produce over the belt drives, but some MFG's like Exmark, their belts go almost as fast as their hydro drive counterparts.

    That generalasation on increas in productivity is pretty veugue, but it is true to some, if not most of the MFG's.
  3. HarryD

    HarryD LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,068

    another thing to think about is there will be no wheel belts wheel pullys and drive pullys to replace. ive had my 60" gravley hydro pro for 5 years with no probs only replaced blade belts and two sets of tires in all that time
  4. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    You should have less Weed trimming. You will Put the mower in Places You won't Put A Gear drive. Demo one and find Out.
  5. Wayne Offiler

    Wayne Offiler LawnSite Member
    Messages: 113

    John is quite right about getting in and out of tight places. The greatly improved maneuverability has to be experienced.
    Also, unless your lawns are really small, get a sulky. (I like the Proslide, myself) You can then take advantage of the higher top speed of a hydro. Example: Ground is bumpy or grass is really tough, down to 3mph; conditions improve, zip up to 6 or 7 mph. Instant and infinite speed control is a real asset to productivity. But, get a mower with plenty of power. That always adds to productivity.
  6. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    I agree, get a sulky. A w/b is only productive at 6 MPH if the operator can keep up with it! I bought Jungle Wheels. I love them. I use them on all my lawns, big or small. Waste of time to take it on and off. If you have tight lawns and have to go in reverse, like some of my lawns are, the hydro comes in handy. No shifting. You'll get used to backing up with a sulky. I thought it would be tough but it's like backing a trailer. I recommend an Exmark Turf Tracer. Good luck. GO EXMARK!

    BRIAN GALLO LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    I will definately be using a sulky. I use them now and usually run in 4th or 5th. I do see what you mean Wayne, about slow on bumpy fast on open. Right now if I'm in 5th and it gets rough, I basically have to slack the belts and ride a little brake until it smooths out again. Hydro sounds like the ticket! ;)
  8. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    Try to Go wiyh a good mower. I Got a 2002 Turf tracer Not a Turf tracer HP. With the 23 kohler And 52 ultracut and Double Blades It Fear's Nothing. You Can Also Get It with A 60" Deck. These Mower's Are fully loaded With all The Bell's And whistle's. If your In Connecticut anytime soon I'll Let You Take It for A Spin.

    Go Onto Exmark's web And see what i Mean.

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