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Hydro vs. Gear

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by TheChiefsLawnCare, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. TheChiefsLawnCare

    TheChiefsLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 960

    Okkkkk, Im looking at gettin a 36 inch walk behind with a floating deck. Sooooo, whats the pros and cons of hydro and gear. I wanna stay away from belt. Cutting conditions are gonna be 95% St. Aug, no hills, and possibly some overgrown yards at times. Sooo what one should I look at. i wanna be able to much, bag, and discharge. Im looking at Toro, Scag, Walker, and Exmark for brands.
  2. 02DURAMAX

    02DURAMAX LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,801

    Belt drives are not good in wet conditions and if you pill a sulky, That one of the reasons im selling my belt Drive and getting a Hydro Scag.
  3. TheChiefsLawnCare

    TheChiefsLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 960

    Yeah, I wanna pull a sulky also. Soo whats better a gear or hydro?
  4. greenred

    greenred LawnSite Senior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 916

    I have owned both - I would never ever ever go belt again. I went from belt to hydro walk behind and it was like day and night. My belt delivered reliable service, but hydro is just so much powerful, more convenient, and productive.

    Also I got caught in a very heavy rain storm at the bottom of a steep 1 acre hill My belts and pulleys were soaked as could be from the heavy rain and all they would do is slip. I had to push that boat anchor to the top of that friggen steep and slippery 1 acre hill. After doing that I swore I would never buy any other walk behind except a hydro powered one again.
  5. 02DURAMAX

    02DURAMAX LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,801

    Hydro!!!!..Its worth the extra money..
  6. dfor

    dfor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 828

    Another hydro vote. The time it saves pays for itself quickly. You didn't ask, but I'd go with a fixed deck on a 36" mower.
  7. greenred

    greenred LawnSite Senior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 916

    I have to disagree with going with a fixed deck. I had a fixed deck 36 and it was a pain in the ass to have to stop and change blade height when needed then stop and change back to your normal cutting height. We tried to cut every lawn the same height but now matter what you are going to have those 2 or 3 or more lawns that need to be cut at a different height for varying reasons. I personally like flexibility in my mower settings, and being able to quickly adjust them for the conditions as needed with minimum time and effort. Im not saying changing the blade height is a super ordeal on a fixed deck, but its a hell of a lot more time and work then moving a couple pins up or down and being on your way.

    But thats just my point of view and experience, I am curious as to why you would recommend a fixed deck?
  8. Atlantic Lawn

    Atlantic Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Outer Banks NC
    Messages: 948

    Hydro all the way, we lived with belt drive for quite some time and if your budget allows get the hydro.
  9. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,270

    Hydro is better yes but a belt drive works just fine. We have owned many belt drives and never had any problems out of them. One had 3500 hours when we sold it and it pulled a velky with me or my father on it every day. The only way that ours would slip any was if we were stuck cutting in an absolute down pour.

    For a small 36" i would save the money and go belt if it were me. Its also MUCH cheaper to repair a belt drive than a hydro.
  10. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,397

    I may be wrong but you seem to be confused about gear drive and belt drive. They are the same thing. The gears drive the belts.

    Toro lists their mowers as gear drives but everyone refers to them as belt drives. Hope that helps.

    Yes, hydro is superior to gear/belt drive.

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