I used a belt drive WB for the first time today....and it sucked. Questions....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by thefed, Apr 14, 2007.

  1. thefed

    thefed LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 350

    I always have used hydro and only toyed around here and there with a belt driven. WOW.

    I have some questions....

    WTF is with my knee being bruised from shifting so much with my knee?

    Am I correct in running a quick perimeter, then starting my lines....making a 90 degree turn at the end, SHIFTING to Reverse assist, muscling the tank backwards like a K turn, and then starting my next line (after, of course, bruising my knee some more on the shifter)

    I'd like to be able to shift by hand...but it doesnt seem possible unless i use the finger lock/brake things each time which suck

    It also doesnt seem to want to hold a hill sideways very well...or is that just operater error?

    Any advice to help me from going nuts?
  2. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,808

    shifting into reverse????? after the mowing is much more than a week old reverse no longer really works on a gear drive belt driven WB. get good with throwing your wieght into it and "manhandling" it around in corners. when we used to use them i would stop the inside wheel withouthitting the break so you can pull it backwords as the outside wheel still drives. makes a much tighter 0 turn.
  3. MTR

    MTR LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,280

    There is no reverse such thing for belt wb, the tranny is the joke, everything is about manhadling. I don't know why they make belt wb for people to use?
    There is no way to make money, or living by using belt wb, even using them as backup, instead it will backup your accounts even worse when rain start and all wet. good luck on belt.
  4. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    I think there is more to this than just being a belt drive mower. Our 36 and our 48" (we are selling) rides and turns just like any other more there is. I will say, our 36" Exmark Metro HP is pretty weak when reversing unless you push down on the levers. Now, our 48" Toro ProLine does awesome in any gear. The reverse gear is really close to a hydro unit!. Try adjusting the belt tensions. As far as shifting and getting bruises...never had this happen to me or any one else running our mowers. Not to be a smart arss, but you do know you have to stop and shift a belt driven mower. I make 2 passes around entire area to be mowed then I rarley have the need to put it into reverse. I think if this is your first belt driven mower you just might need some practice because thats all we run and we never have the problems you are talking about.
  5. freddyc

    freddyc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 578

    I just had to comment on this...

    People have been "making money" and a business out of walk-behinds for 30+ years.

    I have Toro proline---true the reverse isn't a magical thing but it is very useable and controllable.

    Any mowing in the rain makes a relative mess. It requires some degree of attention to detail, slowing down and not spinning circles like you're in the Indy 500.

    If you work with the machine a little, theres very little man-handling involved.
  6. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    You guys are nuts! I will agree that they (hydro's) are a little quicker but, (at least ours) come in at a very close second. And for a price difference of usually DOUBLE I think I will take a split second longer to save 2-3k.
  7. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,808

    i used belt drive WB's for over 10 years until going to ZTRs about 5 years ago. although they sucked when wet, i managed well. i still have one now only to do gated areas and it works great. i couldnt justify the extra few thousand to go hydro. if i was only using WB's now id consider one hydro, one belt.
  8. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 2,994

    You just need practice using a belt driven mower. I sounds like the mower you used may not have been adjusted correctly. Probably some operator error too. Mine holds some crazy hills quite well.
    Belt drives have a reverse assist, takes some getting used to. I can reverse while standing on the sulky....granted not in all situations and not at a great speed.
    As far as bruising your knee....I have no idea....except that you have to pretty much stop to change gears. You can coast a little a change gears, but it shouldn't bruise your knee.
    The belts do like to slip in the rain. It is a PITA.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    If it's not a Toro, why even bother?

    The part I think is funny is folks spending another 500 - 1000 on a hydro, when the whole problem is that stupid pistol grip / ecs system, get a T-bar'd Toro and you will see why belt-drives are my favorite. Cheaper, highly effective and no hydros to sap the engine's power (so you don't need a gas-guzzling 19hp engine).

    I see Lco's busting their noggins over it: Gee, maybe this 48" it's just too big, that's what it is, the 21hp Kawasaki can't power all this machine so I'll just get a 36" yeah... Hmmmm, oh yeah, has to be hydro because the belt drives they suck.

    The entire lawn mower is re-invented every year, gee, what could it be, what is the problem?
    Oh-kay, small deck hydros with big engines, that's it.

    No, belt drives do not suck, it's the control system: All non T-bar controlled mowers Suck!
    Why don't they put T-bars on anything else?
    Because Toro is the pioneer of this system and Toro holds the patent!
    Yes, a T-bar is not just some bs controls, it is a patented design, that's how good it is.

    As for shifting, you're not supposed to shift it, put it in the highest gear and leave it there. Backing up: one don't get in that predicament, two you can always pull a 300-lb. fixed deck, and three with a T-bar they do back up some kinda way most of the time but you shouldn't get yourself in like that, select a gear and leave it there, learn to drive accordingly.
  10. CRF500

    CRF500 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 152

    A T bar is for amatures, I will give it this it is safe. My 52 hydro with a fixed velkie and pistols will stomp your toro belt bad any day of the week.

    I use a belt 36 with a velkie for back yards and it is fine for that.

    It cracks me up these guys talking about the way there belt drives are so productive as a main mower, don't get me wrong you can make money with them it's just that my Super z will out cut a squadron of those things when you have real mowing to do!

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