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If you're buying 2 w/b's ,which setup is better

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Smitty58, Jun 4, 2005.

  1. Smitty58

    Smitty58 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 531

    If you were going to buy 2 w/b's and could not afford 2 big hydro's which would you buy? 1 hydro 48 or 52 and 1 belt 36 or 1 hydro 36 and 1 belt 48 or 52? If the 48 hydro is approx $4500 and the 36 belt is $2800 would that be the best way to go? Or would you buy 2 36 hydros? We are a 2 man operation that do residentials of 1/4 to 1 1/2 acre lots.
  2. South Florida Lawns

    South Florida Lawns LawnSite Platinum Member
    from usa
    Messages: 4,784

    What are most of your accounts like? Mostly open no gates then you could benefit from bigger mowers, or if they are smaller then you could do as I do by running a 44'' Z and a 32'' belt wb. I have a lot of accounts with gated back yards.
  3. Smitty58

    Smitty58 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 531

    I don't think I have a lot of variations ,but maybe the way I wrote it it sounds that way. Basically my question is ,if you can't afford 2 big w/b hydros which is better ,1 big hydro with 1 small belt or the other way around.
  4. Tn Lawn Man

    Tn Lawn Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 479

    If most of the turf is front yards or if gates are not an issue then:

    Go with the biggest hydro wb you can get. And, then a 32" belt.

    If more of your turf is really tight (shrubs/trees, yard ornaments etc...) or if most of your turf is behind a small gate then go just the opposite.

    Bottom line: the one you will be using more should be the hydro....love hydros...they are great.
  5. op4_camper

    op4_camper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    Do you need a small mower? Do you think your going to need a small mower?
    If I didnt need a small mower then I would buy two larger mowers.
    Which ever mower is going to be doing the most turns and backing up around small areas should be the hydro. Backing up with out stopping and shifting is where hydros shine. On large lawns with a large deck you can very easily make due with a belt drive.
  6. MTR

    MTR LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,280

    Idealistically, two 52" Hydro with comfy control system would be the best combo cause one backs one another wtih same "consistency". But you can 'tafford them both even used unit?
    Then I would go with a 52" hydro and a 36" hydro (used), they prove lethal, low cost and better profit ratio. Don't buy belt. period, it sucks rain wet belt and groan, moan, poor hill handling, and fatigue factor, poor backingup, or non whatsoever, can't even get out of trailer without using or wasting time, cause it is not same level of performance as the hydro unit, it sucks to have belt.
  7. gml9

    gml9 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 109

    I'm currently running a 52w/b with Velke(belt) and using a Toro self propelled mower for any light trimming. I have 15 accounts, solo operator,and only one lawn I have to use the Toro 21"(backyard, narrow gate). I'm debating on a 44" Z or a 36 w/b(belt). The Velke is nice but takes a toll on the back! My lawns and customers are maintained very well....since I pay lots of attention to details. I understand the hydro's are more efficient but don't think the price differential is worthy at least in my case currently. I'm also mowing flat residentials. Either way you are upgrading from whatever you were using to mow with...so it will be much improved efficiency and cuts. Also you can always sell the belt driven mower and upgrade as you get more accounts since people are trying to start lawncare businesses each season as others are gaining more accounts/money and improving equipment. JMO.
  8. op4_camper

    op4_camper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    I have both belt and a hydro. Don't get me wrong I love hydro. But with that said. A good belt drive is not as bad as what your saying. Yes you have to stop and shift to back up. Some time you have to pull them to get it going in reverse when going up a slight incline. If its slipping in the rain or on a hill. Then you don't have it set right or maintained correctly.

    I think its great that he knows how much he can spend and hes sticking to it with out over extending himself.
  9. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,451

    I think one place where the hydro is good is in tight mowing situations such as 10K yards, small condo units that are packed tight. If you are mowing flat large properties without a lot of turning then save the money and get the belt drive. I would not have thought that the belt drives would hold up long term pulling a riding device but the vast majority of responses in this forum indicates otherwise.

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