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Need Advice

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by dannyboy20, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. dannyboy20

    dannyboy20 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    Im thinking about purchasing a walk behind mower to maintain a few lawns on the side. Talking to one landscaper he said to go with hydro over belt driven. Are belt driven mowers difficult to mow with. I have yet to operate eather style. Also wondering what is a good size mowere to use. Thanks
  2. Ecoscape01

    Ecoscape01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    I don't really have a lot to offer here but I can tell you that as a newbie looking to start my first season, I just bought a belt-driven 36" with no deck cover. With no deck cover it's a little less pleasing to the eyes but the access to the belts is a lot better than with a deck cover. And if a belt snaps so what? My variable speed tranny is pretty simple too. If that thing breaks, it looks pretty easy to remove and replace, the hardest thing would probably be to find the part. Now I worked on the hydraulics and airframes of F/A-18 fighters in the Navy and I'll be the first to tell ya that when Hydraulics break, it's the hardest system to trouble-shoot and expensive to fix. Maybe some other guys have a lot more technical comparisons to offer. This is all just speculation from me as I have no practical knowledge yet. Just my 2 cents
  3. Mow2nd-2

    Mow2nd-2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    what size deck you need will depend on the size yards you will be cutting, if you are cutting 1/2 acre or less on average go with a 36", if 1/2 or larger go with a 48" or more, but remember that with bigger decks you won't be able to get though some gates so will have to carry a smaller mower for those yards.
    As for belt-drive vs. hydro, i use belt drive they are a lot cheaper to buy and fix when something goes wrong and sooner or later something will go wrong, but one main draw back to belt drive is that when you get the belts wet they slip and the mower won't pull good, you can use your blower to dry them off and your back to mowing in no time. also you won't do as much damage to a yard with belt drive
  4. dannyboy20

    dannyboy20 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    I found a 2000 52" Exmark belt with a grass gobbler on craigslist for $1500. The thing looks mint, and it was only used the cut his own lawn. Never used for commercial. Only problem is i dont have a trailor and i doubt it would fit in my truck.
  5. martinfan06

    martinfan06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 631

    Imo.. If youve never been on a walkbehind mower try out a toro t-bar belt driven, you can pick one up for a good price and its a great mower for the type of work your looking at, easy to operate, easy to work on nice mowers.
  6. dannyboy20

    dannyboy20 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    Thanks for the advice.
  7. dannyboy20

    dannyboy20 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    Whats the price range on something like that.
  8. Lugnut

    Lugnut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 551

    Hydro's are easier and more comfortable to use, with just the finger controls you can adjust your speed, direction (forward/reverse), and you do not have to deal with belts slipping. With gear driven mowers you have to shift gears to change your speed or direction, but they are alot cheaper and in reality the belts are really not that inconvenient. If you are only doing lawns on side as you said, I wouldn't want to tie up extra money in a hydro when a gear will do the job fine
  9. Duramax8832

    Duramax8832 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    I think Hydros only have a real advantage going across hills..they seem to hold a strait line better..The belt drive will do it, you just have to finess it a little bit more.
  10. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,095

    You can pick-up a used Toro T bar belt drive mower for $800 on the low end to $2000 or so. Check out the market place here at lawnsite. Also get your phone book out or go online and find a listing of local dealers and see what they have for used equipment. Now is the time for used mowers to start comming in. You might consider checking ebay as well.

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