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Sulkys with belt drive?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by slippednfell, Feb 7, 2004.

  1. slippednfell

    slippednfell LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Based on excellent advice here, I've decided to add a sulky to my WB when I purchase it. I talked to a commercial equipment dealer on the phone, and he didn't think that sulkys work as well on belts as they do on hydros. I've seen some posts here, however, that indicate this might not always be true. What's been your experience towing a sulky behind a belt drive? For what it's worth, I weigh about 185, and I'm thinking about a 36" fixed deck, belt drive Scag WB. I want to buy professional, quality equipment, but I don't want to break the bank doing it. Just as important, though, I want the equipment to work right and be compatible. Any thoughts you might have would be very helpful.
  2. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    Any trailering two wheel sulky should do.
  3. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,469

    Yes..... and, if you're not too heavy :)o ) a single wheel will work fine, too. Keep in mind, you're probably going to average 4 to 5 mph with the velky not 7. However, it's much faster than walking at 3 to 3.5 mph and much less tiring.
  4. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,157

    Belt drives work fine with sulkys. The biggest advantage with the hydros is being able to go into reverse.

    We have been using sulkys for years now with our belt drives, and they work fine. We haven't had any problems with transmissions, belts, engines, whatever.

    Remember, belt drives with sulkys were around long before hydros were even a glint in someone's eye.

    MIMAINTAINCE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    I have a 54" bobcat belt drive 17 hp kawasaki and it pulls me fine on a 2 wheel sulky. I weigh 150lbs though, so it may vary for you. Like the others said, only downfall is you cant back up w/ sulky on belt drive. Other than that, works great
  6. slippednfell

    slippednfell LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Mimaintaince, you said that you can't back up with a sulky on belt drive. Do you mean that you can't back up at all, or do you mean that backing up is difficult? Just wondering.
  7. charlies

    charlies LawnSite Senior Member
    from earth
    Messages: 587

    with most small belt driven units, you pretty much have to pull them along to get them going in reverse, so you would have to step off the sulky and pull.

    have you actually tried a belt driven versus a hydro at the dealer? he/she would be glad to let you try, and show you how to work 'em if you don't know. sorry if i'm not helping.
  8. slippednfell

    slippednfell LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Charlies -- You're helping a lot, you really are. To answer your question about test driving a belt versus a hydro at the dealer, I haven't done that yet. Until I do, reading the insights of vets like yourself is the next best thing. Thanks again for your comments. (By the way, it seems like maybe you think the hydros are worth the extra money. Is this true, or am I reading too much into your post?)
  9. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,469

    A good hydro which will really bring out the "reason for buying one" is about twice the price of a belt drive machine. In other words, you are looking at 5k to 6k compared to 2.5k or 3k. Yes, you can get a 4K hydro, but it will short on the speed and power you want "from the money you are spending".
    If you "have" the money get the hydro, otherwise a toro, bobcat, exmark or simliar simple belt drive is the better deal.
    Here's a comparison of a standard belt WB and a highend Hydro WB. As you can see the Hydro is much bigger and beefier. One is a toy an the other is a tank.

    mower compare.jpg
  10. charlies

    charlies LawnSite Senior Member
    from earth
    Messages: 587

    i have both and would much rather drive the hydros. for me the lines are straighter and the turns are cleaner. but i have only used the belt driven models maybe 200 hours total while i have more than 5000 on hydros. that could be why they look better with a hydro.

    btw, i work in the office almost exclusively now. my brother who also owns the business is the field manager, i'm the office manager.

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