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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, as most of you know I"m in the market for a WB and have never purchased one or operaed one. What are your remarks, I don't want to spend to much, so do I go hydro or gear, please give me your responces with some sort of explaination. Is buying the gear driven worth the cut cost, or no?
 

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If cost is the issue go belt driven......Toro and Exmark make good mowers for good prices. 36" and 48" run 2100-2300 dollars. Hydro is nice but expensive....

Derek
 

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About $2500 for a 48" Exmark gear drive.

About $3500 for a 48" Lesco hydro.

If you are going to do some larger yards with zero obstacles then the gear drive is fine. If you need to turn a lot and will have a sulky then the hydro is the ticket.
 

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Without a doubt, go hydro. Twice the cost, will last 5 times longer, less maintanence, faster, smoother, true zero turn ability, I could go on and on.....new companies starting out with limited budgets go belt until they can afford ( or try) a hydro. I used a hydro for years working with someone else, then an opportunity came about for me to buy a gear/belt driven for cheap and I did. Sold it pretty quickly. It was nice, but nothing compared to the hydro. Just get the best now, don't worry about later, it'll still be there for you years and years down the road.

~Nest

P.S. eXmark, not Toro
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
HEY your from near home...nice... Yea, I try and stay with my residential mostly ,and under 10K, I do have some office buildings where a 32 or 36 would come in handy, but all my lawns seem to be smaller, but they are also where I turn the most profit from. 35 to 45$ for a 15 to 23 min jobber!!! thats money, expcially when I am starting to delevelope closer routes.. hey you don't need a 42" Husqvarna rider do you?...lol
 

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All other things being equal (engine/deck,etc...) Bob-Cat hydro is about $1100 more than a geardrive. That's not too bad considering 2 wheel motors and 2 pumps and the hoses.
 

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I bought a Toro Proline 48" Belt drive with the 15hp Kawasaki Twin engine about 2 months ago. So far, I am very happy with the machine. Scag was my first choice, but the Toro dealer gave me a better price. More importantly, they had a better attitude than the Scag dealer. I paid $2795 for my Toro. Best of luck.
 

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Don't waste your time with belt, go hydro and don't look back. If you can't afford a new one, get a used one. Less of a learning curve with a hydro, full reverse with a hydro, not assist. With a hydro you don't have any of that knee shifting crap, what a pain in the arse. I sure as heck wouldn't want to jerk around a belt drive in some situations when it's 95-100 degrees out and I want to go home. Would you? Just some thoughts
 

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If budget is not a question, definitely twin hydro pumps either 36" or 48" would be the ticket. You are looking at around 4k and more for those hydro mowers (almost little ZTR). If this is out of question, for half a price and less the belt mower will serve you fine as you learn how to operate without using much or at all that reverse assist, instead ride out and back with sulky to do things, I hope you know what I meant, so you won't get too fatigued. The 36' will be easier to manhandle than the 48" if belt driven, in fact, piece of cake once you get hang on it.
As far as who last longer? belt or hydro. It depends how you take care of them, but one thing for sure belt is damn cheap to fix compared to over 1k to replace or repair those hydro pumps. I love my belt Metro anyway, sleep well at night cause there is nothing to worry especially those suffocating repair-related cost.
a thought from low budget LCO...
 

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Originally posted by MTR

As far as who last longer? belt or hydro. It depends how you take care of them, but one thing for sure belt is damn cheap to fix compared to over 1k to replace or repair those hydro pumps. I love my belt Metro anyway, sleep well at night cause there is nothing to worry especially those suffocating repair-related cost.
a thought from low budget LCO...
I agree 100% with MTR just said. IMO, a belt drive is a good for a beginner who is on a budget. Someone said on here the other day, "what did everyone use before hyrdo driven machines?" The answer would be a belt drive. BTW, the Peerless 700 series gearbox used on every belt drive that I know of is about $200 to replace it if it goes bad. Sure beats a grand or more. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have a hydro WB, but my budget doesn't permit that right now. I am, however, content with my purchase.
 

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Originally posted by ElephantNest
Without a doubt, go hydro. Twice the cost, will last 5 times longer, less maintanence, faster, smoother, true zero turn ability, I could go on and on.....new companies starting out with limited budgets go belt until they can afford ( or try) a hydro. I used a hydro for years working with someone else, then an opportunity came about for me to buy a gear/belt driven for cheap and I did. Sold it pretty quickly. It was nice, but nothing compared to the hydro. Just get the best now, don't worry about later, it'll still be there for you years and years down the road.

~Nest

P.S. eXmark, not Toro
You're right on some points. But I'd differ in my advice on several others.

1. HYDRO mowers cost about $1200 more, plus any engine or deck size improvements. But not double that I've found on comparable units.

2. Less maintenance: Yes, usually, but added maint. on a belt drive consists of changing or adjusting streched or worn belts a time or two a year. Sometimes even less. But it's a chich to do and hardly a factor for an experienced repairer. Belts are relatively cheap, especially if you buy them by mail instead of at our dealer. And Hydros have belts too for blades,blade engagment, and to run the pumps.

3. Last 5 times longer? I wasn't aware of this. A gear transmission lasts a long time, but a replacement is less than $200 and you can bolt it on yourself. Hydro motors(2) and pumps(2) typically, cost about $400-$500 each for the part alone, and are more a job for a skilled mechanic. since it's more involved. The heavier ground weight and demands on the system from the pumps would theoretically shorter a hydro's life, not extend it.

4. Faster?: Some are. But my Toro belt drives hit 6.2 mph now. Right around hydro wb top speed. But there are practical limits to how fast you can mow with a wb that make this issue less important .

5. Hydros sure do turn around easier and back up easier. But I wouldn't say they're smoother. At least not vs.myT bar Toros. Even my mecanic says the wb hydros are too jerky.

My advice would be to buy what you can afford and need. Small lots, w/ lots of tuns....go hydro. Hills...hydro. Mow in the rain a lot...hydro. Medium-large rectangles of flat grass.....a belt will do fine.
 

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OK, #1:

eXmark belt 36" $1999.00: eXmark hydro 36" $4199.00 ( I'd say that's darn near doubled)

#2:

I've worked with two hydros over the last 15 years, never had ONE problem, with the pumps, never replaced, only maintained( both still cutting fine)

#3:

Please show me a 15+ year old belt driven still working as good as new

#4:

Toro what? 36"? 15 hp engine? Probably not. My TTHP w/ 15 hp goes 6.2 and 2.2 in reverse ( which is key to quickness and agility) Rain or shine

#5:

Jerky?? OMG NO! With these new ECS and the hydros I've never experienced anything smoother, more responsive...only jerk on my mower is me.


Depends on what you want: The best? Or will you settle for a belt? As for me, I'm done settling when it comes to my business. I'll say it again: You Get What You Pay For!

~Nest
 

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I HAVE A 48 EXMARK BELT DRIVE, ITS 6YRS OLD. NEVER HAD ANY PROBLEMS, I MOW WITH IT MOST EVERY DAY. THE HYDRO IS GREAT NO DOUBT, THE ONLY PROBLEMS W/ BELT DRIVE IS STEEP HILLS, YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL IT WILL GET AWAY FROM YOU. FOR THE MONEY I PREFER THE BELT DRIVE IF YOUR PROPERTIES ARE SMALL AND NOT TO HILLY. TAKE THE MONEY YOU SAVE AND AFTER A YR OR TWO MOVE UP AND GET A ZTR.
 

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Toro hydros are too jumpy. I hate the T-bars with hydro. I felt like after I was coming out of a turn I would overshoot it and I didn't like that at all. Tried the ECS hydro and I was sold.
 

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Ditto ditto, Lawn perfection and John Gamba, why care for a hydro walk if you want to spend that much money close to what a 44" Lazer costs!?
36" Hydro eXmark 15 Kawi $ 4199 , plus a $390 bullrider or $ 650 eXmark sulky, you are close to 5 K, for additional 1k, at 6K you get the 44" Lazer with bigger engine 17 hp Kawi and much faster with MUCH MUCH MORE productivity than the 36"....and so on...etc, now you want to sell that hydro walk for a Lazer...and so on...etc.
I feel justified now, hah. *smiling*
 
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