velke on belt drives

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Les Blum, Apr 1, 2002.

  1. Les Blum

    Les Blum LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    A dealer for Bob Cats and Ferris told me the only problem I would have using a velke on a "48 belt drive would be replacing belts yearly. An exmark (also a "48 belt drive) dealer said the velke would ruin the transmission. I've researched this site found the same comments. Anybody have any other thoughts? Thanks.
  2. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I'm going on the 3rd year on the original drive belts and tranny in my 36" Exmark Metro. I have had zero problems with either item and the mower sees around 200 hours a year. Usually the only people who complain about problems with this setup are people with hydro mowers and dealers who want to sell more expensive equipment.
  3. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,469

    I agree with Rich. I had 3 years on my 54 bobcat without problems. Also, even if you have a problem with the peerless trans, gears are less than $30, and they are so easy to work on a 10 year old can fix it.
    I think the guy's that are having problems don't disengaged the belts as they shift... they just whack it with their Knee. Also, things are relative. If you weight 300 lbs. or you use the mower 8 hours a day it will not last that long. But, if you are using it that much, you are making some good money with it, so belts and gears are a cheap expenditure....
  4. CLM1103

    CLM1103 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    I use the Jungle Wheels with my belt drive 36" Scag with no problems. I have lots of yards with 30 degree grades and also work when grass is wet often. I have not had belt slippage, tracking problems, tranny problems or any of the other problems dealers tell me that I will have. I weigh 190 and mow over 90 yards a week with this. I have the 13 HP Kaw. The only thing hydro wo;uld do for me over a belt drive is have a full reverse which I neveer use anyway.
  5. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    In the first place, you aren't going to go through belts hardly any faster with a velke than without. And as far as the Exmark dealer saying you'll go through the tranny, wel, this guy sounds like he's coming from outerspace or something. Actually, he needs to be sat down, and had a talking to by Exmark, and educate him a little about their product he's selling. Just another salesman that doesn't know his rear from a hole in the ground, is what it sounds like to me. I love when these guys talk a good game and they don't know hardly the first thing about it, because they've never even RAN one before, let alone actually used one. Anyway, a velke creates so little drag, that it doesn't really affect it. I can say however, if you're going with a belt drive, get the pivoting trailer type velke that bends and follows the mower, as opposed to the solid mount type that has to swing out and around for the mower to turn. These take more to turn around, and can slow your productivity down considerabally due to slippage. Also, just a helpful hint; keep your belts in good adjustment to avoid excess wear, and get yourself a can of belt dressing (available at auto stores) Just a squirt of this on about one inch of each side of your belts, and your belts will be so tacky that your mower will lift the front up like NOW whenever you release the handles. (so be careful, because it IS resPONsive!)
  6. Les Blum

    Les Blum LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Thanks. I appreciate the response. I knew I would get an informed answer on this site.
  7. GilbertJT

    GilbertJT LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    I don't mean to beat a dead horse to death, but last years flier put out by Scag shows their own sit down sulky hooked to a belt drive walkbehind. I personally have a Jungle Wheel behind my 48" Scag walkbehind and have had no problems with it. It pulls like a dream. I would guess if the manufacturer is printing the belt drives hooked to a sulky that they should hold up ok. I don't know about Exmarks, but I am sure that it would work just fine. They have the same tranny.

    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 665

    I'm 170 lbs and I use a velkie on a belt drive. The belts don't seem to wear out any faster, and I have not totally rebuilt the tranny yet, BUT, I strip the threads on the drive shaft once every year. They are the older types with small teeth. I'm told the newer trannys on the Toro's have larger teeth but weaker gears inside.
  9. eslawns

    eslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 712

    I have 2 WB's and have used Velkes on both since I got them. The oldest is almost 6 years old, and was the only mower I had for 2 or 3 years. I replaced the engine/tranny belt last year. I haven't replaced the wheel drive belts yet, but they're starting to crack (dry rot). The other mower is newer (3 years old) and I replaced the belt in the second season. A stick got caught in it and chewed it up. Here's the deal: These belts were about $8 each, so who cares if I needed to replace it once a season?

    If you demo both machines, you'll probably like the hydro machine better. It's easier to use, and will back up better. But the gear drives are OK, and you shouldn't spend an extra grand you don't want to to save $8 a year in belts.

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