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Weak Reverse


LawnSite Senior Member
Alexandria, MN.
I just bought a new 2000 Exmark Metro HP 48". I love the new machine except for one thing-the reverse is sooooo weak, while standing on the sulky it will not back me up, even if i get off of the sulky it will usually not move unless i pull back on it to get it started, then it might go. Backing up a hill, yeah right!!!-NO WAY> I asked my dealer and they told me it was only a "reverse assist" I'm almost wishing i would have gone with a hydro. I was just wondering if this is normal for belt drives, Exmark in particular, or what the deal is. Thanks for any help or suggestions!

Richard Martin

LawnSite Fanatic
Greenville, NC
Exmark seems to have the worst "Reverse Assist" on the market. Mine is the same way. The only way to have "True Reverse" is to have dual clutch idler pulleys. One on the top and one on the bottom. Some machines have them, Exmark and "GRAVE"ly do not.


LawnSite Bronze Member
I own a 48" Exmark hydro. I recently bought a used 36" belt drive strickly for a backup machine. God I hope my hydro never goes down! Belt compared to hydro. THERE IS NO COMPARISION! Hydro is the only way to go. I'm sorry I bought the belt drive. Maybe I'll try to trade it in for a new hydro, and use my older hydro for a backup. They do cost more but it is worth it, trust me! Live and learn I guess.


LawnSite Silver Member
I have not used the reverse assist on gravely 36 in year. When i need the machine to go backwards all i do is squeeze the brakes to bring the machine to neutral and pull back. Its alot faster and the reverse assist dosnt due much anyway.


LawnSite Gold Member
ESBY--you shoudda' done more homework before your purchase.

all of the belt drives I know of have an assisted reverse. none of them are gonna back up your machine and sulky including my lesco 48.

what mister stone means by his post (I think) is that if you cut smart, you'll never need to back up your unit and the sulky. it takes practice and thinking. I've been there so I know it can be done.

regardless all opinions, the belt drive does have it's good points.

good luck on those hills!



LawnSite Senior Member
Columbus Ga
I have a toro 36" belt and when on my velke it goes and pulls in reverse just fine pulls me out of tight area fairly well, check your belt tension espessially if the dealer sells a lot of them as long as there is a foward
it's ready to go out the door and the money in the bank.