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What does "Hydro" mean on Mowers ?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Lawns2nv, Oct 27, 2001.

  1. Lawns2nv

    Lawns2nv LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    Hi guys, I'm looking into buying a Exmark Walkbehind mower. Question is should I buy a Metro fiexed deck gear driven , or the Metro HP "Floating deck" is the HP W/ the floating deck really worth more money? Lastley whats the difference between the Metro & the Vivking Hydro? What does Hydro mean any advantges to owning a Hydro walkbehind? Thanks if u could let me no before i make a mistake on the wrong walkbehind, I'm looking at a 44" or 48" one, Thank You
  2. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    There are few types of drive systems for mowers... Belt, Gear, and Hydraulic driven are the most popular. Oxen and Horse drawn have been dying out over the past few years.

    Hydro just means hydraulic pumps put the power to your wheels instead of belts. Its a better choice, but its all on opinion.

    The big plus for belt drives is the low cost

    The big plus for Hydro's is no slipping when wet conditions arise.

    Hope this helps a little!
  3. MuskTurfKing

    MuskTurfKing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 338

    Very well put Guido.

  4. dlandscaping

    dlandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 835

    hydro is instant reverse. gear only has reverse assist(unless it is the t-bar). the hydro they say is increased productivity, i dont know if that is true, the hydro is good for tight landscaped properties with turns and odstacles where zero turn and instant reverse(hydro) are great at. the gears are what i and many other lcos use. they are inexpensive. most lcos spend the extra $$ usually $1000 between the gear and hydro on a ztr. if this is your first walkebehind go with gear unless u have $4000+ for a hydro. also resale value of hydro is greater than of gear and they say the hydro is less maintnence and will last longer but that is up for debate. the metro and viking have same deck just the metro is gear and viking hydro. the hydro will work better with a sulky and be quicker on tightly landscaped properties.
  5. rodney

    rodney LawnSite Member
    from sw,ohio
    Messages: 103

  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    Never had a gear drive, I think belt drive works you to hard. Hydro you will feel better at the end of the day. Hydro are a little faster than belts. Both give a excellent cut or a least my Lescos do. I think everyone has given you good advise. My choice if you can swing it is a hydro w/b with velk. I mounted a bikecycle seat on my. They take up less room on the trailer than a ZTR. however my first w/b was a belt drive I was looking at price not economy.
  7. lawnMaster5000

    lawnMaster5000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 591

    well first of all as with any purchase you need to make sure to demo the equipment first. But as a little background knowledge,

    Belt: will give you forward speeds (usualy in increments of 5) and a reverse assist that you need to stop and shift into. It is often difficult to use in wet conditions and can be very tricky to start and stop smothly which can result in tearing of the grass. High maintence with belt replacement and tuning.

    Hydro: Forward and reverse are both infinately variable . Each wheel is controlled individualy (one can go forward while other back.) This allows you to make tighter turns and better stripes with alot less effort by the user. Starting and stopping are both very smooth as the speed is infinately variable by the hand controls. There is no shifting necessary to go from forward to reverse which allows you to mow in tighter areas and under tress and such much easier than any belt would allow. Another added bonus is that hydro systems are not affected by moisture meaning you have perfect control of your machine even when it is raining(something you dont have with belts.) Low maintence, with little tunning necessary.

    Gear: Sorry no experience, but from what i know, much like a belt drive system.

    Good luck and my vote would be Hydro, but yes it does cost a little more. I thinnk you will find it to be well worth extra costs.
  8. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    I personally do alot of tight areas and alot of backing up so Exmark hydro drives, are all I own. I owned a belt once, never again. Pay the extra for the hydro, you will not be sorry, IMHO.
  9. Eng Mwr Guy

    Eng Mwr Guy Gravely Manufacturer
    Messages: 249

    The fact you asked the question tells me you may want to consider sticking with a belt drive. This is the machine of choice for a lot of start-up landscapers. It is easier to maintain and repair on your own. The maintenance costs overall should be cheaper on a gear than on a hydro.

    The Michigan market has a lot of 36 &32's sold into it. I would guess Detroit is the reason for this.

    If you have primarily flat accounts a Belt drive WB may work ok for you.

    Gravely Guy

    Gratuitous Promo plug: Try the New Gravely - you may like it, then again, maybe not - you wont know unless you try though.
  10. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    Umm....Gear and Belt drive are the same thing, arent' they?

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