HYDRO COST MORE TO REPLACE THAN BELTS
HYDRO MOWER COST MORE
HYDRO CAN CUT WHEN GRASS IS WET
BELT CAN SLIP IF THEY GET WET
BELT EASIER TO MAINTAIN
WHY NOT GO WITH A 36 IN WB?
IF YOU ARE GOING WITH A 32 OR 36 I WOULDNT WASTE THE MONEY ON A HYDRO. IF YOU GO WITH A 48 THEN I WOULD CONSIDER HYDRO, BUT GOOD LUCK GETTING INTO BACK YARDS. AT LEAST WITH A 36 YOU CAN GET IN THE BACK YARDS WITH OUR NEEDING A PUSH MOWER
I sometimes wish I had gotten a 32" instead of my 36", now that I have a 60" LazerZ. The 32" would go in 100% of the backyards, no prob. As it is now, once a week I must drag out the 21", sure would be nice to be able to leave it home.
As for belt vs. hydro, hydros are quicker, easier to handle, less fatique, more productive being they are a true zero turn, where belt is not. Belts are still beasts that will cut for years, but if price is no matter, get a hydro.....they cost more for a reason.
This isn't what you asked about - but is a real interesting alternative.
Gravely has a new Z rider they call the 34-Z. Here is why I think it's a real interesting .
1. Its price is the same as their 36"hydro walk - $3995 and you said price is not a facter to you.
2. It has a 5 1/2 inch deep, 7 ga. thick steel deck, with the same spindles they use in their 60 inch riders - This is a terrific mower deck. 18,500 bl. tip speed !
3. The deck is floating type , which is unusual in this small size mower. Do the other walk behinds have a floating deck in this size ? The height of cut is set with the foot pedal lift - almost instantly. Most walk pro mowers take much more time and effort to change height or lift over a curb etc.
4. I checked the overall length of some 32" to 36" walk behinds and they were mostly 80+ inches. The 34 Z Gravely is only 75 inches long. Since the operator is behind an 80 inch long walk mower, it won't be able to manuever in tight quarters as easy as the much shorter rider that has its operator sitting mid ship.
Also, since the operator is sitting not standing, they get under trees with low limbs much easier !
5. The 34-Z has a 15 hp Kawasaki engine, and most walks this size use a 13 hp engine. It also has 21 inch dia. rear drive tires, most walks use a 13 to 16 inch dia. tire.
6. The Gravely uses separate Hydro gear pumps and wheel motors, not the cheaper IZT or AZT combo pump/motor units that you find on most of the cheaper "homeowner" Z riders. The Gravely is built commercial grade in every aspect of the machine.
Sorry for the long post - especially since it's not what you asked about to compare, but I thought the Gravely 34Z rider has some neat qualities that you might not be aware of.