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Hydro or belt drive? that big a deal?


Starting a lawn care business.

How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:02 PM
Seann
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Default Hydro or belt drive? that big a deal?

My friends at work believe that I need to get a hydro. Unless I'm running in the rain for a few hours, I dont see the diff. Does anyone have any experienced views on this. And what is the difference in price. My scag dealer is offering a 48" belt drive (new) for $3199 w/ hour meter. I guess Im a little upset that the dealer didnt try to up sell me to the hydro. What do you guys think?. Im new here so I will go with the majority vote.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:36 PM
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Hydro has the advantage of being able to reverse without changing the gear which helps a bit but not often. Belt drive has the advantage of smooth forward motion and continuous forward motion without stopping when you let off the handle which helps all the time in every situation (except reversing).

I prefer belt drive.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:04 PM
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I prefer belt drive.
How does weather conditions effect the belt drive? If the grass is wetter does it slip more? Or is that something that shouldn't even be concerned with?
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:24 PM
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How does weather conditions effect the belt drive? If the grass is wetter does it slip more? Or is that something that shouldn't even be concerned with?
The drive belts will slip a bit in a steady downpour but you don't cut in those conditions anyway. The grass itself being wet doesn't affect the drive belts.
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:32 AM
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My new mower is a belt drive and so far I love it. It dosnt look like fun to work on though. There is a huge maze of belts under it. Maybe I better take a picture now in case I screw it up some day.
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Old 09-08-2009, 09:55 PM
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There have been several situations where I wished I had a hydro walkbehind instead of a belt drive.

One time I had over 2500 feet of road frontage drainage ditch to mow on a bi-weekly basis. The slope was steep enough that only a walkbehind could be used. The bottom of the ditch was continuously muddy and kicked up mud often clogged the drive belt channels. A hydro would not have had a clog problem.

All-in-all, I prefer belt drive walkbehinds for their manual controls (ability to neutralize the belts quickly), lower cost, lower weight, ease of repair.

However, for all riders (ZTRs, etc.), I prefer hydros.

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