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Which Is BETTER? ► Hydro Vs Belt Driven Walk Behind Lawn Mowers FAQ Video

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Today I wanted to share with you guys for just a few minutes about the differences between hydro walk behind lawn mowers vs belt driven units. When choosing a lawn mower theres a dozen things you have to think about, and one of the big ones to consider is whether or not you will go hydro or belt driven for the transmission. I feel I can weigh in here pretty well since over the years in business we've ran both styles of machines. We started our business with a 48" Exmark Viking hydro walk behind, and later in our business purchased a second mower, which was a Exmark Metro 32" belt driven mower. Both lawn mowers were great and cut well, but the overall experience with each mower was entirely different. The hydro lawn mower was infinitely easier to use than the belt driven mower with the gear box and manual transmission. To be honest, I hated using that mower! I'm not sure if I despised gated back yard lawns simply because of the belt driven mower, or the fact that they took forever to walk, but I think that's where my disdain for gated back yards started, ha! For me personally, going with a Hydro walk behind was a life saver and a game changer for my business. I felt like I had so much more control of the machine compared to the belt driven units we've ran, and they were exponentially more productive. Belt driven units are fine, no doubt about that, but if it was me, spend the few extra bucks and get a hydro version of the mower if you can! Which style transmission do you guys prefer? Hydro or belt driven? Let me know and leave me a comment down below! Keep Up With Us! ► Subscribe To Our Channel: http://tinyurl.com/jjtlsb8 ► Smash The Bell To Be Part Of Notification Squad! ► Follow Us on Instagram: http://tinyurl.com/jbf9y7p Want To Send Us A Product Or Piece Of Equipment To Review? Email Us: [email protected] **Brian's Lawn Maintenance is powered by Yardbook.com** Check out these other favorite videos from Brian’s Lawn Maintenance! ► Our 2019 Trailer Setup For Lawn Care!! Revealing The New Exmark Staris Mower https://bit.ly/2DOI7yO ► Making Moves! ► Picking Up Brandon's New 7x14 Sure Trac Dump Trailer https://bit.ly/2T5eHX5 ► Blower Wars 3.0! Testing The New STIHL BR800 & ECHO PB-8010 https://youtu.be/M8tj_q285mA ► Check Out Our Second Channel! Our Daily-ish Behind The Scenes Vlog Channel! Fullerton Party Of Two!** https://tinyurl.com/ybqwo4as ________________________________________________________ Hope you guys are enjoying the videos and the channel. It’s awesome getting to create content for you guys. I truly hope our videos entertain and provide benefit to you guys with your businesses. If you’d like to support our channel, the best way to help us monetarily is by using our affiliates links and purchasing your gear online with us through our online partners. Don’t forget to save money with our promo codes down below as well! Thank you again in advance for the support. ***Visit the Lawntrepreneur Academy for Training Programs To Start A Lawn Care Business Of Your Own!*** https://bit.ly/2GAhAbM ***NEW MERCH!*** *Lawntrepreneur T-Shirt and More!* https://teespring.com/stores/brians-lawn-maintenance ***Like The Products We Use In The Vlogs? Check Them Out In Our Store!*** https://www.amazon.com/shop/brianslawnmaintenance Our Affiliate Partners: www.EquipmentDefender.com (Brians10 Save 10%) www.KujoYardwear.com (Brians10 Save 10%+Free Shipping!) www.ISOTunesaudio.com (Brians10 Save $10!) www.ProvenLocks.com (Brians10 Save 10%) www.Sprayers-Plus.com (BriansLawn3Ship) (Free Shipping) www.VoltHeat.com (Brians10 Save 10%) ______________________________________________ Thank you for watching! If you enjoyed this video, please shoot it a big Thumbs UP and LIKE! If you haven’t done it already, make sure you SUBSCRIBE! That way you can get the latest and greatest when our newest videos release!
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Text Comments (85)
Hey so which style do you guys prefer? Hydro or Belt driven, and WHY? Help some folks out who are debating between the 2, and leave us a comment below! 💪👊
Zach Davis (19 days ago)
Toro t bar 36” gear driven with the single tire velke. Bought used for $1700. Came with the jungle wheels but could not stand that wobbly thing
Ryan Hawkins (12 days ago)
Hydro. My first WB was a 36" Viking hydro. Never ran without the sulkie. Ran sulkies on my larger WBs until I saved enough cash to buy a Lazer Z. I had a bearing or tire fail a few times on the sulkies that I had to disconnect, and I was jogging/running to maintain the same speed and production level.
AtomicCheeseburger69 (13 days ago)
Only thing Sulkkies are good for is fields not small residential houses
Michael Guillory (15 days ago)
I have a scag sw 32 belt drive. I went the cheapest I could. I bought it just to get threw a few gates so it doesn’t get used very often.
TR OY (15 days ago)
I use all Toro 38" belt driven mowers they are thousands cheaper and VERY easy to work on. NO EXPENSIVE HYDRO MAINTENANCE NEEDED!! There is no such thing as jackknifing a belt driven mower because it does not have a true reverse what I mean by that is if you're standing on at the sulky it will not go in reverse it does not have the power. Also you can keep that transmission in 4th or 5th gear if you ease off of the pistol grip slowly or ease on the T BAR which ever steering mechanism you have takes a little bit to get used to Maybe 2 days. The badd parts is when you are mowing early morning the morning dew can make the belts slip sometimes If you are not careful. also if you're going down a Hill it does not go one speed like the hydro It's pretty much in drive but it acts like a neutral you can go faster down a Hill than the mower can actually go a hydro locks you into a gear and you can not go faster than that speed even if you're going down a super steep long Hill. Hard to explain but I think the hydro mower is better but depending on your circumstances I have 4 crews 8 mowers so I saved alot by using belt driven mowers.
Jarod Richardson (15 days ago)
Hydro all day long. I have a 60in Honda walkbehind it's been the best mower yet. I've had other mowers longside it and it's still with the company.
Ryan Radzisauskas (15 days ago)
I started off with a toro t bar with true trac velkie. No pinch point with the true trac it acted like a stand on. And the t bar design with the transmission in the highest gear acted like a variable speed, there was no fatigue like the pistol grip, and it allowed for more pressure to be applied to the belts then the springs. I only remember a few times with heavy dew that the belts would slip. The 2000-3000 doll hair savings it allowed me to purchase other equipment. I still have the mower 10 years later!
PCGonline (15 days ago)
im surprised belt drives are still being produced. id rather have a cheap hydro drive then a belt drive any day. belt drives are good for those getting into the business but if you are doing 10+ yards a day hydro is the only way to go
Currency49495 (17 days ago)
Thanks Brian, I've been looking into this recently as well. Turn off for belt driven for me is gear selection. Being a lawn care newbie I believe a hydro unit would suit me rather well for the years to come.
The Radioactive Heat (17 days ago)
Stand on vs walk behind anyone?
Pulpit Bully (17 days ago)
That clears it up!
StrykerV (17 days ago)
Sulky def increases productivity. I feel comfortable walking 5 mph behind my swzt but on the sulky 5 seems slow and I am always in 6 or 7 mph range. The amount of grass you can cut quickly goes up the faster you can move.
G4 Outdoors (18 days ago)
When Cub took their mower back for repairs, I borrowed Cut & Cleans Encore. What a nightmare! I ran into every tree on my property, scratched up the side of my house, and thankfully my fence is vinyl, otherwise I defiantly would have broke a fence section out LOL. It sure cut good though.
Dillon Ankeny (18 days ago)
Have a question for you new to the channel was thinking about getting a stander. Was looking at the bad boy revolt. Have you heard anything about these
Michael Strout (18 days ago)
Started out with a old Ferris 52 belt drive. Talk about a workout! Had to freewheel to turn witch means pulling the levers half way and it would freewheel. Remember how amazed I was to try a hydro for the first time. So much more capable. Still have a newer Ferris walk behind and a stander. Never had a sulky.
Robert Smith (18 days ago)
What's your take on the Ryobi electric zero turn mower?
Aleem Smith (18 days ago)
Hydro because instant 3 point turns and reverse with switch gear's
William Todd (18 days ago)
For ease of use Hydros are great, for ease of repairs belt drive is better, far cheaper to replace a belt than a hydro unit. Trouble is with belts if they get wet they tend to start slipping, and if you are on a hill you don't want a belt slipping. I just put new belts on my uncle's 31 year old SCAG 36" walk behind a couple years ago and they're doing fine. That poor thing got abused most of its life mowing a 3 acre property which was mostly a hill and lots of blackberry vines and other brush. Never had the velke for it, you gotta walk behind it, but sure would be nice for those larger mowing jobs. My uncle has a Husqvarna lawn tractor that has been parked since I got the SCAG going again.
Fence Armor (18 days ago)
Great video, Brian! All about sharing the knowledge after living and learning!
JoeyBear (18 days ago)
My missus and i picked up our very 1st walk behind for our business this year! 😀 year 2 is already 10x better than year one lol. Its a used gravely 36" walk behind. Belt driven. A bit tougher to handle than a hydro but it is a tank and can mow just about anything. Plus its a good work out. Keeps me in shape haha.
JoeyBear (18 days ago)
They both have their good benefits and drawbacks. Hydro is great unless you burn one out. Then its an arm and a leg to replace. Belts wear out faster but are a lot cheaper to replace than a hydro pump.
Walk behind belt driven or hydro??? I think I'll take a stand on mower! Stand on's would work best for me. In 3-5 years, I hope to start up with a 36" stander
JoeyBear (18 days ago)
Walk behinds can have hydro or belt drives.
edsautorepair (19 days ago)
My first commercial mower is a 48” metro belt driven. 1994 model to be exact. Got it for 350 bucks with a blown engine and had a replacement. I love it but I do end trimming larger areas just because the hassle it is to slow down speed up etc in tight places. Doesn’t have reverse for say. It’s reverse assist. So you have to be tugging on it. Great mower for hills rough terrain and heavy thick tall stuff. It’s a tank. I use it in areas my hustler 60” won’t go or isn’t worth trying to use it in a small area. Sometimes I wish it was hydro but the age of the unit I’m glad it’s not because of hydro failure. I’ll actually be going to a stand on and then a 36” hydro walk behind for gates. I just don’t have many in the country so hasn’t been a problem yet
Mango Landscaping (19 days ago)
I still use the classic Bob Cat walk behind belt driven. I like it but when it gets wet it's annoying.
Martin Olson (19 days ago)
Belt driven is dangerous... they should be banned. I have witnessed people almost get killed taking those off of a trailer. The other day one of our employees almost got their ankles taken off because they squeeze the handle too hard and the Machine shot and reversing crushed sulky behind the mower....
Martin Olson (17 days ago)
@muxxor ooops
muxxor (17 days ago)
If you squeeze the handles on a belt it stops, if you squeeze them all the way on a hydro it reverses. I think you have the two confused.
christopher lake (19 days ago)
I’ve run a 52 and 60 turf tracer for two years and def prefer the hydro
Justin Moore (19 days ago)
Can you do a review on the new Bad Boy Revolt stand on. I just bought one and it is amazing!!!!
Lois Agena (19 days ago)
I never ran a hydro, I have one of the old variable speed trans on a old bobcat 48.
Nick Nagel (19 days ago)
I bought a Viking for $350 that is about 20 years old about a month ago as a backup and it is a beast. it runs like none other.
Jake Kaneo (19 days ago)
I run belt walk my dad ran sents 80s and I love it have ran my hole life hate hydros and sit downs and stand one the belt drive 48 incers are insane we have rake in front and bag the walk behind cut best I got encore 48 beat shit but makes me tons money 17 acre half lawns
I still run a 36" belt driven walk behind, I only use it when I ABSOLUTELY have to which isn't very often. They will definitely beat the dog tard out of you vs a hydro one..
Joe (19 days ago)
Definitely hydro...use sulky as much possible unless small yard and a lot of obstacles
I started with a 48” scag belt drive walk behind. We still run it weekly for steep hills on some of our commercial locations. Love it with the velke attachment it with the hills we just walk it.
Patrick Bailey (19 days ago)
Hydro is the best, we have had from 28" bunton 40" gravely and 48"scag with belt drive mind you this is 1982 to 1990. Then 48", 60",72" scag hydro's till 1999, 52" wright, 36" exmark 48" scag till now. My favorites are 28" bunton one great machine... and the 48" scag that had dually bar tread tires, this I took in ditches and pond edges. Belt drive machines had to many issues with slipping and reverse that didn't work.
Broyo yo (19 days ago)
Almost had a belt drive drive off of a high retaining wall! Definitely prefer a hydro.
shogunMR (18 days ago)
Same here had me shaking in my boots the rest of the day 😓
Billy Goat (19 days ago)
I’m old school but a hydro walk behind with velke (sulky) is the most efficient mower on the planet!
Billy Goat (18 days ago)
Ousama Abdu In my opinion for small to mid size yards, the 36 inch Scag SWZT with a dual wheel velke is the most productive, versatile mower on the market. I can’t believe there is no other mower brand that offers a quick adjust deck height adjustment on a 36 walk behind. I added a chute blocker and quickly switch from mulch to side discharge plus even bag if necessary, Vertically a 3 in 1 mower.
Ousama Abdu (18 days ago)
Which size/model do you run my man?
Matt B (19 days ago)
I run a 36” John Deere WHP36A commercial wb and love it. Hydro is the only way to go. 👍 Why? Don’t need to take your hands off the grips to maneuver!
Jim B (19 days ago)
I run a 48 exmark turf tracer with a Kage industries wheel caddie. By far the best sulky ever. Won’t jack knife and has a suspension system. Also run a 32 metro. Hydro is deff better especially in wet conditions
GrassNectar Lawn Care (19 days ago)
48 turf tracer
RuggedRebel57 (19 days ago)
RuggedRebel57 (19 days ago)
@Brian's Lawn Maintenance You deserve it man! I'm starting my Channel this Year and I'm 16, Hopefully uploading in the Next Few Days, I want to hit 300 By the end of this Year!
Yes! 🙌 Thanks for the support! 👊
JronmanBuilds (19 days ago)
I never got into the larger walk behinds. My push/walk behind is a 22 inch toro. My ztr is a 48 in Scag. My next large mower will probably be another ztr. I doubt I will venture into the larger walk behind mowers. If I get someone to help me within a few years I might look at getting another ztr. I have contemplated whether I go a second 48 in or go big and get 60 in or 72 in. I have also contemplated whether I go with the same brand so I have a better chance of having shared parts or going with a brand that offers a horizontal blower for the bagger which is more effective in tall grass than a vertical blower.
Michael Giudice (19 days ago)
At least 40% faster with a velke
Mark Schmaus (19 days ago)
Hydro !!
James Brown (19 days ago)
52 Scag belt drive
Donna W (19 days ago)
ad a very old gravely 34 inch cut belt drive and I put a sulky on it and it worked very well. The we both a wright hydro 32 inch cut I thought that would be a great idea. Well my first day with the wright it had some sort of electrical problems which just kept going on . Now keep in mind the dealership want me to wait 4 months while they took there sweet ass time to look at it. They even said wright parts are very hard to get . Now keep in mind it had never even cut grass yet . We found someone to fix it but long story short we will never buy a wright again. The girls dont even want to use the wright ! So as they wanted some new mowers they decided to buy some gravely mowers. So now they have 2 gravely in each trailer. But anyway if you want a lighter mower then go with the belt drive they work ok but do not back up well at all. Now if you want something a bit faster and backs up very well go with the hyro mower .. belt drive mowers have there place if your on a budget/
Terry Green (19 days ago)
TheFiremancarl (19 days ago)
There is always a need for walk behinds when you cut ditches and hills. The standers are fine on gradual hills and flat surfaces but are not great on steep surfaces. A hydro walk behind is the most versatile machine for all surfaces.
Dodge 318 Cummins (19 days ago)
TheFiremancarl and what do you do about gates? A belt drive is lighter easier to make fit in smaller gates.
Kevin Cloonan (19 days ago)
Theres no comparison ! Even a single drive Hydro is way better than a belt driven walk behind. And yes they first came out with a single drive Hydro then they went to Dual Driven Hydros
Greg Stickler (19 days ago)
I assume your talking about self propelled I’ve always used Honda self propelled gear driven
Mr.Mike. G305 (19 days ago)
Oh, and I've been involved in the industry for over 20 years and have NEVRER stepped on a Velki….
Mr.Mike. G305 (18 days ago)
@Michael Strout must be a Mike thing. Hope all is well bud...
Michael Strout (18 days ago)
Me too. Don't wanna walk? buy a rider.
Mr.Mike. G305 (19 days ago)
Why you tryin to punk my Metro Bro.??? Don't be hatin man!!! All joking aside, Hydro is the way to go!!! And I never knew Hydro walk behinds existed… I thought they were only for zero turns or stand ons…. It's nice to look back and see the evolution. Hope all is well, Dirty Jersey out!!!
Mr.Mike. G305 Lol I loved my little Metro, I just hated gated back yards!!
Brian K (19 days ago)
I use a 60” exmark turf tracer x ( hydro ) with a pro-slide it folds up when you take your weight off and it acts like a stripping kit 😜😜🤯
John Laborde (19 days ago)
you always want to go with a hydro about drive you have slippage with the belts when it's wet it is the same isn't hydro except you don't have to worry about your traction as much random when that was the only thing in the business there was no such thing as a hydro
Black Toof (19 days ago)
Started out with my pride and joy 48" belt driven pistol grip, lesco. And yes, was awesome being 13 putting roller blades on and hit the neighborhood lol. Rain? Sure the belt slipped alot but did make muscles. The belt transmissions weren't the best in the industry. Walk behinds have a place in my heart. Especially lescos. Best walk behinds period. (not the Deere lescos) 90s lescos
Ryan Horomanski (19 days ago)
I should’ve gotten a hydro I regret it
I felt the same way with my Metro but I didn’t even pay attention when I bought it. I learned quickly on the gear shift haha
Ryan Horomanski (19 days ago)
I have single wheel velke and a proslide
J Barringer (19 days ago)
Things have changed so much in the last 20 yrs in walkbehind mowers. I started with a 36" scag sw36 belt drive.. good starter mowers (like all the peerless trans units) But when I got into the Exmark Turf Tracers my productivity was so much higher. Yet, I haven't really gotten into Standers.. although I know there's a big upside to ztr
Z.A. Fishing (19 days ago)
I bought a exmark metro its an awesome machine don’t get me wrong but after 100+ hour and 1 year of use I’m selling it I need that hydro
Dodge 318 Cummins (19 days ago)
Z.A. Fishing I have a metro too it’s great it’s a lot lighter than a hydro.
shogunMR (19 days ago)
Great video Brian also I might add if I could hydros hold Hills a whole lot better you don't have to worry about if the belts are wet it's slipping it just holds a whole lot better sometimes belt-driven will actually let go and go down the hill if you don't know how to feather the brakes properly. I have a 48 in belt driven Metro I also have a 48 inch Viking. The Metro was a steal this lady was getting rid of all of her ex-husbands tools and stuff because he told her he was never coming back so she sold it to me for 400 bucks. Awesome short to the point video.
Ousama Abdu (18 days ago)
@shogunMR cool thanks again man
shogunMR (18 days ago)
@Ousama Abdu depending on the type of lawn but yes slightly better production 10 to 20% but way easy to use like Brian said, also depending on the user as you well know
Ousama Abdu (18 days ago)
@shogunMR Thanks for the reply man. I have a 36 and 44 toro proline belt drive with the Tbar handles looking to get a Hydro soon. So ll in all would you say a 15% to 20% increse in productivity?
shogunMR (19 days ago)
@Ousama Abdu hey buddy not that much different on level surfaces the belt driven can go pretty quick as well but if the yard has a lot of hills and dips and Dives and nooks and crannies the hydros a lot better you can do it with the belt driven one if you're used to that type of equipment if not the Hydro One is great for that you can make them both work but you have to feather the break going down Hills on the belt driven, Hydro hold the hill like a champ
Ousama Abdu (19 days ago)
If you run your 48 hydro vs 48 Belt drive on the exact same lawn what is the time savings on the Hydro? Like a percentage? thanks man
Dale Nienow (19 days ago)
Great video Brian, live never used a walk behind mower before!
QuickOmnivore96 (19 days ago)
Says 4 to 5 minutes, thinks its gonna be 20 minutes, actually is 6 minutes. For the first time ever ut was actually 4 or 5 minutes good job Brian 😂😂
QuickOmnivore96 lol I’m trying!!
off gridd life style (19 days ago)
off gridd life style hi
Austin Donaldson (19 days ago)

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