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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    707
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    Monroe, Va
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    Kubota 1997 L3600DT 4WD with FEL

    Default Mower - Belt Drive or Gear Box

    I've been trying to keep up with all of the finish mower threads as I am in the market. I haven't seen much on this topic so if I missed it I apologize.

    My local dealer has belt drive and gear box type finish mowers. I am looking at Woods and Bush Hog brands. The gear box type costs more and I assume is more desireable. What is everyone's opinion between belt and gear driven?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Mower - Belt Drive or Gear Box

    I have had both types. A Woods RM59 Belt Drive. I used this mower for approx 20 years and was satisfied with its performance. However, I bought a Woods RM660 Gear Drive in 1994 and I have been extremely satisfied with it. Just much more power and don't have to worry about any belt slippage. It will go through just about anything, regardless of how tall it is. So my vote is for Gear Drive, even if it a little more.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    1,726
    Location
    Cambridge, New York
    Tractor
    JD425 lawn tractor; JD4710 CUT; JD JX75 Walk Behind

    Default Re: Mower - Belt Drive or Gear Box

    I've had both, but only in the smaller lawn tractors. Gear driven mowers are much more powerful and I didn't sense the strain on the mower or engine when cutting through taller grass/hay as when I was cutting with the belt driven mower. I'm going on by 7th year with a gear driven 54" deck on my JD425...never had a problem. However, I did have to replace a couple of belts when I had the belt driven mower.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    Jan 2002
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    1,491
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    Yanmar 186D

    Default Re: Mower - Belt Drive or Gear Box

    I have a old Woods RM-59 which is belt drive. One nice thing about belt drive is when you hit something solid like dirt,rocks,sticks,small animals [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img] the belt slips. The single long belt on my Woods is expensive which would be a bummer except I'm still on the first one..

    Chris

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    742
    Location
    East Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota L4610 HSTC, International 2400, Hesston 1280,

    Default Re: Mower - Belt Drive or Gear Box

    I used a 6' woods belt drive for years before I bought a bush hog gear drive. I bought the new one primarly to get floating deck with 4 wheels. The woods only had rear wheels. I like the gear drive but it is noiser than the belt drive. The bush hog is now 10 years old & never have replaced the belts. Had to replace the belt on the woods, one time in maybe the same time frame.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    193
    Location
    Mexico City
    Tractor
    NH TC21D

    Default Re: Mower - Belt Drive or Gear Box

    Am I wrong in thinking that even the "gear drive" finish mowers have belts to get the power out to the outer blades?

    My Farm King rear mount mower is driven off the rear PTO by a shaft to a gear box, then power is transfered by belt to each of the three blades (even the center one).

    It would seem to me that belts work great for this type of power transfer... I would just suggest avoiding long belt drive systems that have to make bends (The drive pulley and driven pulleys are not directly in line with each other).

  7. #7

    Default Re: Mower - Belt Drive or Gear Box

    No, You are not wrong. The gear drive still has the shorter belt to the three spindles. But just like you said, this is much better than the long, twisting belt with several twist & turns and I think the last one I bought for the belt driven Woods was approx $60. I've had the gear driven Woods RM660 for 8 years and have not had to replace the belt.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    707
    Location
    Monroe, Va
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    Kubota 1997 L3600DT 4WD with FEL

    Default Re: Mower - Belt Drive or Gear Box

    <font color=blue>I like the gear drive but it is noiser than the belt drive.</font color=blue>

    I hadn't thought about noise...quieter is a plus. I also went tonight to look at a used 6' Woods Belt driven mower. It was garage kept and not worked very hard. It looks like a new mower. He's a local fellow who's anxious for cash and I can pick it up for $1000. Seems mighty tempting to me. What do you all think?

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    Mar 2002
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    742
    Location
    East Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota L4610 HSTC, International 2400, Hesston 1280,

    Default Re: Mower - Belt Drive or Gear Box

    I do not know the current prices. I paid 1359.00 for the new bush hog in 92. Probably considerable higher by now. It it had 4 wheels &amp; a center scalper roller, I would probably go for it.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    707
    Location
    Monroe, Va
    Tractor
    Kubota 1997 L3600DT 4WD with FEL

    Default Re: Mower - Belt Drive or Gear Box

    <font color=blue>I would probably go for it.</font color=blue>

    I hope you're right cause I did! I got it for 1K. Did some cutting with it today but got rained out. Very pleased though...it cut very smooth and clean. I always think you have to use something like that for a year before you really know it was the right choice, but with tax and all I saved over $550.00. That makes me grin![img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img] I'll throw up a thread tomorrow when I can get a pic of it.

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