Mower Power options?


Call me stupid if you must but while trying to help my Dad find a lawn mower with a snow blower for his cottage/house the question arose. What is the big difference between belt, shaft and hydrostatic driven mowers? Since the big push seems it be hydrostatic and I understand that they are easier to drive and steer what we really want to know is what is the relationship between a hydrostatic mower with 25HP and a shaft /belt driven mower with 25HP. If he gets a hydrostatic mower does he need more HP to operate everything?
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HotRod wrote:

Ok, stupid. those terms just describe the type of drive mechanism used to propel those machines. Belts transfer power with a system of pulleys. Shafts spin a system of gears. Hydrostatic uses hydraulid fluid under pressure to transmit power similar to an automatic transmisson. The main difference is in cost, convenience, and durability. Hydro is more expensive by far but also the easiest to use. I don't know of a machine which functions both as sno blower and lawn mower but I'm willin to be educated.
Since the big

I don't know what the exact relationship would be but I think a hydro drive does rob the engine of a small bit of power compared to gears and transmisssion. A hydro machine is usually a bigger machine anyway and likely to have adequate power.
I own a sno blower and also a brush mower, both with hydro drive, and I say hydro is the way to go if you can afford it. The sno blower has a 8hp honda and the mower has a 15hp Briggs. both are adequately powered. As far a mowers go, i like the Toro and you should check their zero turn mowers. If I were to buy another blower I would want one with lights for after dark perhaps with electric start.
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If I were to buy another blower I would want

Lights are nice since you're frequently doing the driveway after work which means after dark. Even nicer is a cab. I did a long driveway with lots of turns and angles for years in the Windy City and one winter didn't bother to install the cab which was a simple metal frame with tarp-like covering. In all the turning and maneuvering , the changing winds blasted me every time I was out there. Might not be necessary with a straight driveway but if you're yard's worth a 25 HP tractor and your driveway's worth the snow blower attachment, a cab might be a worthwhile investment.
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THANKS. I do understand all of the differnet drive option but I don't understand what the relationship to HP is. In my head I suspect that shaft driven is the most efficient transfer of HP then belt and hydrostatic. If thats the case how much HP difference would be needed between a shaft and hydrostatic mower doing the same work.

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HotRod wrote:

Yes there is a difference but it is a small one. Exactly how much is irrelevant to the consumer. A hydro will do the same work as any other machine of the same HP. Hydros are high-end machines which will be adequately powered. My philosophy is, you can't have too much power. Where the budget allows you will rarely be dissapointed if you upgrade your powerplant.
Many machines can be ordered with alternative engines. My hydro mower has plenty of power with it's 15hp Briggs. I could have ordered it, however, with an 18hp Kawasaki twin. I have not regretted buying the Briggs (I call it the thumper).It runs good and has adequate power.
Please post links to the exact machines you have in mind. A mower is a machine dedicated to mowing. What you have in mind is not a mower but a small lawn/garden tractor which is designed to perform multiple tasks. I own a Bobcat S150 skidsteer. It is pure hydraulics, no gears or shafts. A four-wheel hydrostatic drive, it runs on a 65hp kubota diesel!!
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Right now my Dad is looking at a few Kabota's and Toro mowers that have the option of adding a snow blower attachment. He's not getting any younger and I'd prefer to not ahve to head out to the cottage to blow the driveway.
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