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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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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