Belt versus shaft driven lawn mowers .

Belt versus shaft driven lawn mowers .

Lawn mowers can be a confusing purchasing consideration. While most car buyers will probably buy up to 10 or more new or almost new cars in their life, buying riding lawn mowers for personal use is hopefully at best, a once in a decade proposition.

And there are so many choices! Heavy duty garden tractors vs a lawnmower, zero-turn mowers, electric vs gas, a 42-inch deck model vs a 48 or even 52-deck model, and more.

Of course, the answer to these questions usually revolves around price, extraneous needs such as towing, a solid reputation for construction, and how large and how hilly is the lawn you will be mowing. But hovering around six grand or so per mower, one obvious question often stands out, do you go with a belt drive or a shaft drive mower?

Why the shaft driven vs belt driven debate matters

Most mowers are operated via a belt drive. This is perhaps an extension of familiar farm equipment such as combines and tractors which are belt-driven, but also a matter of cost. It simply costs a manufacturer less to produce a belt-drive mower.

But what, fundamentally, makes up the shaft driven vs belt driven debate?

Experts say it’s primarily a matter of maintenance costs.

Belts often need to be replaced once every two years or so, sometimes even more often. And belts, made of rubber, get old and brittle over time. Also, the belt guards in your mower, tend to suck in debris underneath them, resulting in a degradation of the belt over time. Finally, the pulleys on your mower may seize up, causing grooves or indentations in the belt, which will shed it sooner or later.

Shaft driven mowers, on the other hand, are virtually indestructible. You can normally expect to drive a shaft driven mower for up to 10 years with virtually no maintenance, other than perhaps replacing the u-joints, which should last you at a minimum of 3,000 hours of driving or more. Shaft driven mowers also tend to do much better at maintaining a proper with a lot of hills.

So why aren’t all mowers shaft driven?

While shaft driven mowers do tend to be indestructible, when they do break, whether it is due to running over a rock or object, or simply bad luck, repairs can be significantly more costly.

Replacing a shaft is also not a simple matter of going to your local garden shop and picking up parts. Often, any necessary replacement parts will need to be ordered from the original manufacturer, and if you are running a commercial lawn care business, lost time is lost money.

So which to choose, shaft driven or belt driven?

If you are mechanical and can replace your own belts, then it’s a toss-up. But, if you need to have your belts replaced at a shop, for overall ease and peace of lawn mind, in general, a shaft drive mower is our personal preference.


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Generator repair
Mower blade replacement

Five reliable lawn mowers for up to 2 acre lots

Five reliable lawn mowers for up to 2 acre lots, these are some of the many mowers available to consumers.

Article Title: Reliable lawn mowers for up to 2 acre lots

Reliable lawn mowers are essential must-haves for a homeowner, and the larger the yard, you’ll make your life infinitely easier by purchasing a quality riding lawn mower. But before going out an purchasing one, you want to some good research on what kind of quality mower to buy.

You want to be sure your ride-along buddy is powerful, has an easy to work transmission, and the proper size deck to do the job. At the same time, you want to make sure your shiny new mower is easy to use, trouble free, and low maintenance.

Before reviewing 5 possible choices you may consider, first a few words about riding lawn mowers.

 It’s mostly about the size of the deck

The larger your lawn, typically the larger the size of your deck needs. For this article, we’re assuming your lawn is two acres in size and has a moderate slope of fewer than 10 degrees. For a lawn this size, your best bet is a 42 to a 48-inch deck.

You typically can mow one acre with a 42-inch deck within an hour’s time.

Don’t just jump for the largest deck possible, however. While a larger deck is desirable, under the easy to use category, if you have a lot of flower beds and trees to navigate around, with a really large deck you’ll spend a lot more time backing up than going forward. And under low maintenance, don’t forget storage for your mower. If you need to replace your storage shed with a new one because your new riding mower won’t fit into the shed, that’s hardly cost effective.

 The terrain

As mentioned earlier, for this article, we’re considering a lawn with a 10-degree slope or less. But if you have a much heavier slope or a lot of dips and crannies, look for a zero-turn radius lawnmower.

Reliable lawn mowers

For both reliability and a trouble free experience, stick to manufacture’s that have a solid reputation behind them. A made in China or Vietnam mower is not your best choice over the long haul.

 Top recommended riding mowers

Husqvarna 960430211 YTA18542 42 Inch 18.5 hp Tractor Mower

Husqvarna 960430211 YTA18542
Husqvarna 960430211 YTA18542

Husqvarna has a reputation for quality and this mower with a powerful Briggs and Stratton engine and an automatic transmission is a breeze to operate. This mower is easy to maintain as well. Just hose the undercarriage down after a hard day of mowing.

Poulan Pro 960420186 54 Inch 24 hp Automatic Gas Riding Mower

If your lawn has not too many hills or hard to turn around obstacles, this workhorse is one to consider. This mower not only has a number of cutting positions but is built like a tank, and like most riding mowers in this class, it has a maintenance reminder meter. And the 24 horsepower motor will give you plenty of powers.

Raven MPV7100 46 Inch Multi-Purpose Hybrid Ride-on Lawnmower

The Raven is multi-purpose because you can also use it as a generator for your home. But what we like it for is the 10 cutting positions and a turning radius of 14 inches, which matches zero-turn mowers.

Cub Cadet Xt1 Enduro Series Lt 42 Inch. 18 Hp Ride-on Lawn Mower

Another manufacturer that has a superior reputation in the lawn and garden industry, the Cub Cadet has 12 mower positions and a paint system that enables you to mow in all kinds of weather. Clean-up is also extremely simple, and this is one mower to seriously consider.


A 48-inch deck lawnmower, this gas powered, hydrostatic transmission mower has the reputation of one of the nation’s premier farm implement manufacturer’s behind it.

One unique feature of the John Deere E160 is it has two foot petals, making it very easy to drive.

JD E-160
John Deer