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hydrostatic trans.vs.a belt driven automatic in a 46" riding mower?

What are the pros and cons of a hydrostatic trans.vs.a belt driven automatic in a 46" riding mower? I have been looking at the Ariens 46" with B&S 22hp. Apparently it used to have the hydro and now comes with a belt driven CVT type transmission. Will there be more maint. issues with the belt, and will mowing the septic mound be more difficult? Thanks in advance for all input.

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Posted 2014-02-02T17:05:16+0000  by raverson raverson

Hey raverson.


If you are simply cutting grass with this mower then you will have great luck with either the belt drive automatic or the hydraulic (hydrostatic) mower. As a kid, my brothers and I would use these mowers to do things they were not designed to do. With this said, if they were abused equally, in ways that they were not intended to be used, there would be more cost associated with fixing the hydro than the automatic because of the fixed transmission and hydraulic pump. If you abuse an automatic, you will have the cost of belts to deal with.


Use them to only cut grass than they will both be equally as dependable and have a similar maintenance cost. If you are pulling implements, you might be better off with a manual transmission. You will not notice a difference in how the 2 of them drive.

Posted 2014-02-02T18:40:20+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL

Hi raverson,


There are three different transmissions available on the tractors sold at The Home Depot. Gear driven, Automatic and Hydrostatic. These transmissions are all belt driven, in that there is a belt that runs from the engine to the transmission to set the transmission in motion.


The Gear Drive transmission has a clutch and a series of 5 or 6 gear ratios that produce different speeds. This transmission is the most complicated, because of the number of moving parts contained in it.


Automatic Transmissions are progressive speed transmissions that are controlled by a torque converter. There are smaller belts inside the transmission case that move up and down on the torque converter to vary the speed of the tractor. This action is controlled with either a foot pedal or a hand control, depending on the model of the tractor.


Hydrostatic Transmissions are controlled by a hydraulic pump that allows fluid to move at different rates, causing the drive gear to move accordingly. There is only one drive gear that moves in both forward and reverse directions, and they are both variable speed, controlled by a foot pedal. Hydrostatic is the simplest transmission because it has the fewest moving parts.


As far as servicing transmissions goes, they are not serviceable. There is no maintenance of internal parts or fluids. The hydrostatic transmission cases are sealed to prevent leaks and the fluid is permanent.


Maintenance of the outside of the transmission is to simply keep it clean by blowing off the grass debris and changing the outer drive belt as needed. These are the same maintenance issues that all transmissions share.


Thanks for asking, and Welcome to The Community!!!



Posted 2014-02-04T14:28:32+0000  by Travis_HD_ATL
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