There can be a big improvement in the performance of a lawn care machine, particularly an older one, when the belts are replaced. Lawnmowers are a widely used tool. Lawnmower belts are a vital part of the operation and maintenance of nearly every type of motorised lawn mowing machine. It seems everyone has to mow a lawn from time to time-every homeowner, many apartment dwellers. In the spring and summer months, neighbourhoods are often filled by sounds of lawn care machines and the sights of well manicured lawns. Lawn care machines are used in homes and businesses all over the UK, Europe, and the U.S.. Lawn care is a general responsibility of nearly everyone with a patch of ground around the places they live or do business.
A certain amount of time and effort is required to maintain the grounds of the place we call home. In the warm weather seasons, many lawn mower users must cut lawns once or twice per week. The job is much easier with a well maintained lawnmower. Among the many basic parts of a lawnmower: blades, wheels, spark plugs, filters, fuel lines, the things, in a sense, that make them all work together are lawnmower belts. They connect the engine to the blades and, in the case of self propelled and riding mowers, to the drive wheels.
Lawnmower belts affect nearly every part that needs to turn or spin in the operation of a motor-powered machine. There are many places to purchase new lawnmower belts including manufacturer websites, major retailers, local high street shops, and lawn mower specialty businesses to name a few. eBay also provides new and used lawnmower belts and related parts to help make an older or well used machine perform better and last longer.
Types of Lawnmowers
Lawnmowers come in many types, shapes, and sizes. Most manufacturers classify them as riding mowers, walk-behind mowers, and self-propelled mowers. They may be powered by gasoline engines, electricity, batteries, or unpowered manual types. The motorised types will generally have one or more belts to transfer power to the wheels and cutting deck. Manual mowers generally do not use belts and will not need this repair.
A push mower must be pushed by the operator. Pushmowers usually have belts that rotate cutting blades and often another belt or pulley that runs the engine when the engine is idling. They provide mechanical, electric, battery, or gas engine powered machines. They are usually chosen for residential use, for small to medium size areas. Mechanical machines typically have gears and not belts. The other types of push mowers have belts to turn the blades.
These self-powered machines are motorised. They are generally electric (plug in), battery, or gas powered units. They usually have belts like walk behind mowers but an additional belt or loop to move power from a motor spindle to the front or rear drive wheels. These mowers usually have one or more set speeds; however a trend among high end models offers variable or user-paced speed controls. This feature allows the user to set the pace of the self propelled machine. Many professional lawncare providers use self propelled machines.
These machines reduce the amount of physical effort needed to operate the lawnmover. Some have double cutting decks and an extensive set of drive belts. These machines can make uniform cuts without ripping or tearing the ground, and without leaving deep tire impressions as can often happen with riding mowers in damp conditions and soft ground.
These home use and commercial use machines are usually powered by gas engines and have large cutting decks. Ride-on mowers are used for residential and commercial purposes. Decks range from 1.06 to 1.5 metres. They are recommended by manufacturers for large lawns, more than one acre in area. Some commercial models have cockpit style controls and a zero turn radius due to the ability to stop wheels on one side and power the opposite side to turn on a point. Many riding mowers now have multiple forward speeds, reverse speeds, transaxles and automatic transmissions all of which combine to give the rider an experience similar to driving an automobile.
When comparing features among new models, one can see a trend: more power and more automobile-style controls. Riding mowers must be manoeuvrable with large engines to crank the large cutting decks. This type of machine is designed for large areas and those requiring frequent care- such as a golf course, or public areas. There will usually be a belt to drive the blades, one or more belts to change gears, and at least one belt sending power to the drive wheels.
Types of Lawnmower Belts
Belts can be one of several types based on what they do. Belts that turn wheels to move the mower are called drive belts, or V-belts. Belts which work to change speeds in the transmission or transaxle are called gear belts. Another major type are drive belts, which transfer power or torque from the lower engine spools to drive wheels and cut deck. Belts that transfer power to the blades or cutting deck are usually called blade or cutter belts. In the case of riding mowers there may also be a seatbelt to keep the rider safe. When one belt becomes too badly worn to function well, it is advisable to inspect all of the belts, check for signs of excessive wear. Belts are made to fit their function. Drive belts often have rough or patterned surfaces like the teeth of gears. Some are made from tough and dynamic materials to withstand heat, stress, stretching. Many contain nylon, some are made from extremely strong and durable materials like kevlar- more well known for use in bulletproof vests.
How to Find the Right Belt
There is little concern for parts when the mower operates smoothly, delivers a fast start, performs as expected and leaves a great looking lawn. There is no need to repair the machine, only to do routine maintenance - check engine oil, fuel, spark plug, filters, and clean the machine after use. When working the lawn and the machine abruptly stops or stops cutting a quick visual inspection can show a loose, worn or even missing belt. However, when problems gradually occur and are not corrected by routine maintenance, then the user must try to determine the cause.
The manufacturer's specifications and operating manual is a good place to start. The user must identify the problem and search for possible causes. There are resources such as a list in the operating manual for troubleshooting poor performance. If these have been lost or misplaced, manufacturers websites can often provide a copy for instant download. In the manufacturer's instructions there is usually a list of parts. This will help identify the part that is needed by name and part number. If it is determined by reading and inspecting the machine that the problem may be a loose or worn belt, then the task begins to find and purchase a replacement. Prevention is also desirable. Frequent inspection and replacement of worn belts would save effort and tend to reduce costs such as repairs and early replacement of the entire unit.
How to Find the Right Belt on eBay
eBay has a large selection of lawnmower parts including belts. On any eBay page one should enter "lawnmower belts" into the search box. This will bring up a page that lists various lawnmower belts. One can choose among drive belts, gear belts, deck belts, and cutting blade belts. After making that choice, one can see manufacturers or brand names and navigate to the exact replacement belt recommended for the lawnmower. There are some key pieces of information about the mower one should have when looking for a replacement lawnmower belt on eBay, including: the manufacturer, model year, and model number. Replacement parts can be specific to one or a few models, small range of models, or it can be compatible with a large number of lawnmower makes and models- the so called "generic" replacement parts.
On the eBay page listing the part that seems to be the right one, e.g. a one metre drive belt for a riding mower; one should next look for a list of compatible lawn mowers. One must be sure that the lawnmower to be repaired is on the list by manufacturer, brand, and model number. Belts can be of varying lengths but also have surfaces that are important to the way they function. One must look for this information in the seller's description and specifications on eBay. The hardness of the material, the toughness of the construction, and the specific design are all factors in whether a belt will work with a particular machine. It is important to get the right size, correct surface, and the required material in the replacement belt one chooses.
The most important thing to remember when buying a lawnmower belt is compatibility with the lawnmower. The belt must meet manufacturer’s specifications for size, weight, fit, and surface type. Without any of these the belt will not function properly for the expected useful life of the part. Further the machine may malfunction and cause damage and excessive wear on related parts. A poorly fitting lawnmower belt may also interfere with protections and remedies under the manufacturers warranty. When selecting a belt one should refer to the manufacturers instructions or operating manual to identify qualified replacement parts.
Purchasing and installing the proper lawnmower belt can add many useful seasons of use to any lawn mower. Many symptoms of poor performance from difficult starts to uneven cuts can be remedied by a new lawnmower belt. Replacing an old belt can often be done by the consumer without professional help. Some few installations will require extensive removal of parts or lifting heavy components such as a fully equipped riding mower. Some lawnmower owners will simply feel uncomfortable with the task, or that they cannot or should not perform the installation . These may best be done by a professional; or someone experienced in similar repairs. The key to remember is that replacing the belts on a lawnmower will nearly always result in a noticeable level of improved performance and a longer period of use before replacing the entire unit.