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I have a 42" Craftsman rider which is about 6 years old. I am not burning up a new belt about every summer, so once a year maybe a little longer. I think the pulleys are out of alignment from how I am looking at it. I took it to a shop and they said there were no problems and that the life I am getting is typical. I ahve a buddy with a John Deere who is on about 5 yrs on one belt. Thoughts. What kind of life are you getting on your belt.
 

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Let me rephrase that. I am burning up my belts about every year. What kind of life are you getting.
 

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I'm on my 3rd belt at around 260 hrs / 8 years on the JD 38" tri-cycler deck. I'm sure on my old Jacobsen 34" I got over 10 years out of a belt on it. Since I'm mulching all the time with the Deere I figured maybe that was part of the reason for the shorter belt life. Lot more load on it compared to open discharge. Also the Deere is 15 hp where the Jake was 8 hp. Had to down shift on the old jake where the Deere will plow on through the tall wet stuff.

I replace them when I find cracks rather then wait until they break.
 

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I have found it all depends on how much grass you mow and how wet the grass is. I average about 100 hours on my John Deere L120 on the deck belt and I have over 150 hours on the original deck belt on my JD 2305 with the 62C deck.

I can not use my JD 2305 on yard in the spring as the tractor will get stuck big time with the ground (lots of clay just under the topsoil) I have around my home, I had planned to sell the L-120 after I bought the 2305 but I found out the first week I had my 2305 the best laid plans were for naught as I got the 2305 stuck not once but 3 times (I am a little slow on the uptake) in the first week I had the tractor.

I have learned to make sure I have a spare belt ready to go in my garage as I always find it is on a Saturday afternoon just after the dealer or Lowe's is closed for the belt to break. I have also noticed that the wetter the grass is the faster the belt wears out as the heavier the grass is the faster it wears out.
 

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Let me rephrase that. I am burning up my belts about every year. What kind of life are you getting.
I cut about 3/4 of an acre (at 3 inchs) in the front, and the rear of my home here in south Louisiana often (very often) with a '98 JD 345 (48" deck). The unit has three belts. I'm on my second set of belts for the life of this mower. The second set is about 3 years old.

The rest of my yard (three acres) is cut regularly with a 72" Land Pride Grooming Mower & Kubota L29 also at 3". Both of these units were purchased new in March '95. I'm on my fourth belt for the groomer.

I was discussing this same topic a couple of weeks ago with an experienced Rider Mower mechanic. He indicated that the longevity of a belt is directly related to the quality, alignment, and design of the pullies and the deck. Or, perhaps I'm just very lucky.....LOL.....!!!!

Oh, I never cut wet grass.....period .......!!!

I hope this helps.
 

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....Oh, I never cut wet grass.....period .......!!!
....
That right there could be part of the shorter life for me. I don't cut when it's real wet but do tend to cut when it's still damp which especially considering I mulch would put more load on the blades. I do it because the less dust and pollen blowing around to get in my snout the better. ;)
 

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How long does a belt last on your old truck or car? My point is that belts usually are damaged by something other than just normal use. I would bet that you have some other issue. I had a mower that was eating a belt every time I mowed! After about two belts and $60 bucks, I checked the pulleys to find rust in the groves. This mower had been outside under a tarp and not used for several years. The bear metal where the belt normally rides had rusted badly. Under normal use, a belt should last for several years. Opinion only ..... let us know what you find if anything. Good luck.
 

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I mow about 4 acres with an Ariens Zoom 1640. Around the house is normal grass. Out back is about an acre of oat grass the previous owner planted to feed his horse. Oat grass grows pretty fast and is very broad leafed. I set my deck height to it's highest setting, but in the spring, the grass grows fast enough that I'm still taking maybe 75% off the top. It puts quite a load on the mower deck/belt. So, on to the topic. Last week I was mowing the back field and sure enough, the belt broke. I had replaced it last year when I was scalping an area of heavy weeds. (My bad) I was pretty bummed that my new belt didn't last until I started thinking about it. I knew the grass was too tall. And even though the grass looked dry, I did notice where I was cutting was damp. The engine would load up, so I would slow down (creeping speed.) But I also noticed the deck would stutter and it would leave rows of standing grass behind me. (belts slipping.) Then finally, pop! Quiet... (The mower deck is louder that the engine.)

So I got a new belt and put it on. (Man, that tensioner spring is hardy!) Then I cleaned the deck and sharpened the blades (Doh!) No more stuttering. No more corn rows left behind.

Mower deck maintenance is a bit of a pain, and I wasn't keeping up with it. I tried using a jack and jack stands, but I really don't get enough height. What I've found works pretty good is putting the ramps onto the back of my pickup and driving the mower up untill it's at a pretty good angle/height. (Back wheels still on the ground) My ramps have a strap that secure to the bumper to keep them from slipping, but it's still a little ify crawling under there. But the access is pretty good. Now I clean the deck more often (still not after every mowing..) and I touch up the blade edges with a hand file more often too. I expect this will extend the life of not only my belts but probably the engine and hydros as well.
 
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