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This information is taken from Allis-Chalmers dealer product information, 1967, that was used to help salesmen understand and address customer questions about belts. It's provided here to help you understand the importance of quality belts -- note especially the last part
Facts About Belts Used on Garden Tractors
Belts in General
Belts are a flexible, highly efficient means of transmitting power. Power by means of belts can be transmitted around corners without expensive gear or bevel gear drives. If properly designed, and quality belts are used, belt drives provide rugged long-life service. In fact, there isn't a car manufactured that doesn't use belts - for fan belt, air conditioner, or generator parts, etc., and most of these belt drives on cars
transmit more power than do belt drives on garden tractors.
All garden tractor manufacturers use belt drives on their units. Many tractor manufacturers advertise "no belt drives," meaning they do not use a belt drive clutch assembly. Yet, where the most power is needed, and the greatest amount of engine horsepower is transmitted, namely for operating a rotary mower, snow blower or tiller, they use
belt drives. It appears contradictory to advertise "no belt drives" as a selling point, and at the same time use belt drives where the most horsepower is transmitted.
Some manufacturers claim that their drive from the engine to the transmission is better than a belt drive because they use a mechanical clutch. Allis-Chalmers experience proved you can obtain longer life and better wearing characteristics by using quality, oil and heat resistant belts with back side idler pulleys as clutches. With this clutch belt drive you can ride the clutch for slow starts or slip the clutch under heavy loads for long periods of time without excessive wear on parts. This is not the case with units using a mechanical clutch. Slipping the clutch would burn up the clutch and mean costly replacement of parts.
[Source: Allis-Chalmers Outdoor Power Equipment, Riding Tractors and Implements Product Information, OPE-1012, Jan 67, courtesy of Del Allen]
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