How do you know when it’s time to replace the belt on your Billy Goat equipment? While the company does have recommendations based on operation time, there are a number of factors that can shorten its life. These tips will help you remedy issues that can lead to premature wear and get a new belt in place before the old one fails.
Why Does My Billy Goat have Belt Drive?
A shaft drive or direct drive system may seem like a more practical, lower maintenance solution, but there are a lot of advantages to using a belt drive, even if it requires a little more work to maintain.
By using a belt drive, the engine can be mounted away from the tool being driven. Self-propelled equipment is designed to drive the transmission directly via the engine shaft or a short belt, while blades can be driven by a longer belt. This places the engine directly over the drive axle for better traction.
When you engage the drive on your equipment, you’re moving a belt tensioner. This pulley pushes on the belt, increasing the area it needs to wrap around, and in turn pushes it down onto the drive pulleys, allowing power to be transferred between the engine and your equipment’s blades, brushes or drive system. Using this clutch system in place of a friction clutch reduces complexity and cost.
The belt also acts as a sacrificial part. If the tool gets jammed, the stress is taken out on the belt, stretching or breaking it instead of crushing the bearings or bending shafts, saving significant costs on repairs.
When is it Time to Replace a Belt?
If you see any of these signs, it’s time for a new belt:
- Cracks are forming on the belt surface.
- The belt has stretched to a point that the drive system can’t engage.
- There’s abrasion along the belt surface, usually caused by misaligned parts in the drive system.
How Long Should a Belt Last?
For most equipment, Billy Goat recommends inspections every 25 hours of operation and replacement every 100-150 hours. Those inspection intervals are needed because there are a number of problems that can shorten belt life considerably:
If the spindle bearings begin to fail, the increase in friction can cause the belt to slip and pull, wearing and stretching it out prematurely. Some models have spindles that need to be greased periodically; before adding grease, clean the Zerk fitting to keep dirt from being pushed into the bearings. If you clean your equipment with a pressure washer, don’t spray the pulleys directly, since this can wash out the grease and promote surface rust.
Metal wire belt guides are used on some models to help keep the belt in position near the drive and idle pulleys. If these become bent, they can rub against the sides of the belt when it’s engaged.
If the belt isn’t engaging, it may be caused by a stretched or misadjusted clutch cable. Billy Goat recommends inspecting the cable every 50 hours, but it’s still worth checking if the blades or drive system aren’t working. The lever should move freely, and the cable should push the idle pulley far enough to remove any slack in the belt. Your owner’s manual will list the expected travel distance for the pulley as well as the force required to move the lever so you can make sure your equipment is within specifications.
What Can I Do to Make My Belts Last Longer?
Before you use your equipment, check the area for obstacles. When using a brushcutter in a new area, it’s a good idea to make a tall cut to reveal the ground, check for hidden objects like chains and rocks, then cut the grass and saplings down to the desired size. Impacts don’t just bend the blades and shafts, they also put a strain on the belt.
While the belts on most equipment are covered, the drive belt on the Grazor pavement cleaner is exposed, allowing it to be damaged by UV light. Keeping it under a cover can allow moisture to gather that will promote rust, so it’s best to store this equipment inside without a cover for the best protection.
When it’s time to store your equipment, keep it away from furnaces. When they heat up, they create ozone. This gas reacts with rubber, aging it prematurely.
Where Can I Get New Belts for My Billy Goat?
We are a certified Billy Goat dealer, so our belts are OEM parts designed specifically for your mower, brush cutter or pavement cleaner. Billygoatparts.com has built-in factory parts diagrams for new and old models, making it easy to identify what you need, whether you want to have a belt on hand to reduce downtime or need to replace a cable. We can ship what you need to any location in the U.S. and Canada.