Direct drive, gearbox or belt driven pressure washer?

Everyone tells me that direct drive units don’t last,… but they are literally HALF the price of gearbox/belt driven pressure washers. Is it really worth spending double, or would planning to replace the unit more often still work out cheaper?

Do gearbox/belt driven washers require extra maintenance?

My current washer is direct drive, 2 years old and going strong. If it did die, surely its just a case of getting a new pump?

New pumps can be very expensive…I have seen them in the catalog I have up to $500. “they” say the belt drive is the way to go…but go by how much PW you do? I dont do a whole lot of PW…maybe a few a month…so I am fine with the direct for now(knock on wood). If you do a lot of PW…it may be a wise investment for a belt drive

I’m doing 4 or 5 jobs a month at the moment.
Pumps may be $500,… but the difference in price between direct drive and belt drive is more!
I’ve spotted one on Merrill Fox’s website that’s the cheapest belt drive I’ve seen @ $1419 for a 13HP 4000psi Honda model. Despite the $500 odd shipping from the states to Ireland, he’s still cheaper than my local suppliers!

It’s the down time that is hurting me at the moment. My direct drive blew a motor last week. It’s a low end commercial machine that is guaranteed for 2 years of commercial use.

It didn’t last a year. It’s still under warranty but I’ve got bookoos of power washing jobs to do and stuck paying rental for shoddy machines while waiting on my new belt drive to arrive.

I’ll be getting the one that blew fixed under warranty and have as a back-up unit. But I’ll have a belt drive that I can depend on to get me through the work that I have to do.

Belt drive is definitely the way to go. Skip the gear drive and the direct drive. They both transfer heat from the motor to the the pump. A belt drive does not transfer heat from motor to pump.

For the record, the machine that blew is a Husqvarna 4 GPM 3,000 psi with a Robin Subaru 9 hp motor. It’s a good machine but this particular one had a problem and blew. I think it actually just threw a rod because the casing or block is not punctured. It’s still full of fresh oil.

Bob @ Pressure Tek said it sounds like something just broke loose inside the motor and caused this to happen. The motor shaft will turn about a quarter turn and then locks down.

If you can swing it go for the belt drive and save yourself some misery.

There are a couple of reasons why the belt driven pressure washers are worth it. Like Nuvudude said, a direct drive unit will transfer heat from the engine to the pump. Also, the pump gets all the vibration from the engine too. With a belt driven pump, you don’t have the heat transfer, and there’s a buffer from the vibration. Another huge plus is the pump is operating that a lot lower RPM then the direct drive. That means it stays cooler, will last longer from less wear and tear, and will pull water from a tank.