I am close to purchasing a newer truck, a '94 Chevy 3500 w/ a Fisher 8' straight plow that has the hydro's that runs off the truck engine is this a good or bad set up. I have not had any experience with this type of system.
In some ways I wish everything still had belt driven pumps.
No need to worry about electric pumps, high out put alternators, double batteries, ect. Belt driven was easy to fix, just too much stuff had to be cramed under the hood. If there was more room under the hood in todays trucks, I bet we would still have belt driven as an option.
The only bad part with belt driven was it was slow till the fluid warmed up. That and the belt had to be installed and removed, unless you had a clutch set up.
I would buy the truck, feel lucky you have the belt drive set up.
belt driven is the way to go. Monarch Hy-lo's, I ran them for years with never a pump problem. did have a problem with the gates 2210 belt breaking from time to time or slipping on the pulley from the jeep 12v GENERATOR that drove it, but solved that problem sliding the pump forward on the genny and by getting a larger belt to go around the pump and generator as one unit. ran that set up for years and years without a problem.
Belt drive eliminates electrical problems due to load, battery, control solenioids, and a host of other stuff you don't need to break at 3 am. When you are out there all alone in the middle of a blizzard and no one could get to you, you want simple and reliable, and that is what belt drive is.