In this paper the belt-drive model using an absolute nodal coordinate formulation is presented. Using this approach the damping forces are usually neglected and only the elastic forces are taken into account. The aim of this paper is to introduce a damping mechanism into the belt-drive model and to verify it against experimental data. Different damping mechanisms are proposed for the damping of the longitudinal and bending deformations and several experiments were conducted in order to obtain the damping properties. Good agreement between the numerical result and the experimentally obtained data was found. Finally, the applicability of the belt-drive model was presented in a comparison with the pinned–pinned beam model.