View Full Version : Buying a walk Behind...

09-09-2007, 01:20 PM
Alright, after months of searching for a nice used walk behind I think I'm just going to buy a year end model from a dealer. I'm looking at toro since we have a dealer close to my home that has a repuatation for great service. They are also running great deals with 0% interest for a year. Does anybody have any recommendations on which model to buy? They have 36",40", and 48" with ethier pistol grip or t-bar? This will be my first commercial mower, but I'm torn on which size to get. Any ideas?

09-09-2007, 03:01 PM
Your decision needs to depend on what size properties you are servicing. If you are doing alot of small properties with fences and gates, you may need to get a 36". If you mow more open lawns, I would recommend a 48". The t bar is supposedly one of the easiest controls to operate, but pistol grips shouldn't give you any trouble, it is just a matter of personal preference.

09-09-2007, 05:07 PM
I bought my first walk behind this spring, most of my 34 yards are under 10k, a few are larger, one is almost half an acre.

This is what I discovered when I bought my 36" Toro T-bar and used it this year.

-it's hard to use on small properties but on larger properties, especially when they have no gate, it's just great. A great time saver.

-My half acre prop., I couldn't do that and make money if it wasn't for the 36" I charge $55 and it takes me 55 minutes :)

-I wish I had bought a 48" rider instead of this 36" wb. The reason being almost anywhere I can use the 36 I can also used the 48 and I could ride instead of walking. Where I can't use the 36 (Small gates and even smaller yards where it's too awkward and hard on the grass to maneuver a 36" mower) I use the 21".

-I discovered that people that don't use 21's are crazy (imo) :) You need them if you are going to be doing small residential yards.

-I also HAD to buy a trailer. You see I thought I could go up a ramp like my snow blower but the toro 36" was WAY to heavy for that, and dangerous to. In fact I think I bought the 36 so it would fit in my truck..

So I had to buy a trailer... so next year I'll buy a john deere rider or something and use the 36 as a back up for it but over all I wish I would have bought a 48" to save even more time.

I also bought the mulch kit for toro and it is Fantastic.

Edit: T-bar is fantastic, it's like personal pace. I set in gear 3 and can go as slow as I want and as fast as I can walk and thread a needle. But it's still awkward turning and trynig to make nice stripes in a small yard so I use 21" for those.

I heard pistol grips can cause broken fingers because your hands are in a vulnerable spot if you get to close to a fence. With t bar your hands are on top and you can even move forward with just one hand, and use your other to raise branches so you can get by.

09-09-2007, 10:28 PM
You can't go wrong with toro but I personal hate belt/gear driven mowers. They are a pain to operate, especially on smaller yards. If I was in your position I would go with a Scag or Exmark 36", if you go with a 48" you will have problems on gated properties and you will end up having to mow w/ the 21".

09-09-2007, 10:40 PM
Buy a $2-$300 velke and you can ride as well, I finish my acre lot with my 48" in under an hour, that extra foot of deck makes a world of a difference, I only walk the toro when I'm in a weird mood to get exercise OR when the velke breaks (and even then I'm just as fast to run home and grab the spare lol thou usually I will finish the yard I'm on if I have to walk it).

If you get a Z you can forget the days of cutting 8-10 lawns on 4 gallons of gas, if your 36" is that efficient (my 48 is), my 60" hog swallows two gallons / hour, I can still cut all day but instead of filling up one 5 gallon tank I get to deal with two 6 gallon ones, I've dropped 30 bucks in fuel before. Oh yeah, it reduces my trucks fuel mileage by a good 10% as well, but it is nice... Comfort-wise thou, it's still a rough ride, I don't find it that much more comfy than the velke.

btw you can't do every yard with a Z
It's a 6-8 thousand dollar machine that if something goes wrong can kill you.
I'm in no mood to find out if it will slip off some steep incline, I take it where I know it will go but I take NO chances.
Nevermind getting stuck, you don't want to DREAM about getting the Z stuck, it takes hours if you do LOL!
The Wb, that I'll play with, it might weigh more than I do but I can still push it around some, 20 minutes max downtime when stuck.

Your choice, but in my 6th year I can feel those $230 a month payments, they're not killing me but I can't wait to get out from under it.... and uhm, I got like 2 whole years to go :cry:

And no, if my 48" don't fit through the gate, I can't service that yard.
Why don't fence makers get it through their heads that a 4-foot gate ought to be standard?
Even riding mowers would have a better time, same with core aeration machines, wth a 3 foot gate is just dumb :laugh:

You'll have to do the math, but if you only have a few 3-foot gates a 48" might yet be worth the tradeoff having to do a few with the 21"

09-09-2007, 11:00 PM
geez...topsites, 2 gallons an hour?! Thats alot. Mines sucks down less than a gallon an hour...60inch Exmark Lazer Z...its got a 23 horse engine though, so that may account for the difference, but geez, what a difference!

09-09-2007, 11:20 PM
I bought my first walk behind this spring, most of for those.

I heard pistol grips can cause broken fingers because your hands are in a vulnerable spot if you get to close to a fence. With t bar your hands are on top and you can even move forward with just one hand, and use your other to raise branches so you can get by.

thats right. its definately more likely to happen with pistol grips

09-10-2007, 12:05 AM
ive got a tbar. its just fine. people say the belt driven mowers slip on hills and say they suck, theyre not the best but they get the job done. it depends on the cash you got. if your willing to spend a little more, get the hydro with the new t-2 paddle controls they got on the walkbehinds. toros are good mowers. the only thing i dont like about the tbar, is that its not the true zero turning radius like the pistol grips or the ecs or the t-2 paddle. test drive the mower before you buy it. get the better bigger engine. it will give you that extra torque that you might need.

09-10-2007, 07:12 AM
Try to demo the Toro 40" T2 (http://www.toro.com/professional/lce/midsize/tf_floathydro/30496.html) I think you will like it alot. This mower with a Tru-Trac is wonderful. If you decide on this mower, go ahead and get the Tru-Trac at the time of purchase along with 3 extra weights for the front as you will need them with the added weight. This mower has plenty of power, its fast and built like a tank (It weights in at 667 lbs without Tru-Trac). If you need a 36" they also make one in that size.

Topsites mentioned fuel economy, my Toro gets about 1 hour per gallon run hard. Its actually probably less than this.

Below is a few pics of my setup:


09-10-2007, 03:36 PM
Hey Cg, is that bag there for garbage and crap on the lawn? I'm always thinking of doing that myself but I never seem to.

09-10-2007, 04:23 PM
I did want to mention you still have to be careful with the t-bar, don't curl your fingers around it and between the fixed bar or you will pinch your fingers something fierce every once in a bit. It's also real aggravating when I hit a stump and it stops the mower, but as it pushes me forward my hands get into the t-bar pushing that forward so then the wheels get to spinning :cry:

I usually keep my fingers loose and pointed straight out, then once I get going I curl them over the fixed bar and hold the T with my thumbs and the palm. That and I find adjusting those long control rods makes a world of difference, as does keeping fresh rubber grommets in each side of the bar.

I do agree the t-bar isn't perfect zero turn, and one thing to be remember is I ride 300 pound 48" fixed decks so it's not that hard on the belts and if I have to manhandle it I can even push that joker up the ramp without engine power, thou it's not something I enjoy doing... Still, it's rare the 48" gets stuck in such a way I have to use the truck to pull it out, I think it was that bad twice in 4-5 years maybe, most of the time I can get it out myself.

The fixed deck is definitely a different beast, I'd recommend at least 1,000 yards or 2 years under your belt before trying one, at that point it takes about a month of getting used to, but once I learned how to handle it I never looked back. To me the fixed deck is the only mower worth using, it's a lot lighter and tighter, there's no deck that goes 'floating' in mid-cut causing me to miss grass, there's no clattering and clanking when jumping curbs or hitting a few spots, but it does have a tendency to scalp so it takes practice.

I like that tru-trac, if it weren't that when it gets soaking wet around here the lightest mower isn't light enough, I'd consider it.
Something to check out I suppose, but around here I have to have a light machine to get through the wet stuff (not that this year's been like that lol). That's my biggest problem today with most of the mowers, they're so dang heavy, even curb mounting can be a royal pita when it weighs that much, and when it breaks down (to get it back on the trailer) or it gets stuck in the mud or it slides off into a deep concrete culvert or a ditch, I cursed many times when that happened with my old 52" floats...

09-10-2007, 05:28 PM
Hey Cg, is that bag there for garbage and crap on the lawn? I'm always thinking of doing that myself but I never seem to.

Yeah, thats exactly what it is (even forgot to empty it). I got that with my Exmark Metro when I purchased, but you can get one for about $10-$15 at your dealer. Here it is on Toro site. (http://www.toro.com/professional/lce/midsize/tf_floathydro/access_walkbags.html)

09-10-2007, 05:36 PM
i like that toro t2

09-10-2007, 11:26 PM
i like that toro t2

Thanks, its a breeze to use.

09-11-2007, 12:17 AM
If your yards can all fit it, get the 48". You'll like the productivity better.