View Full Version : Toro 36” belt driven floating deck

01-31-2008, 11:47 AM
I just bought a new Toro 36” belt driven floating deck. This is my fist mower besides just a small rider and a few push mowers. And on the front of it there is a sold peace of square steel it is just bolted on with two small bolts to the frame. I was wondering what the purpose of this is. I have a 5x10 tilt trailer it is some thing that I have had for my dirt bikes and four wheelers. It is not the best for haling a mower on but I was thinking if I can take off the weight then I can just pop up the front end to make the trailer tilt …. So I guess what I am asking is it ok to take off the weight? :confused:

01-31-2008, 03:51 PM
That big chuck of steel on the front holds the front end down when you push the belt engagement, without the weight,you pull a wheely, especially when you switch out old belts with new ones. It's very important to balance torque to drive, in the tractor pull world: If your throwing, your losing ground. That may not make much sense to now, but take that weight off, and you"ll be sorry.

01-31-2008, 07:55 PM
Add a little weight to the rear of the tilt bed so it will tilt when released.....

02-01-2008, 12:30 AM
when i do that then if the trailer is empty then it will fish tail

02-01-2008, 01:31 AM
Yeah some noobs put weights on the front end of their machines because they don't know how to operate it properly, but I own two fixed decks that are far lighter than any floating device and I have never had weight on it... Matter of fact I sometimes take the cover off because the belt likes to act stupid, the mower does like to pop up on me but fingertip controls is what the T-bar is for.

The Toro is so easy to drive a child could operate it, so if you're fighting a Toro then you're doing it wrong.
The rule to remember is don't fight the Toro, not to be confused with pistol grips that require Popeye arms to operate the Toro is a machine that can and should be driven lightly with forefingers and thumb, granted you want more than two fingers on it for control but if it's popping a wheelie then you're not being delicate enough.

So I would remove that stupid training weight, I doubt seriously you need it, just be careful operating it for the first month or three, let it grow on you as you become one with it and all that.

Good luck

02-01-2008, 01:29 PM
I did want to add, if you have never driven a Toro:

I am assuming a 5-speed manual Tecumseh with R-N-1-2-3-4-5 like that.
Some Tecumseh's are 4 speed (R-...4) but most models nowadays are 5.

Your very first cut put the lever in 2nd or 3rd gear, start out like that and take it nice and easy to familiarize yourself with the controls. Depending on your learning curve you may tire of turtle gears in some sort of order, and once you have the basics down I can certainly recommend 4th gear but you probably want to stick to 3rd or 4th for a day or more.

5th gear is a VERY aggressive gear, unless you have a Velke you will likely never want to nor need to use this 7mph speed for cutting, it is perfectly fine to operate a Toro permanently in 4th and certainly if that seems a bit too hot then go to 3rd or even 2nd.

If yours is a 4 speed you can walk these particular ones in 4th, but a 5-speed would be hard to walk in 5th, truly so, you need a velke to take advantage of the 5 speed and then I'd recommend wide open areas only. 5th is fast, so fast that if you hit an obstacle you will fly over the handlebars, this little flight of fancy likely won't kill you but I have always found it rather painful, not to mention hella scary. So stay in the lower gears until you feel confident enough to go to 5th, and if you never get past 4th that's fine too.

On steep hills always use 1st or 2nd and NEVER point the machine UP the hill!
Doing so puts you directly below the machine, and should a tire slip OR the front end rise in the air you will have a serious problem. Best I can tell you if this happens is gtfo of the way asap, but best bet is never point it UP a hill.
Weights will not help you here, if the machine slips or rises you're in deep.
Go sideways and if you must turn do so pointing down hill, granted the machine might get away from you but better this way than if you are standing under it with the machine towering up above you.
And yes, this is the exact opposite of what one would do with a Ztr.

On the notes of shifting, I realize with steep hills and wide open areas some of it appears inevitable, but with Tecumseh's you want to select ONE gear and stay in it! For as long as possible anyhow, if you find one gear you can never shift out of more power to you, but the less you shift the longer it lasts. Doesn't matter which, take your time and figure out which gear works best, then put the lever there and don't move it again. The transmissions are hardy and can take considerable amounts of abuse but eventually they do break and they are a pita to replace (not to mention $200 for the trans), staying in one exclusive gear virtually guarantees lifelong trouble free operation.

When shifting, always make sure that joker is solidly in gear before taking off by feeling for the click and doing a partial "push" of the bars to see, because a partial engage can slip and is usually only annoying but it could mess you up.

Plan and drive accordingly so you do NOT get into a situation where you have to use Reverse. Reverse SUCKS, but when you do what I just said not to do the best way to get it out after selecting R is pull UP and back on the BOTTOM portion of the T-bar (and you may well have to persuade by pulling and I mean pulling 50-100 pounds worth yourself).
For myself, I found it best to think of a Toro as a machine that has no reverse, once I thought of it this way I got myself in this pita situation a whole lot less.

Other notes: I haven't a clue what 1st gear is for, it's too slow, I've almost never used it, 2nd is good for the trickiest spots.

Hope that helps.

02-03-2008, 09:55 PM
thanks mine is only 4 gears r-n-1-2-3-4 and thanks for the advice

Jay Ray
02-04-2008, 09:05 PM
Been there and know how it feels starting up when money is bleeding out like crazy and not much coming in. But imho getting a gate trailer is a very good place to put a little money. If you sell the tilter, shouldn't be that bad. There are reasons you very seldom see a tilter being used by an LCO.

Btw, congrats on starting out with a fine mower.

But if you are going to tilt, find out where to place the mower and whatever else you are going to carry to get the softest, best landings. Then bolt some chocks or Fastraps (great for wb's, very fast to secure) on the deck so you can easy get the machine in the right place every time.

02-04-2008, 09:22 PM
i just got this mower last year i used a snaper rider that i got for free and i ran it untill it died but for most of my equpment i put it in my truck like the blower and the trimmer the only things that are on the trailer are the 21" mower and my rider now my walk behind and then some hand tools and other little stuff but thanks i will look into the fast straps untill i can save up 400 more so that i can get one with a gate

02-04-2008, 10:05 PM
OK Chris,

Here's what you can do till you can get a gate trailer, It worked fine on my old tilt.

Cut a piece of 1" schedule 40 pvc pipe the right length to prop under the front of the bed angled as below. Make sure the loading end is about 2" off the ground. Once your front tires hit the trailer the back will drop and the pipe will fall so it will tilt back down as the mower goes up.

That's if the front of the bed isn't too heavy and raises the front of the mower which mine wasn't.

02-04-2008, 10:17 PM
thanks i have wanted to do some thing like that bc right now i am using 2 cinder blocks that i keep in the bed of my truck and moving them all the time gets old fast

Jay Ray
02-05-2008, 06:00 PM
Northern Tool has Fastraps for 19.99 apiece. You need two per large mower. I paid $30 apiece about 3 years ago but don't know what I would have done without them. The straps are dirty now, but work like new. Remember if anything comes off the trailer and damages another vehicle you or your insurance have to pay.

We don't have to secure everything by law here, but I recommend it highly.

02-05-2008, 09:13 PM
thanks mine is only 4 gears r-n-1-2-3-4 and thanks for the advice

Ok I'm familiar with those my first two were like that, I started in 2nd for a bit then third within 5-10 minutes I was fine like that... Not sure how long it took after that but not very long, 4th gear on those transmissions isn't too fast that I recall, you may decide 3rd is best but I would think you'll be fine running it in 4th exclusively even without a velke thou it will walk you lol...

I am sure you can test drive 4th your first day, maybe not right off the bat but probably even the first lawn a little bit, just start in 2nd then 3rd first you'll be fine, probably 2nd day certainly by end of week you should be able to use 4th 100%

Just remember on steep inclines 2nd, maybe 1st but definitely 2nd for control.
You'll be fine, it's that 5th gear to watch out for, a 4 speed is gtg.

Now about my 2nd year I couldn't take the slowness anymore and got myself a 5 speed and then cursed those 4 speeds for a long time, so you'll want to think about getting into a faster mower before you get too many years down the road but if I had to do it all over again I believe the 4 speed would be my tranny of choice again, great speed for starting out even then almost a little too fast but later... Well, you'll see.

02-05-2008, 09:18 PM
Northern Tool has Fastraps for 19.99 apiece. You need two per large mower. I paid $30 apiece about 3 years ago but don't know what I would have done without them. The straps are dirty now, but work like new. Remember if anything comes off the trailer and damages another vehicle you or your insurance have to pay.

We don't have to secure everything by law here, but I recommend it highly.

ya i have gotten a ticket for not "properly securing my load" i had grass clippings that were flying out of my truck