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View Full Version : Seeking advice on the Toro Grandstand


mcass50
02-10-2012, 10:21 PM
In the market for a new mower.. Bought a 48" bobcat textron w/ floating deck back in 2003 and its been a great mower for the past 8 years but its time for an upgrade.. I was at a landscaping tradeshow last week and really liked the Snapper Pro hydro walk behind because it seems like they are one of the last hydro walk behinds w/ an adjustable deck that also has the pistol grip, not to mention they are only selling for $4,800, but I use a velke/sulky and I'm sick of the back pain from being hunched over while using it.. So I then explored my options on a 52" toro grandstand, I liked the way it felt and how I could keep my back straight while using it.. Any advice on the toro grandstand would be much appreciated.. thanks.

hi_speedreed
02-10-2012, 11:54 PM
I would be interested in hearing about this machine as well. I would also like to hear what they cost new because Toro doesn't post prices onine. I'm not finding any price on dealer websites either. Why the secrecy when it comes to listing price? I wish all mower, car, truck, and trailer dealers would stop the haggling bulls**t. Just put a fair price on it where you cover costs, cover overhead and make some profit. Then there would be no wasted time. The last truck I bought was from my friend. I didn't beat him up, he gave me a fair price well under sticker and I knew he made money and he knew I was happy. It took less than an hour. Wouldn't that make their job easier? For every sucker that pays sticker you know there is also some guy that comes in at the end of the month an hour before closing and gets the deal of the century cause they need to make quota. Sorry for the rant.
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IRRITECH
02-11-2012, 07:08 AM
I have owned a few of the old Snapper pro walkbehinds and loved them. I have also owned Turf Tracers. The company I now work for has a 40" Grandstand and a couple of Exmark Metro's. I recently posted a thread about the speed of the Grandstand vs the Metro with a velke. This is my experience with a 40 GS.

1. Slow, the Metro with a velke will out mow the GS.

2. Heavy, Much heavier than a walkbehind and with the larger tires it is hard to turn without tearing up the turf.

3. Controls, controls are awkward compared to pistol grips or ECS. You have to move your hands off the stationary handles to reverse the machine. Basically you are not holding on to anything.

4. The 40 is not a machine for hills. It will not hold the hills that you can mow with a walkbehind.

5. The deck is HEAVY. to raise the deck you are raising the entire cutting system, including the engine. (on the 40, don't know about the 52).

This is just my opinion, I have run a lot of walk behinds over the years and I am not impressed at all with the 40" Grandstand. Toro does still make the floating deck, hydro walk behind with the pistol grips for around the same price as the Snapper. I have 0 experience with the new Snapper/Ferris WB

ricky86
02-11-2012, 01:30 PM
The G/S has a cushioned ride platform. Very comfortable. Sulkies destroy backs.
Also very easy to dismount. Ground speed is about 8 mph. Another advantage over a walk behind is it wont leave that ugly additional tracking mark you get with a sulky. With the motion controls, it's a simple system that every one can use, except the most mechanically challenged. Deck lift is spring assisted and very easy to use. BUT, only you can decide. Many people on here will tear a brand apart due to brand loyalty, or just ignorance. Toro does have a demo program, so by all means set one up with a dealer and try it. We have sold over 25, I have used a 48" myself. Stable on hills, and if they are too steep (you shouldn't be on it) just fold up the platform. Just be aware you might be slightly higher up. So that ornamental you just cleared with a W/B might plant you squarely on you butt. A G/S will not out cut a rider. At least a Toro or Exmark new generation. Guys who went from a W/B to a G/S are very impressed. Many bought another. Guys who went to a G/S from a rider not so much.

jequigle
02-11-2012, 01:42 PM
I would definitely demo one. I demoed a Exmark Vantage and came to the conclusion its a great mower but just not for me.

msryan
02-11-2012, 10:39 PM
I have 500 hours on mine and have been very happy with it. Mine is a 2009 so it is the first year of the grandstand. I bought it a year old from the dealer as a demo with 100 hrs on it.

Some complain about the ground speed, but 8mph is plenty fast on residential lawns, and even commercial. I did add the operator controlled discharge chute and I would recommend that.

It does sidehill very well, and the cut quality is great. This fall I added a trac vac to it and that helped us tremendously on residential clean ups. I have the 23 hp 52".

I did have it in for service last year and they gave me a 24hp 52" to use. I liked that machine better due to the updates. I will be keeping mine and purchasing another 52 this spring, and maybe even a 40" depending if we ever get snow here to help pay for them!

ricky86
02-12-2012, 03:54 AM
If you got an early production, I hope your dealer did ALL the updates, including the speed control update.

IRRITECH
02-12-2012, 09:19 AM
The G/S has a cushioned ride platform. Very comfortable. Sulkies destroy backs.

If you are going to get into this discussion at least be honest and straightforward.

Also very easy to dismount. Ground speed is about 8 mph. Another advantage over a walk behind is it wont leave that ugly additional tracking mark you get with a sulky.

If you are concerned with stripes, this is probably true.


With the motion controls, it's a simple system that every one can use, except the most mechanically challenged.

When in reverse, you are not holding on to anything except the drive levers, awkward.


Deck lift is spring assisted and very easy to use.

The 40" is HEAVY

Many people on here will tear a brand apart due to brand loyalty, or just ignorance.

Informed opinions are not ignorance. 20+ years of running everything from T-Bars, Pistol grips, ECS, etc gives one a perspective on equipment. The design and performance of this machine is just not impressive. Exmark has basically the same machine and I would expect the same lackluster results from it.

Stable on hills, and if they are too steep (you shouldn't be on it) just fold up the platform.

The 40 is not stable on hills, as you get to the 48, 52, it might get better, don't know. Why would I want to use a rider as a WB.

A G/S will not out cut a rider.

Nor a WB apparently. As Ricky said, demo one and really put it through the paces before you buy.

grassman177
02-12-2012, 11:01 AM
I have 500 hours on mine and have been very happy with it. Mine is a 2009 so it is the first year of the grandstand. I bought it a year old from the dealer as a demo with 100 hrs on it.

Some complain about the ground speed, but 8mph is plenty fast on residential lawns, and even commercial. I did add the operator controlled discharge chute and I would recommend that.

It does sidehill very well, and the cut quality is great. This fall I added a trac vac to it and that helped us tremendously on residential clean ups. I have the 23 hp 52".

I did have it in for service last year and they gave me a 24hp 52" to use. I liked that machine better due to the updates. I will be keeping mine and purchasing another 52 this spring, and maybe even a 40" depending if we ever get snow here to help pay for them!

we have 4 grandstands, tell me more about the ocdc, quality, ease of use, and price. thanks much:drinkup:

yardguy28
02-12-2012, 11:09 AM
If you got an early production, I hope your dealer did ALL the updates, including the speed control update.

first to the OP.

i have an 09 52" grandstand.

i absolutely love this machine. of all the stand on's it has the widest platform. i'm tall and have large feet so this a major plus.

the controls are awesome. extremely close if not better than a sit down ztr.

the cut is excellent. exactly what you would expect from toro.

one complaint would be there are no anti scalp rollers on the deck. the other complaint is the controls become high in walkbehind mode. even for me at 6' 2".

now i want to note to the post i quoted. i only have done what updates i felt were necessary and needed.

the brake update was needed for me. before the update the brake would fall down touching the rear wheels.

the other update i had done was to the hydro system. that update was only done because i had a leak in one of the lines and when the dealer went to repair the leak they also re did the hydro system. it wasn't something i requested.

the hydro update is nice. it removes the speed control on the dash board and everything is controled by the forward reverse levers.

my grandstand does not have any of the other updates which includes some springs to ease raising and lowering the deck, something to the fuel system and something was done to make reverse quicker.

i find those updates unecessary.

i'm a big "if it's not broke don't fix it" person. i find raising and lowering the deck easy as is, i don't have a problem with my fuel system and i don't feel reverse needs to be any faster.

the one nice thing about the exmark vantage vs. the grandstand is the front stationary bar on the vantage moves to help you control the speed as far as how fast or slow the mower goes, regulating how far forward you can push the levers.

lawnkingforever
02-12-2012, 11:41 AM
I have the Toro ocdc on my Grandstand. Very easy to use and install. I like the utility bag that mounts below the control lever. my acceleratorbagger can be put on with the ocdc in place. The ocdc can be set to fully open, closed or half way. There are 2 main reasons I use it.

1. In the fall for leaves. It is nice to be able to have an option to mulch leaves instantly then go back to side discharge or bagging.

2. To keep grass out of beds and other areas. I also use it if I am mowing near vehicles or roads.

With that being said, do not expect a high quality finished product with this. This is not a mulching kit and will leave strips of grass in even moderate growth. But it is very functional for the times you need to use it.
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joemower
02-12-2012, 12:37 PM
I have been using GS's since 2009 and absolutely love them. We have 2 48"s, 1 52'', and one 60''. Three of them have mulching kits installed and one has a Power Chute OCDC installed. We prefer using the ones with the mulching kits for they really do a nice clean job. I wouldn't waist the money on anything smaller than a 48'' unless you really need one and don't mind spending money. Get out and test one...you just may like it. Give yourself some time get use to them because there is a bit of learning curve.

clayslandscape
02-12-2012, 01:53 PM
I have seen some threads tear the 40" Grandstand up. They say it is not worth it due to clumping and such. Is this so? Thanks!

clayslandscape
02-12-2012, 01:59 PM
I will be keeping mine and purchasing another 52 this spring, and maybe even a 40" depending if we ever get snow here to help pay for them!

Do you know anyone with a 40"? How did they like it? Have you demoed one? I want one but am second guessing it due to people saying it clumps a great deal.

yardguy28
02-12-2012, 02:19 PM
i know my 52" grandstand doesn't clump.

i've seen threads on toro's 40" walkbehind that clumps.

from what i understood the threads, it's more of the deck size itself not really the whole piece of equipment. you could have any brand in a 40" and it would clump is my understanding.

edensgate7
02-13-2012, 05:09 PM
I have a 54 and a 60. 54 is 2010 with 250 hrs and 60 is 2011 with 500 hrs. Both are remarkable machines. as for the handling capabilities and comfort that have been mentioned, It all depends on the operator's abilities and preferences. I have back problems and this is by far better than any other mower I have run (I have run just about every style and brand over the years) I mow as steep of a slope as is possible without trimming by hand around some retention ponds I have with these machines. they can hold them while going almost full speed as long as the grass is dry. We'll see how well they do as the tires wear. As for price, I paid less for both of mine than retail because they were Toro Demos trade show demos which has less than 15 hrs on them but had never cut a full lawn. The pricing for the new models I researched was quite comprable to similar models. the retail for the 54 was around 7900 and the 60 about 9800. overall, great machines!