Originally Posted by brucec32
I was happy to see the new 36 and 40" models on the website. Unfortunately, it looks like I can't use this machine in 40" form.
Toro seems to have gone with the concept of retaining a large "trim edge", which is great for northern turf, but on low cut grasses like Bermuda and to a lesser degree Zoysia, with their growth habit that is part stem, part leafy top, much more than a couple inches of trim edge means gouges and visable lines in the turf that are unacceptable. Even tiny variations in the level of the cut show on this type of turf.
To get this trim edge it looks like they narrowed the stance of the front wheels, so just like the 48"/52" models it can't handle severe undulations on Bermuda. All they should have done (for we southerners) was to slap a 40" deck on the same frame setup as the 48", leaving it with minimal deck overhang. That way the lack of true floating deck and antiscalps would not have been a problem.
The 36" mostly avoids this problem, but the deck is then so narrow that the machine isn't of much use on wide open areas, making it less versatile. Also sometimes the longer aspects of a 36" two blade deck lead to more scalping over crests. And unfortunately at $6,000 plus, it's too expensive for use on a few gated backyards, something most will just keep an old cheap wb around for. For this type of investment, I'd want a more versatile machine that gets full-time use.
Note the popularity of Walker mowers on southern turf. Also note that their 42" deck is probably the most popular size. That is because the 42" deck closely matches the width of the front tires. So it contours perfectly. I see a lot of companies hauling out 36" wb's to mow lawns that a bigger mower, designed right, would handle. What a shame.
I guess this is what happens when mowers are designed up north in areas where they don't even have grass like ours.
You indicated anything with more than a couple of inches of overhang creates issues. I think it might be worth at least seeing and perhaps demoing the 40" and 36" GrandStand before eliminating them from consideration. We won't debate with you the difficulties of mowing at 1.0" - 1.5" HOC, it's a challenge.
-The Toro Company