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Old 02-17-2013, 10:02 PM
Dave0013 Dave0013 is offline
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Location: Richardson, TX
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Originally Posted by joed View Post
Thank you for the great review Dave. I am thinking of purchasing one of these units but am unsure. I know it's not spring yet but have you noticed any rutting due to the weight of the machine? I bought one of the first exmark metro 26" units in 2005 and I had a big issue with rutting due to the weight of the machine along with numerous other mechanical issues and a lack of horsepower that rendered the machine useless when mulching. I'm not sure if this current machine will fair any better.
I wondered about that potential issue, too, Joe. My guys have used the mowers already in some relatively wet soil conditions with no problems. In fact, we gave them a try for some leaf cleanup on a new 3/4 acre lawn that we sodded just a month ago. So this was a notably "spongey" yard that I didn't want our big, heavy midsize mowers run on just yet.

The new Turfmasters did great. Again, I have to give Toro credit for the balance. The front tires are 2"x8"... but have very little weight on them. The heavy portion sets on the rear 3"x10" tires and I guess that extra size is just what it takes to spread the weight and prevent rutting.

After a few weeks of use and the minor modifications I mentioned earlier, the only problem I've noticed so far is some belt "flapping" on one of the units. It sounds like a simple adjustment issue so I haven't looked into it yet. There are an awful lot of springs in the drive and cutting systems of these mowers, so it's sure to be a learning curve. I still need to address the mulch plug bypass idea I have because the plug is simply not designed well (although it does seem to be effective so far).

I have an ironically similar story to yours on the issues with the Metro 26" mower. My dealer - bless his soul - talked me out of them because of several concerns he had about the design. A buddy of mine bought two - convinced they were the next great mower - and sold them halfway through the season since they didn't cut well and were always in for repair. With the Turfmaster 30's, my instincts tell me that 9-10 HP would be ideal and that the high rpm's will surely shorten the life of the Kawasaki FJ180V's. But then again, these same Kawi's will easily go 4 years commercially with virtually no loss of compression. So if they even last 2 years on the Turfmasters, it should still be a very good ROI for nearly 50% greater cutting width. I'm crossing my fingers and think the first 6 months of use will be very telling.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:02 AM
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MJB MJB is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Wa
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I took 1 look at the Metro 26" when they came out and ran from them.
They were junk, the weight alone scared me off. When I bought the Timemaster I knew it would work but still have a lot of sceptics out there.
The Turfmaster is a no brainer for the money. Im not sure how so many who bought the Metro 26 think the Turfmaster is under powered or to heavy.
The Timemaster only weighs 130lbs the Turfmaster can't be much more.

2013 Exmark Pioneer S 60" Ultracut (Review with pics)

2010 Badboy Outlaw 6100 31 KAWI

2008 Exmark Lazer Z AS 60" U/C 28 Kawi

2000 Exmark Lazer Z 60" L/C Kawi 4100 + hrs strong
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:29 AM
Dave0013 Dave0013 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Richardson, TX
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According to Toro's website, the commercial Turfmaster weighs 167 pounds (assuming I'm allowed to post this link) :

Clearly, the heavy duty commercial components have added some weight versus the homeowner model, but I'm guessing that's still about half of what a 32" wide deck mower tips the scale at. By comparison, I think the 21" commercial mowers are around 120 pounds or so. I would also estimate that two Toro midsize mowers parked end-to-end would be about equal to three of Turfmasters in the same alignment. That could be a big deal for anyone towing shorter trailers.
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