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Old 07-14-2000, 10:06 AM
Turfer Turfer is offline
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Cary, North Carolina
Posts: 99
I'm 40 years old and have been a recreational grass cutter for most of my life except for the 2 business ventures. (1 when I was 13 and the current one I started at 39). I've been bugging you guys about what kind of mower to buy for several months. I finally bought the 44&quot; Toro belt walkbehind with 12.5 Kaw. I got it last night and I re-cut 3 of my properties that I had already cut this week just for practice. (I told my wife I was going to cut our back yard for practice, then I would shower up so we could go out to dinner. Well, 3 yards later, I came back home. I was only an hour late but I would have been much later if I had not purchased this mower. Day 1 purchase justification !!) The difference is incredible. I cut the 3 previously with a 21&quot; and sometimes with a 42&quot; rider. For those of you contemplating a commercial mower purchase, do it !! <br>Pro's;<br>-Much faster. I previously used a 42&quot; lawn tractor. I cut the same properties in 1/2 the time with the 44&quot; walkbehind. The belt drive is very easy to maneuver and the productivity is incredible.<br>-Better cut. The finished product is beautiful. No comparison to a residential mower. I also cut a neighbors yard who was on vacation for 2 weeks. They had 1 foot of tall fescue that I chewed up and spit out with little if any visible clipings. <br>-Little blow out. While trimming around beds, I noticed I did not leave clippings in the beds on the left side of the mower. This was a major problem with my 21&quot; and rider.<br>-I cut 1/3 residential yards and got a 44&quot;. I could have easily used a bigger deck but the 44 was a mental compromise for me. I disagree with some who say a smaller deck is a cosmetic advantage on small yards. I think the bigger decks make the yards look more &quot;finished&quot;. <br>Con's;<br>-It's Friday and I'm out of grass to cut. <br>-I had 1 gated back yard. I need to practice with tipping this thing to get it through the gate. I just got my 21&quot; and cut the gated back yard.<br>-Turf Tear. Drawback of the belt. I just need practice.<br>-Reverse. Again, need practice. You should not get yourself in a position to have to go in reverse anyway. When I did, I just put it in neutral and pulled it back.<p>I want to thank everyone who has helped me make this decision over the past few months. You new guys need to listen to these gentlemen because they know what they are talking about. I took an extremely analytical approach to buying a small $3000 piece of equipment. My next purchase of a ztr should be easier with what I've learned on this site. This site has all the advice you need. Just adhere to it. Thanks all.<br>
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Old 07-14-2000, 11:10 AM
Stinger Stinger is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 252
Turfer: Glad to hear your good news,I had a question about the engine on your new 44. I've got a Toro 32 with a Kohler 12.5 but my 44 Toro has a Kohler 15 with Recycler mulching deck. I can't believe they would put a 12.5 Kawasaki on a 3 blade machine. Don't mean to sound negative, just courious about performance with the smaller engine. Do you have trouble mulching or cutting thick grass?
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Old 07-14-2000, 11:44 AM
Guido Guido is offline
LawnSite Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: North Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 2,085
TURFER: Thanks for having such a great attitude, you should be a model for some of the other new guys around here that are Anti-Commercial equipment (to say the least!) I'm also glad your happy with your machine, and that you realize, that the cons of the mower will soon disappear with a little practice. This shows what happens when you don't give up!<p>I know I have my fun in a couple of these posts ( i.e. lawnranger and his infamous lawnboy, etc.) but I just can't deal with people that can't see two sides of the picture. Why come to a forum of great resources, people, and info, and not want to improve at all, ask any questions, or help anybody out???? Why would you come to promote NOT using commercial grade equipment, and NOT being proffesional?? I just don't want you new guys to think I'm an a-hole cause I jumped on a few guys around here. I try to be as much help around here as I can. I get from 10-20 e-mails a week usually from people at this forum, and probobly 5-10 of them are asking questions. I send a lot of them over to, where they can read a wealth of information, along with the archives here and find anything they need. I also wanted to thank all you guys for all the pics you sent for my website. Turfer, good luck and keep up the spirit!<p><p>----------<br>&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;&quot;Guido&quot;&lt;/a&gt;<br>David M. Famiglietti
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Old 07-14-2000, 11:45 AM
lawrence stone's Avatar
lawrence stone lawrence stone is offline
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: anthracite valley, commonwealth of pennsylvania Winter residence: Charlotte County FLA
Posts: 2,079
Real power is measured by torque not HP.<br>There is only 3 ft. lbs. diff between the<br>two engines see<br><p>A 8hp Briggs can even be used with a side discharge 44&quot; toro. But any engine 11 hp and up will make a 44&quot; rock if set up properly.
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Old 07-14-2000, 11:51 AM
Turfer Turfer is offline
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Cary, North Carolina
Posts: 99
I wrestled with this issue also. Most of the folks here said the 12.5 would work on the 44. I may have some problems in the spring with thick grass. It rained all day yesterday and I cut a yard with 2 weeks growth on tall fescue. Some of the grass was 1 foot tall. The motor did not change it's tone at all when I hit the tall stuff. Many said I would need the 15 kaw but more said the 12.5 would be okay. I stuck with my business plan and only spent what I had received for the sale of my rider for a new mower. The 15 kaw would have thrown me over my budget by about $300 bucks. I plan on buying a 19 kaw, 52&quot; ztr next year so this 44 will be my backup and trim mower for small stuff. I'm going to put gators on the 44 and see how that does mulching before I put a mulch plate on. I talked to several people who own or who have owned 12.5 kaws on 44 and bigger machines and all said the 12.5 was plenty of power.
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Old 07-14-2000, 04:12 PM
fdew fdew is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 147
I enjoyed your post. I only mow my own land but I went from a 1965 48in cub cadet to a 2 year old 61 in. Ferris and WOW. Quality tools are always a joy to use. That goes for a computer, a saw, a car, or a mower. There is no way to discribe the diference. You just need to try it your self. I see people tooting around 5 acre yards on there new garden tractors and I feel sory for them.<br>Life is good.<p>BTW I have always felt that a cheep tool is bad because it is slow. it may be dangerous, and it keeps you from buying a good tool.<p>Frank
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Old 07-14-2000, 07:35 PM
Barkleymut Barkleymut is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 1,117
Hey, watch out for those trees. LOL
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Old 07-14-2000, 09:00 PM
Grasscape Inc Grasscape Inc is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Southeast, MI
Posts: 235
Welcome to our world!
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Old 07-15-2000, 01:31 AM
yardsmith yardsmith is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Ohio
Posts: 627
glad you took the leap & crossed over; feels good doesn't it?<p>----------<br>Smitty ô¿ô<br>
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Old 07-15-2000, 12:05 PM
TGCummings TGCummings is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Salinas, California
Posts: 773
Totally agree with you, Turfer. I've had my 36&quot; Exmark in the field for about 3 weeks now and the size of the yard I'm using it on is getting smaller and smaller, so it's uses are getting bigger and bigger.<p>Two days ago, I mowed my own front yard after letting it go for nearly a month. I wanted to see what my Exmark would do with *really* thick grass. I've been forced to let it go over the years from time to time and in the summer my lawn grows like mad out here. Average time mowing in the summer after letting it go this high is about an hour and a half, with my 21&quot;, because it gets so thick.<p>Knocked it out in twenty-five minutes. My only regret was that it was over to quick. <p>Have a question, though: My 36&quot; won't fit into most back yards I mow still, the gates around here being still a hair too small. My 21&quot; still gets a loaded workout everyday (costing me time). If it were just an inch or two smaller I could save much more time. What do you mean &quot;tipping&quot;. My 36 weighs about 500 lbs., your 44 much more I'd imagine...<p>-TGC
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