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  #1  
Old 04-05-2012, 11:33 PM
jbell36 jbell36 is offline
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Grandstand vs. Vantage

we bought two grandstands a couple years ago, first year models...thinking it was time for an upgrade now, including our 36" walk behind, we decided to get everything in the shop and get everything fixed that needed to get fixed...in the meantime we bought a 52" and 36" vantage thinking the similarities were so small it wouldn't make much of a difference...long story short i much prefer the toro over the exmark

the 52" vantage slides a LOT more than the grandstand, this includes stopping and hillside stability...i was very surprised by this because of how similar the two machines are

the 36" vantage will NOT hold a hill, i was very disappointed with this...haven't tried the toro but have heard it is better

the controls on the vantage are not as functional as the grandstand...the vantage control levers are up higher therefore you can't turn the blades off without taking your hands off of the controls...on the toro you can hold the control lever with your palm and turn the blades on/off, just much more convenient than the exmark...also, when changing blades the exmark has like 5 parts per blade where as the toro you just undo one bolt and you are good to go, the toro is just much more simplified...the speed control on the exmark sucks, you can't pull back on it too hard or you will pull it back, such as hopping a curb...i actually prefer the cut of the toro more, i didn't think i would notice a difference...the chute blocker deal that comes standard on the machines is welded on the exmark so you can't take it off whereas the toro you can just unbolt, therefore using a bag is much easier with the toro...

i will say i felt the exmark was smoother but i figured that was due to it being a brand new machine and the toros not having the hydros right since day one (on the first year models)...

we got a better deal with the exmark dealer so we went with them, but if i had to do it over again i would go with toro...both dealers are great with service, just the exmark dealer does much more volume than the toro

any others have anything to say that have used both?
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  #2  
Old 04-06-2012, 12:12 AM
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whoopassonthebluegrass whoopassonthebluegrass is offline
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Wow. Good timing and great post! Have spent the past several days trying to determine which of those I want. I deal with some crazy hills, so you just helped me out a ton.
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  #3  
Old 04-06-2012, 12:39 AM
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integrityman integrityman is offline
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Good post jbell. Thanks for the insight.
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  #4  
Old 04-06-2012, 08:47 PM
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chariot chariot is offline
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Good post and I'm in the market for one of the ones mentioned. Now, I have a question about the differences- any chance the differences noted could be due to different model years and not necessarily which brand? Anyone have any insight on this?
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:52 PM
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grassman177 grassman177 is offline
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i did not know you were a toro man!

interesting to hear about the exmarks and your experiences with it after the toro. a buddy of mine got the exmark cuz it was a better price, and closer dealer. i dont think he will mind the differences cuz he has never ran a grandstand.

i also did not like the control panel of the exmark much at all, and the wheel placement is different on the front end of them, which must make all the difference on hills i guess. cuz the rear end is the same
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:31 PM
jbell36 jbell36 is offline
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i'm interested to see how the wright 36 does on hills...i hear wrights are "the best" on hills, however i would put the 52" grandstand against a 52" wright...i'm sure wright has toro/exmark beat on the 36 though, the mower is just too long and narrow, noise dives too easily, the wright is more evenly distributed...

i still can't see why the exmark 52 isn't as good as the toro 52 on hills...like grassman said, they are or at least appear to be exactly the same on the rear end...it's not a huge difference traction wise, but there is a difference, it's actually very annoying being in a situation where i slip with the exmark where i know the toro would not have slipped...

i want to have a machine that can fit into backyards and can hold all the hills that we have, i don't want to have two machines that i have to switch out day to day...i'm almost thinking about getting a pro slide for the 36 walk and getting rid of the 36 vantage...also, our accelerator bagger won't work with vantage unless we saw off the welds holding the baffle, our accelerator fits on both grandstands and walk behind...it's nice to keep things simple, trying to stick with one brand

who knows, all i do is think about how to be more efficient and what upgrades to make, i'm sure tomorrow i'll have a different idea...
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Old 04-07-2012, 11:54 AM
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whoopassonthebluegrass whoopassonthebluegrass is offline
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jbell:

For what it's worth (admittedly not much, I know), there's no comparison to the stability of a 36" vs. any wider platform.

All I'd ever run before last year were 36" machines (well, a BOP that was a 44" on a 36" wheelbase, also). I demoed a 36" Wright Stander last year and was not thrilled at all with how it handled hills. It wasn't horrible or anything, but it left me feeling like I was running risks...

So instead I purchased a 19 year old Exmark Turf Tracer (52") for $500 at an auction. I cannot believe the difference in stability! I can run the 52" with almost bald tires across a couple of hills that I can't hardly keep my 36's on with brand new rubber. On slopes it's an absolute rock...

So be aware that, regardless of brand you choose, a 36" will never be as secure as a wider wheelbased unit.

I'd written off standons after the demo, but now that I've had my eyes opened to the wheel-base thing, I'm working on selecting a 52" standon unit to build my future...
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  #8  
Old 04-07-2012, 08:30 PM
yardguy28 yardguy28 is offline
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good post but so funny I have found just the opposite.

I have a first year 52" grandstand and it was in the shop last season and I had a 52" vantage for a week.

no slipping. it held the hills just as good as the grandstand did. the control levers worked just the same as the grandstand. and the cut is very similar between the two.

a couple things I actually like better about the vantage is the adjustable front bar and the control levers are bigger.

I'm thinking when it's time to replace the grandstand it will be a vantage I get. the only thing I'd miss is the adjustable baffle the turbo force deck has.
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  #9  
Old 04-07-2012, 08:58 PM
jbell36 jbell36 is offline
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i'm sure my post is a little confusing, but i'm not comparing a 36" (small wheel base) to a 52" (large wheel base)...

i'm comparing brand to brand, who has the best 36" and who has the best 52" (or 48"), for hillside stability...

i used to hate wright because it seemed like all of the cheap a$$'s had them, and i hated the fact that you couldn't adjust the height, very rough ride, etc...but it seems like they have come a long way, now they offer the more comfortable platform, rapid height deck lift, etc...the one thing about wright is, i don't know if i have ever heard a negative comment about them from anyone who actually owns one, they all say hands down best stander...i still can't believe i'm saying this but we could very possibly own 3 brand new wrights next week, but i'd rather wait for late fall with the 17% discount, that is IF we do decide to do wright
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  #10  
Old 04-07-2012, 09:03 PM
jbell36 jbell36 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yardguy28 View Post
good post but so funny I have found just the opposite.

I have a first year 52" grandstand and it was in the shop last season and I had a 52" vantage for a week.

no slipping. it held the hills just as good as the grandstand did. the control levers worked just the same as the grandstand. and the cut is very similar between the two.

a couple things I actually like better about the vantage is the adjustable front bar and the control levers are bigger.

I'm thinking when it's time to replace the grandstand it will be a vantage I get. the only thing I'd miss is the adjustable baffle the turbo force deck has.
ha, to each their own i guess...i figured i would post my honest opinion and see what others had to say...

we got our toros back today...i started it up at the dealership, put it on the trailer, and drove it home...started it back up, oh wait, we TRIED to start it back up as soon as we got home and it sounds like the starter is out on it...i mean damn, what kind of luck is that? we can't seem to win
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