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Hustler TrimStar Review w/pics

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by hi_speedreed, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. hi_speedreed

    hi_speedreed LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 534

    The Goods:
    Hustler TrimStar 36"
    Kawasaki FS481 Recoil start
    20.5 in x 2.50 in x .204 in discharge side blade
    13.75 in x 2.50 in x .204 in inside blade
    Dual Hydro Handlebar Steering

    What I like:
    It has plenty of power. I have yet to hear it sound like it bogs down in heavy grass and I do plenty of bi-weekly cuts. It also totes me around on the velke and the hydros never sound like they are struggling. It sticks to a hill like glue. I am sure it will hold a steeper hill than I care to take it on but I am not a thrill seeker. The manual says it will handle a slope of 25 degrees but going greater could cause loss of oil pressure and engine damage. I like the cut. The pics are of the nicest yard I got. I did not install a striping kit; it's just the mower and me on the velke. All grease points are easily accessible as are the oil dipstick and gas cap. The gas cap is huge which I like but I can also see as an opportunity for debris to fall in more easily. The housings around the belt are easily removed with no tools for service or cleaning. It takes me about 45sec to remove the three housings. I really like the steering. It is great for the little yards I do. I have no hand fatigue like I used to. You could teach someone who has no mowing experience to use this mower in a few hours. The operator presence controls take hardly any pressure. I never notice them until I forget to pull the p-brake and the mower goes to shut off. I like the warranty but we all know from the late chris farley, "i can sh*t in a box and stamp warranty on it, but it don't mean anything" it's still a pos in a box. It feels really well built. You know when you put your hands on something and you can just tell it's not made out of cheap crap. I think this mower is designed to take a beating. I like the recoil start. Less stuff to go wrong and it's lighter without the electric starter.

    What I don't like:
    I wish the front was heavier. Maybe that's the way it is with all walk behinds but the front will pop when you get into the throttle too fast and when you are going across bumpy ground too fast the front bounces and you have to go back and hit what you bounced over. I have just learned to not go fast over bumpy terrain. The handlebar steering is great in tight quarters but when you are going long distances and trying to hold it straight you can get off line a little bit especially on bumpy ground. I really wish it had a better tie down system. One strap goes across the forks and I have to run the other behind the engine and in front of the linkage and today my strap hook got caught and I ripped the grounding wire for the PTO right off the ground post. It was an easy fix but it was still a pita. I don't know how I did it. I am always real careful around those wires but today it just happened.

    I would not hesitate to purchase this mower again. It is solidly built, cuts great and fits nicely in my business. The pros drastically outweigh the cons. Being this was my first commercial mower I have no negotiating power with any dealer. I had to pay sticker. If I had paid cash I would have got a 3% discount. I went to this dealer because he had the mower in stock, and I needed it that day. I had grass to cut. No dealers in my area stocked a 36" in any brand. One actually told me there was no call for a mower that small in Charleston.:laugh:

    This is my second attempt at putting this review up. I am attaching the pics in the following post as I think that my be the reason it locked up on me earlier.
  2. hi_speedreed

    hi_speedreed LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 534

    here are some cut pics. the first four are a property I take care of and the next ones are a vacant lot I cut with one before and three afters.







  3. hi_speedreed

    hi_speedreed LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 534

    I forgot to add one of the main reasons I chose this mower was due to it's deck height being adjustable from the operator position. You can adjust it from 1.5 to 4.5 in 1/4" increments. I was also not able to put the pics of the mower back on this thread as I had already added them here http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=379221
  4. TriCountyLawn

    TriCountyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,517

    I am a big fan of hustler walk behinds. Front weight will go a long way with keeping the front end on the ground and tracking straight.
  5. hi_speedreed

    hi_speedreed LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 534

    what kind of poundage we talking? I was thinking it would only take about 70lbs to make a heck of a difference, but I have no clue. I need to do some research.
  6. TriCountyLawn

    TriCountyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,517

    Get the weight kit part # over in the Hustler forum. IMO and my application anything a 36" wb is being used on doesn't need a sulky. What kind of sulky are you using ?
  7. hi_speedreed

    hi_speedreed LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 534

    I got a wright velke. this and my 21 are all i got. I got the 36 because I would be able to use it on the most yards. I got one property that is huge, I should be using at least a 52 on it. I'm on the mower for an hour and 50 mins. It's the property in the pics. Everything else is less than an acre and either fenced or too hilly for a z. I'm not rich so I bought what I could afford and what best fit my business. the velke is nice there, I couldn't imagine walking that whole thing. it would be great if I could have a big inclosed trailer and a 60 to match my 36 but I do the best with what I got. the 60 will come one day. if it weren't for the 0% for 48 I would have paid cash for the mower. 3% discount was not enough to make me burn through all that cash at once. a 60 also would only work on about 20% of the properties I have so it was pointless to get it now anyways. When i truly have the need for it, I will get it.
  8. TriCountyLawn

    TriCountyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,517

    Its all about what works. I can relate to making the WB work. Right now im doing my best to hold off on a rider and making my 48" work. But I will be adding a 60" rider this fall or over the winter. Kinda depends on what the work dictates.
  9. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    Congrats! And great review.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. MGV

    MGV LawnSite Member
    Posts: 54

    Good luck with your new mower, hopefully it's better than mine. I have a 48" trim star. I agree with you on holding a straight line with it, what a pain in the a**. My hand grips are coming loose, so it's hard to get it to back up. The grip just spins on the metal and the mower just creeps backwards. I have had the deck spindles replaced three times due to bad vibration and it's only got 310 hrs on it.

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