Toro Grandstands are falling behind the competition

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by 4 seasons lawn&land, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Male
    Posts: 7,563

    Because you have a stable of competent employees ready to go, that given more torque and speed , wouldn't tear up the turf and spin tires?

    What I'm saying is toro probably knows the limits of the stander design and these are the limits.
    an 11-13 mph stand on in tight areas is going to make soup out of your turf.
    so much so only the best operators will be able to keep it from doing that and in doing so? Probably only manage to average….drum roll…8 mph, and after all that, with more stress and time spent maneuvering and angling to avoid tearing and spinning.

    That ZK isn't going to do what that GS will in the same terrain and circumstances.

    Toro makes their machines with a fleet of mediocre workers in mind, not elite ballet dancers.
    They aren't dumb or backward, their engineers are at the top of their game. If they thought they could get more production from the platform they would.
    IT could totally be in the works right now…but they are waiting for the bean counters to tell them when it ok to release a product redesign.

    Wright, on the other hand, deals with this by having several purpose built models out there, rather than just one.

    Scag? Scag is good with Turf Tigers and SWZ…which essentially haven't changed in decades. But they aren't known for well thought through designs and engineering that lasts the test of time, over and above the basic machine (Im looking at you ProV and cougar!)
    Scag makes a basic product that wears like a rock.
    But their vRide, although a good machine, isn't well thought out as a whole package. Not in the way the Grandstand is.

    Toro took a long time, a very long time, to release the grandstand.
    They interviewed lots of guys and sat on the fence like a vulture season after season watching the Wright and the Great Dane develop… then watched great dane get bought by JD… and still they watched. I know, for all the people who like to make fun of my 'back in the day stories' I was there when it happened, I got interviewed too. I was in the top ten of the competition to name it too (would have won a free one)

    a Lot of time went into that 'slow' mower.

    and for what it's worth, there are riders that go 8 mph too.
    you're right
    It is all about time. but ground speed does not always = time.
    Walker can prove that to you.

    A stand on isn't intended to compete for time on open fields.
     
  2. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    The short answer is yes, that platform has fallen behind the times but only because it is aging at this point. Several companies in the last year or so have made serious improvements to the stander world. Faster, more nimble, better hillside ability, better WB ability, better deck lift systems, better cut quality, smoother and faster acceleration, lower center of gravity. I will say an actuall 8-10 mph is very fast on a stander, especially on rough properties. All in all toro/exmark have a great stander but IMO they have fallen behind. I have tested several standers so if you have specific questions on brands(Wright, Scag, Gravely, Toro)fire away.
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  3. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Posts: 3,594

    There are certainly some opposing views on this topic. I see what TPen is saying in regards to more speed and torque and subsequent spinning and turf damage, especially in the tight areas that require a lot of maneuvering which of course is what standers are intended to do. Maybe they could come up with a way to do a linear acceleration feature, reduced torque under a certain speed, limited slip, traction control, etc
     
  4. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Posts: 3,594


    Can you tell us if any of them do in fact cut significantly faster or is it all the same and the ratings are a bunch of meaningless sales crap? It is important that they weigh a similar amount. We've established the fact that it doesn't count if it weighs 500 pounds more because it essentially turns it into a rider that you stand on.
     
  5. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    Gravely has the only stander using the hydro gear transaxles. They feature gear reduction and is very easy on the turf. Wright had the best traction because of the rider position which helps with slip. All the standers were easier on turf than ZTR's but not as good as a WB.
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  6. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    I dont think its completely meaningless because I was able to use top speeds in shorts bursts and on really smooth properties. If you have smooth properties(which I have very few of here in NH) speed will make a difference. BUT what most don't know, and I was told by two manufacturers is cut quality starts to drop off quite fast over 11 mph on any machine. For us its a big deal but for others maybe not. IMO if you can average 8-10 mph on a property you are going to make really good time, especially over a WB.
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  7. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Male
    Posts: 7,563

    When I worked over at Great Dane, the super surfer had an adjustable feature, that let you manage your speed.... I forget where I have seen this feature appear again real recently, it might be on the scag.

    But anyway, you set the bar, and then you could only give it so much squeeze, there by not over accelerating or over torquing too fast.

    But the commercial mower community poo poo'd over the idea, saying guys would forget to reset it to go fast, and then go slow all day long, etc etc.

    So needless to say the idea wasn't received very well.

    The scag cheetah has a hi/ low gearing... that also might be a little piece of technology that would help out...it's similar in every way to hi/low on a skidsteer so I doubt the idea itself is patented into being a scag only thing for a while, but maybe how they did it might be.

    I think, however that Wright has the right concept...bigger faster machine for the zoom and smaller footprint machine for the in tight.
    You can jump back and forth between one wright machine and another and not lose any control familiarity. which is good.
    But this probably doesn't work well for a solo guy, trying to find one machine to do everything with.

    I'm just saying toro/exmark doesn't make that machine either, and I think it's because of their marketing strategy. They don't want to compete with themselves in their own market shares.

    If you test scag...which is probably the direction you want to go from the sound of it (one machine that's going to do it all)
    Then you're going to need a full day or two of demo. not just a spin in the parking lot.
    I had the vRide for two days, and...was not overly impressed. Good machine, like it. I just didnt think it was substantially better in any way. (although toughness is a factor ive never seen scag get beat on....maybe matched by grasshopper, but never beat!)

    Based on my experience, you might want to find a way to test more than one unit.... in case mine, was in some way a lemon and didnt go the 11 mph it was supposed to?
    You wouldn't want to test one from one batch, and end up buying one like my demo :laugh: that would suck!
     
  8. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Male
    Posts: 7,563

    i just thought about this with that whole "up to" business

    I didnt look hard enough, are there different hydros on the different dedck size machines?

    Maybe a 48" goes slower than a 61"?

    And to get 11, you need to buy a bigger machine?

    we didnt test a 52 or 61...sooooo YMMV
     
  9. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    Most likely the unit you had needed an adjustment to reach top speed. Most dealers dont check top speed, just the tracking during set up.
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  10. RedSox4Life

    RedSox4Life LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 1,426

    I agree grandstands are a little slow, and I would love if we could get a few more mph out of them. HOWEVER, I bought my GS to take the place of a wb, not a z, and in that regard it does exactly what I need it to do.

    I don't think a stander should move and cut as fast as a z. Basically for 2 reasons.....1 being that taking corners and hitting bumps faster would toss the operator around more, possibly being dangerous, and 2, even if it's not dangerous it would definitly make it more difficult keep straight stripes.
     

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