Toro Z587L Demo [Long]

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mr.Ziffel, Nov 2, 2003.

  1. Mr.Ziffel

    Mr.Ziffel LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 291

    Don't post here too much, but have gotten very good info from several people so I thought I'd share my experience with this machine this past Friday. I manage/maintain a horse farm in wet Western Washington and mow 4 to 6 acres with the goal of keeping it looking like a showplace for a Kentucky Derby winner. I started with a JDF935 72" front deck mower and have been using a 60" LazerZ with 27LC Kawasaki for the past three seasons. I've never had a lick of trouble with the Exmark and have a very good dealer nearby, but want to go back to a 72" deck to reduce mowing time. Toro dealer is not as close as Exmark dealer but I've bought other equipment from him in the past - he arranged for the Toro distributor's rep to bring a Toro Z580 with the 27LC Kawasaki and 60" TurboForce deck to the farm for a demo. I had cut half the property on Thursday afternoon with the Lazer under very, very soggy and wet conditions - we had a major flood the week before. On Friday morning I cut the other half with the Toro, spending about two hours on it and another hour looking it over side by side with the Lazer and talking.

    First impression was, wow, this is Exmark's big, beefier brother. The frame is heavier than mine as they use 2" x 2" square tubing with big, heavy welded gussets. The right side frame rail where the deck lift is located is one piece, not welded together like Exmark. The left side is one piece too. The control levers are about twice the diameter of the Exmark and really fill your hand. Very smooth to operate. The rubber discharge chute is very stout and as I found out, really disperses the clippings - it doesn't concentrate them downwards into a windrow but let's them fly. The deck is very heavy 7 gauge steel compared to the Lazer's 10 gauge. The front of the deck is formed by bending it, just like the Lazer's, but there is more of a radius to the bend on the Toro deck. There is a bullnose piece at the lower front edge of the deck, which I thought would accumulate wet clippings, but as I found out in use it prevents, NOT reduces, but in my use prevented blowout. In contrast, on the same conditions the day before, I was covered to the knee with clippings on the Lazer but had none on the Toro.

    The lack of blowout was quite impressive to me, but more so was the quality of cut. Since the grass was very wet, heavy and thick, we started out with the baffles adjusted to the wide open position. The discharge area next to the chute on the underside of my Lazer is about 5", which is the same on the Toro when in the most closed position. When open all the way, the discharge area is about 8". Cutting 6" - 8" high grass down to 3.5" on the deck height setting, I got no clumps, wads, or other messy droppings as I did on the Lazer the day before. Remember, the Lazer was better by a huge factor than my JD and I've always thought the Lazer did pretty well under wet conditions, but the Toro was another factor better. Remember these are wet, sticky conditions - your mileage may vary. I never did close down the baffles, but I did lower the cutting height to 3" and at that point it resembled the Exmark's cut of the day before [which was also at 3.5"] The decks were measured side by side and the settings were the same.

    Other impressions and features pointed out to me by the rep were: Spindles are very, very heavy duty cast iron housing with greaseable zerks. He had a long list of why they are better than Exmark's [and everyone elses of course] and they made sense to me. There is only one drive belt. It runs directly from the drive pulley to the spindle pulleys-there is no jack shaft and second belt as on the Lazer. Deck leveling adjustment is very simple, no need to unhook chains and block up deck, you just loosen set screw and adjust. Spindle covers have very simple flick and lift locks. Deck height adjustment has a detent ball in the pin so it's onehanded to change it. Did I say the control levers are totally comfortable and fill your grip? They are nice!

    My impression after running this machine was that Toro has really gone to school on their little brother. There are improvements and refinements that seem to make a really good product even better. As I said, I have had no problem and have been very happy with the Lazer, but I was really impressed with this Toro. On this go-around I've also tested the diesel Lazer and the SuperZ Hustler and the Toro blows them both away hands down. The rep tells me that Toro considers itself to be aimed at the professional/industrial landscape market with this machine, targeting municipalities, parks, and large-scale landscape maintenance operators with multiple crews. He said their aim is to stand up to the rigors of being used and abused by different operators who might be assigned to use the equipment who never take as good of care of it as a single operator would.

    I did NOT like the ROPS, as just like TLS feared, it interefered with mowing under trees in the small orchard on the property. Unlike a new LazerHP I looked at however, the ROPS on this one bolts on and could be easily removed by the owner. I didn't take any pictures and I don't know how to scan and post a picture, but I have the catalog which shows a picture of the underside of the deck which should explain how it works once you see it. They also gave me a CD which shows how heavy duty the spindles are but I haven't watched it yet. All in all, a quite impressive machine. Much more heavy duty than I could ever really justify, BUT the price I was quoted is only $572 more than the '04 Lazer comparably equipped. I think I can easily justify that extra amount simply on cut quality and blowout elimination, not to mention the inherent quality of the machine itself. Now we just have to make the deal work!
  2. Thanks for the critique. That performance in heavy wet mowing is what I'd need.
    I'll wait for the diesel though. I just wish Toro had went with the Kubota like they did in their 300 series instead of the Dihatsu.

  3. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    Very informative.

    I wish you could get us some pictures of the property you maintain!
  4. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    I'm really interested in this Toro. I have a good dealer that is 2 miles further than the Exmark/Hustler dealer. Thanks for a great review.
  5. I own the toro557 60inch turboforce deck 27 horse kohler.I agree with mr ziffel acessment.

    I find i get the best stripe with the baffle 3/4 closed and the best clipping chopped up at all the way open.

    I do have a few peaves but they very minor i dont like the hour metter where you have to lift the seat to see it.
    The hydro seem sensitive and jerky when you first pull the control levers to take off.

    The fat control wre strange at first but i like after a few hours useing them.Adjustable baffles are very easy to adjust as easy as falling off a log backwards.

    im gonna post some pics
  6. adjustable baffle levers
  7. hour meter location
  8. hydro tank
  9. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    HEY HEY ---- My buddy Odin is back.


    Where did you go for the Toro Jack? If you don't mind me askin, what did it cost? Do they make an EFI for it?
  10. mow ed

    I got it at terpstas in indiana .It has the 27 command carberated engine .

    I got it 8400$ at the door and they threw in 6 pack of oil stripeing kit that im still waiting to come in lol.

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