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36" WB suggestions

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Movinfr8, Jul 11, 2003.

  1. Movinfr8

    Movinfr8 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    About to buy my first "real" mower. I want a 36 inch WB, and am leaning toward a t-bar Toro. All advice welcome. Anybody have any idea about price? I know Exmark is 2399, havent talked to Toro dealer yet.
  2. pottstim

    pottstim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    I bought my Toro Proline 48 WB almost 6 weeks ago. It has the 15 Kawasaki V-twin, and it is belt drive. I see you that you are interested in the t-bar system. Unfortunately, I can't give you my impressions on that system because my Toro has pistol grips. Are you looking at fixed deck (I assume you are for the $2399 price)? My Toro is fixed deck and it will scalp a little on uneven terrain if I am not careful. That outside edges of the deck will sometimes also want to dig into the ground. The more I've used the mower, the more I am getting accustomed to it. If I anticipate a scalp or the outer edges of the deck possibly digging in, I will just push down a bit on my handle bars which lifts up the front of the deck slightly and that usually eliminates any problems. With a 36" like you are looking at, I see these issues being less of a problem because the edges of the mower deck and the drive wheels and casters are pretty much inline with one another, as opposed to my 48". I always try to mow flats and slopes in the yards seperately, that usually helps eliminate any problems. These issues are pretty much the nature of the beast with fixed deck models based on my experiences and from things I've read in here. I've just recently started out and only have 3 yards total. I only have those issues on the one yard I do. The home is situated on 2 lots. The lot up near the house is graded nicely, but the second lot has never been graded. It was fomerly pastureland, so it is VERY uneven. All in all, I'm pretty happy with my Toro. I paid $2795 for it. My first choice was a Scag 48" of the same configuration, but the Toro dealer here is much better and the price was better as well. Best of luck to you.
  3. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    The Toro T-Bar is jumpy on hydro, but I'm not sure about belt drive. I've heard they don't just around as much. I don't like having one bar control the machine, like I don't have control over each wheel, kind of bothers me. ECS on Exmark is really nice, although I'm not a huge fan of belt drive seeing as how I have a hydro. See if you can find a nice used hydro, you will thank yourself later. Good luck!
  4. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    The Toro T bar is very easy to control and on a belt drive is very smooth. The hydro is pretty jumpy. I have had about 5 of the belt drives and one hydro over the years. Search for other posts on the topics to read more about the T bar advantages. You do have complete control over each wheel, btw. But you can also easily steer with one hand once you get used to it and can walk beside it while mowing to avoid limbs and brush, etc. You also will not have carpal tunnel syndrome when you're my age with the T bar. For a belt drive, I can't imagine a better steering system. With ECS or pistol grips on the Exmark, you have to change gears and squeeze with your hands, rather than just push and pull on a bar. The toro also automatically returns to neutral. No thumb locks, and you can do most of your mowing in top gear and use the T bar to control speed. I rarely have to shift with them.

    I have a Toro 44" and 32" belt drives. The fixed deck 32 cuts well and doesn't scalp once you learn how to use it. Their 36" is essentially the same deck, and both are actually Exmark designs, the same as on the Metro. Bigger than 36" and the fixed deck vs. floating starts to matter more.

    The 44" "classic deck" cuts tough tall wet grass fantastically w/ minimal clogging (it's my wet weather mower) but will scalp like crazy if you're not skilled because it has a long trim edge overhang.

    A test drive of a new type mower will always leave you feeling like it's hard to steer. Be sure to take the advice of actual users of the mowers who know all the pros and cons.

    I would expect to pay a little more for a T bar than a pistol grip mower. But to me, it'd be worth much more. Some prefer the pistol grips, though. But try them both.
  5. jason r.

    jason r. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 338

    How do your Toro belt drives mow in wet conditions. Much belt slipping? Or not really? A new 36"w/b is going to be my next purchase too.
  6. LawnScapers of Dayton

    LawnScapers of Dayton LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Dayton, OH
    Messages: 2,572

    I started out with a Toro 36" belt drive fixed deck......and really liked it. Then 2 years ago a bought a 48" BD fixed deck and the 36" got used very little....so I sold it.......that was mistake.

    Both are very easy to control and the T-bar system seems to have a much shorter learning curve than the ECS or pistol grips. (at least for me anyway..)

    The 36" was definitely the better wet grass mower. It would never clump no matter how wet it was. In fact, I mowed my own lawn once in a complete downpour when I first got it and you would never know the grass was even wet when I was finished.

    I still like the 48" but it does require a slower pace when the grass is tall and wet. The 36" would mower the same in 4th gear wet or dry. In good conditions I mow in 5th gear with the sulky.

    Overall great mowers, and the price you can't really beat. I have very little problems with belts slipping.

    I will probably buy another 36" or 32" next year.....

  7. sheppard

    sheppard LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 542

    Morning Movinfr8,

    Thought I'd throw out some other considerations. I have a Snapper 36"WB w/ a Kaw 12.5 engine. It it way too little engine for me. I'm 6'4" and weigh in at 200 lbs. Going up hills is sometimes not easy on the mower.

    Forget about running doubles on it if you are my size. Too stressful on the belts and engine.

    The Snapper is easy to work on and is fairly forgiving on most things. Just be sure to buy all the engine you can afford.

  8. Rick Jones

    Rick Jones LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 427

    If you like Toro and the T-Bar, then don't let the "hydro too jumpy" arguement stop you from buying one. I got a new Toro 36" hydro w/ T-Bar at the beginning of the season and I like it a lot. Once you figure out how to position your hands on the bar and start off slowly, you won't have any problems. I used to use an older Toro 36 Hydro and I will admit it took some getting use to, but after about 1/2 an hour, the jumpiness was no longer an issue. Zero turning it takes a bit more practice, but you can always just back it up and turn around conventionally without any problem. And the nice thing about it is you never have shift, if you want to back up, you pull back and it just goes.

    Now the only thing I am not real happy about, and it's kind of a big thing, is the SFS deck. When you are only removing an inch or two of grass it's fine. If you try to cut off 5-6" of grass, you get 5-6" long grass clippings. One thing I can say is it will power right thru tall grass and barely slow down, but again, expect long grass blades to be discharged. I have not tried mulching, so I can't say how well that works.

    Basically, I bought this mower because I had experience using them and like the control system a lot. However, when I purchase a Z, I will probably go with Exmark because of the superior deck.

    Just make you test drive the mower before buying it. The responses on here will help expand your knowledge of the machines, but YOU will be the one operating it every day, so make sure you are going to be happy with it.
  9. mrbenfer

    mrbenfer LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 136

    I use the 36'' Toro "t bar" and it is everything i could ever want. The only down side to toro is that it does not stripe very well. I put a high-lift blade kit on and it will stripe somewhat.
  10. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    If you get up to Gambrell equipment he has a couple of the 36" eXmark metro mowers for $1999. Not many left.

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