Getting use to a T-Bar

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by intimidator782, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. intimidator782

    intimidator782 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    I recently purchased my first walk behind mower (used.) It is a 12.5 HP 36" Toro t-bar. I mowed my first lawn with it this week and i gotta admit, it whooped me. I kept poppin wheelies with it and gettin into corners and stuff. And i know this is horrible and i greatly apoligize to Topsites, but i shifted it. Anyways i was just wondering how long it took you to get use to something like this when you started.
  2. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    The first time I wen't back to pistol grips after using the Wright I f'ed my hand to hell on a fence. I'll do wheelies all day compared to having no skin on my hand again. It only took me about 3 hours to get the t bar to a science.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Don't feel bad, it takes some time...
    The best advice I ever got was "work up to it."

    You might try a lower gear, not sure if it's a 4 or a 5-speed but lets just say the
    5th gear is only for experienced operators (and technically it's the transport gear).

    I would try 2nd or 3rd for at least an entire lawn, maybe the whole day, two days, however long it takes.
    I know it will be slow going but that will give you the chance to get used to the finer details of the bar.

    Might take a week or two, might take a month but once you get used to it, I think you'll see what it's all about.

    Lets just say it is "VERY touchy."
    That's why you were popping wheelies, unfortunately it's touchy in certain places and not at all in others...
    A slower gear, it shouldn't do that, go to 1st gear if you have to but I think 2nd should be doable,
    I'd say after a lawn or two in 2nd you can probably try 3rd for the rest of the day but I wouldn't go
    much higher until you feel right comfortable.

    The T-bar is the reason I never went hydro.
    Just takes time.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Oh, one more thing...
    You might try starting out the day with a FLAT lawn or two,
    it's way easier to practice on those.
  5. THC

    THC LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,020

    I got used to the t bar in minutes, its a great system but I don't think I'll buy a belt again they are only good going forward. Turning and backwards they are terrible.. still better then a 21 though.

    Today I bought a turfco aerator and since I know so much much about mowing and machines I thought no problem. But this damn thing owned me, it was embarrassing. I keep pushing on wrong bar and dropping the tines on my side walk, popping wheelies, good thing it was my own yard:laugh: It's going to be a little harder to get the hang of this thing I think.
  6. Robert Pruitt

    Robert Pruitt LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 552

    got my first t-bar after retiring my old bob cat. used it about 15 minutes and thought what have i done. didn't seem too awarkward to use at the dealer. went on and finally got use to it and havn't looked back. love it.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    It does take time, that much I know, a week, two weeks, maybe a month,
    I guess it varies some from one person to the next but like you said, once you
    finally get used to it, no going back.

    You let that T-bar grow on you, I guarantee you'll never buy a pistol grip mower again,
    you might wonder at how in the world anyone could put up with such asinine hand and wrist-murdering
    controls but I can certainly guarantee you'll wonder how you dealt with it for so long.

    I have NEVER operated a pistol-grip lawn mower commercially, not once in 8+ years
    have I done more than went near one and yes, I did get close to such a machine at
    least once but I am sure not about to start working with one.

    Try that 2nd or 3rd gear stuff for some days, maybe a week or how long it takes,
    just have to get used to it in a lower gear.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  8. Robert Pruitt

    Robert Pruitt LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 552

    yea kept calluses on my hands between thumb and pointer finger. also grip fatigue.
  9. nolanjim

    nolanjim LawnSite Member
    Messages: 192

    Thread is old but thought I'll add my experience for future reference.
    T-bars are great. I have the Toro 36. Took about one lawn to get a hang of it. I would actually prefer a 36 belt drive t-bar over a 36 hydro. They are durable and you never have to worry about hydraulic problems.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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