Pistol grips for walk behind?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Watkinslawnservice, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. Watkinslawnservice

    Watkinslawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 378

    Do most of you guys actually like pistol grips?

    I bought 2 used mowers last week at an auction. These are my first commercial mowers. I took them off the trailer today and drove them around to try them out. One of them is a 48" scag belt drive and the other is a Toro 32" belt with the t-bars. WOW, what a difference! After using the t-bar mower I hated the Scag.

    The pistol grips seem like a PITA to have to always lock in those little thumb deals bfore you can change gears or anything.So what's the deal? Do I just not get it? Am I just too hard to please? or maybe just grossly uncoordinated?

    BTW, I think the Scag is headed back to an auction. Maybe I can get a good deal on a hydro.

    Dave :waving:
  2. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    I bought a Scag and used it 1 season, the next year I bought a T-bar Toro, the scag is 3 years old and has 50 hours on it and the toro is 2 years old and has 200 hours. The T-Bar is way ahead of pistol grips on a belt drive
  3. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    We have two scag WB hyrdo's with pistol grips. I actually like them a lot. Problem is they don't like me...I'm getting that carpel-tunnel (sp?) or whatever the heck that is called in my hands.

    I demoed (at an open-house) a TORO T-bar set-up, I actually couldn't stand the thing...was comfortable yes, but maybe I just needed to get used to it.

    BTW, what do you mean about the thumb switches (forward brake) needing to be applied before changing gears? I have the hydro...so maybe its a little different with the belt drives...I Just change on the fly with my right hand, no problem.
  4. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    I had a chance to try out a T-Bar hydro at the dealers open house last month and it is kinda jerky, real sensitive to the slightest movement, I dont know how it may be after a few hours of using it. The T-Bar in a belt drive is a dream.
    The thumb switches (operator pressence) while the machine is in gear. I would pull both controls and use my knee to switch gears, or you had to use thumb lock on one side so you could put/ change gears with the other
  5. Watkinslawnservice

    Watkinslawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 378

    Thanks guys for the replies!

    Yeah I guess you could just lock one brake and shift with right hand or on the fly or whatever but it just seems like a pain to me. I like the Idea that when I let go of the t-bar it STOPS and stays stopped with no safety lever to have to always hold down or thumblock brakes to put on. When you let go of the pistol grips it GOES instead and that just seems backwards to me.

  6. Watkinslawnservice

    Watkinslawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 378

    BTW, is using a hydro pistol grip similar to using a belt pistol grip? And is usind a hydro t-bar similar to using a belt t-bar? I would asume that the t-bar set-up would be almost identical except you could just pull it backwards for reverse. Is this correct?

  7. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    Not sure on the pistol/hydro , but yes that is the way the T-Bar hydro operates, just like a belt drive
  8. promower

    promower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,233

    I like pistol grip the best, my mowers are hydro driven but pistol grips seem to give me the best control. Plus over the years I developed a ninja death grip from running the mowers all day, I have to be careful shaking peoples hands :D
  9. lqmustang

    lqmustang LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 620

    The locks on the grips are only for putting the mower in 'neutral' for transportation and starting. Personally I usually don't use the locks at all. Shifting gears should only need to be done by squeezing the grips and and using your knee to change gears. While I've never used t-bars, I would think the pistol grips are better on a belt drive as you are pulling the mower back more often in tight areas and on tight turns. The pistol grips give you more leverage to man-handle the machine. I would think the t-bars don't offer as much physical control.
  10. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,986

    The T-bar is the only way to go for belt drives. Hydros are OK in pistol grip (not as good as say ECS) but running a belt driven pistol grip is no fun. My buddy had a Belt drive pistol grip, he was actually going to drop his mowing clients and quit mowing till I talked him into selling it and getting a T-bar, now he looks forward to mowing. :cool2:

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