toro 21" commercial. maybe - maybe not

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by TPnTX, Sep 15, 2007.

  1. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    Here is a tip I learned first hand.

    We've been mowing primarily with a Scag 36" and a Toro Personal Pace home depot mower. We only mow one day a week. Several residential and 2 commercial jobs.

    The toro has done well. I bought it used. It's mainly used for trim mowing and small front yards. Not a bad mower considering its a throw-away mower. The best thing about it is the maneuverability. IN-and-OUT.

    So it died. No biggie. If there was a used one ready to mow for 150-200.00 I probably would have bought it. There wasn't though, so I made a business decision. Next year we are going to try and fill a weekly route. So I bought a new Commercial Toro 21" $1080.00

    Its a fine mower no doubt.'s not easy to use. It doesn't get you in and out of tight places well. The 3 speed trainy is good but not as easy to use.

    Now I know it takes some practice and its superior by far in terms of durability and quality.

    However, you can knock ther cheap-o toro all you want, it has it's good points. To the extent that i'm going to have to pick up another one for trim work.

    My main reason for posting this is because all of the reading I've done on this website, I never once read that the commercial mowers were so hard to maneuver in comparison to less quality mowers.

    So if you can only afford one mower and you have a lot of tight areas to mow, you might want to be careful which mower you choose. I had the impression this was hands down the right choice and it is a good mower but I wish I'd got something else to finish out this year.
  2. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,720

    I know where you are coming from here. After 25 years in the mowing business, and now, actually selling mowers at my shop, I have not really found a commercial duty 21" mower I totally like.
    The big problem with all the so-called commercial 21" mowers is the weight. Even with self-propel, you have to drag them backwards out of tight spots and they are heavy. Plus, most do not roll well when being pulled backwards.
    I have owned or operated Snapper, Toro, Exmark, J.D., Tru Cut, and Gravely commercial 21" mowers. I have never really like any of them 100% Here are my complaints
    1. Snapper: Not good at mulching. Leaves a lot of uncut grass blades.
    2. J.D: Great commercial machine except blade clutch prone to failure. Best of the whole lot I listed above. Too bad J.D. quit making this commercial mower.
    3. Toro/Exmark: Very poor front adjuster setup.Either they jam up or are so loose they jump out of the notches. Hard to pull backwards as drive system has a "drag" in it.
    4. Trucut: Poor selection of engines to pick from. Poor parts availability. Cut only fair.
    5. Gravely, (I sell these): Nice cut, heavy as all get out. Trans. drive system has a very small belt that I think gives weak pull at any speed. Travel control on handle is awkward to use in my opinion.
    So, that leaves me with no good options for a commercial mower. I need a mower for my house, but can not find a commercial mower I like. I think I am going to take home one of the Ariens, top-of-the-line homeowner 21" mowers. They cut well, are not too heavy, and handle very well.
    Your choice of the Toro Personal Pace might not be such a bad idea. They are cheap. Just use it till it falls apart and buy another one.
  3. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Messages: 1,657

    Toro Personal Pace..I have two.

    I would not recommend the Super Recycler 21". It's way over priced and my back wheels lock up when being pulled backward (3/4 of the time anyway).

    I also have the cheaper Recycler 22". The mower is shorter but I find it hard to make straight lines with it. It may be an adjustment problem, only one back wheel spins and it spins very easily and fast. So fast that I got a problem holding a straight line. Another thing I don't like about it is that there are NO proper blades made for it, only Atomic/Gator type, finned blades.
  4. ZachThurston

    ZachThurston LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Yeah I have a PP Toro as well. I like personal pace because its easy to use, but its really poorly made. Every time i push on the handle to go forward it makes an awful grinding noise before it moves forward. This is because the large wheel sprocket is so thin. My JD mower's sprocket is 2 1/2 3 times wider than the Toro. Still wouldn't put me off buying one they're really easy to use and mulch decently (IDK about the Atomic Blade...)
    @ Vikings: My Toro does that too if you don't pull the control bar all the way back before you go backwards. Maybe thats what yours is doing, or your cable might be too tight. Other than the wheels are they really worth the extra money? Toro's website seems to show that the deck on the S. Recycler is different, do you notice a difference in mulching?
  5. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Messages: 1,657

    If it's thick and green you can't mulch with the 22" Toro Recycler, you HAVE to bag. It only comes with an Atomic finned blade and they are horrible for green grass. If it's dry and thin you might be ok. But if the grass is thick you leave a mess and it bogs down FAST.

    The 21" Super Recycler is a different story. You can get either the normal blade which mulch thick green grass decently but still leaves a mess if it's too thick, or the Atomic finned for dry stuff.but whats the point.

    I got tired of mulching with these small machines this spring, I bag with them. Even this time of year when the grass is dry and not growing so much. We already have leaves dropping so bagging picks them up.

    I hate struggling when I'm mowing and double cutting then walking around trying to blow the clippings around.. ofcourse another one of my problems was accepting bi weeklies in the spring, won't do that again.

    AS for the deck of the Super Recycler, it's aluminum cast. One of the guys ran over a piece of steel and split the deck. It cost a me $90 at a speciaty welder to get fixed. I actually prefer the normal recycler, it's cheaper and shorter but with the super recycler I can make straight lines, I can't do that with the normal recycler but it may just not be set right.

    I DO mulch with the 36" but I got a mulch kit on there and it can go through anything.

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