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Brad, if this unit has the straight frame forks leading out to the caster wheels (not curved at the end) and vertical height adjust pins then this is the design I had. I would advise rethinking the purchase since there are better mowers out there that don't cost a lot more.
1. The design was inherently front-heavy, rear wheels spun easily. Would get stuck in muddy conditions very easily.
2. If it's a T bar I believe it only comes with a 15hp kohler, and I found it bogged bad in heavy stuff. Adequate, but that's all.
3. If it is the T bar, I think it's ok, but not nearly as fine a touch as other steering systems, including belt drive T bars.
If it's a pistol grip unit with more power, or a "classic deck" 44" then the above doesn't apply.
We had that mower (2003 with only 40 hours) and it got stolen a few weeks ago. We hated to see it get ripped off even though we all disliked it , that is why it only had 40 hours on it. Even though the mower it was supposed to replace has 1500 hours on it we still prefer it. The classic style with removable pins for the height adjust has a lot better visibility and isn't as front heavy. Not to mention, the 2003 wasn't available with electric start, a huge pain in the butt- we had to consciously park it where we could get to the pull rope. I would call Russo Power Equipment in Chicago and get a price, they are really competitive and excellent to work with.
Toro's website is still practically useless. You can never tell if what's there is actually what's for sale. They only show T bar available with the 44"/15hp classic combination, and pistol grips with the vertical pin type decks. Makes no sense at all.