Toro 72" Sidewinder demo

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by David Haggerty, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. My dealer let me demo this machine for a couple of days. The Sidewinder is an ultra fine cut golf course machine. It has three independently floating decks each with a 24" blade, two in front and one belly mounted. It has three wheel drive with hydraulic motors mounted on each of the 3 wheels. The tires are small, 20" outside diameter. The dealer said it does very well on slopes since all wheels drive. It has a slope meter mounted in front of you that goes to 50* But it also has a disclaimer that says death may occur on slopes greater than 25* So far all of the lawns I've tried it on have been flat, but I'm taking it to Cincinnati today so I'll try something steeper.
    The unit has a joystick for lift & lower of the cutting units. The joystick also moves side to side for the cutting platform to move to the left and right about 18" each way.
    I thought it would be great to trim with, but I found out not so much. It's kind of slow to react sometimes as it shares hydraulic supply with another system. Plus the carriage for the floating decks surround the deck so you can't trim but within a couple of inches of anything. The deck shift system was designed to allow the tires to track a different path each week to eliminate "rutting" or just the mashing of the grass that occurs with repeated mowing of the same pattern.
    All in all, this machine gives a fabulous cut. The decks each ride on their own rollers, so it'll never scalp or leave the grass long. I've mowed a pattern cut right up a ditch bank and it looks fantastic. The machine mows a little slower than my Toro 325-D 72" but it does a much better job. The decks are open across the back, and clippings are evenly dispersed across the path. Though most appear to get mulched in the process.
    The seating position is quite low but very comfortable. It's a rather specialized machine, but I could see an LCO owning one if he had the right accounts. This model comes with three decks, but it's also available with 5 decks (11') and 7 decks. Though the larger models don't slide the decks side to side.
    This machine is more of a curosity to most of you (and me) but if I saw one cheap on ebay I may consider it.


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