Toro T Bar Question

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Grits, May 30, 2006.

  1. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 2,994

    I do not know much about commercial mowers. I was looking at the Toro 30698 48" WB with Tbar. Do you have to manually steer this mower? How do you know when a WB has manual steering or power steering? Such as the single hydro Q36 being manual steering. Thanks. Please don't beat me up too bad over this basic question!
  2. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    The T-Bar will move forward and back and will also twist, the t-bar control that is. Move it forward and the mower moves forward. pull it back and it has brakes. If you turn loose of the control is goes in neutral. If you want to go forward and right then push the control forward and and twist it to the right and forward and left to go left. I know that doesnt sound to clear but it is very easy to operate, maybe someone will have a better choice of words. thoose directions I gave are for a belt drive, a hydro drive is a little different.

  3. Lawn Enforcer

    Lawn Enforcer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,381

    I have used a Toro 44" Hydro walk-behind for 3 years and I have tried the pistol grips and the Exmark controls, but I swear by the T-Bar. Also if you evergreen trees to go under, it works like a charm because with many other models you must shift, but not with the t-bar. It's easy to operate, push forward, it goes forward. Pull backward, it goes backward. To go different directions just squeeze to that way.

    God Bless America!!!:usflag:
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,652

    I'm in my 5th year and all I have ever used is T-bar belt-driven Toros, I started with two 52's and eventually settled on the 48" fixed deck because it fits through most 4-foot single gates where the 52" never fit through a single gate.

    But yeah, it's the best thing out there, I tried a pistol-grip and an Ecs once, I can't imagine how folks out there use those things.

    T-bars rule. Oh, if one ever snaps or breaks on you (lol), you can get it welded which is much cheaper because a new T-bar from the dealer is 80 bucks, as I found out. But in 5 years I only had one break so I guess it just got old ...
  5. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,095

    The Toro T-Bar contols are the easiest controls on your hands as well. Very easy to manuver!
  6. LawnBrother

    LawnBrother LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW Ohio
    Messages: 867

    I have a Toro T-Bar 44" belt drive. It is a great mower, very easy to use and very easy on your hands. Regarding your question about manual steering, the difference comes with hydrostatic drive or belt drive. You can tell just by looking at the mower which it is. If it is a belt drive you will see belts around a pulley on each wheel and looping around another pulley attached to the transmission. If it's hydro then you will see no belts, only hydro pumps(or one pump) with hoses coming out. The hydro mowers are easier to go from forward to reverse instantly, and the hydro pumps do all the work, you just squeeze the controls and go where you want. With the belt drives you have to shift a lever to go into reverse, and then it is not true reverse like a hydro, it's just a reverse assist, mainly to help you get out of tough spots where you can't muscle it out. Steering on belt drives requires more pressure on the controls and a little more muscle when manuvering, especially backing up without using reverse; it's all you. Also with belt drives, sometimes if it is raining out the belts can slip, making it hard to use at all. The belts on my mower only slip if they get REALLY wet, but it happens and all mowers are different regarding belt slippage.
    Whatever you get, go with a hydro if you can, but if you get a belt drive avoid the pistol grips at all costs, you will end up with pain in your hands and forearms, and probably carpal tunnel syndrome as well. Hope that helps.
  7. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 2,994

    Thanks! Helps a lot. I was looking at a Husqvarna 36 WB today. I will probably end up with a 36" Toro with T Bar. I just want to thoroughly check out as many mowers as I can.
  8. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    Look at the Hustler too. I have owned a Toro WB for many years and I think the Hustler steering is better. My next WB will be a Hustler. The only problem is I only use my WB about 2 hrs a week and I'm afraid it will last for ever.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,652

    Ok but on that note, be aware that unless you actually own a T-bar hydro, I have yet to find such a machine. Toro can make them, but if you look on their Web site, all Toro hydros are pistol-grips because their reasoning is that it doesn't make sense to buy a T-bar hydro...

    In a way I can agree with Toro, the T-bar belt-driven Wb is as good as it gets and it doesn't make sense to spend an extra thousand for the benefit... But, what if I want to...? The shifting is tolerable and with a T-bar, pulling back is brakes so that would not result in reverse, see I am not sure how they would fix that bit, perhaps a button on the bar? Still, with a hydro I'd never have to step off the velke to save the belts on an incline, not to mention somedays I get frustrated by being forced to step off because the belt is wearing (thou the motor-to-trans belt is also responsible, not just the wheel belts).

    However, at 50 dollars / belt, I break one or two a year, and even with the 12-dollar trans belt and the labor involved it would take at least 5-6 years to make up for the cost of the hydro, likely closer to 10 years as I'm sure hydros are not free of breakdown.

    So then I checked with my dealer and the guy told me that T-bar hydros are funny machines, and what he meant is that for those who end up ordering one, it does not turn out quite the way they thought it would... Now I am not sure what that means but it sounds like there is some disappointment in this direction.

    So, belt-driven T-bars it is but I do agree, NEVER buy a pistol-grip belt-drive.
  10. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    If it's going to be your every day mower then you want a hydro which would be another reason to go look at the Hustler line up. You can have the best of both worlds.

    This is coming from a Toro belt drive t-bar owner so I'm not being biased. Mine is a gate mower and I would go nuts if I had to use it as a primary. Belts slip like crazy with load or when they get wet. They are fine on flat land if kept dry.

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