Toro T bar, you need to stop, shift for reverse?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by sedge, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. sedge

    sedge LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 34,764

    Guys and Gals, I am wondering if some one could explain exactly how the Toro T bar systems actualy works? I know I can go to a dealer next week and see for myself, but I would rather know now..... lol,lol.

    Thanx in advance:waving:
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Likely your best bet with a belt drive is to drive that mower as if it had no reverse in the first place, I can assure you it isn't the great life saving gear some might think it is, plainly put Reverse SUCKS!

    The other thing is these are clutchless transmissions, there is nothing in the way of freewheeling between shifting, one mistake and it grinds gears. The cost of a new transmission is minimal at $200 but the labor is no fun, you about have to reserve the entire day to replace one of these because there is a lot of work involved, at the absolute least 4 hours but probably longer.

    For this reason I select one forward gear to use, put it in that gear and go, don't ever shift it no more.
    Drive it as if it had nothing but one forward gear, use the belts to adjust speed.
    Then don't get yourself in a position where you'd ever have to use reverse, how I do things.

    But when it happens anyway yes you might want to come to a stop before shifting the transmission into R, or for that matter any shifting even forward-to-forward: Stop, then shift.
  3. sedge

    sedge LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 34,764

    Sorry, maybe I asked the wrong question. When I was reading the Toro website is mentioned "assisted" reverse, so i ddin't know if that ment by pulling back on the "T" bar it would back up, so you didn't need to stop, shift, then back up, then stop, shift again to go forward.

    Yes reverse sucks, but if you have it makes things a lot easier. We are currently using standers but they are 2 heavy. Seriously considering the Quick mowers, as they are light weight and cheap, but was thinking if the T Bar systems was as good as they say, migth consider that option, but only if you don't need to do the actual shifting.
  4. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    I have the Toro 48" belt w/ T-bar and we use them every day during mowing season, there built like tanks and employees love them. The power assist is just that, its not full reverse and go like the hydro units but it does aid in backing up. Its rare that we have to back up on most jobs so its really no big deal anyway. The t-bar works like this : select a gear 1-5, push forward on handle and go. To turn left, pull back on the left side of the bar same thing if you want to go right. When your done making the turn push the bar forward all the way to go straight. You will need to stop to switch to reverse then move the lever to the reverse setting then lift the reverse bar and pull back. We mow most of the time in 5th gear and sometimes in 4th if the grass is wet or long and the mowers have never let us down. I hope this helps with your decision.
  5. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    Yes I agree with Lawnpro...nice set ups for mowing and I really like mine....its an assisted Reverse...very little assisted but some

  6. barefeetny

    barefeetny LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    the actual reverse works good when your parking the nose of the box truck down a steep hill to get to the ramps

    i don't think I ever really use reverse on a lawn.... if i can't turn the machine around once i'm in there..... i'm using the wrong tool... thats what the 21" and line trimmers are for

    kind of like using a sledgehammer to hang a picture....might only take 1 swing, but highly inefficient....
  7. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,369

    Generally speaking, you wouldn't be disappointed with the Quick series mowers ... they are good machines and very operator friendly !! I would go with the Quick 36 Samurai ... it will also fit through a 36" gate if you need to, all you would have to do is remove the metal discharge chute to get through the gate, but that only takes a minute !!
  8. bill8379

    bill8379 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 778

    That's what I do, it's like a personal pace mower. Love it.
  9. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    It means you shift to R, then when the bar is pushed forward, it reverses rather than goes forward. But because of the limitations of the belts through the pulleys, it is not easy to steer in reverse, and the gear is mostly to help you back out of situations where you have pointed yourself into a corner downhill. Gets used very infrequently.

    Because of the great T bar design, shifting is not needed, except maybe when loading the trailer if you are not used to the mower you might want to shift to a lower gear. You feather the pressure on the bar to speed up and slow down. It's like any mower, the more you use it the easier it seems.

    The T bars are probably the best belt/gear drive system, but if you do tight small lawns they, like any, will wear you out when making turns. With enough space to make small circles at the ends of rows it isn't too bad.

    The advantages are lower cost, lighter weight, simplicity (I have replaced just about every part on mine over the years myself, I can't do that with a hydro with any degree of confidence), and for me a lighter "touch" on soft turf, in that I feel I have more control over wheel speed in delicate situations with the T bar. The on-off nature of hydros can make them a little jumpy sometimes, and they can be unforgiving if you overapply pressure. When properly adjusted and belts are broken in some, the T bar is very easy to precisely control to avoid tearing wet turf.

    If you are mowing cool season turf mowed high, don't have to mulch extensively, don't change heights from lawn to lawn, mow flatter turf but smaller lots, then the Quick 36/44 series of mowers is worth a hard look. I love the small footprint vs the longish Toros. I would definitely choose a Quick 36 over a Toro 36 fixed deck , and a 44 over a toro 40 or 48 fixed, since the Toro would have inferior height adjustment, but the Toro is probably a little more bulletproof and the engines may be better over the long haul. You pay more, though.

    I would not choose a Quick36 to mulch or mow low (1.5-2.25") Bermuda or Zoysia. I do not think it is optimized for that type of turf due to lack of sufficient floation, no fully baffled mulch kit, and in my research almost no real-world feedback from any users actually using it to cut the super thick low stuff. The happy owners seem to be mowing bluegrass and tall fescue mostly.
  10. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,986

    With one very simple and inexpensive modification a Toro T-bar can be made to have full reverse. I have no problem backing up a hill on a sulky with any of my T-bars. I don't use reverse a lot, not much need to, but at least a couple times a day I back up, I can even back some distance on the sulky without jack-knifing. I can show you the mod. if you'd like. It just involves beefing up the control rods.

Share This Page