Toro t-bar

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lsylvain, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. lsylvain

    lsylvain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 779

    I was looking into a new mower. I want to get a toro with the t-bar controls. Here is my question on the toro site they only offer the t-bar with a 15 hp motor, what's the deal? (this is with hydro) t-bar is available on the gear drives with a 17 hp motor.
  2. Brendan Smith

    Brendan Smith LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    do a search for t-bar, you'll see a 500 page dissertation by topsites on them.
    personally, i'd rather sit than stand in any case.
  3. lsylvain

    lsylvain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 779

    to many steep banks in WV for sitting unfortunatly. Plus I'm one of those people who just can't seem to justify 3 times the cost for only about 1/3 more productivity. I figure almost 50% of our time is spent loading and unloading equiptment and the ztrs don't save you time there. Add in the reduced gas miliage because of the added weight on the trailer, plus the increased gas consumption of the mower and not to mention all the extra moving parts on thoses things that break with time. Anyway... thanks I'll try to see if I can't find that post.
  4. ed2150

    ed2150 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    If you have a Hustler dealer nearby, you might look at their mowers...they have what they call the H-bar control system; you'd probably like it, too.

    You can see them online at
  5. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    Yes, it's bizarre that they offer the t bar hydro only with the 15hp single cylinder engine. I had one of the older designs I bought used and sold it after half season's use. The 15hp definitely was not enough power on tall thick grass. It would bog. I have a 16hp Briggs twin on a 44" toro and until recently when it had engine trouble (it's a 1998 model) it cut the tough stuff fine. Torque matters. Look for a twin cylinder engine for that.

    Unless you simply must have a 44" deck mower, there are better choices in hydro wb's out there. The t bar is great on belt drives, but jerky and hard to use easily on the hydro. I was warned about this myself by a toro regional salesman at an event, but bought one used anyway.

    The decks they use on this mower are a pretty old design. They cut long turf and get it out and dispersed pretty well, but they leave long pieces since the grass gets cut once and shot out due to the deck design. Good for weed patch lawns, not so great on finer quality turf.

    I'd try the Hustlers, Gravelys, Exmarks, etc. if you must have a wb.
  6. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    We use a Toro T-Bar with a 48" fix deck and a 15hp Kawi. I wish I had more pony's though. It's ok, but in taller wet grass the 15hp just does'nt cut it for me, no punt intended. I would think any deck size over 48" there should be at least a 17hp or greater.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Due to the inherent design of the T-bar, it doesn't make sense to make a T-bar hydro... It has to do with the brakes / reverse issue, when you pull back on the T-bar it engages the brakes so Toro has no way of fitting reverse into the design other than to offer only gear-driven T-bars or pistol hydros.

    Toro can and will make you a T-bar hydro upon request, the beasts do exist but from what I hear they're not what you think they are like in actual operation, folks have described them to me as a bit of an oddball machine.

    Gear-driven T-bar Toros are some of the best Wb's on the market, the only reason all the guys here swear by hydros is because they all have ECS / pistol-grip machines and yes, a gear-driven pistol grip Wb is nonsense but then belts are way cheaper than pumps.
  8. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    Except for clarifying that hydros don't have brakes, they use the motors themselves to brake, I agree with this post. The Toro T bar belt drives are so superior to pistol grip, ecs, etc on a belt drive that they should be considered in a category in between regular belt drives and hydros for ease of use. If you mow large areas with fewer turns, the belt drive isn't that much worse, and has a few advantages in terms of weight, simplicity, ease of repair, and of course initial cost. But if mowing postage stamps and areas where you need to back in and out of tight spots, definitely go hydro.
  9. Branchland

    Branchland LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    I have a 1991 Toro 52" Proline Hydro with a 18 hp Kol. And yes with a T-bar. I love it. It stripes pretty, cuts great and even. The guy I bought it from 3 years ago told me to adjust the bar so it could only go so fast at first. Til I got used to it. In 2 days I had moved the bar forward to speed it up. It was jerky to start with but after a couple of days I could operate it smooth. The only time I've had a problem with it bogging down is if the frass is way too tall. Like about a foot. I'm wanting to get another but a 48".
  10. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    Yeah!!! take it on a hill:dizzy:

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