Toro tbar users, I have a question

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Justin Becker, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. Justin Becker

    Justin Becker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    so I picked up my new tbar on Friday and after a couple of initial issues we are good. But my question is, and this is a serious question, is what do you do when you get to the end of a row. Normally I would use a three point turn to prevent pivoting on one wheel. But without switching the gears into reverse a three point turn is pretty much out of the question. This is my first tbar so I am pretty new using this machine.
     
  2. bluetruck

    bluetruck LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 539

    we have put 1000s of hours on Tbars.
    what it comes down to, you will have to "man handle" them some what if you want to do a 3 point turn in a non time consuming manner. if you are mowing level smooth lawns this isnt much issue, just turn 90 degrees or so, stop and pull the "inside of the turn" wheel back a foot or so manually pulling on the handle, NOT the control bar, dont shift it into reverse, then just continue your turn. pulling it back a foot will prevent divots/tears, it doesnt need to be a pretty/perfect 3-point turn. if you are mowing hills (mainly what we use the Tbars for), rather you go up to down or side to side, always turn into/up the hill and then let gravity "pull" the mower down far enough to make your 3 point turn into the next pass. we never aim down hill while turning, if it is steep enough you will lose control of it easy. it does get easier and smoother the more you use them. if you are in decent shape they really are great mowers, but they can and will wear you out by the end of a long day.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    Justin Becker

    Justin Becker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    Thank you for the reply. I manhandled it yesterday and yes was tired. The problem was when I let go of the tbar the pro shut off so I was constantly turning it back on which cannot be good for it. I am in fairly good shape but I still couldn’t muster the muscle to bring it back. I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something in the handling of these machine. Any other pointers you might have I’ll take them! I was actually just shifting it back into reverse at the end to back it up to turn but that got old.
     
  4. Mattmowsgrass

    Mattmowsgrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    I used to use a toro t bar for yers when I was an employee.. If my memory serves me correctly. When you pull the machine back, with your left hand. pull the bar slightly, not all the way back, to engage nuetral. Then under hand grab the fixed bar with your right hand to actually pull the machine. I hope this makes sense.
     
  5. SS Lawn Care

    SS Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 266

    I haven't used a T-bar since 2006-2007, I do have fond memories of them though. I am now spoiled with a decade of hydros and standers. I had a 32" pro-line that I used for back yards and usually it had the mulch plate on it. I would make 4-5 perimeter clock wise passes, moving inward until I had enough room to make wider arcing turn arounds with out getting too close to fences or anything else. It wasn't a true zero turn, but more like a really tight loop turn. They will turn pretty tight with out tearing the turf. Is it the fastest, no, but there was no straining to back it up.
     
  6. MikeJG

    MikeJG LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    I still use T bar Toro currently. Mine is 44" cut. With a sulky, I can sometimes get by with 3 to 4 perimeter outlines, and loop the turns, turning opposite of the intended turn somewhat first. Without a sulky, 2 outlines and the three point type turn, manhandling it like the others have stated. As for hills, I prefer to go across them instead of up and down, and I work from bottom to top, so that loss of control is minimized when turning.
     
    SS Lawn Care likes this.
  7. bluetruck

    bluetruck LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 539

    something else i realize with myself (and the handful of people ive trained to use Tbars), after you use it for 50-100 hours you WILL get much better at man handling the machine, it will get to a point where you arent "fighting" the mower but instead will be able to do a 3 point turn in almost a single motion using the momentum from the mower, in fact i believe that it is key to not wearing yourself out, but it take practice and muscle to get used to that. i also feel that after 100 hours if you arent dead yet, you will have built up your endurance quite a bit as well.

    another thing, make sure the Tbar is adjusted correctly. there should be about 1" to 1 and 1/2" of "freeplay" in the bar, that is the space between applying the brakes or applying the belts to move, that space is where you want to hold the Tbar when physically backing up the mower, that way you arent fighting the brakes or belts. hope this makes sense?

    one of your comments makes me think that could be a problem, if you are fairly fit (in the least) you shouldnt have much trouble pulling it back unless pulling it uphill, in which case see my previous post about hills. with the method mentioned above, you should have one hand on the Tbar (which will also hold the safety) use your other hand to pull one corner of the mower back.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Justin Becker

    Justin Becker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    I don’t think my bar was adjusted correctly at first as it was not fully engaging the drive belts before it hit the front bar. So I was having to muscle it around a lot more as it just wouldn’t move. I think i got it about right but I am still adjusting it a bit as the belts loosen up a bit. Thanks for the advice. I just don’t seem to have to knack of still holding onto the tbar with one hand to keep the pto engaged and grabbing the bottom bar with
    The other hand. I would love to see in action the 3 point turn in one motion. That would give me some reference.
     
  9. MikeJG

    MikeJG LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Justin, as I used my Toro yesterday, I noticed I can make the turns easier. Today, I will do what I can to get some video to you or get a link here so you can see how turns can be done. I do not think I have any hills to work on today, but will attempt to get videos of that later this week too.
     
  10. rippinryno

    rippinryno LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,866

    The t bar belt drive is one of the best belt drive operations created. I would take a t bar belt drive over anything else.
     
    MikeJG likes this.

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