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Toro Timemaster 30" Just arrived today and it has the worst cut I've ever seen

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by indy_gt, May 11, 2012.

  1. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Sorry ...just noticed the thread. The T30 is a niche mower...I'd quit the mowing biz asap if the T30 was my only mower. The T30 is a good mower for clients with tiny courtyard lawn who prefer their lawns bagged and cut on the shorter side.... since it doesn't generate nearly as many clippings as my yBravo 25 or worse yet my Dually BOP 32 with high lifts and the hassle of a side catcher. Cut quality is best when the front is set at 2" and the back at 2.5".

    I like to mow as high as the client will allow and I mulch with my BOP mowers in the 3.25" to 3.75" range. Cut quality with BOP mower at those heights hands down better and puts the T30 to shame in manicured appearance. I'm bagging less this season ...here in the land of Walker mowers. Probably 60%-70% less haul off.

    Ironically I have found that the T30 mows wet grass while bagging... within reason ...fairly well...to a point.

    I have my fingers crossed that the engine won't give me any grief. Mine was tough to start when I first had it. It has improved ...I suspect the float level is off a bit.

    Glad I bought the mower....? Yes. Good mower for employees to beat up? No.

    Will Toro ruin the nice handling of the T30 with an overweight commercial version ....? I suspect yes.
    Posted via Mobile Device

    Edit ...I find the cut quality noticeably better over my older Toro SR4 which is never used now.
  2. LawnSalon

    LawnSalon LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    I just purchased one of these units this year and ran into a few issues. While I have it (still) in the shop getting fixed for a broken idler pulley and broken belt - it is also in the shop getting fixed for an unevenness in the stance (one of the front wheels is off the ground when set on level terrain).

    During this time my dealer felt bad and wanted to give me a deal at cost for another one if I was interested. I was a little reluctant since I had quality control issues with the first unit but I can say that most of the issues with this mower pertain to quality control and in some cases the engineering/design.

    For example; the second timemaster I purchased feels entirely different than the first - the propulsion system feels like it's on steroids (even though I properly adjusted the first unit I had by tensioning the drive cable). This new unit takes off and moves along effortlessly.

    So that being said, I told the dealer that if he could get me another one that worked this well I would keep buying them.

    Now back to the beginning. I had issues with the first unit besides the uneven stance that I will illustrate so that others can modify them as I have.

    1) The blades do not lift as much as they should (this is what causes most of the shitty cut quality some have complained about) Without the proper lift the grass doesn't vacuum up to be cut by the passing blades. I fixed this with a sledge hammer by increasing the curvature of the blade to increase their lifting ability. This solved not only my cutting issues but my bagging issues (no clogs).

    2) The side discharge chute is poorly engineered. It has a large obstruction piece that protrudes into the deck and causes grass to clump and clog the outlet. I fixed this by cutting out this piece with a grinder and now the mower can mow through anything.

    Besides these two problems illustrated above, the mower is hit or miss due to quality control from the factory. As I said, my first unit was uneven and the propulsion system performed inadequately. None of these issues are present in my second unit. Again make sure you perform the mods I listed above to solve the remaining issues.

    ONCE you have all that taken care of the only issue left pertains to the cut quality which can suffer during heavy mowing at top speed and most of this is due to the overlapping area between the twin blades and the fact that the mowers blade tip speeds are lower because of the shortness of these blades (but again, much if not all of this cut quality can be fixed by increasing the lift of the blades through modification.

    DURABILITY; besides the obvious plastic components this mower should last a long time provided you do routine maintenance. The only thing preventing it from being a real lasting work horse is the plastic wheels and plastic idler pulley (though many commercial units still use a plastic idler pulley).

    I for one really like these units and use them as primary mowers for all of my residential clients. I had a 21" toro commercial recycler and it doesn't even compare to the TIMEMASTER hands down.

    I hope this helps.
  3. Busybee Lawns

    Busybee Lawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    I have a T30 and toro sr4 and the t30 is like a golf course cutt!know problems
    runs great. The need for high lift blades is null. Low lift blades will always give the better cut!
  4. Antiskell

    Antiskell LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    Timecutters are crap, poorly built, bad engine, crap cut, crap blades, crap design, crap front wheels, a floater in toros toilet if you ask me.

    I like toro, justt not the time cutters
  5. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Messages: 2,869

    Your right about the Timecutter. However we are discussing the new Time Master. Which I bought 2 weeks ago. I love it and I mulch cutting off1 to 1.5 inches. If your customers over fertilize and over water I suspect more cut quality issues. But my customers let me fertilize and I put down enough to make it green but I cut less than 2 inches per week. I went from 1.5 hrs with a 22inch mower to 45 minutes with the Timemaster on just 1 job. It also is very well built with heavy wheels that if not abused will last me for years.
  6. stansoph

    stansoph LawnSite Member
    Messages: 130

    I bought a Timeaster and liked it so much I went and bought 3 more. My accounts are cut low and mulched; so my experience is from this level and method, (1"-1.5") the machines work great at that height. Quality of cut is very good on highly manicured turf. We use them mainly for second pass cut after we have used a reel for the initial pass picking up and mulching the grass remaining and the stray stragglers. Time savings is huge; increasing efficiency and allowing us to focus efforts elsewhere on the property. The accounts range anywhere from 1-6 acres; we use 2 Reel Master Sidewinders for the larger areas.

    These units will last us through the year and into next year and then we will asses the cost/benefit of the commercial model; if it makes better sense than the residential. The parts are easy to replace if broken or worn out. Fold up handle is a great thing too. Keystart is nice; but also very easy to pull start.

    There are things that we don't like; but I will address those in an inspection and modification thread. I did add lift to the blades though.

    When I bought the first unit the Dealer told me that if I didn't like it he would take it back. Nice. We used it one day and decided to get 3 more. He gave me a great deal getting the key start models for less than the pull start model. I think over the years I have put his kids through Medical School. lol.

    In my opinion it is a good alternative to the 21" walk mower as long as it doesn't get beat up. I think people think that since a machine says Commercial on it that means it's okay to abuse it. IMHO. Also, I profit share with my employees so the less broken equipment helps everybody in the long run.

    As for the Commercial model and the professional LCO--whatever manufacturer (Honda, Toro, etc.) can get this style/type machine out and on the market first; will make a killing. It will be a license to print money.

    p.s. don't give me any flak for punctuation, spelling, etc., I have only had one cup of coffee. ;)
  7. Nutsedge

    Nutsedge LawnSite Member
    from STL, MO
    Messages: 183

    Wow, just read this whole thread. Its the first Time master thread I have checked out. I think I would just get a 21" hydro propelled Honda to mulch the rear/gated portions of the clientele. My HRX217HXA will flawlessly mulch 5"+ of WET GRASS no problem. I sharpen my blades every month or so.

    Oh, and this thread is now in the Home owners assistance forum....
  8. Catmann

    Catmann LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    The HRX217 I use will NOT mulch 5 inches of wet grass with no problems. Even with the slick deck it cloggs up, I have to scrape it some on those tough days, but not very often. Cuting at 3.5 inches or higher it will leave stagglers in the spring and fall. I have to do 50% overlap to get an even cut going back and forth (not in a counter-clockwise box as some suggest). In the summer it works great. Engine is great, drive is great, handlebar controls stink, I do not like them.

    Still on the fence about a timemaster. Maybe I will wait to see what Toro does for a commercial version.
  9. Nutsedge

    Nutsedge LawnSite Member
    from STL, MO
    Messages: 183

    Keep your blades sharp...




  10. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    I have a Toro SR4 (Super Recycler) and have been mostly very happy with it. Bagging high grass is the only real negative, but I rarely bag, so it's not a huge issue. It mulches beautifully and that's the biggest thing I use to compare when considering another mower.

    The Hondas always seem to get good reviews, so I started looking into them. I'm not opposed to trying another brand if it benefits me in the long run.
    The Honda deck looks like a nightmare to scrape underneath - my Toro is much "smoother", with less nooks and crannies for grass to build up on.

    Also, I can't wrap my head around how that Honda control setup could be remotely as user-friendly as the Toro Personal Pace system. I can "one-hand" my mower back and forth under trees and such and do so at any speed I desire, all without moving a lever to change the forward speed. That and the overall "heavier/clunky" feel turned me off of the Honda when I looked at one.

    Anyway, this has little to do with the topic, so I'll wrap up by saying that although I haven't USED a Timewhatever (Toro made a huge mistake naming it something so similar to another mower), I looked one over at my dealer, and wasn't as excited as I was before seeing it. Seems heavy and cumbersome. Also, the back wheels on my SR4 cost me $60 (for both) to replace (tread worn down, then split) after one season - I don't even want to THINK about what those big-a$$ed wheels on that Timethingy will cost to replace as they wear out from daily use.

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