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Toro WB T bar hydros ok?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by brucec32, Mar 14, 2003.

  1. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    I was at a dealer's pro day looking at Husqvarna and Toro hydro wb's for use on days when it's too sloppy out to put a Lazer Z on the turf and for smaller areas. So I'm not looking for max all out productivity, but I am picking about not having the mower wear me out.

    I have used T bar belt drives for years, and like them. However, I wanted to try a Hydro this time for ease of turning and backing out and handling slopes w/o having to manhandle it.

    The Toro rep at the pro day said I should avoid the T bar hydro, that it is too jumpy. Has anyone else had a problem with them being too jumpy? The Husky and Exmark hydros I've tried have seemed very jumpy to me themselves, but I know with time you get smoother.

    I really want to avoid pistol grips and constant squeezing to save my hands from giving me problems at my age. Should I also avoid the T bar hydro and just get another belt drive?
  2. BobR

    BobR LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 714

    Bruce32 - I started with a t-bar hydro 5 years ago and still have one, current one is a 2000 20 hp 52"cut with a trac-vac set up on it. Owners manual indicated the presence of a special valve in the hydro units that allowed for smoother starts (keleg or some such) these valves are adjustable. You learn quickly not to 'grab' the t-bar, the machine will jump but as long as you engage the pumps smoothly you wont have any front end lift problems (unless you are pulling a sulky). I think it is a great machine and will always have one.
    I have demoed pistol grips and exmark 'ecs' and found both to be not as intuitive as the t-bar - I am sure that this is just because I am so use to the toros controls. You just cant compare the hydro and gear machines, extra money is well spent.
  3. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I have a T-Bar, its a 98 Toro with the kellevig valve that makes it smoother. I have had no problems with jumpiness unless you really jump on it. The pumps are also adjustable to make it less jumpy. This is done because the traction unit can use different decks and a 36" deck is much lighter than a 52 or 60inch deck. You also can add weight to the front if you want.

    I love the hydro with the t-bar, it is the quickest way to mow with a wb in my opinion. I have not tried the exmarks yet but I have tried pistol grip units and wonder who the sadist was that invented them.
  4. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    LOL, sadists invented pistol grips....after two minutes with that Husqvarna I was beginning to think so myself. Can't imagine I'd like having squeeze something all day that wasn't wearing a skirt.

    Thanks for the feedback, guys. Now that I think about it, I'm wondering if the rep was just trying to steer me towards the belt drive he had brought with him to the pro day. I had read about the Kellevig valve before, so I assumed that would fix any real bad problems it had. I have 11 years plus of T bar experience, so I think I'd have an easier time with it than just about any other system that's available around here. Toro's made hydros for a while now, and I can't imagine such a big selling brand would have it wrong for so long.
  5. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,469

    Bruce, just tell me what the Heck you want. You've read all the posts and ask about every machine. Every time you open your mouth everything you say points to one machine, a Hustler. It does everything you want. It's not expensive. It's built like a tank. It's a floating deck hydro. It's smooth and goes backwards as easy as front wards. What more to you want?????
    Forget about buying from a local dealer, Hustlers don't break. So, just go find one and bring it home. Maybe that's why dealer don't push them:D .
    I have to laugh. Everybody talks about why they like their brand. That's fine. But, all they do is find reasons not to look at the Hustler. However, the Hustler is the same price as other brands, and usually cheaper. It's built as well, and better than other WB's. It has the biggest tires of any WB, and about the widest track. It has the simplest, easiest, most accurate and least physically demanding control system of any WB on the market. SO.......What's the problem? Are you afraid you might like it????
  6. BB36

    BB36 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 171

    We use a 36' Toro Tbar Hydro with a 15 HP Kohler towing a 2 wheeled Jungle Jim with a soft bagger.After a few hours of driving the mower you can get the feel of the Tbar and soon you will FLY around.This has been one heck of a good mower to us.

    from AL
    Messages: 656

    Very difficult to zero turn with a T-bar. If you're doing alot of smaller areas stay away from hydro T-bars.

    ECS controls are much better suited to a hydro unit.
  8. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    I know, I know!

    Hey, I tried to buy a slightly used 48"/17hp Hustler off Ebay last week, but got outbid at my final offer of $3500 incl. sulky, bagger, mulch kit, and delivery from California. The seller wasn't too forthcoming in replying to emails so I didn't want to go any higher.

    But you're right. After demoing a few hydro mowers, no others seem to have a steering system I like that much, except maybe the Toro, but I haven't been able to even find one to demo.

    I just have to decide how much I can justify spending on a mower that will probably handle no more than 30% of my lawns. (others are huge and I'll use the ZTR, others are too small and I use the 32")

    I'm obviously overanalyzing again. I like the Hustler the best.
  9. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,469

    Well one thing no one talks too much about is buying the right equipment that will make you the most money. After all, this is your Living, so make it easy and the most profitable. 30% is a lot in my book, so get the best for that job. I'm sure you will find the Hustler will be able to trim those spots the ZTR has trouble getting in. I'm sure you will find the Hustler doing spots so much faster than anything you have it will pay for itself in no time. To mow areas that are like 20 foot square and in between a patio deck and the house, I use the 48 and mow forward and backward in one motion which saves a ton of time by not turning around. Also, mowing this way keeps the chute away from the house and deck and saves even more time by not needing to blow off the deck by letting the chute face away. I keep talking about mowing backward as normal for the Hustler, but it's hard with anything else. And the reason for this is, the Hustler will track perfectly straight in reverse use one hand, unlike having to pull pistol grips "exactly" the same amount to get the same result. It's just easier and faster and that's the name of the game. Sure you can backup with other types of control systems, but "All" the others force the operator to "adjust" the tracking in reverse by using both hands on each lever. That's just slow, demands attention to control and is hard on the hands. The Hustler just is a simple twist of the bar and presto you're going back wards straight as an arrow. Plus, just relax your grip on the bar and the Hustler stops dead, no guessing or finding the zero "stop" position. And yes, you can practice and learn with experience where zero is on pistol grips, BUT why bother with all that effort.... just use the Hustler. Why do some many guys’ “Want” to make their job harder? This isn’t rocket scientist stuff, simply just common sense time saving procedures…..

  10. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,845

    Quote from Switchless-
    "To mow areas that are like 20 foot square and in between a patio deck and the house, I use the 48 and mow forward and backward in one motion which saves a ton of time by not turning around. Also, mowing this way keeps the chute away from the house and deck and saves even more time by not needing to blow off the deck by letting the chute face away."

    If you put a Flex-Deck on your Hustler or any WB, or any ZTR, you do not even need to stop or back up - just make the slide turn - always going forward into new grass - my video shows the move

    Thanks, Brad - visit the sponsor forums - we pay for this site.

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