Toro Proline walk behind mowers
Mar 24, 2000 (Updated Mar 24, 2000)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:T bar steering, durability, Kohler engines, affordability, strong dealer network.
Cons:cut quality on 44", wet grass mowing ability on 37" recycler, it's not a zero turn rider.
I have owned three of these commercial quality intermediate walk behind mowers with 36", 37" recycler, and 44" decks. They are the best belt driven commercial walk behind mowers out there, because they feature the patented "T-Bar" steering system, which means no pistol grips to deal with. They are easy to use after about an hour of practice, and they give you much of the ease-of-use that hyro's provide, at a much lower purchase price. They run about $3,000 with bagger kits and 14 hp kohler engines. The T-bar is a design that allows more intuitive control of the mower, with light pressure and allows you to vary speeds without shifting gears. It's patented for a reason.
Recommend this product?
They are reliable machines, rarely having major breakdowns, although you do need to fix a few minor items. Output shaft bearings go after a couple years on the transmissions, and the belts need adjustment to work their best. The 36" is the cheapest, oldest design, yet also gives the best overall cut and best performance in tall grass. The 44" deck tends to scalp due to it's width and lack of rollers to protect the turf. The 37" recycler is great at mulching leaves, but it is weak on thick turf and wet grass. The 12.5 hp engine on the 36" unit seems just as powerful as the 14 hp units. I sold two of the units and recovered 40% of their purchase price on resale, after 3 years of use, so they are cheap to own and run. About $1/hour overall, in commercial use. But for maximum productivity on larger lawns, a zero turn rider is a must.
I would recommend these mowers for use by commercial cutters who are just starting out and can't afford a zero turn rider, and for residential customers who have a large area to cover and want a mower to last a lifetime. There are cheaper models out there, but they are much more cumbersome to use, and you will have repetitive stress injuries if you use the pistol grips too much. Attach a stand on sulky (velke) and you can get more production than with typical homeowner type lawn tractors. I highly recommend the velke ($250) if you cut much grass at all.
Other mowers out there are heavier and tougher, but unless you ramp curbs a lot with it, it's plenty tough.
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