LIFE IS EASY NOW
I recently bought a Toro Timemaster from www.graftonpowerproducts.com.au and this lawn mower is the best damn decision I have ever made. Reliable and works a treat! My lawn now looks like a golfing green.
Purchased in May 2019 at Grafton Power Products for $1,549.00.
Great mower apart from the belt tensioner problem.
I bought my timemaster 2015,does a great job except the the main belt tensioner has disintegrated 3 times now,first couple of times was under warranty now this time it’s not.
Purchased in October 2015.
Reliability a bit sus.
I bought this mower because of its wider cut and the fact that it is self propelled. I generally enjoy using it as it almost halves the time taken with my old mower but still gives me some exercise that I wouldn't get had I bought a ride-on. The choice of mulch, catch or side eject is appreciated.
But, it has failed seriously twice now. The first time was kind of acceptable. A stick managed to find its way into the drive belt area, jammed the toothed belt and broke it taking an idler pulley with it. My main concern is that the belt area is not adequately shielded to prevent sticks from going in in the first place. In fact, it also allows clippings and dust to get in in significant amounts. Maybe this mower is not designed for Australian conditions where many homes have gum trees that constantly deposit branches large and small on the lawn.
Today, the sprocket assembly that sits atop one of the blades literally disintegrated rendering it useless again. As it is just over a year old, I find this to be very unsatisfactory. I bought a Toro because of Choice recommending their ordinary mowers. I thought the quality and engineering would be applicable in their other products. Not so!
Purchased in December 2017 for $1,795.00.
A good mower for a large lawn
A big 30 inch cutting width - it's like standing behind two mowers welded together. This is the best feature.
Fits through standard single gate.
Starts well... I've had the mower for a few months now.
The catcher's pretty big and easy to put on and take off.
Despite its size it's pretty easy to handle.
You can disengage the blades while still being able to power the mower along - I like this feature.
You can use it without the catcher using a mulching plug, and it mulches pretty well.
Cutting Buffalo that's a bit high you can stall it.
Again, cutting Buffalo, if you cut the grass with the lowest setting that doesn't stall the mower, and then reduce it and try to cut it one height lower, it continually stalls. I think this is as much a feature of managing your Buffalo so that thatch doesn't build up too high.
If the Buffalo is slightly wet or you're mowing up a slight incline the wheels tend to spin and slip.
It's fuel tank runs dry pretty quickly.
WOULD I BUY IT AGAIN KNOWING WHAT I NOW KNOW?
Yes. I like using it. The positives outweigh the negatives.
I'm glad I bought it. Although I still have my 19in Victa as well.
The mower seems pretty sturdy. I'll update this review as I use it over time.
Very good first impressions
I mow about one acre with 35 trees. Did it in two and a half hours. My previous ride-on took over 3 hours even though it was a hydro with easy back and forwards. The time is saved on the trees and other obstacles. I tossed up this with a 38” ride-on but bought this for the price and the exercise. I realise most people won’t rate the exercise as a factor. I do. I only need to mow 15 times a year. Very happy so far (only 2 mows in). It handles very well, has ample power and will go faster than you will ever need. I don’t use the catcher at all and use the side exit which works well and lessens the work the engine has to do.
I am using a few common sense techniques to look after it, eg, come to a stop when reversing it before engaging the forward self-drive, don’t allow the mower to get stuck while the forward self-drive is engaged (if you do the wheels spin and there is a risk of over-burdening the drive system and potentially stripping the drive cogs).
It looks and feels quite heavy-duty and well made. However, it is not a commercial grade machine so it must be treated with some basic care. It is also not a slasher. I was a little nervous about buying this machine but I am now confident it will do the job for me for many years. The controls are great, especially the ‘personal pace’ self-drive system. First oil change done after 5 hours, now every 50 hours which will be about once a year for me.
As others have said the only issue on a big lot is having to refill the fuel every one hour. I just use that to time a break and have a cold drink or a tea or coffee. All good!
Good old Yankee know-how
I've only been using this mower for one season but its been real good so far. I'm impressed. The bad points are that it has a relatively small petrol tank, so best not to get too far away from the petrol supply. The cutting deck clogs up with grass in wet long grass and can be inconvenient to keep clearing. If the grass is just a bit long then side-discharge mode seems to help a lot. And if necessary, raise the cutting height as well. But if its long and wet, well just avoid that. The best way to maintain smooth sailing I find is to just keep the grass short, its a lawn mower, not a slasher and being self-propelled means it isn't going to bust your gut to mow regularly.
Its also a disadvantage it being so awkwardly big and heavy that you need 2 people to lift it into a boot to transport it. But that goes with the territory of a 30" cut, which is important when you are mowing a big area.
The fact that the mower can be used as a simple mulching mower, or in side-discharge mode, or as a catcher-mower was one of the selling points to me. Don't seem to be many like that and it actually makes it better than a ride-on in many ways. I was using a ride-on before and I actually think this is easier. In some ways. Though if you have a disability that makes it hard for you to walk it changes things. For example, with this mower I can more easily mow under and close to trees and shrubs. With risking my neck, literally you sometimes risk your life riding under low branches on a ride-on.
It doesn't have powered reverse, like a ride-on does, but once you get use to it and learn to plan ahead to a moderate degree, it isn't that hard pulling it back when you are mowing back and forward in corners and under things, as you do. Anyhow, not sure I can be trusted not to back over myself if I had self-propelled reverse on my mower. ;-)
Also a ride-on doesn't usually have a catcher and that can be handy occasionally. I don't see much sense in catching grass usually, but if you get behind in your mowing and have to catch up, then it can be handy. As I mentioned, you need to put on the side-discharge attachment and raise the deck up to cope with long grass, especially in the spring when its hard to avoid getting stuck with long green grass. But then there will be so much cut grass that it interferes next time. So what I do is leave it to dry out a few days, then mow it again with the catcher on. Keep the deck high so you are not actually cutting much green stuff and just sucking up the dry grass. You can get a lot of dry grass in the catcher and dry grass can be composted or used as mulch. Once the dry stuff is dealt with, just lower the cutting deck and cut the grass properly.
The dealer where I bought it promised that it wouldn't need much maintenance, but I didn't believe a word of that. Belt drive! Who ever heard of a belt-drive anything that doesn't need regular service. And those cables that control the propulsion system and engage the cutting blades, they look complicated and must surely need fine-tuning. Plus the usual stuff. But I forgave him those lies, I was a difficult customer and probably looked like someone who wasn't ready for the truth. I'll be taking it in for a service when the growing season ends. If it ever ends this year.
I would recommend this mower to anyone with more than half an acre to mow. And for a smaller area, the 21' model would be my first chaoice after my experience with this mower.
Top mower easy to push Excellence. And I run high grass the mower is on maximum height nice and spongy he does an excellent job in cuttin I do 94% mulchen good on fuel I have 1/2 open acre block house yard I've had 3 different before and this would have to be one of the best days I've ever had highly recommended I do think you pay for what you get you want quality you pay for it
I bought this machine off the floor at our local hardware store. It had been a demo floor model and had been discounted.
We took it to our property, filled the sump as per instruction book and fueled it up. It started first pull on the starter cord! It took all of five minutes to get used to the push assist drive mechanism and away it went! I couldn't prize it out of my wife's clutches after showing her how to use it even with her dicky knee! As mentioned else where it looks a bit of a beast of a machine with its 30 inch cutting width but is so maneuverable and makes mowing easy.
This is the best mower I've ever used. I can't say much about it's longevity but first impressions are excellent.
A beast to maneuver and it's underpowered
Till the belts started slipping, I could stall out the motor by engaging the blade drive. And a mower this heavy needs to have castering front wheels. I'm sorry I bought it; I went back to my 21" Cub Cadet with castering wheels. The 30" cut time savings are lost in the difficult maneuvering.
Well built quality mower with huge cut.
This mower is very well built. The 30 inch cut really does save lots of time on a larger yard. It advertises a 40% advantage, I believe it virtually halves my cutting time. As previous reviews have indicated, one of the GREAT advantages of this mower is the manoeuvrability. It is very well balanced and turns 90/180 degrees extremely easily. It is easy to pull back when using "push/ pull" in tight spots like any mower.
The design having 2 cutting blades means the cut on the sides is outside the wheel line. This makes it more precise on edges than most normal size push mowers. The engine power seems compatible with the cut size, the engine revs very well compared with many 4 stroke mowers.
I believe people looking for a smaller ride on would do well to consider this mower. You cover a lot of ground, and whilst it will be a bit slower, you can use in all situations, and it is way cheaper than any decent ride on at $1700 with a 3 year domestic warranty.
The personal pace self propelled system is serviceable without being amazing. As stated below, couch grass will slow the mower and I have not tried on hills so can't comment.
I also believe a contractor MUST have one of these. You will save hours I promise.
There are some limitations to this mower. It really doesn't like couch grass or any grass with a thatch. It will reduce power quickly in this grass especially if it is a bit wet. I like to use the mulch function, and have not tried the bag function so can't comment. The side throw is only OK to be fair, as you have 2 cutting blades and the side throw is only on 1 side. The mulch function is good without being amazing.
This mower like most is not a slasher. It is not designed for heavy paddock work, although it gets a bit of a work out with me and does ok.
Having said all this, no mower is perfect. The limitations are more than offset by the advantages, especially at the price. You would really pay double this price for a machine that would improve the limitations on this mower, and that mower would be a lot heavier and not as easy to use.
The ease of use, and balance of this mower, along with the size of cut are it's great advantages.
BIG yard mower and Surprisingly easy to use !!
This is a monster of a push mower to look at BUT has surprisingly good handling if you let it
Do all the work instead of trying to man handle it.
Very heavy duty..and you can see it is built to last. It's claimed to save upto 40% on using a standard mower.
I can say this is true if not more so. being 30 inchs across, it has a large foot print but will fit through all our gates.
It also is far easier to pull start than any "normal" mower I've ever owned.
In a nut shell FANTASTIC, I even use it for my smaller property just to save time.
I'm lucky in the fact I bought mine as a floor demo model, but even at full price I'd be impressed by it's performance.
As for cutting performance, I've tried to reach it's limits.. just to see but haven't found them yet.
I've seem comments that this model struggles in knee high WET grass !!! Give me a break and buy a tractor LOL
Only reason I haven't given 5 stars is the fact I've only had it 6 months and although nothing has worn, broken or stopped... and I don't expect anything will.....I update this after a year and add a star for the proven reliability.
Perfect machine cuts mowing time
For the money, this is one of the best mowers I've used. The cutting width is massive, it's got plenty of power for thick, wet grass, I've had no problems with it bogging down. I can mow a 12,000 sq ft yard in about an hour. The self-propelled mechanism takes some getting used to but once you do get used to it it's quite natural, varying the speed is simply a matter of walking faster or slower; the machine will respond accordingly. And it's fast when you're just trundling across the yard. Wash deck hose connection is a neat feature. The only flaw is a tendency for the chute to clog when bagging tall thick grass. I'd like to see fatter tires that don't create tracks in wet grass. The blade brake feature is great especially when going across driveway's or gravel.
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