Toro Grandstand Review - Mowing a Steep Slope

Stan: All right, we're in Saint Paul, Minnesota and we're going to be doing a product review, the Toro 52" Grandstand Mower. We haven't left anything to chance on this video, we're going to talk about the capabilities of this lawnmower, and if you see we've got a laser ...

Stan: Because camera angles lie, it's easy to make a modest slope look more aggressive than is, I've taken the time to set up a laser. We've measured the actual height of this lawn over the run going down to determine the actual angle that this lawn [inaudible 00:00:42]

Stan: Just a little bit over a 1.15 to one rise to ration run on this job site. This is about as extreme as you would ever want to attempt to mow. What you're going to find we're going to do in this video is not only show you how this Grandstand works behind us, but the fact that you can take it sideways on a hill like this. I don't recommend you doing this, but we're showing you what these lawnmowers are capable of in this video. I want you to look closely right now, he's going up and down on this hill. That's the safe way to mow this, but later on in this video we're going to show you that if you're brave enough, you can do just about anything with one of these lawnmowers. Then we're going to go over some of the specs on this lawnmower itself and how you how thick a brush we can actually go through with it and let you make a decision from there if a Toro 52" Grandstand is right for you.

Stan: Here we're at the top of the hill, we just finished mowing. Jake did break the pattern up, went sideways for a little ways. The safe way to do a hill this steep is to go up and down. Sometimes you got to break that pattern up. You can see Cassidy in the background blowing off the driveway. They're wrapping this yard up.

Stan: Jake, got a question for you.

Jake: Yeah?

Stan: How safe did you feel going sideways on that lawnmower?

Jake: Sideways is not bad until it starts to slide when you're getting too steep.

Stan: Okay. But it's capable of doing it without making you too uncomfortable?

Jake: Right.

Stan: Not the right way to do it, but it's something that can be done if you're in an absolute pinch and you have to change up the mowing pattern, you're not stuck always going up and down, is that right?

Jake: Yeah.

Stan: Okay. Let's go over some of the features of this lawnmower. You've been running this thing for a while now, what's your thoughts on this mower?

Jake: It works nice, runs nice.

Stan: How about the controls? I was watching you up on the top. Did you get used to it right away or did it feel a little bulky at first?

Jake: A little bulky at first but I mean you get used to it the longer you're riding it.

Stan: It's a little quirky isn't it? The first time you hop on it, the second time you hop on it?

Jake: Yeah.

Stan: It seems like it's a bit oversensitive if you ask me.

Jake: A little bit, yeah. Well on the zero terrain, thing could almost throw you off of it if it wanted to.

Stan: Because it's that fast?

Jake: Yeah.

Stan: It's that responsive?

Jake: Totally that fast.

Stan: If it did throw you off, it's got a safety lever up here, and as soon as you're bucked off from this thing, your hands let go, this safety lever stops the blades from spinning, right?

Jake: Yeah.

Stan: The parking brake, so here's what it looks like when you're standing on the mower, your parking brake is here, and this is also the kill switch for the lawnmower. When this is up like this, if you decide it's time to backup, this lawnmower is going to kill right then and there. Jake, will you hand this camera over? Get us both in there. If I wanted to move this lawnmower, I pull it back and then I release, and now my lawnmower will roll, okay? When this is up in place you're locked tight.

Stan: Okay, so we covered the parking brake, here's your blade activization, okay? When you got the lawnmower fired up, this blade will not activate unless your safety latch is out. We can get the blade moving, as soon as we let go, it shuts off automatically. That's in case this thing does buck you off, it's not going to run you over and cut your hand or your arm off.

Stan: Here's how you adjust your deck height, come on over here. With this lawnmower, you have all the adjustments are right here. You simply pull out a pin and put it in whatever slot you want. I'm going to put this back to where we were at initially, which is three inches even. Put your pin in, lift your blade up, it's heavy, and you drop it down and now you're at three. If you do need to make an adjustment you lift your blade back up, set it in a safety latch, adjust your deck, adjust the pin, and then drop it back down. It's as easy as that. Everything else on this machine is pretty intuitive. The maximum you can cut with this machine is about this thick. I don't recommend doing it with your own personal lawnmower but we have a site where we went through it, and this woody, thick stuff, this is about where it stopped the lawnmower.

Stan: [inaudible 00:08:20] is a little closer look at the control panel on this Toro 52. I know we covered it and what you heard me talking to Jake about was how it's a little bit sensitive. Here is what I'm actually referring to. When you look at this, these are your steering controls right here. Now what happens is when you grab hold of these, if you freehand it, if you just hold onto the steering control, you're going to hit a bump and what's going to happen when you hit that bump is your knuckles are going to slam forward because these controls are fat. Well actually, it would be this way. Your knuckles are going to slam forward this way, or you're going to pull back, and this thing is going to literally buck you off. That's a fact.

Stan: They have these two bars right here in the front, one in the front and then one in the back, and what you do is how you steer this is you have to grab hold of the bar itself like this. You stabilize your hand with the bar and then you put your control, your thumb, and you drive it this way, or you do it the other way around where you take it from the backside and then you drive with your fingertips. See ...

Stan: Don't expect to be able to grab the controls, don't expect to be able just to freehand it and to go right away without learning the process on this machine. Otherwise, this is a great machine. I love it, and in fact I have had absolutely zero problems with this machine so far. I've been very impressed with how it handles over the turf, I've been very impressed how it's able to contour and flow without gouging, without scraping. It's a great machine. If this is the type of machine you're looking for, I would highly recommend it. I have absolutely no qualms other than the steering controls with this machine.



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