Field Notes from Toro
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mower imageLarge commercial properties take a long time to trim, but a stand-on mower can help shave some minutes. Toro’s GrandStand series provides that time reduction along with a smooth ride and exceptional maneuverability. The compact size of the machine is also very helpful on residential and smaller properties where maneuverability is required and a smaller footprint is preferred.

BIG AREA, SMALL MACHINE. Steve Mayer, fleet manager of Ameri-Pride in Clearwater, Fla., was looking for a way to complete jobs more quickly. The company mostly serves commercial customers, like apartment complexes and golf courses. Ameri-Pride purchased eight GrandStands in the spring of 2010, and Mayer says he is so pleased he plans to buy 20 more for this upcoming season.

“The main advantage is that they’re a little more agile around sloped areas,” Mayer says, adding that the machines have a wider footprint that leads to a more stable – and safer – ride. “It’s also a smoother ride. The bigger the tires, the smoother the ride.”

He also says the machine’s compact-size helps with storage.

“They’re a little smaller. You can get four of those in a trailer rather than those (mowers) that are bulky, like the riders and walk-behinds,” Mayer says.

Shawn Gregor, operations manager of the Charlotte, N.C. branch of Phoenix Landscape, says the stand-on mowers are great for his larger properties.

“They’re really good on commercial properties,” Gregor says. “The size of our decks are 60 inches. We buy them for our bigger stuff. It definitely goes faster and you’re able to get them into more places because they’re smaller. It doesn’t take up as much room on a truck.”

MANY OPTIONS. The GrandStand is able to convert into a walk-behind, an option Adam Lawson really enjoys. The president of Turf Masters Landscape in Xenia, Ohio, says he mostly does residential properties, so having one mower that can easily switch between a stand-on and a walk-behind saves him a lot of effort.

“I use (GrandStands) for a lot of residential, small areas. That’s why I got the 52-inch and 36-inch,” he says. “I don’t want to take a push mower around, so I use the 36-inch. It’s a happy medium. They’re easy to maneuver. It could be a walk-behind or you could ride it.”

Stand-on mowers fit into tight spaces easily and allow the rider to get on and off more quickly to pick up debris or move objects. Gregor says that is great for emergencies.

“If you have an issue and you need to get off that mower as fast as possible,” he says, “you’re able to jump off and get away.”

Mayer says his employees find the ease of use a great advantage.

“They don’t get as tired driving (the GrandStands),” he says of his employees. “There’s a little less fatigue on the hands from the controls that drive them. They’re easier to use. They don’t get as much fatigue because they’re not pulling forward and backward to steer.”

Toro also provides cushioning to help with the rider’s legs.

“I like how they have it designed. It saves your knees and your legs,” Lawson says. “Some of the other ones don’t have cushioning.”.

ALWAYS AVAILABLE. Mayer says he enjoys how dependable the Toro brand is. If a problem comes up, Toro helps out quickly.

“Maintenance as far as the engines, it’s a little more difficult because it’s compact, but the advantages outweigh that,” he says. “We get a two-year warranty, but there is an hour limit, and we always exceed it. We maintain all our equipment very well.”

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