new 30' walk behind toro time master lawn mower

eric_2007February 5, 2012

Toro's website shows 2 new walk behind models called time master which have the standard toro handle set up but the deck looks like a spin off of the mtd / troy bilt / white ETC 33" mowers which were a lemon due to quality issues. These toro models also apear to use 2 blades with an interfernce set up where the blades overlap and depend on belt timing to avoid contact. Has anyone seen these mowers in person to check out the durability? with the overall weight being around 130 I would hope the transmission, tires, handle brackets and other components effected by extra weight?. I always thought toro was a decent company however seems like everyone is droping in quality to meet price points. Although i do not live in cold weather area I have read toro uses 100% offbrand china engines on their smaller snowblowers which previously were recalled due to fuel leaks. If anyone has feedback or seen these in person please write back

thank you

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I too look forward to seeing how these will work out. I was grabbing parts at the Toro dealer and he was excited about the unit. He said they were a steel deck, but doesn't the site show aluminum? They should get them in March. Yes, it looks like Toro is using some import engines on the WPMs too. What went awry on the MTD built units?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 8:10PM
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Has anyone bought or used a new timecutter? Curious to see how they perform. Im always looking for a new toy.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 2:59AM
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I bought one about a week ago for use on my 1/2 acre fairly level lawn. My initial impressions are very favorable. Size-wise it's like handling a Toro Super Recycler 21 inch mower on steroids. The Personal Pace handles just like my smaller 21" SR used for trimming. Overall balance of the Timemaster is great - easy to manuver and turn, and the B&S engine is not nearly as noisy as my neighbor's Quick36 - a different beast all together. Personal Pace works well. The folding handle is nice and it doesn't take a much bigger footpring than a regular size mower. My lawn hasn't fully started growing yet, but the Timemaster cut appears to be superb and on par with the Super Recyler. Mulches very well - no clumping so far and very little deck buildup if any. It stripes well too. However, there doesn't seem to be a lot of "lift" from the deck - it tends to leave twigs, small mulch chips, etc on the ground. It might not be the best bagger - time will tell. My wife and son appreciate the electric start and are comfortable using it to cut the lawn. Overall, very pleased with my purchase and it will be a nice compliment to my Deere X300 when I feel like getting some exercise. One small issue so far - the personal pace drive belt slipped off the main pulley during the 2nd use. Put back on without much trouble from the underside of the machine. Hope it was just a fluke and not an indication of a design flaw. That never happened to my 21" super recycler - 4 yrs old now. I'll update as it gets more use.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 12:18PM
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I have a little over 1/2 acre lot with house, trees, etc. I currently mow with a 42" craftsman lawn tractor. The thing is 5 years old and the tranny is about shot. Won't move forward of backward. I am to the point that I really feel I do not need a tractor, but wonder if a larger walk behind would be adequate? Any advice would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 4:50PM
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some people are running in to gas leaking from the carb after shut has happen to me been in the shop twice

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 8:50PM
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Knock on wood not carb issues to date. Maybe the leak is similar to the Toro 421Q snowblower recall issue - a gas leak from the carb. Anyway, I'm impressed with this mower. I have a X300 Deere rider that's been pretty much parked so far (unless I need to bag or it's too hot to walk). The Timemaster mulches very well and leaaves a nice even cut typical of Toro. I even cut/mulched wet grass yesterday evening. I do find I can cut/mulch at a 2-2.5" level if dry with never any clumping, and need to raise a bit higher if wet. When I seldom get clumping I just raise the back level 1/2" higher than the front to improve airflow - works every time. Bagging is OK - again, not the best airflow IMO and I haven't side discharged. I feel that even with the bagger on the mower wants to mulch - I only get 1-2 bagfuls for my 1/2 acre yard. I do not use the washout port but every few cuts tip the mower back and clean out underneath - really not much there unless I cut wet. I did treat with Rejex prior to my first cut. The mower handles like a Toro SuperRecyler on steroids. Even my wife has no issues handling it. So far I'm very happy with the purchase.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 8:00AM
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I just bought a TimeMaster - I cut 3 lots - each 1/4 acre - with alot of garden area, flower beds, etc. I considered a used rider - but for what that would cost (for something of good quality and a bagger) I was able to buy the TimeMaster.
I have been using a 21 inch Toro Super Recycler for the last few years - but the rainy Spring made me decide it was time to try something new. Just took too long to mow all 3 yards every 5 days to keep up.
I have mowed with the TM 30 once - it did reduce the time mowing from over 1.5 hours to very close to 1 hour. It handles like a big Toro - I like Personal Pace - for my kind of yard with alot of direction changes, edges, fence line, etc. - it really is the best self propel. I bagged and mulched on the first use - did a great job on both. I agree it seems to bag pretty slow - must be dropping some clippings. I have been getting 8+ bags out of my Super Recycler - I got 5 on the TimeMaster (I think the bag is a little bigger - and the grass was not quite as long as it has been in prior mows - but I also think some dropping of clippings is going on).

I like it well enough my Lawn Boy 10304 and Toro 20038 are for sale - I don't need 'em!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 5:31PM
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earthworm(6 Pennsylvania)

I may buy one of these Toros 30" jobs and use in conjunction with the Simplicity 16 44 (years old).
Only 0.4 acre but at 73 (years) , seem to ber more than that..
I think the 30" needs a bit more power ( uses the same engine as the 22").
The LB that I have now is hard to handle (needs front swivel casters, IMO)...
The perfect lawn mower ?
Not yet..
And my lawn is far from perfect..
If I were wealthy, I'd start all over again and do it right...

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 11:23AM
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Just read up on it - that's a boss mower. Cast-aluminum frame? and HD steel deck, twin-blades, Personal Pace, 8.25 HP/Torque, 10" rear and 8" front wheels. I'd say if you have a big lawn and would rather walk than ride, you would have to look into this machine.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 3:40PM
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I sold my Lawnboy (v-series) and Toro 20038 - the TimeMaster 30 was able to get everywhere I needed - so time to clear some garage space. Have mowed 3 times with the TM30 now - when loaded down with a full bag of grass, she gets pretty heavy - otherwise I am liking it alot. I have cut some pretty tall grass and it handled it well - I feel the same about bagging - I have mulched and it does a very good job in that role. The deck has alot of "head room" so you really have to try to bog it down in the deep stuff to have an issue.

So far I have no concerns about power....seems to have plenty to handle cutting and propelling the mower. I have alot of experience with the B&S 190cc Intek from my 20038 - this 190cc does seem to have a bit more grunt as the torque rating indicates. My main gripe about the old Intek was hot starts - I found you MUST have the right spark plug and gap or it was a real pain in the rear to hot start (cold starts were always easy). And plugs don't come gapped to you have to change it. That is the plug gap on the TM30.

My only other complaint is the traction assist handle gets in the way of using the normal personal pace. I could remove it - but I want to see if I get used to it. I have pinched my fingers on it a few times - not bad, but annoying.

10+ years on my 20038 spoiled me into putting my hands pretty much anywhere I wanted on the drive handle. You have to be a bit more selective with the traction assist handle.

There are no grease zerks for the rear drive wheels - which is a bit of a concern for longevity of the mower. Things seems pretty well built - but the "standard" is more a step up from a Recycler than a Super Recycler. The 3 year warranty sort of confirms that as well. That all said - there is no competition for this size of mower in the residential market - so Toro can charge a premium. I would assume a competitor will show up fairly soon - which may drive the price down closer to the 800-900 range where it probably belongs.

Next on the list.....consideration of a blade upgrade (next year). I have read a few comments the TurfMaster blades are better than the "atomic" blades that come with the TimeMaster....I might go that route....especially once I see how it works in the fall with some clean-up bagging/mulching. I have not been able to find any other blade options.....maybe in a year or 2 "Gator" will have something.....loved the Gator on my Lawnboy.

This post was edited by jimbosc on Tue, Jun 18, 13 at 16:09

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 4:02PM
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Well - bad news - the tranny blew last night on my 4th time using the TM30. Took it to the Toro dealer this morning and he confirmed the tranny is blown. He said Toro sent out a service bulletin that some TM30s have gears that were not hardened properly (and will fail). Not all mowers effected (batch of bad parts) - but they don't know the serial numbers impacted. Apparently it fails pretty quick. Mine was the first TM30 with the issue my dealer has seen - they are replacing the entire tranny so I hope this takes care of it. I need the serial number to find the details on Toro's web site (and I don't have it since the mower is at the shop).

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 3:18PM
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I found the serial number in the sales receipt. Nothing found on Toro's site. Hope the dealer was not feeding me a line of BS. If it pops a tranny every few weeks....well I guess I might have to figure out something else,

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 4:38PM
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'There are no grease zerks for the rear drive wheels'

I haven't looked at one but my guess is they are using the other system without the clutch pack wheel adjuster. With this system you pull the rear wheels, clean the drive gear with internal ratchet and grease it up along with the wheel gear, axle bolt and sheave bearing. Just like most Toro rear-drive mowers today. I like the spray white lithium grease for the axle-end gear because the straw extension fits into the center hole in the axle. You blast the liquid grease (the liquid is a solvent) and it cleans and lubes at once. This is all based on an assumption so proceed accordingly.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 7:56PM
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This what the repair receipt says: "Found pulley on transmission with roll pin out and pulley center melted and egged out. Replaced tranny" All done under warranty - took it in on a Saturday and had it back by Thursday (and mowed that evening). Seems to be working fine. Another guy helped me with pick-up and said he had not seen a TimeMaster back for a warranty issue.....hopefully I have a "good" one installed now.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 5:33PM
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I have had this for just over a year now. Mine, too, had a bad transmission. It seemed to be getting less and less able to propel itself. Upon taking it in, my dealer also told me it was a faulty transmission and Toro knew about it, so it got replaced with a new one under warranty. Also had both cables break (at different times). I think this is a very good machine when it is running. It is very quick and the wider cut definitely saves time. I would only recommend this product if it is now being made with a better transmission.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 12:22AM
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I bought a TimeCutter 30 in spring of '12 for 1/4 acre lot. After three months, had starting problems for this non-electric start model. The rope would pull out 1/2 way, and stop, and gas would spew out of the front of the engine. Eventually the mower would usually start. Toro said it was bad gas, which seems to be a stock answer when a machine is still in warranty. My other Toro, five Stihl machines and edger didn't complain about gas, though. Eventually had to buy a new carb, on my own dime. Never did buy that story about bad gas.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 3:09PM
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I have had one for 2 years - it is a pos!!!

Serviced 3 times
1. found particles in the gas tank that they said was from contaminated gas - this was BS!! they rebuilt the carbuator as a result of the particles leading to the damage
2. fuel line under the air cleaner leaked
3. Now the gas cap leaks while it is running - it oozes out under the cap - gas cap replaced plus they said you should not fill it up all of the way -I have done this and it still leaks!!!

Toro customer service is horrible!!!!!!!! all they say is "take it to an authorized dealer"!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 11:34PM
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Update Summer 2014
- There is a recall on the TM30 for a blade issue - I took it in and had it serviced earlier this year. I was not notified by Toro - saw it online
- I ran into the gas cap issue as well - hit an A/C unit on the side of my house rather gently and it broke/leaked
- New gas cap fixed it - but it does leak a bit occasionally when I fill the tank to the max - which I like to do so I can get all 3 yards done in one shot.....99% of the time one tank is enough (but it uses the entire tank)
- No other issues - I like how it mows - I had to chop down the hay after the shop had it for 2 weeks in the Spring for the recall.....used the side discharge and it worked well
- I am satisfied with the purchase but wondering how it will hold up over the long term

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 12:03PM
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Jimbosc, it's a good mower. I've got one, too, and I like it. However, I'm not sure you'll get nine years out of it like you did with your 20038.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 7:58PM
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