Toro Complaint - Home Depot/MTD/Toro are in it for the money!
BLOOMINGTON, MINNESOTA -- I never bothered talking to the local Toro dealer before I went to Home Depot and bought my LX460 back in 2006. Big mistake!
I knew there had to be some difference in the quality of mowers because Home Depot was able to sell the same mower for $1,000 less than my local dealer. When you added in the interest free financing it was a no-brainer. The trouble didn't start right away since I only used it for half the summer of 2006. It mowed fine through 2007 as well. And then in 2008 I lost my first belt. No big deal...go to Home Depot and get another one. Home Depot does not carry replacement belts for the mowers it sells. The guy in the department said I could buy one that was close and it would be fine. The replacement belt lasted about two cuts of my 1.4 acre lot. Replaced the belt again and it lasted even less. Decided to hire someone to come in and re-grade my lawn to take some of the bumps out of it and didn't mow again the summer of 2008. In 2009 I hired a lawn service because I tore up another belt the first mow of the season and could not deal with the problem due to family issues. Decided to try again this spring and lost another belt 30 minutes into the first mow of the season. Finally decided to call Toro because of the belt eater I had bought. Was told that the warranty was for 2 years or 80 hours, whichever comes first. Since it was 4 years old I was out of luck. Forget that I only had about 40 hours on it.
Toro had me bring it to an authorized dealer who told me that my pulleys were rusted and pitted because I did not use the mower ENOUGH. They said that regular mowing actually keeps the pulleys polished. I guess it makes some sense, but I decided to talk to someone who has been fixing mowers for 30 years.
He said that MTD uses a thinner gauge steel that is prone to misalignment. Seems that if you weld some extra steel on in certain spots of the deck, it won't bend and therefore eat belts. Toro claims it is because of lack of use when it is really cheap construction. Toro will deny any out of warranty claims automatically because they no longer even make their own riding mowers. Stay away from anything sold at Home Depot or manufactured by MTD. Toro used to stand for quality. Forget that now.
One last note that was brought to my attention. Everyone today is out to make a buck. Toro riding mowers used to sell for $7,000 and last for 20 years. Now they sell for $1,500 and last for 4 years. They are probably still making as much money as before because they are selling more mowers, but their quality reputation is gone.