California Trimmer front throw mower (now eastman)

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Cloud9Landscapes, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. Cloud9Landscapes

    Cloud9Landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ca
    Posts: 546


    I am considering purchasing a California trimmer front throw reel for hybrid Bermuda, Zoysia, Paspalum, and other stolonus growth grasses. I currently own a tru-cut 25 inch and it is what I would consider a very well made mower. However, it is wearing out. I am curious in the new Eastman mowers/cal trimmer mowers. They seem just as good if not better made than the tru-cut, they can cut closer than the tru-cut, the roller drive is nice (doesn't peel-out), and trimmer has been made for a very long time. My grandfather has owned a 20" home owner model trimmer for many, many, many years and it is still living and still cuts nicely. What are your feelings on this mower? Would you go tru-cut or trimmer? I get the feeling I'm comparing Toyota and Nissan...



  2. GLlawncare

    GLlawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 90

    They are nice, although I don't know about height adjustment, I think you take a bolt out of each side for the front wheels. If you use the self propel, it just takes off very fast.
  3. Merkava_4

    Merkava_4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,280

    I have pretty strong feelings about this mower. California Trimmer has been around since 1938 before selling the business to Eastman Industries recently. Before being bought up by Eastman, they were always made here in Fresno, CA. My Grandfather bought one in 1942 and I have it now. The mower frame is made of heavy gage steel and has outlasted several engines. Some of the structural frame members are as thick as 3/8 of an inch, solid mild steel.

    I have 5 of these mowers including one commercial 25" that I'm restoring. They were made in a Home Owner 20 inch, a Heavy Duty 20 inch, and a 25 inch Heavy Duty Commercial. The only difference between the Home Owner model and the Heavy Duty model is the clutch mechanism -- the Heavy Duty model and Commercial model uses all chains and an automotive type clutch disc, to where as the Home Owner model uses a combination of chains and belts using a belt and pulley arrangement for the blade and clutch drive .

    The blade and drive wheel are engaged at the same time by the lever on the upper left, and then you lower the drive wheel onto the turf by the T handle lever in the middle.

    The commercial model in the picture of the first post has a lever at the lower right side of the mower -- that's the blade hight adjustment -- you have a choice of 8 height settings.

    These mowers are primarily used for a Bermuda turf cut to a short length of 3/4 inch.

    I should say that I haven't used an Eastman produced Trimmer yet, but I suspect the quality is the same has when Trimmer was California Trimmer. They changed the paint scheme from a Fidel Castro green to more of a darker gloss green metallic. The very first color from 1938 was a U.S. Army Jeep green.

    By the way, I was planning on lurking on this site forever, but this thread has brought me out of the woodwork.
  4. Cloud9Landscapes

    Cloud9Landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ca
    Posts: 546

    Thank you for the input! I am going to use this mower to try to pick up some accounts, I own one of the 20" homeowner models that I am restoring too. Hahaha "Fidel Castro green" That's an accurate example. I would use the homeowner model, but the 20" cut and the clutch is not the best for daily use. I'm excited for this fall when I can buy the Eastman! The Honda gx160 is a big plus, I also like how low you can go with one of these. I will be cutting Bermuda and SeaDwarf Paspalum with this mower.


    Corey Thumbs Up
  5. Merkava_4

    Merkava_4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,280

    You're very welcome :)

    If you have anymore questions, just ask.

    PS. Eastman is not currently producing the home owner model; so if you need parts, get them while you can.
  6. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    I have both Tru-cuts and Trimmers and some old Pro Masters too, my personal favorite.

    Big adjustment going from the Tru-cut to the Trimmer. You are used to pushing down on the handles of the T/C's to turn, and you do that with the Trimmer and it will take off on you due to the rear drive roller.

    The trimmer is all or none on the self propelled part unless you want to steer with one hand and hold that t handle with the other, so its much more difficult to control the speed. Unlike the thumb control on the Tru-cut.

    I have 2-25" trimmers in great condition I will sell if you want them :laugh: that's my opinion.
  7. Merkava_4

    Merkava_4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,280

    You're entitled to your opinion, but I can't figure out what you're talking about. I never hold onto the T- handle until I'm ready to raise or lower the drive wheel, which is at the beginning and end of a row.

    Most of the time I have my right hand on the left side of the handle as I walk along the left side of the machine. When I'm almost at the end of a row and it's about time to turn around, I grab the T-handle and let the mower keep propelling itself forward and let it pull the drive wheel lever back on its own -- then I flick it around and start the next row. Those Trimmers are extremely agile, well balanced, and maneuverable; it's like a hand tool that fits your hand real well.
  8. Grnhed

    Grnhed LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    I dont mean to hi-jack this thread as I am a brand new fan of a Cal Trimmer I picked up recently. I would be VERY interested in the two 25" that you would not hesistate to sell.
  9. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    $800 for the pair includes catchers, you pay for shipping.
  10. Grnhed

    Grnhed LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    Ohhhhhhh, I didnt think you were that hot on Trimmers? That seems a little proud of them to me.

    1.How old?
    2.Any pics?
    3.Can you take a pic of how much reel is left before the rivets on the spyder? Just so I know how much life is left to grind.
    4.B&S or Honda?

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