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Used tru-cut, good price???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by frost, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. frost

    frost LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    I'm looking at a tru-cut reel mower, 5.5hp engine, 7 blades, 25" width blade, used mower. I have to get a reel mower for a lawn I mow and wanted some opinions on if this is a good buy. Also, what should I inspect when I go to look at the mower? Thanks
  2. dave k

    dave k LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,178

    How old is it, it sounds like a homeowner model, please give moe info.
    What turf are you planning on cutting? If Emerald Zoysia I would use a Trimmet Brand or the tru cut with the drop down wheel, but for Bermuda it is ok.
  3. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    If it's for "a" lawn you mow, I'd make sure you'll be adding more reel-cut lawns and charging accordingly.

    With reel mowers the cost isn't in the machine, it's the cost and time to lap the blades and the much slower pace of cutting.

    I've bought machines over the years for specific properties thinking I'd use it elsewhere and usually regretted the purchase. Sometimes it's better to just pass on a job and stick to the most cost effective niche'.
  4. frost

    frost LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    To answer everyone's questions:
    1. It is the pro model, I don't know how old it is, is there a way to tell?
    2. The turf is bermuda

    Also brucec32 what is lapping on the blades?
  5. mowerknower

    mowerknower LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 766

    Need more info to get you a price. They sell for just under 2k new with a honda. You really should have a tech look at it and give you an Idea what its worth. Its important to inspect the reel and knife, the clutch and the differnential on these mowers.
    Lapping is when you spin the reel backwards and apply a lapping compound to sharpen the blades. Tru cuts are very fussy and you will most likely need a pro to get it right or you will have a "streaking" problem
  6. frost

    frost LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    what is "streaking"?
  7. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,896

    Something college kids do across a football field:nono:
  8. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,083

    Frost, these tru-cut mowers are extremely difficult to grind properly.
    The reel is an integral part of the mower frame along with the bedknife so any hard
    drops often causes uneven wear to both the bedknife and reel. The lapping one poster wrote about is a maintenance process meant to restore the reel to bedknife relationship. What you have to know about reel mowers is the reel will wear away altering the reel to bedknife relationship beyond what lapping can restore. This is why grinding, usually once a year is necessary unless you have cranged the mower some how.
    The cost to grind a mower like this is often 2 - 3 times what a 25" reel mower would cost.
    I charge $150.00 up to 23", $175.00 to 27" and $225.00 up to 38" reels to grind but the customer has to remove the bed bar first or I get $50 to R/R the bed bar after I have ground the bedknife.
    After grinding several tru-cuts I simply won't accept one in my shop for less than $350.00 as they are that hard to set up on a spin grinder. Also bear in mind I have been in the profession as a Agronomist for about 20 years and spent many years as a Golf Course Superintendent during which I have ground literally countless reels.
    A better bet for you is to look into the Hayter Harriet mower marketed by Seagro or Seagrove out of Florida.
    This is a 21" reel mower designed to mow to as low as 1/2" which is lower than a seven bladed reel can go, has a wonderful striping roller rear drive mechanism, has a collection bag and best of all has a simple rotary blade that is easy to remove, grind/balance and replace.
    The only reason why you would have to mow with a reel mower is if the turf site has rapid undulations in it otherwise the Hayter is a better choice.
    The chances are the customer wants a reel mower used more for bragging rights and since the C4 turf you are mowing doesn't really stripe all that well to begin with or maintain the stripe, the customer probably doesn't know what they are talking about.
    Besides, from your comments you do not understand reel mowers and the idiosyncrasies associated with operating one.
  9. dave k

    dave k LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,178

    I would look into the Locke reels, can't beat them. I have the C 125

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