Using a Gang Reel, GOOD or BAD

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by IronHorse3136, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. IronHorse3136

    IronHorse3136 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    Need some advice. I'm trying to score some big factories and high rent homes that take pride in their properties appearance. I am looking at buying an 8ft gang reel made by ProMow. It sells for $3200. I know that's what big golf courses use, but would it be a waste of money? I'm running a 64" Dixie Chopper and trimmer and blower and edger. I have a 16' tandem trailer and believe I have enough room to haul everything including the gang reel. Also, what is the new trends in mowing in 2005? How many of your clients want bagging, striping, mulching, etc.? Are you selling very many residential contracts? What's the longest commercial contract you've sold? Are you going up on your rates this year? How much? I have been charging an average of $36 every cutting without a contract and I collect on site. I want to grow bigger this year, but not by growing into big debt. I'm open to all advice. So give it to me straight.
     
  2. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    Worst thing about reels is sharpening. You will need to backlap often and if there are any rocks on the lawn they will chip and give you sort of a weird stripe look when they cut. Nothing really wrong with them just understand they need more maintence. Might want to go with a batwing set up or a flail set up instead.
     
  3. IronHorse3136

    IronHorse3136 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    Explain what you mean by batwing or fiail set up. I've seen the huge tractor pull behinds used on golf courses, but I looking at rigs small enough to use on acre lots.
     
  4. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    Flail set ups have independent free swinging knives that are hooked onto a roller that is mounted inside a housing horizontally. As the driveshaft turns(usually from a power take off on a tractor) the vertically hanging blades spin with it. Like swinging something tied to the end of a rope. Centrifugal force keep s the blades in motion but if they strike something it will give way. There are many of these blades but they are cheap and connect with a cotter key in most cases. A bat wing mower in the case I am talking about is a trail type mower with it's own engine on top of it. They make power take off units consisting of several decks made in a triangular fashion as well. I'll name a few companies so you can take a look. http://www.tiger-mowers.com/files/product_gallery/uvfemxeb.jpg should show you the flail knives. Sorry don't have a pic of a batwing type. I'm not rally sure this the proper term for it it guess what i ment was more of the trail type mowers not actaully a batwing type. One last edit found a page with the batwings http://www.ssbtractor.com/page7.html
     
  5. DUSTYCEDAR

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 5,137

    gangs dont do well on un kept grass they dont like beer cans rocks and such
    they r hard to matain and easy to mess up u cant back them up either
    just my thoughts
     
  6. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    Mabe a set up like this would be more helpful to what you wan to do. http://www.agri-fab.com/trailmower45_0305.html Are you planning on towing with the Dixie, a Gator,compact tractor, or your truck? I would think getting the drag reels on and off the trailer without damaging the bedknife would be hard. The drag reels we had at work before they went to flails were set really close to the ground. It would add a lot of efficeny but would take time to get the stuff gingerly off the trailer for each large account and then you're doing resi also? Maybe consider a flex-deck and trail mower? Under the Turf link at top they have a links page for some of these products.
     
  7. IronHorse3136

    IronHorse3136 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    We are wanting to go after three big factories and a community center with the idea of giving them a golf course finish cut. No one that we know of can give this clean of a cut. ProMow explains that they use less fuel and less time using their drag gang reel systems. I have an inside contact with two of the accounts and they stated that it would go over really well with the money men. The system can be dismantled into smaller sections for smaller yards that want the golf course look. I assume that I will be able to ask a higher rate for this type of service. Also I wanted to know what are you charging for each individual service? Are you going up on your rates in 2005?
     
  8. quiet

    quiet LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 720

    Find a ProMow dealer and take a look at the units first.
     
  9. Drew Gemma

    Drew Gemma LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,510

    I have used gang mowers for years on various course that I worked at. One sharpenning is not the problem it is the art of adjusting the pig ears so the bed knife and reel meet properly. It takes time to learn how to do that properly if not done right you get vary nasty streaks in the turf and everyone will notice. They need lots of grease they don't mow tall grass or weeds very well at all. We always mowed every 3 days any more was to hard on the gangs. The one great plus gang mowers cut like nothing else in the rain or when it is wet they mow and that is it. So if they would allow you to mow like that with gangs and you would most likly have to mow twice a week. Plus make sure they spray for weeds. Then you have the cost of gang tires always going bad plus the tractor. If you got any questions send me a message I have a lot of experience with reels.
     
  10. IronHorse3136

    IronHorse3136 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

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