California Trimmer front throw mower (now eastman)

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

  1. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    I emailed Eastman the other day and was told they are currently making the 25" Commercial and plan to add the 20" soon...not sure if its going to be the Commercial 20" or the homeowner, but I think they are now manufactured in NC.
  2. dave k

    dave k LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,177

    Some people prefer to set up a reel using 2 sheets of paper and having the reel cut only one of them, I used this method on my reels and really didn't care for the cut.
    I used feeler gauges on my JD 2653 tri plex per the manual, but still prefer to just use a sheet of paper and if it cuts it, it is set.
    This is what I do on my Locke as well, I've owned Tru Cuts, Legacy which is a Cal Trimmer and the Locke, for Bermuda they all cut very good, I prefer the Locke because you can take loose the link and have the head float over un even yards, Bermuda looks best cut at .50" to .75 inches, the turf is nice and tight and it forces the Bermuda to grow out than up.
    If you prefer the stripe look, cut it at 1" to 1.25"
    All 3 above don't cut Emerald very good, let me explain, it cuts it fine, however you CAN NOT keep a straight line! The Emerald is so thick the reel doesn't touch dirt and it slides all over the place. Now on Bermuda the reel will touch dirt and you will get a perfect straight line.
    When I use my Walker on the Emerald it also likes to slide over the turf.
    I use a JD Greensmower tri plex and love the cut.
    What ever you do, I recommend top dressing your lawn, I use river sand, but its best to use Erth Food along with the sand or some top soil to really amend the soil. There's plenty of Treads on it, plenty of good info fro AZ.
    That's my 2 cents worth.
    Spring is here finally and the Emerald is beginning to green up!
  3. Cloud9Landscapes

    Cloud9Landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ca
    Messages: 558

    I am AMAZED in the amount of response to this thread! Usually reel's are the subject that is forgotten, glad to see I'm not the only one interested and in awe of there performance. I'm not sure if I neglected to mention this, but I have owned a 20 inch cal trimmer that I inherited from my GRANDFATHER for a few years now, it is a 5 blade 20 inch home owner and even it cuts better than any other rotary mower out there. It was manufactured sometime right after WWII and is still kicking just fine, on it's second engine now. I have a 25" tru-cut that I keep at one of my rental properties, too bulky to haul around and stays there. I like the tru-cut except the thin reel and the operation assemblies. I have also owned a POS King O' Lawn reel mower that I got for free, not that great of a mower but still cut decent. Sold it for 70 bucks on Craigslist.

    Txgrassguy: First off let me say I honestly believe you know your stuff VERY well. And I thank you for your input. That is very interesting from what I've heard about the different techniques of sharpening the reel, all I knew about was had grinding (what they do at my local shop). I understand that you are supposed to backlap about once every three months, a golf course super would tell you more often but I'm dealing with a lawn, not a green. The machine I'm thinking of buying is a solid, commercial, machine, I have looked it over and they DO NOT SKIMP. I'm a member of and I wish some of the guys on there knew more about their machines, seems they skimp in some aspects of machine maintenance and try to take the cheap way out. It's a good website for green construction and maintenance info however.

    Everyone else: Thank you for your info as well. To me it sounds like Eastman/Cal Trimmer is preferred by those who grew up using one, like me. It also seems the Eastman is better for those maintaining a smaller plot of turf, 3,000 sqf or less. While the Tru-cut is preferred by those maintaining a large plot of turf. Probably due to the fact the Tru-Cut comes with a sulky option and/or the ground speed is faster. The Eastman will cut lower than the Tru-Cut, but the Tru-cut has a on-the-fly height adjustment, which is very convenient. The Eastman comes with a roller option which is a matter of personal preference, but I find the roller to be gentle and makes a nice striping pattern. The frames seem about the same quality as do the drive components, but I do like Eastman's reel better.

    The bottom line? I think I will like the Eastman, lighter than the tru-cut, well balanced, good quality reel, been around for ages. The quality has seemed to actually improved since Eastman took over. Some changes I noted are the fact the reel blades are welded to the spider vs. riveted, and the chain fr the roller is #41 chain vs. cheap light duty chain. The color is darker green as noted before. I also like the fact there is a 200 dollar rebate on the Eastman's through April. I have a neighbor that is also a landscaper who owns a Eastman reel and I might go talk to him before I buy a Eastman. The unit's are pretty pricey, but man are they nice.
  4. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    Just for your information Cloud9, the Eastman is on the fly height adjustment now and you can get a roller for any of them, even a TruCut or a McClane, and as far as I can tell the TruCut will cut lower than the Eastmans...3/8" vs 1/2".

    So any machine you choose will be a good choice.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

  6. dave k

    dave k LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,177

    Can't get a roller on a Locke. :)
  7. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    I thought your Locke had a roller?
  8. dave k

    dave k LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,177

    The roller I was talking about is the drop down driver roller drive wheel, My Locke has a roller in front and back.
    I thought you were discussing the drive system, the Trimmers have the drop down drive wheel like the Mclaines and also the Tru Cut also has that model.
    Just mis understood what you were discussing.:dizzy:
  9. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    Yes, I meant a front roller, not a drive roller.

    Of the three, TruCut, McClane and Eastman/Trimmer/Legacy/PeactreeMower (Clones) you can get rollers for the front, of the 3 only 1 is roller drive and that is the Eastman and Clones. It appears a McClane is some sort of combination of the Eastman roller drive and the TruCut wheel drive.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010
  10. Grnhed

    Grnhed LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    Dont we need to start this thread up again? This was fun and I need to get my Cal Trimmer out and tinker with it anyway.

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