California Trimmer front throw mower (now eastman)

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

  1. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    Then go back and re-read all of my posts in this thread where I SPECIFICALLY stated each machines were run against the others.
    Also you are completely incorrect about how a reel mower operates. First there is no anvil, just a reel that feeds the turf tissue with the rear of the blade across a BED KNIFE which cuts the turf tissue.
    When I conducted my mower trials all of the units were compared to each other and a Hiayter on both C4 turf that was actively growing then C4 turf over seeded with C3 turf.
    Height of cut varied between 1" to .5" depending upon the site, and the leaf tissue was examined under a optical prism to:
    1. Confirm accuracy of bench height verse field height of cut.
    2. Examine the turf condition immediately prior to then after mowing
    3. The ability of the machine being tested to mow through:
  2. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    Alright - I am not aware of what happened to my response so I'll try again.

    leaf debris, over irrigation heads, toys and other man made crap on the turf (like those amazingly small fischer price chinese plastic toys that are hard to see yet very dense)dog crap.

    The only reel mower which passed this series of tests was my control mower, and old National 84" tri-plex that has reels hard enough to compress krypton. Since it had no front roller is cut everything and really flung the dog crap too.

    However this machine is meant for acreage, not sites under 10,000 sq ft.

    Additionally, utilizing both an optical prism and an emoscope there was no difference in appearance of the leaf tissue that was either sufficient to warranty sole operation of a reel mower nor was disease contributing at one and three day intervals.

    I will not get into the cultural practices all of these sites were subjected to prior to commencing this mower trial. My results were:
    The Hiayter was much more cost efficient to operate in terms of - speed since it was finished faster, was not damaged by debris to the extent the other reel mowers were, operator maintenance was easier (simply un-bolt one blade an change out with a freshly sharpened/balanced blade) striped as well due to the rear roller, bagged the debris much better and in terms of labor costs was the clear winner in fine turf mowing at the h.o.c. indicated.
  3. Grnhed

    Grnhed LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    Sorry man, your wrong again. There is no such thing as a bed knife. That and other terms referring to the anvil in ANY FIXED CUTTING SITUATION is nothing more than slang handed down for years and years. Its often referred to with many different names but, just like that pig with lipstick on, its still a pig.
    Now, just because a man hangs a shingle on his porch, says he's a house painter and has been painting houses for TWENTY YEARS, doesnt make him a good house painter. It makes him an EXPERIENCED and probably a literate house painter. But, that alone does not make him an accomplished or talented house painter.
  4. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    Nope - access any parts schematic on-line and attempt to locate the part entitled "anvil" on a reel mower.
    Quite simply it doesn't exist.
    Now search for either "bed knife" or "bed bar assembly".

    Additionally you are quite incorrect regarding the reference that a reel mower operates in a "fixed cutting" situation.

    Now, if you can - in the off chance - locate a reputable schematic that lists an "anvil" for a commercially spec'd reel mower I'll be the first to redact my previous comments.
  5. Grnhed

    Grnhed LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    -Additionally you are quite incorrect regarding the reference that a reel mower operates in a "fixed cutting" situation. -

    just read the words on the post, I did not reference a reel mower, I referenced an anvil, and I will use your term because thats how we all refer to it, bed knife, a bed knife in any FIXED cutting situation. The "bed knife" is in a fixed position as it is bolted to a "BED" and in and of itself, not readily available for adjustment. Is it adjustable? You bet it is. Anytime you get down to using feeler gauge stock or refer to measurements in microns, even though on that particular piece of equipment there may be no "adjustments" to make. There is ALWAYS enough slop in the bolt holes, or the threads of the bolts, or the threads of the anvil bead, to "make an adjustment.
    One would read any reputable schematic and read the term "bed knife" because I am correct in stating that, for years and years that term has been handed down, and as such, will obviously be referred to as one in the same. We all use the term because, we all use the term. If Mr. Bed Knife himself way back in the Spring of 1492 started calling it a "wingnut" we would all refer to it as a wingnut today and not bat an eye.
    The act of shearing must have a MINIMUM of two intruments. If you want to call it a pig with lipstick on, that's fine.
    Now, who's next?

    KFLAWN LawnSite Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 228

    I love this site. everyone is always looking to pick apart something or someone.. these mower look pretty cool though. never used one, but would like one
  7. Cloud9Landscapes

    Cloud9Landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ca
    Messages: 558

    I eventually bought a Eastman reel mower and have been happy with it thus far, I don't maintain enough bermuda to put it through the paces but after I redo a couple of lawns they will be established with Hybrid Bermuda and they will be maintained with the Eastman. Both the Tru-cut and Cal trimmer have their advantages. For instance, the drive roller on the cal trimmer can be rough on grass that has not been well established, where as the Tru-cuts weight can be rough and the swiveling casters really offer no real advantage, I always keep mine locked.

    txgrassguy is correct, the proper terminology is "Bed knife" go ask anybody at a mower shop or a superintendent what a "Reel anvil" is and you will get confused looks, it is a bed knife.

    I'm still not convinced that the hayter harrier will provide a clean cut in the long run, a rotary blade will dull much faster than a reel that is properly setup. And by properly setup I mean 1/1000 of a inch between the reel and the bedknife. You could use two feeler gauges for this on each end of the reel.

    In conclusion, I would like to say that I still prefer the Eastman Cal Trimmer over the tru-cut in terms of construction and ergonomics. The Tru-cut has a cheap clutch assembly and there are way to many zerks. If I had the money and enough lawns to maintain in my area that were Bermuda, I would have bought a Locke. If you look in the "Post pictures of Bermuda lawns" thread you will find the lawns that are cut by Locke reels are incredibly nice. The floating reel that contours to the surface is found almost exclusively on greens mowers and high quality fairway mowers is found on the Locke. But I could have 3 cal trimmers for the price of one locke.

    If you get the lawn level enough and keep a sharp reel, you could keep a lawn looking really good with a entry level reel, cultural practices and proper equipment maintenance is far more important than the mower you use.
  8. Grnhed

    Grnhed LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    *grinnin*, I'm with you my friend, this is just like a pot of homemade chili. You stir it, walk away for hours and its different every time. I just love to stir the pot.

    *tips his lid*
  9. Grnhed

    Grnhed LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    nahhhh.... I dont think I would ever ask anybody about a reel anvil either. I stated it was the terminology and that we ALL refer to it as a bed knife. That doesn't make it one.
    You are correct though that the proper terminology is bed knife. Now go ask a tool maker, about.... bout them Cowboys?!?!?

    HH-life is good
  10. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    From the first Worthington reel mower made in the late 1800's to present the assembly containing the bed knife has always been referred too as a bed bar assembly.

    Some reel mowers have fixed bed bar assemblies, some rely upon the reel itself to be moved.

    Some of the earlier JD reel mowers had a floating reel that required continual adjustment, same with the Tru-Cut/Eastman, California trimmer - all had fixed bed bar assemblies. Essentially all commercial reel mowers now utilize a concentric bolt assembly or four pivot points to move the bed bar up/down, side to side and front/rear to achieve the proper set-back.

    Regarding mounting the bed knife to the bed bar, I have never seen nor heard of "slop" in these bolt holes. Once the new knife is mounted to the bed bar a hand impact wrench/hammer is used to firmly tighten the knife to the bed bar. No wiggle room at all.

    I have seen sprung frames (out of square) on especially the McClane and Tru-cut/Cal trimmers which made accurate reel to bedknife adjustment virtually impossible - which is why when quoting reel grinding prices these mowers will cost as much as 300% more to spin grind and relieve properly.

    For instance, say you have a Toro series 5 greens mower, eleven blade reel and want the reel ground. Typical cost if you remove the bed bar assembly is around $125.00 with the new bedknife being squared to the bed bar prior to re-assembly. Parts not included.

    Show up with a floating reel mower like the McClane/Tru-cut and I will first closely examine the reel assembly for square. If it passes inspection then the price for a grind/relief with a new bedknife starts at $250.00. If the frame is not square and sufficient clearance exists on the reel figure t least an additional $75.00. Even on a Foley Dual Express instead of my Neary 180 squaring these machines to the grinder takes a good forty-five minutes of constant tweaking due to the rear drive wheels not being uniform in size. Plus, the bed bar assembly is an integral stressed part of the frame which requires removal for grinding clearance so now you have to allow for frame distortion as well. Figure in at least thirty minutes for dis-assembly and initially mount on the grinder. Then a good thirty minutes more of dicking around squaring the reel to the grinder, maybe twenty minutes to grind then a good four-five minutes for re-assembly and clearance adjustment. A good 2 to maybe 2 and a half hours to grind.

    This is why I so dislike these mowers, not from their quality of cut but their difficulty in truing for an accurate grind and relief.

    Bear in mind even a "cheap" grinder like my Neary cost over $10,000 when new. A Land Pride or Foley Dual Express without the cabinet or computer controls runs around $35,000 to start. Used my Neary is still worth over $5,000 and I haven't seen a Land Pride or Foley in decent shape for less than $12,000 in over fifteen years. Add in the cost for a bedknife grinder or attachments to convert the spin grinder like I can on my Neary for $400 and now you can see why grinding is so expensive.

    Inexpensive reel mowers more than make up for their cheap cost in terms of additional labor to grind properly.

    When I conducted my mower trials back in 2002-2003 I took all of this maintenance criteria into consideration when evaluating use and cost of operation. I was surprised at how well the Hiayter performed especially when factoring in the cost to maintain.

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