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Customer wanting Lawn Cut at 1.5

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by longislandlawn, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,994

    It relieves me to know that you are in good hands. A number of golf mechanics have bought into the zero contact no relief method of reel maintenance. I am not saying it won't work. It just does not work for lawn height bermuda and zoysia not cut every day. Most of the local shops here have bought into that or they think that backlapping and relief grinding is not needed since they put the reel on a $25,000 computerized spin grinder. Spin grinding is only for truing the reel back into a straight sided cylinder. Cutting edge maintenance is done with backlapping and relief grinding. When you have nothing better to do, read this, I am not pulling what I say out of my azz. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...NmhB6o6itwzQx49hg&sig2=gw4vIXn6vhGKZKmYXb8tCQ
  2. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    Is it practical to install brackets and outfit the McLane mower with a Weihle roller? Sure seems like that would help it do a better job. I looked at the front view on their web site and saw the small wheels. I do not have a good understanding of what the back end rides on.

    Bet the OP's customer never dreamed they would stir things up to this extent. We may be able to get that yard down to 1 1/2" yet.
  3. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    Greendoctor, if I understand this right you are relieved that the reel is relief ground? :)
  4. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,353

    The OP doesn't have anything close to what I've gotten myself into.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,353

    This guy does things pretty old school with his tools and jigs. His reply was "the closest thing to 25,000 dollar grinder is thats half his salary".:usflag:
  6. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,538

    I think any kind of front roller would be an improvement over those silly caster wheel's. You can get a solid roller from Mclane but instead of spending money on those lightweight unit's people ought to get a better mower like Toro, Jac or JD. $500 seems to be pretty common for a used unit and that's a good price considering they cost close to $5000 new. Lot's of golf course's have them or you can look here.

  7. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,994

    If the blades are ground one at a time, then backlapped, then they are being relief ground. :
    :Thumbs Up: There is a grinder company based in England selling the No relief grind thing. I am not impressed with a mower that is totally dull and pulling at the grass in one week's time needing to go back to be reground at a shop. I can see a mower needing a backlap in 2 weeks and a full regrind in a year. The shops that spin grind only sell a lot of replacement McLane and Tru-Cut reels. Those jobs are not cheap either. Think around $500-600. A mower that is backlapped and not spin ground excessively can be on its original reel for a long time. Spin grind only and the reel lasts 2 years if you are lucky.
  8. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,994

    The retired golf super at the lawn bowling green I treat described how his golf mechanic welded a Weihle roller to where the casters were supposed to be. It worked great. The other fault of the McLane reel mower is plastic wheels with a rubber skin on them. The rear of the mower has a chain driven roller that is the drive mechanism. When that is dropped on the ground by throwing a lever and the deadman belt clutch is engaged, the mower goes forward. Like a greensmower, the clip rate is matched to the travel speed. Simple, but highly effective. People that know their grass say that a McLane in good condition mows better than a Tru-Cut. Tru-Cut mowers will allow severe mismatches of travel speed and clip rate. The fact that there is no roller at all makes Tru-Cut mowers extremely sensitive to defects in the ground.

    I am in the process of modifying a McLane so it has a front grooved metal roller and the side rear plastic wheels are replaced with a roller. Height adjustment will be via both the front and back. Micrometer bolts, not the lever held in place with a spring. There are places where I cannot get my Greensmaster into, but the stock McLane leaves much to be desired as far as the ability to track the ground and maintain a level cut. I already replaced the front casters with a concrete filled pipe roller, but the side rear wheels are garbage. They make it impossible to set a height and maintain it. The Greensmaster will cut a less than pool table flat lawn without leaving gouges, scalp lines or areas of thick grass in depressions.

    Get that yard down to 11/2'? Sure can. Convert it to all KBG, put in a full irrigation system, and you have to be the one treating it. Not some $5 per 1000 outfit throwing urea. I still wonder how I would adapt to a cool season area. Mowing high and no irrigation is so foreign to me.
  9. Bagit

    Bagit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 200

    Yup. I have to agree this is the most likeliest scenario.
  10. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    My mention of 1 1/2" was only a nod to the topic police. I know we're on another planet now.

    The discussion about spin grinding and truing cone shaped reels merits a plug for becoming expert at adjusting the reel-to-bedkife evenly from side to side. Even small differences caused by someone with one hand much stronger than the other and an undeveloped sense of touch can, with daily adjustments, quickly cause reels to get pretty far out of shape.

    Thank you for the explanation of how the rear drive works on the McLane, greendoctor. I am sure the modifications you are making will, as you say, make the machine track much better. I am having trouble understanding how or why HOC adjustments will be made via both the front and rear roller. Is that so that you will have a greater overall range of available HOC? I have only ever set height on machines where the rear roller is fixed. It can be difficult enough, sometimes, matching height from one side of the front roller to the other. I used to explain it as being like a bad haircut where one side gets cut too short, then the other side can only get fixed by making it too short, back and forth etc. With the roller adjustment at least you can keep adjusting back and forth without actually cutting anything too sort - but some days if you've had too much coffee or are thinking about something else it can take a few minutes.

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