Reel mower mowing height

Discussion in 'Sports Field Management' started by dbsoccer, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. dbsoccer

    dbsoccer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    For the typical gang reel mower used for mowing sports fields, what height can you mow at? Can you mow 3"?

    I know playing on a turf at 3" would be less than ideal but I'm just wondering about the capability of the equipment.

    I'd like to have a reel mower for my home lawns but I don't see them any more designed for residential. Does anyone know on a small commericial reel mower that would work for a residential application?
  2. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I use Tru-Cuts 25" and 27"and you could not cut at 3" with them. Maybe 1"-1.5" tops. I have never used a gang reel so I can't speak to their cutting height..
  3. dave k

    dave k LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,177

    Check out the Locke's and Trimmer Brand.
  4. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    It's been a long time since I pulled gang mowers. Undoubtedly they have improved. 25 years ago at a true 3" height the gang unit would lay the grass down pretty thoroughly. You would cut grass, but somewhere up the leaf from the height you had set. If you cut and then cut a second direction you could probably get an acceptable cut for a sports field at that height. I would think it could work out really well for you if you had several in a row to do such as a soccer complex.
  5. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    First of all gang type reel mowers may easily cut at heights beyond 3".
    Personally, I had a 12' wide gang set up mowing C3 non irrigated rough in NE PA on a golf course I maintained at 4" true height of cut as viewed through a prism.
    Bear in mind the larger the gang unit, the heavier the tractor has to be to get the gang set up moving/turning/stopping.
    I would stay away from the non commercial ground powered reel mowers as their gear construction/bed knife set up is very fragile and not meant to operate at sustained temperatures common to mowing larger areas.
    I suggest checking out utility tri-plex machinces like a Toro 216, a Jacobeson or Ransomes comparable unit. A decent used machine will cost close to a decent used gang set up and the tri-plex is much more maneuverable than a tractor/gang set up.
    Regardless, the actual blade count on the reel assembly itself will dictate at what height the reel performs best. 5 to 7 blade reels are best at heights from 4" down to approximately 2". 9 to 11 blade reels are best at +- 3" down to as low as they will go.
    There are many more facets to reel mowers and I don't have the time to explain all of the differences but this should get you started.

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