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reel mowers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Acorn, Dec 16, 2002.

  1. Acorn

    Acorn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 110

    Has anyone here used reel mowers for commercial use as part of an environmentally friendly lawn care program?
  2. longviewlawncare

    longviewlawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 298

    i only use them on sports fields. That is the only use i have for them.
  3. Acorn

    Acorn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 110

    I've potentially got a market for people who don't want the noise and polution of moterized mowers. Was considering as a selling point, using regular push reels for small <5000 sq ft lawns.
    I would charge 1.5 times regular rate (or more depending)

    I figure lower maintenance, higher rate, although lower production, may give me a niche :confused:
  4. SDlawndawg

    SDlawndawg LawnSite Member
    Messages: 119

    I know a guy that uses one. Very expensive machine and it breaks down quite a bit. I don't think he maintains it properly. I never looked real close at how well it cuts but from the street, I can tell which lawn he does because the striping it leaves is perfect. It looks like the lawn is "painted." Last I knew, he was trying to sell it. I think it is a Toro? but I'm not sure.

    I think there would be problems with maintaining the reels. My rotary blades can get beat up from rocks, golfballs etc. Just imagine the headaches with reels!!
  5. longviewlawncare

    longviewlawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 298

    there is a lot of maintence even in a manual oush reel. You can not sharpen them just like a rotary blade. everything is presion ground. Daily tightening of reel to bedknife, and if the HOC is going to over about 1-1 1/2 then you are better off with a rotary. This is just my 2 censt from using reel mowers alot. Good luck
  6. Acorn

    Acorn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 110

    Scott's has a reel that cuts as high as 3" (which is what I need in my colder Zone 4. Do reels work at that height? Or will they miss a lot?

  7. longviewlawncare

    longviewlawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 298

    yes they work, at that hieght i perfer a rotary. What types of grass will you be cutting with it?
  8. mklawnman

    mklawnman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 634

    I found an old push type reel mower by a dumpster, ive been told it could be a collectors item. But about reel type mowers, I worked at a golf course for 2yrs and they use reel types for the greens and fairways and approach areas around the greens. The rough is cut by rotary mowers. From what i have experianced i wouldnt use a reel type to cut say a 1acre lot, they do follow the contour of the ground nicely and stripe incredible, but for say 2inches and above reel types will show their downside which is what i mentioned earlier they scalp and leave uneven of cut considering not every lawn is flat as a parking lot. They also dont chop leaves up that well or spread out the clippings that well after being cut. Yes those types of machines are a headache to maintain, watching the mechanic do daily maintenance on the blade height and sharpness. Much quicker with rotary.

    My uncle told me I should find a old beater of a truck put my reel mower in the back along with those scissor type weedeaters from the old days and a broom and shovel and show up at a customers home, charging them the regular price of a mowing. See what they say :D
  9. leeslawncare

    leeslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 649

    got a 1958 model i've been restoreing for on an off the past 2 winters got it for 10 bucks at yard sale .Other than that no ya ! but i'am in a different part of the country than you are .good luck
  10. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    Yes, but not as a 'environmentally friendly' service. I take care of seven acres of soccers fields with a 7' wide reel mower.
    The work this machine performs versus my time in adjusting it, the mower paid for itself much more quickly than my other machines.
    Additionally, I also repair machines similar to these, and yes, like those used on a golf course as well.
    I have never tried to sell an environmetally friendly lawn care service. I have no idea if a niche market exists, particularly when you consider the shape the current economy and markets are in.
    As far as your uncle's comment - I'll bet him, if I pull up in front of a property with my reel mower equipment, and you pull up with your rotary, the turfgrass I cut will be in better shape and look better than yours.
    The only thing a reel mower won't do is bag leaves - so you got me there.

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