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Sports field Reel Mowing

Discussion in 'Sports Field Maintenance' started by CorgiTurf, May 11, 2018.

  1. CorgiTurf

    CorgiTurf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 512

    Hello.

    Anyone out there mowing sports fields with a fairway or 3 cutting unit reelmower?

    I may have an opportunity to do this for the local sports fields I'm already treating.

    I was wondering pricing for this service. Obviously, these machines are costly, high maintenance, and must be adjusted and monitored closely for quality of cut, which I have experience with.

    Pricing per acre for rotary mowing is what? 50-80$ an acre? It would be about 6 acres of sports fields. Mowed at least twice per week. Any of you sports turf guys out there offering this service? whats the "ball park" starting point for this service?
    Thanks, and green grass.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  2. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,806

    Theres a big difference in speed and mowing capacity between fairway units (usually 5-7 reels) and triplexs (3 reels). Triplexs are a lot slower than fairway units and all those machines are slower than rotary mowers.

    I would charge at least 3 times what a rotary mowers time would cost because you would put that much more time in with one. Not to mention what those machines cost. Thats a cadillac service for sure.

    Honestly, a single triplex on any kind of ballfield would be just about too much mowing. I would have to have a fairway unit.
     
    CorgiTurf likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    CorgiTurf

    CorgiTurf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 512

    This is true, I should have been more specific to my situation. I'm looking at mowing 6 to possibly more acres of sports turf. I will be using a Toro 5 reel fairway mower that I will be purchasing used. Probably cutting twice a week. They are wider than a rotary and could get done quicker with a rotary but like we said, high maintenance machines.
     
  4. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,806

    If you are going to buy a used mower make sure the bedknives still have some life left in them. Thats $500 for 5 reels. The reels could be cone shaped and thats a real problem but not very common. Thats $4500 for 5 reels. The reel bearings could be worn out. The hanger arms for the reels themselves are (from Toro) notoriously weak. Be careful, little stuff like that can nickel and dime you right into the poorhouse.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    CorgiTurf

    CorgiTurf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 512

    I already know I'm gonna have to sink 3 k into the cutting units themselves... bedknifes, rollers, etc.

    if 50 an acre for a rotary, then 150 an acre for reel?
     
  6. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,806

    Thats what i would charge. Just think about all the maintenance a big fairway unit needs. It makes all those dollars seem pretty small in the long run. But convincing other people of that is a different story. Good luck.
     
  7. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,676

    they use one of these at the local college. they are usually moving pretty slow.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Todd73

    Todd73 LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Florida
    Messages: 2,583

    We had a Toro 5000-something reel mower at the school I used to work at. Used it for the stadium, baseball, and softball fields. My favorite mower there. Used to have a mobile outfit come in every few months and do the maintence and sharpen all the reels. Big money for those guys.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    CorgiTurf

    CorgiTurf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 512

    We have a local retreat campus that wants to up the game on their sporting facilities. The current company they use said in the contract they would mow the sport fields with a reel mower. They do not. They use the toro rotary 3 deck mower with the rollers.
    While they produce a good quality cut, they aren't quite the reel quality, especially lower heights.
    They want someone to do weed control, fert, and probably reel mow. This is where I'm at
    I can buy a local golf course 5 gang but needs a lot of reel work
    I just would like to figure a reasonable price for mowing with it.
     
  10. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,676

    charge a lot. all of that reel mower stuff is expensive.
     

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