Reels on Hills. A Story of Trepidation.

Warm season grasses like Bermuda, Zoysia, St. Augustine, Centipede & Paspalum
Topic Author
Tony81
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:11 am
Location: Cumming, GA
Grass Type: Bermuda Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 7,000 sq ft
Mower: Back-Powered Craftsman Rotary

Reels on Hills. A Story of Trepidation.

Post by Tony81 »

I'm a rookie to the grass game and could use some talking off the ledge a bit here. I'm in the market for a reel mower but I'm torn on which direction to go for a few reasons. I'm currently cutting this Bermuda 419 lawn with a 21" rotary at about 1.5" which is as low as it can get without scalping - within the next week I'll have to go up again. This lawn was sanded, leveled and reel-mowed in 2016 and 2017 using a Locke reel mower (floating rel assembly model) and the results were simply awesome. I've convinced myself that a floating reel assembly is the way to go because of the undulations and hills on my property. However that basically seems to leave me with getting another Locke (hard to find, seemingly more rare now) and a greens mower with a floating reel (Toro, Jacebson, etc)but the steepness of the hills looks like an accident waiting to happen with a smooth drum roller pushing the mower.

Am I lending too much credit to the floating reel idea? If i need high-traction rubber wheels for these hills should I expect a quality cut out of a Tru-Cut C27 style mower with a fixed reel or would it be recommended to stay with a flexing/floating reel? I'm paralyzed with fear and excited for the journey.

Image

Image

Image
Last edited by Tony81 on Sun Jul 14, 2019 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TN Hawkeye
TLF Supporter
Posts: 2193
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 3:26 pm
Location: East Tennessee
Grass Type: Fescmuda
Lawn Size: 10000
Mower: Toro Timemaster

Re: Reels on Hills. A Story of Trepidation.

Post by TN Hawkeye »

Tony81 wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:26 am
I'm rookie to the grass game and could use some talking off the ledge a bit here. I'm in the market for a reel mower but I'm torn on which direction to go for a few reasons. I'm currently cutting this Bermuda 419 lawn with a 21" rotary at about 1.5" which is as low as it can get without scalping - within the next week I'll have to go up again. This lawn was sanded, leveled and reel-mowed in 2016 and 2017 using a Locke reel mower (floating rel assembly model) and the results were simply awesome. I've convinced myself that a floating reel assembly is the way to go because of the undulations and hills on my property. However that basically seems to leave me with getting another Locke (hard to find, seemingly more rare now) and a greens mower with a floating reel (Toro, Jacebson, etc)but the steepness of the hills looks like an accident waiting to happen with a smooth drum roller pushing the mower.

Am I lending too much credit to the floating reel idea? If i need high-traction rubber wheels for these hills should I expect a quality cut out of a Tru-Cut C27 style mower with a fixed reel or would it be recommended to stay with a flexing/floating reel? I'm paralyzed with fear and excited for the journey.

Image

Image

Image
That’s a steep hill in the second picture. Kudos for mowing up and down. My question isn’t lawn related. How the hell do you get that truck in the garage without taking the mirrors off?
I may not have the best lawn and I may not have a clue what I’m doing but that’s pretty much all I have to say.

User avatar
jayhawk
Posts: 1023
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:49 pm
Location: metro atlanta
Grass Type: zoysia; tifgrand beauty strip
Lawn Size: Yuuuge 2500
Mower: TruCut
Contact:

Re: Reels on Hills. A Story of Trepidation.

Post by jayhawk »

What happened to the locke? IMO it's will be more forgiving to the less perfect ground.

Maybe you are mechanical and know locke well?

Jd/Toro/jake ....even if it could, I think you'll wear yourself out assisting gravity

User avatar
jayhawk
Posts: 1023
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:49 pm
Location: metro atlanta
Grass Type: zoysia; tifgrand beauty strip
Lawn Size: Yuuuge 2500
Mower: TruCut
Contact:

Re: Reels on Hills. A Story of Trepidation.

Post by jayhawk »

I think cal trimmer can work the hills but trucut wins in agility there.

Topic Author
Tony81
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:11 am
Location: Cumming, GA
Grass Type: Bermuda Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 7,000 sq ft
Mower: Back-Powered Craftsman Rotary

Re: Reels on Hills. A Story of Trepidation.

Post by Tony81 »

@TN Hawkeye good eye. I bought that truck specifically for that garage. If I touch the nose to the front wall i have 3" to spare on the rear bumper for the garage door. side to side the mirrors miss the sides by about 3" on each side. It's tough to park after poker night!

Topic Author
Tony81
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:11 am
Location: Cumming, GA
Grass Type: Bermuda Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 7,000 sq ft
Mower: Back-Powered Craftsman Rotary

Re: Reels on Hills. A Story of Trepidation.

Post by Tony81 »

jayhawk wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 1:28 pm
What happened to the locke? IMO it's will be more forgiving to the less perfect ground.

Maybe you are mechanical and know locke well?

Jd/Toro/jake ....even if it could, I think you'll wear yourself out assisting gravity
The Locke was used by the prior lawn service that I fired. His big pitch at the time was that he had this special mower that could take care of this lawn effectively, which it did. I can go get a Locke that is in good, refurbished condition for about $1500 around here. I can get a nice condition newer TC C27 for about $800-$900. I just don't know how much of a difference it'll make either way? TC dealers and parts seem to be everywhere unlike the Locke. but if i get a crappy cut on the grass who cares right?
Last edited by Tony81 on Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
tcorbitt20
TLF Supporter
Posts: 829
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:58 pm
Location: Auburn, AL
Grass Type: Celebration Bermuda
Lawn Size: 17000 sq ft
Mower: Tru Cut C27

Re: Reels on Hills. A Story of Trepidation.

Post by tcorbitt20 »

My back yard isn’t that steep, but I don’t have trouble mowing it with a TruCut. Mowing straight up and down gives a better cut than side to side or at a 45.
Image

reidgarner
Posts: 334
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:31 am
Location: North ATL Suburbs
Grass Type: 419 (front) / Zeon (back)
Lawn Size: 6000
Mower: Flex 21 & 260SL

Re: Reels on Hills. A Story of Trepidation.

Post by reidgarner »

Look into a greensmower. If you keep HOC below .5 you will have no issues with traction. Lockes are great (ran two of them years ago in my landscape business) but they have a long muddled history and parts are very difficult to find. Greensmowers are much easier to service and find parts for. Also much more ergonomic than the Locke. Trucut would handle the hills but at the expense of cut quality and pain to service. I use a GM Flex 21 on my front which has a slope similar to yours.
Image

Topic Author
Tony81
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:11 am
Location: Cumming, GA
Grass Type: Bermuda Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 7,000 sq ft
Mower: Back-Powered Craftsman Rotary

Re: Reels on Hills. A Story of Trepidation.

Post by Tony81 »

reidgarner wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:51 pm
Look into a greensmower. If you keep HOC below .5 you will have no issues with traction. Lockes are great (ran two of them years ago in my landscape business) but they have a long muddled history and parts are very difficult to find. Greensmowers are much easier to service and find parts for. Also much more ergonomic than the Locke. Trucut would handle the hills but at the expense of cut quality and pain to service. I use a GM Flex 21 on my front which has a slope similar to yours.
Image
That is interesting - I was not expecting to see a hill that severe using a greens mower. Does it slip on that hill and make you man-handle it to keep it straight?

Topic Author
Tony81
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:11 am
Location: Cumming, GA
Grass Type: Bermuda Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 7,000 sq ft
Mower: Back-Powered Craftsman Rotary

Re: Reels on Hills. A Story of Trepidation.

Post by Tony81 »

tcorbitt20 wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:49 pm
My back yard isn’t that steep, but I don’t have trouble mowing it with a TruCut. Mowing straight up and down gives a better cut than side to side or at a 45.
Image
looks great, @tcorbitt20 - Get a brisket on that BGE!

reidgarner
Posts: 334
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:31 am
Location: North ATL Suburbs
Grass Type: 419 (front) / Zeon (back)
Lawn Size: 6000
Mower: Flex 21 & 260SL

Re: Reels on Hills. A Story of Trepidation.

Post by reidgarner »

Tony81 wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:05 pm
reidgarner wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:51 pm
Look into a greensmower. If you keep HOC below .5 you will have no issues with traction. Lockes are great (ran two of them years ago in my landscape business) but they have a long muddled history and parts are very difficult to find. Greensmowers are much easier to service and find parts for. Also much more ergonomic than the Locke. Trucut would handle the hills but at the expense of cut quality and pain to service. I use a GM Flex 21 on my front which has a slope similar to yours.
Image
That is interesting - I was not expecting to see a hill that severe using a greens mower. Does it slip on that hill and make you man-handle it to keep it straight?
No slipping - it pulls right up like a champ. Only issue I have sometimes is that on the steepest parts, the mower wants to pop a wheelie, but I just put a little pressure on the handlebar by slightly pulling up on it and it keeps the reel in good contact with the ground.

User avatar
jayhawk
Posts: 1023
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:49 pm
Location: metro atlanta
Grass Type: zoysia; tifgrand beauty strip
Lawn Size: Yuuuge 2500
Mower: TruCut
Contact:

Re: Reels on Hills. A Story of Trepidation.

Post by jayhawk »

Precision Cut?

gpbrown60
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:26 pm
Location: N. Atlanta Ga.
Grass Type: Bermuda Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 10K
Mower: Baroness, TruCut, Eliet Scarif

Re: Reels on Hills. A Story of Trepidation.

Post by gpbrown60 »

My Baroness would slide on that front lawn in dry conditions. Around here you have to wait until around 1 pm to let the dew dry or cut it slightly wet. I don't think you want a reel on that hill the least bit wet. My vote is for a TruCut with a roller and newer tires. You want to enjoy your mow not fight it or dread it each time. :D

TNTurf
TLF Supporter
Posts: 340
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:57 am
Location: Zone 7
Grass Type: Bermuda
Lawn Size: 15k
Mower: Toro Flex 21, Honda HRC216

Re: Reels on Hills. A Story of Trepidation.

Post by TNTurf »

A agree with @gpbrown60 and would go with Tru Cut on your lawn. I have the C27 and a Flex 21 and have a hill less severe and I can tell you the Flex does not like it. The Tru Cut is up/down whatever way you want to cut today. The dual rear wheels are nice for grip and leave no wheel lines in the lawn. You do want a roller.

That said, the Tru Cut will not provide the same quality of cut that a greens mower will provide but its superior to a rotary cut. If you’re not far from the Tru Cut dealer Peachtree that is yet another reason to consider that option. If you lived closer I would let you try both and see what you think but if you can only have one I vote Tru Cut.

Topic Author
Tony81
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:11 am
Location: Cumming, GA
Grass Type: Bermuda Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 7,000 sq ft
Mower: Back-Powered Craftsman Rotary

Re: Reels on Hills. A Story of Trepidation.

Post by Tony81 »

@gsmornot Peachtree Mower is about 30 minutes from me. I feel like the hills on my lawn are making this decision for me. The TruCut seems to be the only one with enough guaranteed traction up, down and diagonal on those hills. Thanks for the input I appreciate it!

The_iHenry
TLF Supporter
Posts: 437
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:32 pm
Location: Shafter, CA
Grass Type: Bermuda?
Lawn Size: 3,500 sqft
Mower: Greensmaster 1600
Contact:

Re: Reels on Hills. A Story of Trepidation.

Post by The_iHenry »

Tony81 wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:26 am
I'm a rookie to the grass game and could use some talking off the ledge a bit here. I'm in the market for a reel mower but I'm torn on which direction to go for a few reasons. I'm currently cutting this Bermuda 419 lawn with a 21" rotary at about 1.5" which is as low as it can get without scalping - within the next week I'll have to go up again. This lawn was sanded, leveled and reel-mowed in 2016 and 2017 using a Locke reel mower (floating rel assembly model) and the results were simply awesome. I've convinced myself that a floating reel assembly is the way to go because of the undulations and hills on my property. However that basically seems to leave me with getting another Locke (hard to find, seemingly more rare now) and a greens mower with a floating reel (Toro, Jacebson, etc)but the steepness of the hills looks like an accident waiting to happen with a smooth drum roller pushing the mower.

Am I lending too much credit to the floating reel idea? If i need high-traction rubber wheels for these hills should I expect a quality cut out of a Tru-Cut C27 style mower with a fixed reel or would it be recommended to stay with a flexing/floating reel? I'm paralyzed with fear and excited for the journey.

Image

Image

Image
I have a JD 220E Cut with a floating head that'll probably take care of that hill

Topic Author
Tony81
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:11 am
Location: Cumming, GA
Grass Type: Bermuda Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 7,000 sq ft
Mower: Back-Powered Craftsman Rotary

Re: Reels on Hills. A Story of Trepidation.

Post by Tony81 »

@The_iHenry I have been looking at that JD 220E. love the flexible head - If there was some added traction on that driving drum I'd sure feel good about it. Maybe I can find someone's to borrow and experiment.

User avatar
JRS 9572
TLF Supporter
Posts: 440
Joined: Sun May 27, 2018 7:28 pm
Location: Lexington, South Carolina
Grass Type: TifGrand
Lawn Size: 8000
Mower: McLean 20" Reel

Re: Reels on Hills. A Story of Trepidation.

Post by JRS 9572 »

My builder, before building decided to take some soil off my lot. But left me a nice hill because there is a huge power line buried under the apex of the hill. I have a McLane 3.5 HP. I wish I had Tru-Cut with more @#$ behind it to handle the hill. I'm wearing out chains on the McLane, etc., working that hill. Trying to figure out if I just make it into a grown cover/shrub deal and be done with it.

But I'll give the builder and landscape company an A for the swell or trench or whatever you call it in the yard. Rain runoff streams up and dumps to the sidewalk and street. It's the little things. :D



Image





Image



Image
Last edited by JRS 9572 on Mon Jul 15, 2019 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"That yard is how he works out stress and frustration. What it costs to maintain the yard is a lot cheaper than therapy with a shrink." My wife

BadDad
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:08 pm
Location: Tennessee Valley
Grass Type: Bermuda
Lawn Size: .48 acre
Mower: Rotary

Re: Reels on Hills. A Story of Trepidation.

Post by BadDad »

Bracken4au has a couple nice slopes he cuts with a greensmower. He has a lawn journal if you want to see.

Topic Author
Tony81
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:11 am
Location: Cumming, GA
Grass Type: Bermuda Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 7,000 sq ft
Mower: Back-Powered Craftsman Rotary

Re: Reels on Hills. A Story of Trepidation.

Post by Tony81 »

BadDad wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:44 pm
Bracken4au has a couple nice slopes he cuts with a greensmower. He has a lawn journal if you want to see.
@Brackin4au any guidance here is appreciated!

Post Reply