traditional vs gang reel

tsmith76(7)June 2, 2014

I am estimating I am going to have between 14-15k sq feet of sod (20 tifgrand and 10 emerald zoysia). Not sure how long it would take to mow with a 27 inch reel mower, but was thinking too long. I already have a lawn tractor and was considering just purchasing a gang reel with the 3 reels. Anyone else have experience in this area or similar size yard?

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yardtractor1

I don't have any experience using a gang reel mower, but I did look into purchasing one.
I have sightly less lawn than you.
I didn't go that route for a couple of reasons that you might want to consider. The reel speed for cutting depends on the wheels turning. Works well in open areas, but if there are numerous obstacles that require you to slow down, that can effect cut quality. Gang mowers make turns like semi trucks, so some outside corners aren't going to get cut unless you can back in and still get the reels turning or neighbors don't mind you driving on their lots. On inside corners, the inside gang reel pivots rather than turns and that reduces reel speed. Unless you can "cut" the corner, which isn't going to be possible with a structure or flower bed, the gang will require a lot of maneuvering.
So I suppose it depends on the layout of your lawn and how willing you are to jockey to set up for a pass.
The final nail in the coffin for me, not an issue for you, was the cheaper $1000 models had a top cutting height of 2 1/4" which I didn't want to be limited to for my lawn.
If you get one, please post back with your review.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 4:00PM
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tsmith76(7)

so how long does it take you to cut? I'm looking at keeping 1 - 1.5 and mowing every 5-7 days.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 4:21PM
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yardtractor1

Sorry, I don't use a reel. I use a tractor with a rotary deck.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 4:46PM
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joneboy(7)

For an acre with a 21 inch walk behind greens mower it takes about an 1 to an 1.5 hours. Don't have any experience with home owner reel mowers, but I would guess around 30 min. to mow 15k sq.ft. Yard tractor is right you need wide open spaces for that gang unit and you have to maintain two more cutting units.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 5:14PM
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krnuttle

Have you considered a powered reel mower.

I am sure there are more but Sears has a McLane 20 in. Cut Path Reel Mower for about $600 probably less that the cost of a gang mower system.

Though it has been decades ago, we mowed about an acre of grass with a reel module on the front of a Simplicity garden tractor. The yard always looked nice when finished. (Yes we had the collie but did not live in the city)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 8:51AM
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tnjdm

I have about 11K sq. ft. front lawn and possess a 3 Gang Reel and 21" Tru-Cut. I am not sure I can physically do the 21" in the summer heat, so couldn't ell you how long it would take. Takes me about 20 minutes or so with the Gang Reel. I have to do some areas with the Tru-Cut that I can't get with the Gang, so another 20 minutes.

By the way, I got them both of Craigslist, so didn't drop a couple of thousand for the units. A pick from last year to get an idea of the cut.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 9:53AM
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tsmith76(7)

That's a nice looking lawn. I was thinking of the same approach, cut the wide swaths with gang reel, then touch up with with a push/power reel. My front is going to be 10k feet tifgrand and back about 5k of emeral zoysia (more shade).

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 10:57AM
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tnjdm

I really like my gang reel. It is so nice looking back and seeing that grass flipping around. Relatively easy to backlap when needed also

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 4:55AM
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tsmith76(7)

I have a 20hp husqvarna . My only concern with gang reel is pulling it quickly enough for the reels to spin well . What are you pulling with?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 10:59AM
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yardtractor1

I'm not trying to discourage you as I think reel mowers give a superior cut, but I advise that you investigate the capabilities of your tractor prior to adding a gang mower.
A 20hp Husqvarna indicates a lawn tractor. They are built for mowing smaller, flatter lawns and occasional light cart pulling. Their weakness is their transaxles. Nearly all use either the Hydro-Gear K46 or a Tuff-Torq (T2 or T10?). These are factory sealed units with no fluid cooling or reservoir capabilities. I would suggest you ask about pulling of a gang with this type of transaxle on the Tractor Forum. There are experienced lawn equipment technicians there who can give you some insights.
Another option might be purchasing a dedicated fairway/greens reel mower like a Toro on ebay or craigslist.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 1:14PM
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tsmith76(7)

Thanks and will do

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 5:50PM
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tnjdm

I'm by know means an expert on HP versus what can be pulled, but I have had no issues in 2 years

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 6:09PM
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tnjdm

I'm by know means an expert on HP versus what can be pulled, but I have had no issues in 2 years

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 6:14PM
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tsmith76(7)

What are you pulling with ?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 6:58PM
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tnjdm

Cub Cadet 1046. Can't remember exactly how many horse but a little over 20

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 8:56PM
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