Attaching a gang reel mower to your tractor is simple, keeping the reels sharp is a painstaking task however. Gang reel mowers are good to have when you have a large lawn area to mow that is flat and free of debris. You need something powerful enough to tow it though. You would want the gang mower to be easy to maneuver, be sturdy enough to withstand bumps and be easy to maintain.
Step 1 – Planning
Before you decide to get a gang reel mower attachment to your tractor, you need to decide what size attachment you will need. Do you need a set of 3, 5, or 7 reels to mow the space you have? Also, a gang reel mower is only effective if you have a flat area to mow, as the reels are all set to a certain height. Ground which is rolling or which has ditches or valleys will mow improperly, and you will have grass cut in varying lengths. You must also decide if you have the idle time to sharpen the reel blades, as they are in constant need of sharpening and maintenance.
Step 2 – Install and Adjust the Gang Reels
Reel mowers are the old-fashioned type push mowers used before power mowers were available. A base plate, attachable to the rear of the riding mower holds a tow bar. The tow bar allows for the reel mower frame to be released. The frame holds groups of these old push mowers in sets. The frame is attached to each of the mower units which are installed higher than the rear roller axis of the mower unit, but lower than the forward wheel axis of the mower unit. They are a sufficient distance away from the forward axis so that the frame's weight is supported by the rollers rather than the forward wheels of the reel-type mowers.
Step 3 - Operation
When moving, the frame pushes the reel-type mowers forward when the frame is pulled forward by a garden tractor. The attachment and distribution of weight assures that the rear rollers of each of the individual mower unit is always in contact with the ground. At the same time, the forward drive wheels are leveraged downward, ensuring sufficient friction to turn the mower blades without the inclusion of unnecessary and undesirable weight.
The blades are mounted in a spiral so that they perform like a pair of scissors when they contact the bed knife that rides at the cutting height you set. The reel knives shear the blades of grass. Each one of the knives on the reel must be exactly the same as all the other knives. No knife can be even a longer or shorter than the other knives or it will hit the bed knife and stop the reel from rotating or it will miss the bed knife and not cut the blades of grass. When that happens, it leaves uncut grass behind.
Step 4 - Maintenance
Sharpening these mowers takes patience and skill along with a fair bit of time. Do not wait until the quality of cut has deteriorated to check the bedknife to reel adjustment. If the cutting edges on the reel blades and bedknife are not straight and sharp the mowing results may not be acceptable