Posted on Leave a comment

The Demand for Reel (Gang Mowers) | The Reel Blade

The Demand Is For Reel (Gang Mowers)

With time and image being a top priority, the Gang Reel Mower meets the demands of today’s buyers. Keeping that in mind, your reel mower is not just a weed wacker. It’s truly a finish cut mower. They have a scissor like cut that doesn’t traumatize the grass blades (eliminating brown ends).

Your gang reel mower will save you both time and money compared to traditional deck mowers. The Gang Reel Mower, just like the ones groundskeepers at the best golf courses around the world use, gives you a professionally manicured lawn quickly and easily at your home.

Some have zero turning radius and full reverse capabilities. Maneuvering around trees, flower beds or the occasional abandoned bicycle can now be a breeze.

Safety is a feature with a reel mower. No flying objects to harm the children, pets, siding or windows.

Also, from a environmental stand point, they are very friendly (another plus). They are fuel efficient (using 1/2 the gas), use less oil and they reduce and wear tear on your lawn tractor. After mowing up to 5 acres per hour going 4 MPH (= brisk walk) with a 10 HP tractor, some just simply fold up for easy storage. Sharpening is done by a system called ” back-lapping”, many times provided in a kit for the do it yourself individual.

Gang Reel Mowers are time tested quality products; environmentally responsible, give a golf course look, provide adjustable cutting, have less down time, come with float and flex ability and best of all, They Give You Time to Enjoy Other Activities.

Reel Mowers have come a long way since your grandpa’s day. Yet, the original “Reel” features remain true, giving us the benefits we desire with the added modern conveniences we expect.

Posted on Leave a comment

An Attractive, Healthy Lawn Is More Than Just Pleasing To The Eye | The Archbold Buckeye

An Attractive, Healthy Lawn Is More Than Just Pleasing To The Eye

provided by: The Archbold Buckeye


During the summer months, many homeowners spend a few hours each week working in their yards for the benefit of having a finely-groomed plot of grass.

However, a healthy lawn is more than just pleasing to the eye.

Lawns play a vital role in maintaining a healthy and safe environment by cooling our neighborhoods, replenishing our oxygen supply, filtering our air and reducing noise pollution.

Additionally lawns that are free of weeds and mowed regularly protect allergy sufferers from weed pollen, help absorb smog-produced ozone and add to a home’s value.

Having a healthy lawn begins with using proper mowing techniques.

  • Maintain a regular mowing schedule to keep grass at desired height. Removing more than one-third of the grass’ height can weaken its protection against disease and drought.
  • Mow when grass is dry for a cleaner cut.
  • Alternate mowing patterns to avoid uneven wear on the lawn.
  • Keep the lawn mower blades sharp. Dull blades tear grass, leaving it susceptible to disease and drought.
  • Leave the grass clippings on the ground. Grass clippings are 85 to 90 percent water, and “grass cycling” returns this water to the soil.
  • “Grass cycling” also eliminates yard waste and serves as mulch to keep the ground cooler.
  • Consider using a reel, push-type mower for a clean, scissor-cut.

The action of a reel mower sutures grass blades, helping grass retain much-needed moisture, unlike the rotary-action of power mowers, which rips and tears the grass blades, leaving them more vulnerable to disease.

Posted on Leave a comment

Reel Fast Mowing | Popular Mechanics

Reel Fast Mowing

provided by: Popular Mechanics

written by: Roy Berendsohn – Associate Home Improvement Editor

As printed in the May 1996 Popular Mechanics


The ProMow gang mower system is designed to give you maximum cutting width with light weight, so you can pull it with any standard lawn tractor. The smallest model delivers an 8-1/2-ft. – wide cut path and can be pulled with a 5-horsepower tractor, while the largest requires only 11-horsepower and cuts a 12-ft. – wide path. The mower system ranges in cost of $1,250 for the smallest residential mower to about $3,000 for the largest commercial model (plus shipping). WE show a midrange model with a 9-ft – wide cut path, costing about $1,700. The residential models have five blades per head, while the professional models have six blades. Tires get larger and wider, and metal components get heavier, as you move up the line. This results in heads weighing 25 pounds on the residential end and 70 pounds at the commercial level. The heads fold up for efficient storage. Each cutting head is a reel mower and the tube-steel frame allows each head to flex so it produces a smooth cut over bumps and hollows. The system is sold at outdoor-equipment dealers. To find a dealer, contact ProMow Inc., 8318 Clinton Park Dr., Fort Wayne, IN 46825.


Click here to read another ProMow article featured in Popular Mechanics

Posted on Leave a comment

Lawn Mower Man | Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

Lawn Mower Man

June 2, 2003

Section: SCI-TECH

by Sherry Slater

The Journal Gazette

ProMow Reel Mower System’s products address a trifecta of consumer concerns – time, money, and the environment – by saving all three, the Fort Wayne-based company claims. Not only that, boasts Chief Executive Officer Douglas Short, they leave a lush and level lawn.

“This is actually a revolution in the lawn mowing industry”, he said.

Some satisfied customers agree.

“I never believed a mower could make that big a difference in the look of the yard,” said Jeb Bartley, father of two sons who play soccer in Leo-Cedarville’s soccer league.

Short holds three patents – and has two more pending – on technology that harkens back to the type of reel mower you granddad probably stored in the corner of his garage.

That non-motorized motor was heavy, because it needed to hug the ground. Short came up with a lightweight frame that uses leverage to keep the blades from bouncing and allows the mowers to cut a much wider swath, but remain light enough to pull easily with a small riding mower or even a golf cart.

The basic design has been around for 100 years,” he said. “What we invented was the creation of down force. You don’t sit around and think about down force. It’s something you’ve got to find.”

Down force is not another term for gravity, but a way of magnifying gravity, Short said.

His patented frame staggers three to seven 2-foot-wide cylindrical reel blade mowers in two overlapping rows – creating what’s called a gang mower. The flexible format allows each reel to rise and fall with an uneven terrain. The outer rear mowers can even hang down a steep incline, such as the bank surrounding a pond.

No other company can legally structure reel mowers in the same way. ProMow – and a battery of lawyers – successfully, defended the design in court in a case that solidified the company’s patent, Short said.

Reel mowers, in general, require less energy and provide a superior cut to rotary mowers because they use the scissor-like action of two blades coming together rather than the hacking, machete-like action of a horizontally spinning rotary blade, Short said.

ProMow’s wider cutting deck allows its 136-inch model to cut a five-acre lawn in one hour, compared to the six hours it typically takes with a garden tractor, which generally has a 48-inch to 60-inch cutting deck, Short said.

“People buy this for time,” he said. “I mow my grass – just about half an acre – with this. It takes 10 minutes.”

But green counts, too – in the form of dollars and environmental responsibility.

ProMow mowers use 75 percent less energy than rotary mowers to cut the same size area, Short said. That translates to less gasoline bough and burned, creating fewer emissions.

That last point is especially important in states such as California, where smog often reaches dangerous levels.

Thick, thriving grass also leaves little room for weeds to take root, lessening the need for herbicides, Short said.

The company ships its mowers to residential and professional customers – such as schools, prisons, and golf courses – in 17 countries, including Saudi Arabia, India, Germany, France, and Honduras.

Stateside, Texas and other places where grass is cut nearly year-round are big ProMow markets, Short said.

Closer to home, Snider High School and Bethel College use ProMow.

“I’ve been doing research and evelopment for them for three years, and I beat their stuff into the ground,” said Chris Kaehr, groundskeeper at Bethel College. “I probably mow in a year what a homeowner would mow in 20 years.”

For the past seven years, Kaehr has been cutting 24 acres a week on the Mishawaka campus with five reels. He hones the edge of the blades once a year by rubbing them with a compound and running them backward against the bed knife, a stationary blade that’s part of each mowing unit.

“For the money, you can’t go wrong buying (a ProMow),” he said. “If you have an acre or bigger yard and it’s smooth, you should buy one.”

Bartley joined parents and coaches in Leo-Cedarville to buy a seven-reel mower that is owned by the soccer league. They’ll use it to mow three fields, including those at Leo High School and Leo Middle School.

“We did a lot of research on it” before ordering the system two weeks ago, he said. “It’s amazing how different it makes your yard look – especially (athletic) fields.”

Short is looking to build the business into an attractive acquisition for a competitor such as The Toro Co., the leading lawn mower maker.

“Anything but the wife and kids is for sale,” he said, smiling.

With that someday in mind, he won’t release sales or revenue figures. He thinks it might hamper negotiations. But Short did say that the seven-year-old company grew its sales about 100 percent in 2002 and sold more than 100 mowers in a recent two-week period.

“I remember the day when if we sold just a couple a week, we thought we were hot stuff,” he said.

While Toro has yet to come calling, national media have taken notice. ProMow’s Model 501 is reviewed in the June issue of Popular Mechanics magazine.

“If you have a lot of relatively flat property and it’s covered primarily with grass and you like the grass mowed low, then this mower is worth considering,” Steve Wilson wrote.

ProMow’s products range in price from about $800 for a 49-inch wide model to about $3,600 for a 136-inch gang mower.

“We’ve actually got a mower and a price for about any lawn,” said Merle Short, ProMow president and Douglas’ uncle.

Merle conceded Popular Mechanics’ point, however, that ProMow’s best performance is on lawns that are cut close and often. Tall weeds tend to be bent by the blades rather than cut, he said.

Bethel College’s Kaehr has experience the problem.

“If the dandelion gets really, really tall, then the bed knife just lays the dandelion down, and it misses it all together,” he said. “When I’m coming up on the dandelions that are tall, I just slow down a bit and it usually cuts them.”

Douglas Short, who developed his mower after years of trial and error, has two patents pending for unique technology he plans to roll out in stages over the next few years. As he awaits final approval, he’s keeping the details under wraps.

“This is not a cheap process, by any means, or for the faint of heart,” he said of pursuing a patent.

While Short is the designer, his Uncle Merle is the one who has translated the concepts into reality.

“Having an idea and making it work are two very different things,” Doug Short said. “Merle is very mechanical. After 40 years as a farmer, he knows how to get something to tilt of lever.”

No matter how revolutionary the design, sales don’t happen unless potential customers learn about the product, however.

To date, ProMow’s advertising budget has been nearly non-existent. the company has reached out to consumers primarily by attracting the curiousity of their customers’ neighbors, who tend to wander over and ask about the mowers. ProMow pays $50 for referrals.

“People who have a need immediately know what it is and what it does. It’s very visual,” Doug Short said. “If they have a need, they spend six hours a week thinking there must be a better way.”

The company does some targeted marketing, however. It dispatches representatives to annual international soccer conferences to demonstrate its reel mower system, which can be shipped directly to customers’ homes or businesses and doesn’t require a mechanic to assemble.

ProMow has flirted with more traditional advertising. The company taped a commercial that’s been run on some California cable stations, but it’s shown only by those cable companies willing to air the spots in exchange for a percentage of the sales.

“I don’t think we’ve ever paid for a TV ad,” Short said.

Posted on Leave a comment

Test: ProMow Gang Mower | Popular Mechanics

As printed in the June 2003 Popular Mechanics

If you have a lot of mowing to do—and by this we mean at least several acres- you know there’s no cheap way to do it. It either costs a lot to hire it done or costs a lot to do it yourself— in time and equipment. ProMow gang mowers promise a solution. They have large capacity at a price that’s much less than same-size powered equipment.

The Model 501 consists of five 2-ft.-wide reel mowers staggered three in the back and two in front to yield an 8-ft. cutting width. The mowers are mounted on a heavy-gauge square-stock steel frame that is articulated to allow the mowers to follow the contours of the ground. The two outboard mowing heads can be lifted and locked into place for compact storage. Although this equipment is well-made, it weighs just 325 pounds. We tested it with an 11-hp riding mower, a 17-hp lawn tractor and a 25-hp garden tractor. All pulled the gang on flat ground without any trouble, but on steep inclines the riding mower lost traction quickly and the lawn tractor lost traction occasionally. So if you have hilly property you’ll need a garden tractor to pull this mower reliably.

Cutting height can be adjusted between 3/4 and 2 7/8 in. To change the height, each head has to be moved. It took about 20 minutes to do all five the second time we tried. At each height the mower worked well when it was cutting grass. But weeds, particularly dandelions, were a different matter. The long stems tended to be bent over by the mower instead of being cut. We had the best results when we cut the grass low and frequently.

If you have a lot of relatively flat property and it’s covered primarily with grass and you like the grass mowed low, then this mower is worth considering. The company sells other models ranging in width from 44 in. to 11 ft. The 501 costs $2545 directly from ProMow, 8318 Clinton Park Dr., Fort Wayne, IN 46825; —S.W.


Click here to read another ProMow article in Popular Mechanics