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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.


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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.


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