There is no question that mower manufacturers deliver new cutting units to customers the way they function best.
All the major manufacturers, including Toro, Jacobsen, Dennis and John Deere, have a factory standard they grind their units to for the best quality cut. The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specifications have the unit as a perfect cylinder when it’s new.
After extended use, if it is to continue to achieve optimum performance, it needs to return to that specification.
Foley’s view to this is a ‘good, better, best’ approach.
Firstly, spin grinding to make the unit sharp is good, but sharpening and removing any coning through gauging to parallel, is better. Then, relief grinding to reshape back to OEM specifications is best. The only grinder manufacturer on the market that provides all three of these methods as they were intended by the manufactures is the Foley Company.
Foley’s range of relief, spin and bedknife grinders are growing in popularity because they offer the highest‐quality grind on the market today, with fully automatic machines, making grinding easier while making mechanics’ time more efficient.
St Andrews Links Trust, The Wisley Golf Club and Dennis Mowers are some of the more recent establishments
that have purchased Foley grinders to maintain OEM specification.
Grinding back to specification has multiple benefits to the grass plant and health of the cutting units, but most importantly to the cutting process. While the reel blade gathers the grass and discharges clippings, the bedknife pushes against the blade of grass to stand it up in a vertical position, acting as the second half of a pair of scissors. Working together, the reel and bedknife form the clip rate or frequency of clip (FOC).
To get the best out of a unit, most studies show there should be light contact between the bedknife and reel, which in turn helps to promote a self‐sharpening action. In our industry, there is a tendency to over‐tighten the units when they aren’t cutting well, but over‐adjustment of the reel to bedknife can cause the reel to climb over the bedknife, causing rifling. With the units set to specification, the cutting performance will be near 100%. Naturally, after prolonged use, the blades will begin to dull. Tapering (coning) also occurs and will not only put undue load on the bearings but can induce torque on the bedknife and housing assembly. When blade wear and tapering occur, maintenance is needed to prolong the longevity of the unit and adjustment, back‐lapping and facing bed‐knives takes place.
Once these three actions have taken place, the last resort is to grind: spin is good; spin and gauge is better; spin, gauge and relief is best. Quick placement, gauge and grind are the three most important factors, and Foley has industry‐leading features to manage each one.
The Foley 653 Accu‐Master and 633 ACCU‐Pro come with ACCU‐Touch 3, an automatic computer system that provides a step‐by‐step tutorial for new technicians and a quicker setup and grind feature for the more experienced operators. You simply input what units you’re working on and the machine does the rest. Pre‐programmed spin speeds, relief torque, and in‐feeds are only a few of the new features found in the ACCU‐Touch 3. There are pre‐set automated grinding programmes, as well as the ability to set custom programmes. The software is also future proofed by uploadable updates.
Foley machines use the patented Rear Roller Mounting System to locate the rear roller, minimising issues that can arise when locating the reel by the front roller. Set‐up is simple, with an intuitive decal that tells the operator where to place the rear roller blocks based on brand and diameter of the reel.
While everyone can spin grind with similar results, removing taper requires something extra. The 653/633 uses the touch‐screen display with a ‘bubble‐style’ graphic, ensuring you’re always grinding to a perfectly parallel cylinder. Other Foley models use an LED gauging system that is all visual and tells the operator which way to turn the handle to ensure taper is removed.
Relief grinding is the last stage in returning a unit to OEM specifications. Each mower brand and reel diameter has a pre‐set on the machine, which provides the proper angles and clearance. This can be easily customised, if preferred.
Automation is also a feature of the 673 Automatic Bedknife Grinder. An innovative bed‐knife mounting system using powerful electromagnets to hold the bed bar in place, and positive gauge stops to make set‐up simple and fast. You can grind any bed‐knife arrangement without additional tooling. The fast angle set‐up provides repeatability without recalibration. Set the angle stops once, and the 673 will grind the same angle over and over. Changing from grinding the front face to the top face is as simple as pushing a button and watching as the powered tool bar rotates into the position. Again there is an array of built in grinding programmes.
Foley’s range of innovative grinders are the only way to return your hardest working machines back to their highest quality of cut.