Our point of view on this so-called controversy is simple: Foley United's grinder design criteria supports any practice desired, and the choice of what to do on any given day is yours to make. In other words, if all you want to do is spin grind, then pull the reel off after you're done. Just because auto-index is a capability built-in doesn't mean you have to use it.
Everyone has different needs for particular days, and there are different ways to utilize the "Spin" and "Relief" grinding processes. Foley United does not "push" practices that deviate from what the three main cutting unit suppliers advocate, but at the same time we don't want our equipment to dictate the desire of the Superintendent or Technician. The key is knowing how and when to use the proper process to meet your needs, while reducing potential issues and maintenance for the long term.
If you have a question about what to do, we encourage you to contact the manufacturer of the reel to gain their insight on your situation. The reason is straight forward: the manufacturers of mowing equipment have spent time and money on extensive testing to ensure that they're providing the best quality of cut for the longest period of time before maintenance is required. They've experimented with varying degrees of relief, amounts of land areas on the reels, bedknife angles and attitudes, and more. Why? Because mowing with the highest quality of cut for the longest period of time is what it's all about.
All of the big three suppliers will tell you that if you are experiencing quality of cut issues, to return the reels back to factory specifications for evaluation. While this doesn’t solve all issues, it certainly does eliminate some. Shorter heights of cut on greens and fairways combined with newer, denser, heartier grass strains has intensified the need for tighter reel specifications. As superintendents are asked to do more with less in today’s economy, Re-conditioning is what is doing all the work and providing a quality cut will minimize the potential for issues, while maximizing the performance of your investment.
Grinding and reel maintenance has changed tremendously in the last few years due to advancements in reel technology. To keep pace with these innovations, grinder technology has also needed to change. That is why today’s more automated grinders fill the need to maintain these new reels with less labor cost and time than ever before.