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View Full Version : Are Walkers really worth the BIG money!


Jusmowin
10-21-2001, 11:16 PM
Im possibly considering buying a Walker ,but its very hard to justify $10,300(26efi-48in deck-9.5 bushel catcher) for a MOWER. SOOOOO,is this mower worth the money or not! Thanks for the help

hustlers
10-21-2001, 11:19 PM
yes -----------but you have to charge alot more
or it wont make u more money

lawnboy82
10-21-2001, 11:20 PM
YES! it is worth it to spend the money on the machine. I have used these machines before and they do increase your productivity, while reducing your labor and BS time.

kutnkru
10-21-2001, 11:29 PM
I think that the major selling point to these machines is they give you the best of both worlds. You have the low height for more headroom underneath trees and the like, yet you get the high output of a Z-rider with the bagging capabilities added on.

I personally have not been able to justify the extreme price, although I have considered it in the past. :D I too think that $10k plus is an awful lot of money for just one machine.

However, we must look at the overall scope of our needs. If we are cutting parklike settings and have alort of obstacles and need larger bagging capacities this could be the machine for you, if you have wide open areas you might want to consider a lessor priced Z for higher output speeds.

Review all your avenues and make the decision that best suits your needs.

Kris

gene gls
10-21-2001, 11:49 PM
Jusmowing:

Walker's are in the "ball park" with other brands as far as price .They have thier advantages and disadvantages. I have a 48" GHS, 20HP unit, just turned over 2000 hours. It is expensive to own and maintain.

There is no perfect mower for all conditions and types of grass. You need to look very close at your needs as far as how you mow, the size of the properties you service, and the conditions in whitch you mow under. Compare Walker to some of the other brands with collectors to see the differance. Be sure to DEMO them on your worst property, roughest ground, steepest hill, tallest grass to cut.

Email me if I can be of further help.

Gene

Currier
10-22-2001, 12:05 AM
Yes!

I just bought that exact model two months ago. We were really stressing the older model c. The new machine has really increased our productivity and is paying for itself everyday!

I was going to go with the 42" deck because that is what we were used to and the 42 fit all gates. Turns out the 48 fits all gates but one and I'll be doing the Eric Elm on it this winter:)

I have run Walkers for the past five years. This is the first brand new of anything I have ever owned and I love the quality and speed of this machine. We do a few 1 acre lots but mostly 1/4 to 1/2 acre reidentials. We also mostly bag but do some discharging out the back when grass height and safety permits. This is the perfect machine for our application and I have no problem writing the payment check each month...and next year I hope to pay it off. I paid 9500.00 and while that is alot of money, I figure it will generate considerably more. Sweet machines.

Ric
10-22-2001, 12:20 AM
To me walkers are worth the money. I use them on 5,000 sq ft yard that are tight and have alot of low trees, landscape Islands and other junk to mow around. 15 years ago when I started they were the only machine around my area. Today my competiors that do larger properties use the faster belly mowers. Many of them run will run one walker for cut in and a belly mowers for the open areas. It depends on you market as to the machine you use. DC and laszer are what I see more of these days.

strickdad
10-22-2001, 01:40 AM
No! ----- they mow very clean , and stripe well and make leaf clean up easy. but bottom line is they cant produce any where near the production numbers of these z mowers. and at nearly twice the cost and half the speed , the walkers dont make sense to us

Grapevine
10-22-2001, 07:19 AM
We've used Walkers since "94". There's no way we could do the volume of work and produce the revenue without them. It all depends on your situation. If you are just starting out, the investment would be tough. I was in this for 7 years with walk-behinds before I bought my first one, we run 3 now. We beat the crap out them and try and keep a new one in the lineup whenever possible.. Am toying with the idea of a 60" EXmark Hydro with a pro slide for side discharge purposes. (one drawback of the Walker) Bottom line imho, you have to spend money to make money... No guts ,No glory.

MOW ED
10-22-2001, 10:34 AM
I own a Walker and have for 4 years now and I couldn't do without it. I also have a Toro 44" WB for side discharge in wet rainy conditions. (the big drawback of GHS is hard to cut quick in the rain) I have used 60"+ztr's and other Walker wanna be's Scag Cougar and none of the other mowers work like the Walker.
My machine is used all season from spring dethatchings to a summer cuttings to fall leaf cleans and if I have to I can blow snow with it too. Its not for everyones situation and even I can do better with a Z on some properties but my trailer and pocketbook can only afford 2 mowers so these are the 2.
I will ALWAYS own at least 1 Walker. There are good and bad points to them all but for me the extra expense is worth it and my mower was paid off in less than a year. Its all Gross Income from there. Good Luck

landscaper3
10-23-2001, 12:21 AM
We run 3 Walker mowers 2 are 26EFI all have large 9.5 hoppers and all options. We also run Z-Masters and Walkbehinds. In any area the Walker is by far all our employees favorite and ours. Yes the z's are good but they lack the quick tight steering and mobility the Walkers have, they are also the best at spring and fall cleanups, we can fit 4 Walkers on a 18' trailer without lifting the decks up! and you can lift the deck up in 10seconds for cleaning, servicing and blade changes take only minutes.You can switch from a 42" to a 62" deck in minutes!!!! If you have open -open areas a z will out do it but for DETAIL-DETAIL and tight areas its the best!

65hoss
10-23-2001, 12:37 AM
I wouldn't mind a good used Walker for cleanups and leaves. The ultravac does good, but for big jobs and more leaf jobs I wouldn't mind adding one in the next year or so to my outfit. I would never pay for a new one, mostly because I wouldn't use it during the cutting season. A good used one would work well for me.

scottlawns
10-24-2001, 07:50 PM
i bought a 20hp GHs a month ago and just used it the last two days for clean ups...i like to cut with danes,but for the clean ups this thing is the best,i may be nutts but i will probally just use this for clean ups and dethatching.so in my opinion i love it,and think once i get use to driving it maybe then ill get a discharge deck and yse it more often.

iski3d
10-24-2001, 09:44 PM
Buy an Exmark Lazer 60" liquid cooled 27hp kawi with the vac..about same price as walker..more power..bigger cut..faster..more profit!

kutnkru
10-24-2001, 10:10 PM
If your going to invest the buck with the 60" go for the eXmark Lazer Z XP with the B/S Daihatsu 31hp gas (58.1 cu in) w/ electric start for a couple hundred more. :D

Kris

Mowingman
10-25-2001, 12:32 AM
I have a Walker 20hp/42" GHS. This machine is worth every penny I paid for it. With one helper,we can do 24 lawns/day using the Walker. The 21" trim mower almost never comes off the trailer. These are 10000-12000sq.ft. lots with a 2000-2400sq.ft. house on them. Try this in 100 degree heat with a wb.
Walkers are NOT high maint. machines. Mine is 3 years old and has never had a breakdown.
I have a 42" mulching deck also. The ghs is great in the spring and fall for scalping Bermuda and leaf cleanups. I use the mulching deck during the middle of the season, but it only takes 5 min. to change decks if I need to.
I have several ZTR's for big properties, but the Walker goes on the trailer every day. The walker is a great machine in my opinion!

RMDoyon
10-25-2001, 12:44 AM
Mowingman,
What is your opinion of the 42" mulching deck?

Iam less than impressed by the 52" mulching performance on Fescue and would like a smaller deck for everyday use on some of my smaller properties.

Unfortunately I have been spoiled by the eXmark Micromulch on my 48" WB.

Roger

Mowingman
10-25-2001, 12:58 AM
Roger,
I like the cut the 42" mulching deck gives me. I use it on Bermuda and St. Aug. lawns. It does a good job in all types of conditions, but I do have to slow down some it real thick, wet St. Aug. grass. You need to keep really sharp blades on it to get a good mulch job. The lower blade can be run dull, but the top blade needs to be kept good and sharp. I usually change blades weekly. I really like the 42" deck, as I can get it through most backyard gates around here.:D

Mowman
10-25-2001, 10:11 AM
I run a Walker MTSD w/ 52" deck. I'm running the double blade set-up and love it. No double cutting and it really tears up the leaves. It's not the FASTEST machine out their but for residential and small commercial lawns this is the mower to have. Most of the trimming is done with the Walker. As for the GHS system I would maybe only use it in the spring and fall for really HEAVY leaves. I bought mine used and have had nothing but good luck with it. It had 581 hr's on it when I got it. This is my 2nd season using it and I'm about to turn up 1000 hr's on her. The 20HP Kolher is running just fine. Since switching her to Mobil 1 10w30w she uses no oil inbetween the 100 hr service. When I wear this one out their will be another Walker just like it in the garage. Price for a new one is $8900. I really can't see the extra $$$ for the 26EFI. Maybe by the time I'm ready for a new one the 20 will come with EFI. If you only going to bag in the spring and fall do like I do, rent a GHS for the times you need one and run the SD the rest of the time. Good Luck with whatever you decide.

Mowman
P.S. I bought it from Rodney Johns a fellow lawnsite member. He also has GOOD USED GHS models.

sheppard
10-25-2001, 05:42 PM
I tried one on my worst yard. 'Bout an acre and a half, full of exposed tree roots and is one continuous slope! The bagger made this yard look incredible. I was not prepared to have this make this much difference. The only negative is that Walker only makes a 48 " bagger- for the price they are asking I will have to do some serious thinking. It cannot be my primary production mower because I have several accouts with fenced back yards.

Still thinking.

Cordially,

Sheppard

General Grounds
10-25-2001, 09:22 PM
:blob3: my thursday route has 90 lawns on it with about 20 of them with backyards and my walker with the 20 kohler and 42" deck eats them up, well worth the money. like anything els e have to stay up on th maint. or you'll have problems. My walker was 3 years old in march and now has 3645hrs. on it, with little or no hassle.T

RMDoyon
10-25-2001, 10:27 PM
90 Lawns General Grounds???!!!
You and what army?

Jusmowin
10-25-2001, 11:02 PM
THANKS everyone for all the input , it has helped very much with my desicion JUSMOWIN

Mowingman
10-26-2001, 12:00 AM
sheppard,
Walker has several GHS "bagging" decks to choose from. They come in 36", 42", and 48" widths. I believe all of the tractor units are about 43" wide.:)

HOMER
10-26-2001, 09:07 AM
90 lawns in one day!:rolleyes:

I'm rolling my pants legs up as I type.

Must be an apt. complex.

General Grounds
10-26-2001, 08:43 PM
:blush: :blob3: ok, here's how it's done. 13 men, 4-61" bobcat walk behinds, 1-42" walker, 1-60" dixie, 1-60" bobcat ztr,, 1-44" lazer hp, 1-52 bobcat ztr. that's 9 men, 3 men whip, 1 man edges 8-10 homes and comes back to start blowing. the trick is that it's 2 stops, 40 before lunch, and 50 after. all in one development 3/4 acre lots. we have it down pretty good same guys do the same lawn, usually done about 630 in leaf and heavy growth season, and summer were in by 5. T

MOW ED
10-26-2001, 10:18 PM
Why so many different Mfgr's.??
Its impressive but doesn't the maintenance guy have a fit?

Ric
10-26-2001, 11:00 PM
General Grounds

Would you please be kind enough to post a picture of your crew and Equipment at work on the 90 yards

Thank you

Private Ric

dlandscaping
10-27-2001, 01:19 AM
i' ve heard about the great dane and john deere merger, but i emailed walker to find a dealer and they responded(within 3 days by postal mail) that my nearest dealer is john deere. i have never seen walkers there but am going tomorow. i went to price scags there last year when they carried them and the basic walkbehind was over 3500 for a gear floater. this is redicoulous so i know the dealer is high. i was lookin for the model c or t i think (20hsp) with a 36 or 42 inch deck. i am just looking for prices that you guys have so i can tell if this dealer's prices are high or not. i havent investigated thier servicing or backup, but its hard to find a trailer with john deere on it anyway. any help would be appreciated

MJB
10-27-2001, 03:41 AM
I started my business in 1990 with 2 Toro walk behinds and 1 Toro rider a (tractor mower). In 92 I bought my first ZTR 1992 Walker 42" 16 hp . My income doubled in 1 month because I was able to double my output. So was it worth it, you bet I made an extra 2500 per month after 30 to 45 days of purchasing it, and had a 400. mower payment at 7 months on 5 off. Not only that but now I am still running this same mower everyday. I have a new Lazer Z 60 Kaw L/C , and a 52" Grasshopper. But the 1 mower that is always on my trailer is the walker. I alternate the other 2 out.

PS I mulch all yr long, except spring and fall with it. But I only use Gator blades on the bottom and it works great. It will not mulch as well as the exmark because the deck is not deep enough, so I just run wide open, over the lawns twice if the need it to hide the clippins.

Flex-Deck
10-27-2001, 11:00 AM
Someone mentioned a tractor type walker mower. Do they make a tractor mower, and if so how big?

Indiana
10-27-2001, 11:23 AM
Flex-deck,

When walker owners and manufacturers talk about Walkers, they call the power unit a "tractor" then there is the deck.

So when you hear someone call a Walker a "tractor" they are speaking of the power unit. It confused me until I went to the Family Reunion in Colorado last summer.

dmk395
10-27-2001, 11:32 AM
90 yards, wow. Just curious, what do you charge to do that? How many days do you have that type of production?

captdevo
10-27-2001, 11:52 AM
http://www.geocities.com/captdevo/wallogo.jpg

Definitely!!!

worth their weight in gold.....wait, they are gold!

Pacific Nursery
10-27-2001, 04:28 PM
How are the Walkers on hills? Here in the St. Louis area we have alot of hilly properties, some that are difficult to walk on let alone mow.

captdevo
10-27-2001, 05:15 PM
Greg,
Walkers do great on hills, especially the 26hp efi with 62" sd with a/t tires.

i'm not far north from you on the river also, it gets pretty hilly around here too!

Dave

General Grounds
10-27-2001, 06:30 PM
:blob3: im going to try to asnswer some of your ?'s, maint. on my machines is very simple, blades and grease is done on a daily basis, if it can make it till the weekend the major stuff we will keep it till sunday, very little goes to the repair shop. the best thing i ever did was to take a 2 and 4 cycle engine class. i stock all common parts belts, batteries, commonly used parts.
My production for that day is just that day, all employees help out that day, my landscape crew, chem. guy, etc. Tuesday, Wed, and fri are 2 4 man crews with approx. 30-35 per crew.
Finally working on putting up some photos as we speak.


thanks T

Pacific Nursery
11-01-2001, 02:31 PM
captdevo,
tell me more. How does the 62" work on small lawns, scapling?
Side discharge? do you bag in spring or fall (leaves) will the ghs work for doing clean'up and mulching? A/T tires? all terrain?

accuratelawn
11-01-2001, 09:43 PM
I did not want to start a new thread, so I'll put it here.
A dealer near me(S.W. Missouri) has two new 26 EFI 48" GHS mowers for sale $8,500. Sounds like a deal!
BTW, I bought a used 20hp 48 GHS this summer. It is GREAT to have on the trailer this time of year.

captdevo
11-01-2001, 10:14 PM
the 62" decks are nice for more open ground, i prefer the 52" with mulch kit (less baffles), i have a couple properties i bag year round, but for the most part use the GHS spring and fall.

a/t is all terrain tires, these are very nice.

Dave

Flex-Deck
11-01-2001, 11:17 PM
Are Walkers considered ZTR's or Front Mounts?

RMDoyon
11-01-2001, 11:23 PM
Flex-Deck:
Walkers are a rare breed, they are front-mount ZTRs.

Roger

Mike Paulsen
11-03-2001, 02:25 PM
General Grounds, I was in awe when a saw 90 yards in a day. The numbers are impressive that's for sure. After thinking about it for a day or two I've lost the awe. 90 yards a day divide by 13 men is 7 yards per man,or less than a yard an hour. Not knocking you or your buss. I just don't see the benefit in the big numbers here especially with the big mowers you have working. I bet you a dollar to a doughnut that if you put a two man crew on that 90 yards it wouldn't take them a 40 hour week, increasing your buttom line.

strickdad
11-03-2001, 06:59 PM
general grounds im glad you posted the story about the 90 yards in one day.. you also posted the equipment that you use to accomplish this.. you see if others look at the equipment that you use they will see why i say walkers are not worth the extra expense. according to your list the walker is the least productive mower that you have. and it looks to be the most expensive..

General Grounds
11-04-2001, 10:15 AM
:blob3: i'm glad you guys wrote in, 1st, if i told you, you can put $2000 in your pocket for a day's worth of lawn maint., anyone of you would sign up for that. 2, the walker is used primarly for backyards and without it i would never finish my route on thursday, so to me it's a very valuabe machine. next time you guys are in NJ, drop me an email would love to have you out on a thursday,it's easy to critise when your not there to see what goes on that day the size of the yards,oh yeah we pick up most of the grass too.

T