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gekog
09-29-2010, 10:57 AM
If I have the 'optional mulch kit' on a Navigator, can I still use the collection system to collect the clippings instead of having them go back into the ground?

Also, does the Walker GHS allow for collection of mulched clippings?

Thanks
gekog

Mowingman
09-29-2010, 11:34 AM
On the Walker, you can not collect if you are using a mulching deck.
I do not have info on the Navigator

gekog
09-29-2010, 05:14 PM
Thanks. Any Nav owenrs out there?

Mark Oomkes
09-29-2010, 05:30 PM
Didn't know there was a mulch kit.

BrunoT
09-29-2010, 06:00 PM
From what I recall reading the Navigator has baffles near the rear that control the amount of clippings that goes into the hopper. From 100% to 25/75, etc. This is w/o the mulch kit on. To use the collection system you cannot have the mulch kit installed, as it completely baffles off the cutting chambers of each blade so the cuttings can be directed down into the soil.

Unfortunately I don't think any manufacturer has really caught onto the value of having a machine that can, with a lever or quick adjustment, switch from mulching to collection. (JD's mulch on demand is for side discharge) With the deck design of these front-mount riders, I'd think you could come up with some sort of quick-install baffle, but there are technical reasons against it I guess.

It would be great to buy a Navigator/Walker design and then be able to make one pass mulching leaves, and with the flip of a lever make a second pass to collect the fragments that didn't get mulched sufficiently.

gekog
09-29-2010, 07:09 PM
I agree Bruno. Still, at least the Nav has that 25/75 option. I wonder how well that works.

gekog

dndodd
09-30-2010, 07:33 PM
I have a Navigator and the 75/25 works OK. I have never tried it w/o the baffles in the the 75/25 position.

That being said it still collects allot of grass.

Unlike the Walker the Navigator has a very open deck design so it can swirl grass around in it and mulch it very well so it still sucks up allot of the grass as it gets finer.

In certain situations where the Walker deck would actually jam and stop (wet tall crabgrass) the Navigator just keeps going at fast clip.

Exmark sells a kit which blocks off the the suction point completely for about $300.00. Pricey in my opinion for what I can accomplish with some wood.

I have experimented with wood and it works well. Probably blocked off about 90%( Haven't gone for 100% yet but it is easy enough). When the grass is dry it still sucks up allot of grass but when wet it gets plugged and becomes a damn good mulcher.

After about 70 hours on the Navigator I don't miss the Walker.

Southern Pride
10-01-2010, 01:37 AM
Man, under the deck there is an adjustment on the Navigators where you can set it to bag 100% literally everything that goes under the deck or set it to a limited amount only goes in. What the hell is an optional mulch kit and why would you put it on a navigator/walker type mower? Seems to completely defeat the mowers only purpose. However, I can see you mulching a small fraction like 30-40% is mulched and the other 60-70% is bagged in the hopper to reduce bags.

So, what the heck is an optional mulch kit? Do tell sir :D

dndodd
10-01-2010, 07:35 AM
Man, under the deck there is an adjustment on the Navigators where you can set it to bag 100% literally everything that goes under the deck or set it to a limited amount only goes in. What the hell is an optional mulch kit and why would you put it on a navigator/walker type mower? Seems to completely defeat the mowers only purpose. However, I can see you mulching a small fraction like 30-40% is mulched and the other 60-70% is bagged in the hopper to reduce bags.

So, what the heck is an optional mulch kit? Do tell sir :D

Don't know haven't actually set my eyes on one. Like I said it probably just blocks off the deck 100% which I can do much cheaper.

Collecting grass it is not the mowers only purpose. I like the deck out front versus underneath me.

txgrassguy
10-01-2010, 09:20 AM
On the earlier Navigator decks prior to the 75/25 option there is a triangle shaped plug that bolts in place under the deck.
Completely seals the bottom of the deck/vacuum assembly and if you don't want to break the bed bar to spindle mounting bolts - you must run the low lift mulching blades.
I have tried the mulch plug but don't like how much dust and debris swirl around the outside of the deck.
What I do when encountering tall turf after a rain delay is to mow first with a stand on and windrow the clippings. Follow with the Nav and normally mow the turf while collecting the clippings.
I haven't tried the 75/25 option, heck I don't even know if it is an available retro-fit to my machine.
The one thing I have found while running the Nav with crew members is to idiot proof the equipment set-up as much as possible and I could just see the crews head's implode if I tried running a 75/25 set-up.
I have settled on using the Navigator as a dedicated bagging only machine and I am still a bit aggravated ExMark still has no plans to market a side discharge deck like the Walker.
Going on four years and still have only 520 hrs on the machine but I will admit it has served it's purpose quite well.

BrunoT
10-01-2010, 01:06 PM
Thanks guys, this is great information on real world use.

I'm wondering now if the Exmark 'mulching kit" on this deck design is actually just the block off plug.

If I could make a pass to mulch up leaves, then get it into bagging mode somehow and vac up the remnants, that would be ideal.

It is pretty weird that they won't make a side discharge deck, but I guess that would mean reversing the right hand side blade's rotation and perhaps there are reasons why they can't do that in a cost effective manner.

Still, I have other mowers around for discharging tall grass when needed. I need a machine that can mulch in the summer and collect spring/fall. I'd better go see my dealer and get some more answers.

dndodd
11-15-2010, 02:21 PM
I think the navigator mulch kit is an expensive block off plug.

I cut a 2 x 6 to fit then used the 3 holes and wood screws to attach it. 90% blocked.

Sometimes it plugs then completely mulches other times I have to empty probably 1/3 less than with it wide open.

georgiagrass
11-19-2010, 12:05 AM
Thanks guys, this is great information on real world use.

It is pretty weird that they won't make a side discharge deck, but I guess that would mean reversing the right hand side blade's rotation and perhaps there are reasons why they can't do that in a cost effective manner.



There's no reason that Exmark could not make a SD deck. The counter-rotating blade issue that you mention is not a problem at all because it is a function of the gear boxes on the deck. Walker mowers have that figured out.

Southern Pride
11-21-2010, 08:31 PM
Why don't you just leave the hopper open and drive it around that way. Then when you're ready to bag close it up and scoop it up?? Seems like it would work although I've never tried it when I was using the navigator.

zak406
11-21-2010, 11:11 PM
Why don't you just leave the hopper open and drive it around that way. Then when you're ready to bag close it up and scoop it up?? Seems like it would work although I've never tried it when I was using the navigator.

My expierence doing this with a walker is that it does not really leave a professional finished look...

Southern Pride
11-22-2010, 06:35 PM
I agree, it's all about quality, but just a thought though.

stan the man
11-22-2010, 06:46 PM
Why don't you just leave the hopper open and drive it around that way. Then when you're ready to bag close it up and scoop it up?? Seems like it would work although I've never tried it when I was using the navigator.

on my walkers you can open the hopper door and use it .but on my new exmark they have safely switch on the hopper door so you cannot do that.

txgrassguy
11-23-2010, 12:06 PM
On a Navigator that hasn't seen much field use operating the machine with the pto engaged and the rear door open will kill the motor.

Regarding Exmark and their steadfast refusal to produce a side discharge deck, I have had several incredibly frustrating telephone conversations with the actual factory engineers. All of whom report the party line, that being "If you want a side discharge deck buy a dedicated side discharging machine".

I then asked about additional options like an aerifier since I really don't need a snow thrower in C. Texas - ExMark said no deal, use what we offer or buy a different machine.

I will say this about the Navigator; for it's intended purpose (solely bagging and/or mowing properties which require a manicured appearance) it works quite well, is robust and with the exception of changing the pto belts, easy to maintain.

However, had I known at the time no side discharge deck would ever be available (thanks to a conniving ExMark rep) Iwould have bought a Walker. In fact, I'll go so far as to say if I am ever stupid enough to re-start a grounds maintenance business again I'll use only the Walker machines due to their adaptability.

Mowingman
11-23-2010, 06:39 PM
Due to the really low sales volume of these Walker wannabes, Exmark has chosen not to invest any more money in engineering or design of additional decks or attachments. They are in a bad spot with this machine. Low sales volume means no money for additional attachments/decks. Yet, without the attachment/decks people want, sales will continue to be poor.
They already canned the Frontrunner, which was a Grasshopper wannabe. Only time will tell if they pull the plug on the Navigator. I would bet it is gone in another couple of years, if sales do not improve.

Southern Pride
11-24-2010, 07:48 PM
On a Navigator that hasn't seen much field use operating the machine with the pto engaged and the rear door open will kill the motor.

Regarding Exmark and their steadfast refusal to produce a side discharge deck, I have had several incredibly frustrating telephone conversations with the actual factory engineers. All of whom report the party line, that being "If you want a side discharge deck buy a dedicated side discharging machine".

I then asked about additional options like an aerifier since I really don't need a snow thrower in C. Texas - ExMark said no deal, use what we offer or buy a different machine.

I will say this about the Navigator; for it's intended purpose (solely bagging and/or mowing properties which require a manicured appearance) it works quite well, is robust and with the exception of changing the pto belts, easy to maintain.

However, had I known at the time no side discharge deck would ever be available (thanks to a conniving ExMark rep) Iwould have bought a Walker. In fact, I'll go so far as to say if I am ever stupid enough to re-start a grounds maintenance business again I'll use only the Walker machines due to their adaptability.

I'm with you man. I've spent alot of time on a navigator, never used a walker, but I really don't care to. Like you said for it's intended purpose, dedicated bagging, and exceptional cut it is flawless. I'm not saying I wouldn't buy a walker for a great deal or something but I won't take anything away from the navigator. Those things are legit. Even my puny 36" exmark metro leaves an exceptional cut with the mulching kit. I will be purchasing a navi in a year or two once I get where I want and have the right guys running it.

That's pretty cool you got to speak with actual navigator engineers. Sucks yall couldn't agree but still I would give those guys a pat on the back. For what it does, they've hit a home run. Don't care what the biggest walker enthusiast on this site has to say.

8404
11-28-2010, 08:17 PM
you cant say Walker dosent deliver on consumer wishes. I dont know if this deck works well or not just that people here make a wish and it happens.

http://www.walkermowers.co.nz/Multi-Deck/default.aspx

Southern Pride
11-28-2010, 08:23 PM
Not saying I wouldn't buy a walker if it were the right deal. That new deck looks awesome. Having all 3 features is awesome. The bagging style was versatile enough. Now you can have all the 3. There would be no job that thing couldn't handle. I'm guessing the eXmark guys aren't offering a deck like that yet.

Stevenw631
12-17-2010, 09:05 PM
From everything I've read..the Navigator is better than the Walker and the Toro z300 series..I've seen some 05s for 3200 with less than 550 hours..the next one I see I'm buying

buck81
04-03-2011, 08:24 AM
The Navigator mulching kit is a metal plug that blocks off the chute and 2 mulching blades. It works wonderful!

pflasch
08-09-2012, 10:43 AM
The MultiDeck is from a company in New Zealand... the same company that first offered (engineered) the adjustable deck height system for Walker decks.

If you decide to mulch on a Navigator, how hard is it to disconnect the blower (no sense having the blower noise and vibrations!)
Walker has thought about this, and has an Add-on that will slacken the blower belt without affecting the power to the blades. (I saw a video on it somewhere here on LawnSite!)
It would be great if Exmark offered a similar system!

There is also a thread here on "blockers" for the Walker pickup chute, like the one below!