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View Full Version : Pros and cons of a walker mower


Wright48
10-30-2011, 04:31 PM
Im looking into buying a walker mower brand new just was wondering if it really does double production. also whats the pros a cons of the machine.

Exact Rototilling
10-30-2011, 04:39 PM
Subscribed :)
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Patriot Services
10-30-2011, 04:59 PM
Straight up mowing, its half as fast as the competition. They excel at fine mowing and leaf removal/bagging. Higher maintenance needs and cost over typical ZTR. Mine sits in the shop most of the time. Takes up a huge amount of trailer space.
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ramcat
10-30-2011, 05:04 PM
From my experience the walker is not a high productivity mower. You get a superior looking cut and finish with the walker but you also spend more time. A mid mount zero turn will easily out mow a walker. For bagging leaves the walker may be more productive but not by much if any. I used to own a walker md diesel.
Pros:
Beautiful finish, trim with both sides of deck, will pick up anything when bagging, sipped fuel

Cons:
Slow, big rear end, plugged up fairly easily (10in blower), high maintenance (belts, wiring, etc.), not heavily built like other mowers (had to replace deck at 1200 hours because of just normal wear), really poor hillside performance

This is just my experience with a 15 year old walker. I would not hesitate to buy a new one if you are looking to provide your customers with the nicest manicured lawn in the neighborhood. I recommend the gas walkers because the diesels are expensive, hillside performance is much better with the gas and the diesel we had was well cared for and only lasted 3200 hours. It developed a very severe knock. Try em out!

fireman gus
10-30-2011, 05:11 PM
In our area most lawn guys use Walker mowers. They make a really nice looking yard. They are high maintenance but all equipment need maintenance. We do most of our own so cost is minimal. If you leave the deck down it does take up trailer space but on our 16foot trailer it is no problem, in fact we carry two. A 42" muching deck one and a 48" one for bagging. On a smaller trailer you can just lift the deck up and it saves space. We also have a Dixon but the Walker is so much better.

SDLandscapes VT
10-30-2011, 05:51 PM
The walker has a place and it does a very good job at what it is designed to do--that is provide a manicure to well fed and watered turf. It is the closest cut quality to a reel mower. The outfront deck allows for very precise trimming and the GHS decks allow for trimming on both sides--this is a huge advantage.

They really are more of a residential machine for nicer homes of people who require well maintained turf and who want better clean-ups through out the season. Commercially they do okay if you know where to use them--no grass blown on parked cars or in high traffic areas, picks up trash (very nice for banks, gas stations, and fast food) but they are slow. We have a walker 3 walkbehinds (two turf tracers and one bobcat) and a hustler mini-Z (we also own the bagging system for the Z) On my 18' trailer I can fit two walkbehinds and the walker, or a walkbehind, the Z, and a walker. for what we do we are thinking our most ideal crew setup for two guys is a two turf tracer 48" and a 48" walker. We are demoing a navigator on Friday so it may be a navigator. We mow mostly lawns in the 9K to 25K sq ft range. I wouldnt be without this style of mower, but I don't use it every week in the peak of the season as we are faster with the two turf tracers. the z is simply too heavy for residential yards. The compaction is noticeable and the cut quality is marginal--and before everyone jumps off and says it's all about the operator with the Z (I agree) I am an expert (you just can't get around 1100 pounds before rider and gas)

All said there is a place for a walker--we would be lost in the fall without it but you have to look at it as a tool in the toolbox rather than something that does everything well--this mower does not exist rather reality requires a combination of mowers

Five Points
10-30-2011, 06:44 PM
I really like my walker has 3100 hrs (original 20 hp kohler) . I run the GHS deck

in the fall and bit in early spring. Rest of the season I use the 56 inch side

discharge deck. stripes awsome and the deck out front is great getting in tight

spots. Even with such a big deck it doesn't look to big on residentials. It is a bit

slower but thats ok. I also bought a new grandstand this yr they both have

their place. Not sure theres a mower that will do it all:canadaflag:

cut level
10-30-2011, 07:21 PM
Like everyone stated it has it's place and is a tool. Don know who told you it would double productivity but everybody has an opinion. I love mine but it sucks I mean sucks for hills or at least mine does.
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BlackCloudDiesel
10-30-2011, 07:54 PM
I've got 4 Walkers. One of them an MD-GHS that has over 6,300hrs on it. I use it daily throughout the cutting season. They are the Rolls Royce of lawn mowers. Beautiful cut/striping (1000x's nicer than my Toro's), precise maneuverability, many different attachments to keep machine busy year round, decks flip up 90* to ease in blade removal, averaging around 35 grease fittings between the deck and tractor- provide long life of moving parts, superior bagging ability, clamshell-type body for easy access to allow maintenance to be done on the trailer.

I don't have a tail-wheel lock on any of my machines, but I can still ride hills and ditches that some people won't even take a wide-area walk behind on. I remove my hopper for the summer months to aid in visibility and reduce weight of machine and a chance of catching the hopper on a tree limb or swing set.

I am proud to own Walkers, and wouldn't switch back to anything else.

Below is how the mowers operate all summer... 52" SD deck, and no hopper!
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1457076799021&set=t.771314107&type=3&permPage=1

mjstef
10-30-2011, 11:54 PM
Like everyone says, Walker has it's place. Smooth, small irrigated lawns work best. The cut is great. If your cutting large lots or estates you might want to look at something bigger and faster. One thing you'll notice about a Walker on large lots if your running flat out is you will end up with sore legs from the constant movement of the deck. Walker (exmark copy)are the only front mounts i know of where your feet actually ride on the deck instead of a foot platform hooked up to the power unit itself. This does not bother some folks but with one bad knee it drives me nuts. I run a Grasshopper diesel most of the time. I can go from Mulch to side discharge in less than a minute and when i am not bagging i am not powering a blower like a Walker does. It will bush hog tall grass as the deck is 6" deep but leaves a great cut on nice lawns. It is a VERY fast mower and it is also one hell of a leaf vac! I can back on the trailer and dump without leaving the seat and it rides like a Cadillac. Also the Grasshopper is VERY easy to maintain compared to a Walker where you have to be a contortionist to get to things. I can access everything on the unit without breaking a sweat. No worries about grass packing in everywhere around pulleys, belts and the engine because all these things are in the open and can be blown clean easily. All this said my grasshopper is 9 feet long front to back. 4 feet longer than a Walker. It is a BIG mower (one of the reasons the ride is superb) People here do not have a lot of landscaping so it causes me no issues. I just bought the 52" mulching deck and plan on using it on places i usually bag.

Bagging video..... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ga4Wd8IqWRg)

travski
10-31-2011, 12:55 AM
In my personal experience it doubled my production. However, I was using a 32" BOP walkbehind. So take it with a grain of salt.

Pros: cut quality, easy maintenance, with a high lift dump it will save your back, will get in really tight spots, handles wet grass well, ideal for clients who need clippings bagged.

Cons: purchase price, hillsides (however it will go up anything in reverse) sluggish overall speed.

Exact Rototilling
10-31-2011, 01:18 AM
In my personal experience it doubled my production. However, I was using a 32" BOP walkbehind. So take it with a grain of salt.....snip .....

Travski, How would you rate cut quality on the walker vs. BOP 32?
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dishboy
11-01-2011, 09:47 AM
Travski, How would you rate cut quality on the walker vs. BOP 32?
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No one ever gets complaints about cut quality on walkers. That said a Walkbehind is always a better choice on small well irrigated sections of turf as there is no getting around putting 1000 lbs of weight in a small area. It is going to leave wheel tracks in the shade areas with thinner turf. In those areas I use my 42 walk. Most operators just use the Walker anyway and pull it off. People mostly just want the grass cut.

Exact Rototilling
11-01-2011, 12:12 PM
No one ever gets complaints about cut quality on walkers. That said a Walkbehind is always a better choice on small well irrigated sections of turf as there is no getting around putting 1000 lbs of weight in a small area. It is going to leave wheel tracks in the shade areas with thinner turf. In those areas I use my 42 walk. Most operators just use the Walker anyway and pull it off. People mostly just want the grass cut.

In another thread, in the pictures section, many poster here in fact donít like how the tail wheels change the appearance of the stripes. That can be debated back and forth.

Several of my lawn clients neighbors have Co. mow with Walkers. Iím frankly not all that impressed with the appearance of the cut in all honesty compared to my BOP Quickie 32 or 44. I know this whole issue is subjective. Maybe they are running with dull blades constantly? I put sharp blades on daily sometimes even mid day and I DONíT run BOP standard blades on the 32 or 44 since they are next to worthless unless conditions are practically bone dry.

The clear advantage of the Walker over the BOP 36 and 44 mower is how the edge of the deck blends the cut to the adjoining path just mowed. BOP mowers in the larger deck sizes 36 and 44 have a bit of outrigger effect [up and down on uneven terrain] which I notice. This is where the Q32 deck excels not to mention the highest lift blades for the 32 [Oregon ģ 99-127] you can actually mow damp and even wet grass to a point. It is no yBravo 25 in wet conditions but it puts up a good fight until the deck finally clogs.

As for the people who ďmostly just want the grass cutĒ. I donít want them as customers and I want to replace them with customer who appreciate the higher quality cut.