PDA

View Full Version : Exmark Navigator ?


GAB10
12-12-2012, 09:13 AM
I recently bought a demo navigator from a dealer, it only had 10 hours on it so it was basically new. I've always ran the Lazer Z's with mulching kits or the ultra vac so I don't know much about them. I've had it for about 3 weeks and it has been at the shop more than it's been on my trailer. First, the door had a gap in it that was allowing leaves to blow out. Then the alarm was messing up and wouldn't come on when the container was full. Now i'm having a problem with leaves coming out of the vent on the back of the door. I asked my dealer about it and they said it was doing it because we haven't had a lot of rain lately and the leaves were so dry. Is it suppose to be doing this? It's not throwing every leaf out the back but it's throwing enough so that I have to run over the same spot twice and in some areas 3 times in order to get all of the leaves out of the yard. This is the first navigator that I've owned and when I purchased it I was thinking I was getting the best vacuuming mower that exmark offered. But, after using it on a few yards it doesn't hold a candle to the job the LazerZ with the bagging system on it does.

mowr man
12-12-2012, 10:22 AM
My first post here! I purchased 2 efi navigators at the beginning of 2012 and they have been nothing short of exceptional. I also purchased a 1 yr old walker and it has also been very good. Sounds like your dealer isnt very knowledgable on what they sell. My guess is that if you take your screen out of the hopper the far end will be open, which is where your leaves are coming out of. simply undo the wing nuts on the other end and the end section of screen can be switched to provide screen coverage for the whole hopper. When mowing wet grass simply switch it back.

mowr man
12-12-2012, 10:31 AM
Also, I put 625hrs on both my navigators and about 125 on the walker this season, so if I can answer any other questions ask away.

GAB10
12-12-2012, 11:18 AM
Thanks for the help. I've brought it up more than once in the last week and their response is staying pretty consistent with the "it's so dry" comment. I'm pretty sure the screen is open like you talk about. I left it at the dealer this morning because the alarm is still messed up so I can't look at it right this minute. They mentioned I could get a piece of hardware cloth or something similar and bolt it inside the container to keep leaves from getting on top of the screen. I'm not against doing something like that if it will prevent the leaves from coming out. I just don't feel like I should be having to make modifications to a mower that I just spent $12,000 for. You would think something that expensive would do what it's made to do without you having to "rig" it up.

mowr man
12-12-2012, 01:28 PM
No you shouldnt have to make any mods on a new machine. Mine work perfectly
on leaves once the screen is flipped back around to block the whole opening. In fact they almost get every single leaf. The suction is amazing. Hopefully they will figure it out. If not only takes a minute to do it yourself.

yardguy28
12-12-2012, 02:57 PM
I'd love to hear either of your opinions of the navigator all together.

currently I'm running a 52" grandstand. side discharging and bagging as needed in the spring and summer and bagging in the fall for leaves.

been thinking about a navigator but one I can't get my dealer to give me a price on one and thus I haven't asked my other questions.

like, I use my truck bed for clippings. is there a high lift kit like walker or a 2 tub system like walker has.

what about setting the rear door open for discharge like walker and how hard is it to keep those clippings out of mulch beds when turning. like do the clipping get shot straight back or more down towards the ground.

what about when it gets plugged. where does it get plugged at and is it easy to unplug.

I also hear walkers are a lot more maintenance. is this true cause I'm sure navigators would have a similar amount.

mowr man
12-12-2012, 03:26 PM
No high lift for the navigator but tub kit is available. We bag everything here in idaho but you could rear discharge with the door open just like the walker but keeping the clippings out of the bed would be tough as the clippings would be directed mostly straight back. When they plug, which isnt often, its usually under the deck at the inlet to the blower. You just flip the deck up and unclog it. Not a big deal, only takes a minute but the deck is heavier than the walker. Occasionally they will plug between blower and hopper but its easy to unplug. As far as maintenance between the walker and navigator, there is slightly more with the walker but really not a big deal. Walker has more grease points but many of them only need grease a couple times a year. I like the swing out gas tank on the navi for blowing things off but oil changes and such are very similar. I think belts are easier on the walker but really not bad on the navigator once you have figured out the tricks. They each have their positives and negatives but overall both are very good mowers

yardguy28
12-12-2012, 05:32 PM
what is normal maintenance for a navigator.

for me my grandstand is very simple. daily there is pretty much nothing except making sure things are kept clean, like debris away from the air intake and away from the mower belt.

weekly i clean the air filter.

then of course there is the greasing that are done at certain hours.

but besides greasings, belts, filters, oil, there really isn't much to it.

maybe when people say there is more maintenance they mean like more of that stuff, like more areas to grease.

exmarkking
12-12-2012, 05:55 PM
I've had my navigator for a while and it's the best mower I've ever had. The screen can be a little funny. Please under stand that everything has limitations. Not that your doing this but You can't go 10mph over 2 feet of leaves and expect it to pick them all up and when it doesn't say it's a piece of s#it. They are great machines, heavy duty, low maintenance and vacuum/groom and cut properties well. I bought mine used and it didn't have a screen so I zipped tied hardware screen in it and its doesn't miss to many leaves. Overall they are great machines and just as good if not better than the yellow machine. I'm not here to start a ford verse Chevy debate, just let you know my experience with them. Ill be happy to answer any questions you have about them
Posted via Mobile Device

mowr man
12-12-2012, 05:58 PM
Normal maintenance for me is mow mon tues wed then i sharpen blades blow everything off and grease the driveshaft, mow thurs fri sat then grease everything, sharpen blades, blow everything off, clean outer filter and check tire pressure. I do this on both the walker and navigators. Blades are sharpened more frequently in the spring and fall. There are quite a few more grease zerks on the walker but a lot of those only need grease once in a while

exmarkking
12-12-2012, 08:01 PM
At the end of the day I blow off the mower. Once a week I sharpen blades, grease, blow out air filter.
Posted via Mobile Device

GAB10
12-12-2012, 09:14 PM
I've had my navigator for a while and it's the best mower I've ever had. The screen can be a little funny. Please under stand that everything has limitations. Not that your doing this but You can't go 10mph over 2 feet of leaves and expect it to pick them all up and when it doesn't say it's a piece of s#it. They are great machines, heavy duty, low maintenance and vacuum/groom and cut properties well. I bought mine used and it didn't have a screen so I zipped tied hardware screen in it and its doesn't miss to many leaves. Overall they are great machines and just as good if not better than the yellow machine. I'm not here to start a ford verse Chevy debate, just let you know my experience with them. Ill be happy to answer any questions you have about them
Posted via Mobile Device


After reading the comments in this thread and talking to a few guys around town that have been running navigators for a while, i've come to the conclusion that the screen in mine doesn't reach all the way to the front on the container and the leaves are getting blown on top of the screen then out the vent on the door. I mentioned it to my dealer this afternoon and he said they didn't notice it when they were fixing the door but that is more than likely what it was. Hopefully it'll be ready to go first thing in the morning.

yardguy28
12-12-2012, 09:29 PM
maintenance doesn't sound any worse or any more than what I do with my mowers now. I probably grease my grandstand less than I should. I just follow the maintenance schedule in the manual.

I use to grease my 36" walkbehind weekly when I was using it everday but now that I only use it twice a week it only gets greased monthly.

what kind of learning curve is there in the drive controls.

exmarkking
12-12-2012, 09:41 PM
Operating one is totally crazy compared to say a z turn. A z turn has the two handles with neutral, forward and reverse for each wheel. With a navigator the best way I can explain it is the handles are basically just neutral and reverse. There is another handle that is your forward control and then you have the throttle control for the motor rpm's. so to move forward you have to move the forward control handle which controls the speed of both rear tires. Then to turn left or right you have to pull back on the handle between your legs to slow one tire down to go either way. Once you get used to it, it's easy and quite comfortable to drive. A funny story was when I first got mine the guy loaded it on my truck for me and since I've been operating z turns and walk behinds for years I didn't think much about getting it off the truck. I assumed its the same as any other z turn. Well I was sadly mistaken. When I got to the house to unload it and check it out, I fired it up and took off the e brake. As I slowly moved backward to backdown the ramp on the truck I got kinda of got sideways so naturally I moved the handles forward to straighten the mower up and it didn't go forward. In that split second of fear I think my heart skipped a beat and my a$$ ate some of the seat!!! Lol so after that I learned to move the forward control lever and rev up the motor some when unloading just in case you need to move forward to correct anything. The mower will not move forward unless you move the forward control lever. Now it will go in reverse without the lever forward.
Posted via Mobile Device

mowr man
12-12-2012, 11:31 PM
Exmarkking is right, its definately different from a normal z. Takes a few hrs of operating to get real comfortable with it, but once your use to it starts to be second nature. Ran my old z a few weeks ago for first time all yr and was no problem going between them

yardguy28
12-13-2012, 08:45 AM
how easy or hard is it to tear up the turf when turning before you fully get the hang of operating it.

how many actually do a zero turn vs a 3 point turn?

exmarkking
12-13-2012, 09:02 AM
It's pretty easy. But I assume that would be on any mower you don't know how to drive. Just take it slow. One big thing to watch out for is turning around and hitting something with the hopper. Since your sitting toward the front of the machine you have a lot of the machine behind you and you have to pay attention to what your doing. I always make one to two passes around the perimeter first to give myself room to turn around. You don't want to tear your machine up and definitely don't want to tear up something on someone's property by hitting it. also if you get into some thick leaves or grass, slow it down. Even though they have big chutes and blowers, they will clog. It would be like trying to put a telephone book through a paper shredder. These machines were designed for high end properties that you visit every week. They weren't designed for speed. My laser will cut through anything i throw at it but the cut quality will be minimum at that point, the navigator will be a perfect cut, but wasn't designed to cut through 2 ft of thick wet fescue at 10 mph, and bag it up without missing a blade of grass.
Posted via Mobile Device

yardguy28
12-13-2012, 10:08 AM
oh i visit my properties weekly. i never overload my equipment.

i just wanna iron out all my questions since these machine are expensive. been thinking about one all this season.

guess i probably should demo one to be sure how i'd like the controls. i never thought before i'd enjoy those controls between the legs. but maybe it wouldn't be as hard i think it would be.

switching over to bagging all the time would be the other kicker for me.

exmarkking
12-13-2012, 10:36 AM
go demo one! You can get used to the controls. That's no big deal. Like getting out of one car and getting into another. It will feel different at first and then becomes second natural. I don't know if I would use the navigator as our primary mower. The reason is because we have some properties that aren't as nice and that's when we use a lazer z. Also in really big properties the lazer is faster. The navigators aren't going to improve your times on properties. If anything they will stay the same. For instance, the time it takes to mow, edge and blow with the lazer side discharge, then having to blow all those clipping will take about the same time as the navigator bagging with far less blowing. The difference will be the quality if cut and look of the properties. These machines are for high end, high quality properties. Now it may take a little more time but you can also charge more due to quality. The kicker is spring and fall cleanups, the machine will save time and your back.
Posted via Mobile Device