First of all, thanks everyone thus far for reading my long a$$ post! Second of all, thanks for the great comments... Thanks for sharing your experiences TML and thanks for participating GMLC, you know I hold your thoughts and opinions in high regard.
I wanted to address a couple of GMLC's questions and also address something that TML was talking about all at once because it pertains to the same thing... A lot of us Walker users and guys who do not use Walker but that are interested in equipment(gmlc and i coined the term equipment junkies) often forget that Walker offers the B and H units! We call these Walker's mid-mounts, however they are not mid-mounts... These units are a lot faster than their GHS counterparts( 10 mph as opposed to 7 for GHS) but the QOC and the ability to contour the ground is the same.
Granted, these units aren't what people think of when they think Walker but these units are made to side and rear discharge and mulch. Honestly though, Walker has always made side discharge models. If you have any questions about the clippings or discharge patterns, take a peak at some of the stock Walker footage on the website or even on youtube. In fact, go to youtube right now and type in "Walker MT25." Remember, this guy is cutting with the 74 in., That is FOUR blades! Just take a look at the clippings.... DUST.
GMLC... I have seen some footage of you at some point(i think on youtube?) absolutely crusing on your gravely. The QOC looks great and the dispersal does as well if my memory serves me. I have personally not run a model B or H unit yet so I can not attest to how fast they feel or how they feel on bumpier land but from what I have read and heard from friends, it's night and day over the GHS models... However, I personally run my GHS wide open over uneven terrain all the time. But like I mentioned above, I have been running them so long, it's just an extension of my body and I don't notice anything.. haha. Nobody was running full suspension seats when I started mowing, that's for sure! haha
The Walker split tail kit can be obtained new for under 500? I completely forget and I couldn't find any prices for reference.. I do know that I saw one used recently for 200 which is a good deal in my opinion. Personally I don't think I would get one just because I actually think the 3'rd wheel stripe looks great but there is a gentleman here on L.S that runs one and the stripes look AMAZING. Take a look at this thread in the pictures section entitled "RLM Landscaping 2013." He has photos of stripes with the kit and they are top notch for sure. Apparently the split tail wheel kit helps with hillside stability as well but speaking of hillside stability.....
As TML said, you can back up almost anything with a Walker but in all honesty, I think Walkers are outstanding on hills. As long as the hopper isn't full, I can go diagonally up some serious slopes. When I start posting pictures and videos this will be one of the first things I address. Maybe it's because I have been running them for so long and I know how to finesse the hydros but I have had other LCO's ask me HOW I did those stripes!?!
Just like you GMLC I mow in wet conditions a lot too. Not only rain but the morning dew is the real killer. None of us have the luxury of waiting until 12pm for it to dry out though. Sure, the Walker deck will clump up and collect grass on it but it takes a very long time for it to affect the QOC. Great thing about the Walker though is that when it does become a problem..... A quick lift of the deck, a blow off with the back pack, and you are back in business. Actually the ability to lift the deck is one of the reasons that sets Walker apart... Being able to easily maintain under the deck is paramount.
I run Scag walk behinds and I have operated other brands of machines and I have a lot of respect for Scag, Gravely, Exmark, Toro, John Deere, Ferris, just to name a few. I just wanted to spread my Walker love with the original post and then somebody asked me to elaborate on why I liked Walker so much. So that is the reason behind the second post. To be honest, I could talk Walker all day long.... I could actually talk mowers all day long for that matter.