Exmark Navigator - How well does it mulch? And other concerns.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by davidcalhoun, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. davidcalhoun

    davidcalhoun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,022

    Has anyone mulched with the Exmark Navigator 48" yet?

    I have heard that they have a mulch kit available even though Exmark's web site does not even address mulching on the Navigator page.

    I am wondering about how well the shallower deck (VS the other Exmark decks) will mulch. The deck on the Navigator is only 4 5/8" deep while the Ultra deck is 5 1/2" deep and the Triton deck is 6" deep.

    I realize that this compact front-mount was designed to primarily bag, but I would like to have other options with a $11,000 unit. Since a side-discharge deck is not currently an option on the Navigator, I would like to know if it can do a nice job of mulching 3/4 of the time.

    I really want to like this machine, but I worry that a 4 5/8" deck will be too slow to run in mulching mode. Top speed of the Navigator is 7.0 MPH.

    I wish Exmark would at least offer the option of putting a larger (and deeper) side-discharge deck on the Navigator that could also be a switched to a decent mulcher. Kind of like how Walker did with their 52" combo deck.

    NOTE to Exmark: It all about having the right options to broaden this segment of the market. After all, you already have a 52" front-mount "Ultra" deck on the frontRunner. Can't you configure this 52" deck to fit the Navigator? The power source should not be an issue with the 27 HP Navigator.
     
  2. grassaholic

    grassaholic LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 369

    why not just buy a Walker?
     
  3. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812


    The web site changes nov. 15. Lets see what santa brings us for 2007.
     
  4. davidcalhoun

    davidcalhoun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,022

    This is a process of getting a mower that best fits my needs. I am not ruling out any compact front-mount brands yet.

    At this point, I would like to get as much information as possible before plunking down $11,000+ toward a compact front-mount.

    If anyone has mulched with the Exmark Navigator, I would like to hear about your experience.
     
  5. grassaholic

    grassaholic LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 369

    If your looking for a compact front mount mower to collect grass with, there's nothing better than a Walker. Exmark copied the Walker. From what I hear they did a pretty good job of it. The one thing they haven't done is enable the Navigator to do other things besides collect grass. I run Walkers but I don't collect all the time. I use the GHS system on my high maintainence accounts and a 52" side discharge on my larger accounts that don't require a highly manicured look. I like the fact that I didn't have to spend money on another mower. I just bought a GHS tractor and 2 mower decks. The Walker with 2 decks, is a cheaper way to go than buying 2 whole mowers. As far as mulching goes, Walker came out with a 42" mulching deck this year that works better than any other mulching deck that I have ever used. My point is that the Exmark Navigator may be a good collection mower but the Walker can do much more and has 26 years of refinement on there machine.
     
  6. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,328

    Scag tried to make an all-around machine with the Cougar but that didn't work out. We have one and it does bagging, mulching, and side discharge with one deck and does fine for southern grasses. I doubt if Exmark can design a deck to do all three functions. I am a little puzzled why they took on Walker with this bagging machine at a time when most of the world seems to be moving toward mulching, and the Walker seems to be a darn good machine.
     
  7. zero_turn_mowers

    zero_turn_mowers LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 410

    I have owned and operated both, my preference is a Walker, The Exmark does as good of a job and is a nice built unit, They both operate basically the same with the exception of the controls are located on oppsite side, If you have never ran a Walker you wont know the difference in the two, In our case we have been on Walkers for years and its what we are used to.

    Tim
     
  8. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 4,666

    Hi Tim,
    How are you doing up there?
    Jeff


     
  9. zero_turn_mowers

    zero_turn_mowers LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 410

    Jeff,

    Doing great other than all the rain we are getting, I was in Dallas 3 weeks ago saw the Denton sign and thought about you. Bought a Corvette off Ebay and my first time to fly..Guess what the plane broke down, I was delayed about 8 hours, could have drove there quicker. Oh well I will fly again. It was an experience.

    Tim
     
  10. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 4,666

    Tim,
    Well, as long as your new Vet didn't break down, I would consider the trip a success. Yeh, I hate to fly. Seems like something always goes wrong.
    Take care,
    Jeff
     

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