Exmark Navigator - Mulching Options???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by TPLawnPro, Oct 1, 2006.

  1. TPLawnPro

    TPLawnPro LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 424

    I am considering the purchase of an Exmark Navigator with the 27 Kohler and 42" deck. Being that the grass gets quite thick down here in the south, I like the depth of Exmark's UltraCut mowing deck. From what I am hearing, this machine is a real beast in the St. Augustine grass too.

    The only question that I have is - does Exmark offer this machine the accessories to enable mulching - as the Walker mowers do? Is the machine designed to bypass the Grass Handling System somehow and just simply mulch?

    If not, then I am going with Walker Mowers 100%

    It's too bad that the Exmark FrontRunner isn't available in more deck configurations. I could see that machine in 44" and 48" deck options doing quite well.
     
  2. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,328

    I wasn't aware Walker had a conversion from bagger to mulcher.....I thought you had to buy two $1800 decks? I do know Walker sent me a kit to convert a 36" side discharge deck to mulcher but that was special request. Unfortunately the bagger deck blades both turn towards the middle and would make converting it to mulcher kinda hard.
     
  3. TPLawnPro

    TPLawnPro LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 424

    Thanks Ed. I suppose the SD configuration of Walker mowers would solve this issue. You are probably familiar with the Walker's SD configuration option that allows for side discharge and/or mulching.

    I guess if I am going to go ahead and purchase a Walker MT / GHS, then I will just have to purchase the optional decks. Do you have several different mowing decks for your Walker? And, are the decks a pain in the butt to change out?

    On a different note - WhOlly cRaP; those decks cost $1,800.00 a piece??? At least the return on investment should prove rewarding.
     
  4. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Exmark does have a bolt-in mulch kit available for the Navigator. Part # MKNAV42 for the 42" deck and the MKNAV48 for the 48" deck, both list for $189.00.
    One of our many selling points against Walker is the fact that our Mulch kit is a bolt in unit for $189 and with Walker you need to buy an entire other deck for $1800.
    http://exmark.com/navigator.htm
    Thanks,
    Brian
     
  5. TPLawnPro

    TPLawnPro LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 424

    Thanks Brian! That's great to hear!

    This helps me with my decision.
     
  6. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 4,666

    While the Exmark kit may be cheaper than the Walker deck, it is not the type of kit you can install or remove 2 or 3 times a day. I was told that it takes a while to install and remove, so it is a pain if you change modes daily, or several times a day. With my Walkers, I could change the decks in 5 - 10 minutes or so,, by myself, after a little practice. Depending on my schedule, some days I changed decks twice a day with no hassle. Just something to think about.
     
  7. TPLawnPro

    TPLawnPro LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 424


    This is also some good and valuable information. Thank you Mowingman.
    If you don't mind me asking; what size decks are you using? Also, which engine(s) are you running on your Walker(s)?
     
  8. dave k

    dave k LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,178

    I have used the Walker 42" mulching deck for a couple of years with the 2 blades per spindle and hated the way it mulched Bermuda, it left a ton of clippings to one side, I went with the gator blades this past summer and it works a ton better, the gators make it spread out, I cut over 1/2" of a couple of yards today to get back down to the proper height, they left a ton of clippings to, but just raised up the front deck 1 notch and ran over it again real fast and it was gone, Walker has a new mulching deck that is not in their brochures, they e-mailed me a picture, it uses single wavy blades and the deck is totally different, it acually has holes in the front of the deck for breathing I think? I test rode the Navigator but didn't care for it as much as I did the Walker on collecting grass, I didn't like how the door opened up when you dumped the clippings, you can't leave it open to cut with like the Walker, I have had 2 so far but will probably be going with a Z this new year for speed and sick and tierd of dealing with the clippings, good luck to ya.PS I got the Gators at Mow More and they are also availble at J. Thomas
     
  9. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 4,666

    Walker MT20GHS, that is the 20hp engine. Used the 48" collecting deck, and the 42" mulch deck on both machines. I cut Bermuda and St. Augustine, and think the mulch deck does a great job on both of those grasses. I found that on the mulch deck, the key to a great looking mulch job, was to keep the upper blades very sharp, and discard them when the squared end started getting rounded off.
     
  10. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,328

    I bought a old used Walker to get some experience and only have a 36" bagging deck. The deck isn't bad to change out on the 36" but the weight of the bigger decks might become a problem.
     

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