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Exmark Navigator Question

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by gekog, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. gekog

    gekog LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    If I have the 'optional mulch kit' on a Navigator, can I still use the collection system to collect the clippings instead of having them go back into the ground?

    Also, does the Walker GHS allow for collection of mulched clippings?

  2. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 4,664

    On the Walker, you can not collect if you are using a mulching deck.
    I do not have info on the Navigator
  3. gekog

    gekog LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Thanks. Any Nav owenrs out there?
  4. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,353

    Didn't know there was a mulch kit.
  5. BrunoT

    BrunoT LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 741

    From what I recall reading the Navigator has baffles near the rear that control the amount of clippings that goes into the hopper. From 100% to 25/75, etc. This is w/o the mulch kit on. To use the collection system you cannot have the mulch kit installed, as it completely baffles off the cutting chambers of each blade so the cuttings can be directed down into the soil.

    Unfortunately I don't think any manufacturer has really caught onto the value of having a machine that can, with a lever or quick adjustment, switch from mulching to collection. (JD's mulch on demand is for side discharge) With the deck design of these front-mount riders, I'd think you could come up with some sort of quick-install baffle, but there are technical reasons against it I guess.

    It would be great to buy a Navigator/Walker design and then be able to make one pass mulching leaves, and with the flip of a lever make a second pass to collect the fragments that didn't get mulched sufficiently.
  6. gekog

    gekog LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    I agree Bruno. Still, at least the Nav has that 25/75 option. I wonder how well that works.

  7. dndodd

    dndodd LawnSite Member
    Posts: 39

    I have a Navigator and the 75/25 works OK. I have never tried it w/o the baffles in the the 75/25 position.

    That being said it still collects allot of grass.

    Unlike the Walker the Navigator has a very open deck design so it can swirl grass around in it and mulch it very well so it still sucks up allot of the grass as it gets finer.

    In certain situations where the Walker deck would actually jam and stop (wet tall crabgrass) the Navigator just keeps going at fast clip.

    Exmark sells a kit which blocks off the the suction point completely for about $300.00. Pricey in my opinion for what I can accomplish with some wood.

    I have experimented with wood and it works well. Probably blocked off about 90%( Haven't gone for 100% yet but it is easy enough). When the grass is dry it still sucks up allot of grass but when wet it gets plugged and becomes a damn good mulcher.

    After about 70 hours on the Navigator I don't miss the Walker.
  8. Southern Pride

    Southern Pride LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Memphis
    Posts: 1,382

    Man, under the deck there is an adjustment on the Navigators where you can set it to bag 100% literally everything that goes under the deck or set it to a limited amount only goes in. What the hell is an optional mulch kit and why would you put it on a navigator/walker type mower? Seems to completely defeat the mowers only purpose. However, I can see you mulching a small fraction like 30-40% is mulched and the other 60-70% is bagged in the hopper to reduce bags.

    So, what the heck is an optional mulch kit? Do tell sir :D
  9. dndodd

    dndodd LawnSite Member
    Posts: 39

    Don't know haven't actually set my eyes on one. Like I said it probably just blocks off the deck 100% which I can do much cheaper.

    Collecting grass it is not the mowers only purpose. I like the deck out front versus underneath me.
  10. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,083

    On the earlier Navigator decks prior to the 75/25 option there is a triangle shaped plug that bolts in place under the deck.
    Completely seals the bottom of the deck/vacuum assembly and if you don't want to break the bed bar to spindle mounting bolts - you must run the low lift mulching blades.
    I have tried the mulch plug but don't like how much dust and debris swirl around the outside of the deck.
    What I do when encountering tall turf after a rain delay is to mow first with a stand on and windrow the clippings. Follow with the Nav and normally mow the turf while collecting the clippings.
    I haven't tried the 75/25 option, heck I don't even know if it is an available retro-fit to my machine.
    The one thing I have found while running the Nav with crew members is to idiot proof the equipment set-up as much as possible and I could just see the crews head's implode if I tried running a 75/25 set-up.
    I have settled on using the Navigator as a dedicated bagging only machine and I am still a bit aggravated ExMark still has no plans to market a side discharge deck like the Walker.
    Going on four years and still have only 520 hrs on the machine but I will admit it has served it's purpose quite well.

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