Navigator ????????

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by bakerlawnmgt, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. bakerlawnmgt

    bakerlawnmgt LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    What is the low down on the Navigator. Is it better then the Walker? I live in Walker country. Every commercial trailer in my area has one or two walkers. I personally run Hustlers. I am going to buy either a Walker or a Navigator soon. We have a Exmark dealer in town and he brought in one navigator, and cannot move it out the door. Can someone help.
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    I know you are looking for more objective information than from an Exmark rep, but demo the Navigator and Walker and I feel like you will have your answer.
    I am sure the other patrons of Lawnsite will also chime in with their opinions.
  3. green acres lawns

    green acres lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 362

    My exmark dealer had the same problem. I rode the navigator around the lot last spring and it felt very much like my walker only a little faster. The seat was comfortable and it appeared well made. It took him so long to sell it that he won't stock anymore. Our John Deere dealer sells Walkers and they are very plentiful around here. I'm surprised the navigator hasn't caught on yet. Right now I'm more interested in the front runner for its speed and larger tires. I hope it does well and will have some of the optional pieces that Grasshopper has. I have looked at grasshopper several times and they are still as ugly as ever. Second only to Dixie.
  4. tallimeca

    tallimeca LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,229

    Are starting to catch on in the northeast. People are skeptical on new products, especially against proven products like walker.

    I think Exmark made a great product with the Navigator. We have sold about 6 of them in the past 12 months. Not 1 has come back for any repairs. Sucks for the service buisness, but i'm sure customers will continue to spread the word and purchase them. Down time is your enemy.

    I have posted numberous times as far as comparing the two. Both are great but i think that Walker is out-engineered by the Navigator. Walker customers will soon see the difference.

    One of the issues selling the Navigator is it is more expensive then a walker. 11,500 for a 27 hp, 48 inch with the standard 9bu bag and heavy duty gearboxes. Walker sells their mtghs with the 48 deck, 26 efi and even with the 300 dollar upgrade on the boxes......your looking at close to 10,800. That's where the Exmark dealers have to be willing to sell these if they want to move them. That's what we have done and it works. Already have 2 customers who bought them buying another one in the spring.
  5. A.D Services

    A.D Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 224

    I really dont see the difference between the walker and the navigator (beside the obvious paint difference) and just like the walker the gas tank even swings out. and i am sure they are both great machines
  6. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    Higher blade speed deeper deck to name a few difference
  7. A.D Services

    A.D Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 224

    oh i never thought of that.
  8. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    Look closer at the blower size and where its positioned. more later
  9. tallimeca

    tallimeca LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,229

    We do a TON of Walker Service, even though we do not sell them.

    Here are the differences.

    Performace according to my customers......

    Navigator fills the bag better than walker, clippings are much finer then walker.

    Machines handle the same, no real noticable difference. Walkers tend to be more "jerky" the older they get. Navigators haven't been out long enough to really compare that.

    Feature difference.

    Navigator- 1 piece welded frame Walker- pieced and bolted. Alot weaker. How many Walker owners have had the frame in the back where it mounts to where it holds the rear caster fork??

    Navigtor only offers gas engine, no diesel. Although, I have been told by and Exmark official that the frame was constructed with the idea of putting one in there if they did decide to.

    Navigator has higher ground speed, even vs Walker with the speed up kit add on. Not that you'd want to cut at a higher ground speed, but you don't want to take for ever going from point a, to point b.

    Navigator offers snow plow and blower attachment. Walker offers a bunch of attatchments, however, that's all Walker makes is.....well, Walkers. JRCO can supply any accessories you need for Navigator and they fit nicely. Dethatcher, aerator, spreaders, leaf plows......

    Navigator has far less lubrication points then Walkers. Frozen idler arms for blower belts anyone?

    Navigator runs a higher blade tip speed. 18k compared to 15k on Walker.

    Navigator runs a deeper deck. About an inch difference for better vaccuum and less blow out.

    Navigator deck is constructed alot heavier then walker. Anyone tired of gearbox leaks on walker because decks warp and start to pull the gearboxes apart.

    Navigator runs the heavy duty Superior Gear boxes. Each box is sealed so if there is a failure, there is no cross contamination. Walker runs the peerless (tecumseh) boxes standard. They are only rated for 20 hp. Anyone having repeat gearbox failures, especially when running the diesel??? I know it's happening. Superior boxes on Navigator rated for 50 hp. Walker did offer the Van Ruden boxes, but I've heard they are looking for another company to vend for the upgrade option.

    Frame work on Navigator deck is thicker and gusseted better then walker. Semi pheumatic tires on the casters up front AND the rear tire.

    Air intake for Navigator is closer to moder. Snorkel style intake on Walker has be suspected of choking down power outputs, especially when filters aren't as clean as they should be.

    Much heavier belts run the Navigators components. 3v (3/8) belts on Walker accept for the PTO belt.
    Navigator run a dual belt setup that runs the blades and blower. And 1 belt to run the hydro pumps. Very easy to change, not that Walker belts aren't.

    Navigator runs 1 less gearbox to maintain. They run a bearing housing with a pulley to drive the driveshaft on the deck, rather then another peerless box that drives the pulley for the blower and the driveshaft for the deck. Box is about $500 to replace. They are pretty durable if maintained however.

    Gas tank does swing out for easier engine maintanence and clean out on Navigator. Mentioned above the Walker does the this new? Haven't seen one yet.

    Much heavier linkage and positive action on blade engage system. I notice all the time that that the Walker engage arrm comes over center and when in the full engage position, the belt is looser then it was at about 3/4.

    There is a nice little guide that helps the discharge chute on the deck line right up with the blower intake when you flip the deck up and down on the Navigator. Keeps the discharge chute from getting crunched. When they get crimped, and leads to clogging.

    If you have not seen the blower on the Navigator, I can take some pics. It's unique. The intake from the deck is off to the side, or , ecentric. Kinda like how the little wonder blowers are designed. Instead of the grass comming into the middle and dropping, its hitting the vanes of the blower as it enters. Less clogging, breaks up the material better. Probably why the guys are saying it fills the bag better. The blower is also and inch thinker and taller. There is also a second strip of metal welded to the outside of the blower casing where the walker blowers are known to wear through.

    The muffler on the Navigator is located inside the frame rails, so there is no way for it to get smashed up like they do on the Walkers.

    Engine orientaion on the Navigator promotes far more air flow around the motor. Kohler caught a bad wrap for burning up motors in the Walkers. We've replaced tons of them. Not Kohler's's the fact that there is little air flow under neath that bag. The reason why guys have had little trouble with the diesels are because they are liquid cooled , and didn't have a chance to overheat. On the Navigator, the cylinders are located East to West...toward the sides of the frame, rather than North to South, like in the Walker. 99 percent of the time, when a motor puked on a Walker, it is the cylinder up toward the blower, not the back. You get dirt and grass build up , with little air flow and that was it. Now, we have seen some problems with the 25 Kohlers. They had head gasket issues which lead to some problems. This was on ALL equipment. Some guys were soured by this. The 27 Command has been solid. Very popular on the Lazers as well.

    We had a demo unit this year. You put that in the hands of potential customers and it sells itself. 2 of them went to guys that were running Walkers. I just had a customer who purchased one last fall, come back for a second one last week. So there is repeat sales which means happy customers. This was a guy who ran Walkers in the past, and actually had pretty good luck with them.

    Don't get me wrong. Walker is a good machine. They've been at it a long time. But the Navigator is in now way inferior to the Walker, and is even better in some ways. Guys who are concerned about's within and inch length, width, and height.

    Only gripe i've had is the lack of engine options. Obviously, that's all Walker builds is Walkers....... Exmark builds 4 Models of the Navigator. 20 hp or 27 hp with a 42 or 48 inch deck. I would imagine that if and when Exmark grabs a larger piece of the market share, they may open up the engine options a bit. The Navigator does come through with the larger bag and the heavier gearboxes standard. This is an option on Walker, although some dealers stock the units with these upgrades only.

    Hope this helps.
  10. A.D Services

    A.D Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 224

    wow you really know your stuff about walkers but like what from i was saying from just a look at the two they look very similiar at first it made me think that exmark and walker were affiliated some how. actually i saw a scag that looked like that to.

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