Pros and cons of a walker mower

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Wright48, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. Wright48

    Wright48 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 242

    Im looking into buying a walker mower brand new just was wondering if it really does double production. also whats the pros a cons of the machine.
     
  2. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,355

    Subscribed :)
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  3. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,536

    Straight up mowing, its half as fast as the competition. They excel at fine mowing and leaf removal/bagging. Higher maintenance needs and cost over typical ZTR. Mine sits in the shop most of the time. Takes up a huge amount of trailer space.
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  4. ramcat

    ramcat LawnSite Member
    Posts: 212

    From my experience the walker is not a high productivity mower. You get a superior looking cut and finish with the walker but you also spend more time. A mid mount zero turn will easily out mow a walker. For bagging leaves the walker may be more productive but not by much if any. I used to own a walker md diesel.
    Pros:
    Beautiful finish, trim with both sides of deck, will pick up anything when bagging, sipped fuel

    Cons:
    Slow, big rear end, plugged up fairly easily (10in blower), high maintenance (belts, wiring, etc.), not heavily built like other mowers (had to replace deck at 1200 hours because of just normal wear), really poor hillside performance

    This is just my experience with a 15 year old walker. I would not hesitate to buy a new one if you are looking to provide your customers with the nicest manicured lawn in the neighborhood. I recommend the gas walkers because the diesels are expensive, hillside performance is much better with the gas and the diesel we had was well cared for and only lasted 3200 hours. It developed a very severe knock. Try em out!
     
  5. fireman gus

    fireman gus LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 517

    In our area most lawn guys use Walker mowers. They make a really nice looking yard. They are high maintenance but all equipment need maintenance. We do most of our own so cost is minimal. If you leave the deck down it does take up trailer space but on our 16foot trailer it is no problem, in fact we carry two. A 42" muching deck one and a 48" one for bagging. On a smaller trailer you can just lift the deck up and it saves space. We also have a Dixon but the Walker is so much better.
     
  6. SDLandscapes VT

    SDLandscapes VT LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 582

    The walker has a place and it does a very good job at what it is designed to do--that is provide a manicure to well fed and watered turf. It is the closest cut quality to a reel mower. The outfront deck allows for very precise trimming and the GHS decks allow for trimming on both sides--this is a huge advantage.

    They really are more of a residential machine for nicer homes of people who require well maintained turf and who want better clean-ups through out the season. Commercially they do okay if you know where to use them--no grass blown on parked cars or in high traffic areas, picks up trash (very nice for banks, gas stations, and fast food) but they are slow. We have a walker 3 walkbehinds (two turf tracers and one bobcat) and a hustler mini-Z (we also own the bagging system for the Z) On my 18' trailer I can fit two walkbehinds and the walker, or a walkbehind, the Z, and a walker. for what we do we are thinking our most ideal crew setup for two guys is a two turf tracer 48" and a 48" walker. We are demoing a navigator on Friday so it may be a navigator. We mow mostly lawns in the 9K to 25K sq ft range. I wouldnt be without this style of mower, but I don't use it every week in the peak of the season as we are faster with the two turf tracers. the z is simply too heavy for residential yards. The compaction is noticeable and the cut quality is marginal--and before everyone jumps off and says it's all about the operator with the Z (I agree) I am an expert (you just can't get around 1100 pounds before rider and gas)

    All said there is a place for a walker--we would be lost in the fall without it but you have to look at it as a tool in the toolbox rather than something that does everything well--this mower does not exist rather reality requires a combination of mowers
     
    aotriple7 likes this.
  7. Five Points

    Five Points LawnSite Member
    Posts: 213

    I really like my walker has 3100 hrs (original 20 hp kohler) . I run the GHS deck

    in the fall and bit in early spring. Rest of the season I use the 56 inch side

    discharge deck. stripes awsome and the deck out front is great getting in tight

    spots. Even with such a big deck it doesn't look to big on residentials. It is a bit

    slower but thats ok. I also bought a new grandstand this yr they both have

    their place. Not sure theres a mower that will do it all:canadaflag:
     
  8. cut level

    cut level LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 295

    Like everyone stated it has it's place and is a tool. Don know who told you it would double productivity but everybody has an opinion. I love mine but it sucks I mean sucks for hills or at least mine does.
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  9. BlackCloudDiesel

    BlackCloudDiesel LawnSite Member
    Posts: 103

    I've got 4 Walkers. One of them an MD-GHS that has over 6,300hrs on it. I use it daily throughout the cutting season. They are the Rolls Royce of lawn mowers. Beautiful cut/striping (1000x's nicer than my Toro's), precise maneuverability, many different attachments to keep machine busy year round, decks flip up 90* to ease in blade removal, averaging around 35 grease fittings between the deck and tractor- provide long life of moving parts, superior bagging ability, clamshell-type body for easy access to allow maintenance to be done on the trailer.

    I don't have a tail-wheel lock on any of my machines, but I can still ride hills and ditches that some people won't even take a wide-area walk behind on. I remove my hopper for the summer months to aid in visibility and reduce weight of machine and a chance of catching the hopper on a tree limb or swing set.

    I am proud to own Walkers, and wouldn't switch back to anything else.

    Below is how the mowers operate all summer... 52" SD deck, and no hopper!
    [​IMG]

    39462_1457076799021_1596390562_31295515_210201_n.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011
  10. mjstef

    mjstef LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    Like everyone says, Walker has it's place. Smooth, small irrigated lawns work best. The cut is great. If your cutting large lots or estates you might want to look at something bigger and faster. One thing you'll notice about a Walker on large lots if your running flat out is you will end up with sore legs from the constant movement of the deck. Walker (exmark copy)are the only front mounts i know of where your feet actually ride on the deck instead of a foot platform hooked up to the power unit itself. This does not bother some folks but with one bad knee it drives me nuts. I run a Grasshopper diesel most of the time. I can go from Mulch to side discharge in less than a minute and when i am not bagging i am not powering a blower like a Walker does. It will bush hog tall grass as the deck is 6" deep but leaves a great cut on nice lawns. It is a VERY fast mower and it is also one hell of a leaf vac! I can back on the trailer and dump without leaving the seat and it rides like a Cadillac. Also the Grasshopper is VERY easy to maintain compared to a Walker where you have to be a contortionist to get to things. I can access everything on the unit without breaking a sweat. No worries about grass packing in everywhere around pulleys, belts and the engine because all these things are in the open and can be blown clean easily. All this said my grasshopper is 9 feet long front to back. 4 feet longer than a Walker. It is a BIG mower (one of the reasons the ride is superb) People here do not have a lot of landscaping so it causes me no issues. I just bought the 52" mulching deck and plan on using it on places i usually bag.

    Bagging video.....
     

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