Walker mower Issues

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Snydley, May 21, 2007.

  1. Snydley

    Snydley LawnSite Member
    from IN
    Posts: 3

    I am a home owner and just purchased a new Walker Mower Model HC-GHS through a local dealer. These are pricey mowers but there were two attributes that made it attractive; The grass handling system and the tilt-up mower deck. The dealer sold me on the fact that the Walker Mower would not nickel and dime me to death.
    Well, we got it home and immediately noticed that it would be nice to have arm rests for this unit since we mow on a slight grade, and lights since it was dark when we finished our first mowing. These are both options (standard on the Country Clipper and others) so I immediately began shelling out the nickels and dimes...
    I installed the arm rest kit, then the lights and discovered the first of 3 engineered defects. The arm rests could not be placed into the usable position (horizontal) because the frame of the light rack pinched the rubber about 1" on each side. That is a good formula for premature wear. .Tech Support wrote me that they were sending a different set of arm rests to the dealer. I will exchange them tomorrow.
    Now comes the good part. Installation instructions for the arm rest kit and lights are nothing more than schematics that are difficult to read and no real verbiage. I managed to install them except for the light switch. I removed the grommet that covers the laser cut hole for the switch. No matter how I tried, I could not get the switch through the hole to install it. Tech support acknowledged that the hole will be relocated in new models and that the circuit breaker on my unit needs to be rotated 90 degrees to make room for the switch. However, Walker did offer the dealer any labor allowance make the change and I am not about to move the "bird's nest" of wires that are difficult to access myself on a brand new mower.
    The worst defect is that the GHS (grass handling system) on units with the 9.5 Bushel tank has been upgraded ans is now powerful enough to minimize clogging. However, grass and dust blow out of the top hinged panel and on to the operator's back and the dust is a breathing hazard. Tech Support volunteered that about 1000 mowers after mine was built, Walker updated the design and now offers an "Upgrade Kit" as an option ad my expense. Mind you, I have just owned this mower for little more than 3 weeks and they expect me to buy the kit! The dust issue is legitimately one that i am contemplating reporting to OSHA as a health hazard. We had to wear a dust mask while mowing and had to change clothes in the garage before entering the house to avoid dropping grass and dust on the floor of our house.
    There has been some interesting and excellent engineering executed in the design of the mower, but the dealer should never make the statement that owning a Walker mower will never nickel and dime the owner to death. It already has!
     
  2. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,335

    Yea, that sounds like a great plan... what good AT ALL would that do since they have already changed it on the newer models? I bet that your dealer probably could get you a update kit for free or at cost, since you DID just buy a $9000 machine from him.
     
  3. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    That's not a great way to start off in ... what I'd say is a great mower ... it really sounds like a dealer issue thou ... they should have installed those options fore you ...

    I have 5 Walkers n fore what I use em fore they fit my needs ... I also have a Lazer n a DC fore larger spots

    As far as five n dime ya ... well that's almost like alot of things .... they are extra's which most do not use ...n to keep the price down .. they have as an option

    I hope in the long run things help change the first hand experience ... I will tell ya that the little things .like belts, blades, filters n such .... get em out side of the dealer price .... there are plenty of on line venues to save $$ with
     
  4. tallimeca

    tallimeca LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,229

    dealer issues?

    How do you figure? This guy went and bought these options to add on. These are ADD ON options which means they aren't factory. That means the person putting them on obviously will take time. Did the customer ask the dealer to install these on the machine?

    As far as nickle and diming you to death........as far as being used for a homeowner machine, it should hold up well so I wouldn't be soured on the machine. You can tell from my sig, i'm not a pro walker guy because I do see them nickle and dime landscapers to death, but shouldn't for a homeowner.

    I will tell you that these add on options you bought never fit 100 percent, and that goes for all manufacturers.

    The flap and dust thing is something that i though sucked for years and now walker has this new kit to reduce the dust, but it still get's dusty. I agree it is a hazard and should have been redesigned a LONG LONG time ago.

    Honestly just because you paid 9k dollars, why should the dealer spend an hour he won't get paid for installing add ons. That just cut right into their profit.

    If you can't install the options, pay your dealer to do it. That's why they are there.

    I highly don't recommend screwing around with the electrical system if you don't get the directions. Walkers wiring is a friggen mess and as you can see........there's plenty of it.

    In the long hall, i think you won't regret your purchase and will be happy with it.
     
  5. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    I fiqure they are dealer issue due to the fact he is a customer .... he just bought a high price item ... they sould go the extra mile to 'keep" him n install these extra items ...

    These items are factory options n fore some not the easiest to install ... after all they are a factory dealer ...they should step up to the plate n represent Walker in a way which goes side by side with a top line product .... if he is here on this forum experessing his bad taste ....think how many others ....local ...he is saying this too ....

    Suppose he has a friend interested in this mower ...he is NOT gonna give the best of review .. the dealer ...should see this as an opportunity ..... create him as a happy customer with nothing but not only positive reviews of the mower itself ....but the dealer as well

    NO Problem from MY side ....but I know fore a FACT my dealer would have installed this items at NO cost to me .... but maybe I lucky ... I have a very GOOD dealer

    And this is the same thinking I use in running my business ....I wish to save the customer so as they speak highly of me

    I DO understand ....from a dealer stand point the cost related to installing these items ... nothing is really free .... the profit related to installing this items is the good faith given back from the customer
     
  6. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,327

    Good and kind comments I know you are an Exmark guy .....
     
  7. ZX12R

    ZX12R LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 787

    Should have hired a landscaper .Let him get dusty. lol
     
  8. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,910

    Tell us about the last car you bought? Did you get any options? You bought the Walker options and I'm sure they told you they could install them for a price. Just so you don't get a nasty surprise when you buy your next set of blades they won't install them for you either. There is also a good chance you are going to need some gas soon too.
    I have the big bin and the only time crap flies on me is when the bin is full. Wait until you do leaves. I also have the lights and the arm rests. They have been on for around 1500 hours and all is fine. Haven't even had to replace a light yet. Make sure you buy a couple of the shear bolts you will need them soon. I'm not sure what your Dealer meant by not nickel and diming you to death but I would suspect that he didn't mean options that you purchased for your needs. Did you buy the bins for the back? Did you get the speed up kit? Did you buy/get a couple of spare belts? Extra cups and blades?
     
  9. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Posts: 2,869

    Water is the answer. Yea water the grass more in the dusty areas. I don't run my Walker on dusty lawns if I can help it. The mower won't last as long if you do. Starters need to be blown with air quite often on certain models because of the dust.
     
  10. Snydley

    Snydley LawnSite Member
    from IN
    Posts: 3

    Thank all of you professionals you for the comments. The options that I purchased were factory options, not an after market kit. The parts themselves are made of high quality materials and installation was not an issue except for the light switch. I am an engineer by education, mechanically inclined (which is why I thought the engineering in the basic Walker was attractive) and used to be a real "gear head" when I was young. I could see where a novice could not have been able to follow the schematic diagrams that are supposed to be "installation instructions for the kits. Walker has told me that they will be changing the location of the light switch on future models. So much for engineering...
    I understand that this is a busy season for dealers and mine is no exception. Perhaps one respondent is correct that the dealer should have taken care of the customer (after an expenditure of over $9K + accessories) but they did not seem to be aware of the problems... That could be attributed to a lack of bulletins from the manufacturer. Based on Tech Support's attitude during a conversation, it is the manufacturer who does not want to spend the money to correct problems. At least that is my conclusion.
    I solved the dust issue myself by using 3/8" high by 1-1/2" wide sticky backed closed cell rubber adhered to the very back of the top surface of the grass catcher. It seals against the hinged door and has eliminated the blow back. I also found some self stick black plastic automobile body molding (Pep Boys) hat I applied to the elevated rim at the bottom of th mower deck to act as a bumper in the event that we run into a wall or landscape rocks.
    Yes, I know that this last enhancement sounds wussy to the pros, but I know that we are not as skillful as you are so I am just protecting the powder coat finish.
    Thanks again to all!
     

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