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walker mowers are they really worth the money?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by poghead, Dec 14, 2000.

  1. poghead

    poghead LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    Hello to all.This is my first post.I`m new in this business.I have a full time job,80 hrs. a week.I currently have 3 mowing accounts. I do these on the weekends. I may get 2 more in the next month. One of those will be a commercial job. I need to save time. Is the Walker really that much more of a mower for the money? I want to leave a clean job and from what I've heard, the Walker is supposed to be the best for cleaning up debris.If anyone has any input for me on this subject, I'd really appreciate your opinion.
  2. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    I would get more accounts before I got a 10,000 dollar mower. Personally, I do not think they are worth it. I have a Dixie Chopper and I think it is a very efficient machine. Gets the job done.... quickly.:)
  3. Dan Stoms

    Dan Stoms LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    I ended up buying a Dixion 42"Estate model 16hp Kohler mower with a blower for grass collection and clean up,because like you I couldn't decide between what I wanted and what I needed. For no more work than I was going to be doing,this seemed to be somewhere in the middle between residential and an expensive commercial grade .Ground speed is good and cleans up very well. So my advice would be to get what the work can pay for ,and move up as the buisness increases. Working as much as you do, who knows you may be like some and get tired of cutting grass and end up with your wife cutting your grass on Saturdays for 15min. on a 10,000$ machine.
  4. Esby

    Esby LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 662

    I personally would go with a commercail walk-behind. They are far less expensive compared to the Walker, with out sacrificing a great cut. Especially considering the amount of time you will be spending on it. Personaly I would get an Exmark with a 48" deck. You do need to decide between hydro and belt drive, thats up to you. Worried about a clean appearence?? Attach the mulch system made by Exmark and it will make your clippings disappear. Or just discharge for still an exceptional cut. Talk to your local commercail turf care equipment dealer and see what they think.
  5. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    O.K. now that you have heard from some people that don't have Walkers I will give you my opinion.
    I have owned a Walker for the last 3 years. I started my lawn service without the benefit of any help like this site so I bought a Toro lawn tractor. It is a nice unit but its nice for a homeowner that dosen't need speed in mowing.

    I have a Walker 26efi 42"GHS that suits my mowing needs. I have customers that require bagging for various reasons (pools, gardens, just plain stubborn) and thats fine for me. The Walker is not as fast as a Dixie or a Lazer but then the Dixie or the Lazer cant vacuum and "REMOVE" debris like the Walker. I also own a Toro Proline 44" walk/slide behind 15hp hydro. This mower is used as a spare and for real wet days and early starts (discharge properties).

    The Walker is invaluable for spring clean dethatchings and my work looks better and is done faster than anyone in my area pushing a walkbehind dethatcher and raking or blowing it to a pile. It is also very valuable in the fall for picking up leafs and grinding them to dust. I do not even have a rake on my trailer.

    I use the Walker to also discharge clippings out of the back with the no-catch deflector. If you stay up with the lawn it works fine which is the same as any mower.

    Yes 10K is alot of money to spend but my mower is paid for and I have no regrets about ever spending the money. The Walker company is tremendous to deal with. They are committed to excellence and customer satisfaction and they keep improving the mower as new methods and technology improves.

    I work 56+ hours a week in my other profession and I have 2 days a week to do lawns. 25 lawns in a time of 12 to 16 hours depending on time of year, believe me - my Walker is worth it. My Toro lawn tractor would have taken twice as long to do the same work. My walk behind can do all of this in about the same time with less than desireable results along with me being drag out tired when the day is done.

    I'd recommend you get in touch with a Walker dealer or distributor in your area and arrange a demo for the properties that you mow. Do the same with other mowers and see what you like. If you are in this for the long run, go commercial. If you have any specific questions, e-mail me i'd be glad to answer. Good Luck.
  6. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 564

    Walkers are awesome machines. New are super expensive...and again, you get what you pay for, kind of like what we tell our mowing customers...

    I bought mine used 5 years ago. I keep the oil/filters changed, change hydro oil and keep an eye on the belts. In tha last five years 30-40 lawns per week I have had maybe $200.00 worth of parts/ adjustments done to the machine. It increased my business, gives an awesome cut, and saves me tons of time and work. Is it worth it? Yes.
    16 hp Model C 42 inch GHS. None of the burn up problems i hear about. Bought it for 3500.00 to date it has brought in more than enough to make it worth it.
  7. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    Walkers are a mower that caters to those who bag their clippings. If you do not need to bag your clippings, you do not need a Walker. I tried a Walker and I did not like it. They have very sensative steering They are a very high maintenance machine. If your not bagging, a Lazer or Dixie Chopper is your best bet. They will out perform a Walker any day of the week. Walker are so SLOW. If I mowed at 5mph or 7mph with the speed up kit, I would literally go insane. I do not know how you Walker guys can stand it! I guess yall don't know better.:)

  8. landscaper3

    landscaper3 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,354

    I agree with MOWED, we own 2 new ones owned Walkers for many years and there isnt a substatute. Our GHS are also equiped with extra decks for discharging instead of bagging less then 3-minutes to change. BUT-BUT you need accounts before buying a new mower! Either by a used one or a new walkbehind to start out and pocket you cash and save then when more accounts come in get the Walker!!!! They are one of the lowest maintenance mowers out there,there compact cut trimming time down due to other mowers have ADD ON VACUME systems that stick way out. The steering on Walker mowers is also one of the best in the market, by itself makes real straight lines for striping and they also have a tail lock kit for REALLLLYYY straight lines. We have put around 3500-4500 hrs on our Walkers combined and they are RELIBLE. Those front mounts are great!!

    [Edited by landscaper3 on 12-16-2000 at 03:30 AM]
  9. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 564

    "They have very sensative steering They are a very high maintenance machine."

    Sensitive steering is a good thing. With a Walker you use one hand to steer and probably just two fingers!I honestly have not experienced this "high maintenance" stuff. You have a machine that is designed to be simple in maintenance...no hydraulic lines or pumps. super easy repairs in the field...few tools required. If you plan on beating it to pieces ...you can. Personally I like to baby my machines as they provide my living.

    I say look around. It is my experience that whatever the folks around you are using is probably very well suited for your needs, and if you are small and just starting to grow, you may be able to find a decent used machine (and the dealer support to run it).
  10. poghead

    poghead LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    Thank-you all for your opinions. Let me go into more detail.I live in the midlands of south carolina.I fell into cutting other folks lawns when an elderly lady accross the street asked me, as the lawn service she used just stopped showing up.Well I owened a honda 21"walk behind does a fair job with pine straw & leaves.I always bag my yard couse that pine straw is endless here.Well she told a frind and here I am with 3 yards to keep up not counting mine.I drive a truck for a living so I'm gone 5 days a week.I can afford the expense of the walker now and stay with my driving job another year. I will pick up a comm. acct. in march and another res. as well.I like being outdoors,I like cutting grass,I think I would like to get into this full time.What I don't like is raking straw & leaves.

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