Walker Mowers Why Are They So Popular

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tglasslawncare, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. tglasslawncare

    tglasslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 326

    I see some many landscapers using Walker mowers. Can anyone tell me why they are so popular. Is it reliablitiy, cut, comfort, or all of the above? I was looking at a 48" 26 h.p. EFI that has 775 hours on it. Also, I was wondering if the can bag wet grass or is that just impossible. Thanks for your input.
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    If the bagging system on the walker is designed right yes it bags wet grass better than anything with a tube. Without baggers a wlker is simpler and quicker on smaller, odd shaped lawns with obstables than a ztr. Tire tracks that travel the same path week after week eventually starts to appear in many lawns. Some lawns are impossible to change directions of a ztr. Running between a tree and birdbath for example.
    Sometimes a pleasant walk around a nice yard is better than bouncing around on some stupid machine. :)
  3. BrandonV

    BrandonV LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,224

    they're great mowers for really manicured lawns, if you're out mowing less than prime areas I wouldn't invest in one.
  4. Bingham Brothers

    Bingham Brothers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    did you get the walker? Was it the one on e-bay? I have been looking for a good deal- everyone around here has one! I see some guys with 2 WALKERS and no other mowers on their trailer. I demo'd one and was lucky that one of my guys has spent five years running one- he was amazing to watch! It was almost like watching an artisit- he was amazing and it really showed me what can be done on a walker after you have experience. If you are bagging and have large properties it is a good investment.
  5. Henry

    Henry LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 549

    We used to use walkers but switched back to wb's years ago. IMO they only gave a clean cut with the deck low and wet grass was impossible. The bouncing also gave me a sore back.
  6. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,370

    What is it that was so exceptional that he did on a Walker ??
  7. lawnkid

    lawnkid LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 935

    As a Walker owner I could help answer a couple questions. I own a 2003 Walker MT with the 20hp Kohler engine and 1200 hours on it to start off. We do a lot of high end maintenance and the Walker or hydro walkbehinds are the only mowers I'd put on my properties. So in my opinion and with my experiences this is how I'd break it down.

    1. The walker mower in my opinion leaves the nicest cut out there. I have received many accounts just because of the way my lawns stand out with the walker cut and stripes compared to a midmount Z.

    2. They are great for leaf cleanups. We use ours to plow leaves as well as suck them up.

    3. The Walker mower models have generally speaking been the same mower year after year besides offering engines with more horsepower and bigger blowers making parts easy to come by and allowing for upgrades.

    4.Versatility. Walker offers so many attachments for thier mowers that can be used all year long. From thatchers, aerators, edgers, bed edgers, snowblowers... and the list goes on. Not to mention the interchangable decks that can be switched out in minutes.

    5. Fuel efficient. When I use my buddies 26hp Walker I can cut for about 8 hours with one tank of gas.

    6. Even though they are riders, they don't give off the huge rider vibe. Alot of customers are afraid of large Z's tearing up their lawns because they're heavy but our customers love the Walkers.

    7. Easy to work on. Changing the blades is simple with the flip up deck. Takes up leass than 2 minutes to change wit an impact.

    1. There is a significant difference in suction between the engines offered. For instance, I wish I would have bought a 26hp Kohler EFI because my 20hp Kohler doesn't suck up wet grass, clippings from tall lawns, and leaves like the 26hp engine can. I can go through tall 7" lawns cutting at 3.5" at almost full speed with the 26hp mower and not clog my deck. I can't do that with my 20hp machine. So what I'm basically saying is, don't get anything less than the 26hp EFI is this is gonna be your main machine. We are upgrading to two 26hp EFI's here shortly.

    2. If you're not big on preventative maintenance, the Walker is not for you. Every day before goin out, I have my mowing crew check all fluid levels and at the end of the day change the blades. We wash the mowers twice a week and grease them after each time. Greasing the Walkers are very important for optimum performance. I have heard horror stories of guys who thought they didn;t have to grease. Wrong! Replacing your drive shaft at 500 hours because it's dry of grease is not good. We also check electrical connections, and all nuts to make sure they are fastened tightly. The only suspension Walker mowers have are the tires so they take a lot of vibration. We also change our oil religiously and keep a log of at what hours we did what.

    3. They are not the toughest mowers. We have tacked a couple welds around the hopper frame and on the deck for extra reinforcement. These mowers are not made for bumpy yards with tree roots and divots. 90% of our lawns are flat, thick, green, and weedfree carpets of grass.

    4. Whenever my Walker breaks down I pray it's not something major because parts are expensive. On an AVERAGE Walker mower's lifespan, which is about 4000 hours, they have the engine replaced at least once, possibly hydro's replaced, and a gearbox. My Walker is at 1200 hours and my left hydro has been whining for about 15. It will get changed out next week. The hydro alone I believe is $500 and some change

    5. They are not the best on hills. I try to use them on hilly properties which is why my hydro is bad. We try to force them up and down hills on turns.

    Even though it apprears the disadvantages outweigh the advantages, I love my Walker which is why I am replacing my one with two new ones in the spring. I would recommend them to anybody. If you're looking for a quick cut, or if you're cutting several acres at a time, this mower is not for you. Our largest lawns are about two acres and they even are too large for these machines because of all the clippings collected but we still enjoy cutting them. We take out time on our lawns and double cut a lot of them which is why our customers love our service and our Walker. Sorry for the long post.
  8. BrandonV

    BrandonV LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,224

    the hopper assembly is $1000+
  9. tglasslawncare

    tglasslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 326

    Thank you to everyone for your input. Thank you lawn kid for your detailed write-up.
  10. Ninja lawn mowing

    Ninja lawn mowing LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    I like your reply LawnKid, excellent info.

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