Is Walker worth the investment for us?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by dukester, Jun 20, 2002.

  1. dukester

    dukester LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    We started out in business this year. We’ve got 17 accounts. Some weekly most are every 2 weeks. 4 are commercial accounts. I’m using a Murray 46” lawn tractor, ( the
    second one in 2 months ), a 33” Snapper, and a 33” Toro mower with mulching deck. The Toro cuts best . We are going to get a new machine soon I hope. I’ve been looking a Dixie, exMark,
    Toro, and Walker. It seems like they are all good machines. I’ve been leaning toward the Walker ( 48" with 20 hp and lg hopper ) because I want to try to keep things going this winter. There are a lot of pine trees here and I felt like I could offer another service to our customers. Question, is the Walker that good of a machine? It look like it going to cost about $1500 more than the others. How are you keeping busy when winter comes. We are located about 50 miles north of New Orleans.
  2. yardboyltd

    yardboyltd LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 323

    If you want someplace to safely put your investment, look at Dixie. While they're not that pretty, they're engineered to the max. I simply recommend for reliability and the nice cut that comes with it. That does not mean the others are not nice. They all are. It just seems to me that the "Dixie Cult" is willing to pay out more a maintained used mower. Walkers have a good resale in certain parts also...

    I know looks don't get you home, but many have commented all the nice look of my Gravely260z. Many don't think mower looks is important, but I think a good looking mower strikes up new business. It has for me. I really like the dixies, if they just were better looking and more refined... just my personal preference.
  3. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I have a Walker and say that it is a great machine. Thats my biased opinion. I paid for mine in just about one spring clean up season. For MY operation it is a necessity.

    There are volumes written in the search about Walker. Try and get one to demo for a day or a week if they let you. The 20 hp w/ the 48 deck is a good combo. If you can swing it, the 26EFI is a monster and is as good on fuel as the 20 so you pay more now for more hp but it is well worth it.

    You will have all kinds of opinions here from Chopper owners, Exmark owners, Gravely on and on. All are good machines but only you can really decide. I will tell you one thing for sure, you will notice a huge difference between the time spent on a Murry compared to a Walker. I had a Toro garden tractor when I started and thought it was the standard. The Walker blows it away. There isn't a better all around mower than a Walker. If you have to bag, there is NO comparison. No extra motors hanging off the back of the mower, no tubes or cloth bags. Its made to bag. It also is made to cut. I use a 52SD and a 42GHS when needed. It makes me tremendous amounts of money for the effort spent.

    If you are looking to cut big areas (3-4 acres at a crack) then look to the bigger Z's, thats what they are for. If you want a versatile precision mower that does many functions, look to the Walker.

    Good Luck.
  4. robert payer

    robert payer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282


    Such a large investment with so few accounts. They are all good machines. Had 2 Walkers at one time. Just got tired of bagging and the dollar amount tied up in them. They were nice if you must catch. Ideal for tight condos with lots of beds. I am not knocking the Walker brand rider, it was a very nice machine for the proper application. Received excellent service from our local dealer called Emmet Equipment in Richfield, Ohio

    Best wishes on your decision.
  5. Brickman

    Brickman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,249

    Let me clear the air. I am Walker biased big time. If I couldn't have a Walker then I wouldn't be in biz. It just that plain. I mow a lot of confined areas and medium lawns. I also have a few big ones. The Walker is worth at least 2 if not 3 guys on 21" WBs. If you plan to bag there is no other mower for this. Your machine is only as wide as the deck, no stupid blowers and tubes hanging off the side so that you can only close mow on the one side of the mower. How ever I would question the wisdom of the large hopper. If you bag heavy wet grass the smaller hopper holds more than one guy can throw into a truck. Add a bad back and you are screwed. If you have some kind of hydralic loading system then I wouldn't hesitate to get the bigger hopper. One other thing the bigger hopper sticks up higher and catches way more tree branches.

    I am with robert payer on wondering why with only 17 accounts you need a Walker or other expensive mower. With the Walker you could more than likely do all of those in 2 days. Go with as much HP as you can afford. I have the 25 and would not trade it in for a 20.

    I can get a five year loan for a Walker here. That might be some thing to look into as well, if you can spread out the payments, then it might work for you.
  6. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    If your going to bad most of the time then there is nothing better than a Walker. You should also know they are known for higher maintenance costs. You need to take that into account when deciding on one. I wouldn't mind having one at some point for leaf season, but I will not bag grass so the eXmarks I will keep.
  7. Brickman

    Brickman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,249

    What higher maint costs???

    In 1000 plus hours the only thing I have changed was belts, filters, oil. All the usual maint items. Now if your Exmark doesn't need oil changes then I might be interested.
  8. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,714

    I for one do not agree at all about the high maint. cost on Walker mowers. I have over 500hrs on my 20hp GHS Walker and have had NO repairs of any kind done to it. It has never broken down, not even once. There is nothing different on a Walker than on any other ZTR except they are smaller and do have a blower unit to move grass into the hopper. Other than that, it is basically the same; belts, engine, hydro pumps, and wheel motors. :)
  9. robert payer

    robert payer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    Hey Hoss,

    Heard some thing about you being in turf magazine? Is that you on the cover? If not where are you? I tried to find your mug shot.
    If that is you on the cover I hope that Stihl paid you very well.

    Your voice of wisdom can now be seen!

    Your reply is anticipated.
  10. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    As I looked into them in the past I talked with many owners and mechanics. Most agreed that Walkers have higher maintenance cost. If you haven't had any problems then your probably easier on your equipment because your paying for it and take better care of it. I know many people who have had several new gear boxes over the life of the machines. Not to mention several seem to go thru motors faster. This I'm not real sure as to why.

    A guy I know that cuts with a Walker was outside my house a couple of days ago. He just had to have a new motor. Gearbox also went bad. Think he said PTO seals, and many other things that he's had to deal with. Has like 700 hours on it.

    Again, if your never having any problems your probably treating your machine very well. As most of us know, good short-term maintenance saves in high priced long-term maintenance.

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