walker mower or not?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by capt.craig, Jan 7, 2004.

  1. capt.craig

    capt.craig LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    well Ive bin pondering on this for about 6 months. need an new mower this spring with a bagging unit. most of my lots are medium to high end homes aprox 1/2 to 3 acres tried out a walker and liked the pickup systemand manuvarabilty of the mower. not sure about the reliabilty and maintance end of it as well as ease of dumping the grass clipping into my pickup truck. anything comparatable in a zero turn bagging unit? should I go with the Walker or any other suggestions? thanks craig
  2. xcopterdoc

    xcopterdoc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 752

    I can't tell ya about the operating part of the Walker mowers but as a mechanic who has worked on few I can comment on that. The engines on the ones I worked on were Kohlers. They were pretty much trouble free and only regular PM was needed. They are a pretty complex machine compared to like a Exmark Lazer. Way more belts and moving parts. The blades over lap each other so the blades are "timed" so they dont hit each other. Its a drive shaft and gear box driven deck, which is good til you really wack something. From the owners and operators that I have done work for, they really like them for high end, medium high end residental work. They really cut nice. My opinion... seems like you are gonna be operating it yourself, residental lawns.. a good choice if you can afford the note and you are VERY anal about taking care of it as far as PM goes. As far as dumping into the back of a pickup... I dont think it is high enough to directly dump the grass catcher into a bed.. unless you back up a set of ramps and then dump.. might be a lil hairy! I'm sure other actual owners and operators will fill you in more better than I have.
  3. LB Landscaping

    LB Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 1,309

    I have one and love it. They are a little more complex than others but with regular PM they should be trouble free. I have had mine for 2 years and the only problem I have had was a Hydro belt breaking, it broke because a stick shot under the unit and the belt slipped, never happend before and hasn't happened since. If you are looking for a bagging mower the Walker is awsome. It is a little slower than some others but the quality of cut can't be beat.
  4. Ryan Lightning

    Ryan Lightning LawnSite Senior Member
    from CA
    Messages: 554

    If you have to bag 3 acres with a 48" Walker I think it will take to long from all the dumping you will have to do. I think youll need a mulching deck, and put all the biggest lawns on the same days, are another mulching mower for the larger lawns.
  5. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    There is a company who makes ramps to go from your trailer to your truck so you back up the trailer and up the ramp and can dump right in the truck bed. There’s also another company that makes aftermarket high lift kits for walker collection system hoppers. It lifts them extra high to dump over the side of a truck. A local welding shop could make the ramp setup if you showed them a picture, or you can buy them from the company below.

    The ramps are made by www.usaramp.com

    The walker high lift kits are made by All Seasons, I don’t see a website address in the ad for them in Turf mag, but the email address is allseasons@characterlink.net and their phone number is 800-786-2301

    Hope this helps.
  6. Avery

    Avery LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,389

    They are slow, tempramental machines. I have had two...down to one now and hope for that one to be gone soon. They spend more time in the shop than on the turf. Only redeeming factor is they do a beautiful cut on high quality turf. As xcopterdoc said they are far too complex. That is their downfall IMO. No amount of TLC or PM is going to prevent them from having problems. As for the dumping issue...they make a high lift dump attachment that lifts the catcher and dumps it in the bed of a truck w/o having to leave the seat. Cool feature if you don't mind paying for it.
  7. capt.craig

    capt.craig LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    familiar with the high lift ,herd it was around 2500.
    any other suggestions as to other make mowers with baggers? tried out a Ferris with a blower and bagger unit not bad ,but a big unit. How about the Toro (ithink 355)?
  8. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,910

    capt, I have a couple of them. They work well for our type of grass and properties. Our main one is a 48" GHS with 20 hp Kohler in it. It now has about 1300 hrs on it. It's main use now is for leaf clean up in the fall. We have a couple of other mowers so the Walker only goes on the properties that it is suited for. MTD Pro Z, JD 72" front mount and a Toro WBH as well so we can use whatever is the best for the property. As for repairs on the Walker belts and blades of course, motor on the rear chute, one blower fan, one shear pin and many many shear bolts. It's better to break shear bolts than the pins. I have rebuilt the thin blower chute a couple of times. I have been thinking for the last two years that I would have to change the gear box because it feels a little sloppy but it is still holding up. We will always have a Walker or at least a Walker collection type mower. By the way my dealer is 80 miles one way from me and it's never been a problem. Parts shipped to our door overnight or within a couple of days if it's something odd. There are some dealers who rent them out, try one on your properties before you buy and see if they will put the rent towards the purchase price.
  9. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,296

    it sounds like most of the work that your going to be doing is going to require the baggins system. walker is very good in the sense that they have a very reliable collection component of the machine. like FSM said, they do have the ramps to you can dump into the truck. i have not heard any complaints on the walkers and from what i gather, with its bagging capability, sounds like it may be the right machine for you.

    good luck.
  10. capt.craig

    capt.craig LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    cantoo I see your in Ontario as well who did you deal with for the Walkers?

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