out front Mowing Versus Mid-Mount MowingIn an honest appraisal of the commercial lawn mower market, the mid-mount zero-turn mowers have their place. Many of these machines are being used to good advantage in commercial mowing. If your job is chop and drop, mow and blow, mulchimatic, straight-ahead mowing on flat ground at 10 mph (and this is the case for many applications), the mid-mount zero-turn is a good machine for the job. On the other hand, if the location to be mowed has hills, rolling terrain, needs a vacuumed and manicured look, has lots of trimming, includes combinations of tight areas and open spaces, or needs the versatility of various decks and attachments, the Walker Mower has the advantage. Keep reading to learn more about out front Mowing from Walker.
out front Mowing is High Quality MowingThe Walker is designed to produce a finished job with a manicured look and beautiful mowing patterns. Careful attention has been given to a deck design that provides proper air pressure underneath the housing which in turn produces smooth material flow. In addition, the deck suspension lends itself to smooth cutting. The front mounted deck "floats and flexes", moving independently from the tractor to follow ground contour and minimize scalping. Mid-mounts have inherent design limitations that can prevent quality cutting and a clean, finished look. Heavily weighted front caster wheels track and mash the grass down before cutting even takes place. The mid-mount deck is more rigidly connected to the tractor and, without the ability to move independently from the tractor, has very little floating capability.
out front Mowing is Fast on the Job MowingDon’t be fooled by the idea that the mower with the fastest ground speed always finishes first. For many jobs, the total work time is influenced by additional factors. While many mid-mount mowers have a faster top speed than the Walker, the Walker often wins the race when it comes to overall time spent on the job. It can get into and out of tight spots and can get up close to edges, greatly reducing time spent with a line trimmer. In many mowing conditions, both machines will need to slow down to make a tight turn (to avoid turf damage) and because the Walker is better balanced, it can usually turn faster. Additionally, when cutting heavy grass, the mid-mount must slow to "Walker speed" to produce a quality cut.
out front Mowing Means Trimming CapabilityThe front-mount deck on the Walker Mower has more reach and better deck geometry for trimming than competitive mid-mount mowers. This is especially true when using the GHS rear-discharge or mulching decks that give trimming capability on both sides. A Walker operator sits low to the ground and can work under overhanging areas. In addition, his or her view of the out front deck enhances operation in tight spots and when trimming. Walker’s precision steering makes it easy to work close to edging, fences, landscaped beds and pavement. By contrast, the mid-mount design simply doesn’t allow for the same deck reach and trimming capability. The operator sits higher on a mid-mount, limiting the ability to work under overhanging areas. More secondary trimming with a line trimmer or push mower is required when using a mid-mount machine.
out front Mowing is Precision Steering & HandlingThe Walker steering controls are light, precise, responsive and nearly effortless to use. The patented Forward Speed Control (FSC) takes the complexity out of handling a zero-turn mower by setting forward travel and acting as a cruise control. Engineered for precision steering and handling, the Walker performs close-in trimming, detail mowing, and produces beautiful mowing patterns easily. With the mid-mount design, the heavy weight on the front caster wheels (try lifting on the front end of a mid-mount mower!) increases turning resistance and makes steering slower and less responsive. This is especially true on soft or wet ground. More turning effort means slower, less agile turns and less precise response to steering inputs. Precision handling is not so important in open area mowing, but in compact areas with lots of obsacles it makes all the difference.
out front Mowing Means Working Better on Hills & SlopesWalker Mowers offer superior traction and handling on slopes. A low center of gravity (the operator sits 8"-12" lower on a Walker than on a typical mid-mount) and having most of the weight balanced on the drive wheels makes the difference. A mid-mount's weight must be shifted forward of the drive wheels to avoid “flip up” when climbing a hill. This design causes traction to be lost going down the hill. If you are considering a mid-mount and have hills to mow, make sure you test the downhill handling of the mower. The Walker commercial lawn mower offers good balance and traction on the drive wheels for handling side slopes. A mid-mount mower will tend to be nose heavy on side slopes. The front caster wheels do not keep the tractor going straight on a side slope. An additional point to consider about hills is that the out front Walker deck moves independently of the tractor and follows natural contours. The mid-mount deck is rigidly suspended from the tractor and has a tendency to scalp or skip on rolling terrain.
out front Mowing Means Better Grass Handling CapabilityA key question to ask in deciding between a Walker Mower and a mid-mount tractor is whether or not you need grass collection capability. Grass collection may not be needed full time, but many operators need vacuuming and collection at least part of the year. If collection capability is needed, Walker has one of the best catching systems available (Walker Grass Handling System - GHS). First of all, the GHS is built into the tractor, which means less bulk for working in tight areas. The rear discharge GHS deck allows trimming from either side and offers superior vacuum action. The catcher has a patented Powerfil® and full signal and is easily dumped. In comparison, the typical mid-mount collection system does not offer the GHS capability because it is a bulky "added on" feature to a side discharge deck.
out front Mowing Means "The Best Seat in the House"On a Walker, the operator has the "best seat in the house." He or she is positioned right on top of the turning radius which provides a stable ride. The operator also has an excellent view of the mower deck and the grass in front and beside it. The Forward Speed Control (FSC) means the operator relaxes and does not have to hold the steering levers forward while mowing. The mid-mount operator sits ahead of the turn radius and is jostled side-to-side when turning, and because the deck is positioned underneath the operator compartment; the operator has to look down to see the mowing area. Holding steering levers in position does get tiring, especially on uneven ground.
out front Mowing is a Tractor with VersatilityThe compact Walker riding lawn mower is a versatile tractor; it does small work beautifully and can also get the big tasks done well. The reverse, however, is not true: big tractors can only do big work. The compact Walker beats the big mid-mounts hands down in this regard. The front-mount deck configuration offers a quick change to as many as 9 sizes and styles of mower decks for a variety of mowing jobs and conditions. It also provides an ideal platform for mounting other implements and attachments like the Walker 42" Snowblower and the popular Dethatcher. The balance and traction of the out front Walker makes implements and attachments work more simply and efficiently than they can on a mid-mount. The compact and versatile Walker Mower lets you work in places and in seasons the mid-mounts can't touch.
Questions to Ask Before Buying a Mid-Mount...
- Does the mid-mount mower's deck design produce a beautiful cut?
- Can the mid-mount get in and out of compact areas?
- Can it reduce your line trimming time considerably?
- Can you really mow at the advertised ground speed of the mower and leave an attractive, manicured cut?
- Is the mid-mount's steering easy to use, responsive and precise?
- Does the mower lose traction or braking capability when driving downhill or mowing on a slope?
- Can the mid-mount handle grass without a bulky attachment?
- Can you see all the grass you are about to cut from the seat of the mid-mount?
- Can the mid-mount work year-round with an assortment of implements and attachments?