There’s an application for every mower and each machine has its advantages and disadvantages. Before purchasing any mower, or for that matter any large piece of equipment, it is incumbent upon the buyer to demonstrate it, ensure that it operates well, and determine that it fits the application.
Oftentimes, though, a mower’s true benefits are best revealed in real life, while mowing several accounts over time. It’s then that things like maneuverability, compact design, balance, ease of maintenance and so forth come to the surface. That holds true for their mowing decks, too.
As an out front mower manufacturer, Walker Manufacturing is more than a little biased about the value of owning and operating a mower equipped with an out front deck. But don’t take our word for it. It’s best to talk with landscape contractors who have been using them for several years.
Sposato Landscape & Irrigation in Milton, DE, has been using Walker Mowers since 1995. The company’s satisfaction with the machine and its out front deck is evidenced by the fact that it currently operates 73 of them on a variety of properties, everything from HOAs and high-end residential accounts to several 55-and-older communities.
Here are four advantages that stand out for company president Tony Sposato and account manager Jason Powell, who has been with Sposato Landscape & Irrigation for 11 years.
1 Dramatically Reduces Trimming Time“We have five locations and in Milton alone 18 trucks go out every morning with two Walker Mowers. There’s no question that an out front deck, with its reach and ability to mow close to obstacles, is a time saver,” says Sposato. Given the fact that his company has so many accounts, that savings gives new meaning to the word “dramatic.”
2 Delivers a Superior Cut
“Our Walker Mowers have always delivered a quality cut, something that all our customers, not just our high-end customers, expect and appreciate,” adds Powell. “I know the design has a lot to do with that; they’re good decks. But the simple fact that they get to the grass before the mower runs over it makes a lot of difference, too.”
3 Better Visibility
Operators actually see what’s being mowed while it’s being mowed. That alone is different than a mid-mount. “More to the point,” says Powell, “the unencumbered visibility allows the operator to feel comfortable mowing a little faster. Again, it comes down to being able to actually view what the machine is doing, which is especially helpful when mowing on heavily landscaped properties.”
“We change our mower blades every day,” Powell emphasizes. “When a mower cuts 40 or 50 properties a day, that’s a necessity for delivering a clean cut. With the tilt-up feature, I can change blades in three to five minutes. You can’t change blades on a mid-mount in that length of time and then you’re on your back. Even with the couple of stand-on mowers we operate, I have to jack them up and still get on the ground to change the blades.” Sposato adds, “Decks that are easy to access are also easier to maintain—and they get cleaned more often.”
Three of the four above advantages (reduced trimming time, visibility and accessibility) help define productivity, something that’s important to the bottom line for any size company. Decks that deliver a superior cut also deliver repeat business, which also adds to the bottom line.
“All of our Walker Mowers have 48-inch GHS decks, which allows them to get into most backyards,” explains Sposato. “The decks are also easy to remove, allowing the tractor to be equipped with a different deck or an attachment. We have three snow blades and just last year purchased a snowblower. Now all we need is the snow.”
Sposato’s company rotates engines every 3,000 hours and completely overhauls mowers every winter. In between, crews are vigilant about routine maintenance, something that keeps mower and deck where they belong: in the field.
Unique Deck Design
All mowers with out front decks share many of the same attributes. But only Walker Mower decks will deliver the manicured, finished look that your customers have come to appreciate. Here’s how they do it.
1. True floating design. This allows the deck to follow the contours of the lawn. With Walker Mowers, only a fraction of the tractor’s weight is carried by the deck wheels compared to the competition. Working in combination with a flexible carrier frame, the reduced weight allows the deck to easily float from both side to side and front to back.
2. Exceptional reach. The Walker Mower deck delivers a 15 to 35 percent reach advantage over competitive out front models. This allows the operator to trim close, even under and around hard to reach areas such as low-hanging branches and fences.
3. Light and durable. Deck engineering and design favors structural integrity over excess metal and weight. This enhances the deck’s overall performance, one that leaves a gentle footprint by effortlessly floating over the lawn’s surface.