Just as there is a Walker Mower for virtually every application, there’s a deck for every application as well. These compact, out-front mowers have long been known for their maneuverability, quality of cut and grass-handling capability with their GHS decks. But did you know they can be very effective as mulching mowers, too? In fact, Walker Manufacturing offers several dedicated mulching decks, along with mulching kits for its 52- and 60-inch side-discharge decks.
The 48-inch mulching deck has long been a favorite for Walker Mower users. The deck’s housing design, recirculating baffles, and blade hubs with integrated circulator blades and Gator®-style cutting blades make it a very effective production deck. The deck easily breaks down grass clippings and leaves while delivering a cut that rivals its GHS counterparts.
There are specific applications in which a mulching deck is a favorable option over a GHS or side-discharge deck. Knowing that recycled grass clippings contribute nitrogen and add organic matter to the soil, some property owners simply prefer their grass clippings left on their yard. By re-cutting clippings before discharging them, mulching decks allow them to decompose rapidly. The clippings are hardly visible, and in many cases, property owners may not see the difference between collecting clippings and mulching them.
Mulching decks are also particularly useful on larger properties where collecting grass is far too time-consuming, or in areas where disposing yard debris is costly or otherwise a challenge … not to forget leaf-removal season.A TIME-SAVER
Colvin’s Lawn Care in Jeannette, Pennsylvania, has been in business since 1987. The company has three employees, three Walker Mowers—including two Model Bs—and 80 mowing accounts.
“We started mulching six years ago with two 48-inch mulching decks,” says company owner Chris Colvin. “A mulching deck certainly saves time handling grass clippings, and if I don’t explain to customers what I’m doing, they may never notice the difference in cut.”
As handy as they are for mowing, he notes that mulching decks are even more valuable in the fall, reducing the volume of leaves his crew members handle. Two other Walker Mower users, Mike Breegle, owner of Breegle’s Affordable Lawn Care in Irwin, Pennsylvania, and Scott Faulknor, owner of Red Rock Maintenance in Coboconk, Ontario, Canada, agree.
In business for seven years, Breegle’s company has 150 residential and commercial customers, and three Walker Mowers.
“I use the 48-inch mulching deck primarily on my B23i, but I have substituted it for my GHS deck on one of my other Walker Mowers,” says Breegle. “I use it from mid-season right through leaf cleanup.
“In the fall, I first blow leaves away from the property’s fences and other hard-to-reach areas with a STIHL backpack blower, mulch them with the mower, and then collect them with the GHS deck. The process reduces leaf content from five full bins on my GHS mower to a half bin.
“Then I mow the lawn with the mulching deck. If there are a ton of leaves, I mow over certain areas a couple of times, and may or may not collect them, depending on the results.”
Red Rock Maintenance has two Walker Mowers with two GHS decks and two 48-inch mulching decks. “During the summer, I mulch every property,” says Faulknor. “In the fall, I replace one of the mulching decks with a GHS deck. I first mow the property with the 20-HP Walker Mower equipped with the mulching deck. Then I follow up with the 25-HP mower with the GHS deck equipped with a power dump.”
He continues, “The first year I did it this way, I was blown away. What used to add up to two trailer loads of leaves was reduced to a half trailer load. The time savings, just in handling the leaves alone, is incredible and they virtually disappear.”ANOTHER TOOL FOR YOUR LAWN-CARE ARSENAL
In addition to the above-mentioned 48-inch mulching deck, Walker Manufacturing offers a 36-inch mulching deck and three versions of a 42-inch mulching deck.
A 36-inch deck gives operators easy access to backyards and heavily landscaped areas. Like its GHS counterpart, it keeps grass clippings and lawn debris away from garden beds and swimming pools, while leaving a manicured look. The three 42-inch decks have different housing designs and blade configurations that give operators the ability to match the deck to specific mowing conditions.
If asked, the above operators would likely tell you their mulching decks are akin to having another tool in their lawn-care arsenal. Like all Walker Mower decks, they are easily interchangeable with both GHS and side-discharge decks, and deliver a cut that is unsurpassed in the industry.