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Operating


Daily Operating Checklist

o Make sure all necessary guards and shields are safely and securely attached. Check for loose, missing, or damaged parts.

o Remove mower deck belt shields. Clean grass and debris from belt area.

o Test park brake.

o Test safety systems.

o Check tire air pressure. Check tires for damage or cracking.

o Check fuel level.

o Check engine and hydraulic oil levels.

o Remove grass and debris from engine compartment and muffler area, before and after operating machine.

o Clean air intake screen.

o Check area below machine for leaks.

o Check mower deck level, cutting height and blades.

o Check primary and secondary deck belts.

o Check steering controls and park brake linkage for damage.

o Check engine air filter.

o Check wheel bolt torque. Tighten if necessary.

o Lubricate front caster spindles.

Avoid Damage to Plastic and Painted Surfaces

• Do not wipe plastic parts unless rinsed first.

• Insect repellent spray may damage plastic and painted surfaces. Do not spray insect repellent near machine.

• Be careful not to spill fuel on machine. Fuel may damage surface. Wipe up spilled fuel immediately.

Recommended Accessories

Weight Kits

• Front weights are available for use on the Commercial Walk Behind Mower in hilly conditions. Use of weights will improve stability on slopes.

• 7H17 - (2) front weights

See your John Deere Dealer for more information.

Operator Station Controls


MX22346, MX22337

A - Throttle Lever

B - Choke

C - Tracking Adjustment Knob

D - Speed Control Lever

E - Key Switch

F - PTO Switch Knob

G - Operator Presence Bail

H - LH Neutral Lock

I - RH Neutral Lock

J - RH Steering Control Lever

K - LH Steering Control Lever

L - Park Brake Lock Lever

Engine Controls


MX22370

A - Fuel Shutoff Valve

B - Starter Handle

C - Fuel Filter

Mower Deck Height Controls


MX22340

Picture Note: Left side shown.

A - Front Deck Suspension Pin

B - Height Adjustment Locking Pin

C - Cutting Height Adjustment Label

D - Rear Deck Suspension Pin

Adjusting Mower Deck Cutting Height


MX22340

The mower deck height adjustment consists of seven different cutting heights. The seven cutting heights range from 38-114 mm (1-1/2 - 4-1/2 in.) when front caster wheel (A) is located in lower mounting hole in the yoke (B), as shown.

The cutting height label (C) indicates the proper hole placement.

To Change Mower Deck Cutting Height:

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Rotating parts can catch fingers, loose clothing, or long hair. Wait for engine and all moving parts to stop before leaving operator’s station to adjust or service machine.

NOTE: To maintain a level mower deck, both sides, front, and rear of the deck must be adjusted equally.

1. Park machine safely. (See Parking Safely in the SAFETY section.)

2. Pull out height adjustment locking pins (D) from both suspension pins (E).

3. Lift or lower mower deck using handle (F) to the desired mower deck height as shown on the decal. A handle is located on each side of the mower deck.

4. Replace locking pins into appropriate holes in deck suspension pins.

5. Repeat procedure for other side of deck.

To Change Caster Wheel Height:

MX22369

NOTE: Adjust mower deck leveling when caster wheel height is changed.

To obtain a cutting height adjustment of less than 38 mm (11/2 in.), it is necessary to put the caster wheel in the higher hole position (G). Moving the caster wheel to the higher hole position will lower the front of the deck by 13 mm (1/2 in.) and allow a cutting height adjustment range of 25.4-101.6 mm (1-4 in.).

To obtain a 6.5 mm (1/4 in.) cutting height adjustment, 6.5 mm (1/4 in.) thick washers were provided with the machine. The washers must be added to all four deck suspension pins to ensure proper level on the mower deck.

When an adjustment is made to the front caster tire location, it will be necessary to go back and adjust the mower deck front-to-rear leveling since the rake angle will change.

Adjusting Mower Deck Anti-Scalp Wheels

NOTE: The flattest cut can be achieved by having all anti-scalp wheels adjusted off the ground. Check anti-scalp wheel adjustments each time the mower deck cutting height is changed.

It is recommended that all anti-scalp wheels be kept off the ground to minimize scuffing.

1. Inflate tires to correct pressure.

2. Adjust mower deck to desired cutting height.


MX15658

3. Adjust anti-scalp wheel (A) to one of three positions (D).

• Remove screw (E), nut (C) and washer (B).

• Adjust wheel up or down so it is approximately 6–13 mm (1/4–1/2 in.) above mowing surface.

4. Install wheel with attaching hardware.

5. Adjust all wheels to the same height.

Testing Safety Systems



c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Engine exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide and can cause serious illness or death.

Move the machine to an outside area before running the engine.

Do not run an engine in an enclosed area without adequate ventilation.

• Connect a pipe extension to the engine exhaust pipe to direct the exhaust fumes out of the area.

• Allow fresh outside air into the work area to clear the exhaust fumes out.

The safety systems installed on your machine should be checked before each machine use. Be sure you have read the machine operator manual and are completely familiar with the operation of the machine before performing these safety system checks.

Use the following checkout procedures to check for normal operation of machine.

If there is a malfunction during one of these procedures, do not operate machine. See your authorized dealer for service.

Perform these tests in a clear open area. Keep bystanders away.

Testing PTO Switch

1. Start engine.

2. Release operator presence levers.

3. Pull PTO switch knob up to engage PTO.

Result: The engine must stop.

Testing Park Brake Switch

1. Start engine.

2. Lock park brake.

3. Engage an operator presence lever.

4. Push speed control lever forward out of the neutral position.

Result: The engine must stop.

Testing Neutral Switch (Start)

1. Lock park brake.

2. Push PTO switch knob down to disengage.

3. Push speed control lever forward, out of the neutral position.

4. Pull starter handle to try and start engine.

Result: The engine must not start.

Testing Neutral Switch (Run)

1. Start engine.

2. Push PTO switch knob down to disengage.

3. Release operator presence levers.

4. Push speed control lever forward, out of the neutral position.

Result: The engine must stop.

Testing Operator Presence Switches

1. Start engine.

2. Push throttle to the 1/2 position.

3. Engage an operator presence lever.

4. Pull PTO switch knob up to engage PTO.

5. Release operator presence lever.

Result: The engine must stop when an operator presence lever is not engaged with the PTO engaged.

Repeat procedure using other operator presence lever.

Testing Park Brake

1. Inflate tires to correct pressures.

2. Stop machine on a 17? slope (30% grade). Stop engine and lock park brake.

Result: Park brake must hold the machine stationary. If machine moves, brake needs to be adjusted. (See Adjusting Park Brake).

Using Park Brake

NOTE: With the engine running, the park brake must be unlocked before moving the speed control lever forward from the neutral position. The park brake must also be unlocked before traveling in reverse.

Locking Park Brake:

1. Move speed control lever to the neutral position.


MX22368

Picture Note: Park brake lever shown in unlocked position.

2. Pull park brake hand lever (A) all the way to the rear.

Unlocking Park Brake:

• Lift the park brake hand lever (A) and move it fully forward to release.

Using PTO

NOTE: Prior to engaging the PTO, an operator presence lever must be engaged.

Engage PTO:


MX22346

1. Move throttle lever (A) to the 3/4 to FAST position.

2. Pull PTO switch knob (B) up to engage.

3. Move throttle lever forward to FAST position for mowing.

Disengage PTO:

1. Push PTO switch knob (B) down.

Using Fuel Shut-Off Valve


MX31986

Picture Note: Valve shown in open/on position.

Move the fuel shut-off valve (A) to the on position for normal operation. Move the valve to the off position when the machine is not in use, and during transport.

Using Throttle


MX22347

• Push throttle lever (A) forward to the FAST position (B) when mowing.

• Move throttle lever to the FAST position (B) when starting and warming the engine.

• Pull throttle lever backward to the SLOW position (C) to idle engine. Do not run engine at slow idle any longer than necessary.

Starting Engine (Recoil Start)

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Engine exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide and can cause serious illness or death.

Move the machine to an outside area before running the engine.

Do not run an engine in an enclosed area without adequate ventilation.

• Connect a pipe extension to the engine exhaust pipe to direct the exhaust fumes out of the area.

• Allow fresh outside air into the work area to clear the exhaust fumes out.


MX22346

1. Open fuel shut-off valve (A).

2. Lock park brake.

3. Move speed control lever (B) to NEUTRAL position.

4. Check PTO switch knob (C). It must be down (OFF) for machine to start.

5. Set choke:

• If engine is cold, pull choke knob (D) up to ON position.

• If engine is at operating temperature, choke should be in down (OFF) position. If necessary, pull choke knob up partway to start.

6. Set throttle lever:

• If the engine is cold, push throttle lever (E) forward to 1/2 to 3/4 FAST position.

• If the engine is at operating temperature, push throttle forward to the FAST position.

7. Turn key switch (F) to RUN position (G).

8. Pull starter handle (H) slowly until slack is removed, then pull hard to cycle engine. Repeat as necessary until engine starts, then let starter handle return slowly. Do not let go of handle and let it snap back to starter.

9. Push choke knob in to OFF position when engine starts, and move throttle lever to desired engine speed.

10. Unlock park brake.

Starting Engine (Electric Start)

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Engine exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide and can cause serious illness or death.

Move the machine to an outside area before running the engine.

Do not run an engine in an enclosed area without adequate ventilation.

• Connect a pipe extension to the engine exhaust pipe to direct the exhaust fumes out of the area.

• Allow fresh outside air into the work area to clear the exhaust fumes out.


MX22346

1. Open fuel shut-off valve (A).

2. Lock park brake.

3. Move speed control lever (B) to NEUTRAL position.

4. Check PTO switch knob (C). It must be down (OFF) for machine to start.

5. Set choke:

• If engine is cold, pull choke knob (D) up to ON position.

• If engine is at operating temperature, choke should be in down (OFF) position. If necessary, pull choke knob up partway to start.

6. Set throttle lever:

• If the engine is cold, push throttle lever (E) forward to 1/2 to 3/4 FAST position.

• If the engine is at operating temperature, push throttle forward to the FAST position.

7. Turn key switch (F) to the START position (G).

8. Release key to the RUN position when engine starts.

9. With engine started:

• Push choke knob to the OFF position.

• Move throttle lever to the FAST position.

• Unlock park brake.

Stopping the Engine

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Do not stop engine when mower is on a slope of more than 10?. Oil may run through valve train into carburetor and muffler.


1. Move speed control lever to the neutral position.

2. Slowly move throttle lever back to the 3/4 position.

3. Turn key switch to stop position.

4. Lock park brake.

5. Move fuel shut-off valve to closed/off position.

6. Remove the key.

Using Operator Presence Levers


MX22337

The operator presence system is designed to protect the operator. Operator presence levers (A) are provided on both the left- and right-side handlebars, each with its own switch. Either lever may be used to enable operation.

To operate the PTO or engage the speed control lever in a forward position while the engine is running, one of the operator presence levers must be held against the handlebar by the operator.

If the operator releases both operator presence levers while mowing, the engine will automatically stop.

Using Steering Control Levers


MX22337

The steering control levers (A) and (B) control the independent hydrostatic drives for the left and right drive wheels and are used to steer the machine. As each steering lever is squeezed or partially squeezed, the transmission on that side of the machine will slow down, and the machine will turn.

Left steering control lever (A) controls left drive wheel. Pull lever up to turn left.

Right steering control lever (B) controls right wheel. Pull lever up to turn right.

When the speed control lever is in the neutral position, pulling up on the steering control levers will cause the machine to move in reverse.

Using Neutral Locks

The neutral locks are designed to hold the transmission in neutral and give the operator the opportunity to perform a different control function.

To engage the neutral locks:

NOTE: Left and right neutral locks work independently from each other.


MX22348

1. Pull up steering control levers (A) to a neutral position.

2. Push each neutral lock thumb lever (B) down and to the rear to engage the control lever pin (C) in the locking slot and lock the position of the steering lever.

To Disengage The Neutral Locks:

1. Pull up on each steering control lever (A) and neutral lock thumb lever will return to neutral position.

If neutral locks cannot be engaged, or if the neutral locks are engaged and the drive wheels begin to creep, an adjustment will be necessary.

Using Tracking Adjustment Knob

NOTE: The tracking adjustment knob should not be used to steer the machine.


MX22349

Right and left transmission speeds will vary with travel speed and rpm variations.

The tracking adjustment knob (A) allows the operator to compensate for these variations and maintain a straight line direction of travel.

Adjust Tracking:

NOTE: Tracking adjustment is done on-the-go at a preferred travel speed on a flat hard surface.

1. Slowly move the speed control lever forward to a desired mowing speed.

2. Turn tracking adjustment knob (A) in the opposite direction that the machine should move. Tracking knob adjustments should be done in 1/4 turn or less increments. Minor corrections to the direction of travel may have to be made during the adjustment process, using the steering control levers.

• If the machine veers to the left, turn the tracking adjustment knob to the left.

• If the machine veers to the right, turn the tracking adjustment knob to the right.

3. Continue the adjustment process until the machine travels in a straight line direction of travel, then operate normally, using the steering control levers to adjust the direction of travel.

Using the Speed Control Lever


MX22349

The function of the speed control lever (A) is to control the forward speed of the machine. Also, when the speed control lever is in the NEUTRAL position, the left and right steering control levers can be used to operate the machine in reverse.

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Children or bystanders may be injured by being run over and rotating blades. Before traveling forward or rearward:

• Carefully check the area around the machine.

• Disengage the mower before backing up.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Lever engagements should be gradual and performed smoothly to prevent damage to the transmission.


To Travel Forward:

1. Unlock park brake, if necessary.

2. Move throttle lever forward to the FAST position.

3. Hold down one of the operator presence levers.

4. Move speed control lever forward slowly until a desirable walking speed is reached. Speed range is approximately 010.1 km/h (0-6.3 mph).

To Stop Forward Travel:

• Return speed control lever to the NEUTRAL position, or pull both steering control levers up to a NEUTRAL position and engage neutral locks.

To Travel in Reverse:

NOTE: When traveling in reverse, the speed control lever can remain in the position used for forward travel. Machine will return to preselected speed when steering control levers are released from reverse or neutral position.

• Pull both steering control levers up past the neutral position. Steering function is the same in reverse as it is in forward. Reverse speed is approximately 0-4.3 km/h (0-2.7 mph).

To Stop Reverse Travel:

• Slowly release steering control levers and engage neutral locks. Be aware that the machine will return to pre-determined forward travel speed when steering control levers are released from neutral.

Using Mower

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Clear mowing area of all bystanders when operating this machine. Thrown objects could cause serious injury or death.

Keep hands and feet away from blades and discharge opening.

Do not mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! To help prevent damage to PTO clutch:

• Do not engage PTO with throttle in the fast position.


1. Adjust mower deck to desired cutting height.

2. Start engine.


MX22346

3. Move throttle lever (A) to the 3/4–FAST position.

4. Unlock park brake.

5. Engage operator presence control levers.

NOTE: In cold weather or with a new machine, it may be necessary to engage choke at the same time as PTO knob (B) to prevent engine from stalling.

6. Pull PTO knob (B) up to engage mower deck.

7. Move throttle lever to the FAST position.

8. Push speed control lever forward slowly. Mow at a safe travel speed.

Using the Free-Wheeling Pump Release Valves

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! With the free-wheeling valve open, the machine will have unrestricted motion.

• The machine may free-wheel out of control if the free-wheeling valve is opened with the machine on an incline.

• Park the machine on a level surface before opening the free-wheeling valve.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Transmission damage may occur if the machine is towed or moved incorrectly:

• Move machine by hand only.

• Do not use another vehicle to move machine.

• Do not tow machine.


NOTE: The free-wheeling pump release valves must be turned fully clockwise (closed) during normal vehicle operation.

When the machine needs to be moved without starting the engine, use the free-wheeling pump release valves:

1. Lock the park brake.


MX32003

2. Loosen the jam nut (A) on each free-wheeling valve using a 17mm wrench. Use an 8mm wrench to turn both free-wheeling pump release valves (B) counterclockwise approximately 1/4 turn.

3. Unlock park brake.

4. Push machine to desired location. Due to hydraulic system drag, machine will move slowly.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! The free-wheeling valves can be damaged if overtightened. Use care not to overtighten.


5. To return to service, tighten both free-wheeling valves to 6.9 N•m (61 lb-in.). Tighten jam nuts to 19.6 N•m (173 lbin.).

Transporting Machine on a Trailer

Use a heavy-duty trailer to transport your machine. Trailer must have signs and lights required by law.

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Use extra care when loading or unloading the machine into a trailer or truck.

Close fuel shut-off valve, if your machine is equipped.

1. Raise mower deck to the highest position.

2. Drive machine onto a trailer.

3. Move speed control lever to the neutral position and engage neutral locks.

4. Lock park brake and shut engine off.

5. Remove key.

6. Turn fuel shutoff valve to off position.

7. Fasten machine to trailer with heavy-duty straps, chains or cables. Both front and rear straps must be directed down and outward from machine.

Mowing Tips

• Mow grass with throttle lever in the full fast position.

• Cut grass when it is dry.

• Keep mower deck clean.

• Mow with sharp blades.

• Properly level mower deck for a smooth cut.

• Mow grass high and often.

• Use a travel speed that fits the conditions:

• Mow tall or wet grass twice. Cut grass at half desired height – then cut at desired height.

• Travel slow when mowing tall, thick or wet grass.

• Avoid damaging grass by slipping or skidding machine drive wheels. Practice smooth control lever movements.

• When performing sharp turns, do not allow inside machine drive wheel to stop and twist on grass.