• Read the instructions carefully. Be familiar with the controls and the proper use of the equipment.
• Never allow children or people unfamiliar with these instructions to use the lawnmower. Local regulations can restrict the age of the operator.
• Never mow while people, especially children, or pets are nearby.
• Keep in mind that the operator or user is responsible for accidents or hazards occurring to other people or their property.
• Do not carry passengers.
• All drivers should seek and obtain professional and practical instruction. Such instruction should emphasize:
• the need for care and concentration when working with ride-on machines.
• control of a ride-on machine sliding on a slope will not be regained by the application of the brake.
• The main reasons for loss of control are:
• insufficient wheel grip;
• being driven too fast;
• inadequate braking;
• the type of machine is unsuitable for its task;
• lack of awareness of the effect of ground conditions, especially slopes;
• incorrect hitching and load distribution.
• While mowing, always wear substantial footwear and long trousers. Do not operate the equipment when barefoot or wearing open sandals.
• Thoroughly inspect the area where the equipment is to be used and remove all objects which can be thrown by the machine.
• WARNING-Fuel is highly flammable.
• store fuel in containers specifically designed for this purpose.
• refuel outdoors only and do not smoke while refueling.
• add fuel before starting the engine. Never remove the cap of the fuel tank or add fuel while the engine is running or when the engine is hot.
• if fuel is spilled, do not attempt to start the engine but move the machine away from the area of spillage and avoid creating any source of ignition until fuel vapors have dissipated.
• replace all fuel tank and container caps securely.
• Replace faulty silencers.
• Do not operate the engine in a confined space where dangerous carbon monoxide fumes can collect.
• Mow only in daylight or in good artificial light.
• Before attempting to start the engine, disengage all blade attachment clutches and shift into neutral.
• Do not use on slopes of degrees more than recommended by the manufacturer.
• Remember there is no such thing as a safe slope. Travel on grass slopes requires particular care. To guard against overturning:
• do not stop or start suddenly when going up or downhill;
• engage clutch slowly, always keep machine in gear, especially when traveling downhill;
• machine speeds should be kept low on slopes and during tight turns;
• stay alert for humps and hollows and other hidden hazards;
• never mow across the face of a slope, unless the machine is designed for this purpose.
• Use care when pulling loads or using heavy equipment:
• use only approved drawbar hitch points;
• limit loads to those you can safely control;
• do not turn sharply. Use care when reversing;
• use counterweights or wheel weights when suggested in the operator’s manual.
• Watch out for traffic when crossing or near roadways.
• Stop the blades from rotating before crossing surfaces other than grass.
• Never direct discharge of material toward bystanders nor allow anyone near the machine while in operation.
• Never operate the machine with defective guards, or without safety protective devices in place.
• Do not change the engine governor settings or overspeed the engine. Operating the engine at excessive speed can increase the hazard of personal injury.
• Before leaving the operator’s position:
• disengage the drive to any attachments and lower them;
• change into neutral and lock the parking brake;
• stop the engine and remove the key.
• Disengage drive to attachments when transporting or not in use.
• Stop the engine and disengage drive to attachment:
• before refueling;
• before removing the grass catcher;
• before making height adjustment unless adjustment can be made from the operator’s position;
• before clearing blockages;
• before checking, cleaning or working on the lawnmower;
• after striking a foreign object. Inspect the lawnmower for damage and make repairs before restarting and operating the equipment.
• Read, understand and follow all instructions in the manual and on the machine before starting.
• Inspect machine before you operate. Repair or replace damaged, badly worn, or missing parts. Make any necessary adjustments before you operate.
• Be sure all drives are in neutral and parking brake is locked before starting engine. Only start engine from the operator’s position.
• Check brake action before you operate. Adjust or service brakes as necessary.
• Stop machine if anyone enters the area.
• Do not leave machine unattended when it is running.
• Use care when approaching blind corners, shrubs, trees, or other objects that may obscure vision.
• Use only accessories and attachments approved by the manufacturer of the machine. Keep safety labels visible when installing accessories and attachments.
• Do not operate machine if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
• Check before each use that operator presence controls are functioning correctly. Test safety systems. Do not operate unless they are functioning correctly.
• Always wear seat belt if provided on machine.
• Never raise mower decks when blades are running.
• Do not wear radio or music headphones. Safe service and operation requires your full attention.
Maintenance and Storage
• Keep all nuts, bolts and screws tight to be sure the equipment is in safe working condition.
• Never store the equipment with fuel in the tank inside a building where fumes can reach an open flame or spark.
• Allow the engine to cool before storing in any enclosure.
• To reduce the fire hazard, keep the engine, silencer, battery compartment and fuel storage area free of grass, leaves, or excessive grease.
• Check the grass catcher frequently for wear or deterioration.
• Replace worn or damaged parts for safety.
• If the fuel tank has to be drained, this should be done outdoors.
• Be careful during adjustment of the machine to prevent entrapment of the fingers between moving blades and fixed parts of the machine.
• On multi-cylinder machines, take care as rotating one cylinder can cause other cylinders to rotate.
• When machine is to be parked, stored or left unattended, lower the cutting means unless a positive mechanical lock in used.
• Use jack stands or lock service latches to support components when required. Securely support any machine elements that must be raised for service work.
• Before servicing machine or attachment, carefully release pressure from any components with stored energy, such as hydraulic components or springs.
• Release hydraulic pressure by lowering attachment or cutting units to the ground or to a mechanical stop and move hydraulic control levers back and forth.
• Disconnect battery or remove spark plug (for gas engines) before making any repairs. Disconnect the negative terminal first and the positive last. Reconnect positive first and negative last.
• Use care when checking reels. Wear gloves, and use caution when servicing them.
• Keep hands, feet, clothing, jewelry and long hair away from moving parts. If possible, do not make adjustments with the engine running.
• Charge batteries in an open well ventilated area, away from spark and flames. Unplug charger before connecting or disconnecting from battery. Wear protective clothing and use insulated tools.
Checking Mowing Area
• Clear mowing area of objects that might be thrown. Keep people and pets out of mowing area.
• Low-hanging branches and similar obstacles can injure the operator or interfere with mowing operation. Before mowing, identify potential obstacles such as low-hanging branches, and trim or remove those obstacles.
• Study mowing area. Set up a safe mowing pattern. Do not mow where traction or stability is doubtful.
1. Stop machine on a level surface, not on a slope.
2. Disengage mower blades or any other attachments.
3. Lower attachments to the ground.
4. Lock the park brake.
5. Stop the engine.
6. Remove the key.
7. Wait for engine and all moving parts to stop before you leave the operator’s seat.
8. Close fuel shut-off valve, if your machine is equipped.
9. Disconnect the negative battery cable or remove the spark plug wire (for gasoline engines) before servicing the machine.
Avoid Injury From Contacting Blades
• Rotating cutting cylinders can cut off arms and legs, and throw objects. Failure to observe safety instructions could result in serious injury or death.
• Keep hands, feet and clothing away from rotating cutting cylinders when engine is running.
• Be alert at all times, drive forward carefully. People, especially children can move quickly into the mowing area before you know it.
• Before backing up, stop cutting cylinders and look down and behind the machine carefully, especially for children.
• Do not mow in reverse.
• Shut off cutting cylinders when you are not mowing.
• Park machine safely before leaving the operator’s station for any reason including emptying the grasscatchers.
• Keep all parts of the body away from the cutting edges. Residual hydraulic pressure in the system can cause cutting cylinder rotation when the blockage is released.
• Use a long-handled brush when applying reel-sharpening compound.
• Keep bystanders away from cutting units when adjusting or servicing.
• Always wear gloves when manually rotating reel. Manually rotating one reel can cause another reel to rotate.
• Death or serious injury can occur when young children associate having fun with a lawn mowing machine simply because someone has given them a ride on a machine.
• Children are attracted to lawn mowing machines and mowing activities. They don’t understand the dangers of rotating blades or the fact that the operator is unaware of their presence.
• Children who have been given rides in the past may suddenly appear in the mowing area for another ride and be run over or backed over by the machine.
• Tragic accidents with children can occur if the operator is not alert to the presence of children, especially when a child approaches a machine from behind. Before and while backing up, stop mower blades and look down and behind the machine carefully, especially for children.
• Never carry children on a machine or attachment, even with the blades off. Do not tow children in a cart or trailer. They can fall off and be seriously injured or interfere with safe machine operation.
• Never use the machine as a recreational vehicle or to entertain children.
• Never allow children or an untrained person operate the machine. Instruct all operators not to give children a ride on the machine or in an attachment.
• Keep children indoors, out of the mowing area, and in the watchful eye of a responsible adult, other than the operator, when a mower is being operated.
• Stay alert to the presence of children. Never assume that children will remain where you last saw them. Turn the machine off if a child enters the work area.
• Slopes are a major factor related to loss-of-control and tip-over accidents, which can result in severe injury or death. Operation on all slopes requires extra caution.
• If you feel uneasy on a hillside, do not mow it.
• Mow up and down slopes, not across.
• Watch for holes, ruts, bumps, rocks, or other hidden objects. Uneven terrain could overturn the machine. Tall grass can hide obstacles.
• Choose a low ground speed so you will not have to stop or shift while on a slope.
• Do not mow or operate machine on wet grass. Tires may lose traction. Tires may lose traction on slopes even though the brakes are functioning properly.
• Avoid starting, stopping or turning on a slope. If the tires lose traction, disengage the reels and proceed slowly, straight down the slope.
• Keep all movement on slopes slow and gradual. Do not make sudden changes in speed or direction, which could cause the machine to roll over.
• Do not mow near drop-offs, ditches, embankments, or bodies of water. The machine could suddenly roll over if a wheel goes over the edge or the edge caves in. Leave a safety area between the machine and any hazard.
• Drive machine very slowly and avoid quick stops when cutting units are removed.
• Transport machine with cutting units lowered to improve stability.
Use Seat Belt Properly
• Use a seat belt when you operate with a Roll-Over Protective Structure (ROPS) to minimize chance of injury from an accident, such as an overturn.
• Never modify, disassemble or attempt to repair the seat belt.
• Replace entire seat belt if mounting hardware, buckle, belt, or retractor show signs of damage.
• Inspect seat belt and mounting hardware at least once a year. Look for signs of loose hardware or belt damage, such as cuts, fraying, extreme or unusual wear, discoloration, or abrasion. Replace only with replacement parts approved by your John Deere dealer.
• Layers of heavy clothing can interfere with proper positioning of the seat belt and can reduce the effectiveness of the seat belt.
Keep ROPS Installed Properly
• Never operate the machine without the ROPS installed.
• Make certain all parts of the ROPS are installed correctly if the ROPS structure is loosened or removed for any reason. All ROPS hardware should be tightened to the proper torque per manufacturer’s recommendations.
• Any alteration of the ROPS must be approved by the manufacturer. The protection provided by the ROPS will be impaired if the ROPS is subjected to structural damage, is involved in an overturn incident, or is in any way altered by welding, bending, drilling, or cutting.
• Never attempt to repair a damaged or altered ROPS. It must be replaced to maintain the manufacturer’s certification of the structure.
Keep Riders Off
• Only allow the operator on the machine. Keep riders off.
• Riders on the machine or attachment may be struck by foreign objects or thrown off the machine causing serious injury.
• Riders obstruct the operator’s view resulting in the machine being operated in an unsafe manner.
Checking Wheel Hardware
• A serious accident could occur causing serious injury if wheel hardware is not tight.
• Check wheel hardware tightness often during the first 100 hours of operation.
• Wheel hardware must be tightened to specified torque using the proper procedure anytime it is loosened.
Wear Appropriate Clothing
• Always wear safety goggles, or safety glasses with side shields, and a hard hat when operating the machine.
• Wear close fitting clothing and safety equipment appropriate for the job.
• While mowing, always wear substantial footwear and long trousers. Do not operate the equipment when barefoot or wearing open sandals.
• Wear a suitable protective device such as earplugs. Loud noise can cause impairment or loss of hearing.
Avoid High Pressure Fluids
• Hydraulic hoses and lines can fail due to physical damage, kinks, age, and exposure. Check hoses and lines regularly. Replace damaged hoses and lines.
• Hydraulic fluid connections can loosen due to physical damage and vibration. Check connections regularly. Tighten loose connections.
• Escaping fluid under pressure can penetrate the skin causing serious injury. Avoid the hazard by relieving pressure before disconnecting hydraulic or other lines. Tighten all connections before applying pressure.
• Search for leaks with a piece of cardboard. Protect hands and body from high pressure fluids.
• If an accident occurs, see a doctor immediately. Any fluid injected into the skin must be surgically removed within a few hours or gangrene may result. Doctors unfamiliar with this type of injury should reference a knowledgeable medical source. Such information is available from Deere & Company Medical Department in Moline, Illinois, U.S.A. Information may be obtained in the United States and Canada only by calling 1-800-822-8262.
• Remove grass and debris from engine compartment and muffler area, before and after operating machine, especially after mowing or mulching in dry conditions.
• Empty the grasscatcher completely before storing.
• Always shut off fuel when storing or transporting machine, if the machine has a fuel shutoff.
• Do not store machine near an open flame or source of ignition, such as a water heater or furnace.
• Check fuel lines, tank, cap, and fittings frequently for cracks or leaks. Replace if necessary.
Explosive separation of a tire and rim parts can cause serious injury or death:
• Do not attempt to mount a tire without the proper equipment and experience to perform the job.
• Always maintain the correct tire pressure. Do not inflate the tires above the recommended pressure. Never weld or heat a wheel and tire assembly. The heat can cause an increase in air pressure resulting in a tire explosion. Welding can structurally weaken or deform the wheel.
• When inflating tires, use a clip-on chuck and extension hose long enough to allow you to stand to one side and NOT in front of or over the tire assembly.
• Check tires for low pressure, cuts, bubbles, damaged rims or missing lug bolts and nuts.
Handling Fuel Safely
To avoid personal injury or property damage, use extreme care in handling fuel. Fuel is extremely flammable and fuel vapors are explosive:
• Extinguish all cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and other sources of ignition.
• Use only approved non-metal, portable fuel containers. If using a funnel, make sure it is plastic and has no screen or filter.
• Never remove the fuel tank cap or add fuel with the engine running. Allow engine to cool before refueling.
• Never add fuel to or drain fuel from the machine indoors. Move machine outdoors and provide adequate ventilation.
• Clean up spilled fuel immediately. If fuel is spilled on clothing, change clothing immediately. If fuel is spilled near machine, do not attempt to start the engine but move the machine away from the area of spillage. Avoid creating any source of ignition until fuel vapors have dissipated.
• Never store the machine or fuel container where there is an open flame, spark. or pilot light such as on a water heater or other appliance.
• Prevent fire and explosion caused by static electric discharge. Static electric discharge can ignite fuel vapors in an ungrounded fuel container.
• Never fill containers inside a vehicle or on a truck or trailer bed with a plastic liner. Always place containers on the ground away from your vehicle before fueling.
• Remove fuel-powered equipment from the truck or trailer and refuel it on the ground. If this is not possible, then refuel such equipment with a portable container, rather than from a fuel dispenser nozzle.
• Keep the nozzle in contact with the rim of the fuel tank or container opening at all times until the fueling is complete. Do not use a nozzle lock-open device.
• Never overfill fuel tank. Replace fuel tank cap and tighten securely.
• Replace all fuel container caps securely after use.
• For gasoline engines, do not use gas with methanol. Methanol is harmful to your health and to the environment.
Handling Waste Product and Chemicals
Waste products, such as, used oil, fuel, coolant, brake fluid, and batteries, can harm the environment and people:
• Do not use beverage containers for waste fluids - someone may drink from them.
• See your local Recycling Center or authorized dealer to learn how to recycle or get rid of waste products.