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Operating - Machine


Daily Operating Checklist

o Test safety systems.

o Check tire pressure.

o Check fuel level.

o Check engine oil level.

o Check hydraulic oil level.

o Clean air intake screen.

o Check area below machine for leaks.

o Clean debris from machine, engine compartment, linkages and controls.

o Clean debris from engine, especially air intake screens.

o Check for loose, missing, or damaged parts.

o Check Air Restriction Indicator.

Adjusting Standard Seat

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Installing a seat other than one designed for the machine can cause unsafe operating conditions. The seat can become loose and fail. Only install seat designed and approved for the machine by the manufacturer.


M78109

1. Push lever (A) to the left.

2. Slide seat forward or backward to desired position.

3. Release lever.

Adjusting Deluxe Seat

Select Seat Position

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Installing a seat other than one designed for the machine can cause unsafe operating conditions. The seat can become loose and fail. Only install seat designed and approved for the machine by the manufacturer.

MX23356, MX23357

1. Move lever (A) to the left.

2. Slide seat forward or backward to desired position.

3. Release lever to lock seat in position. Make sure all controls can be easily accessed.

Adjust Ride Comfort

Adjust seat spring tension knob (B) to the weight of the operator, so that the seat “floats” in the center of its travel as the machine traverses rough terrain.

1. Adjust seat suspension.

• Turn seat spring tension knob (B) to the right (clockwise) for a firmer ride.

• Gently pull forward or backward on the seat back (C) and lift lever (D) to lock in desired position and release.

Using Seat Belt

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Always wear seat belt when operating machine with a Roll-Over Protective Structure (ROPS). Do not jump from machine if machine tips.

1. Sit on seat.


MX23356

2. Insert seat belt buckle (A) into latch assembly (B) until a click is heard and it locks into the latch assembly.

3. Attempt to pull seat belt buckle from latch assembly to verify it has locked into place.

4. Depress release button (C) to unlock seat belt buckle from latch assembly. Allow seat belt to retract into retractor assembly (D).

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.

Checking Ignition Interlock Switches

Use the following procedure to check correct operation of the ignition interlock system. Do not operate the machine with a faulty system.

Test 1

1. Sit on the seat.

2. Lock park brake.

3. Move travel pedals to the neutral position.

4. Move mow-transport lever to the mow position.

5. Turn key to the START position. Starter must not engage.

6. Turn key to the OFF position.

7. Move mow-transport lever to the transport position.

8. Turn key to the START position. Starter should engage.

Test 2

1. Sit on the seat.

2. Lock park brake.

3. Move mow-transport lever to the transport position.

4. Move travel pedals out of the neutral position.

5. Turn key to the START position. Starter must not engage.

6. Turn key to the OFF position.

7. Move travel pedals to the neutral position.

8. Turn key to the START position. Starter should engage.

Test 3

1. Sit on the seat.

2. Move mow-transport lever to the transport position.

3. Unlock park brake.

4. Move travel pedals to the neutral position.

5. Turn key to the START position. Starter must not engage.

6. Turn key to the OFF position.

7. Lock park brake.

8. Turn key to the START position. Starter should engage.

Test 4

1. Sit on the seat.

2. Lock park brake.

3. Move mow-transport lever to the transport position.

4. Move travel pedals to the neutral position.

5. Start engine.

6. Unlock park brake.

7. Rise off of seat. Engine must stop running.

Using Fuel Shut-Off Valve

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Never attempt to start engine with the fuel shut-off valve in the off position.


1. Locate fuel filter sediment bowl assembly underneath left side of machine near hydraulic tank.


MX23353

Picture Note: Fuel shut-off valve shown in the open position

• Fuel supply is turned on when fuel shut-off valve is in the “O” (OPEN) position as shown.

• Fuel supply is turned off when fuel shut-off valve is in the “C” (CLOSED) position.

2. Place the fuel shut-off valve in the full OPEN position:

• During normal operation.

3. Place the fuel shut-off valve in the full CLOSED position:

• When performing any type of engine service.

• During transport.

• During periods of extended storage.

Using Park Brake


MX23525

• Lock park brake by pulling park brake lever (A) toward operator.

• Unlock park brake by pushing park brake lever away from operator.

Checking Indicator Lights


MX23321

Glow Plug Indicator (A) (Diesel Models) will glow when key switch is turned to the run position. After approximately 3 seconds, the light will go out.
Hydraulic Oil Temperature Indicator (B) will glow when hydraulic oil temperature is high. Stop all hydraulic functions immediately. Let hydraulic oil cool by allowing engine to idle under a no-load situation. This keeps the oil flowing through the oil cooler and cools the oil. Check oil level and make sure oil cooler coils are clean. Continued operation may cause higher temperatures, resulting in damage.
Engine OIl Pressure Indicator (C) will glow when engine oil pressure is low. If lamp glows when engine is running, stop engine immediately. See your John Deere distributor.
Engine Coolant Temperature Indicator (D) will glow if engine temperature becomes excessive. Stop engine and determine cause.
Battery Discharge Indicator (E) will glow when alternator is not producing adequate current. Stop engine and determine cause.

Using Operator Controls

Using Key Switch

NOTE: To help prevent engine backfiring, the engine will continue to run approximately 2 seconds after key switch is turned to the STOP position. After engine has stopped, an approximate 2-second delay will prevent the engine from immediately being restarted.

Key Switch Positions


MX20433, MIF

• STOP position (A) - shut engine off.

• RUN position (B) - the engine oil pressure indicator light and battery indicator light should come on. Glow plug indicator light will illuminate for approximately 3 seconds and then go out. Engine is now ready to start.

• START position (C) - Starter should engage and start the engine. After engine starts, release the key to the RUN position. All indicator lights should go out.

Glow Plug

NOTE: Glow plugs preheat the combustion chamber for better starting performance.

1. Turn key switch to the RUN position.

• The glow plug indicator light should illuminate.

• The indicator light should go out approximately 3 seconds after the key switch is turned to the RUN position.

2. Turn key switch to the START position to start the engine.

Starting the Diesel Engine

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.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Never attempt to start engine with the fuel shut-off valve in the off position.


NOTE: Mower has an ignition interlock switch. Engine will not start unless:

• Park brake is locked.

• Mow-transport lever is in transport position.

• Travel pedals are in neutral.

1. Lock park brake by pulling park brake lever toward operator.

2. Move mow-transport lever to the transport position.

3. Move throttle lever to half speed position.

4. Turn key to RUN position and wait for glow plug indicator light to go out.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Starter may be damaged if starter is operated for more than 20 seconds at a time:

• Wait two minutes before trying again if engine does not start.


5. Turn key to the START position.

When key is in START position, the following indicator lights in the warning light-hour meter module should come on:

• Engine Oil Pressure

• Hydraulic Oil Temperature

• Battery Discharge Indicator

• Engine Coolant Temperature

• Glow Plug Indicator

6. When engine starts, release key to the RUN position.

Warming and Idling Engine

Warming Engine:

• Run engine at half speed for 2 to 3 minutes.

Idling Engine:

• The engine needs a large volume of air to keep cool. Keep grille and screens clean.

• Avoid unnecessary engine idling.

Using Throttle Lever

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! For best performance always operate engine at full speed while mowing.


• Push lever forward against stop to operate engine at fast idle.

• Pull lever downward against stop to operate at slow idle. Slow engine to idle before shutting off ignition.

Stopping Engine

1. Move throttle lever down to slow position. Let engine idle before stopping.

2. Lock park brake.

3. Turn key to the off position.

4. Remove the key.

Using Hydrostatic Transmission

1. Unlock park brake.

2. Move mow-transport lever to the transport position.

3. Pull raise-lower lever rearward to raise cutting units.

4. Move throttle lever forward to fast idle position.

To Travel in Forward or Reverse

NOTE: The travel pedals are pressure sensitive. The farther the pedals are depressed, the faster the machine will travel.

1. To travel forward, depress forward travel pedal. Forward travel speed is 0-12.8 km/h (0-8 m.p.h.).

2. Remove foot from pedal to stop mower.

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Look down and behind before and while backing. Clear area of all bystanders before backing machine.

3. To travel in reverse, depress reverse travel pedal. Reverse travel speed is 0-8.1 km/h (0-5 m.p.h.).

4. Remove foot from pedal to stop mower.

Using Sit-On-Seat (SOS) Indicator Light Diagnostics

Sit-On-Seat (SOS) diagnostics are provided to help diagnose problems starting the engine.

The following conditions must be met to energize the starter solenoid and engage the starter motor:

• Park brake locked.

• Mow-transport lever in the transport position.

• Backlap valve off.

• Key switch in the START position.

If engine does not turn over, hold the key in the START position, the battery discharge light on the warning light-hour meter module will begin to flash a diagnostic code.

NOTE: Sit-On-Seat diagnostic code label is located on interlock module access panel.

M97451

PARK BRAKE diagnostic code: one flash, a short pause and two additional flashes. This code sequence indicates that the park brake switch has not been activated. Lock park brake to start engine.
BACKLAP SWITCH diagnostic code: two flashes, a short pause and two additional flashes. This code sequence indicates that the backlap valve is in the backlap position. Turn off backlap valve and start engine.
MOW SWITCH diagnostic code: one flash, a short pause and three additional flashes. This code sequence indicates that the mow switch is activated. Move mow-transport lever to the transport position to start engine.

Using the Mow-Transport Lever

1. Pull raise-lower lever rearward to raise cutting units.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Moving the Mow-Transport lever while the travel pedals are in use may cause damage to the Mow-Transport cable. Release the travel pedals before using the Mow-Transport lever.


2. Move mow-transport lever to the mow position.

3. Push raise-lower lever forward to lower cutting units.

• Cutting reels will begin to rotate as the cutting units are lowered.

4. Pull raise-lower lever rearward to raise cutting units.

• Cutting reels will stop rotating as the cutting units are raised.

5. Move mow-transport lever to the transport position to disengage reel drive for cutting units.

Using the Raise-Lower Lever

1. Push raise-lower lever forward to lower cutting units.

• If the mow-transport lever is in the mow position, the cutting reels will begin to rotate.

• If the mow-transport lever is in the transport position, the cutting units will lower but the reels will not rotate.

2. Pull raise-lower lever rearward to raise cutting units.

• If the mow-transport lever is in the mow position, the cutting reels will stop rotating.

Using the Hour Meter

• The hour meter shows the approximate number of hours the machine has run.

• Use the hour meter and Service Interval Chart to determine when the machine will need service.

Moving Machine Manually

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

• Move unit by hand only.

• Do not use another vehicle to move unit.

• Do not tow unit.

• Move unit no faster than 2 mph.

• Move unit no further than 1/2 mile.


When movement of the machine is required without starting the engine, use the bypass valve.

1. Stop engine and remove key.

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! When the bypass valve is open, the machine will have unrestricted motion.

• Do not open the bypass valve when the machine is stopped on an incline to prevent it from going downhill out of control.

2. Lock the park brake.

3. Raise hood to gain access to the hydrostatic pump.


MX23254

4. Turn bypass valve (A) counterclockwise 90?.

5. Lower hood.

6. Unlock park brake.

7. Push machine to desired location.

8. Turn bypass valve 90? clockwise to the closed position.

Emergency Stopping

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! The machine may be unstable if stopped suddenly. Do not stop suddenly unless it is an emergency.


MX23525

1. Remove foot from travel pedals (A).

2. Pull back on park brake lever (B).

3. Turn key to the OFF position.

4. Remove key.

Transporting Machine

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Transporting a machine on a trailer or on a truck bed at high speeds can result in hood or engine cover raising and possibly coming off machine if not secured.

• Position machine on trailer so hood or engine cover opens from rear of trailer to prevent wind from blowing hood or cover open.

• Secure hood or engine cover with existing machine locks or latches.

• Secure hood or engine cover with tie down straps if no locks or latches exist.


NOTE: Use a heavy-duty trailer designed to carry 907 kg (2000 lb), or a truck box to transport the machine.

1. Pull machine forward onto trailer.

2. Lock the park brake.

3. Lower cutting units to the deck.

4. Secure machine to trailer with straps, chains, or cables.


MX23925

• Attach the tie-downs to front lift arm pivots and slot (A) on side of rear wheel yoke.

5. Use accessory lights and devices when transporting the machine on a road or highway to provide adequate warning to operators of other vehicles. Check local, state, provincial, or federal laws.