John Deere

OMM144040

Issue E0

Lawn and Garden Tractor

455

PIN (070001 - )

Introduction

Product Identification

Safety

Operating

DAILY OPERATING CHECKLIST

Avoid Damage to Plastic and Painted Surfaces

Operator Station Controls

Miscellaneous Controls

Adjusting Steering Wheel

Adjusting Seat

Changing Rear Wheel Spacing (Two Wheel Steer Models with Optional 23 x 10.50-12 Tires)

Testing Safety Systems

Testing Operation Of Indicator Lights

Testing Brake Switch

Testing PTO Switch

Testing Seat Switch

Testing Mower Blade Stop Time

Testing Reverse Implement Option

Using Fuel Shut-Off Valve

Using the Park Brake

Indicator Lights and Gauges

Starting the Engine

Stopping the Engine

Using Travel Controls

Using Cruise Control

Using The Reverse Implement Option

Using Differential Lock

Using Hydraulic Control Levers

Using PTO (Power Take-Off)

Using Mower Height Control

Mower Lift Arms

Using Free-Wheeling Lever

Using Weights And Tire Chains

Installing Rear Wheel Weights (Two-Wheel Steer Tractors)

Installing Rear Wheel Weights (All-Wheel Steer Tractors)

Using Tire Chains

Installing Tire Chains

Transporting Tractor

Mowing Tips

Trimming Tips

After Mowing

Tips for Collecting Grass

Bagging and Composting

Mulching Tips

Replacement Parts

Service Interval Chart

Service Engine

Service Transmission

Service Lubrication

Service Electrical

Service Miscellaneous

Troubleshooting

Storing Machine

Assembly

Specifications

Warranty

John Deere Quality Statement

Service Record

CopyrightŠ Deere & Company

All Manuals Close Window

Operating


DAILY OPERATING CHECKLIST

o Test safety systems.

o Check tire pressure.

o Check fuel level.

o Check engine oil level.

o Check transaxle oil level.

o Check coolant level.

o Check air restriction indicator. (Do Not service air filter until indicator reaches red line.)

o Clean air intake screens.

o Remove grass and debris from machine.

Avoid Damage to Plastic and Painted Surfaces

ˇ Do not wipe plastic parts unless rinsed first.

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

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

Operator Station Controls


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A - Hydraulic Control Levers

B - Throttle Lever

C - Indicator Lights

D - LIght Switch

E - PTO Switch

F - Key

G - Tilt Steering Wheel Button

H - Park Brake Lever

I - Cruise Control Lever


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A - Differential Lock Pedal

B - Brake Pedal

C - Reverse Travel Pedal

D - Forward Travel Pedal

E - Mower Height Indicator

F - Mower Height Crank

Miscellaneous Controls


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A - Free Wheeling Lever


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A - Air Restriction Indicator

Adjusting Steering Wheel

NOTE: Steering wheel has four tilt positions.


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1. Push in button (A).

2. Push or pull wheel to a comfortable operating position.

3. Release button.

NOTE: Before operating, be sure steering wheel is locked in position.

Adjusting Seat


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1. Push lever (A) to the left.

2. Slide seat forward or backward to desired position.

3. Release lever.

NOTE: This tractor is equipped with a fourteen position slide rail seat. Be sure seat is locked in position before operating.

Changing Rear Wheel Spacing (Two Wheel Steer Models with Optional 23 x 10.50-12 Tires)

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! On 26 x 12.00-12 standard tire, wheels should always be in the wide position.


1. Park tractor on level surface. STOP engine. LOCK park brake. Put blocks in front and back of front wheels.


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2. Loosen five rear wheel bolts (A). Lift rear wheels off the ground with floor jack or hoist.

3. Remove wheel bolts.

4. Install wheels as follows:

ˇ Turf tires: Install wheel on same side of tractor with valve stem inside.


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ˇ Bar tires: Install each wheel on opposite side of tractor. Bars on tires must point forward.

5. Tighten wheel bolts to 88 Nˇm (65 lb-ft).

6. Lower rear wheels to the ground. Remove blocks from front wheels.

Testing Safety Systems


MIF

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

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

DO NOT run an engine in an enclosed area without adequate ventilation.

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

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

Use the following checkout procedure to check for normal operation of tractor.

If there is a malfunction during one of these procedures, DO NOT operate tractor. (See your John Deere dealer for service.)

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

Testing Operation Of Indicator Lights

1. Turn key to run position.


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2. Verify that indicator lights (A) and (C) come on.

3. Verify that indicator light (B) comes on and goes out within approximately 8 seconds. If the engine has been run and then cooled, the time may be less. If the engine has been run and is hot, the light will not come on.

4. Verify that the mid PTO light (D) comes on when the engine is off, operator is on seat, park brake is off, and PTO turned on.

If one indicator does not light, see Replacing Indicator Light Bulb in SERVICE-ELECTRICAL section.

If new indicator bulb does not light or no indicators work, see your John Deere dealer.

Testing Brake Switch

1. Unlock park brake and release brake pedal.

2. Try to start engine.

Result: Engine must not start. If engine starts, there is a problem with your safety interlock circuit.

Testing PTO Switch

1. Depress brake pedal, or lock park brake.

2. Pull PTO switch up to engage.

3. Try to start engine.

Result: Engine must not start. If engine starts, there is a problem with your safety interlock circuit.

Testing Seat Switch

First Test:

1. Start engine.

2. Move throttle lever up to maximum engine speed.

3. Unlock park brake and release brake pedal.

4. Engage PTO.

5. Raise up off seat. Do not get off tractor.

Result: Engine should begin to stop and mower blades should stop. If engine does not begin to stop and mower blades do not stop, there is a problem with your safety interlock circuit.

Second Test:

1. Disengage PTO.

2. Start engine.

3. Unlock park brake and release brake pedal.

4. Raise up off seat. Do not get off tractor.

Result: Engine should begin to stop. If engine does not begin to stop, there is a problem with your safety interlock circuit.

Third part of test:

1. Disengage PTO.

2. Start engine.

3. Lock park brake

4. Raise up off seat. Do not get off tractor.

Result: Engine should continue to run. If engine stops, there is a problem with your safety interlock circuit.

Testing Mower Blade Stop Time

NOTE: This test should be performed once a year or every 100 hours.

Perform this test while sitting on the tractor.

1. Start engine.

2. Engage PTO.


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3. Watch left-hand side mower spindle (A). Disengage PTO, mower spindle should stop turning within 5 seconds.

Result: If spindle does not stop within 5 seconds, the PTO brake needs servicing. (See your John Deere dealer for service.)

Testing Reverse Implement Option

c CAUTION: Avoid injury!

Before moving rearward, make sure area is clear of bystanders, especially children.

1. Start engine.

2. Engage PTO to start attachment.

3. Look behind the vehicle to be sure there are no bystanders.

4. Begin reverse travel by depressing reverse foot pedal.

Result: Attachment should stop operation. If attachment continues to operate while tractor travels in reverse, do not continue to operate attachment. See your John Deere dealer for service.

Using Fuel Shut-Off Valve

1. Raise hood.

2. Remove left-hand side panel.


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Picture Note: Fuel Shut-off valve shown in open position

3. Turn lever (A) counterclockwise to open and clockwise to close.

Using the Park Brake

Locking Park Brake

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Always lock park brake before getting off tractor or leaving tractor unattended.


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1. Push down on brake pedal (A) and hold pedal all the way down.

2. Pull park brake lever (B) up to lock park brake.

3. Release pedal and then park brake lever. Pedal should stay down and park brake lever should stay up in locked position.

Unlocking Park Brake

1. Push down on brake pedal and hold pedal all the way down.

2. Push park brake lever down.

3. Release pedal. Pedal should come up to operating position.

Indicator Lights and Gauges


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A - Fuel Gauge - indicates fuel level.

B - Oil Pressure Indicator Light - will come on when engine oil pressure is too low. If indicator comes on during operation, stop engine and perform appropriate service. This is an indication that the engine is low on oil.

C and E - PTO Indicator Lights - will come on when mid/front or rear PTO is engaged.

D - Engine Preheat/Overheat Indicator Light - will come on for up to 8 seconds when starting the engine. If the engine has been run and then cooled, the time may be less. If engine has been run and is hot, the light will not come on.

This light will also come on when the needle on the temperature gauge is in the red range.

F - Battery Discharge Indicator Light - will come on when output is too low. If indicator comes on during operation, stop engine and perform appropriate service.


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G - Coolant Temperature Gauge - indicates temperature of the cooling system. If the needle on the gauge reaches the red range, the engine is overheating. If the PTO is engaged, it will automatically shut off.

If engine is overheated, push down PTO knob, let engine cool at idle speed until needle returns to the green range. Shut off engine and clean air intake screens and radiator screen.

H - Hour Meter - shows the number of hours the engine has run. Check the hour meter daily to see what services from the Service Interval Chart in Service section need to be done.

Starting the Engine


MIF

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Engine exhaust fumes can cause sickness or death.

ˇ If it is necessary to run an engine in an enclosed area, remove the exhaust fumes for the area with an exhaust pipe extension.

ˇ If you do not have an exhaust pipe extension, open the doors and get outside air into the area.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage!

ˇ To prevent engine damage, do not use any type of starting fluid.

ˇ Be sure there is fuel in the fuel tank before you turn the ignition key on or damage may occur to the fuel pump.

ˇ Whenever engine stops, be sure key is turned to stop (off) position to avoid fuel pump damage.


NOTE: You must hold brake pedal down, or lock park brake, before you can start the engine. Be sure PTO switch is off.

1. Open fuel shut-off valve.

2. Lock park brake or depress brake pedal.


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3. Push throttle lever (A) up to between 1/2 and fast position.


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A - Key

B - Stop (Off)

C - Run

D - Start (Crank)

4. Turn key (A) to the run position (C).

5. Check indicator lights:


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ˇ Oil Pressure indicator (E) will be ON.

ˇ Battery Discharge indicator (G) will be ON.

ˇ Engine Preheat indicator (F) will come on for up to 8 seconds. Wait for the indicator to go out before cranking the engine

6. Turn key to the start position (D):

ˇ Crank engine.

ˇ If engine does not start within 5 seconds, turn key to stop position (B) and wait 10 seconds.

ˇ Crank engine again for 5 seconds.

Repeat this procedure if necessary.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Do not allow unnecessary engine idling.


7. As soon as engine starts, release key. The key will return to the run position and all indicator lights should be off. If a light does not go off, stop engine and perform appropriate service.

Stopping the Engine

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! To avoid fuel pump damage, be sure key is in stop (Off) position whenever engine is not running.


1. Stop tractor.


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2. Pull throttle lever (A) down to the slow position.

3. Turn key (B) to stop (Off) position.

4. Lock park brake.

5. Remove key

Using Travel Controls

c CAUTION: Avoid injury!

ˇ Before moving forward or rearward, make sure area is clear of bystanders, especially children.

ˇ Disengage mower before backing up.

Traveling Forward

1. Unlock park brake.


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2. Slowly push down forward pedal (B). Tractor will travel faster the farther down you push the pedal.

3. Release forward pedal, tractor will automatically return to neutral and stop.

Traveling In Reverse

NOTE: Any operating attachment will stop as the reverse foot pedal is depressed with attachment engaged.

1. Bring the vehicle to a stop.

2. Push PTO knob down to the off position to disengage attachment.

3. Look behind the vehicle to be sure there are no bystanders nearby.

4. Slowly push down reverse pedal (C). Tractor will travel faster the farther down you push the pedal. Release reverse pedal, tractor will automatically return to neutral and stop.

Emergency Stopping

1. Release either travel pedal, tractor will automatically return to neutral and stop.

2. Push down on brake pedal (A). Tractor brakes will be applied to assist in stopping.

Using Cruise Control

Use cruise control when you want to maintain travel speed without having to hold the forward travel pedal down. Cruise control operates only for forward travel.

Operate tractor in a large, open area to lean how the cruise control works.

Engaging Cruise Control

1. Push forward pedal down until you reach desired travel speed.


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2. Pull lever (A) up to lock the cruise control.

Disengaging Cruise Control

1. Push brake pedal down.

Using The Reverse Implement Option

c CAUTION: Avoid injury!

Before moving forward or rearward, make sure area is clear of bystanders, especially children.

NOTE: Operating the mower while backing up is strongly discouraged. The Reverse Implement Option should be used only when operating another attachment or when the operator deems it necessary to reposition the machine with the mower engaged.

1. Stop the machine forward travel with attachment engaged.

2. Look behind the vehicle to be sure there are no bystanders.

NOTE: If the attachment stops while repositioning the machine, return PTO knob to the off position. Begin again with Step 2 in procedure.


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3. Lift and hold the PTO knob (A) up past the PTO engagement position to activate the reverse implement position while depressing reverse foot pedal slightly.

4. As the machine begins to move backward, release the PTO knob and reposition the machine.

5. Resume forward travel. The attachment should continue operating.

6. Repeat Steps 1 through 5 to reposition the machine again.

Using Differential Lock

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! To prevent tipping, DO NOT attempt to turn on slopes and hills with differential lock engaged.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! To prevent damage to differential, do not engage differential lock at high speeds.


The differential lock is used to provide better traction when rear wheels start to slip. Do not use differential lock unless you are experiencing rear wheel slippage. Engaging differential lock will cause both rear wheels to drive equally to improve traction.

Engaging Differential Lock

1. Stop or slow tractor down.


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2. Push down on differential lock pedal (A). Lock will remain engaged as long as there is rear wheel slippage or pedal is depressed.

NOTE: Turning radius is increased when differential is locked.

When brake pedal is depressed, differential lock will automatically engage.

Disengaging Differential Lock

1. Release differential lock pedal. Differential lock will disengage when rear wheels are no longer slipping.

Using Hydraulic Control Levers

NOTE: Only tractors equipped with the optional front hitch or loader will be equipped with hydraulic valve.

Hydraulic control levers operate differently depending on the attachment. When using these levers with an attachment other than a mower deck, please see the ATTACHMENT OPERATOR'S MANUAL.

Using Hydraulic Valve


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ˇ Operate mower deck or rear implement lift: Turn Thandle (A) counterclockwise until tight.

ˇ Operate front hitch/attachments: Turn T-handle (A) clockwise until it is bottomed out.

Using Control Lever With A Mower Deck


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ˇ Pull and hold lever (B) back until mower deck is raised.

ˇ Push lever (B) forward to lower the mower deck.

Using Control Lever


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ˇ This control lever (C) is used to raise and lower other attachments such as a snowthrower, rotary broom, etc.

NOTE: If you are not using lever (C), periodically move lever back and forth to maintain lubrication. Be sure lever is returned to the middle (neutral) position and not locked in the forward (float) position.

Using PTO (Power Take-Off)

NOTE: Any operating attachment will stop as the reverse foot pedal is depressed with attachment engaged. Prior to operating the PTO, see Reverse Implement Option in this section.

This tractor is equipped with a 2000 rpm mid PTO.

Engaging PTO

1. Reduce travel speed or stop tractor.

NOTE: Always operate engine at maximum speed when PTO is engaged.


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2. After engine has warmed, push throttle lever (B) all the way up to fast engine speed position.

3. Pull PTO knob (A) up. PTO indicator light (C) will come on when PTO is engaged.

Disengaging PTO

NOTE: If brake pedal is depressed, PTO will disengage.

1. Push knob down to disengage PTO. PTO indicator light will go out.

Using Mower Height Control

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Use this procedure to determine cut height. Do not use hydraulic control levers to determine cut height.


1. Park tractor on a hard, level surface.


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2. Pull back hydraulic control lever (A) and raise mower as high as it will go.

3. Adjust mower wheels.

NOTE: One full rotation of height control equals approximately 12.5 mm (1/2 in.) of height adjustment.


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4. Flip open crank handle (B). Crank height control counterclockwise far enough to permit mower to be lowered to surface. Do not turn lever too far, height control may be damaged.

5. Lower mower to desired cutting height with hydraulic control lever.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Be sure to raise mower before changing height.


6. Crank height control clockwise until it is tight to lock mower in set cutting height. Close crank.

7. To lock mower in completely raised position:

ˇ Raise mower as high as it will go using the hydraulic control lever.

ˇ Crank height control clockwise until it is tight. Close crank.

Mower Lift Arms

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! To avoid tractor damage, when operating without a mower deck, lock mower lift arms into the UP position by turning height control crank clockwise until it is tight. Close crank.


Using Free-Wheeling Lever

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! To prevent transaxle damage, never tow the tractor. Only push tractor by hand. Do not use another vehicle to push tractor.


When you need to move the tractor without starting the engine, use the free-wheeling lever:


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ˇ Pull free-wheeling control lever (A) up.

ˇ Unlock park brake.

ˇ Push tractor to desired location.

Lever will return to the operating position when tractor is started and driven.

Using Weights And Tire Chains

Front Weights

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Tractor front weights improve stability in most slope operation. To avoid injury, add front weights for better front-end stability and steering when using a rear mounted attachment or pulling a cart.

There are two types of front weights available for your tractor, suitcase weights and wheel weights. Suitcase weights can be mounted on the front bumper and wheel weights are mounted to the front wheels.

Five suitcase weights can be mounted on the front bumper. An additional four weights can be added if you have installed a "Front Weight Bracket Kit." Each suitcase weight weighs 19 kg (42 lbs).

NOTE: Before installing wheel weights on your tractor, make sure that the tire valve stems are facing to the inside.

A front wheel weight weighs 16 kg (35 lbs). Two front wheel weights and mounting kit are required.

See your John Deere dealer for kits and weights to best fit your needs.

Rear Weights

There are two types of rear weights available for your tractor, suitcase weights and rear wheel weights. The suitcase weights are mounted on a bracket on the back of the tractor and wheel weights are mounted to the rear wheels.

To use rear suitcase weights, you need to order the "Rear Weight Bracket Kit". The rear weight bracket holds up to six 19 kg (42 lb) suitcase weights. Use of these weights is required when an attachment, such as snowthrower or snowblower is used.

To use rear wheel weights, you need to order the appropriate weight and in some cases the hardware to attach the weights.

See your John Deere dealer for kits and weights to best fit your needs.

If you are installing rear wheel weights, please use the following instructions.

Installing Rear Wheel Weights (Two-Wheel Steer Tractors)

23x10.50-12 Tires with BM17976 Weight

BM17976 is a 23 kg (50 lb) plastic coated weight and includes the necessary hardware.

ˇ Install weight as shown.


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ˇ Measurement (A) should be 160 mm (6.3 in.).

23x10.50-12 Tires with BM17972 Weight

BM17972 is a 23 kg (50 lb) Weight. You must also order BM18089 attaching hardware when using one weight and BM17977 attaching hardware when using two weights.

ˇ Install weight(s) as shown:


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A - One Weight

B - Two Weights

ˇ Measurement (C) should be 200 mm (7.9 in.).

26x12.00-12 Tires with BM17976 Weight

BM17976 is a 23 kg (50 lb) plastic coated weight and includes the necessary hardware.

ˇ Install weight as shown.


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ˇ Measurement (A) should be 210 mm (8.3 in.).

26x12.00-12 Tires with BM17972 Weight

BM17972 is a 23 kg (50 lb) weight. You must also order BM17977 attaching hardware when using one weight and BM18101 attaching hardware when using two weights.

ˇ Install weight(s) as shown:


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A - One Weight

B - Two Weights

ˇ Measurement (C) should be 195 mm (7.7 in.).

ˇ Measurement (D) should be 250 mm (9.8 in.).

26x12.00-12 Tires with BM17973 Weight

BM17973 is a 33 kg (72 lb) Weight. You must also order BM18089 attaching hardware.


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ˇ Install weight as shown.

26x12.00-12 Tires with BM17973 Weight and BM17972 Weight

BM17973 is a 33 kg (72 lb) Weight.

BM17972 is a 23 kg (50 lb) Weight.

You must also order BM17977 attaching hardware when using one BM17973 and one BM17972 weight. Order BM18101 attaching hardware when using one BM17973 and two BM17972 weights.

ˇ Install weight(s) as shown:


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A - One BM17973 and One BM17972 Weight

B - One BM17973 and Two BM17972 Weights

ˇ Measurement (C) should be 200 mm (7.9 in.).

ˇ Measurement (D) should be 260 mm (10.2 in.).

Installing Rear Wheel Weights (All-Wheel Steer Tractors)

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! To avoid damage to axle, be sure to install weight mounting hardware as shown.


23x10.50-12 Tires with BM17972 Weight

BM17972 is a 23 kg (50 lb) Weight. You must also order BM18094 attaching hardware when using one weight and BM18089 attaching hardware when using two weights.


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A - One Weight

B - Two Weights

ˇ Install weight(s) as shown. Cut off any excess threads on bolts.

23x8.50-12 Tires with BM17972 Weight

BM17972 is a 23 kg (50 lb) Weight. You must also order BM18094 attaching hardware when using one weight and BM18089 attaching hardware when using two weights.


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A - One Weight

B - Two Weights

ˇ Install weight(s) as shown. Cut off any excess threads on bolts.

Using Tire Chains

Tire Size

Tire Chains Available

Requires Optional Wheel Spacer Kit

All-wheel steer:

23 x 8.50-12

23 x 10.50-12

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Two-wheel steer:

23 x 10.50-12

26 x 12.00-12

Yes

Yes

No

No

Tire Size

Tire Chains Available

Requires Optional Wheel Spacer Kit

All-wheel steer:

23 x 8.50-12

23 x 10.50-12

Yes

Yes

No

Yes


Tire chains are recommended for use with a snowthrower and, under certain conditions; the front blade. (See your John Deere dealer for tire chains.

Installing Tire Chains

1. Park the tractor on a level surface.

2. Lock the park brake.

3. STOP the engine.

4. Remove the key.

5. Remove chains from bag and lay out flat with the cross chain hook ends facing upward. Remove any twists and tangles from cross chain and rim chain.


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6. Drape chain over tire with the lever fastener on outside of tire and cross link hooks (A) facing upward and away from tire.

7. Adjust chain for straightness and an even amount of cross chain links on each side of tire.

8. Place the first cross chain (opposite the end with fastener and inside hook) under tire.


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9. Pull the inside rim chain tight and hook the inside hook. Pull the outside rim chain tight and hook the outside lever fastener (B) by running the end through a free link (C). Close the fastener by rotating it back 180 degrees and engaging the hook (D) on the end of the fastener into a rim chain link (E). Make sure the chain is centered on the tire with approximately the same number of free rim links (F) on the inside and outside.


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10. Tie excess rim chain links (G) back to the rim chain.

11. The chain should be as tight as possible by hand. Unhook the fastener and repeat Step 5 if the chain is loose.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage!

ˇ Periodically check chains for looseness and adjust when necessary.

ˇ Maintain proper air pressure in tires.


12. Drive forward on chains 30' - 40' and recheck for tightness. Adjust as necessary.

Transporting Tractor


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Use a heavy-duty trailer to transport your tractor.

Drive tractor forward onto a trailer. Lower any attachments to trailer deck.

Lock park brake.

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

Trailer must have signs and lights required by law.

Mowing Tips

Before mowing, be sure deck is leveled and mower wheels are in the proper position.

When you mow an area for the first time, travel slow and cut high so you can:

ˇ Learn the terrain.

ˇ Learn the best mowing pattern.

ˇ Help prevent hitting objects hidden in the grass.

Mow grass only when it is dry: Wet grass may plug mower and leave a trail of grass clumps.

Mow grass often: Short grass clippings will decay quickly.

Mow at full throttle for best performance.

Use travel speed that fits conditions:

ˇ Travel slow when you mow thick, tall grass.

ˇ Fast travel or sharp turns may produce stripes or uneven cut: slow down.

ˇ Travel at moderate speed when you mow a thin stand of grass.

Mow often enough so you cut only 1/3 of grass blade in one mowing. Cutting grass too short may kill grass and let weeds grow easily.

See your John Deere dealer for blades that will best fit your mowing conditions.

Aerate lawn to help stimulate soil organisms and root growth.

Trimming Tips

ˇ Turn to left around trees, bushes, etc.

ˇ Drive slowly. Avoid hitting trees, bushes, etc.

ˇ If ground slopes up to a tree or bush, you may have to approach the tree or bush straight-on to avoid scalping.

To avoid scalping:

ˇ Pay attention to the way you drive: you can eliminate scalping.

ˇ If mower scalps easily, cutting height may be too low for ground conditions - especially on lawns with many small mounds and ridges.

ˇ Rear gauge wheels must be adjusted correctly.

ˇ Drive over ridges and through shallow ditches straight-on, not at an angle.

Keep blades sharp: Dull blades will tear grass; tips of grass will then turn brown.

Check lawn regularly for uneven cut. If cut is uneven:

ˇ Mower may not be level.

ˇ Slow down before you make a turn.

ˇ Sharpen blades often.

Use thatcher (available from John Deere dealer) in late spring or summer to pull up dead grass and aerate ground.

For bagging information, see your Bagger Operator's Manual.

After Mowing

ˇ Let engine cool - to prevent fire when you store mower.

ˇ Clean top of deck, engine, and chute with compressed air, if possible - to help prevent buildup and fire.

ˇ Clean under deck with water under pressure - to prevent buildup and remove corrosive lawn chemicals.

Tips for Collecting Grass

For best performance, Material Collection Systems need good airflow. To help increase airflow:

ˇ Keep underside of deck and chute clean.

ˇ Cut grass high.

ˇ Mow at full throttle.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Don't leave clippings in bag(s):

ˇ Moisture may damage bag(s).

ˇ Damp clippings are fire hazard.


ˇ Clean bag(s) often with water from garden hose, from outside to inside of bag. Let bag(s) dry before use.

Check level of clippings in bags often. When bag(s) are full:

ˇ Mower may leave a trail of clippings.

ˇ Clippings may blow to side.

Bagging and Composting

Many communities will no longer haul lawn clippings and leaves to landfills. Bagging and composting clippings and leaves is one way to solve this problem.

Clippings from grass bag may also be used as mulch, or sheet compost, between garden rows and around trees and shrubs. This mulch will:

ˇ Keep weeds from growing.

ˇ Help soil keep moisture.

ˇ Add nutrients to soil as it decays.

ˇ Help keep soil temperature down during hot weather.

You may compost clippings and leaves in various ways. See garden magazines or clubs for information, or go to your local library for help.

Finished compost is crumbly. It is rich in soil nutrients, and can be spread on your lawn. Compost may also be worked into soil. It adds humus to soil and improves soil texture, making soil looser and easier to work.

Mulching Tips

Advantages:

ˇ You do not have to rake or bag grass or leaves.

ˇ Lawn holds moisture better during dry weather.

ˇ Soil temperatures stay down during hot weather.

ˇ Mulch adds nutrients to soil, and reduces need for fertilizer.

Mulching does not make thatch. Frequent shallow watering and fertilizer application produce thatch from roots that grow close to surface.

Be careful when you mulch leaves in Fall. Grass needs sunlight in Fall to help store food for Winter. A thick layer of mulched leaves can prevent sunlight from getting to grass and smother it. You may have to mow with grass bag to remove this layer.

Mulch only when the grass and leaves are dry.

Mulching wet or damp grass or leaves may cause problems:

ˇ Clippings and leaves may build up on the underside of the mower deck.

ˇ Cut grass and leaves may form clumps.

ˇ Clippings and leaves may not be cut into small bits.

ˇ Engine may work harder and use more fuel.

Cut only top 1/3 of grass at a time.

Use a different mowing pattern each time you mow. Overlap mowing paths 50-100 mm (2-4 in.).

Slow down. Mulching takes more power.

Keep blades sharp. Check them often.

Clean underside of deck after each use.