How to Grease the Wheel Bearings on your John Deere Zero Turn Rider

How to Grease the Wheel Bearings on your John Deere Zero Turn Rider

Your John Deere zero turn rider works hard and requires regular maintenance to ensure a long and reliable service life. Part of this maintenance includes greasing the wheel bearings on the front of your mower. You should lubricate the bearings one to two times each mowing season to protect them from wear and keep them spinning smoothly.

Before performing any maintenance on your John Deere lawn mower, refer to your owner’s manual for maintenance instructions and safety information. Also, you’ll need a grease gun and grease for your zero turn mower.

Park your John Deere mower on a level surface, stop the engine, and remove the ignition key. Move to the front of your mower and locate the grease fittings on the outside hub of the caster wheels. These fittings, also referred to as zerks, make it easy to apply grease to the wheels internal bearings.

Start by cleaning the fitting on the wheels with a rag. Remove any grass, dirt or debris that could interfere with greasing the wheel bearings. Make sure the spring-loaded bearing ball inside the inlet is visible and free to move.

Attach the nozzle on the end of the grease gun to the fitting on one of the caster wheels. Pump grease into the fitting until you see a little bit of grease ooze out of the wheel bearing. Use your rag to wipe away excess grease that oozes out to prevent the accumulation of dirt and debris. Move to the other front wheel and grease the wheel bearing. When complete, again wipe excess grease with a rag.

Don’t forget to factor your wheel bearings into your lawn mower maintenance checklist. No matter how small it may seem, performing maintenance on your wheel bearings plays a huge role in the performance of your John Deere equipment.

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Spark Plug Maintenance

Spark Plug Maintenance

Regular maintenance keeps your John Deere equipment running quietly and efficiently. If your John Deere lawn mower, snow blower, or other outdoor power equipment won’t start, a damaged spark plug may be the problem. Worn or dirty spark plugs cause issues for your machine, so be on the lookout for these as well.

As a rule of thumb, you should check and/or replace the spark plug on your small engine machine every year. Also check the spark plug every season or every 25 hours of use to determine whether it should be replaced. If your John Deere equipment won’t start, check and/or replace your spark plug.

To check for a damaged spark plug:

  • Turn your John Deere machine off and allow the engine to cool to the touch. Disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent accidental starting.
  • Blow or clean off the area around the plug with compressed air or a brush, making sure the area is clean. This will prevent debris from getting in the combustion chamber when removing the spark plug.
  • Remove the spark plug with a spark plug socket and clean any deposits from the plug.
  • Use a wire brush or spray-on plug cleaner to remove the deposits, or a sturdy knife to scrape off tougher deposits.
  • Check the spark plug for cracked porcelain, electrodes that have been burned away, or stubborn deposits. If you find any of these issues, change the spark plug.
  • Check the spark plug gap and adjust if necessary. Many manufacturers package new spark plugs with the cap pre-set, but it is still a good idea to double-check the gap and torque according to your John Deere owner’s manual.
  • If the spark plug is in good shape, re-attach. Make sure you don’t over-tighten the plug when replacing it.
  • Reconnect the spark plug wire and start your machine’s engine.

To replace spark plugs:

  • Disconnect the spark plug wire and clean the area around the spark plug.
  • Use a spark plug socket to remove the spark plug.
  • Check the gap on the new spark plug and replace it.
  • Tighten the spark plug but don’t over-tighten it.
  • Reconnect the spark plug wire.

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Fuel Tips for Your John Deere Equipment

Fuel Tips for John Deere Equipment

Your John Deere outdoor power equipment needs fuel to operate properly. That goes without saying, but not just any old fuel will do. Ensure that you know the right type of fuel to use in your machine and when to replace it. Our experts explain how to reduce fuel system issues with your John Deere equipment.

Only buy the amount of fuel that will be used in 30 days

Fuel starts to go bad after 30 days so do not let it sit in your machine for longer than that. After 30 days, the volatile compounds in the fuel start evaporating, and this occurs whether the gas is in your outdoor power equipment or in the gas can.

As fuel sits and grows older, it evaporates and forms brown sticky deposits that eventually turn into a hard varnish. Deposits and varnish can plug fuel lines and passages in the carburetor, preventing the engine from running properly.

Use fuel stabilizer

Many of us use fuel stabilizers in our machines when we store them for the off-season to have an easier time starting them when the time comes. This is a good practice. When fuel stabilizers are added to fuel they separate and create a thin film on top of the fuel to keep out air and moisture. They also reduce the rate at which the fuel’s volatile compounds evaporate.

Try adding fuel stabilizer to your fuel the day it is purchased. This way, the fuel will stay fresh longer.

Don’t use gasoline with more than 10% ethanol

Engines produced for use in outdoor power equipment are not designed for gasoline with more than 10% ethanol. Using higher ethanol fuel blends can lead to engine damage and performance issues. Read your John Deere Equipment Manual for information on the proper fuel to use in your machine.

Use ethanol-free gasoline

Gasoline without ethanol will reduce the amount of moisture the gasoline can absorb from the atmosphere. Many areas carry ethanol-free gas. Visit https://www.pure-gas.org/ to locate ethanol-free gas stations near you.

Purchase mid-grade gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher

Standard 87 octane gasoline is perfect for small engines like the ones found on lawn mowers. However, mid-grade or premium gas with an octane rating of 89 or higher can be used for engines that require the higher octane.

Again, read your owner’s manual for information on the proper fuel to use in your John Deere outdoor power equipment.

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Convert Your John Deere Tractor Into a Snow Blower

Convert Your Tractor Into a Snow Blower

Many of us dread clearing snow during the winter. We know that maneuvering your shovel or snow blower through heavy, wet snow during the winter can be exhausting. If you own a John Deere tractor, you may not dread clearing snow as much. Your John Deere tractor provides you with an alternative way to remove snow this year.  If you convert your tractor into a snow blower, you can avoid the need to shovel or purchase a snow blower. Here’s what you need to convert your John Deere tractor into a snow blower.

John Deere attachments and accessories vary by model. Refer to your owner’s manual for information on attachment and accessory compatibility.

Snow blower attachment

To convert your John Deere tractor into a snow blower, you need a snow blower attachment to remove the snow from your drive and walkways. These attachments have the capacity to handle big snow removal jobs and work well in all snow conditions.

Plow blade attachment

If you prefer to push snow instead of throw it, there is an assortment of John Deere tractor mounted plows to help clear snow from your driveway. Plow blades get closer to the pavement than blowers, leaving you with little to no snow on your pathways.

Snow cab

You can add a snow cab to your John Deere tractor for extra protection from freezing temps and harsh winds.

Tire chains

When using your John Deere tractor in the snow, your tractor tires may not have the stability and traction needed to remove snow. When the pavement is covered by snow or is icy, you can increase the traction by using tractor tire chains.

Tire chains are also beneficial when working on steep terrain and narrow roads. To maintain traction, make sure you have tire chains on your tires. They will make your snow removal tasks safer and more productive.

Wheel weights

Like tire chains, wheel weights provide extra traction when working on snowy or icy terrain. Weight wheels are recommended when adding attachments to the front of your John Deere tractor. Apply these weights to the rear tires to help weigh down the back end of your machine and press down so the tires grip better.

Cast-iron weights

Cast-iron weights are great attachments for the front end of your John Deere tractor. These counterbalance heavy attachments and provide better traction and stability.

Some tractors have built-in front and/or rear weight brackets to hang the cast-iron weights on. Other tractors require a weight bracket. Refer to your owner’s manual to determine what your John Deere tractor has and/or needs.

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Fuel Recommendations for Snow Blowers

Fuel Recommendations for Snow Blowers

If you take the time to properly care for your snow blower now, you should have little to no problems with starting your machine next winter. One of the most important things to do when caring for your snow blower is taking care of the fuel that goes inside the blower. If you’re not mindful of the fuel in your machine you may encounter starting or running problems and even damage to the fuel system. Use this guide to avoid fuel-related problems in your snow blower.

Store fuel properly

Store your fuel in a clean, plastic, sealed container approved for fuel storage to help prevent rust and metallic contaminants from entering the fuel system. Close the vent when not in use and store the container away from direct sunlight. Fuel will deteriorate faster when exposed to air and sunlight.

If it takes longer than 30 days to use the fuel in the container, add a fuel stabilizer when you fill the container.

If you do not use your snow blower much during the winter, add a fuel stabilizer to your fuel storage container

Gas left in your snow blower can deteriorate quickly, causing problems for your machine and the fuel system. If you make sure the fuel in your snow blower is stabilized, you will minimize the chances of deterioration and damage.

Do not use gasoline with more than 10% ethanol

Gasoline containing higher levels of ethanol is corrosive and attracts water, which can cause starting or running problems and damage to your snow blower’s fuel system. Engines produced for use in outdoor power equipment are not designed for gasoline with more than 10% ethanol.

Read your owner’s manual for information on the proper fuel to use in your snow blower.

Remove fuel for summer storage                      

Before storing your snow blower, drain the fuel out of your machine. There may still be fuel in the fuel line and carburetor so start your blower and allow it to run until no fuel is left in the machine.

Make sure there is no old fuel resting in your snow blower. Old fuel left in your snow blower during the off-season will deteriorate and cause problems for your machine. Your blower may not start or run properly and, in some cases, there will be damage to the fuel system.

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The History of John Deere

The History of John Deere

How Charles Deere Transformed His Father’s Legacy into a Household Name

We know you’ve heard of John Deere, the name behind the famous brand many have come to know and love. However, there was another Deere who was responsible for the company’s successful growth before and during the turn of the 20th century. That man, referred to as John Deere’s son, was better known as Charles Deere.

John Deere’s second son, Charles Deere, was born in 1837, the same year that John Deere created his trademark self-cleaning plow from an old steel saw blade. Despite this coincidence, the Deere family did not initially plan for Charles to take a management role. It was John Deere’s eldest son, Francis Albert, who planned to take over the family business.

However, that changed when Francis passed away during a flu outbreak at age 18. Charles Deere assumed his older brother’s role and attended business school. In 1854, he began working at his father’s company. He advanced quickly in managing the company’s finances and moved on to become head of sales.

After years of success under Charles’ direction, the Deere business hit a rough patch during the “Panic of 1857.” Struggling with overspending in production and manufacturing costs, John Deere turned leadership of the company over to Charles, who guided finances in the right direction, which included reorganizing the business into a partnership called John Deere & Company. John Deere and Charles Deere shared this equally with colleagues Luke Hemenway and David Bugbee. This partnership allowed the Deeres to manage more money within the family, avoiding personal bankruptcy in the event that something should happen to the business.

To ensure future success of John Deere & Company, Charles maintained his leadership role. Under Charles’ management the company continued to prosper, giving birth to new branch houses across the country. Through his father’s death in 1886 until his own passing in 1907, Charles Deere helped expand a product line that included over 300 models of plows and a variety of farm equipment. Today, Deere & Company continues to serve customers and deliver quality products to agricultural and landscaping professions.

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Tips to Store Small Engine Equipment for Winter

Tips to Store Small Engine Equipment for Winter

Summertime has drawn to a close, so your outdoor power equipment needs have changed with the fall season. That means it’s time to put away the summer equipment, and break out the cold-weather equipment. By taking care of cleaning and maintenance tasks before the winter season, you can build a regular routine that will help you extend the life of your small engine equipment. Here’s what you should do to prepare your equipment for winter storage.

Store Small Engine Equipment Tip – Storage

Store your equipment in a clean and dry area, such as a garage or shed. For additional protection, try covering your machine with a tarp to block out possible moisture and use moth balls to help protect against pests.

Store Small Engine Equipment Tip – Spark Plugs

Spark plugs should be replaced after 100 hours of use. Use a spark plug wrench to carefully turn the metal base so as not to break the plug. Once you remove the spark plug, put a few drops of oil into the open cylinder, and then gently start the engine a few times to coat the cylinder walls and valves.

Make sure you replace the used plug with a new one that has the same part number. Spark plugs vary among different machines.

Store Small Engine Equipment Tip – Fuel

Empty all fuel from your four-cycle and two-cycle equipment. Most gasoline contains ethanol, which breaks down over time and loosens deposits that have formed inside the engine. This causes gum-like material to move around inside the fuel system and can clog the carburetor.

Before storing equipment, let the engine run until it stalls out and there is no longer any gas in the tank. Try to start the engine again to get rid of any fuel that escaped during the previous run.

If you want to keep your equipment filled with gas, you should use a fuel stabilizer. Run your machine for a few minutes to circulate the mixture throughout the carburetor, and then turn the machine off. This process allows you to store a gas-filled tank for up to six months, and should allow you to easily start your machine in the spring.

Store Small Engine Equipment Tip – Oil and Filters

Change the oil and oil filters to keep moving parts lubricated. Changing these also removes particles from the engine, increasing its lifespan of your small engine equipment. Cleaning or replacing air filters helps keep grass and other elements out of the engine, increasing power and fuel efficiency.

Paper filters should be replaced after use, while foam filters can be washed and reused.  Rinse your foam filter with hot water and dish detergent, lay it out to dry, and coat it in oil before re-inserting.

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Fuel Tips for Outdoor Power Equipment

Fuel Tips for Outdoor Power Equipment

Your outdoor power equipment needs fuel to operate properly, that goes without saying. However, you need to make sure you know the right type of fuel to use in your machine and when to replace it. Our experts explain facts about fuel and how to reduce issues with your outdoor power equipment.

Tip #1 – Use gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher

Standard 87 octane gasoline is perfect for small engines like the ones found on lawn mowers. However, mid-grade or premium gas with an octane rating of 89 or higher can be used for engines that require the higher octane.

Read your owner’s manual for information on the proper fuel to use in your outdoor power equipment. Using the correct fuel in your outdoor power equipment is very important. If you do not use the proper fuel, your machine will suffer.

Tip #2 – Use fuel stabilizer

Many of us use fuel stabilizers in our machines when we store them for the off-season to have an easier time starting them when the time comes. This is a good practice. When these stabilizers are added to fuel they separate and create a thin film on top of the fuel to keep out air and moisture.

Try adding fuel stabilizer to your fuel the day it is purchased. This way, the fuel will stay fresh longer.

When purchasing fuel stabilizer, make sure to purchase the right one for your needs. There are specific stabilizers for gas that does and does not contain ethanol.

Tip #3 – Use ethanol –free gasoline (E0)

Gasoline without ethanol will reduce the amount of moisture the gasoline can absorb from the atmosphere. Many areas carry ethanol-free gas. Visit https://www.pure-gas.org/ to locate ethanol-free gas stations near you.

Tip #4 – Don’t use gasoline with more than 10% ethanol (E10)

Engines produced for use in outdoor power equipment are not designed for gasoline with more than 10% ethanol. Using higher ethanol fuel blends can lead to engine damage and performance issues. Read your Equipment Manual for information on the proper fuel to use in your machine.

Tip #5 –Purchase fuel and use it in 30 days

Fuel starts to go bad after 30 days so do not let it sit in your machine for longer than that. After 30 days, the volatile compounds in the fuel start evaporating, and this occurs whether the gas is in your outdoor power equipment or in the gas can.

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The History of John Deere Lawn Mowers

The History of John Deere Lawn Mowers

John Deere Lawn Mowers

John Deere has been producing lawn mowers for homeowners and landscapers for over 50 years. Hundreds of new models have been introduced throughout this period and that has played a huge role in the evolution of John Deere equipment today. Read more to understand the history behind John Deere lawn mowers.

John Deere Lawn Mowers – 1960s

John Deere broke into the lawn tractor market in 1963, introducing the model 110, with a 4-stroke petrol-fueled engine with 7 horsepower. Due to its ergonomic design and futuristic features, like Variable Speed Drive, the 110 became a big seller.

During the 1960s, lawn mowing was becoming a more popular leisure activity so John Deere was prompted to dive into the marketplace by offering similar features and implements that the bigger farming tractors incorporated.

After the 100 lawn mower proved successful, the John Deere 60 model was introduced shortly after. This mower was designed for operators in urban areas who had less land and didn’t need the larger 110 model. The 60 was designed for lawn work and not heavy workloads like the 110. The 60 model offered a variety of attachments, making it a versatile machine for its time. The attachments included pull a behind sprayer, model 80 dump cart, snow blade, and snow thrower.

Continuing on the success of the 110, John Deere introduced the 112 model, a larger model that carried a similar style as the 110 but with a bigger motor and wider deck. The 112 was designed for those who needed a machine for larger jobs than the 110 and 60 were capable of.

John Deere also introduced the John Deere 140 shortly after. This model was known for having a lot of power for such a small machine. With a 14 hp Kohler engine and hydrostatic transmission, the 140 was ahead of its time, and capable of accomplishing all kinds of yard work.

John Deere Lawn Mowers – 1970s

While a few existing models that were introduced in the 1960s were upgraded in the early 1970s, John Deere took on major advancements in 1975 when the 200, 300 and 400 Series riding lawn mowers were produced. These machines provided customers with new and exciting features including engine options between 8-16 horsepower, new style hood and grill, integral headlights, engine side panels, and power steering.

John Deere Lawn Mowers – 1980s

In 1984, John Deere introduced the 430, the first tractor to combine a diesel engine with hydrostatic drive and power steering.  This model made quite the impression in the tractor industry, featuring a powerful Yanmar 3-cylinder water-cooled diesel engine instead. The 430 weighed 1,170 lbs, making it the heaviest and strongest John Deere machine of its time.

During the 1980s, the 300 Series was redesigned and many new features were added from the rear-frame redesign from “closed” to “open” configuration and square-shaped fender deck to the reserve fuel tank for increased productivity.

During this time, John Deere manufactured its millionth lawn and garden tractor and introduced the R Series and S Series, designed for customers working both small and large pieces of land.

The R Series was a good fit for those handling smaller areas and included features like a 5-speed gear-drive transmission and tight turning radius of 27 inches. The S Series, for those with bigger areas to cover, incorporated an electric start, 30-inch cutting width and 8 horsepower engines.

John Deere Lawn Mowers – 1990s

In the 1990s John Deere manufactured its 2 millionth lawn tractor with the LX188 model and its 3 millionth tractor with the LT133. The LT Series, LX Series, and GT and GX Series were crucial to the history of John Deere lawn mowers.

The LT Series became one of the most popular John Deere mowers ever. Operators were given wider cuts and a greater amount of fuel. John Deere placed more emphasis on comfort with the adjustable operator seat for those who spent long hours on their equipment.

The LX Series was known for its versatility, allowing owners to use a variety of attachments to handle a variety of projects around the yard. The GT and GX Series were the perfect fit for those who needed more power and size to complete yard tasks. These machines could hook up to other implements like snow blowers and baggers, and a variety of rear attachments like aerators and utility carts.

John Deere Lawn Mowers – 2000s

Some of the biggest product announcements made in the 2000s were the LA Series and the X Series. The LA Series models catered to medium and large lawns. Key features included the full-length steel welded frame, headlights, comfortable operator station, and Edge Cutting system. This series also incorporates John Deere’s trademarked CargO Mount system, which allows users to easily attach large baggers or other heavy rear-mounted equipment.

The technology is what sets the X Series models apart. These machines transfer power to the wheels through the hydrostatic transmission to save time during operation and eliminate unnecessary gear-changing to speed up or slow down.

Take a look at all the John Deere lawn mowers that were introduced throughout the years.

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