Riding mowers are among the most expensive farming equipment – so you want to ensure that your choice will last for a long time; including a John Deere riding mower.
It is important to keep in mind that not all riding mowers will have the same lifespan, and it may even differ from the expected lifespan that the manufacturer intends. This is because it really depends on usage, the manufacturing quality, and the size. Even though the manufacturer’s warranty can give you an expected average, the mower will last longer if you take good care of it.
The major factor to help you know whether your John Deere riding mower will last is checking its average life expectancy. The manufacturer generally tells you the service life of the mower’s components, and the life of the lawnmower according to the number of usage hours. An instance would be getting an average-price riding mower with a service life of 150 hours, while the more premium-end mowers have a service life of 1,000 hours.
As long as you take proper care of it, your John Deere riding mower should last an average of between 8 to 10 years, and it can sometimes go beyond 20 years when you pay close attention to maintenance. This is the same as most riding mowers as well.
Tips for maintenance
These tips might not apply to all John Deere riding mowers. Even though the tips here are generalized, ensure that you check the documentation and manual to ensure they will work for you. Before doing maintenance, ensure that:
- You are doing so in a well-ventilated area
- You put the riding mower in parking mode. Turn off the ignition, remove its key, and unplug all spark wires or battery (depending on the specific instructions).
- If you are storing the mower for some time, drain its gasoline to prevent rust and carburetor problems
- Change the spark plug, air filter, and oil at least once a year
- Clean up the blades at least once annually to prevent rust
Steps to maintenance
- Before you start, disconnect the spark plug wires or battery. The steps to remove them should be detailed in the manual, so consult it on the instructions and follow them closely.
- Check if there is any damage to the deflectors and shields – the ideal is that they should not have any signs of damage like cracking or breakage. If they have signs of damage, replace them before use.
- Check the tires to see if they have proper inflation, and do any repairs if they are deflated.
- Check the oil-fill and fuel-fill areas for dirt. Clean these areas and leave to dry. Note that you should avoid using a vacuum to clean them, because it will lead to severe accidents like explosions.
- Examine the fuel and oil levels
- After finishing the maintenance procedures, you can then follow the manufacturer’s instructions to reconnect the spark plugs or battery.
- When you are done with mowing your lawn, wait for the mower to cool down and then disconnect the spark plug wires or battery – according to the instructions. Clean off the deck and mower engine. Check for damage, and replace any parts that are worn out.
Maintaining the riding mower during the mowing season
These procedures will help you to do regular maintenance on the mower – a task that you need to do at least twice during the mowing season. Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions throughout it as well.
- Disconnect the spark plug wires or battery
- Use spray lubricant or grease to lubricate the mower’s pivot points and spindles
- Examine the air cleaning mechanism and clean it if it has dirt or debris. Along with this, check the air filter and replace it if it is dirty. If the mower has a pre-cleaner, you can also remove, wash, and leave it to dry.
- Check the blades, and replace them if they are broken or bent.
Changing the filter and engine oil
- Take the mower out and run it for a minute, then turn it off to start working. This is because warm oil drains faster than cold oil.
- Disconnect the spark plug wires or battery. Take care to avoid burning yourself when handling the engine and oil.
- Clean out any debris from the oil drainage area
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to drain the oil into a container, and make plans to dispose it safely.
- Remove and clean out any dirt around the oil filter and replace it if necessary
- Using fresh oil, coat the gasket lightly. Re-install it into the engine as securely as possible.
- Clean up any spillage
- Close the drain valve or replace it, and add new oil slowly while checking its levels to ensure you do not overfill it
- Reconnect the spark plugs or battery. Run the mower and check for leaks.
What you need to do for maintenance of the mower
Factors that reduce the mower life
What you can do to lengthen its service life
Failing to maintain the mower properly
Ensure you do regular maintenance on the different parts
Using it very often
Take breaks from using the riding mower at times
The expected hours of use
Nothing much you can do here, but maintenance should lengthen its lifespan.
Whatever you do with it, always know that a riding mower maintained meticulously will last longer than one that you maintain poorly.