View Full Version : John Deere 36" belt drive w/b?

02-01-2005, 12:44 PM
This season I am putting the 52" deck on the Exmark TTHP so my helper can use it to accompany the 52" Ferris Z on larger properties, and it would be more useful that way in some places. But, on our small properties with gates and such, we still need 36". I thought of phasing out a couple of my less favorite small accounts, then using the Lawn Boy 21" on the rest, but I remembered some people we know are wantin to sell their 36" JD belt drive w/b with my old sulky that I sold them last summer (tough thing, heavier than other 2 wheeler's) anyway, I was thinking of seeing if they wanted to trade it to me for some mowings. They have a 4 acre yard. They have a Husqvarna junky lawn tractor too. They live right behind my new shop so no problem to do it of an evening or send my helper over there to do it or we both do it. For the amount I am thinking of offering, it wouldn't really be quite worth it this season, but it would be a great deal to them and the mower would last long enough to make it worth it. I've used it before at their house, it cuts and stripes pretty well for a John Deere. I'm not really a JD guy at all, but my Ferris dealer is also a JD dealer so thats not a big deal.

I think it maybe a GS30 but not sure? Think its a 12.5hp Kohler or else a 15hp but it is a Kohler. Clean little mower, not abused at all. Kept garaged always, paint and plastic not even faded. Nice little mower but I'm not too experienced with John Deere walk behinds. I hate that its belt drive but its not a major issue, most of the backyards to use it in are fairly open. It would be good to retain these clients and be able to take on more like them, and not have to use the 21", because I've already decided the big deck is going back on the TTHP (have a 36" on it now but also have the 52" deck). I would take the sulky off that JD and put it on my TTHP as my ProSlide is shot.

Any opinions on these mowers? Would I regret it?

Sorry for rambling, but hopefully you get a better idea of where i'm coming from and what I intend to use it for. It probably would see only a couple hours of use a week, so not much wear at all. I know in '04, the TTHP 36" only got an hour a week use most of the time (installed hourmeter/tach on it) but this year I'm sure we'll take on a few more gated yards if we have a 36" otherwise I will give away a couple of the gated lawns I have now, and pass on any others that come my way. Hate to throw away that money, the customers I have are decent customers and they know me as reliable and being for them but can't see any point in doing them with a push mower and they wouldn't pay more for it, especially since they didn't ask me to use it.

02-01-2005, 01:25 PM
I have very limited exp. with JD commercial mowers. A few years ago I was shopping for a mower and checked at the JD dealer. He's a JERK!!! The thing I didn't like is the transmissions. They weren't peerless like most brands are. I don't know how reliable they are but I believe it is a JD part. If you're only using it a few hours a week this won't be an issue. There are some real JD users on here that can offer more insight. They also have good dealers. Matt

02-01-2005, 01:42 PM
Thanks for the reply. Yeah I thought they had different transmissions but couldn't remember. It doesn't have a lot of hours on it, I'm sure it won't be a problem for me (knock on wood!). Did I mention that my Ferris dealer also sells Deere (actually they are primarily Deere and are a major dealer in the area). They are a pretty good dealer, and as I said, a major one too, plus they have a few other large dealerships that they own in the area, so they get parts very quickly.
Thanks for the reply.

02-01-2005, 02:15 PM
When I first started back in 97, I owned 3 GS75 Deere 48" belt drive w/b's. We really put them through the mill. I always changed the oil, and greased them at the appropriate times. They were extremely durable, and I never did anything other than routine maintenance on them. The tranny was a maintenance free deal, I never broke the first drive belt in 4 yrs. only replacing the clutch to mower belt, and deck belt, usually once a season. I know the 36" is a little different as far as changing cutting hight and the belts, but I would much rather use it than the Lawnboy. They srtipe well and are pretty much trouble free.

02-01-2005, 02:35 PM
I just bought another gs30 after 3 years with the first one and no problems other than recoil string replacement and a flat tire! Also after 1st season they did 400-500$ worth of new everything that could possibly need it for free under warranty at the dealer. Sweet! The old one still works great and has no issues, but it was time for a new one for having a back-up purposes. I highly recommend it.
No tranny problems whatsoever, and the reverse gear is very helpful sometimes.

02-01-2005, 04:25 PM
Thanks for the replies guys, i appreciate input from actual users. I did speak to the woman earlier and she said she would mention my idea to her husband as they were planning to get a new rider this year, well i may be able to help them for a while :) So we will see.....

02-01-2005, 06:18 PM
Thanks for the replies guys, i appreciate input from actual users. I did speak to the woman earlier and she said she would mention my idea to her husband as they were planning to get a new rider this year, well i may be able to help them for a while :) So we will see.....

JD GS30, reliable, good cutting machine with a timed overlapping blade setup, this might limit doubles if they are in your plans.

Fareway Lawncare
02-01-2005, 09:07 PM
FSM, Your Posts are Way Too Long for me to Read..ADD...But I had a JD36" Belt Years Ago...Was not Pleased w/the Cut.

02-01-2005, 09:23 PM
I know it has timed blades. But it makes the left hand blade closer to the back wheel for increased trimability. Doubles won't be necessary on this mower.

I used it last summer, thought it cut good, better than most JD's i've seen and used. I still don't know if these people will go for the deal, but if they do it will be worth it to me. Actually the areas it will mainly be used, perfect cut is not the primary goal, but I think it'll do fine for anything I need.


02-01-2005, 11:28 PM
Surely someone else has or has had or uses a GS30 JD w/b???? C'mon people. tens of thousands of people visiting this message board and only a handful use John Deere Walk behinds? I don't beleive that.

One of the reasons you don't see me on here a lot anymore. I'm almost what you would consider an "old timer" in that i've been on here almost as long as some others, and much longer than most. But, this place has been growing a lot the whole time i've been here, and the quality and (sometimes) quantity of responses always gets worse. I understand if most of the new members are newbies in the biz and don't have experience with this machine or don't feel comfortable jumping in the conversation yet, but I KNOW there are gobs of long time users and members on here that have them..... :help:

02-02-2005, 12:16 AM
I've got a GS45 and its a great machine, no problems in the four or five years I've owned it. It pulls a velke no problem.

02-02-2005, 08:33 AM
Thanks Chris.
C'mon everyone I know there are more! :help:

02-02-2005, 10:51 AM
Begging for responses FSM?
I used a GS 30 12.5 Kaw for three seasons. Great mower. Heavy construction and cut great. I sold it to a friend who continues to use it every week. Hours on the mower?? Purchased in 97 and still in the field.

02-02-2005, 11:21 AM
Thanks accuratelawn. Yes I am! I think its pathetic the way this board has gone downhill in some ways. Some of the forum "vets" (not including myself) have busted their rear to help all the newbies to the forum and to the business, and whenever I ask a question, all I get is silence........ thats sad to me. I try to help with what I can but usually I don't get a lot of time for LawnSite, and seems like half of the discussion is nonsense or drama or other junk that I don't want to participate in...

02-02-2005, 12:01 PM
I have a GS30 and it works wonders for me. It will mulch better than any mower I have ever seen. I bought mine new in 97 and it is still running strong. The only thing I have replaced is the blade clutch. It has a 12.5 Kawasaki and it pulls a velke just fine. It's an excellent mower for the price.


02-02-2005, 12:07 PM
Thank you JR!

02-03-2005, 06:10 PM
I bought a new GS-30 last year. I put a Tiy tach on it and it shows 55hours right now. I never had a hiccup out of it. Mine leaves a very nice cut with Gators on it and leaves a pretty stripe when I have the Velke tied up. IMO, it is a great little machine for the money and is built tough as nails. When the need arises for another 36", I will buy another GS-30 with no hesitation.

02-03-2005, 11:25 PM
Bought a GS30 last year w/mulching kit and bagger. It was my first season and first commercial mower so what my experience is can't really be compared to other mowers but.. I cut about 15 regular cust with it. All ranging from small $20 yards to a huge 4 acre yard. Yes, I cut the 4 acres with the 36" :dizzy: ! Anyway, I have been overall happy with the mower. I think it leaves a good cut and stripe, very durable, easy maintenance and good speed. When I first got my mulching kit I was using it all the time. After a while though, I took it off and stopped using it. A lot of the time I'd start early in the morning and the grass would still be dewy, never seemed like the mulching kit did that well in wet grass. Plus it was a pain switching from mulch to side discharge to bagging. The bagger works well in dry grass, otherwise the chute would get clogged alot. Again, these may be problems you have with lots of mowers? The one thing I did not like about the mower is how hard it is to switch more than 1" or 2" in deck height. You've got to unbolt the caster wheels and re bolt, then unbolt the deck and re-bolt, real pain in the butt :angry: ! Overall, it a good mower for what I need. If I had to do it again I'd buy the GS45. I would definitely buy JD again. Hope it helps! :waving:

02-03-2005, 11:44 PM
BHB--FWIW I had a friend that saw my LESCO and bought a 38" JD WB with a 12.5 KAW (coudda been kohler, I've slept since then) and he couldn't wait for me to use it.

I did and I absolutely despised that machine.

but that doesn't mean you wouldn't do well with one if you liked it.

but I could live forever W/O that particular unit.


02-04-2005, 12:24 AM
I had a GS75 this past summer. It was not at all a bad mower. The JD belts slipped a little more than my 36" Metro with the wide drive belts. The JD left nice stripes and tracked straight and pulled a sulky great. Lucky for me I got a deal on an Exmark that I could not pass up so the JD had to go. If I had more room I would have kept it. On another note I have had nothing but bad experiences with JD dealers. The first one took over a week to get overpriced blades and a deck belt, then wanted to charge me for 3-day UPS shipping. I like the product but won't buy another because the service stinks.