What should I look for when purchsing a used walk behind?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Lee Homan, Jun 28, 2001.

  1. Lee Homan

    Lee Homan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163

    I'm going down to my john deere dealer either today or tomorrow and look at a walk behind he just got in on trade. I don't know the model but it has the old yellow deck. He said it was at least 5 years old. It comes standard with a 54" deck and 17 hp kawasaki that has been recently rebuilt by the dealer. There is also a 38" deck that goes with it and velke. I'm not familiar with thse type mowers (large walk behinds)and was wondering what I need to look for when checking it out. Thanks for the help.
  2. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    lee--I have demoed and looked at the units you are talking about...I think. JD is very popular in my area so these things are always around.

    what I would look for is simply does it looked raged out. the deere adjustable deck system is made out of potmetal. they are constantly falling appart. most guys pull the adjusting pins and put in bolts.

    the option of a 38 or 54 sounds good but how much trouble to change?

    ask what the dealer has rebuilt. if it's been rebuilt, then that part will wear out for you.

    one thing I don't like about deere wb's is the operator presence safety handle. those things stick way up in the air so high that you can get your hand under them! whats with that? good luck on your demo. let us know what you find.

  3. jeffyr

    jeffyr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 876


    From a dealer I'd ask for a warranty, especially if he rebuilt it in any way. Ask to take it for an hour to cut where you normally cut. If that doesn't fly see if a neighbor of the dealer would let you try it out on their property. If you can't demo it though I would pass it by.

  4. EJK2352

    EJK2352 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,150

    Think that mower has a Kanzaki transmission w/ internal steering
    clutches & brakes. They are ok when they are working, but if they
    aren't you can spend some major money repairing them. I would look
    for a belt drive unit or a hydro unit in a Toro, Exmark,Bobcat,etc.
    If you want a Deere I would stay away from that unit, & look at their
    newer models as they don't use that Kanzaki trans in their newer units.
  5. scottb

    scottb LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    I would agree with these guys talk him into a demo and a warranty. Also look at price I looked at one of these before I bought my Toro and I could of bought a new 48" JD for about the same price.
  6. Lee Homan

    Lee Homan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163

    He wants $1500.00. As far as the transmission, I have an old brochure and they list a standard GS75 with the dana 5 speed and the deluxe(whatever that means)with the Kanzaki. By the way, how does that transmission perform? It seems like it would work better than a belt drive. I might be able to demo it, I don't know though as this is the JD dealer in the next town (35 miles away). Thanks for the input.
  7. jeffyr

    jeffyr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 876

    After reading alot of posts on how some mowers have the mysterious "strip of uncut grass" or clumping problems, I would insist on a demo from a dealer--does he have grass outside the building ? Cut the dealers property.


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