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Lame Deere

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ClippersLC, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. ClippersLC

    ClippersLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 130

    Check this out, I have a lawn that I mowed yesterday, or atleast partially mowed. I have a John Deere 717 that I was using on a lot that was approximately, 1 acre of total mowing area. The front yard is about 1/3 of the whole job. Well I trim the front edges out, then trim out the back edges. and I start to mow the back, well I get about 1/4 the way done and the motor starts to get bogged down, well i figured it was just the thick grass and it would recover in a few seconds. well I look down and see the deck stressed out. it was tweeked from where the belt had so much torque on it, motor is still raising hell trying to keep alive. Then all of a sudden not 2 seconds later I hear SCREEEEECCCCHHHHHHHHHH, Pow ! And the whole machine dies, I was thinking oh hell the motor sezied, Well I disengaged the mower. set brake and it started right back up. so I engaged the deck I heard the clutcth kick in but no action from the deck so i shut it all back down. I find the Deck Drive belt snapped in half. so I reach under to move the blades to turn the spindles Cause I knew one of them had to seize. Sure enough the right side spindle was glowing red and locked up. So I Had decided to finish the front yard with a 21 inch 3.5 horse pushmower. just to at least get that out of the way. what normally took me 20 - 30 minutes. took me over 3 and a half hours...Yeah i was beyond Pi$$ed. Well turns out the warranty had expired 3 days..thats right just 3 days prior, and I called Deere's main office. I told them the situation. they looked me up in their computer bank, and said well we see that you have been a loyal customer. we'll give you half off of the part and free belt to replace the old one. so instead of $90 it only cost me $44 something Tax and all. So that made me a little happier, and has increased my opinion toward the comapny, which my opinion has always been that the were always friendly and easy to work with, they have their moments but for the most part I have been satisfied. But what still gets me is that the old spindle did NOT have a grease fitting on it. but the new one does. Whats the deal with that? should I go ahead and replace the others while I'm at it, or run them till they die also? Thanks in advance.
  2. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    I have not seen a ZTrac that didn't have grease fittings on the spindles....as a matter of fact as soon as I read that the spindle was "red" I was about to type that it had not been greased properly.

    Oh, btw your tag line says that you are Owner and CEO of Clippers Lawn Service and your Profile shows:

    February 17, 1988
    Your Age:
    Years in business:

    So you've been a "business" and a CEO since you were 10 years old? ;)
  3. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    How old is your 717? Mine was bought in 02 and it had grease fittings on the spindles as does my 737. Never had a problem with any of the spindles and never replaced a belt on either one, and I have mowed some bad grass with both.
  4. jim d.

    jim d. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    Hey, Clippers, this is off topic but how do like that Poulan Pro trimmer? I'm a relative newbie and I need to upgrade from the electric auto-feed I'm now using. I've been advised to get a good commercial grade gas trimmer. I've been looking at the Poulan Pro split-shaft which I can add an edger and blower to, and the brush-cutter which is about $30 more, and doesn't accept add-ons, but which seems to be a more heavy-duty trimmer and uses thicker line. I'd be interested in your opinion. Thanks.
  5. S man

    S man LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,562

    Why a 21" 3.5? It says you have a super recycler? Bigger engine?
  6. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    Poulan is about as far from Commercial Equipment as one can get.
  7. S man

    S man LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,562

    So he's doing good for his age.
  8. jim d.

    jim d. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    Thanks, Mike...but just to be sure we're talking about the same thing, the one Clipper has and the one I'm talking about are the Poulan Pro models. The brush-cutter version I mentioned says "Commercial Grade" on the box. Is this just a sales tactic or would it be a good trimmer? I can't afford a $350 to $400 trimmer yet. If you were looking for a low-end commercial trimmer, what would you buy?

    Thanks again.
  9. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    Trust me nothing that says Poulan will hold up for true commercial work. If your funds are limted try the Echo 230 Trimmer it is a true light duty commercial and will give you Good service and should be around $200
  10. True Cut Lawn Maintenance

    True Cut Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 418

    do as i did get either a stihl FS 55 straight shaft trimmer they sell for $199.95 i bouight that along with the FC 55 Edger and they are both working great for me i financed the edger with my mower bought the push mower used and the two tillers were boughten for me

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