Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How To Start a John Deere Riding Mower

The John Deere company calls its riding mowers riding tractors. But no matter the appellation or company, a riding mower is an essential tool for taking care of large lawns. If properly maintained your John Deere riding mower will serve you well for years. However, if it is to take care of your lawn, you must take care of it. And one of the keys to maintaining your John Deere Riding Mower is knowing how to operate it correctly. This article will instruct you on how to start a John Deere riding mower, but it is no replacement for thoroughly reading the machine's owner's manual, a copy of which is located in the resources section.

Situate the riding mower on a level surface.

Sit in the riding mower's seat. It won't start if you're out of it.

Make sure that the mower's blades are disengaged. If your model has a PTO switch, it should be in the 'down' position. If your model has a PTO lever, it should be in the back position. If your riding mower's blades are not disengaged, the mower will not start.

Lock the parking brake with the park brake lock lever.

Put the transmission in neutral if your John Deere Riding Mower has a manual transmission. If the mower's transmission is automatic, engage the free-wheeling lever.

Move the throttle lever to the half-speed position.

Move the choke lever to the "choke" position (on some models, the throttle and choke lever are the same. Move this lever to the "choke" position).

Insert the ignition key into the keyhole on the John Deere Riding mower and turn it to right until it engages (no more than five seconds). Allow the ignition key to move back to the left once the engine is engaged.

Run the engine with the throttle in the "half-speed" (or choke) position for three minutes to allow the engine to warm up before operating machine.


To ensure your safety, where goggles with side shields and earplugs whenever operating your John Deere riding mower.

Garden Guides