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Just picked up an x580. Should I engage the deck PTO at low or high throttle? Understood the manual states run at high throttle but unsure as to throttle before engaging. Also - is it better to turn on/off ignition when stopping for 30 seconds to a minute or idle? Thanks
 

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I would engage at low throttle and the raise to operating speed
I would let idle for short periods of time vs shut off
My .02$
 

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Just picked up an x580. Should I engage the deck PTO at low or high throttle? Understood the manual states run at high throttle but unsure as to throttle before engaging. Also - is it better to turn on/off ignition when stopping for 30 seconds to a minute or idle? Thanks
I am a believer in engaging the PTO at LOW to moderate RPM's to minimize the shock to the PTO clutch. The same with disengaging it.

You don't want to be so low in the RPM's that the PTO causes the engine to struggle to run, so, maybe 1/4th throttle for engaging and disengaging is how I have always approached it. My PTO clutch lasted 23 years and 2,500 hours before having to be replaced.

You can tell when something is "Hard" on equipment. If the engaging and disengaging of the PTO seems "violent" or really slams on the tractor components, clearly that is going to shorten their functional life.

I say error on the side of caution and go with slower RPM's rather than faster.

It also makes a big difference what is hooked to the PTO. The larger the rotating mass, the more momentum the object has, the harder it is to start spinning and the longer it takes to slow it down. For example, Mid Mount Mowers are less stressful on the tractors PTO than would a wood chipper attached to the rear PTO or a large rear mounted mower with one pair of blades.

When items have gear boxes and belts and components to help absorb the "shock" of starting something with a PTO its less harsh on the machine. When the attachments or implements are more "direct driven", as would be a large brush hog style mower or a wood chipper or something with a lot of rotational mass, it's harder on the tractors PTO to start and stop.........

If your tractor is "shuddering" when you are engaging the PTO, in my opinion, it's likely the wrong engine RPM........It should be a smooth wind up and wind down when engaging the PTO. That's why it varies some based upon what is hooked to the PTO......

Idling for a couple of minutes or less is not hard on a machine. All it does is burn some gasoline and most modern engines are tuned to be very efficient. Most wear occurs during the start up when there are areas of the engine awaiting delivery of oil for lubrication. Idling an engine for a 15 to 30 seconds before shut down helps minimize the same shock that happens to a PTO when you shut if off at full throttle.

My opinion and how I would operate it if I owned the piece of equipment or was using that owned by someone else. Others may vary.
 

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Just picked up an x580. Should I engage the deck PTO at low or high throttle? Understood the manual states run at high throttle but unsure as to throttle before engaging. Also - is it better to turn on/off ignition when stopping for 30 seconds to a minute or idle? Thanks
Engage at the lowest RPM that does not stall the engine. My X500 requires WOT when the deck is cold else it will stall the engine. After the deck has been run for a while and the spindles warm up it will engage at about 1/3 throttle. The manual recommends WOT for engaging the deck because it will always work without stalling the engine.

As for idling, since it is a gasoline engine you can leave it idling forever without any concerns. The idle time issue really only applies to diesels. I'm not sure if they changed the exhaust configuration on the X580 but on my X500 if you let it sit idling for more than a minute it will create a brown spot on the grass due to the exhaust heat.

These little garden tractors don't have the most robust charging systems so I always keep the start/stops to a minimum while using the tractor. If I'm stopping for a few minutes to load or unload my lawn cart I leave it running. If I'm going inside to grab a sandwich I shut it off. It's really up to you.
 

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I own a 580 and when using a tiller or the deck I like to engage them at about 1/2 throttle. Take a look at the rpms on the left side of the display. Get the rpms into the green a bit and you should be just fine. I make a practice of not shutting down an engine running at high speed. Idle down for about a minute with no load prior to shutting down. The engine will cool down a bit, and depending on the engine and crank case venting system may also keep raw fuel from being pulled back into the crank case.
 

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I own a 580 and when using a tiller or the deck I like to engage them at about 1/2 throttle. Take a look at the rpms on the left side of the display. Get the rpms into the green a bit and you should be just fine. I make a practice of not shutting down an engine running at high speed. Idle down for about a minute with no load prior to shutting down. The engine will cool down a bit, and depending on the engine and crank case venting system may also keep raw fuel from being pulled back into the crank case.
It's weird that the JD manual wants you to run the engine at 1/2 throttle prior to shutting down.


  1. Move throttle lever to half throttle position and allow engine to run at half throttle for several seconds.
  2. Turn key to stop position.

But.. if you look at the Kawasaki FS730V owner's manual it lists the following shut down procedure:

 

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It's weird that the JD manual wants you to run the engine at 1/2 throttle prior to shutting down.


  1. Move throttle lever to half throttle position and allow engine to run at half throttle for several seconds.
  2. Turn key to stop position.

But.. if you look at the Kawasaki FS730V owner's manual it lists the following shut down procedure:

I have always shut down engines of any type using the method recommended by Kawasaki, and that's going on almost 60 years now. It used to be common to vent the crankcase back into the carb housing, and still is with many BS and Kohler engines. I was working on my generator 3 weeks ago and got into a hurry. I shut down at high speed and when I came back a few days later the engine would start, then smoke like hell, then shut down/stall.

What I found was that the shutdown at high speed stuck the float valve open, and that filled the crankcase with gas. Starting the engine pushed the gas/oil mix back into the breather under pressure. I replaced the carb, changed the oil twice, all set. And smoke when starting? Usually caused by an over filled crankcase and oil being forced back into the carb via the breather.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I own a 580 and when using a tiller or the deck I like to engage them at about 1/2 throttle. Take a look at the rpms on the left side of the display. Get the rpms into the green a bit and you should be just fine. I make a practice of not shutting down an engine running at high speed. Idle down for about a minute with no load prior to shutting down. The engine will cool down a bit, and depending on the engine and crank case venting system may also keep raw fuel from being pulled back into the crank case.
Which tiller do you use and recommend?


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Discussion Starter #9
Also - how do I remove or tie up the cuttings cover when mulching for better access between trees?


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Also - how do I remove or tie up the cuttings cover when mulching for better access between trees?
Most folks use something like a bungie cord attached to the side grab handle or a piece of rope. I always found the bungie to work best.

That's the thing I like about the full time mulching kit. Since it permanently plugs up the exit port I was able to remove the rubber chute completely.
 

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Most folks use something like a bungie cord attached to the side grab handle or a piece of rope. I always found the bungie to work best.

That's the thing I like about the full time mulching kit. Since it permanently plugs up the exit port I was able to remove the rubber chute completely.
I have the full time mulch kit and removed the side chute from my deck as well. I tried the tie it up with a string trick but it still sticks out a couple inches past the deck.
 

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Most folks use something like a bungie cord attached to the side grab handle or a piece of rope. I always found the bungie to work best.

That's the thing I like about the full time mulching kit. Since it permanently plugs up the exit port I was able to remove the rubber chute completely.
Same thing on mine. As soon as I got my tractor the first thing I did was take off the plastic chute (I also have the electronic mulch control kit).
 

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Which tiller do you use and recommend?


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I own the 30 mechanical tiller. Built like a tank and does a fantastic job.
 

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