S-240 Is A Major Disappointment
I waited decades for my first John Deere lawn tractor and after using it for 92 hours I must say that it is a huge disappointment. The S-240 ALWAYS leaves a strip of grass uncut, regardless of which brand or type of blade I use. My local John Deere dealer has informed me, after checking it two times, that there is nothing wrong with the mower, that everything is working as it should. I have to cut my grass at least two times and sometimes three to get everything cut. It doesn't matter how high the grass is. It doesn't matter that the spindles are perfectly OK and the blades are not bent or damaged in any manner. It doesn't matter that the tires have equal air pressure on both sides. It doesn't matter how fast the mower is traveling when cutting the grass. That's two or three times the gas, two or three times the wear and tear on the mower and two or three times the necessary amount of time I spend cutting the grass.
The latest set of John Deere mulching blades I bought had installation instructions that say that 42 inch mulch mowers have blades that rotate in opposite directions and to make sure that the proper blade is installed on the correct side. However, every set of blades I have bought for this mower, regardless of the brand or type and including John Deere blades, are exactly the same, with no marking to indicate direction of rotation. I don't know if my S-240 is considered to be a 42 inch "mower" or a 42 inch "mulch mower". Therefore, I don't know if the installation instructions apply to my mower.
Does anyone know if both blades on the S-240 rotate in the same direction or opposite directions? If John Deere has been selling me the wrong blades that may explain the problem with the uncut strip of grass. If not, then all I can say is that I should have bought the Cub Cadet I was looking at when I was shopping for the lawn tractor. The Craftsman, Troy-Bilt, Simplicity, Toro, Ariens and Cub Cadet lawn tractors used by my neighbors don't have this cutting problem. They cut much better than my S-240. My neighbors have to cut their lawns only once to get it right and it takes them one half or one third the time to do it.
If the John Deere dealer and/or I can't get this S-240 to cut my grass properly by the end of this year I'm going to buy a different brand of lawn tractor next spring, one that will properly cut the grass, and put this S-240 in storage and use it as an emergency backup. I'm certainly not going to sell it or give it to someone and transfer the problem to a new owner.