W48M Commercial Walk-Behind Mower


  • 48-inch (122-cm) floating mower deck
  • Smooth-running, 14.5 hp (10.8 kW) V-twin engine
  • Self-propelled hydrostatic drive system
  • Easy-to-use controls for operator comfort and convenience
Local pickup only

Air-cooled engine, right front view

Air-cooled engine, left side

Powered by an air-cooled, vertical-shaft engine:

  • 14.5 hp (10.8 kW)
  • 36.8 cu in. (603 cc)
  • Recoil start
  • V-twin design for smooth operation and fast starts
    • Consistently strong torque at low- or high-speed operation
  • Aluminum engine block with cast-iron cylinder liners
    • Effectively dissipates heat
  • Lightweight and strong construction
  • Overhead valve design
    • More horsepower and torque per cubic inch of displacement
    • Better fuel efficiency
    • Less oil consumption
    • Cooler operating temperature
  • Full-pressure lubrication with full-flow filter
    • Reduces engine wear by ensuring proper lubrication, even when operating on hillsides or uneven terrain
    • Helps keep oil clean for increased engine life

Air cleaner and fin cleanout port access

Engine air filter and cleanout ports, W52R engine shown

  • Dual-stage air cleaner for extended engine life and efficient operation
  • Rotating grass chopper screen
  • Cylinder head cleanout ports to ease maintenance
  • Air filter and engine cooling fin cleanout ports are easy to access
  • Complies with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emission standards
Fuel tank

Fuel tank and in-line fuel filter

Large, 5.4-gal. (20.4-L) top draw fuel tank is easy to fill with large filler opening in an easy-to-reach location:

  • Fuel pump for dependable, consistent operation
  • Top-draw system to reduce the chance for fuel leakage
  • A replaceable in-line fuel filter for trouble-free operation

W48M mower deck

W48R mower deck

John Deere commercial mower decks have always demonstrated quality, performance, and durability. Each commercial walk-behind mower is equipped with a high-quality fabricated mower deck:

  • 10-gauge, 0.135-in. (3.42-mm) fabricated steel deck top with added 10-gauge, 0.135-in. (3.42-mm) spindle mounting plate
  • 7-gauge, 0.19-in. (4.8-mm) side skirts with reinforcement bar

The fabricated, floating mower deck delivers an extremely high-quality cut in diverse conditions:

  • Floating suspension enables the best possible cut.
  • Reinforced front and side lower edge provides strength and durability.
  • Anti-scalp wheels are double-captured for durability and adjustable to three positions to suit the cut height.
  • Deep-deck design for superior capacity.
  • Side and center anti-scalp wheels promote a smooth mowing job.

Mower deck underside (W48M mower shown)

Rear mower wheel (W48R, W52R, W61R only)

  • Hardened, high-lift steel blades extend cutting time and increase durability.
  • High blade-tip speed of approximately 18,000 fpm (5,486 m/min).
  • R Series mower decks include a center rear wheel for additional anti-scalp and curb climbing protection.
    • Adjustable to three height positions to suit the cut height

Flexible mower-discharge deflector

Caster wheels

A high-quality polyethylene deflector gives an excellent finished appearance:

  • Wide, formed discharge deflector gives even clipping distribution.
  • Large discharge deflector evenly disperses expelled clippings.

Caster wheels with flat-free tires contribute to a smooth, even cutting job:

  • Large, flat-free caster wheels carry the mower deck smoothly over the lawn.
  • Caster wheels are close to the mower deck to reduce vehicle footprint and turning radius.
    • With the wheels less exposed, there is less chance they will get snagged by immovable obstacles, thus improving maneuverability and reducing chance of damage.
Mower cut-height adjustment

Mower cut-height adjustments

Mower cut-height adjustment clip

A floating mower deck has several advantages over a fixed mower deck design:

  • Follows ground contour more effectively for a more even cut
  • Travels smoothly above the ground with minimal chance of scalping
  • Easier to adjust the cutting height

Mower cutting height can be set from 1.5 in. (3.8 cm) to 4.5 in. (11.4 cm) in 0.5-in. (1.3-cm) increments:

  • The free-floating deck gives a smoother, more level cut.
  • Height-of-cut changes can be made without tools.
  • Large handles are provided to facilitate lifting the mower deck for setting the cut height.
  • Cut-height adjustment pins have 90-degree bend for easy removal and reinstallation.

Mower shields in place

Easy-to-remove mower deck shields

Mower deck shields are easily removed with hand knobs for access to the drive belt and other service points:

  • Easy-attach belt shields allow quick access for service.
  • Four hand knobs allow removal of both mower shields.
  • Greaseable spindles with easy, top access for simplified servicing.
  • Spindle grease fittings can be greased with shields in place.
Optional grass catcher

Grass catcher door

Grass catcher installed

The grass catcher is designed to work with 36-in. (91-cm), 48-in. (122-cm), and 52-in. (132-cm) Mower Decks on John Deere Commercial Walk-Behind Mowers:

  • Large, 4.4-cu ft (3.5-bu) capacity allows for less stops to empty catcher.
  • No mower faceplate is needed. The catcher connects directly to standard mower deck features.
  • Stainless steel and aluminum construction is both durable for long life and lightweight for easy handing.
  • Convenient sliding door latch enables easy emptying.
  • Two large grab handles allows for easy handling.
  • Catcher weighs about 30 lb (13.6 kg) empty.

NOTE: The optional mulch and grass catcher attachments are not included in base equipment for the commercial walk-behind mower and must be ordered separately.

Optional mulching kit and blades (similar design shown)

An optional mulching attachment and special mulching blades are available:

  • The high-performance mulching attachment includes formed steel baffles to control the material for superior performance.
  • Special mulching blades can also be used when side discharging, though overall cutting performance may be slightly less than with the standard blades.
  • The mulching attachment allows for conversion of the mower deck so it can be used to perform the mulching function (grass or leaves).
Operating tips when mulching:
  • Mow when grass is dry.
  • Observe the one-third rule.
    • No more than one-third of the grass blade should be cut off at one time. This allows more efficient mulching and will promote the continued good health of the grass.
    • If the desired cut height cannot be achieved by cutting off one-third, or there is clumping of the clippings, it may be required to cut higher, wait a day, then lower the mower and make a second pass.
  • Mow at proper intervals, approximately every four to five days.
  • Always mow with sharp blades.
  • Adjust ground speed to allow the mower deck to process the clippings effectively.

Operator station (R Series shown)

Compact control console (R Series shown)

All of the controls are located within comfortable reach of the operator. Simplified operation of each control offers superior convenience, productivity, and safety:

  • Color-coded and clearly marked levers, switches, and buttons enable simplified operation.
  • Bilingual decals in English and Spanish are provided.
  • The operator presence system requires that one of the bails must be depressed to operate the unit; the machine must be in neutral and the power take-off (PTO) must be disengaged to start.
    • Operator presence control levers are recessed into control handle when engaged, provides a smooth contour and comfortable handle to hold during operation.
  • Separate choke and throttle – This takes the guesswork out of choke operation, with less chance of fowling the spark plugs.
    • The W61R model with electronic fuel injection (EFI) does not require a choke.
  • Electric PTO clutch on the engine powers the mower deck. The PTO switch on the dash is easy to see and use.

Steering control locked in neutral position

Steering levers control speed and direction in use

  • Speed and steering controls are designed for ease of operation.
  • Ergonomically designed control configuration on all units gives good operator comfort and leverage while driving.
  • A speed-control lever is conveniently located in the center of the console and used to set maximum desired speed.

Operator presence control handle in use

  • Low actuation force is required for operator comfort.
  • The neutral lock is spring-loaded for easy release.

Electric PTO switch

Electric PTO clutch

A convenient and easy-to-operate switch is located on the console to operate the electric clutch, which powers the mower deck.

Parking brake (W36M, W48M)

Parking brake lever, W48M shown

W36M and W48M parking brake control lever:

  • Color coded and located above the console, within easy reach of the operator
  • Actuates internal braking mechanism of the transmissions
Parking brake (W36R, W48R, W52R, W61R)

Left brake pawl and color-coded parking brake control

Right brake pawl, W48R shown

W36R, W48R, W52R, and W61R parking brake control lever:

  • Color coded and located above the console, within easy reach of the operator
  • Actuates arm that creates a mechanical locking interference on both drive tires
  • Brake pawl located near top of tire to eliminate contact with curbs
2-year bumper-to-bumper warranty

John Deere warranty includes:

  • Single source
  • 24-month coverage
  • Unlimited hours of use
  • Commercial application

All parts, except tires and batteries (which are warranted under separate documents provided with each product), are warranted

Engine service

Engine service points, W48R engine shown

Engine cleanout port covers and air filter removed, W61R shown

Engine service points are easy to reach:

  • Oil drain tubes are provided to reduce oil spills and mess.
  • Cleanout ports make inspecting and cleaning engine cooling fins easy.
Durable and adjustable control linkage

Control rods with adjustable ends

Plated and adjustable control rods and ends

Control rods and ends are plated to stop rust and corrosion:

  • Large pivot points for minimal wear and long life
  • Grease fittings to lubricate for continued smooth operation
  • Adjustable rod ends for easy and accurate adjustments

Control linkage protected when nesting equipment

Control linkages are positioned tightly to the main frame structure to protect them from damage, such as being bent that could impact the speed and tracking of the unit.

Transmission service

Transmission oil reservoir, W36M shown

Replaceable transmission oil filter, W52R shown

Transmission oil reservoirs are easy to access and fill.

The transmission oil filter is a replaceable spin-on type for easy service.

Tow release

Transmission tow-release, M Series design

Hydraulic bypass valve, R Series design

Transmission tow valves are easy to find and use.

Convenient tie-down locations

Front tie-down points

Rear tie-down points

  • Front and rear tie-down points are provided to aid in transport.
  • More-rounded corners contribute to a clean, attractive appearance.
  • Greater strength results from eliminating sharp angles where peak loads can cause failure.

W48R showing compact design, overhead

W52R showing compact design, left

From the operator’s station to the mower deck, John Deere walk-behind mowers have a compact and functional design:

  • Caster wheels are set in as close to the mower as possible.
    • Shortest overall machine length to maximize maneuverability and minimize space needed on a trailer
  • The compact design of John Deere commercial walk-behind mowers allows access to operate in tight areas where larger ride-on machines cannot fit. Often, this means the area can be mowed with a walk-behind mower so it is not necessary to switch to another mower, which helps reduce the time on site.
  • With the compact design of John Deere commercial walk-behind mowers, less space is required on a truck or trailer, possibly freeing up space for an extra mower, resulting in less time on property, saving both time and money.

W61R mower deck, right

W48M Mower

Whether mowing hills or on level terrain, trimming, or mowing straight-away, the operator of a John Deere commercial walk-behind mower is able to control the machine:

  • The compact design makes the machine easier to maneuver.
  • Caster wheels are set close to the blades for most effective ground following capability.
  • Compact design takes less space for mowing tighter areas.
Heavy-duty frame

Mower frame, front

R Series mower frame, rear

John Deere commercial walk-behind mowers are designed around a heavy-duty formed and welded steel frame for strength and reliability:

  • Welded frame consists of a combination of tubes and plate steel for a continuous frame that delivers long life
  • Yoke and caster wheel assemblies are built strong for long life
Convenient tie-down locations

Front tie down points

Rear tie down points

  • Front and rear tie down points are provided to aid in transport.
  • Allows ability to secure straps pulling in opposite directions to keep unit from rolling during transport.
Wheels and tires

Front caster wheel, W48R shown

Rear drive wheel, W48R shown

Large, flat-free front caster wheels and 4-ply rear drive wheels provide smoother operation:

  • Rear tires are sized for the machine and mower width to give optimum deck overhang for trimming performance.
    • Tire size
      • 18×6.5-8 (W36M, W36R)
      • 18×8.5-8 (W48M, W48R, W52R, W61R)
    • Benefits include:
      • Better slope performance
      • Easier to operate over uneven ground
      • Better traction
      • Increased ground clearance
  • Front caster wheels are designed for the best performance.
    • Large, 9×3.5-4 size for good flotation and easy steering
    • Flat-free, semi-pneumatic design for reliability
    • Positioned back close to the mower deck for most effective ground following capability

M Series drive system

M Series tracking adjustment knob

W36M and W48M Mowers are equipped with an infinitely variable hydrostatic drive system with reverse, which does the following:

  • Provides infinite ground-speed adjustments from 0 mph to 6.5 mph (0 km/h to 10.5 km/h) to meet the mowing application
  • Enables a smooth transition from one speed to another
  • Positive reverse speed of 3 mph (4.8 km/h), enabling the operator to back out of tight mowing areas and increase productivity
  • Steel guards protect the transmissions from obstructions
  • Convenient tracking adjustment knob allows on-the-go adjustment
Drive wheels provide excellent traction

W36M 18×6.50-8 4 ply rear drive tire

W48M 18×8.50-8 4 ply rear drive tire

Wide and large drive wheels provide excellent traction with low turf compaction. The square shoulder improves hillside performance compared to a round-shouldered tire. Tire width is matched to the machine and the mower size.

  • W36M – 18×6.50-8 in. 4 PR
  • W48M – 18×8.50-8 in. 4 PR

Operator presence system

Right speed control lever and neutral lock

Safety features are designed into M and R Series commercial walk-behind mowers:

  • Before the engine will start, the transmission speed control lever must be locked in neutral, the parking brake set, the power take-off (PTO) disengaged, and the key switch turned to the on position.
  • Left- and right-hand speed/direction control levers are locked in neutral by spring-loaded knobs on the end of control handles.
    • The knob has a finger lever, making it easy to move to the locked position while holding the control lever in the neutral position.
    • The locking knob is spring loaded for easy release of the control levers.
  • Separate choke and throttle – this takes the guesswork out of choke operation, and there is less chance of fouling the spark plugs.
    • The W61R has electronic fuel injection (EFI) and does not require a choke control.
  • Color-coded and clearly marked switches and buttons are easy to find.

Parking brake lever (W48R shown)

Key switch

  • Convenient parking brake location
  • The key switch interlock prevents bypass starting

Mower deck shields

Control panel

  • Shields are easy to remove and reinstall so they are more likely to be put back on after removal
  • Safety labels
  • Bilingual decals in English and Spanish

Grass catcher door

Grass catcher installed

The grass catcher is designed to work with 36-in. (91-cm), 48-in. (122-cm), and 52-in. (132-cm) Mower Decks on John Deere Commercial Walk-Behind Mowers:

  • Large, 4.4-cu ft (125-L) capacity for less stops to empty catcher.
  • No mower faceplate is needed. The catcher connects directly to standard mower deck features.
  • Stainless steel and aluminum construction is both durable for long life and lightweight for easy handing.
  • Convenient sliding door latch enables easy emptying.
  • Two large grab handles provide for easy handling.
  • Catcher weighs about 30 lb (13.6 kg) empty.

Key Specs

Engine manufacturer/model
Engine power
At 3600 rpm 14.5 hp*
10.8 kW
Fuel tank capacity
5.4 U.S. gal.
20.4 L
Mower deck Size
48 in.
122 cm
Blade tip speed
Approximately 18,000 fpm
5,486 m/min
Two Hydro-Gear™ ZT-2800™ unitized pump and wheel motor transmissions and ergonomic handles with spring-loaded neutral lock
Speed range
Forward, 0-6.5 mph
0-10.5 km/h
Reverse, 0-3 mph
0-4.8 km/h
Drive wheels
Caster wheels
9×3.5-4 semi-pneumatic
24 month, single source commercial


At 3600 rpm 14.5 hp*
10.8 kW
36.8 cu in.
603 cc
Crankcase capacity
Operating speed
3,600 rpm
Idle Speed
Electronic/recoil start
Overhead valves
Oil filter
Full pressure
Flyweight all speed governor
Standard, digital
Cooling system
Air cooled
Air cleaner
Paper element with foam precleaner
Low tone

Fuel System

Fuel type
Fuel tank capacity
5.4 U.S. gal.
20.4 L
Fuel pump
Vacuum-operated diaphragm
Fuel delivery system
Fuel tank switch/Shut off valve
Filler neck opening
Fuel pickup
Top draw

Electrical System

Electronic spark
Standard, digital
Operator presence starting system
PTO off, park brake engaged, speed lever in neutral


Two Hydro-Gear ZT-2800 unitized pump and wheel motor transmissions and ergonomic handles with spring-loaded neutral lock
Wheel motors
Shift mechanism
Ergonomic handles with spring-loaded neutral lock


Drive wheels
Outside to outside tire measurement
Caster wheels
9×3.5-4 semi-pneumatic
Shift mechanism

Travel Speed

Forward speeds
Reverse speeds
Speed range
Forward, 0-6.5 mph
0-10.5 km/h
Reverse, 0-3 mph
0-4.8 km/h


44.8 in.
114 cm
Length with deck
74 in.
188 cm
Deflector down – 62 in.
157 cm
Deflector up for storage – 50 in.
127 cm
622 lb
282 kg


Order parts, view your invoices, or request equipment services.

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