2009 Craftsman YT 3000 YT3000 Yard Tractor Review

I just finished the reviews for the new YT 3000 with Turn Tight.  You will want to read all about these new tractors that replace the ones on this page.  Click on the links below to read my reviews:

craftsman-yt-3000-42-inch-B&S 21-hp-riding-lawn-tractor-model-28851-review/

craftsman-yt-3000-46-inch-B&S 21-hp-riding-lawn-tractor-model-28852-review/

craftsman-yt-3000-46-inch-Kohler 22-hp-riding-lawn-tractor-model-28853-review/

2010 Models:  Click on the link below to go to the review.

2010 Model 28921 Review
2010 Model 28922 Review
2010 Model 28924 Review
2010 Model 28934 Review

This review covers the following four yard tractors:

Craftsman YT 3000 21 HP 42″ Yard Tractor
Sears item# 07128921000 Mfr. model# 28921

Craftsman YT 3000 21 HP 42″ Yard Tractor
Sears item# 07128922000 Mfr. model# 28922

Craftsman YT 3000 21 HP/46″ Yard Tractor
Sears item# 07128924000 Mfr. model# 28924

Craftsman YT 3000 22 HP/42″ Yard Tractor
Sears item# 07128934000 Mfr. model# 28934


Craftsman YT 3000 21 hp 46 inch deck

For 60 to 370 dollars more than the Craftsman Model 28910 Lawn Tractor you can move up to the mid-sized yard tractor series. These models feature the new Craftsman style step through operator’s platform, pressurized lube engine, and a 42 or 46 inch deck redesigned around the 46 inch Model 28724 Consumer Reports 2008 Best Buy.

If you want a mower that will mow 1 1/2 to 2 acres an hour well, handle a snow blade, and all the non-ground engaging attachments this is the mower in the Craftsman lineup that will do the job for you.  This tractor is heavy enough to handle hilly and rough lawns.  There are other mowers in the Craftsman lineup that will mow faster, or pull more but this is a great all around mowing machine.


Model 28921 six speed manual.   Models 28922, 28924, 28934 Hydrostatic transmission

Models 28921,  28922, 28924, 21 hp Briggs & Stratton Platinum Series Full Pressure Engine with oil filter, Model 28934 Kohler Pro Engine

Models 28921, 28922, 28934 42 inch 2 blade mower deck. 13 gauge steel. Model 28924 46 inch 2 blade mower deck

Four gauge wheels.  If your lawn is hilly and rough gauge wheels helps to keep the deck from gouging and tearing up your lawn.  The mower deck does not rest on these wheels during normal mowing so they don’t wear out.

Red tractor, red deck

11 gauge steel frame

Cast iron front axle

High-back seat

2 year warranty (manufacture defects only), optional 3 yr Protection Agreement (covers all of the lawn tractor including wear and tear, labor, and attachments bought with the mower)


I like the mid-size YT 3000 series.  I think they represent a good value and a machine that if taken care of properly will last you a long time.

These yard tractors are capable of pulling all the non-ground engaging attachments Sears offers including a snow blade.


The YT 3000 is heavy enough, but I recommend going to a twin cylinder motor (YT 4000)  if you want to attach a  snow thrower.   You will wish you had bought a larger engine for snow throwing.

Consumer Reports gave the 2008 46 inch model a best buy and Sears.com went though the whole line this winter and redesigned the other decks to mow as well.   (The Craftsman YT 3000 model 28924 is the 2009 version of the 2008 Craftsman YS 4500 model 28724 Consumer Reports best buy)  There are very few negatives with this mower as long as you understand that it is a good quality mid-sized mower designed to mow lawns well.  I like this lawn mower for what it is designed for. It is capable of pulling a wide range of attachments and using a snow plow. 

Please give your city and state when you comment

  1. I have a yts 3000 like many of yall. 2 make a long story short it was my brothers and he let it sit in the rain for 2 years. So I got it this summer and fixed it up put new gas line on it with new gas filter and changed all the oil and everything. Run it 3 times worked perfect. It got to a point where it wouldn’t run cleaned carburetor twice started working again but when u put it in high mode where it’s suppose to cut grass and u turn the blades on it Boggs itself down. It will only run in low rpms idk what else to do. The small then spring that hooks to the carburetor is it suppose to be tight what does it do? It was real loose on mine so I pulled it on three so it was tight but don’t know what it does so help

  2. Paul,
    I have starting issues with my YT3000. With the clutch pushed in, and turning the key I get nothing. If I hold the key in start, and repeatedly depress the clutch it will start at some point usually three to five depressions. I think either seat switch or a clutch safety. What you think?
    Doug in Salem, OR

    • @Doug, First I would unhook the battery clean the terminals with a wire brush and then reattach. Then, I would check the clutch safety.

  3. hello,

    it’s been a long time since my last visit :-)

    which fuel filter brand/micron size do you recommend for the 2009 YT 3000 28922 model?

    can I use the 125 or 150 micron? it feels like the 40 micron isn’t good enough when the gas level is under 40% in the fuel tank.

  4. Hi Paul,
    It’s been a while since I sought your expertise. After warming up my YT3000, when I then try to go forward, backward or engage my snowthrower I immediately stall out. The engine sounds fine otherwise…what do you think?

    • @jerry, When you are sitting on the tractor with the clutch pushed down (disengaged) does it work? If it does it sounds like the seat safety switch. Unplug it and plug it back in.

      If that’s not it, check the safety switch on the deck engage lever. The only other switch in that circuit is the reverse switch under the right rear fender.

  5. 2009 YT3000-28922 model

    been along time since the last time I posted here.lol

    last month I changed oil,,battery,spark plug,Air filter and gas filter(right flow way:-) ) now every time I use it it shots off after 15/25 min during the mowing.

    any ideas why? thanks

    • @MJ, I don’t know why the maintenance you performed would cause this issue. But, for starters when the mower starts to act up loosen the gas cap 1/2 turn. If that doesn’t fix the problem write back please.

      • back again :-) didn’t use the mower since thanx to the nasty drought we have here in IL

        loosen the gas cap 1/2 turn trick didn’t work.

        The guy at Farm and Fleet(IL)today told me it could be the fuel pump going bad.is that part easy to remove/ replace? (mower is out of 3 YEAR warranty since May of this year :-( )

        • @MJ, That’s a reasonable explanation but I’m not sure the single cylinder YT3000 has a fuel pump. The twins do and it an easy repair. Follow the fuel line from the filter to the carb. If there is a fuel pump there will be a part that looks like this http://www.ebay.com/itm/BRIGGS-FUEL-PUMP-PART-808656-/270665534853#ht_500wt_922 somewhere attached to the engine.

          Try loosening the fuel cap another 1/2 turn.

            • @MJ, No you don’t have a fuel pump. Something is causing the engine to starve (or get a vaporlock) I suggest going to youtube and searching donyboy73. He has some of the best troubleshooting videos on the web. Then search his videos for your problem.

              • back again.finally fixed.it was an Earwig bug in the fuel line.lol.Thanks God a friend of mine told me about a local small engine repair guy in town. cost me less than $20 to fix/clean .Sears want $250 for a 1 year warranty.

                I’m thinking about replacing the fuel line with a clear one just in case it happens again

                • @MJ, Since moving to Wisconsin 10 years ago I have forgotten how aggravating Earwigs can be. Any dark, moist place they will crawl into.

      • I have a Craftsman YTS 3000, I had to replace the ignition wiring harness. I have a brown wire, an orange wire and a black and blue wire with a male connecter. I think the brown wire and orange wire conects to the light switch but I don’t know which one hooks to which connecter on the swith, any help on this? Also I have no idea where the blue and black wire plugs in. Any help would be great.

        • @Chuck, How close do you live to your Sears. Take your camera and take pictures under the dash.

          As I am typing, I’m wondering if the extra connector is for the hour meter. If you tractor is a few years old the wiring harness is designed for an hourmeter, but Sears never actually put it on the YT 3000. While you are at Sears look at the YT4000 dash and see if those wires hook up to the hour meter.

          This is not what you want to hear right now, but making a diagram when you tear something mechanical apart is a lifesaver.

          If you have a smartphone, pictures as you are taking the item apart is a great idea.

          But now that the damage is done would someone please go out into the shed, look at your YT3000 and tell Chuck where the extra wires he has goes?

          • thanks, i may have to take a picture to Sears. I got in a hurry while taking the old harness off, it all looked easy to replace until i got it all unhooked. I wil try to call Sears. Thanks again.

            • @Chuck, I don’t think the wiring harness has changed so it should hook up the same way as the YT 3000 on their showroom. They won’t mind you looking it over.

  6. Paul, I have the 28921 and have had it for 2 yrs. its starting to squeak alot around the front wheels when I turn. Do you know what that could be. do I need to grease the front bearings?

    • @Byran, Yes, grease the wheels. Be sure to grease the spindles and wheels about every 50 hours (twice a year) Before you do though I would like you to raise the front wheels off the ground and wiggle them up and down. Do they wiggle more than a 1/4 inch or so? If they do you may have ruined the bushings in the rims.

      Order new ones through searspartsdirect.com The part number is 9040H and is used on all YT series tractors. You need 2 per wheel. Use the code in the SearsPartsDirect banner on the bottom right side of this page to get 10% off your parts.

      You will have to remove the grease cap, retaining ring, and rim. Take the rim and pound out the old bushings (a 1/2 inch wooden dowel usually works) Pound the new ones back in (BUT don’t hit them with a hammer, use a block of wood between the bushing and hammer or use a rubber hammer to drive them back in.)

    • Paul, I tried to start my mower today and it did nothing. I am assuming its the battery. is it common that the battery die after 2 yrs. i have had it just over two yrs and dont have a big yard really at all and it seems to be dead. I’m new to riders so i was surprised.

      Thanks again.

      • @Byran, It’s not uncommon for batteries to only last 2 years. Cold winters and the vibration of the mower quickly take their toll. Did you have protection plan on the mower? The battery is warrantied for the life of your plan. If you did call Sears at 1-800-4MY-Home and they will put a new one in.

        Did the mower click when you tried to start it or just nothing? If it just clicked clean the battery posts, if you have a battery charger, charge it on 2 amps overnight.

        No, clicking sound or nothing happened make sure you are sitting on the seat, you have the brake all the way down, the trans is in neutral and the deck engage lever off. Check under the seat and make sure the seat safety switch did not come off. Look at the back of the ignition switch and make sure the plug is engaged all the way on the switch. Most of the time “it worked fine last time I used it” is not the battery but something else.

  7. I’ve had the YT3000 28922 for two years and am not pleased with the unevenness of the cut. I’ve been using the Gator Blades, but recently have taken off the mulch cap and just using the side shoot. I cut the grass in a clockwise fashing leaving a wide strip of clipping at the end which I then pick up with a sweeper. The lawn is healthy and thick and grows quickly especially in the spring and early/mid summer, so that I have to cut it at least once a week and the grass can get quite high even during that short period. I usually cut it on Level 4. However, I notice that as I continue to cut in this manner, the mower seems to leave a strip of taller, not fully cut grass in the center of the swath, so much so that I have to go over it again, taking twice as long to cut. Any suggestions for what might be causing this and how it might be rectified?? Thanks in advance for any help.

    • @ Charlie, Don’t use the Gator blades if you are not using the mulch plug. They don’t work well for straight cutting and that is why you are getting the strip of uncut grass. Buy a set of hi-lift blades for what you are doing. Your local Sears mall store will carry them in stock.

      • Thanks for the tip. I have an extra set of blades that I received when I purchased the mulch plug from Sears (that was the only way you could buy it)!

  8. Paul,

    Is there a list of the part numbers I need for the maintenance of my 2009 28922? I want to replace the spark plugs, filters, and change the oil. Does anyone sell a package with these items that I can use?


  9. i purchased a 2009 yt3000 46 inch model number 28924 including the three year protection plan a day ago and used it for the first time. start up was smooth, but when i engaged the blades it started to make a loud rattle noise and rattled some. after a while the rattle went away. about 40 minutes later into mowing my yard with the engine started to stall, sputter, and eventually turned off as i was mowing. i tried to turn the mower back on, but was unsuccessful. i then noticed the freewheel control / transmission disengaged on its own during use. i engaged the transmission and tried to turn the mower on, but that did not work. i checked the spark plug and noticed it was a black from normal use, but was also slightly wet with gas. i reinstalled the spark plug and tried to turn the mower on again with out any luck. i opened the gas tank and tighten the gas cap and it finally turned on, but shortly experienced the same issue. about 30 minutes later i was able to turn the mower on and again had the same issue. as i engaged the blades it started to stall and sputter again as if i was rising up off the seat and sitting back down preventing the mower from turning off. after all this i pushed the mower into the garage.

    do you have any idea what may have gone wrong? would any problems exist if the ros is always in the on position?

    this mower was a close out item due to it being discontinued and being the last one at the store. i called several stores and everyone said they do not have them in stock anymore.

    • @mike, Look closely at the belt from the engine to the deck. If it shows signs of wear or is frayed call 1-800-4MY-HOME and have them change out the idler pulley. A few of these mowers had the wrong pulley installed and it will cause the rattle and destroy your deck belt.

      Try running the mower with the gas cap slightly loose. At this point it sounds like the gas cap vent is sticking. If it runs fine, call the 800 number above and have a tech come out and order you a new cap. (They won’t just order you a new one over the phone) If this doesn’t fix the problem have the tech come out, the ignition module may be the problem.

      • would any problems occure if the ros feature is always in the on position instead of the regular on position during mowing?

        thanks for the quick reply.

      • do you have any information regarding leaving the ros feature activated at all times? would it cause any problems or eventually ruin the mower?

        • i forgot to ask, can you tell me if it is better to go with a 42 or 46 inch? what are the pros and cons between both?

          • @mike Both Craftsman decks mow great.

            42 inch for small yards. The deck and discharge chute take up about 10 inches less space than the 46. The 46 inch throws a little better so it is a great bagging deck. The 46 in deck also sticks out from under the tractor so if you have a lot of inside curves in your landscaping beds it will leave less uncut areas that will have to be trimmed.

        • @mike, No it won’t hurt the mower. Just be sure you look behind you when you back up mowing. I’d hate to see you back over your neighbors favorite pet :)

  10. Hi Paul,

    I’m back again, with what I fear is a bigger issue. I had no problem getting through nearly 2 ft of snow the other day (couple of passes) with my YT3000 with the 42″ snow thrower. However, when I started to do a little extra clearing yesterday, there was a “bang”, the tractor stopped dead and some smoke came out of the engine. No luck starting it again, with just a click when I turn the key. I appear to have enough oil (5W30 for cold weather), though I might not have warmed it up as long as I should have. The tractor is about 18 months old. I don’t have extended coverage, but there is a 2 yr full warranty.
    Does it sound repairable? Does it make sense to replace the engine if Sears won’t cover this (as opposed to getting a new tractor)?

    • @jerry, have a Sears tech look at it. It does have a 2 year manufactures defect warranty. If they won’t warranty it http://www.northerntool.com carries that motor for $569. If you are not familiar with Northern Tool, they are a good, reputable Internet company. (Similar to Tractor Supply)

      • Hi Paul,
        The tech came out yesterday, and fairly quickly discovered that the connecting rod was shot (I wasn’t home so this is what my wife told me). I am in fact covered, and they are going to replace the engine for me.
        Thanks again!

  11. I purchased a Craftsman YTS300— no owners manual left when they delivered it. I can get it started and drive it but am unable to engage the blades to cut the grass. Any suggestions?? I am sure that I am missing something really simple to get it to cut the grass.

    • @ Kathy,

      The big lever above the steering wheel starts and stops the deck. It\’s pretty stiff.

      Let me know how it goes.

      Did you purchase it through sears.com or at a store?

      You can get a manual at managemylife.com. Click on the manuals tab and then type in your model number. The model number is located under your seat and looks like 917.123456

  12. Hi Paul,

    I really appreciate all your info here. I'm having another transmission problem after pulling a trailer with about a 250 lb load of wood on a path. I went over a couple of bumps, and noticed the motion control lever felt loose. The tractor continued moving, but gradually slowed to a stop. I discovered the link shift was hanging. After I reattached, the tractor only went in reverse! The belt is fine, and I don't see anything else amiss (though the Rod Spring Bypass is missing, but don't recall ever seeing it before). Right now, the tractor doesn't move at all. I just wanted to run this by you before I called Sears. Unfortunately, I don't have the extended plan but I'm glad to learn here that at least they should come to me free of a trip charge since I bought it in 2009. Did I miss anything?

    Thanks again!


    • @jerry, It sounds like it is a simple mechanical problem. Just finding where each part hooks up will be the hard part. Check to see that the return spring is in place. Take a walk along the path where you were working and check for parts.

      • Hi Paul,

        I finally figured out what goes where, and I'm back in business. What threw me was that the manual clearly shows that the link shift goes into one hole in the transmission, but it wasn't until I attached it to the other hole (the one that the manual shows the Rod Spring Bypass attached to) that it worked.

        Thanks again for your help!


  13. Paul,

    I have a new 28922 that I used for the second time this season. While cutting, the mower stopped moving. The engine still runs, the blades still spin, but I cannot go foward or reverse. I used the tractor maybe 10 times since I got it last August. Any thoughts?


    • @ Phil,

      My first thought is the belt from the engine to transmission came off. That is not covered under your warranty unless you got the Protection Plan.

      If the belt is still on and has tension (the belt is up in the frame) there is a more serious problem and you might as well call 1-800-4MY-HOME and get a tech out.

      If a tension spring is broke or the belt came off that is something else and a tech should fix no charge.

      It's still under the standard warranty so if the transmission is bad it's covered.

      • Paul,

        Thanks for getting back to me. I spoke to Sears today and it will cost $100 for the tech to come out. If the belt needs to be replaced, because it is not under warranty, it will be an additional $200. Is this a repair I can make myself? I am thinking about paying to have the tech come out and tell me what the problem is and fixing it myself if possible. What do you think?

        • @Phil,

          Yes you can change the belt yourself. I am concerned that there is something else wrong with the tractor though because the belt should last for years before it breaks or needs replacing. The only time you should wear out a belt that soon is if you have been pulling heavy loads (500 lbs of dirt)

          I have had a belt break because I was running over twigs and sticks and one of them got caught up under the mower, wedged itself into the belt drive and caused the belt to snap.

          I have had a belt burn out (you can smell this) because a tension spring broke and there was not enough tension on the belt. (That would be covered under the warranty)

          If you have a tech come out don't let him get away with just telling you "they break sometimes" Have him check all the tensioners, springs, pulleys, and linkages for the parking brake.

          By the way, if you purchased your mower last year it was advertised that there was no trip charge on repairs for two years. If you know for sure that you purchased it last year and they tell you again there is a service charge ask for a supervisor. If you bought it at a store go there and ask that they get a hold of "One Source" and get this trip charge matter resolved.

          • Paul,

            Thanks for the advise on the no trip charge. Sears will not charge for the visit only the repair if is not covered. Too bad I have to wait two weeks. Thanks again-Phil

    • The same exact thing happened to mine. The “pin” that holds the throttle linkage to the engine came off. Thus, I felt no “resistance” on the gas pedal either (there is still spring action, but not the usual feeling that it’s attached to something). If your gas pedal feels like it’s not attached to anything, the pin probably came off. With the engine off, pop the hood open, have someone press the gas pedal a few times so you see the linkages moving and can verify that they are all still attached to each other….

  14. Well I finally pulled the trigger and ordered the Craftsman YT 3000 21 HP/46″ Yard Tractor Sears item# 07128924000 Mfr. model# 28924. I have been really reading the reviews for this tractor for over a year contemplating and watching the prices. All reviews looked good a few bad ones here and there that look like they may be fluke items. I did get the extra 3 yr warranty as a precautionary measure as if the tractor does run into problems. I read and read the extra protection plan and it looks like it will cover basically everything except routine mantenice. Am I reading this right? Also any suggestions on what to do when it gets here. I know the biggie is to check the oil as I do this daily on my vehicles. Any thing else other than reading the manual over and over again.

    I have to say this site has been a tremendous help in my decision. Thanks for all your time and effort keeping this site going.


    • @Jessie,

      You are very welcome.
      You are right on the protection plan.

      I think I’ll write a post on what to do and how to operate your new mower tomorrow. It’s time to review the “little things” with all of my great readers.

  15. paul
    I am undecided on the lt2000 or the yt3000 my issue is I have property up in the mountains in ga and really don’t have a lawn but where as it is in the woods I have tons of oak trees and I purchased a dr tow behind leaf and lawn vac for this leaf problem the yard is uneven but not with ruts just sloped now the unit weighs 245lbs with a 300lb capacity I plan to use it just for spring/fall cleanup do I need the yt3000 or will the 2000 19.5 b&s surfice

    • @ron,

      The LT2000 does not have a strong enough transmission for your application. It will not last. The DR is a big, heavy unit and the YT3000 is even a little light for your vac. If you can still find one the PTY9000 would really be the best. Model 28970. It has the heaviest trans of the Craftsman 42 inch tractors.

      • thanks paul now I’m really confused hahahah I bought the dr figuring there specs say 14 hp or more and I’d be all set I’ll just have to empty it more often most of the leaves can be blown down to level ground and sucked up end it’s only a short distance to tracel but I thankyou for your expert opinion

        • paul in one of your articles you said the 28970 will not be available in 2010 is something better coming along beacause my local sears store has a 9000 sitting on the floor for 1899 I was thinking the 4000 instead but I’ll take your advice on whichever one the problem is if I buy it here I have to hall it up to n western georigia and the dr vac is the premier model not the monster commercial one

          • @ron,

            Boy that's hard on me…….. The 28970 is a very good mower. It is the best 42 inch in the 2009 line. It has a heavier transmission, a heavier deck, and a better engine than the 4000. It has larger tires than the 400 and a free front bumper. $1899.88 is about the same price as the best sales price last year. My understanding is there aren't many left so it probably will not get any cheaper before they are all gone.

            The Craftsman professional line will not be made by Husqvarna in 2010. At this point, I don't know if the 2010 mower will be better. I can't say more than that yet.

  16. Paul,

    So I bought the 24 HP YT4000 with the hydro trans. 28926 I think is the item number…It pulls the trailers up the hill easily but makes a whining/grinding noise that seems to be coming from the tranny. There's no loss in power though. Is this normal or does this mean i'm overloading it? It seems to happen when i'm on the steepest part of the slope. However, I just plowed with it and pushed deep, heavy, wet snow and had no problems. The only time it acted up was when i was backing the tractor up with the trailer up over a snow bank. It made the noise in reverse but it keeps going fine. Any thoughts as to what this might be and/or how bad it is for the tractor? Thanks.

    • @Steve,

      Thanks for the update. The whine under heavy load is common and normal for hydro transmissions. It doesn't matter if the tractor is a $1600 Craftsman or a $16,000 New Holland. The lower the engine rpm the sooner it will start whining under load. Try increasing the engine rpm before you back up and the whine may go away.

      If the whine becomes noticeable under normal mowing, normal driving around the yard, with the engine rpm at half throttle or higher the transmission may need fluid or the trans may be wearing out. Otherwise ignore the sound.

      • Thanks! Come to think of it, when i was backing up it was right after i had it at low throttle cuz i was off it doing something else, and I think I forgot to raise the throttle. This is a great tractor though I am extremely happy with it. It plows amazingly well on my flat driveway…Even without the snow chains that i finally gave up on cuz they were such a pain to get on.

  17. Paul,

    Thanks for all your help in the past. Another question for you. I got an old 42″ snow blade from my father-in-law, model number 486.24443. I’ll need to search his garage or shed for the brackets, some hardware (bolts, cotter pin, etc), as well as the pivot rod, which appears to be missing. Assuming I can obtain these parts, do you know if it is compatible with my YT3000? Because I don’t have the bracket, I can’t see if it matches up to the YT3000. Fyi, I found the 486.24443 manual here and am going off the diagrams compared to what I was able to find. I understand the blade was for the old LT1000 (?) series. My FIL’s mower is about 8 years old.


    • @ Andrew,

      The new blades (24441) mounts to the sides of the tractor frame. The brackets for the blade you have bolt to the front of the frame.

      That said, I have found that you can mount most anything with a little angle iron, a drill and a few bolts. You may be able to build or make a st of brackets to fit the blade to your tractor.

  18. I bought a YT 3000 Model 28922 to replace an old Craftsman tractor and want to reuse the bagger. It looks like the bracket that holds the bagger on the back of the tractor will fit on the YT 3000, so I just need to buy a new chute that will fit the new deck. What's the right part number for the chute for the 28922?

  19. I tried using the deck wash for the first time. how long do i let it run for? I did for a couple minutes and it still has lots of dirt and grass caked onto the deck. not sure im doing it right.

  20. Just purchased a 917.28924 at a Sears Outlet Store. Engine and tranny are smooth as silk. However, with blades engaged, there is a severe vibration. I checked the blades, they seem OK-not bent/no dents. The blade mandrels are securely fastened. I engaged the mower deck with the blades removed, and I notice that the belt seems to flap, specifically on the long run between the two blade pulleys. Same thing happens with the blades installed.
    The tensioning pulley seems fully engaged on the belt when I move the lever to engage the blades; in other words it is providing as much tension as it can supply to the belt. Any ideas on how to address this?

    • @David,

      The easy answer is even though you got it at the outlet store it still carries the two year manufacture defects warranty and if you purchased the Protection Plan it is covered for three years. Call 1-800-4MY-HOME and have a tech come out and fix it. There is no trip charge or charge for defective parts.

      I had a few people tell me about idler pulleys not being aligned or the engagement cable not being installed properly. If it has been used the belt may be stretched or the belt may have internal tears causing it to be out of balance (Yes this can happen, but not often)

  21. Paul,
    I am looking to purchase the 28922 with he 42″ deck. It seems to get great reviews and do a little of everything. I can’t seem to find a hauling weight limit though. I have a small jetski (about 200 lbs) on a trailer, and a sailboat (about 250 lbs) on another trailer. I would like to use this tractor to move the trailers (separately of course)around in my yard and specifically to get them up the hill in my back yard which is about a 15-20% slope. Is this a possibility for this tractor or do i need something more powerful? Any input you could give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    • @Steve, The 28922 is capable of pulling 250 lbs on a trailer occasionally. And for pulling your two items around the tractor should do just fine. If you are going to do it every weekend though you will have to replace the drive belt every two to three years instead of every 3 to 5 years for just mowing.

      The largest factor for you is the slope. The 28922 is a lightweight mower and you may have traction problems pulling your sailboat up the slope. Be careful if you are pulling on wet grass or loose gravel.

      What gets people in trouble with “lawn tractors” and “yard tractors” is hauling loads much heavier than they realize. For example, a yard cart filled with dirt or gravel can easily weigh 500 to 1000 lbs. Hauling 20 or thirty loads of dirt is more than these tractors are designed for.

      I recommend if you are going to haul heavy loads (more than 400 lbs regularly) or pull a ground engaging implement (like a tiller, drag, etc.) then go with a Garden Tractor.

      In summary, try it out. You have a 90 day return policy on Sears mowers and if it doesn’t work for you return it and get the garden tractor.

      • Thanks for the fast response! I won’t be pulling any ground engaging attachments or loads of soil so it sounds like I’ll be fine. I’m going to pick it up next week so we’ll see how it does.Thanks!

  22. Regarding my 28922, I’m noticing a fair amount of clippings being thrown out the right front corner of the mower deck. Happens both when bagging and with the mulching kit adapter plate in place.

    Is this normal for these tractors? So far I’ve been using deck height 5 and 6 only.

    • @Jim, I expect this to be normal when mulching. The new decks have a huge amount of incoming air through the vented spindles and with a mulch plug the air has to go somewhere. The 54 inch deck is so bad it blows out all over the place with a mulch plug in place.

      I usually recommend the soft side bagger over the hard bagger for the same reason. The soft-side should have enough air flow to let all that air escape.

      With the bagger, make sure you have the discharge tube mounted right. There may be a corner at the right front that is causing the grass to not flow smoothly up the chute.

  23. Wondering if I got a lemon. Wednesday, 9/23, I took delivery of a YT3000 (28922) After checking the oil level and finding it to be OK I added some gas and fired it up. Ran for almost a minute before it quit. Visual inspection showed the fuel filter to be empty. After I removed then reinstalled it the filter now only shows about 1/3 full. But it runs OK.

    Next I had what I thought to be a transmission problem. Lots of noise. Some before engaging forward or reverse, then it get worse. Making a long story short a close inspection showed the left side mandrel pulley not fully seated. Few minutes of wrench time seems to have fixed it.

    Also discovered the axle attachment bolts on one side to be barely hand snug. Trying to find a reference site online that has proper torque values. Will come in handy as I discover other things that may have gotten rushed through assembly.

    • @Jim,

      Wow! I wonder if that assembly worker had a hangover that day! Don't be afraid to call 1-800-4MY-HOME if there is more than simple stuff.

      Torque values are not too important. I use a 3/8 drive ratchet to tighten wheel bolts on lawn tractors and it seems to be enough. Using 1/2 drive tools will give you too much torque and you will snap off the 3/8 and 5/16 inch bolts.

  24. Hi,

    I just purchased the 288922 w/42″ deck. A little disappointed with how it cut slightly higher grass, as it had a harder time moving through it than my LT 2000. However, the 3rd time I used the tractor I was slowly towing an empty trailer to get some wood, and it just flat out stopped – the transmission would no longer engage. I could of sworn I heard what sounded like a high pitched release of air when it happened. The belt seems fine, and I didn’t see any parts that could have fallen off. I even tried going through the purge transmission again with no luck. For what it’s worth, since I was on a path in the woods I had removed the deck so I wouldn’t hit any rocks or stumps. Anything I could be missing before I have Sears look at this?


  25. Hello,

    I recently purchased the 28922 and replaced the stock blades with the advanced mulching blades. Yesterday I cut the lawn and bagged for the first time with the new blades. The lawn was very dry and there were some leaves on the ground that I was hoping to see shredded into the bagger. However, my bagger filled up rather quickly and I noticed whole leaves in the bagger without being chopped. I had to empty three times. The bagger eventually became clogged with leaves and grass. Am I doing something wrong? I installed the blades with the curved part facing up and I cut on #5.


    • @ Phil, If everything is really dry the blades will pick them up and throw them into the bagger before they are chopped. When doing leaves in the fall I will usually mulch them first, (mow the yard with the mulch plug in) and then go over it a second time and pick them up.

  26. Hi,

    I have my selection narrowed down to model # 28934 -Craftsman YT 3000 22 HP with the Kohler Courage Engine versus the Craftsman YT 4000 24 HP with the Briggs & Stratton Platinum V-Twin Engine. They are both currently the same price(although I would have to pay the extra $40 for the service minder on the 3000). These look like the same tractor with only the engine being different. I tend to be a bigger believer in Kohler engines, but the new B&S V-twin seems like a very solid engine. I see that you went with the Kohler over a 21hp B&S in a previous post, but I was wondering if you would pick the 22hp Kohler over a 24hp B&S especially with the price being the difference of the $40 service minder.

    Thanks for all the information on here,it has helped make narrowing down a tractor a lot easier.

    • The 28934 is a single cylinder, the 4000 is a twin so it is really comparing apples to oranges. You are right the platinum and the kohler courage are pretty much equal in durability. If you ever want to use a snowblower on the machine I would go with the twin. The twin will also be a little smoother running.

      The choice is pretty much equal otherwise

  27. Paul-

    I have the 28922. I have a question about the enigne oil. I cannot find a viscocity reccomendation in the manual (am I just not seeing it?). This may be a "marketing" thing to encourage the use of Craftsman brand engine oil?

    Can you tell me the visccity I should use if I choose to use non-Sears sources for my oil?

    I live in the Southeast, and do not anticipate ever operating my tractor in below freezing temperatures.

    Thank you!

    • @Bill,

      Sears/Briggs recommends a heavy duty straight 30 weight oil. You can use a Briggs, Kohler or Harley Davidson oil besides the Craftsman oil.

      I also recommend Mobil One in a 5w30 or 10w40.

      Why? An air cooled engine runs at higher temperatures than a car engine. So you should always use a HEAVY DUTY motor oil like those listed above or a semi truck oil.

      I also recommend you change the oil every 50 hours (even with Mobil One) or once a year whichever is soonest. Change the filter once a year or every 100 hours.

      To figure hours just take the time it takes you to mow your lawn and multiply that out for the weeks you mow.

      Yes, this is a very conservative oil change schedule….. but using this method I have never had an engine failure on dozens of mowers and tens of thousands of hours of use.

  28. I just purchased a YT 42 IN,CM 22HP K HYDR. The ARM BRAKE MOWER Model 917.289342 Mower Deck Key NO 60 PN 199478 is against the pulley with blades engaged. It might appear to be an adjustment, but even it the adjustment nut is all the way in it does not appearr to be a adequate. It also is at a severe angle to the pulley. It will soon wear through and be metal to metal even if it could be adjusted. The parts appear to be correct and nothing looks bent or distorted. What do you suggest. The other brake looks to be ok and engages to the pulley in parallel with the pulley as you would expect it to.

    • @Gerry,

      Sorry, your comment got lost in my inbox. I would call 1-800-4MY-HOME and schedule a service tech to come out and review the problem. You could also go to your nearest store and inspect the 3000 or 4000 series tractor on the floor with the 42 inch deck to see how the layout compares to yours. This will give you the knowledge to help the tech diagnose the problem and get the parts ordered.

    • Paul/Gerry
      I too just purchased a YT 3000 42″ deck the beginning of summer. I notice a high pitch noise coming from the deck when blade engaged, mainly when I make turn. Called Sears and a Serviceman came to my house and looked it over and said “it’s perfect”.
      It appears to me that the mower belt rubs against one of the safety bars on occasion but not all the time. I feel like removing the bar because it’s very irritating but I have not. I just keep using it and ignore the noise… I figure 2 year warranty, Sears will be back sooner or later to fix the issue.

      Other than that I think this mower is a great investment.

      • @Matt, I would try to bend it out of the way a little before removing it. Most of those extra parts hold the belt on the pulleys when the deck is turned off. You may have problems with the belt jumping off if you remove the safety.

    • Gerry. I have a 2011 YTD with the same issue, I just noticed. Did you ever get your issue resolved? Thanks. Ray. York, PA

      • Hi Ray,
        It was resolved, it was something simple…and for the life of me I can’t remember what it was – sorry! If I do, I’ll respond again.

  29. Hello,

    My husband and I are deciding between the John Deere LA115 and the Craftsman 28934. We have about .5-.75 of an acre with mostly mild slopes. With the sales, the prices are pretty comparable. We plan on just mowing with them and maybe towing brush. What is your opinion of the John Deere LA115?

    Thank you

    • @Linda,

      The LA115 and the 28934 are very comparable. I always pick the Kohler over a Briggs if given the choice just because I have had very good luck with the Kohler motors over the years. I have always felt the Kohler has more torque than the Briggs and really pulls well in when cutting heavy grass.

      The tractors themselves are very comparable. The step-through design, fuel tanks, cast iron front axle, reverse operating system. The Craftsman is made in South Carolina, I believe the LA115 is made in West Virginia.

      The 28934 has the fuel tank under the hood (2.1 gallon) and the LA115 has the tank under the seat (2.1 gallon)

      Consumers Reports rated the 42 inch deck on the Craftsman as the best cutting deck in 2008 and 2009. But they also rated the deck on the LA115 very good.

      For this choice, I feel it boils down to the dealer. What is the reputation of the Deere dealer? Do they work on your mower at your house or do they charge you to take it back to the shop. If they work on it at your house is there a trip charge? They can usually get you up and running within 7 days, but you will pay extra for overnight shipping if they don't have the parts in stock. Are you buying it from a dealer or a big box store? I have heard horror stories about the service from Deere's that were sold at the big box stores.

      Sears service is dependable. For an upfront fee of $309 Sears will take care of you mower at your house for three full years. No trip charges, no extra costs. The only items basically not covered are blades, oil changes and air filters. Be aware of their service procedure though. You call 1-800-4MY-HOME. 1. They set up an appointment for service (3-7 days) 2. When the tech gets there he determines if parts are needed and orders them. (It takes 3-7 days to get the part) 3. The tech then comes back out to your home and repairs the machine. Sear's goal is to get you back running in one mowing cycle (5-10 days) but sometimes it can slip to 2 weeks.

      Let me know what you decide.

  30. In one of the posts above you mentioned that the 42 inch deck will fit easily in a pickup. Will the 46 inch deck not fit? I would like to pick up the mower when I purchase it.


    • @Barry

      The 46 inch deck is 471/2" wide with the discharge chute up. It will fit in a full size Dodge or Ford but you should measure inside the wheel wells on other trucks. I can get it to fit in most pickups if you don't mind a scratch on the edge the deck or the truck fender.

  31. I just picked up my 28924 today and followed all of the first time use instructions. After setting it up I cut my yard, which is just over one acre and mostly flat. Overall I am satisfied. It did a nice job with grass, which was very tall and thick, only bogging slightly on the extra thick stuff in a couple of low areas.

    The mower does vibrate a bit more than I would like with the blade engaged. I do not think it's to the point where something might be wrong, rather just the way a mower in this class functions. However, coming from a completely broken down 1996 Craftsman, it feels like a Cadillac, er, maybe more like a new Hyundai. Anyway, a significant upgrade.

    In summary: For the $1400 I paid, I feel this mower is a good value. In my opinion, the regular price is quite a bit too much, so wait for a sale if you can.


    • @Dave, I'm glad you like your new mower. If you have any questions about your new mower feel free to write anytime.

      • Dave's post makes me think of another question. Does Sears normally have some sort of "end of season" sale that would make it worthwhile to wait for this year? In other words, how would you rate the chances of me buying a tractor for $1599 next week and finding out that it goes on sale for $1399 in September?

        • @Alan,

          Sears has really been aggressive on their pricing this year. I don't think you will get a better deal if you wait unless you are looking for a closeout of a particular model. They won't put those on clearance though until October and they will only be the less popular models.

          August 16th (Sunday night) starting at 6 pm there is a Friends and Family sale.

          Everything including sale prices will be an additional 10% off from 6pm to 9pm. (Sears.com may have the sale prices from 6pm to midnight.) Sears has been holding the sale prices on the tractors for those sales so far this year so I expect them to stay on sale for Sunday night.

        • Alan: I just bought a Craftsman YT 3000 for $829 (orig $1659) at a Sears Outlet store. They said they are getting the last shipments of their scratch-n-dent & reconditioned tractors in now. If you don't mind something that is not brand new in the box, but carries a full warranty, then this is the ticket. I got my last tractor this way in 1994, and it's still a great running and looking tractor . . . it's just not mine anymore!

          • @JD,

            Yes there are Clearance and Closeout Tractors around. Most of these are tractors that were sold and delivered and returned for one reason or the other. Some, because the customer didn't like it, some because there was something wrong.

            If you buy the extended warranty Sears will usually replace the tractor in the first 90 days if something breaks instead of making you wait for parts. That is usually what these clearance tractors are.

            Most are reconditioned, though some will be scratched, dented, and some missing parts (like the deck) The prices are set by corporate and very seldom do they deal.

            But the clearance sticker price is reduced every three weeks or so by 10% or so until someone buys the item.

            They carry the new warranty and you can buy the Protection Plan for them.

            The only downfall is…….. AS IS, Where is. If you can't find a deal at your local Sears you will have to pay shipping on one from a different area. Unless you are willing to drive to the tractor, the shipping can sometimes be more than the tractor.

            My local Sears just sold off 5 reconditioned tractors and one zero turn at 75% off retail last week. They were gone in 2 hours.

    • Hi Paul. I just bought and will be heading to pick up a Craftsman YT 3000 28921 tractor today. I want to set it up to mulch. Can you advise if this is an AYP-built tractor, as I can buy a mulch kit (OEM42MK) for less than the Sears 33742 kit? Also, are the Gator blades that much better at mulching than the standard kit? I do not bag or rake, so I want something that will chew up everything in it's path! Thanks!

      • @JD,

        The decks on the Craftsman mowers are usually Craftsman exclusive. A few decks (like the 48 inch) are cross compatable, but as far as I know the 42 and 46 inch decks are not. Sears usually gets the deck for a year or two before other brands get it.

        Yes the Craftsman premium mulching blades (Gator blades) are that much better. But they work the best with the mulching cover in place.

        • I agree. I wouldn't even bother with the gator blades without the mulching cover (aka, mulch plug) in place. All the clumps of grass it spit out without the cover looked terrible. With the cover in place, there are very few grass clippings which pile up anywhere. not enough to bother raking, in my case.

          • @Andrew,

            You are exactly correct. With a mulch plug the gator blades are the best out there. I have a Dixon with them on and they make dry leaves disappear. I can also cut 6 inches of grass and it will cut the clippings fine enough so that I don't have to rake.

            Without the plug the Gator blades (Craftsman advanced mulching blades) don't get a chance to shred the clippings enough and the side discharge spits the half-shredded clippings out on the lawn. What you end up with is "cotton balls." It turns the clippings into a fluffy mess that looks terrible. So you have to use the plug.

            If you are bagging the Gator blades also work very well. They cut the clippings finer than a high lift blade but have the same "throw" as a high lift blade. You can get a lot more leaves and grass clipping in your bagger using them. It means a lot fewer stops when bagging and a lot fewer bags of yard waste if you are not composting them and have to pay to get rid of your yard waste.

            • I have the mulching kit installed and I think it works well (get's a bit tough in the tall grass) and I always cut my lawn with the deck set at the highest level.

              I have noticed that the deck and underside of the tractor (frame area beneath the seat) get's covered in grass clippings. I mean it is packed in there pretty good.

              Is this a normal occurence? I wonder if it's effeting the belt operation at all.

              Great info on this site – thank you.


              • @LD,

                Yes the grass on the top of the deck is normal using a mulching kit. When the deck is running it pulls a lot of air into it from the vented spindles. This air allows the deck to develop great lift to stand the grass up and cut it evenly. All that air would normally get blown out the discharge or up the bagger chute. With a mulch plug in place the air has no place to go except out from under the sides of the deck. When this happens it blows some cut grass out with it. Forward motion of the mower …….. dry grass………and all that air blow the clippings up and they end up on top of the deck.

                The term we use in the mower industry for this is "blow-by" and with a mulching plug it happens and is normal.

                It can be a problem if you leave the grass up there for long periods (months) The grass gets wet, it rots and peels the paint off the top of the deck. The deck then rusts.

                It usually does not affect the belts BUT it can build up enough so the belt tensioner spring and belt tensioner arm don't work properly and the belt starts to slip ….. causing the belt to break.

                Commercial mowers usually blow off their decks everyday. I would suggest you clean the top of the deck (leaf blower works well) every five acres or so or every other time you mow if you mow less than that. If you leave your mower outside where the clippings can get wet blow off the top of the deck each time you use it. If you don't the clippings turn into a rotting mess that is very hard to clean.

  32. I am trying to decide between a 28922 and a 28924. The Sears catalog states that it has a 42" deck vs a 46" deck. I see that the 42" deck is more popular and I assume would mean easier replacements and repairs. Another difference that they show is a "2 Three-In-One" vs "2 Hi-lift" blades. What do these mean? Regardless of which mower I pick, I would want them to be able to "mulch". Do I need to buy anything else with either mower to make them mulch? Lastly, under the service minder row, it shows "Optional" for both mowers. Does this mean that these mowers don't come with the "hours meter"? If not, can they be purchased separately?

    • @ Armand,

      The 28922 is the most popular tractor this year. But the 28924 is the deck Consumer Reports rated as the best mowing deck. Parts for either one will not be a problem.

      The 28922 is the most popular because most people don't need the larger deck for their mowing requirements and it will fit in the back of a pickup truck easily.

      Three-in-One blades are a general purpose blade that will mulch, side-discharge, and bag. The Hi-Lift Blades are designed to bag and side discharge well. If you are going to mulch though I suggest you buy a set of Premium Mulching Blades Item# 07133825000 for the 42" deck and Item# 07133826000 for the 46" inch deck.

      Both machines are set up to side discharge. You will need a mulch kit (Sears item. 07133472000) for the 42 inch and (07133746000) for the 46 inch deck to mulch. To order any of these items click on the 5OFF50 banner in the right hand column and type the item number in the search box.

      Both tractors do not come with the service minder. Read through the previous comments to find the part, how to order it, and how to install it.

  33. A couple of comments and a question about using the 71-24621 brush guard with this mower. I chose this brush guard when I bought the mower instead of the front bumper because my yard is mostly surrounded by forest and I have to mow right up into the undergrowth to keep it from constantly encroaching on the lawn. I wanted something to help ward off scraping the paint with low hanging brush.

    First the comments. In order to raise the engine cover the brush guard first has to be lowered. To do this you need to simultaneously release the latches on both sides of the mower frame which requires using both hands. While both hands are used to hold the latches against re-latching you have to somehow move the brush guard forward to begin dropping it out of position. I don’t know about you, but I only have two hands. More importantly from a safety standpoint, one of the latches is located right next to the engine exhaust. It gets VERY HOT while the engine is running. If you need to open the engine cover after the mower has been running you have to operate that latch. There is a small orange and black warning sticker on the top rail of the brush guard that says areas around the exhaust may get hot, but it is neither very eyecatching nor close to the hot area. Something more obvious and closer to the danger area stating specifically that the latch will be hot and must be allowed to cool before operating it is needed. I know we should always read all instructions and warning labels before using such a product, but when you hop off the mower and want to check the gas tank, that existing sticker isn’t enough and a change in attachment site fot the bumpers could prevent serious burns.

    My question is about the use of a snow blade. Will that brush guard need to be removed to install a snow blade? Which snow blades are compatible with it?

    • @ Don,

      Hi, I'm assuming you have a 28922 or similar YT 3000 series tractor.

      Yes, you have to remove the bumper to put a snow blade on. You need a 24441 (07124441000) blade.

      Yes, the brush guard you purchased is a pain-in-the-butt. It is hard to use. Sears discountinued all of the colors except the chrome one.

      Sears actually replaced that guard for 2009 with the 07124628000. (click on the Sears Banner on the right and then type in that number)
      The new guard can easily be lowered with one hand. If you have had your bumper less than 90 days, return it and get the 24628

  34. I have a 2 month old yt3000 42" with the briggs and hydro. My Mom who is 115 pounds uses it. When she engaged the blades it would almost die. The last time she used it when she engaged the blades it backfired and the lever went limp. I found a cast iron bracket behind the gas tank that had been broke. Sears is coming out next week to look at it. Should this be covered under warrantee? thanks

  35. The Oregeon site is a bit confusing. We're talking about the Gator mulching 3-in-1 blades, I assume? And I don't see the LTX1045 listed. Is looking at a "46 inch" deck all I need to do or should I just call ask them?

    • @ Alan,

      I would see if your dealer can get the blades for you first. If he can't then go to the Oregon site. Yes, It's a 46 inch deck.

  36. So, a local dealer is offering a 2 yea old Cub Cadet LTX 1045 with a 46 inch deck and a brand new Kohlet 20HP engine (apparently the previous owner neglected to put oil in the orginal) for $850. I've been looking at the Sears 28934 because I like automatics and the foot pedals, mostly. Money is a little tight right now so the price appeals to me, but I don't want to be shortsighted either. My lawn is probably about 3/4 acre and the only thing I plan on putting on the back of it is a bagger. Is this a decent machine? While you're at it, how would you compare using a bagger for picking up leaves versus a drag behind sweeper? The sweepers look like they hold more, but I assume the whole leaves also take more room. Thanks.

    • @Alan

      The LTX 1045 is very comparable to the Craftsman 28934. The Cub Cadet has a heavier frame, but the Craftsman has a little bigger motor. The biggest difference is the deck. The 42" inch 28934 has a really great cutting deck and was redesigned this year to match the Consumer Reports Best Buy 46 inch deck. The Cub Cadet cuts well but they didn't rate the cut as well.

      I would probably go with the Cub Cadet for the price if you could get the dealer to give you one year warranty in writing on the tractor and motor.

      My first choice for leaves is a set of Oregon Gator blades and a mulch plug. This is all I use and it makes my leaves disappear.

      My second choice is a set of the Gator blades and a bagger. The Gator blades chew up the leaves and you can get 3 times as many in your bagger.

      I really like the sweeper and the price of it compared to a bagger but it takes up a lot of room when stored, and doesn't pick up wet or newly mowed grass as well as a bagger.

  37. Paul, I have the 28922. To level the deck, the manual says you need to measure the blade height at each side of the deck. I decided that was too difficult, and as you suggested, I instead made my adjustments by measuring the height of the deck itself at the four corners.

    I then discovered that the manual is correct. With the deck almost perfectly the same height at the four corners, I found I got a worse cut. When I instead set everything up by blade height, I get an even cut, but the deck height is no longer the same at each corner!

    Although I expected the blade height and deck height to be perfectly symmetrical, I found them not to be.

    At first I found measuring the blade height at each side of the deck to be no fun. I finally slid a piece of scrap 2×4 under the edge of the deck, then put a styrofoam coffee cup on top of the scrap wood, pressed the cutting edge of the blade against the cup so as to make a mark, then repeated on the other side of the deck. This helped me adjust to an even blade height side to side.

    The manual also says the deck should be set up front to back so the front of the blade is 3/8 to 1/2 inch lower than the back. I would never have known to do this either.

    • @Bill,

      Thanks, I assumed the deck was symmetrical to the blades. Good to know. I like your way of measuring the blade height. This has always been a problem.

      The blades need to be "tipped" forward so the front edge of the blade cuts the grass. The 3/8 to 1/2 inch is just right for a 42 to 46 inch deck. If it is tipped backwards the blades hit the grass first and knock it down, causing an uneven cut.

      You reminded me that I should also write an article on how to straighten a deck that's been bent and is giving an uneven cut (the blades are not cutting the same height)

  38. Paul, hopefully you can help me again. I have the 28922 and have been really disappointed in the cut of the mower. now this is my first rider so it could be user error or the fact that i am expecting too much out of it. but the mower does a real bad job on the level of cut and missing spots. i feel like i have to go real slow for it to cut the whole path completely. i have adjusted the mower deck but not the wheels so that could be part. but why would it still miss sections of grass. almost like the front tires flatten the grass and then the mower doesnt cut it cause its too low.

    Also it blows the grass all over. i dont bag it cause of the hassle. would it work much better with mulching blades or do i need some sort of plug to keep the grass under the mower longer.

    thanks for all your help.

    • @ Bryan,

      I have been using mulching blades and mulch plugs for a few years now. The mulching blades and plug grind up the clippings enough that they just about disappear into the yard. Last week I broke the mulch plug on my Dixon mower and now my wife is complaining about all the grass clippings when I mow. I have to get the plug fixed. (It's an old-style steel plug and it vibrated apart)

      I really like the advanced mulching blades. The blades have more lift than standard mulching blades so it will cut the grass the front tire runs over better than regular blades. The plug will fix the "grass all over the place" issue. Here is the article where to order the blades and mulch plug.

      The gauge wheels don't do anything. They are only used to keep the deck from scalping in ruts (like the bottom of a ditch)

      Here is a list of things to try. Any one of these could cause a lot of your problems.

      1. Make sure your tires have the same amount of air. 14 lbs is about right.
      2. Place your tractor on a hard level surface (driveway or sidewalk) and measure the height of the deck at all four corners. The measurements should be within 3/8 of an inch. If it is not level lower it all the way and check to see if it sits level on the ground. If it doesn't call Sears 1-800-4MY-HOME and have them check the deck for warping.
      3. Your lawn may be rough (high and low spots) I am assuming you are mowing bluegrass/fescue. Try raising the deck to position 4 or 5 and then mow. Does it look better?
      4. If your grass is weak and poor (doesn't spring back when you walk on it and is a pale yellow) the mower will have a hard time lifting it up to cut it evenly. A good fertilizer program will help here over time. The advanced mulching blades will help lifting the grass, but they won't fix a poor lawn.
      5. Check all the deck connection points. One of the clips that secure the deck rods may have broke causing a rod to fall off and the deck is not supported correctly. This will cause uneveness of cut or the belt to slip and the blades won't spin fast enough to cut properly. (It's a mechanical device ……..stuff happens:)

      Last but not least, don't be afraid to call 1-800-4MY-HOME and have them look at your mower. Tell them you are not happy with the cut and it cuts unevenly. A tech will come out and inspect the mower to make sure everything is right. You get two full years of free service calls with the standard warranty and three years with the optional Protection Plan ……so take advantage of that.

      Oh, Normal mowing speed is about 3 mph. 4 mph if the grass is not very long and 2 mph if it is really thick or long.
      Oh again, Wet grass (dew or rain) will not cut well and the mower won't lift up the grass the front wheels run over.

      • Paul,

        hopefully you can help me again. My mower cannot be used on level 1-3 because it hits the ground. 4 is too short. is this common or a problem . also the cut is so uneven it is embarrassing. the grass isnt in the best shape as i bought the house as a foreclosure and the yard wasnt taken care of but the mower isnt cutting some of the grass in the middle of the pass. it pushes down the grass under the wheels and then in the middle it stays pretty high. not sure what to do

        • @Byran,

          I am going to assume you have a basic bluegrass lawn and you live in the midwest.

          Bluegrass/Fescue should be mowed at 3 to 4 inches. That equates to 4 or 5 on the YT (Red) series mowers. Positions 1-3 are too short and the deck will touch the ground.

          To measure the exact height you are mowing. Get a tape measure or ruler. Put your mower on a flat level surface like a driveway. Turn it off and remove the key. Then lift the discharge chute and move a blade by hand until you can see the sharp edge. Measure from that sharp edge to the ground. Raise the deck position until you get about 3.5 inches.

          If the grass is tall (Over 8 inches) it probably won't mow it even the first time. You will have to mow it two or three times to get an even cut.

          If the grass is weak and thin (and long) the mower blades may not have lift to lift the grass and cut it evenly. A set of bagging blades or the advanced mulching blades will fix this.

          Make sure the vents on the top of the deck (under the pulleys) are cleaned out. This deck pulls a lot of air through the vented spindles and if they are plugged it will keep the grass from lifting up.

          In really long grass you will get lay down with the tires. Try mowing the lawn twice at 90 degrees to the first pass and see if it cuts it better.

          Tell me more if this doesn't help.

          • Paul,

            Thanks for the advice. My grass is very weak and thin and it grows alot in some spots but others it doesnt. I'm almost positive its the grass more than the mower its just hard to love the mower when the yard looks so bad after each mow. I will try some of the other blades. I am working on the yard and trying to get it in better health so this isnt such an issue.

            Do the deck gauge wheels do anything to help this or not really?

            and how ofter should i clean the deck?

    • @ Debbie,

      Sorry, I had to pick on someone today…………… The best place is on the front left side of the deck, but anywhere on the side opposite the discharge chute is fine. The factory units are right under the brake pedal which makes it hard to connect the hose, so I suggest you move it left a little more and put it 2 inches left of the floorboard. Place it on the highest point of the deck in that area.

      I assume you are mowing bluegrass/fescue so any height between 3.5 and 4 inches is fine. With the mower and engine off lift the discharge chute cover and measure the cutting height with a ruler from the sharp edge of the blade to the ground. This height is optimum for weed control, staying green the longest in the summer and the overall healthiness of the grass. Settings 4 or 5 is actually better for your lawn and you will be pleasantly suprised at how well the lawn looks after a year or two. (It takes that long for a lawn to really improve and change)

      There are adjustments for leveling the mower deck, but none for fine tuning the cutting height.

  39. Hello Paul,

    I am happy to have found this web page.
    I am a proud new owner of a 2009 Craftsman YT3000 21HP 42″ deck #28922.
    I read the manual front to back and created my own check list of things to check/do prior to my first use. IE: check tires for correct air pressure oil, air filter, purge Transmission of air, adjust the 4 Gauge wheels, so not to scalp my Bermuda lawn first time out. This is where I ran into my dilemma… In setting the wheels to the appropriate height, I Discovered that my deck was Very un -level. Well I went back to the owners manual to follow the step by step instructions. The manual says to adjust the linkage from either side, when in fact you can only adjust from the left side. I tried with no satisfaction, the deck would really only lift on the side that the linkage is on. Mean while my problem exists on the opposite side where their is NO adjusting linkage. The right rear is aprox 1/2″ lower than the other three points/wheels and while the other three wheels have aprox 1/4″ clearance off the floor the Right Rear is actually sitting on the floor!.( by the way, Yes my floor is level I checked to make absolutely sure and tried different locations )Also something else I did notice the front left gauge wheel rubs ever so slightly against the decks edge, making it unable to spin completely free? I called Tech Service , and explained in detail what was wrong, the best they could offer was a tech to come out on July 6, 2009. Meanwhile my grass is growing like crazy. I was wondering what you thought could be the problem or if you have heard of this before. Any suggestions or information would be great and Very appreciated.
    Thanks In Advance,

    • @ Evan,

      The 28922 is a great, well priced Yard Tractor. Once you get it adjusted, I bet you will feel it is the best rider you've owned.

      Reading the manual and making a list of items is the best thing anyone can do to make the best of their mower. I salute you!

      You may have a warped deck …………. There are some easy things to do to fix this. That said, don't be afraid to request a new deck if you can't get it adjusted. The deck could have been hurt anytime during the shipping process to your home. Be nice to the tech and he will help you out.

      You want the front of the deck about 1/4 inch lower than the rear. So after you get it level remember to set the front linkage that way. Until the tech shows up try adjusting the OPPOSITE FRONT adjustment bolt. Tighten that nut 1 turn and then recheck for level.

      If that doesn't work try the drastic approach. Place a 2×4 under the low corner of the deck. Lower the deck to the ground and then stand on the corner that is off the ground. Yes, I said stand on it. The will be a little "spring" in it when you do this. You may have to stand on it more than once, please check it each time you step on it or you will have to bend it the opposite way if you go too far.

      I normally "tweek" a deck with it off the mower, but your deck is not off that far off so you should be able to bend it on the mower. I once took the deck off a commercial mower to an auto body shop and had them put it on their frame straightener to get it back level. (It was a 6 foot 3/8 inch thick steel deck. The mower had fallen off a trailer going about 30 MPH)

      Let me know how this works out.

      • Paul,

        Thanks for getting back to me right away!

        I tried everything you said….but nothing worked.(still off 5/8" FR and 1/2" RR. In any event I guess at this point I will wait for the tech to come and do what ever needs to get done. I will keep you posted as to what the outcome is.

        Thanks Again,


  40. I just received my 28921. Its what I expected. No good or bad surprises so far. my old craftsman lawn tractor is 20 years old. I am a maintenance freak.

    There is no reference to grease fittings on the mandrils. so no grease filling? when they go (and they will) can I get mandrils with grease fittings? The brochure imples that the machine is ready to go on delivery. so I dont have to grease any fittings now?

    btw my 28921 did come with what appears to be a deck wash fitting. no instructions

    • @ Bill L

      Yes, your machine is ready to go, except. There is too much air in the tires. If you keep about 14 lbs in each tire the mower will ride nice and smooth. Be sure to check the oil every time you use it for the first 4 or 5 mows.

      In the plastic bag there is a fitting for the deck wash to put on your garden hose. Turn the water on, start the mower deck. Watch it clean the deck and make a mess on the ground. DO NOT clean your deck on your cement driveway or sidewalk. If you do I'll sell you a power washer to get the nice green stain off :)

      The spindle bearings (mandrils) are sealed bearings and should last for 500 hours or more. People just don't know how to properly lubricate a greased bearing. They either over grease it or don't grease it at all so most consumer mowers use all sealed bearing now days. Make sure you balance your blades if you sharpen them or if you bend a blade replace it right away and the spindles will last a long time.

      I have drilled, tapped and installed zerk fittings into a couple of spindles myself. If you feel confident to do that, go ahead.

      Do you understand the reverse mow function? If you don't drop me a line and I'll go through it.

      • no I dont understand the reverse mow function. With my old craftsman, I just went in reverse.

        I mowed today and the machine worked very well. My old craftsman was extremely noisy. Frankly, I am a disappointed over the noise with the new mower. The engine is very quiet and smooth running. The deck is a different story. Thats the true source of noise on this thing.

        I tried the deck washer. If it works over time, then its a worthwhile feature. Easy to operate, but who ever decided to put the fitting under the brake/clutch should be shot.

        One thing I really dislike is the position of the deck height control. If you get off the mower on the left side, its easy to accidentally trip the deck hight to a lower setting. I have one 42"x60' scalp to prove it!

        The "rapid engage" clutch is tricky. I'm sure I could get this thing to rear like a horse in 5th gear. Engaging in a slow engine speed helps a lot.

        Bottom like, it has its flaws but it probably is an enduring mower. ,,,and the grass looks good :)

        • @Bill L

          The government dictated to all riding mower manufactures in 1997 that they incorporate a feature that makes you think before you back up with the mower deck running.

          On the 28921 to mow in reverse. With the engine running and the deck engaged turn the ignition key to the symbol that looks like a tractor backing up. With the key in that position you can then mow in reverse. The reverse safety will stay engaged until you turn off the deck or turn off the mower.

          You will have to do this each time you after you engage the deck. Yes, it is a hassle for those of us who are not used to having a reverse mow safety, but the one on the Craftsman is much easier than most. AT least you can mow in reverse. Some of the cheaper MTD's, Yardman's and Murray's do have a reverse safety and you can't mow in reverse at all.

          Gear drive transmissions are a little jerky compared to the hydro models. It will take you a few hours to really get used to mowing with it. It will smooth out a little when the new drive belt gets a little wear on it.

          For some reason they put the deck wash fitting in exactly the same spot on the 42, 46, and 54 inch decks, but with the 42 inch deck that puts the fitting under the fender and if you have a good rubber hose it is a pain to hook up.

          A lot of people who are not as flexible as a 20 year old have some problems getting on and off the mower without hitting the deck lever on the left side or the hydro lever on the right. I would like to see them put a 45 degree bend outward in the handle to fix this. You can move the little red triangle to the position you normally mow and get used to looking at it before you turn on the mower.

          These new decks are "high lift" decks and they are noisier than those 10-15 years old, but the superior cut is worth it. I always made my mowing crews wear hearing protectors (I had ones with FM radios in them) when they ran the high lift commercial decks.

  41. I have the 28922 and it seems to really start rough. I just bought it and if I try starting in half choke it dies and if I use full choke it smokes and does alot of popping. This is my first rider so it could just be me but it sounds like the thing is already 5 yrs old.

    • @Bryan,

      Since this is your first rider I am going to assume that you haven't used a motor like this with a choke before. I will tell you how I start mine.

      On the 28922 the choke is part of the speed control (throttle) Push the throttle all the way to the rabbit (engine full throttle) position and the push it another 1/4 to 1/2 inch into the choke position. To take the engine off choke pull the throttle back to the rabbit position or less.

      When the engine is cold, I push the throttle all the way forward to into the choke position and then turn the start key. The engine will fire and there will be some blue smoke and the engine will run very rough. After a short time (1-2 seconds above 40 degrees, 5-10 seconds below 40) I pull the throttle back to the run position. The engine will then smooth out and run smoothly.

      If the engine is warm (has been run for over 5 minutes) I usually don't have to use the choke when starting and you shouldn't have to either on a 28922.

      Setting the engine to "half-choke" is very hard to do so I am going to assume that what you meant is half-throttle. With a cold engine it may try to start like you explained but it will die right away.

      Let me know if I am right. If I'm not there are a couple of other things that may be causing this for you.

      If you try to start the motor

  42. I bought the yt 3000 with the 22 hp Kohler and i love the tractor. I took off the deck and installed my plow just to make sure it fits but i was wondering if you could tell me where the clutch cable goes when i hook up the plow Thanks for your help in advance.

    • @ will

      Just tie it up out of the way. I always have a supply of various lengths of black tie-wraps (zip-ties) for jobs like this. The black ones are ultraviolet resistant and won't get brittle outdoors like th clear/white ones do.

  43. I recently purchased a YST300 with 46" deck. for maintenance they reccomend a general purpose grease for the axle and wheel bearings. What grease would you say works best? so far pleased with tractor.

  44. Hi Paul,

    Just wanted to report on my Craftsman YT 3000 21 HP 42″ tractor model# 28922. I have had it for a month and mowed my 2/3 acre backyard four times.
    The 21hp Craftsman saves me about 20 minutes over the old 16hp Cub Cadet I used before. My backyard is on a hill so I am usually either climbing or going downhill. The hydrostatic drive has worked very well but I worry a little about wear and tear. The slope on the hill is 10-15 degrees.

    Is the maintenance schedule in the manual okay or should I step it up a little? Any general tips about cutting on hills?

    I would like to add a ball hitch to move my boat and utility trailer around but need the pin hole for my dump cart. The 5/8 pin hole won’t take a 3/4 ball. Do you know of anyone making an adapter so I could have both? I don’t see anything like this on the Sears website.

    Last, I have never used a deck washer before and would appreciate any advice you might have about how to use it and how often.

    Thanks for all of your helpful advice and all the work you do to keep the website going.

  45. I have just recently purchased a YT3000 w/46″ cutting deck, and noticed that it doesn’t have an hour meter on it. I did see in a previous posting the link for it at searspartsdirect.com and am looking at purchasing it to put on the tractor. While on their website, I did a search for all of the parts/accessories that I could get for my tractor and came across a part that I was wondering if anyone else had either gotten, what it is for, or where it would go. It is:

    It is only for $2.16, so I am guessing that it is a bulb for something, but I wasn’t sure what that something was. I also noticed that I have another empty knockout on the top of the steering area, so I didn’t know if whatever this was went there. The other question I had was about putting a 12V outlet on the mower. Is that possible to do? I did find that if you look the mower up and then look under it’s subcatagories under electric, the picture gives you a 12V option. The link to that picture is:
    If this is the case, how do you order it because there was not a link in the subcatagory to order it, and it looked like you would need another wire to do it. If you could let me know, that would be great. Thanks.

    • @Aaron,

      Thanks, Yes the Service Minder/hour meter does not come on the 3000 series, but a few readers have ordered it themselves through SearsPartsDirect and installed it themselves. Here is a direct link to the part.
      Gauge srvemnder hourmeter Part # 401763. It is $39.36 plus shipping.

      I can’t find the 12v outlet and plug part numbers even on the tractors that have them so……………………..Any generic 12 volt outlet from an automotive or farm store will do. You will have to find the plug for the original 12v outlet and splice the generic one in. There is a spot on the left side of the dash column for it.





    • @Debbie,

      Click on the Sears 5 off 50 banner on the right side your the screen Type 07133167000 in the search box.

      This will bring up the Sears Deck Wash Kit. The kit includes the two drill bits you need to install the deck wash on your mower deck. I think your mower is a pre-2009 version and last years mowers didn't come pre-drilled for the deck wash.

      I didn't review the Calif models for 2009 because most of them are basically 2008 and 2009 models that meet the Calif emissions guidelines. Your mower is similar enough to the 28922 that it really doesn't need a separate review. The only differences from your mower to the 48 state version is usually the carburetor, exhaust, and maybe a fuel vapor recovery system.




        • @Debbie,

          The deck wash kit comes with the right size drill bits and instructions for where to put it on the deck.

          I am assuming that the 28622 comes with mulching blades, but I’m not aware that any of them come with the mulching plates. You will need to buy one to mulch.

          Click on the SearspartsDirect banner in the right hand column of this page and then type the part number for your cover plate into the part number box.

          42 inch Mulcher Plate Assembly. It is Sears Part No. 198383.

          90% of the tractor owners do not use the mulch plug and let the grass blow out the side. I don’t know where you live but if you are mowing bluegrass or fescue raise your deck to 5 (3 1/2 inches) That will make a big difference on the amount of grass clippings that get left on the top of your lawn.

          I’ll be glad to go into more detail about mowing heights, mulching and bagging if you would like.




  47. I own model 28921 and purchased the optional hourmeter. Simple install especially since the connector is already there. However, there is also another single wire connector that is not connected to anything and is tie-wrapped wi thother wires that connect to the junction block next to the gas tank. Does anyone know what optional accessory this wire is connected to? The wiring diagram talks about an optional 12 V power outlet but I have not seen this for sale on Sears.com. Could this be what the wire is for?

    • @TC

      There is a 12 volt plug on the Garden tractors located on the left side below the instrument panel. The lose plug is probably for that.

      Any generic 12 volt receptacle will work or you can order one off the parts list for the GT 5000. Use 917.289470 in the model number search box on searspartsdirect. There is a convenient link to parts over on the right column.

      • I can't find the 12v outlet option part number on parstdirect but may just go with your advice to buy a generic one. It also looks like there is a special connector to buy which also is not on partsdirect. This connector seems to mate with the one already in the harness and then connects somewhere to ground.

        My very old 12HP tractor did not have a charging system for the battery but it seems like the new tractors do. Is this true? If so, the ammeter option may be handy but there doesn't seem to be a spot for it on the YT 3000 series.

        • @TC, Using the wiring diagram on parts direct I would just splice the 12v outlet into the wiring or on the YT 3000 connect the positive side of the outlet to the battery. Connect the negative wire to the frame. On the other models you can use a 14 ga. "scotchlock" connector to splice into the wiring where the special connector should go. Any auto parts store will know what a "Scotchlock" is.

          The professional series all have ammeters built into the dash. The YT series does not have any spot or plug to put one in. My viewpoint on ammeters: If you are running large accessories like a weed sprayer or electric lift an ammeter may be useful so you can watch your current draw and not overload the wiring. If you want to tell if the system is charging take battery measurement with the unit turned off and then with the engine running. Write those measurements in your manual and if you ever suspect the charging system is not working you can refer to them. A fully charged battery with the motor turned off will have terminal voltage (measured at the positive and negative posts on the battery itself) of about 12.7 volts. Fully discharged around 11 volts. With the motor running the voltage at the terminals should increase to 14.5 to 17 volts with the battery fully charged.

            • I installed a 12V accessory outlet (Radio Shack part 270-1556). It came with a dust cover/plug attached, all hardware, and tap-in connector to easily splice into the tractor's power wire. I removed the plastic knock-out from the left side of the tractor just below the parking brake lever. The outlet clipped in and fit perfectly in the existing hole. I ran the wires up and behind the gas tank, connected the ground wire to the frame and used the tap-in connector to splice into the accessory power wire coming from the tractor's power block. Other than my big hands getting in the way, the installation was simple, as it should be. I can now go to the far corners of my lot and hopefully can use my inverter for some light electric tool usage and radio antenna work. This will be easier than running a really long extension, and cheaper than buying a dry-cell power center. Thanks for the suggestions.

  48. Paul,

    Thanks for the great review. I am thinking about getting 28924 tractor — this is my first tractor and while I am confident 21HP will be powerfull enough to mowe the 2.5 acres, I am not so sure about other tasks that I am planning to do. One of the particular concerns is landscaping project coming up this summer. We are planning flagstone deck and some rock landscaping, my driveway is about 150 yards with 8-10% grade. Delivery of rock will be done at the beginning of the driveway and I am planning to move rock and flagstone up the driveway in a trailer attched to the YT3000. Obviously multiple trips will be required.

    So, my big question is: will 21HP YT3000 be powerfull enough to move the rocks or do I need more HP for this task ? What would be your guess regarding how many pounds of rock I will be able to move in one trip ?

    Thanks for your help !

    • @Vlad,

      You will have plenty of hp for the tasks, but don't be surprised if you need a transmission drive belt after only a couple of years instead of the 5 or 6 they normally last.

      To keep the transmission belt wear to a minimum limit the weight you are hauling to about 500 lbs. A 10 cubic foot yard cart (Sears Model 24489 poly cart) full of dirt weighs about 500 lbs, full of sand or gravel about 750-850 lbs. Landscape bricks start about 8 lbs per brick.

      Take your time. Drive at mowing speed (3.5 mph) instead of as fast as the mower will go and that will help the wear and tear on the belt.

      The GT 5000 Excellerator would be Sears choice for you, …………. but it is $1000 more and only comes with a 54 inch deck.

    • Paul,

      Thanks for your help ! I looked at the cart (24489) and it can only handle 325lb of load — there is another Craftsman cart (24355) that can handle up to 1000 lbs !

      Another question if I may, does 28924 come with some sort of hitch to attach the cart or do I need to purchase one separately (like Model# 24536) ?

      Thanks again !

      • @Vlad,

        The 28924 comes with a hitch for the garden cart. You will need a "Craftsman Tractor Hitch Pin" or "King Pin Quick -Connect Hitch Pin" to connect the cart to the tractor.

        I actually was referring to the amount of weight you should pull with the tractor, not the weight the cart can carry. If you pull more than 500 lbs at a time you run the risk or prematurely wearing out the engine to transmission drive belt.

  49. Never mind re: the advanced mulcher. Explored the site a little more and found your review on these blades. Looks like the way to go!

  50. So we just pulled the trigger on the YT3000 28924. I wanted the 46" deck for our lot, which is about 1.3 acres of grass (and my FIL's house, which is a few houses down and about an acre of grass). Solid price.

    Question about an accessory, though. Any thoughts on the Advanced mulching blade (link below) vs. the regular mulching blade (referenced in your article)? Also, it seems like i'd still have to get the side discharge cover if I go for the advanced blade set.


    Will follow-up and give an initial review after the tractor is delivered this weekend.

  51. RE: the Service Minder Plug

    If it's not right behind the gas tank it may be under it like I found mine last night. :( Whoever assembled my #28922 left the plug hanging beneath the gas tank when they mounted it. My 2-3 minute project turned out to be more involved than I thought when I had to unbolt the tank to get it out…

  52. Can you elaborate on the Service minder. I went to sears last night ans was looking around at the automatic 3000 46in deck and the build of the mower looked really good. I also spoke with them about the service plan and I am going to purchase that as well as a prevenative plan I like to call it. I did see the mow in reverse key switch did not see an hour meter is that the service minder? When I order it I will be ordering it through your website. Can you give me any more details about these mowers that the sales people may not.



    • @JW,

      Thanks, The Service Minder/hour meter does not come on the 3000 series, but a few readers have ordered it themselves through SearsPartsDirect and installed it themselves. Here is a direct link to the part.
      <code>Gauge srvemnder hourmeter Part # 401763</code>. It is $39.36 plus shipping.

      All you have to do to install it is pop out the blank where is should go, pop the hour meter in, and hook up the blue,black,black wired plug hidden down behind the gas tank.

      You can read my reviews from the menu on the right. A quick summary. The YT 3000 series uses a oil pump lubed Briggs engine just like your car. It is a better motor than the pressurized systems found on the John Deere LA series and the Craftsman LT 2000 series. It's Briggs best residential motor. (The Professional series Craftsman all use the commercial grade Briggs)

      The 46 inch deck won Consumer Reports "best cutting" award in 2008 and they still like the evenness, side discharge, and mulching capabilities as well any other mower they rated for 2009. (Craftsman redesigned the 42 inch this year to cut like the 46 so it doesn't matter which deck you get)

      Looking closely at the Cub Cadet and John Deere mowers for 2009 the YT 3000 and YT 4000 series Craftsman are equal or better to their mowers that cost $300 to $600 dollars more.

      For you the Model 28924 (21 hp single) and the Model 28928 (24 hp twin) are great machines. If you just want to mow lawn and pull a yard cart the 28924 is fine. If you want to install a snow thrower later on, buy the 28928.

        • @ Alan,

          The 28922 has a 21 hp single cylinder Briggs Platinum engine.
          The 28934 has a 24 hp twin cylinder Briggs Platinum engine.

          A lot of people like the twins because they feel they run smoother and last longer than the singles. In reality the single cylinder Briggs are counter-balanced so they are as vibration free as the twins.

          The 24 hp v-twin sounds smoother.

          The 21 hp is plenty of power on a 42 or 46 inch deck. It also has enough power to handle any attachments the Yard Tractor was designed for.

          I recommend if you plan on installing a snowblower you buy the 24 hp for the power. Snow throwers need as much power as you can get.

          Both motors feature the automotive style pressurized/filter lubrication system.

          Both motors will outlast the tractor if you change your oil every 50 hours and the oil filter and air filter at least once a year.

          For $200 more the 28934 comes with the v-twin and the hour meter (service minder) The gas tank is larger and is placed under the seat. Between your legs is a trick sight-gauge for the fuel level. The frame, transmission, tires, deck, etc., are otherwise the same.

          • Sorry, Paul, but doesn't the 28934 have a 22HP Kohler engine (not a twin B&S) ? I'm wondering about comparing it to the 21HP B&S. Thanks.

            • @Alan, OOPS, I didn't look at my book before I started writing! :)

              The Kohler 22 hp Courage is also a counter-balanced single cylinder that compares very closely to the Briggs Platinum Series.

              Both motors are over-head valve, very fuel efficient and dependable.

              It has a oil pump/filter system. Good ignition and good carburetor systems like the Briggs.

              If I have a choice I always pick the Kohler over the Briggs ………… not because it is actually better than the Briggs, but because I have a lot of experience with the overhead valve single-cylinder Kohlers and they have always been just about bulletproof for me. All of the Kohler singles I owned when I had the lawn service out lasted the commercial mowers they were on. (I can't say that about the Briggs and Kawasaki's I owned)

              I feel the Kohlers have more torque than the Briggs because I have tried both motors on 60 inch wing – mowers (17.5 hp) and the Kohler out pulls the Briggs in tough grass.

              The Briggs engineers are very proud of the Platinum Series Motors and state they are the best motors Briggs has developed for residential use. The basic Kohler Courage design has been around for a long time and caused Briggs and Kawasaki to redesign their motors a few years ago to "catch up" to the Kohlers.

  53. What's the deal with the tractor deck wash kit ? It says that it comes with drill bits that allow for installation on older decks. Does that mean that it comes standard with the new ones or that installing on the new deck is different (like it already has a hole or something) ?

    • @Alan,

      All the 2009 decks are pre-drilled for the deck wash. The Lawn Tractors (Gray) and the 28921 DO NOT COME with the deck wash.

      If you have an older deck (any brand) you can drill your own hole and install the deck wash kit.

      • So does that mean that a brand new 28934 would come with it already installed or would I need to order and install the kit ? Sorry if Im being dense here. I started looking at the 28924, but I think I'd rather have the large Kohler engine and foot pedals and don't need the 46 inch deck versus a 42 inch.

        • @Alan,

          Yes the 28934 has the deck wash already installed. No, need to apologize, all these models get very confusing.

          To be specific, the Models 28921, 28910, 28908, 28907, and the 28903 DO NOT have the deck wash installed. (I'm not sure about the 28033 and the 27032). All of the other models in the Craftsman line have the deck wash installed.

          • The salespeople do not seem to know either. When I bought Model 28922 a few weeks ago, I asked about purchasing the deck wash kit, and the salesman gladly sold it to me. When the mower was delivered, I discovered it was already on the mower and took the deck wash kit back.

  54. Thanks for sharing the information about the service minder. Am I understanding you correctly that the plug is just hidden/hanging somewhere behind the gas tank on Model 28922?

    Thanks for your help.


  55. Paul:

    I didn't buy the Sears Protection plan when I bought the 28922 tractor. They said I have 14 days from the day of purchased to make up my mind. My husband is iffy about it because he thinks he can fix some of it himself. What is your opinion on their protection plan? Should we buy it? This is our first time owning a lawn tractor.



    P.S. I bought the mulching blades as you suggested.

    • @Sophie,

      You actually have at least 90 days to make your decision. The salesperson just does not get the credit or commission if you purchase it after 14 days.

      I'm not a big fan of extended warranties, but the Sears Protection Plan is different. It covers not only manufactures defects, but many wear and tear items including belts. If you have problem with your machine the Protection Plan also puts you at the head of the repair schedule. This can be a real benefit when the service techs are busy. With you being a first time buyer, it covers any and all service calls, even the ones where there is nothing wrong, you just think there is a problem. Without the plan you would be charged $100 for a call if the problem was not a manufacture's defect. You get a 10% discount on parts and service for non-covered items. About the only items not covered are flat tires, cosmetic defects, oil and blades.

      The plan is transferable if you sell the the mower and renewable after the three years.

      Under the standard warranty Sears will not give you parts unless a service tech comes out to your house, inspects the mower and determines the part is a manufactures defect, orders the parts, and installs them. I understand you will be charged about $79 an hour for the tech to install the part. Under the Protection plan all that is included, there are no extra charges.

      For your husband to get the parts he will have to order them through SearsPartsDirect, pay for the part and shipping, and then install it himself. He will not be reimbursed for the part under the standard warranty. Craftsman uses unique part numbers and 90% of the parts are NOT available from your local lawn mower shop.

      A new motor is about $1400 and a new transmission is about $900.

      I can say a lot more about the benefits, but you get the point.

      Since this is your first time $309 is a good investment to have the peace of mind for three years of worry free mowing.

  56. I bought the 28927 during the extra 10% sale and it will be delivered in a few weeks. I also tried to buy the Sears item #07133825000 Mfr. model #33058 mulching blades Paul suggested but not only did the salesperson not know about it, when she tried to pull it up on the computer it didn't recognize the number. I'll try again later.

    My question is, what is the overall length of the YT4000? I need to know if it will fit in my current shed that's 7' deep. Can't believe the manual doesn't give overall dimensions, but nooooo. Can anyone help? Thanks.

    • @Marc,

      Order the blades through this site and have them delivered to your home.

      The blades were shipped to the stores as a special purchase item with special packaging. Your store may not be big enough to get that item. Also, not all salespersons are created equal, some are much better selling tools or sporting goods than they are selling Lawn & Garden items.

      No the overall dimensions are not listed anywhere. I'll measure one the next time I stop into Sears, but I'll guess that it is about 63 inches. I know it will fit in your 7 foot shed.

      • @Marc,

        The YT 4000 is 67 inches. Add another 27 inches if you put a bagger on it. The YT 3000, YT 4000, and YT 4500 all have the same length.

        • Thanks Paul. By the way, I keep getting an "address not found" error on all the parts links on this site, such as the mulch kit and blades. I've tried different browsers and even turned off my firewall. Don't have a problem anywhere else. Any suggestions?

          • @Marc,

            The links are all working on Google and Firefox browsers for me. I have a feeling you have your cookie permissions set too strict.

            1. Change them, delete your web history and try again.

            2. If that doesn't work delete your cookie history, web history, and try again.

            3. When you mouse over one of those links you will see the actual domain you are going to at the bottom of your screen. Try typing that into your address bar and see if that works.

            4. Last resort (because I don't get commission when you do this,) go to Searspartsdirect.com and type in the part number.

            • I tried everything to get the links to work, even typing into the address bar but no luck. So, I ordered the blades & mulch kit direct (sorry!). Unbelievable that you cannot find the mulch plug on Sears.com (because it's an OEM part), and can't find the blades on partsdirect.com because it's an "accessory". So you must visit both sites. Then, they won't ship the bades to your house or a Sears store that's closer; you must go to the store that has them in stock. Of course they WILL ship the mulch plug directly to your house or store of your choosing. No wonder Sears is a basket case.

              But my question: Should the red paint be removed from the cutting edge before using? It's dull as can be, and I hope that's just the paint coating. Thanks Paul.

              • @Marc,

                Thanks for reminding me, I am going to put a general purpose link above the parts link in the right sidebar. Sears changes their site often enough that some links don't work after a few weeks.

                I see Sears trying very hard this year to be the best lawn & garden supplier. They are much better than MTD…………….. but they have a long, long way to go before they can claim "excellent" . They have a lot of divisions (Big market retail stores, medium market retail stores, Franchise stores, PartsDirect, ManageMyHome, Craftsman.com, CraftsmanClub, The Great Indoors, KMart, Sears Canada and others) and they are not all working in total harmony yet. I see them working progressively towards a common goal, but they still have quite a few bugs to work out.

                Mowing the lawn will remove the red paint quickly. That said, NONE of the blades that you buy from ANY of the OEMs (Original Equipment Manufactures) are really sharp. If you want the best cutting edge put the blade in a vise and sharpen them with a flat, fine, metal file. It only takes a few strokes of the file on each edge to get them in shape.

                Myself, I don't use a powered grinder to sharpen lawn mower blades. It's too easy to overheat the edge and lose the temper in the steel. I have always used a file to sharpen my blades and I think the edge stays much longer that way.

                While I'm on the subject of blades, if you live on sand and you have problems with wearing out the blades quickly there are two things for you to do that will make your blades last twice as long. First, raise your cutting height to 4 inches. Second reduce the angle of the sharpened edge from 30 degrees to 45 degrees. The "flatter" edge will wear longer and actually stay sharp longer.

  57. Great site with lots of info!!

    Have a couple questions as this will be my first lawn tractor.

    I have been looking and shopping around reading and reviewing the Cub Cadet $1499 mower 20Hp 42" deck, John Deere LA105, and the Craftsman YT 3000 21 HP 42" Yard Tractor. All of these I believe are the automatic transmission and have the deck size I need for the landscape I have. I have a lawn that is right around 1 acre with semi-flat and two smaller hills one next two a creek and one next to the road. I want to make sure I get the best mower for my home and want a mower that will last me as long as possible. Some mowers offer the spin on oil filter and a maintenance kit. In your opinion can you tell me all the pros and cons of the craftsman compared to the other two mowers. I am not looking really at the names of the mowers just the fact that I want a great mower for the amount of money I spend. Does the craftsman allow for mowing in reverse (not a lot just enough to get back to the next swipe? I know the cub cadet does, the john deere you have to push a button. Will I be able to pull a seeder, roller, arreator, thacther with no problems. Does the Craftsman come setup already to pull attachments or do you need to purchase an attachment. On my father in-laws mower the hydrostatic went out and would not run and made a bad grinding nosise (Craftsman old model)

    Sorry for all the questions but I want to be confiedent in my purchase and want to make sure I get the best for my money.

    Once again great site with lots of info.

    • @JW,

      The YT 3000 Model 28922 actually compares to the LA 125 Deere. The LA 125 retails for 1899.99 which puts it $500 dollars higher than the street price for the Craftsman ($1399). The LA 105 ($1499) is comparable to the LT 2000 Model 28910 ($1299). The standard warranty for both the Deere and the Craftsman are equal, but Sears offers an optional 3 yr protection plan for $309 that is much better than anything Deere has to offer. One specific item: The Craftsman uses the Briggs Platinum series engines which has an oil pump/oil filter just like your car engine. The Deere states it is full pressurized but it looks like the splash/pressurized system found on the older (and cheaper) Briggs Gold series motors. Everything else about the Deere including the Consumer Reports ratings are about equal. So in my opinion you would be paying $500 extra for green paint and getting less.

      The LTX 1040 Cub Cadet actually compares to the LT 2000 Model 28908 ($1199) The 19 hp Kohler motor is a good one, but the CVT transmission is not a hydro like the Deere and the Craftsman. It is also not a true CVT trans, it's just a slipper belt drive similar to a snowmobile trans. I would not trust the Cub Cadet to hold up pulling ANY kind of attachments. Specifically the lawn roller is very heavy and I think it would tear out the CVT trans easily. I have a feeling that to replace the CVT Belt is $200 dollars or more. I would not recommend the Cub Cadet period.

      Consumer Reports rates the cut for the three mowers about equal.

      The Model 28922 LT 3000 Craftsman is one of the best buys in mowers this year. The quality of cut, the value for the price, and the dependability just great.

      If you decide the Craftsman is for you I would appreciate it if you buy through this website. You can purchase it here and pick it up at your local Sears.

  58. I just purchased a yt3000 model 28924 with 46" deck during sears 10 percent off sale. After using it for a few weeks now I must say I'm very impressed with how well it cuts for a big mowing deck and the engine for being a big single is vey smooth and quiet compared to my old tractor. Love the hydrostatic tranny and my preference like the fender shift over the foot peddle. Over all I'm very pleased so far with this tractor. Considering after the 10 percent off plus craftsman club discount and 5 percent mail in rebate I paid before taxes about $1175 I thought what a great deal for a mower with all the features it had. I do have a question it came with a deck wash equiped deck. I heard pros and cons of using them and do they do a good job of cleaning out the deck, do they cause premature rust issues. Any thoughts on it. I like the forum alot of great info!

    • @Mark, Personally if I used the deck wash to keep the underside clean regularly I would do the following before I put it away for the winter each year.
      Take the deck off, turn it over and scrape off any remaining grass. Sand any surface rust with 100 grit sandpaper. I would then spray a coat of Rustoleum metal primer and enamel spray paint on the underside of the deck. It doesn't have to look good. You are just protecting the deck from rust.

      While you have the deck off you might as well sharpen the blades or put a new set on for next spring.

      If you do this you won't have any rust problems.

  59. Hi Paul:

    I bought the YT3000 that was on sale today for $1299.99. Sales guy told me that it would do well on hills. Is this true? There is one section of the hill that is over 35 degrees. The sales guys said it shouldn't be a problem if I just go up and down. Our yard is about 0.5 acres that is flat, some slope, trees, etc.. We've been using the self-propelled push mower but both mine and my husband's knees are giving out. We always wanted a tractor but wasn't sure if this will work for us. Let me know your thoughts. Wish I found this website before we bought but Sears has always been good to us.

    • @Sophie,

      My guess is the salesman talked you into the Model 28921 Six Speed. The manual states that you shouldn't use a rider on slopes over 15 degrees, but we all know we use riders on steeper hills than that.

      Hopefully you have a flat spot on the top and bottom of the hill so you don't have to turn ON the hill. Use it once or twice and see if it works for you.

      If you feel unsafe return it. Sears has a 90 day return policy. If the salesperson tries to make you pay a restocking fee because you used it get the store manager involved and let her know that you bought it based on the salesperson recommendation.

      If the model 28921 doesn't work for you I would suggest you try the 28910. It's a smaller, lighter lawn tractor and it may work better on that steep hill. The salesperson sold you the right mower based on the training he gets from Sears but I prefer the hydrostatic for rough, hilly ground. The hydro trans has plenty of pulling power to keep the same speed going up hill. Be aware that a hydro also acts like a brake when you slow down. You may find the rear wheels will slip if you slow down while going down a steep hill. With a little practice this will not be a problem for you.

      • It's the 28922 hydro that I bought. My bagger will be here on Tuesday. I can't wait to give it a try. I'll let you know how it works. Before we made a decision to buy this, I was looking at the John Deere LA135 as a comparison. But, we decided to not spend the money and gave Craftsman a try.

    • Hi Paul:

      We used the 28922 a couple of times on our yard (hilly and has lots of obstacles). My husband is ok with it but we got it just for me since he has to work all day and the only time he has to mow is on weekends. The yard is less than 0.5 acres and I can't push mow due to my knees being bad.

      I have done it a couple of times and don't feel safe doing it. We're thinking about returning it. We have trouble turning and it looks like the engine has to work really hard to get up the hills (hills are a little bit above 15 degrees) even though we set the speed at the highest level and the throttle at the fastest level. Is there something we're doing wrong?

      • @Sophie,

        If you are mowing on hills you should not be traveling faster than you were when you were using the push mower. (About 1.5 to 2 miles per hour) Slow the speed down to 1/3 or less of the travel of the speed control lever. I know the mower will go faster, but it is not safe to mow as fast as the mower will go on hills.

        Go even slower if you are uncomfortable mowing on the slopes.

        Take your time and slide yourself a little to the uphill side of the path you are mowing. (Before seat safety controls we used to sit way out on the fender to keep the mower from tipping over on the steep hills.)

        I'm not sure about the hard turning. Does the mower slip the front wheels in the turns or is the steering wheel hard to turn?

        At that speed the engine will have plenty of power to mow the hills.

  60. I just got an email from Sears this morning about "super Saturday sale" 20% off on all Craftsman lawn and garden and outdoor storage.

    my question is . since I bought mine 2 weeks ago(will be delivered next week 23) will I qualify for the 20% off ?or i have to cancel my order and reorder again to get the discount .

    • @MJA,

      Check the price you paid against the retail price. You may have gotten a better deal than the 20% off (i.e., 24%)

      For example, The Model 28922 retails for $1849.99. You paid $1399.99 for a savings of $450. Take the savings and divide it by the retail. ($450/$1849) Then multiply that amount by 100 to get the percent. (450/1849)x100= 24. The percentage discount is 24%.

      If you paid more than the 20% off just bring your sales receipt into your local Sears and ask for a "sales adjust" for the difference. Do not let them cancel your tractor and reorder because that will put you to the back of the list again!

      • :-) I just came back and guess what. they told me/wife the same exact thing.

        at least I tried + I feel better since it's out my system LOL

    • @MJA,
      When someone makes a 50 lb lithium battery that will power the equivalent of a 10 hp electric motor and the 42 inch laser cutting system for at least three hours for under $2500.00

      Better yet since the electrical generators that power your wall outlet are only 40% efficient …. lets power the laser mower with a hydrogen fuel cell and have it cost under $2000.00


  61. I am planning on buying the model 28922. The deck is 42" & my gate is 44" wide. I already know i have to pull up the side chute to have any chance to fit through my gate. How wide is cutting deck ? Is it 42" ?


    • @Jeff L,

      The 42 inch deck is 44 1/2 inches wide.
      The lip on the mower deck is about 1 1/4 inches wide.

  62. Paul,

    Thanks for the site. Very helpful. I followed your advice and bought the advanced mulching blade set for my new 28924 tractor -46 inch deck. However, I need to get the mulching cover. You identified the part as 198383 for the mulching cover. However, this part doesn't specify if it is for the 42 inch or 46 inch deck at the parts department. I just want to verify that this is the right part for the 46 inch deck before I complete the order. Thank you.

    • @Keith, I need to go to a Sears store and compare the two mulch covers to see if it is the same part. I won't get there until tommorrow afternoon

      • @ Keith,

        I found the part number for the 46 inch Mulcher Plate Assembly. It is Sears Part No. 532406581

        On this page in the far right hand column click on "SearsPartsDirect" picture in the Resources section. Once you get to the parts website type the model number into the part # box.

        Click and order the part.

        • Fantastic. Thanks so much. I am not sure why the Sears Parts Dept couldn't find it. I ordered my tractor, advanced blades, and the plug through your links. I hope that helps you out. Thanks again for your help!

          • @ Keith,

            Sears Parts does not have a good cross reference system. I wish you could look up parts by name.

            I knew where there was a mulch kit, so I just went and looked in the box for the individual part numbers.

            Your welcome.

  63. I bought the 28922 on Sunday and it will take 3 weeks for delivery, however if i order online right now i can get it a week sooner. any idea why?

    Also, the 46″ was the same price as the 42″. I went with the 42 cause i have a smaller yard. was that dumb?

    • @ Bryan,

      I don't know how Sears gets their mowers and the priority that is placed on orders, web orders, and normal stock at stores. I know the Sears where I shop was getting normal stock on tools into the store a week or so before the ordered items arrived for a while this spring.

      No, You didn't make a dumb decision. For example, I only have a 30 inch zero-turn mower for my yard. Anything bigger wouldn't fit well with the amount of landscaping I have.

      The whole point of this website is to help you pick the best mower for you.

  64. I will keep watching the Model# 28934 for the next 3 weeks before they deliver the 28922 one ,and if the price goes down I will buy it

    • @MJA Yes, Kohler is very competitive priced but it usually costs about $100 more a 20 horse model. With other brands like Cub Cadet you will notice say a 22 Briggs and a 20 hp Kohler for the same price.

  65. Great site Paul,

    I wanted the 28922 at $1299.99 + 10% off yesterday but now it is the same price as the 28924 at $1399.99. I ended getting the 28924.

    My question is do they make the Hard Bagger for 46" Deck? I found it here buy dont think they are selling it.


    Will the Hard Bagger for 42" fit on the 46"?

  66. Pat ,

    I been checking the 28922 for last few days I didn't see the price going down to $1299.store is same price too

    • @ Pat,

      Last week Sears had a "lowest price of the season" sale and the 28922 was $1299. Now it is $1399 and with that 10% discount made it still cheaper than it was a $1299. Sears moves sale prices around A LOT. Get used to having one thing on sale at one price one day and another the next. You just have to watch ..and wait……….. and jump on the price that fits you the best. (Hint: anything over 20% off retail is a great buy and happens only once or twice a year)

  67. you know . the only thing I didn't like about the Lawn Tractor is the is the engine cover/hood. it felt thin,light,and cheap

  68. Well, Yesterday before 6:00pm the 28922 was $1,299. When I went to buy online last night at 11:00pm because of the 10% off, the price went up to $1,399, same price as the 28924. I called sears and they said that their site crashed and the problem should be fixed soon. Sears said that they will most likely extend the 10% off for today because of site problems. Went to the site, 5/4 11:00pm and the price on the 28922 is still $1,399 and the discount is no longer offered. Is this ususal for sears?

    • @Pat, The first time Sears really advertised the online specials for Friends & Family two years ago the site crashed after 6 minutes. They are trying to handle the extreme amount of visitors (probably millions) and I expect an extension on the sale. Keep watching it, and see what happens.

  69. Thank you so much for the help.I bought the Model# 28922 + the Bushel 2Bin Soft Bagger + the 10% off(3weeks for delivery) .The only thing I'm worried about is the warranty.I hope I will never use it ,but you never know

    • @MJA,

      Thanks for the compliment. I am very pleased at how well this site is helping everyone this year. I know a lot about the details of living with a Craftsman product so I'm glad to help all of you out.

      The 28922 is turning out to be a very popular mower this year. I was talking to the Sears Associates I know and they were commenting that about 7:30 pm last night the lead time on the 28922 went from 2 days to three weeks. I have a feeling they have to wait for the factory in South Carolina to make more :)

      The factory warranty is good and the optional Protection Plan is the best in the industry. I'll write an article in the next few days explaining how to get the most out of both.

    • @jim,
      I can't find a link to the 2008 model 28833 on the Sears site so they should be out of them. But I think it was a 42 inch hydro, fender control. The replacement model for 2009 is the 28934.

      The 28921 is a six speed manual.
      The 28922 is a Briggs 42 inch, Fender Control Hydro. It compares in size and HP to last year's 28833.

  70. I am looking at the same 42 and 46 inch Sears models.

    You answered to @Marc that the side deflector on the 46 inch model is 8inch longer than on the 42inch model.

    As I plan to only mulch, can I just remove the side deflector?

  71. Thanks Paul; I'm a size 10 so pedal it is. Funny that the Sears website specs specifically mention cruise control on the YT3000 but make no mention on the YT4000.

    • @Marc,
      Yes, I think sometimes the people inputting the data for the Sears website do not have a clue what they are typing. The first tractor catalog this year had a lot of mistakes too.

  72. Paul-

    I went to the website to order my YT3000 model 28922 mower. When I go there, I let my eyes get big and saw that for another $100, I could get the YT3000 model 28934, which has the foot pedal accelerator (this was the reason I changed my mind) and it also has the 22 HP Kohler engine.

    Please tell me this was an OK decision!

    • @adamshousecat,

      I like the Kohler. Even though the Briggs motor is a good motor, I would buy the Kohler myself. You made a great decision.

  73. Which is better deal? 2008 YS4500 Model 28822 for $1349 or 2009 YT3000 model for $1399?

    I am waiting for 6:00 PM, but on the Sears website today they have the 2008 20HP Model 28822 for $1349, and the 2009 21HP model 28922 for $1399

    Is the 2008 model a true hydrostatic as is the 2009 model?

    Otherwise, the difference of significance to me is that the 2008 model is operated by a foot pedal rather than a lever.

    The 1hp difference makes no difference to me.

    Do you have a strong preference here?

    • @adamshousecat,

      The 28922 and the 28922 are the same mower EXCEPT the 28922 has a redesigned deck and 1 hp more. After Consumer Reports rated the 2008 46 inch deck a "best buy" Sears went through and redesigned the 42 inch deck for 2009 to match the qualities of the 46.

      I would buy the 28922 for that reason over the 28822.

      Read my reply to Marc about pedal verses fender control.

  74. I'm planning on buying the YT4000 28926 or 28927 during the extra 10% off sale, but I have a couple of questions: Is the pedal trans comfortable? It doesn't look like your heel can rest on the floor like driving a car. Would you recommend the fender or pedal trans? And why is cruise control not available on the YT 4000 yet is standard on the YT3000? Thanks much.

    • @Marc
      All of the pedal trans control mowers have cruise control including the 28927 and 28928. With the fender controlled mowers like the 28926 the handle stays where you put it so they don't need the cruise control.
      If you have a size seven shoe or larger you will have no problem using the pedal control and resting your heel on the floor.

      I would recommend the pedal control to most people because:

      It is drives a lot like your car.
      The pedal goes to neutral when you take your foot off of it. This is good if you have inexperienced operators. If they get in trouble all you have to do is teach them to take their foot off the pedal and the mower will stop moving.
      With the fender control you will be steering with one hand and controlling your speed with the other. For the less coordinated ……….. this may be harder to use than using your foot to control the speed.
      You may not want the pedal control if your feet cramp up easily from having them in one place, if you have limited leg movement like bad knees or your are under 4 feet 8 inches tall or over 6 foot 4 inches.
      Some other brands of mowers have really WEIRD foot controls. The pedals are to big, too small, too high etc. The pedal ergonomics on the Craftsman is good to excellent. The pedal is the right size for most people, the reverse is the right size, the placement on the floorboard, and the pedal movement is about right.

  75. Besides mowing, I would like to be able to use my new lawn tractor to plow up a new garden spot. What are my options?

    • You need a Garden Tractor. Excellerator GT5000 Model 28947, GT5000 Model 28945, and the PTY9000 Model 28973 are all good choices. The Excellerator Garden Tractor is a great choice because it will pull any and all ground engaging attachments and it will go 8 mph when just running around your property. If I were hauling firewood from the back forty this tractor would be my choice. The 28945 is a manual trans. The 28973 has 28 hp, a heavier deck and comes with the trick bumper.

  76. Hi Paul,

    Thanks for the great site. I know sears is a having a 10% off sale tomorrow, $1299 for 28922, $1399 for 28924, which is

    a better buy here? I know you recommended 28924 when the two at the same price, but now for $100 less, would 28922 be a better buy here since the only difference is deck size?


    • @Ricci,

      The real difference for you then is the deck size. Many people buy the 42 inch deck because it will fit in a pickup. With the 46 inch you will have to use a trailer to transport it. If you have to mow an acre of lawn the 46 will mow it only 6 minutes faster than a 42 inch. If you have a lot of landscaping though the 42 inch is a better choice. The deck is 4 inches smaller but the discharge deflector is 8 inches shorter on the 42 inch so you can get through tight areas easier. Don't worry about the price as much as what the mower can do for you.

  77. Hi Paul

    Concerning the extra 10% off on Sun.May 3rd is that on top of the sale they are running today #28922 for 1299.99?

    • @ Brian,

      Yes, In addition if you order through the link on this site You get the following Online Only: Save an EXTRA $15-$25 off Lawn & Garden orders over $150 5/3-5/7

  78. I am looking at buying the Model 28921. How does that compare to the 28934? Is it simply the difference in motors (Chevy vs. Ford) as you mentioned above? Also the sales rep told me the 6 speed transmission would be better than the hydo for my hilly back yard? Great website, glad I found it prior to my purchase.

    • @Casey,

      The training Sears Associates get teaches them that 6 speeds are better than hydro's for hills. The training also teaches them that a front-drive mower is best for lawns with lots of trimming:) In my opinion both of these statements are urban legend …………. they may have been true at one time, but today both the 6 speed and the front drive mower are just plain obsolete.

      The Hydro gives you much more control of your speed. The hydro is much easier to use when trimming and working around flower beds and other obstructions. The hydro is much easier to use when using a snow blade. The hydro may slow down a little going up a hill. but it will not speed up going down like the 6 speed.

      Yes, I like Kohler, but the Briggs Platinum is just as good a motor. Both have an full pressure lubrication (an oil pump just like your car)

      You are welcome to purchase your mower through one of the links on my site. You can then pick it up at your local store. (Yes, I make a small commission if you buy through this site)

  79. I just bought the #28924 mower from the local Sears retail store. It's an independent "Hometown Dealer". Now I see here they are going to offer 10% off this item Sunday, May 3. Does thier 30 day price guarantee apply to my purchase, and how do I recieve it? Also, I remembered I have a Craftsman Club card after I read your post. Would that discount be applied retroactively if I present it then?

    • @ Don G.

      Call them and ask if they will do a sales adjust Sunday night on the mower you just purchased. Note: Some franchise stores are not open on Sunday so they honor the Friends & Family pricing Monday. Ask them what the price difference will be.

      The store may tell you they will have to do a "re-ring." They will "return" the mower and then resell it to you during the special promotion times. This is a common transaction to allow you to get the best price. You don't have to bring the mower with you, just your receipt.

      If they don't want to do a price adjust, return the mower BEFORE Sunday. If you haven't picked up the mower yet, just cancel the sale. Do not let them charge you a "restocking fee" The current Sears policy is to not charge the restocking fee.

      Then order the mower through this site Sunday afternoon and pick it up at your local Sears.

      This type of transaction is done all the time to "get around" some of the rules for these special events. You are not doing anything unethical or against Sears policies. It is common at all the Sears stores.

  80. Thanks for getting back to me and I am going to go with the Craftsman 28934. Can you please tell me the part numbers I need for the mulching plug and mulching blades for that model? Thanks again

  81. Is there a benefit or advantage between the Hydrostatic Trans vs. Manual? Does one last longer than the other? Is the type of lawn/terrain a factor? If you use options (snow blade, bagger, etc.), does the transmission matter?

    It's the same price either way, or close enough anyway. Why pick Manual over Hydro? Or Hydro over Manual?



  82. I am looking at buying a craftsman mower but am having a hard time trying to figure out what the differance is between the 28924 model and the 28934 model??? Obviously the horse power and deck size is the slightly differant, but is there any thing else and which one would you prefer? Plus, i heard that Craftsman are "cheap" mowers and break down alot…. Is that true?

    • @Darb,

      The 28924 has a 46 inch deck and 21 hp Briggs motor. The 28934 has a 42 inch deck and a 22 hp Kohler motor. That is the difference. This is just my personal preference …. I like Kohler motors and will always pick a Kohler over a Briggs. Why, First it's Ford verses Chevy thing and second I had really good luck with Kohler's when I owned the lawn service.

      In the May 2009 Consumer Reports they rate Cub Cadet, Yard Machines, Yard Man, Simplicity and Troy-Bilt as less reliable than Craftsman. I also think you pay an extra $400 to $800 for "green" paint. That said, I know hundreds of Craftsman Mowers that go 10, 15 and 20 years before they have to be replaced.

      If properly maintained a Craftsman mower will not "break down" any more than a John Deere, Cub Cadet, Husqvarna or any other brand.

  83. Great info here!

    I just ordered the #28922 and was wondering since the blades are already 3-in-1 can I just buy the mulch plug? And is this the correct part# 198383?



  84. I am very interested in the YT3000 #28924. The brochure lists the service minder as an optional item. Is this something I can purchase online and add myself? Do you have a part # for this? Also, are the YT series tractors manufactured by Husqvarna for Sears?

    • @ Bruce,

      I think the 28924 has the best cutting deck on the market for 2009. Come back here Sunday afternoon May 3rd, click on the order link, and you will get 10% off the normal sale price. If you are a Craftsman Club Member you can get another 20-50 dollars off. Sears is having another Friends & Family event along with a Craftsman Club sale that day.

      To get a service minder click on the "Craftsman Parts" on the right side of this page. When you get to SearsPartsDirect type in 401763 in the "Search by Part Number" box. The service minder will pop up. You can then order it from there. SearsParts does charge shipping and tax.

      Your wiring harness is pre-wired for the service minder. You just have to find the plug and plug it in.

      All of the 2009 Craftsman YT, LT, and GT series mowers are made by Husqvarna. The zero-turns, the Revolution, and the Rear Engine Rider are NOT made by Husqvarna.

      • Thanks for sharing the information about the service minder. Am I understanding you correctly that the plug is just hidden/hanging somewhere behind the gas tank on Model 28922?

        Thanks for your help.

  85. I just ordered the YT 3000, Model #28922. I have also ordered the Mulching blades you have suggested on here for the 42" deck. Is it necessary to have the plug too, if you are not bagging? And, do you know if it is difficult to install these blades or not?


    • @ volsfan1

      The plug will help the blades chew the grass up into finer particles. You don't have to have it, but it will make everything work better.

      The blades only have one bolt. Raise the front of your mower safely and they are easy to change.

  86. Does the #28924 mower really have a hydrostatic transmission? The manual calls it an Automatic transmission. What is the difference between a hydrostatic transmission, an automatic transmission and what Sears calls its "Premium Hydrostatic Automatic Transmission"? There is a fender speed control and the owner's manual exploded view shows pulleys and a belt running from the engine pulley to a pulley on top of the transaxle. The manual states the transaxle pump is factory sealed and must be serviced by Sears if it ever needs maintenance or leaks.

  87. @ chrisincanada,

    Sears.com has a gauge wheel kit for the 42 inch decks made by Husqvarna The part number for the kit is. Item# 07124292000 Model# 24292. Do a search on Sears.com for 07124292000 and you can look at it.


  88. One other question,

    I have the 42″ deck. I am ordering a 2 bin hard bagger for it.
    I went to the store to buy 2 new blades and I want the high lift blades since I am adding a bagger.
    The stores only carry 38″ high lift blades or 42″ mulching blades.
    Does anyone know the part number for the 42″ high lift blade?


  89. I have a YT3000, mod# 944.605941 ser# 040105C001339. Love this tractor except for one thing. My deck only has 2 guide wheels, near the rear of the deck. On a slight hill I get a little scalping. The deck really needs to have 2 sets of guide wheels. I know when I purchased this 4 years ago, the next model up had 4 guide wheels and a fancy seat.
    I have spent hours on the net and phone trying to find out the part number for front wheel and mounting hardware.
    Just getting the run around. No one know what I am talking about.

    Regards from Canada.

  90. Thanks Paul for your advise.

    I spent the better part of one hour trying to find these parts available for sale in Canada to no avail.

    Sure is hard to source parts up here sometimes.

    Ironically my machine is made in Kitchener Ontario Canada.


  91. @ Trudy,

    Sears does not recommend using the YT 3000 with ground engaging equipment. That said, It will pull your aerator just fine.

    If you do a lot of tilling I would suggest a GT 5000 Garden Tractor. It has the heavy duty transmission that will handle any ground engaging equipment like tillers, plows, and scoops.

    I know it is a lot more money.

    You may still find a 2008 Model DGS 6500 Garden Tractor available. I know my Sears in EauClaire, WI still has 2 left. You can get one of those for $2100 – $2400.

  92. @Don, The transmission is a fluid drive.

    I prefer the hydrostatic for rough, hilly ground. The trans has plenty of pulling power to keep the same speed going up hill.

    Be aware that a hydro also acts like a brake when you slow down. You may find the rear wheels will slip if you slow down while going down a steep hill. With a little practice this will not be a problem for you.

  93. I have a Craftsman Rear mount Tiller and a plug aerator. The Transmission in my Craftsman Lawn Tractor that I purchesed in 1995 has gone out. I have a .38 ac. in grass and a garden. Will the Craftsman YT 3000 22hp/2 yard tractor handle these attatchments or what would you recomend.

  94. Is the hydrostatic transmission a fluid drive or a belt/pully type? How would you rate it’s preformance on rolllig rough ground?

  95. @Studers,

    Thanks, A lot of owners who have hills install wheel weights to help increase the traction. Click on the link in the "order here" section above and do a search for Craftsman 30 lb. Wheel Weights. The 30 pounders fit the YT3000 tractors. The larger weights fit the garden tractors

  96. i like this tractor with one acseption i own a buissnes in west virginia an if you get started up little hill side ways it wants to slide back down the hill, the other thing is that it has way to much horce power with the blades off

  97. @ Josh

    Oops, my mistake. The 28924 46 inch has 2 blades. The 46 inch 2 blade happens to be a great bagging deck.

    Hi-lift blades are designed to lift the grass well and cut it. They also work well for bagging. They are not the best blade for mulching.

    Three-in-one blades are designed for mulching, bagging, and side discharge. The 3-in-1 blades are primarily found on the walk behinds. The mulching blades that come in the mulch kit are similar to the 3-in-1. The 3-in-1 blades work the best on healthy lawns. If you have weak, limp grass that doesn't stand up well these blades are not the best choice.

    Craftsman has a new optional blade this year for the 42 and 46 inch decks. I found them in a display at my Sears store. If you go into a Sears store to buy them bring the item # with you because the sales associates may not know about these blades.

    Craftsman 42 in. Advanced Mulching and Bagging Blade Set

    Sears item #07133825000 Mfr. model #33058

    Craftsman 46 in. Advanced Mulching and Bagging Blade Set

    Sears item #07133826000 Mfr. model #33826

    These new "advanced" blades are a copy of the "Shredder" blades that have been around for the last 20 years. The original manufacture of these blades called them "Gator" blades.

    THEY ARE THE BEST BLADES ON THE MARKET FOR MULCHING!!!!! I have the gator blade on my 30 inch Dixon and 21 inch Craftsman and they make grass clippings disappear. I have over 40 hardwood trees in my yard and I don't even think of raking or bagging leaves because the Gator blades shred the leaves into 1/8 inch bits.

  98. You wrote… "Model 28924 46 inch 3 blade mower deck"

    We are looking at this mower online and it seems to only have 2? (2 Hi-lift)Did I read it wrong?

    Also, I'm trying to figure out what the difference is between "2 Hi-Lift" and "2 Three-in-One" Blades. Do you know??

  99. @ Mike,

    I don't know why Sears would charge the same price for the two models, but they are the same exact machine except for the decks.

    People like the 42 inch because it will fit in the back of a pickup. The 46 inch won't fit between the wheel wells.

    The blades are the same design and Sears makes standard, high lift, and mulching blades for both, but I think the 46 inch will give you little more "throw" for bagging. The 46 is the same deck Consumer Reports gave a "best cut" in 2008

  100. thanks for the info – do you know why the 46" model is the same proce as the 42" model (why by the 42"?) and what is the difference in blade types between the models?