2010 Craftsman YT4500 54 inch 26 hp Model 28990 Review

This model has been replaced with the YT 4500 Model 28858. Go Here to read my review. 

The YT 4500 is one of the best values for a large area residential mower.  It has a big 26 hp Kohler Motor and 54 inch deck.  This Yard Tractor is designed to mow 2 to 5 acres quickly and efficiently.  It will pull all of the non-ground engaging attachments Sears offers.

This review covers the YT 4500 with a twin cylinder Kohler motor, 54 inch deck, and foot control hydro.  It will handle a snow thrower.  If you want a smaller deck or plan to pull a tiller or plow look at the different models.

Listed on Sears.com as: Craftsman YT 4500 26 hp 54 inch Yard Tractor

Sears Item 07128990000

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Model 28990

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Read My Review Below These Specs:

Brand: Craftsman
Series: YT 4500
Model: 28990
Ca Model: 28991
Engine HP: 26
Engine Brand: Kohler Courage

Cylinders: Two

Transmission: Hydrostatic
Transmission Control: Foot Control with Cruise
Mower Width: 54 inch
Blades: 3
Cutting Positions:  6
Gauge Wheels: 5
Washout port: Included
Blade Engagement: Electric
Turning Radius: 16 inches
Front Axle: Cast Iron – Grease-able
Rear Tires:  20 x 10
Seat: High-back
Slide Seat Adjust:  Easy Adjust Lever
Service Minder: Hourmeter

Warranty: 2 year manufacture defects, 5 year frame and axle.  Optional 3 year Protection Plan that includes labor, trip charges and wear and tear.  (See Sears.com for details)

My Review:

For about 2000 dollars on sale this is a very good value if you need to mow large areas.  This model features the new Craftsman style step through operator’s platform, pressurized lube engine with oil filter, and a 54 inch 3 blade deck.

The 28990 has the foot control hydro.  It is very easy to drive and has a “cruise control” for mowing the large open areas.

If you want a mower that will mow 2 to 5 acres well, handle a snow blade, snow thrower, 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 only two mowers in the Craftsman lineup that will mow faster or pull more. This is a great all around mowing machine.

I like the YT 4500 series.  I think it represents a good value and a machine that if taken care of properly will last you a long time.


The YT 4500 is good mower, but there are two items you need to be aware of.

First with this large of deck you will not get the consistent, even cut you get with say a 42 inch 28922.  If your lawn is rough and uneven you will have some scalping and areas where the deck mows unevenly compared to a smaller mower.  The deck has 5 anti-scalp wheels (gauge wheels) and rounded edges so the unevenness is minimum compared to other mower brands.  Just be aware of the difference if you are moving up from a smaller mower.  If you want a more even and consistent cut and still mow large areas look at the Model 28875 Professional Zero-turn.

Second, you can buy a mulch kit for this deck but be aware of the negatives of using a mulch plug on this large of a deck.  The problem is called “Blow-By.”  To understand the negatives I will explain a little about deck design first.

Most of these large decks are built in a triangle.  The middle blade is in front of the other two.  This allows the blades to “overlap” so you never leave a stripe when turning or backing up.  This design also has smooth edges under the deck designed to get the grass out from under it quickly and spread the grass evenly when discharged.  In addition this Craftsman deck has “vented spindles” that allow a lot of air into the deck.  All that air helps the blades lift the grass and cut it evenly and then helps the blades quickly throw the grass out the discharge.

The problem occurs when you plug the discharge with a mulch plug.  All that air has to go somewhere and it ends up blowing down and out the underside of the mower deck.  Most of the time when you are mulching good green grass everything works fine and you don’t notice this blow-by.  It’s when you try to mulch dry, poor grass that this blow-by blows grass everywhere.  It blows it mainly out the right front of the mower.  Wind, mowing speed, etc., causes all this grass to go everywhere.  On top of the deck, on top of the tractor, and all over you!  The only way you can fix this is to remove the mulch plug when you are mowing in dry, dusty conditions.

Yes, all of these large decks will do this, it doesn’t matter if it is a Craftsman or any other brand.  Be aware before you purchase one of these large deck machines of blow-by and be ready to live with taking a shower after you mow.

Final Thoughts:

I like this mower and I feel it is one of the best values available for a large deck residential mower.  There are very few negatives with this mower as long as you understand that it is a good quality Yard Tractor designed to mow large lawns well.  I like this lawn mower for what it is designed for. At around $2000 on sale it is a very good value.

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Needed Accessories:

Hauling Equipment: Yes
Lawn Care Attach: Yes

I will add more accessories in a few weeks.

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