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2010 Craftsman YT3000 42 inch 21 hp Model 28921 Review

This review covers the YT 3000 with a single cylinder, 42 inch deck, and manual transmission.  If you want a larger deck, hydro, or plan to install a snow thrower look at the other models.

Half of you who buy a Craftsman tractor this year will buy a YT 3000 or YT 4000.  The leading consumer magazine and I have rated these mowers as a “Best Buy” and I will again this year rate all of them except this one as the “best mower for about $1500.”

Specs:

Read My Review Below These Specs:

Brand: Craftsman
Series: YT 3000
Model: 28921
Ca Model: none
Engine HP: 21
Engine Brand: Briggs & Stratton Platinum

Cylinders: One

Transmission: 6 Speed Gear
Transmission Control: Fender Controls
Mower Width: 42 inch
Blades: 2
Cutting Positions:  6
Gauge Wheels: 4
Washout port: Included
Blade Engagement: Manual
Turning Radius: 16 inches
Front Axle: Cast Iron – Grease-able
Rear Tires:  18 x 9.5
Seat: High-back
Slide Seat Adjust:  Easy Adjust Lever
Service Minder: None

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:

I am not going to recommend the 28921 this year.  While it is a good mower and has a good reputation there have been to many complaints about the clutch.  The clutch is too touchy and I have more customers complain about the jerkiness than anything else.  For 100 dollars more move up to the 28922 with the hydro transmission and 42 inch deck.

If you talk to a Sears Service Tech they feel the hydro is more reliable.  They have fewer repairs with the hydro models.

I know, Craftsman recommends the manual transmission for hilly terrain, but if you learn to use a hydro correctly you will never have a problem.

“The problem here is when you are on a steep hill (too steep for recommended use) and you start to slide.  Sometimes you can also get into this predicament if the grass is really wet or bone dry (drought.)  On a steep hill with a gear drive and the tractor starts to slip, stepping on the clutch/brake releases the transmission and the mower will coast to the bottom of the hill.  If you use the brake carefully you can usually get the mower to stop without the rear wheels locking up and sliding down the hill.  It can be a wild ride but usually controllable if you are lucky enough.

With a hydro in the same situation when you release the clutch/brake the transmission doesn’t  “freewheel” like most of the gear drive transmissions do.  The transmission acts like you set the brake and if you start to slip down the hill the rear wheels slide. (Just like locking your car wheels on ice)  This ride is not controllable and usually ends in a lot of cussing when you slide into your retention pond or fence at the bottom of the hill. “

Simply stated:  If you are worried about the hill being to steep for a hydro ….. it probably is and you should either walk it with a push mower or get more experience before you try to mow it with a rider.

Don’t get me wrong, 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.  It is just the gear drive 28921 that I am not recommending.

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

Final Thoughts:

Consumer Reports gave the 2010 46 inch model 28924 a best buy and Sears has designed this deck to mow as well.   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. At around $1400 on sale it is a very good value.

Ask a question, leave a comment, tell us about your mower below:

 

Comments(3)
  1. Kurt June 1, 2010
  2. Kurt May 31, 2010
  3. Paul May 31, 2010

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