30 HP Craftsman Garden Tractor. For Real?

Yes, the rumors are true. Sears has come out with a 30 HP Garden Tractor.

This tractor is being reintroduced as the 2012 CTX 9500 54 in 30 hp.  Feel free to read this review and then go to my 2012 review to see the latest rendition of this great tractor! 2012 Craftsman CTX9500 54 in 30 hp Premium Tractor Review

Craftsman Professional Premium 30 hp 54” Garden Tractor  NEW Item !| | — Online only | Sears Item# 07128985000 | Model# 28985

NOTE: I have added a list of the accessories at the end of this article including the snow thrower, blade and bagger.

WHY? Manufactures want you to think sit-down zero-turns are all the rage.  All the manufactures want you to buy one.  But for the majority of homeowners they are not the correct mower.  They don’t work well on hills.  You lose traction easily and get stuck a lot.  You can’t pull much with them.  (let alone back a trailer up with one)  They are hard to drive and take a lot of practice before you can mow your yard without leaving a hundred divots.  Striping kits cost more than most lawn tractors………..I could go on and on.  People want a good mower that will mow as quickly as a zero-turn but work under all conditions.  They want safe, strong, dependable.

Here’s the good news: Yes, Sears has introduced the Craftsman Professional Premium 30 hp 54” Garden Tractor.  It is a real Garden Tractor (not a lawn tractor with big tires) priced at thousands less than any other one out on the market.  Not only is this garden tractor reasonably priced, it will mow on hills!  The automatic traction control and power steering will be a time-saver for all of you who had problems mowing your hilly yard in the past!

The bad news: You probably won’t get to see one before you buy it. (Only 50 stores nationwide will have it on display)  When you order it on-line it will take about 5 days to get it from the warehouse to your store.

Click here to order your new Craftsman: Sears.com Buy it on-line, pick up at your nearest Sears or have it delivered to your home!

30 HP 54 inch Craftsman Garden Tractor GT9500

Product Highlights:

The Craftsman Professional Garden Tractor features the very best that Craftsman has to offer.   Power steering, tilt wheel, cruise control and hydrostatic transmission to make quick work of your mowing needs. It will get up and mow at 7 MPH!  The hydraulic lift lever, 24″ rear tires and premium transmission with differential lock make this tractor perfect for all your yard and garden duties.

Product Details:

Engine: Briggs & Stratton 30 Gross HP Professional Series™ OHV engine* The 30 HP Briggs & Stratton Professional Series engine™ with Electronic Fuel Management delivers consistent automotive style starting with no choking required.

Deck: 54″ heavy duty steel deck with 3 blades and 4 anti -scalping wheels.  It has a large 54″ heavy duty steel cutting deck with electric push button height control – select from an infinite cutting height 1″ -3.75″

Frame & Chassis:

10-Gauge Steel Frame
Pivoting Cast Iron Front Axle
Rear Axle Diameter (inches) 1.0
Turning Radius (inches) 18
Front Turf Tires 16 x 6.5-8
Rear Turf Tires 24.00 x 12-12
Hydraulic Attachment Lift
18″ Adjustable Seat, Tilt Steering Wheel,
Electric dashboard display: fuel and battery levels, hour meter change oil and low oil pressure indicator and a clock.
Electric PTO engagement

Transmission and Drive Controls:

Foot controlled hydrostatic transmission with rear wheel differential lock
Dual speed control – use either the foot or fender mounted controls to select your forward speed.
Advanced traction control – power is continuously supplied to both wheels
Power steering and cruise control

Other Features:

Padded adjustable steering wheel and adjustable seat.
DC outlet and cup holder

*all power levels stated gross HP per SAE J1940 by Briggs & Stratton

Weight: 916 lbs.
Color: Black/Gold
Some Assembly Required (Seat)

Finally…a transmission with an oil filter!  This is a “serviceable” transmission.  It is designed to have regular oil and filter changes.

Tuff Torq K71 Transmission.

TRANSMISSION (from Tuff Torq)
Type Tuff Torq® K71 Hydro
Speed – Fwd (mph) 0 – 7.2
Speed – Rev (mph) 0 – 4.5

For the guys over on mytractorforum:  The filter is not a spin-on.  You can climb all over it and never “see” the filter.  If you look at the picture, look at the trans right above the deck.  See the black circle?  The filter is in there.

Tuff Torq K71 Trans

From allbusiness.com “The model K71 narrow drive transaxle is designed for medium-duty garden tractor applications and is available with an axle torque rating of 406 lb.ft. The pump and motor each have a displacement of 18 cc and the transaxle input shaft has a maximum input speed of 3400 rpm. The input shaft is 0.58 in. in diameter, while the axle shaft is 1.0 in. in diameter. The reduction ratio is 26.673:1 with a maximum tire diameter of 23 in. The K71 has a maximum static weight capacity of 728 lb. and a dry weight of 60.5 lb.”  (Medium-duty is only a rating for this size Garden Tractor Transmission.  Light duty transmissions are what you will find in Lawn and Yard Tractors.  Heavy-Duty is what you will find in sub-compact tractors.)

They do build them better than they used to!

Last but not least. This tractor is not made by MTD or AYP.  It is from a well known and dependable manufacture that has been making medium and heavy-duty garden tractors for years. It is not a recycled Cub Cadet or Poulan Pro.

This garden tractor is strong enough to pull my 450 lb Acrease Wing mower or till your garden for years without worrying about tearing out the transmission or breaking the frame.

My Recommendation.  Is this Craftsman Garden Tractor for you?

I have driven this chassis (with a Kohler motor) and mowed with this deck.  You will not find a better mowing deck.  (sorry John Deere fans) The frame is strong and rigid. The deck is easily serviceable and comes off and goes on the mower in a flash.  It cuts evenly and distributes the clippings really well.  The power steering with tilt makes it a dream to drive.  With it’s combination foot/fender controls you can have your cake and eat it too!   It is a lot easier and comfortable to drive than a zero-turn.  There is NO learning curve with this mower.

You will make every neighbor with a consumer grade zero-turn, lawn tractor, or yard tractor in your sub-division jealous!

There is maintenance required with this unit!  It is designed for long life and heavy-duty use.  Being built much heavier and stronger than your usual Craftsman’s you will have to learn how to service this unit at regular intervals.  (Or have Sears service it for you)  This is a much higher quality tractor than you are used to.  It will last a long, long, time but to get this long life there is service required.  Besides changing the engine oil, you will have to grease the deck and  front axle, change the oil and filter in the transmission and a few other tasks that the cheaper models don’t require.

I personally would have no problem buying this Craftsman Garden Tractor sight-unseen. If you want one, but are unsure….Sears has a 30 day return policy on gas powered equipment.  Buy it, use it, if you don’t like it return it within 30 days for a full refund.

Click here to orderSears.com Buy it on-line, pick up at your nearest Sears or have it delivered to your home!


Please give your city and state when you comment

  1. hi paul, i have the craftsman pgt 9500 with the k71 trans this is made by tuff torx and they recommend 5 w 50 full synthetic oil when changing.i changed mine and both filters at 50 hours,there is an internal filter that tuff torx sells and a spin on filter that is easily crossed,i had no problem draining out nearly 5 qts of oil and refilling.also i ran the tractor on jack stands to lessen the stress on trans and pre filled the spin on filter to lessen the air in the system.

  2. The manual I found online showed two drain plugs under the K71 trans, and two fill areas, one under the seat and one behind the rear left wheel. It said to put 2 quarts in each location (total 4), but when I drained both plugs only 1.5 quarts total came out. When I filled the gear case behind the rear wheel, it overspilled after 0.5 quarts. Have you changed one of these before, am I missing something? Thanks.

    • @Victor, Here is a picture of your fill holes and levels https://www.tufftorqservices.com/EnvEEdefault/FlatHTML/TechInfo/ttcoil/pdfs/Adding%20Oil%20to%20Model%20K71%20Transmissions.pdf

      By the way, what oil does the maual recommend? The info I read says the trans uses 4.6 liters, not quarts and you should use a full synthetic 10W30 (I prefer Mobil One) oil.

      By the way check the trans serial number. Your’s should be a 71E which takes motor oil NOT hydraulic fluid.

      I don’t know what manual you found online. Your tractor manual does not have anything about changing oil in the transmission.

      I don’t recommend changing the oil unless: (I know the guys over on the forums think you have to mess with your tractor constantly to make it last..I mean change the trans oil)
      1. You check the trans fluid and it smells burnt.
      2. You have a seal or plug leak that leaks more than 1/4 cup of fluid.

      The K71 is tough and will last you a long time if you don’t mess with it. Keep the outside clean and leave the trans sealed up. If it starts to give you issues 10 years in ten years or so just put in a new piston and pump then.

      • 4.8 quarts = about 4.6 liters so we do have the same measure of how much it should hold total. The measure of how much to “refill” said 2 quarts in each hole, or 4 total, assuming not all 4.8 would drain out because of oil in the lines and other places. The steps I found were located in the Simplicity Prestige manual which is the same tractor and transmission. It said to change the trans oil with 5w30 synthetic in the first 50 hours and then every 200 hours. I’m at 75 hours now for my first change and the oil looked new, but I wanted to get out any possible initial metal shavings. I don’t know why only 1.75 quarts drained out, and about that much went back in, mostly through the top port, not half and half like the manual said. This isn’t the first time the Symplicity manual wasn’t entirely accurate. Thanks for your input. I’m still happy with the tractor. Oh, and one more thing, the directions say to remove the rear left wheel to get to the fill port easier but I found an easier way, I got some tube from the hardware store with a 90 degree pvc on the end, and attached the tube to a funnel. The tube went behind the wheel and sideways through the access hole in the frame, then the 90 degree elbow turned down into the fill hole and held it in place. Just put a drain pan underneath when you fill because you have to fill the bottom port until it spills out to know that it’s full. The top tank is left mostly empty, for oil expansion when it heats up.

  3. Hi , I recently moved to North Carolina and bought a house with a little over 2 acres, mostly grass, but hopefully lots of trees and a big garden come this spring. I found 2 Craftsman Professionals models on sale at the Sears outlet store. The PGT 9000 and the 9500. Both sound like good choices, but I prefer longevity to cost. On the other hand things are a little tight and the extra money needs to make sense if I am going to convince my wife to allow me to spend more. It is off season, so time to purchase is not a big deal, but they are also cheaper at this time of the year.
    I forsee attachments in the future and plan to keep close to 2 acres of grass.
    Which of these 2 rigs are best suited for me?

    Thanks David

    • @Dr Karns, I’d pick the 9500. Why? The PGT 9000 is discontinued and won’t be back. So, any frame mounted attachments will get hard to find. In fact, if you can’t find them now, you most likely won’t find them in the future. The 28884 is directly comparable to the Cub Cadet GTX 1054 which retails for $2999. I would not pay more than $2200-2300 for it on Clearance.

      The PGT 9500 on the other hand is getting a name change to the Craftsman Premium for 2012 and will continue to have all the attachments available. In fact Sears is expanding the attachments for it for the coming year. The 28985 is the largest and heaviest tractor Sears has ever offered. Power steering, hydraulic lift, traction control and differential lock. It handles hills better than any other two-wheel drive garden tractor. The 28985 compares to the Simplicity Prestige which retails for $7599. It will have the traction and power you need for garden work. It will also handle the big Johnny Bucket (do a Google search) The 2012 model will go for around $7500 so if you can get a clearance one for $4000 to $4500 you are getting a great deal.

      Let us know which one you buy.

      • I like the tractor but I’m having trouble finding the internal trans filter 1719832. Sears parts direct doesn’t have it listed. Other names for it are 1719832sm or Simplicity 1687472. I ordered one from TractorTown but a month later they can’t find it either. I called Sears service to my house to change it and the guy didn’t know the trans had an internal filter, so now I’ve run out of options.

        • @Victor, If I can’t get it through searspartsdirect my next stop is jackssmallengines.com. Here is the link to your filter. http://www.jackssmallengines.com/Parts-Lookup/1719832SM/2269487/PL It looks like the part number has been superceded.

          Have you got 200 hours on that already?

  4. Pingback: 2011 Craftsman Professional Garden Tractor 54 inch 30 hp Model 28985 Review - TodaysMower.com

  5. I don’t see why they keep boosting the horsepower and think it’s desirable.

    The features wanted in a true Garden tractor still aren’t available as they were in many of the old vintage models.

    Front and rear pto’s, hydraulic ports and cat 0 3-pt hitch. These are the traits of a true garden tractor. Anything less is still a lawnmower (on steroids).

    • @Dee,

      I look at it this way. In 1972 I purchased a new pickup. Cost $2,200. Today what does a new pickup cost? $25,000? About ten times as much.

      The Garden Tractors back in 1972 like the Original Cub Cadet, Economy, Allis G, etc. cost about $700-$1200. Today you can get a tractor around $7000 to $12,000 with hydraulics, 3 point, front and rear pto, power steering and even 4 wheel drive…………..

      The garden tractor classification (name) has stayed about $2500 to $5000. The tractor that you want is now called a sub-compact and wasn’t even invented back in the 1970’s. Kubota was the first, then Yanmar, etc. Today you can get the X700 series Deere, Cub Cadet/Yanmar, Kubota BX-21, and other with all the features you want.

      Sorry, just like your pickup, the cost has increased with “inflation”

      Most people don’t want a Garden Tractor, they just want to mow their lawn faster. So even though it makes no real sense, more HP appeals to that buyer.

      • I don’t think a truck is a fair comparison. Vehicles have undergone compliance with fuel and safety regulations which have forced their price up.

        I just wonder why they don’t put less engine in the machine and invest the money into more features. Saving 15 minutes of riding time for the big lawn isn’t going to be the deciding factor in a purchase. There is no reason to over-engineer a garden tractor.

        Sears must have 2 dozen models of tractors that come in different sizes and hp to basically do one job, mow the lawn.

        Sears markets this big tractor for properties with 5 acres. These folks are not most of Sears customers. Surely, folks with 5 acres can benefit from a few real tractor features.

        I will bet given a choice between the old style tractor and a new version these buyers would jump on the old style simply because it can do more. Folks with a lot less land would do likewise. I know I would and I only have 2.5 acres.

        I will also bet it doesn’t cost as much to build the old style as marketers would have us believe.

        When it comes to Garden Tractors, lawn mowing is secondary. If you want fast mowing get one of the zero turn models. They are just for fast mowing.

        • @Dee, Maybe a better analogy would be the cost of steel since these tractors use a lot of it still. My grandfather purchased a farm in 1971 and I got to clean up the old farm machinery left by the previous owner. I was “rich” because I got $22 a ton from the scrapyard. Today scrap steel hovers around $200-240 a ton.

          But I know that’s not the point of this discussion.

          I too would like to see a small garden tractor under $4000 that I can move dirt with. (dig, plow, till and cultivate) I also want a $3000 stand-on zero-turn mower :)

          I won’t even begin to second guess Sears or any of the other mower retailers and manufactures. Every company has dozens of people and focus groups trying to look at the market and figure out where they can make money. I know a lot of companies are reading this blog so it’s to everyone’s benefit to discuss it here though.

          That said, the garden tractor that I believe you are talking about is a very tiny area of the L&G market here in the U.S. (Food plots that require larger equipment than a Troy-bilt Horse and smaller than a Ford NAA) Or Food plots big enough to feed two to four families. The largest market for this size tractor is the former Soviet Union countries. If you look over there everyone has a basic “garden tractor” A motor, real gear transmission, 3 or 4 wheels and can pull anything. Those tractors are designed to work first and most never mow lawn.

          Sears (and many others) have jumped into this area a few times but never had any luck. Northern Tool has been trying to make this market work for over 12 years.

          I try to go to the big L&G shows like the GIE-EXPO every year and I have seen quite a few great designs for this market. The BOSCO Mutt is a great design that comes to mind. Front, rear and mid PTO. Front, rear, and mid 3 pt lifts. 22 hp V-twin, hydrostatic trans, big lugged tractor tires. Clear view of all the attachments. I think he sold 3.

          There was a company from Waverly, IA that had a basic Garden Tractor that they couldn’t sell here in the U.S. No one wanted it. But…….they sold thousands of them in Africa.

          If we move from prepackaged, chemically enhanced “30 second” meals back to sustainable food plots, canning and preserving and “eat what we grow” this market may get big enough so companies like Sears, Deere, and Husqvarna can get into it.

          • Paul, you are ‘right on’ in your assessment. I work in retail (computers). It is amazing how some people think that our company’s are missing a ‘huge’ market if they would just build…..

            Having the largest selection of computers in the industry, there are still people who don’t want this or that and feel that our prices are too high because we build them with 500 GB HD rather than 320 GB.

            It is labor and facility intensive to retool for the production of a different class of machine that marketing shows will not sell. The mfg and retailer loses in that senerio. Plus, since not many were sold, the consumer loses because chances are that in 3 – 5 years, replacement parts won’t be available.

            Just my $.02 and worth every penny!

          • I too hope others will read this and take pause for thought.

            I don’t think the weight of the machine is the factor. Older tractors weighed about +-900 lbs. and newer models weigh about +-900 lbs.

            I think too much marketing is done in an air-conditioned office. Many areas in this country are populated on small rural acreages.

            It doesn’t require a garden to own a garden tractor. My land for example has a gravel driveway to maintain, trees and brush to keep cleared, rocks to move, landscaping to redo and firewood to handle. Then of course there is some lawn to mow :), and for many snow to clear.

            Personally, I had never heard of a BOSCO MUT but it is interesting. However, I don’t think it is necessary to reinvent the wheel. Older models were time tested and proven. The JD 318 is a classic. A highly coveted, 20 year model, that still gets $2000 when sold even if only in fair condition.

            Thousands are out buying and restoring old tractors for their features and refuse to buy the glorified lawn mowers. Restoring a tractor is a lot of work and not cheap. That says something.

            The old designs are on file – I say just build ‘em.

            I’ll get off my soap box now.

            • P.S.

              Here’s a marketing example for the readers. In craigslist this week for my city, there was a JD 318 that sold for $1950 in less than 24 hrs.

              In that same list is posted a Sears outlet scratch-and-dent model #28984 (28 hp 54″ professional for $2300. This is the second mark down on that unit and it is still for sale.

            • @Dee, I agree with your comment on marketing.

              Yes, the JD 318 is a classic. Luckily they didn’t stop with the 317 :)

              Up here everyone has an ATV to do their hauling and hunting chores.

        • Dee, you sound like Ford when he said you can have his car in any color you want, just as long as its black. Other people can want something different. I can’t get a zero-turn mower because my lot is hilly with a 1-story drop off in the back to an exposed basement, you can’t use a zero-turn on a slope. I also mulch and live in the upper midwest where grass is always wet and grows 5 iches per week. Try mulching that going uphill with a small engine. I also use it for throwing snow, as shown in this video in Feb. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ci3jJM68Hec I dug 3 vehicles out of the middle of the road that day and one of them was a neighbor driving a 4×4 Blazer with a plow. He got stuck but my little 30hp tractor with the 2-stage had no trouble digging him out. I don’t have enough land for a 3 point hitch, but what I do have is a challange for a smaller engine. My last 16hp machine struggled and couldn’t do half as much at the things I need.

          • There’s always bigger tractors than garden tractors.

            Compact tractors can be had. One step up from the garden tractor. They could do well for towing vehicles, snow blowing and even mowing grass too.

            When the grass gets going fast here, I just mow twice a week. :)

  6. Pingback: 4 Craftsman Garden Tractors - Which One Is Right For You? - TodaysMower.com

  7. This tractor is the same design and specs as the Simplicity Prestige except for the Kohler 27hp was replaced with a 30hp Briggs, and the Simplicity might have full-length rollers on the deck, otherwise the deck looks the same as well. That makes me wonder if the future 2011 Prestige will have to 30hp option or if it’s reserved for Sears. Also, I wonder if I can get the Simpicity Snow Thrower to attach to it…

    • @fixmdude,

      The tractor is apparently from the same factory as the Prestige, just like the YT4000 is from the same factory as the Husqvarana. But Craftsman specs their equipment to their customer needs and there may be other not-so-obvious difference that I have not had a chance to see side-by-side. I will not assume that the Simplicity equipment fits.

      For example, the quick-tach deck feature of the Prestige is noticeably absent from the Craftsman literature.

      Sears has the snow thrower, dozer blade, mounting frame and rear hitch available online. I have not had a chance to get them posted yet. Go to Sears.com and then search "briggs & stratton 42" and the blade, mounts, and snow thrower will pop up.

    • yes sears sells the same attachments simplicty does. they are similar to the agrifab snowblower but with the hydralic lift

      • @jon, Actually the snowblower is a lot heavier than the agrifab models. It is similar to the Berko snow throwers.

  8. Thanks for the review! Glad to see Sears putting some real thought into a mower these days!

    Two comments:

    1) i wish they used the "bumblebee" looking nose that the PGT9000 has on it (however I hear they don't stay closed that well)- they look cool.

    2) The picture you have of the Sears Custom with a broken axle, dual wheels, and a million pounds of weight on it is misleading. That tractor was harshly abused as i can see in the picture. I have several classic Sears garden tractors that I would still pit up against the new one. However, with todays modern luxeries of power steering, electronic fuel, and hydraulic lift the new one is sure to be a brute!!

    …Oh and the Custom in the picture was not the heaviest duty tractor Sears made back then. Just don’t want the old Sears to be looked down on… or better yet… Yes they are not heavy duty. Buy a new one and send the classics my way!! LOL

    • …Oh and the Custom in the picture was not the heaviest duty tractor Sears made back then. Just don't want the old Sears to be looked down on… or better yet… Yes they are not heavy duty. Buy a new one and send the classics my way!! LOL

    • @James, myself I don't care for the 2010 Pro hood. I keep expecting it to "transform" into something else any second. But then my favorite hood is the New Holland Boomer.

      You are right that the pict can be misleading, but I know a lot of people would like a tractor smaller than a sub-compact that is still heavy enough for ANYTHING they want to put it through. I had a couple of "gray market" tractors when I owned the landscape company and they were built heavy enough to take on just about anything. (They were under powered) The new Craftsman is the closest so far still made in the USA.

    • @Paul. Thank you sir! I went to the local Sears store in Ann Arbor and they were not aware of the tractor so they were unable to help with the blade.
      Is this built by Husquvarna?

      • @Dan,

        Only 50 big Sears stores will actually get this mower to sell. I can also sell it online. So it is quite normal that they may not know about it.

        Yes, the blade has to be ordered the way I explained it in the other comment right now. Sears promised to get the online ordering fixed in the next few weeks so we can order all the blade parts normally. So you can get the mower now if you want and then get the blade, frame and hitch in a few weeks.

        No, it is not built by Husqvarna or MTD. It’s built by Briggs & Stratton and based roughly off the Simplicity Prestige.

        This is a different class of mower than a garden tractor. The “estate” models are above anything Husqvarna or MTD makes but below sub compact utility tractors like the Simplicity Legacy XL and Kubota BX2360. The Simplicity Prestige, Kubota GR and John Deere X530 are the direct competition to this tractor.

        • @Paul thank you again. The guy at the local store said it was a Husqvarna and I told him I was pretty sure it was a Simplicity based product he was pretty confident so I thought maybe Husqvarna was making Simplicity. This is a great tractor!

          • @Dan, Yes, I like it too!

            If you really want this tractor soon send me a note. We can’t get the third part of the blade on-line yet, but I have the ability to help Ann Arbor get the 64422 part. The retail on that part is currently $349.

  9. Just went to the order page for this beauty, now I know why I settled for the PGT Pro 9500 tractor. But this 'estate' tractor sure does sound nice. I gave you a good review on my new sears a couple of months ago and I stand by it as the best for the money ~$3k. I do have a couple of gripes about it now and I've seen this echo'ed in other places, the fuel cap leaks onto my left foot (maybe a safety issue although Sears as of this morning is just sending out a new gas cap) and the deck height adj pulleys are plastic and are dumping the cable with increasing frequency. Again, Sears will send you a new pulley, plastic, kinda like putting a band-aide on a cancer sore. They need to redesign with a cable keeper and use a real stainless pulley.

    I'm a little off topic but I just ordered the parts and am kinda hacked off that Sears is being 'chinzy' on my high value tractor, even though it's about 1/2 the price of this new one.


      • Hey Paul, I thought about entering this on the PGT 28984 review but decided to enter it here because this is a design flaw that needs to be corrected, hopefully they did correct it on the PGT28985 (this tractor) (Sears who is in charge of creating model numbers and names?) (my tractor 28984 is also badged with PGT 9500 just like this tractor 28985)

        Love you website and am telling every blog I am on about it, at least you respond to your posts and seem to have some inside track with Sears/Craftsman.

        Following is the post I emailed to service@managemylife.com : ———

        I tried to enter my question/comment on the site and kept getting bumped off, the last time when it wanted me to choose a screen name which wasn't available so it wiped off and wanted me to log-in again at the beginning.

        (plastic roller pulley on garden tractor 28984. I believe it is part number 756-04331, How do I prevent the steel cable from destroying the pulley when it slips.)

        I believe this to be a design/engineering flaw and have seen it on several comments about this garden tractor. The pulley is plastic and carries a steel cable which is used to manually change the deck height. The problem is that when the deck is bumped and the cable tension is relieved, the cable rides on the top of the plastic pulley and destroys it. This allows the deck on that side (there is one on each side of the deck) to fall to it's lowest position scalping the lawn until you notice it. I made two passes before noticing it the first time. This has happened 3 times.

        I have ordered the pulley 3 times and received the wrong part twice, hopefully this is the correct part number this time or we will need to call out the repair guy to fix it. I used to be a service manager so know what a service call costs. However, I can't keep patching up my original pulley anymore and my GT is under warranty.

        Sears/Craftsman/MTD; Issue a recall, change the plastic pulley to a steel pulley with a keeper to stop the cable from jumping out of the pulley groove.


        • @Ray, I pushed your comment on to Craftsman.com. The buyers and corporate managers at Sears read the ideas section over there.

          The 28985 is a completely different tractor from a completely different manufacture. The deck lift system on that one is electric and very heavy duty.

          I was out on the web looking for grooved pulleys (to build a router table) and I remember seeing some metal pulleys that would work for your tractor. I was using Google and looking at just images. I suggest you do the same and see if you can find a replacement that way.

          • Thanks Paul for your quick input. It came back before I could issue a mia culpa (sic) about my GT. Mine (28984) is badged with PGT 9000; not 9500 as I stated above. My face is red, however, PTY9000 and PGT9000 are very different machines and should be badged as such; just as PGT9000 and PGT9500 are very different and should be badged as such. IMHO


            • @Ray, YT series mowers are lawn mowers. GT series have a heavier rear end so you can pull ground engaging attachments. The PGT9500 has automatic traction control for hills and a locking differential for snow plowing and really working the ground. It's a heavy duty mower and all around great tractor.

              If I had two acres or more I would buy the PGT9500 in a heartbeat. It is worth every penny of the the asking price.

  10. What is the difference between the GT 5000 Excellerator Hydro-Gear G-730 trans. and this trans. What makes it so much better and how much would one of these k-71 transmissions cost. Where do the hydraulics run out of. How is the power steering set up and could it be run in an Excellerator GT easily. Who makes this tractor? Why is it you can cut with this mowing deck at 7 mph. but with the Excellerator you can't cut at 7 mph? If this is a true Garden tractor then why is a Briggs engine in it, why not a real motor like a Kohler, Kawasaki or a Yanmar Diesel? Seems like a good tractor but that Briggs is what really turns me away from it…