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2011-2013 Craftsman LT Series Lawn Tractors – Improving The Bottom Of The Line.

This is a review of the 2011-2013 Craftsman 46 in LT 2000 Model 28885,  42 in LT2000 Model 28884 Lawn Tractors and LT1500 42 inch Model 28882.

These 2 tractors mow lawn. Minimal features, minimum price. Maximum value at a price everyone can afford.

It’s Not The Best Lawn Tractor….It’s The Best Lawn Tractor For You!

Sears has improved the Craftsman Lawn Tractors considerably from the 2009 and 2010 models. Even though these tractors have some of the best service records for this class lawn tractor, Sears went ahead and made them even better this year!   I will go over the specifications a little later in this article.

Craftsman made all of the improvements you asked for in a lawn tractor. Here is the list:
-Changed the colors. Good, Craftsman Gray. Better, Craftsman Red. Best, Craftsman, Black. You can now easily pick the best lawn tractor for you.
– Changed the hood to look better and not rattle when the engine is running. Made little improvements like the throttle lever, cup holder, edges on the fenders.
– Improved the gas tank hold-down. All LT models now have 1.5 gal fuel tanks.  Just right for your smaller lawn.
– Steel or Cast Iron front axles
– Larger rear tires. All LT models now have 20″ x 8″ rear tires
– Reduced Steering wheel play.
– Now offer a 46 inch deck on the LT2000

But first before you read the reviews -I want to “qualify” you to see if a “Lawn Tractor” is the right mower for you. Lawn Tractors are not for everyone.  Most of you need a heavier machine or one with more features and/or ease of use.

Lawn tractors are ideal for lawns up to 2 acres with flat surfaces and few obstacles. Lawn tractors can be used for light-duty hauling and lawn maintenance tasks but they are mainly used for mowing your lawn.  Lawn tractors have a light duty rear hitch but most are not designed for front mounted attachments like a snow blade.  Most lawn tractors will not mow in reverse.

Let’s be practical here: Many of you buy a lawn tractor for the price, and then expect it to do the same work as a $6000 garden tractor. You haul 1000 lb loads of dirt or let your teenagers use it as a go-cart and then complain about the breaking the front axle or tearing out the transmission.  These mowers are made to mow lawn and a little yard work, that’s all.

Can you live with a $1000 – $1300 lawn mower? Do you really have to spend more to get a lawn tractor that will do the job for you?

Let me ask you a few questions to see if a lawn tractor is right for you.

1. You walk into the tractor dealer with $1300 in your pocket and tell the owner.  “I want the cheapest mower you have.” You walk out when you find the cheapest tractor he has is $1499.00
2. You don’t care about gauge wheels, cruise control, power steering, high back seats, mowing in reverse, or cast iron front axles.
3. All you want to do is mow lawn, pull a small garden cart, lawn sweeper, fertilizer spreader or dethatcher. You don’t plan on hauling firewood out of the timber on your snowmobile trailer or move a semi-load of dirt for your new patio.
4. Cost is more important than a particular color or brand.  You came into Sears because the ad stated they had a Lawn Tractor for $999.99
5. You really don’t care how fast you mow.  You can easily get your yard mowed in 2 hours or less with your old Lawn Chief.
6. You usually buy a new lawn tractor every 5 to 7 years.
7. You perform normal maintenance on your lawn tractor religiously.

If you answered yes to any of these questions a lawn tractor may be a good choice for you.  Let’s continue on to see if this is REALLY the type of mower for you.

In the $1,000 to $2,000 price range, you can get an entry-level lawn tractor with a shift-on-the-go or automatic transmission. You’ll have to settle for a wider turning radius, usually 18 inches, so there’ll be bigger circles of uncut grass when you turn. These budget lawn tractors can mow lawns up to about 2 acres at most, but durability might be a problem down the road (the more you  mow the faster they wear out)– potentially increasing the cost of ownership. Ultimately, however, most reviews say that the best budget lawn tractors can perform well as long as you don’t overload them, pushing them to mow a larger area or using attachments that wear them out faster. Good maintenance habits and proper storage also help prolong their life.Consumersearch.com

Every Brand makes a Lawn Tractor that meets this criteria (except price) John Deere (100 series), MTD (Yard Machines), Briggs (Murray), Husvarna  (Poulan), Ariens (A175BG42), Sears (Craftsman LT).  Some charge a lot more for these economical tractors.  Sears prides itself in having the BEST price on their lawn tractors.  They are so confident that they have the lowest price guarantee against Lowes and Home Depot this year.

Still interested in a Lawn Tractor? If you are read on.  If you want a tractor with more features, go look at the YT 3000 and YT 4000 Craftsman Tractors with Turn Tight (use the menu on the right)

Craftsman 420cc 42” Shift-On-The-Go Lawn Tractor Model 28882

28881 300x300 2011 2013 Craftsman LT Series Lawn Tractors   Improving The Bottom Of The Line.

Craftsman 28881 Lawn Tractor

My Value/Cost Rating: Lawn Tractor,  Mows Lawn Well, Gets Through Fairly Tight Spaces Well.  Great for 1/2 to 2  Acre Lawns, Accepts Light Attachments & Bagger.

Type: Lawn Tractor.
Engine Type: Good.
Transmission Type: Shift-on-the-Go.
Speed Control: Dash lever and clutch
Accepts Light Duty Rear Attachments

Pros:

On sale for under $1000.  Plenty of power to mow your lawn.  Built well for the price range. Compare to other Brands costing $400 to $500 more.

Cons:

Lightweight, will handle mowing well, but little else.  Do not buy this tractor if you regularly pull loads of dirt, etc.  Will not mow in reverse.

Read My Full Review Here: Craftsman 42″ 420 cc Lawn Model 28882

Craftsman 19.5 hp 42” Automatic Lawn Tractor Model 28884

07128884000 1 300x300 2011 2013 Craftsman LT Series Lawn Tractors   Improving The Bottom Of The Line.

Craftsman 28884 Lawn Tractor

Buy Here: Craftsman 42″ 19.5hp Automatic Lawn Tractor Non CA Mid Back 2011 2013 Craftsman LT Series Lawn Tractors   Improving The Bottom Of The Line.

My Value/Cost Rating: Lawn Tractor,  Mows Lawn Well, Gets Through Fairly Tight Spaces Well.  Great for 1/2 to 2  Acre Lawns, Accepts Light Attachments & Bagger.

Type: Lawn Tractor.
Engine Type: Good/Better.
Transmission Type: Automatic (variable speed belt)
Speed Control: Fender Control
Accepts Light Duty Rear Attachments

Product Description From Sears:

Want to operate your tractor similar to your car? With a foot controlled automatic transmission you can do just that. Add in a 19.5 HP engine to power it, a 42″ deck with great cutting performance, and the extras like a medium back auto slide adjustable seat and this red tractor will make maintaining your yard a breeze.

  • Briggs & Stratton® 19.5 hp OHV Engine Gold Series with spin on oil filter – powerful, clean engine performance
  • 42 in. deck featuring 5 cutting heights ranging from 1.5 in. to 4 in. and two deck wheels
  • Foot pedal controlled automatic transmission
  • 0-5.5 mph FWD speeds/0-2.8 mph REV speeds
  • 18 in. turning radius – easily maneuver around obstacles
  • 13 in. ergo steering wheel
  • Medium back seat with auto-slide adjustment
  • 15 in. x 6 in. front tires; 20 in. x 8 in. back tires
  • 195 CCA Die Hard™ battery – dependable starting power in all climates
  • Color: Red
  • 2-year full warranty

Pros:

Plenty of power to mow your lawn.  Better motor than LT 1500 and the same motor as many higher priced units from other brands. Has two anti-scalp wheels on deck.  Built well for the price range.

Cons:

Lightweight, will handle mowing well, but little else.  Do not buy this tractor if you regularly pull loads of dirt, etc.  Will not mow in reverse.

Craftsman 21 hp 46” Automatic Lawn Tractor Model 28885

07128885000 1 300x300 2011 2013 Craftsman LT Series Lawn Tractors   Improving The Bottom Of The Line.

Craftsman 28885 Lawn Tractor

Buy Here: Craftsman 46″ 21 hp Lawn Tractor Non CA Mid Back 2011 2013 Craftsman LT Series Lawn Tractors   Improving The Bottom Of The Line.

My Value/Cost Rating: Lawn Tractor,  Mows Lawn Well, Gets Through Fairly Tight Spaces Well.  Great for 1/2 to 2  Acre Lawns, Accepts Light Attachments & Bagger.

Type: Lawn Tractor.
Engine Type: Good/Better.
Transmission Type: Automatic (variable speed belt)
Speed Control: Foot Control
Accepts Light Duty Rear Attachments

Product Description From Sears:

Get the job done faster with this powerful Craftsman tractor with a 46″ wide deck with awesome cutting performance. With a foot controlled automatic transmission, you drive this tractor similar to your car; and with a 21 HP engine to power it, high back seat and soft grip steering wheel for more comfort, and a cast iron front axel with a lifetime warranty, this Craftsman tractor will help you spend less time keeping your lawn looking its best!

  • Briggs & Stratton® 21 hp OHV Engine Gold Series with spin on oil filter + MRS
  • 46 in. deck featuring 5 cutting heights ranging from 1.5 in. to 4 in. and two deck wheels
  • Foot pedal controlled automatic transmission
  • 0-5.5 mph FWD speeds/0-2.8 mph REV speeds
  • 18 in. turning radius
  • Deck wash system for easy clean-up
  • Large 12-gauge frame with cast iron axle
  • 13 in. ergo steering wheel with comfort grip
  • High back seat with auto-slide adjustment
  • 15 in. x 6 in. front tires; 20 in. x 8 in. back tires
  • 195 CCA Die Hard™ battery
  • Color: Black
  • 2-year full warranty; 5 year frame & lifetime front axle

Pros:

One of the best values for the lawn tractor class of all the brands.  Plenty of power to mow your lawn.  Better motor than LT 1500 and the same motor as many higher priced units from other brands. Has two anti-scalp wheels on deck.  This model has a cast iron front axle, 46 inch deck and a high-back seat.  Built well for the price range.

Cons:

Lightweight, will handle mowing well, but little else.  Do not buy this tractor if you regularly pull loads of dirt, etc.  Will not mow in reverse.

Buying Your Lawn Tractor:

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

If this is not the right mower for you, go here to see all of my reviews:

Comments(3)
  1. Paul Sikkema September 17, 2014
  2. Janice Mesa September 17, 2014
  3. garland September 2, 2011

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