Craftsman YT 4000 46 inch 24 hp Riding Lawn Tractor Model 28857 Review

Introducing the 2011 Craftsman YT 4000 46 inch 24 hp Yard  Tractor Model 28857 with Turn Tight Technology. This new 46 in tractor let’s you spend a lot less time trimming your yard.  Get done faster without the problems of a zero-turn mower. This easy-to-use riding mower is great for your suburban lawn. It feature’s the great 24 hp Briggs & Stratton motor!
It’s Not The Best Lawn Tractor….It’s The Best Lawn Tractor For You!

My Rating of this Craftsman Riding Lawn Mower:

Craftsman Model 28857 with Turn Tight!

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

Type: Yard Tractor.
Engine Type: Better.
Transmission Type: Hydrostatic. explanation.
Speed Control: Pedal Infinite
Accepts Medium Duty Attachments:

Don’t Forget Your Trailer, Dethatcher, Aerator, Broadcast Spreader.

What I Like!

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 with the new Turn Tight Technology I feel they are the “best mower for about $1500.”   This is the best Craftsman for value, cut, durability and overall satisfaction for your typical suburban yard and snow removal for your driveway.  This Yard Tractor specifically has a 46 inch deck and 24 hp twin cylinder Briggs & Stratton engine. Please read my reviews of all the YT models so you can find the best yard tractor for you.  Over the last 2 years I have mowed with this 46 inch deck and it will cut as well or better than any other mid-sized deck from all the other brands.  You will not be disappointed with the cut.  With correct blades for your lawn the fully vented deck has good lift for poor lawns and gets rid of the grass evenly and quickly for well kept lawns.  With premium mulching blades and a mulch cover they mulch well.  With hi-lift blades both decks bag very well.

Watch the New Turn Tight Technology In Action!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zT_qAsIB28

Craftsman YT 4000 46 inch 24 hp Yard  Tractor Model 28857

Read More Here,Buy Here from Sears:Craftsman 46″ 24hp Turn Tight Hydrostatic Yard Tractor Non CA Up to 2 acres

My Review:

Priced at about $900 less than the highly comparable 48 inch D 160 John Deere and $200 less than the 23 hp LTX1046 Cub Cadet, this Craftsman is one of the best values on the market today.  This model features the new Craftsman Turn Tight Technology,  step through operator’s platform, B&S oil pump lube engine with oil filter, and a 46 inch deck that has been rated a Consumer Reports Best Buy. (2009 Model 28724)

The 28857 has a pedal control hydrostatic transmission.  This transmission is easy to use and will perform well for mowing and medium duty yard tasks.  (it drives more like your car)

If you want a mower that will mow 3/4 to 2 acres well, handle a snow thrower, and all the non-ground engaging attachments this is a great choice for you.  This tractor is heavy enough to handle moderately 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.  This lawn tractor is one riding mower that will work well for your suburban lawn.

I like the mid-size YT 4000 series.  I think they represent a good value and a machine that if taken care of properly will last you a long time. If I didn’t have 34 inch gates to go through on my own yard I would seriously consider this model for myself.

This yard tractor is capable of using all the non-ground engaging attachments Sears offers including a snow blade.

Cons:

The YT 4000 is heavy enough for a snow plow and snow thrower (with rear weights and chains).  Craftsman does make 4 other models that have larger tires and 6 other models that are heavier for areas of the country that get a lot of snow.

Final Thoughts:

I personally feel the new Turn Tight Technology this yard tractor changes the game for just about all residential yard owners.  For most of you this will mow as quickly as a residential zero-turn.  It is easier to drive, is easier on your lawn and less expensive than the comparable zero-turn models.  There is no “learning curve” like there is with a zero-turn. It will handle slopes that the residential zero-turns won’t.  And………it will pull stuff!

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.  Take care of it (do the normal maintenance all lawn mowers need) and it will last you a long time.  I like this lawn mower for what it is designed for.  With the Turn Tight Technology and at around $1699 on sale it is a great value.

Product Description From Sears

Powerful, convenient, durable, and nimble, this yard tractor comes equipped with a Briggs & Stratton® 24 hp Platinum V-Twin engine for long-lasting performance and also features Craftsman’s exclusive Turn Tight™ technology which gives you the tightest turning radius of any yard tractor available in the market at 8″ for best in class maneuverability. A tighter turning radius lets you cut more closely around landscape obstacles and prevents you from needing to repeatedly reposition your tractor. Combining speed and versatility, this yard tractor gets the job done with a large 46″ deck for greater cutting area. Featuring foot pedal drive, this yard tractor is simple and easy to use, and your yard will be looking its best in no time.

  • Exclusive Craftsman Turn Tight™ technology delivers an 8″ turning radius
  • Exclusive 24 hp Briggs & Stratton® Platinum V-Twin Engine with full pressure lube
  • 46″ precision cut mowing system
  • 4 adjustable gauge wheels
  • Foot pedal drive for added convenience
  • Premium hydrostatic automatic transmission
  • Spring loaded deck lift system
  • Handy cup holder
  • Wider step thru area
  • Automotive type slide seat system
  • Weight: 526 lbs
  • Color: Black and red
  • Fully assembled
  • 2-year full, 5-year frame and limited lifetime front axle warranty
  • Not available for sale in California

Craftsman 46″ 24hp Turn Tight Hydrostatic Yard Tractor Non CA Up to 2 acres Buy Online – Pick Up At Your Nearest Sears, Buy Online – Have Delivered To Your Home.

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

Please give your city and state when you comment

  1. How difficult is it to change out the gas tank on the YT 4000 46″? Mine is leaking fuel, I have replaced gas line.
    Hope Mills, N.C.

    • @Ron, That’s a fairly big job. You basically have to remove the rear fenders and everything on top of them.

      Go to searspartsdirect.com and put in your model number. It’s the number under the seat that starts with 917.

      Part diagrams will pop up and you can use them to kind of see how the rear end comes apart. Once you get the fender off it’s fairly easy to change out the tank. If you haven’t ordered the tank yet use this link and put the code into the coupon box to get a 10% discount. Save 10% off any purchase with code 90055 until the end of the year.

  2. Found this web site when looking for fixes for my yt4000. My transmission link has broke twice now, guess more is wrong with it (of course two months out of warranty) guess I’m going to be out a bunch to fix it.
    Erv in Stephenson VA 22656

    • @Erv, You can get the parts yourself through Sears PartsDirect. Get the model number of your tractor from under the seat.

      If you want, find the parts that are wearing out at Searspartsdirect and leave a comment here with the part numbers. We may have a solution to keep them from wearing out.

      I grease all the linkages at least once a year. I just spray it down with a lithium grease. It makes everything work easier and keeps the parts from breaking.

  3. Do they make an adjustable version of the Subasm.Link.Drag LH #436884 or RH #436885
    for my Craftsman YT4000 model #917.288561 ?

    I have replaced both #436887 Subasm.Link’s and both the #436884 and #436885 Subasm.Link.Drag’s and my front wheels are still way out of alignment – so much so that the tires are cutting grooves in the grass when I mow.

    Both of the #436887 Subasm.Link’s have broken off and I believe it was the 436884 Subasm.Link.Drag LH that has broken off in the last 4 months. The small ball joints are not made very strong and they have wallowed out the sockets and they just fall apart from time to time while mowing – and then the tires just splay out sideways and you have to wire the parts back together just to get back to the house.

    Thank-You for any help you can give me.

    Darell

    • @Darell, No, they don’t make an adjustable link. But!

      Is your tractor less than 2 years old? Or if it is did you purchase the 3 or 5 year protection plan? Either way if it is still covered call 1-800-4MY-HOME and have a tech fix it. He will replace parts until it’s fixed. If you don’t remember if you bought the plan call that number and they can look it up.

      You can also go over to MySears.com. Find the lawn tractor section of the community forums and ask the same question you asked me. Someone over there will probably know what other piece you need to replace to get the front end back in shape.

  4. Is there a heavy duty replacement that will drop in for the K4 or K46 hydrostatic rear end? I have the Craftsman LT1300 model #917289344. It is a 42″ deck, with the 22HP Kohler Courage.

  5. I live in Brazil in the state of Parana, There are no lawn tractors built here but we do have a intec plant in Campo Largo, I just paid $4600.00 for a sears YT4000 46 in deck it is great but several things I would add. or do not like, my terrain is hilly and I cut about 2 acres of grass, this included my lawn and orchard, I wonder about the hydra gear if it will hold up. others in the area with white tractors have problems, also it should have adjustments on both sides, Now why the high price is import tax here is 72% of the cost of the product plus the dealer needs to make a margin, The tractor is great, of course it is new, it is replacing a Yardman 42 inch cut with a 20 HP Briggs engine, it has been a real work horse for 10 years now but is getting tired, the Sears product seems much better hope so.

    • @David, I expect the TY4000 to last. The Hydro-Gear is a K46 so it a strong tranny. But I suggest you don’t try to pull loads up the hill with it, just mow.

      Once a year or more often, clean the transmission housing. Get the old dry grass off of it and any dried mud. That will keep the trans running cool.

  6. Have had this mower for almost two years now.When new,I complained to SEARS and they sent out a seasoned tech to fix my deck height problem.He just took an adjust link like the one one the left side and replaced the fixed link,so that now I have adjustable links on both sides of the deck.He said that the deck use to come with adjustable links on both sides.You still cannot get the advertised or spec height to the deck,but close.I would suggest that SEARS make the same adjustment to your deck.
    Will have to say that the mower has been great.Replaced the” junk” factory high lift blades with a good aggressive mulching blade,and it cuts clean and fast.
    James Cook

  7. Hi Paul,
    5 and 6 are the highest setting. I discovered that on the right side of the
    deck they put in a fixed non adjustable deck linkage, so all you can do
    is balance the deck even though there is a good two inches you could
    actually raise the deck to have a higher cut, so what I did was order this
    to replace the fixed one on the right side:

    take a look at this post on mytractorforum:

    http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=111730

    I was also at home depot and the Ariens (which are almost the same as craftsman) 42 inch had the adjustable linkage on both sides while the 46 had the fixed on one side, and they where otherwise identical except for deck width. Only thing I can see why
    they did this was to save a few bucks in manufacturing costs.

    • @tony, Husqvarna is making some engineering (or cost) decisions with a lot of these products that to a production engineer may not seem to matter. But to the user and mechanic it does. They are not saying which models are getting the single adjuster now but it actually has been going on for at least 3 years.

      I don’t have any Ariens, Poulan or Dixon tractors in my area to check. Maybe a Husqvarna engineer can chime in here.

      Another change they didn’t tell us about is on the single cylinder tractors. The latest ones have the starter solenoid back by the battery. No problem, right? Actually where they mounted it the bolts affects the 3 bin bagger. To mount the bagger you have to go to a hardware store, get a flathead bolt, and replace the solenoid mounting bolt before the bagger mount will attach. Saving 50 cents on copper at the factory is causing problems for anyone who wants to use a 3 bin bagger.

  8. I just picked up a yt400o 46 and it’s great except the deck has
    a fixed linkage on the right side which only allows you to level it.
    The result is the deck cuts way to low even at the 5 and 6 settings.

    You can order the adjustable linkage from sears parts direct and install
    it on the right side and this will allow the deck to be raised up to 1.5 to 2 inches
    so the 5 and 6 positions will not scalp as much. The 5 setting is very low.

    Other than that the tractor is really nice.

    • @Tony, I am assuming positions 5 and 6 are the lowest settings? Yes, they are designed for bentgrass lawns. The top two sets will get you to 3 to 3 3/4 inch

  9. Tom, these are all excellent observations and comments. I am especially troubled by the mess created when attempting to change the oil filter. I would however point out that the smoothness and uniformity of cut with deck height in position 6 are extraordinary.

  10. Hi,
    I am considering purchasing a yt 4000 46 and was wondering if the blades
    it comes with are suitable for mulching? Do I simply need the plug or do I need to buy the 52 dollar mulch kit?

    Thanks,

    Tony

    • @Tony, I can’t remember if that deck comes with side-discharge blades or mulching blades. I swear that sometimes they just throw mulch blades on the mower on a day when the assembly line runs out of flat blades. So I suggest getting the mower, checking the blades that are on it and only then order the mulch kit or just the cover as needed.

  11. Well Paul, it’s about that time again-to break out the lawn tractor and get busy. I was wondering if you have any brilliant ideas to avoid the mess that accompanies an oil filter change. As you know, there is very little clearance between the filter and the chassis, not enough for a container to catch the oil dripping from the filter and engine. A rag is not sufficient to catch it all, even after a full drainage from the crankcase. Inevitably, I get some on the chassis, deck and ground or concrete. Any suggestions?

    • @Miles, I have an old 9 X 13 cake pan that I use under the tractor. I put about 1 inch of kitty litter in the bottom (oil dry is better because for some reason the perfumes in kitty litter when mixed with motor oil create a smell that I can’t stand). I place it under the area where the filter is located. It catches the drips and I just drop the old oil filter into it when it’s removed. After I am done I usually let the pan set for a day and it absorbs all the oil. That small amount of used oil mixed with the oil dry is not considered hazardous waste in my area and I can just drop it in a paper bag and then into my trash can.

      I wipe the frame down with a paper towel and that goes into the oil dry also.

      When I want to clean oil from the tractor I use Scrubbing Bubbles. It is a bathroom cleaner that soaks into oil soaked dirt well. It’s cheaper than the engine cleaners that you find in the automotive section and works better in most cases. It doesn’t hurt any of the surfaces on your tractor. It cleans the painted, plastic and rubber areas well and usually brightens the aluminum. If the tractor engine and frame are really coated with oil and oily dirt I spray it on the night before and then use a pressure washer to clean it off. (If you don’t have a pressure washer, spray it down with Scrubbing Bubbles and let it set for a few hours. Then load it up on a trailer and take it to the car wash. Do the car wash owner a favor though and clean off most of the dead grass before you go. The old grass from on top of your deck goes everywhere in a car wash!)

      I used to restore commercial mowers and Scrubbing Bubbles was one of my “secret weapons” for making them look like new.

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  17. Paul-
    Around August, I asked about snow-plows for the YT 4000 46″ deck – model 28857. Your reply was:

    “The 24483 is a heavier blade and attaches to the rear axle. This gives you better traction allowing you to push more snow. It comes with additional brackets to fit all the tractors”

    I’m getting some kick-back from the guy I go to for service/repair and usually buy more yard toys from. He’s saying that the ass’y when mounted will restrict steerage if setup as described and if brackets are moved then the arms don’t reach the rear axel…says he called Sears and they told him the blade is for Garden tractors, should use the 42″ blade etc etc etc…Short story, he’s reluctant to install.

    Does this 48″ blade fit the YT4000…against the rear axle and w/o restricting steering? You’ve seen it installed and operational?

    Thanks again-
    Steve

    (@ Miles…did not…dog is just fine :)

    • @Steve C, The 24428 blade is designed to fit on the Yard Tractor AND the Garden tractor. Here is a copy of the manual that shows both mounting options. http://c.shld.net/assets/own/24428e.pdf.

      This blade has been around for awhile and it will fit many different tractors including your Craftsman Lawn Tractor, Craftsman garden tractors, John Deere, Cub Cadet and MTD’s. I agree that the picts in the manuals show an older GT5000, but it also states that if your tractor has a single mower deck bracket (yours does) use the first two steps in the mounting instructions. Also on page 9 it shows the correct holes to put the rear mount for a Craftsman Lawn tractor and a different mounting location for the Garden Tractors.

      I know some experienced mechanics don’t think they need to read the manual, but I always suggest the following for everyone who gets a box of parts to assemble, “Please read the entire manual TWICE then take the parts out of the box and get it ready to assemble.” I find that even though I have built many similar items each one usually has a difference. And if I don’t read the manual…….I get to build it twice :)

      Please ask your mechanic to read the instructions carefully….the blade brackets have specific mounting holes for you lawn tractor.

      • Thanks Paul-

        Just for clarity –
        — Your reply back to my post in August referenced part#/model – 24483
        — Your note above references part#/model – 24428 (and the pdf is for 242283)

        A typo on your original reply?

        We’re talking about the same plow, I think. But I can’t check right now, the manual/invoice etc is at my mechanics.

        Agree with your thought on RTFM, twice. The guy I go to is usually pretty good in that aspect. Perhaps what’s confusing him are the two, post-production inserts (“updates”) that came with the manual that at times seem to contradict each other and the manual! I read it too. And between my confusion and a cast on one arm, that’s why I’ve asked my mechanic to install.

        This thread will definitely help.

        Thanks
        Steve

        • @ Steve, sorry it is a 24428. I read the manufacture number wrong back in August. The mfg number is 486.244283..That’s what I get for not using the reading glasses :)

  18. I own a Craftsman YT 4000 Model 28857. You can find mulching kits all over the place, but I bought the advanced mulching blades (Gator style), but now am having trouble finding the proper plug for the deck.

    The Sears store told me one thing and an individual at Sear’s parts told me something else and I can’t find any place that specifically says “for the 46 inch YT 4000)”.

    It amazes me that there is a plug that shows up everywhere labeled “The Craftsman Mulch Plug” but no where does it say what it fits until you look a the online instructions and it says “42 inch”.

    I need a mulch plug only for my 2011 46 inch deck on tractor model number 28857. Can you help?

    Thanks!

    • @Ray, You need “46 inch Mulcher Plate Assembly”. (Mulch Plug) It is Sears Part No. 406581 and you can order it from searspartsdirect for $21.49 plus shipping. Use the searspartsdirect banner in the right hand column of this page and use the 90055 discount code to get 10% off the part. I have sold a few and it fits.

  19. Paul –
    I bought my YT4000 28857 lawn tractor earlier this year (May 2011) and have found it to be a great unit for my 2+ acre, semi-hilly lawn. The cut is fantastic and doesn’t have any problems that other’s have mentioned (uneven, too low, etc.) I purchased the 3 bag catcher and like it’s capacity too. I just purchased a 42″ blade 486.24441 and am ready for some snow here in the UP of Michigan. I think the machine is everything I was looking for and would recommend it (based on my 47.3 hours of running it). I haven’t run the unit in about 3 weeks and had a hard time starting it (and it isn’t cold here yet!). The motor didn’t want to start without a LOT of cranking and I don’t want to worry about it over the next few months. It is in a heated garage and I have the 24hp briggs engine and would like to know what I should be looking for. Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

    • @Brett, Check the choke cable and make sure the choke is closing completely. Find the set screw (cable holder) where it connects on the carb, loosen the screw and then move the choke lever to see which way the cable moves. Move the lever all the way to “choke close,” pull the cable in that direction in the holder and then tighten the set screw. Sometimes they don’t get it set quite right.

      If that doesn’t work: I have an older Briggs that doesn’t like to start when it’s cold. A 2 second blast of starting fluid directly on the air cleaner element starts it all the time. If you know what you are doing and it won’t start easily that way remove the air cleaner element and give it a 2 second burst.

      • Thanks Paul, you hit it right on the nose. It started within a few seconds of cranking after I adjusted it. The choke was not closing all of the way – it looks like the cable slipped in the clamp. I appreciate your help.

  20. Hi Paul,

    Just got this tractor delivered today. Before the delivery people left I made sure it had oil and it started. Unfortunately I didn’t actually run the tractor. When I first tried to release the brake and press the gas it would stall every time. Did the same thing for reverse. After starting and letting it run for a few minutes I was able to get it going, but it constantly sputters and almost stalls. It was a challenge just getting it to mow a little bit.

    I made sure that it didn’t have too much oil, removed the spark plugs to make sure they weren’t covered in oil, and reseated the gas cap. None of this things helpe, as the sputtering continues. It also backfires pretty easily. Any ideas?

    Thank you,

    DebbieS

    • @Debbie, It sounds like one of two things to me. One a safety switch is not adjusted correctly or two the engine timing is off (the engine was not assembled correctly) Call 1-800-4MY-HOME and get a tech out right away to find the problem and fix it for you.

      Sears will either send a tech out or they will deliver you another one. The person you call will let you know what they are going to do. If you have any other problems feel free to leave another comment.

    • Thanks Paul. I called the number, and they were anything but helpful. I got a call center that just went through some script and insisted that it is operational error and wanted to set up a operational training session and charge me for it! I got so frustrated with the attitude and language barrier that I am going to go back to Sears tonight and insist that they swap the tractor for one that works. I have been using riding mowers for years and know what I am doing. How insulting and disappointing on Sears’ part.

      • @Debbie, At this point I would insist on a new one also. By the way what area of the country do you live?

        There is a place to vent your frustration. Mysears.com is a community where you can go, tell the members what you like and don’t like. If you are having problems like this, state your problems and a different customer service group will try to help you. A lot of my customers here have gotten a lot better satisfaction through mysears.com for repeat problems like this.

      • Debbie, this really sucks. Unfortunately, your story has become the norm for many, if not most, American companies who don’t give a sh*t about the customer after the sale. You shouldn’t have to go to some blog (no offense intended Paul) to receive warranty service. Take it back, insist on immediate replacement or full refund. I know exactly what you mean when attempting to contact customer service and getting someone on the line (typically after several minutes of waiting) whose command of English or enunciation is all but unintelligible. This adds insult to injury. The whole thing just sucks. Yeah, I said it again and it bears repeating.

        • Most of time Sears gets it right, but like every other company it has people running it. Sears also has more options for getting great customer service than most but navigating those options can be a times tiresome. I wish Sears had REAL product experts on the phone for gas powered equipment instead of operators with scripts.

          • “I wish Sears had REAL product experts on the phone for gas powered equipment instead of operators with scripts.” ToolBoxHero

            Amen to that.

        • Thanks for the replies guys. I talked to salesman that sold me the tractor, and he is all for swapping out for a new one, BUT it has to be approved by either the store manager or operational manager. Apparently both of them are “out of town on Sears’ business., so I sit here and wait. I told both the sale guy and the department manager if it is not resolved by tomorrow they can come and get it, and I will go some where else and get one that works.

          Paul, I am in Maryland.

    • Debbie, in my haste to respond to your concern, I neglected to offer an important piece of advice for future purchases. Always make certain the delivered equipment is working properly before you accept it. As you have learned through bitter experience, retailers often balk at returns. Avoid hassles. If it’s not working, refuse delivery and make them load it back on the truck and bring you another one.

  21. Paul,
    How effective is the plug aerator (24326) compared to the gas operated models? And how effective is the Craftsman tractor lift (24610)? Does it really lift high enough to be useful in servicing the deck? Thanks.

    • @Miles, as an old landscaper I don’t recommend anything but a gas powered aerator. I suggest renting one once a year instead of buying a pull-behind. A gas powered plug aerator (rental or commercial version) puts a 3 to 4 inch deep hole in the ground every 2 inches. That is about three times more holes than the 24326. For most soils you will need 150 lbs or more on the aerator to effectively get it into the ground.

      Gas powered are also much better at removing the plugs from the cutter so you end up with a lot less compaction.

      Gas powered also go straight into the ground so you end up with a straight hole. The 24326 tips into the hole and then tilts as it comes out leaving an elongated hole.

      With a creeper to lay on the tractor lift is nice! The lift is stable and lifts the tractor high enough to work under the deck well.

  22. OK. Got the YT 4000 46″ deck(model 28857). Never having a tractor before, having a lot of fun while trying not to run over the dog!.

    Question on mulching though. Does the stock 28857 come with mulching blades? My Husq. push mower seems to do a better job of chopping up debris than the tractor.

    If not stock, are mulching blades available and what is the correct part number for them?

    Thanks
    Steve

  23. Paul,
    Can you give me your impression of this lawn sweeper attachment. I am particularly interested in how easy it is to dump and whether with a full bag it creates too much stress on my 28857. Thanks.
    Craftsman 42″ High Speed Sweeper
    Sold by Sears | Sears Item# 07124222000 | Model# 24222

    • @Miles, The 24222 is one of the best sweepers on the market. It’s a “high speed” sweeper meaning the brushes turn much faster than the cheaper Agri-fab sweepers you see all over the place. (Never buy a sweeper that costs less than this one. You won’t be happy with it’s performance)

      The higher speed means it will pick up smaller stuff. Many owners say it will pick up pine needles acorns and wet grass. It doesn’t work well on walnuts. My neighbor uses his to pick up leaves in the fall after he has mulched them with the mower.

      It dumps well from the tractor seat with leaves, dry pine needles and dry grass. Wet grass is too heavy and you will have to get off the tractor to dump that.

      I like this sweeper and it’s the one I would buy if I ever need one.

      • Paul,

        As usual, thanks for your prompt and informative reply. Can I take your silence on my inquiry regarding weight stress of the attachment on the 28857 to mean that it is not an issue? If I purchase, I’ll do my best to get you that well-deserved commission.

          • Paul,
            I relied on your advice and sprung for the sweeper. Tried to order it online but the da*# site wouldn’t let me. Probably has something to do with the outdated web browser on my office computer. In any case, I made it over to the local Sears store during my lunch break. I paid to have it assembled-just getting lazy I guess. I’ll update you once I put it through its paces.

      • Paul, much to my chagrin I must report on my awful experience with the Craftsman sweeper. I purchased the sweeper in mid-September and paid the local Sears store to assemble it. Turns out this was a big mistake. Early November I broke it out for the first time. After about 5 minutes the wheels locked up (it appeared at least one of the brushes had come loose from the assembly) forcing me to essentially drag it, scarring my yard. Fortunately, my instinct told me to try it first in the back yard sensing that, given my somewhat negative experience with the delivery of my lawn tractor, they probably screwed up the assembly as well. I was right. After wrangling with the manager in lawn and garden, he agreed to have someone pick up the merchandise and to credit my Sears account. The gentleman who picked it up immediately identified the problem as assembly related. Things are really getting bad.

        • @Miles, I am sorry you had problems with your sweeper. I hope that teenager didn’t get into too much trouble for assembling it wrong. I doubt he was given any direction (like reading the directions) when he was told to assemble it. It is a fairly complicated assembly …. the box it comes in is very small for the size of the sweeper.

          I also think Sears is missing a very crucial point in their customer service. If they have someone assemble a product i.e., your sweeper, taking a tractor out of the crate, treadmill, etc. they should test the product before you get it. It appears to me that most of the problems with tractors this year are immediate….the problem is an assembly problem right from the factory. A simple grabbing the wheel and spinning it would have shown your sweeper was assembled wrong.

          I know that sweeper is the best on the market. I have seen a few sweepers where the wheels had to be replaced after 10 years or so, but otherwise they are just bulletproof.

  24. I’m confused. In your responses to “Doug Minchew” you say first that, ” …or the 24 hp, 28857 are the way to go. The hydrostatic transmissions in these mowers are strong enough to mow your slopes.”

    In your next exchange with Doug you say, “I have had enough customers complain about using the 28856/28857 that I know a new one will continue to give your problems on your hills.” You then recommend either the 28858 or the 28008.

    Can you explain the difference in the transmission between the 28857 and the 28858/28008? Thx.

    • @Dave, If you want to stay with a 46 in deck the 24 hp, 28857 is the only option. It will work on hills but I have a few customers who have to replace the transmission drive belt more often that if they just mowed flat land. The 28857 uses a Tuff Torq k4 426120 hydro trans that is common to most of the current lawn/yard tractors.

      The 28858/28008 uses the Tuff Torq K46 trans. These have a great reputation as a heavy duty lawn tractor trans. They will handle any hill you can safely ride on.

    • @Doug, I’ve had great luck with Kohler’s. They have a lot of torque for their size. I have always been able to get 1500 hours or more out of them in commercial mowers.

  25. Paul –Thanks for your quick response. I need to make a correction. I was having trouble with and am returning a 28857 not a 28885 as stated in my late night note. I really like the 28857 with the 46” deck and am considering getting another one in hopes that my troubled mower was the exception not the rule. If I don’t get it, I will get a 28858 with the 54 inch deck, a 26 hp 54 inch deck Kohler 28945 with a 6 speed gear drive, or a 24 hp v-twin B&S with the 42 inch deck and a 6 speed gear drive like I gave to my son.

    • @Doug, I’m not a fan of the gear drives anymore. Your problem is not the transmission, it the belts driving the trans. I have had enough customers complain about using the 28856/28857 that I know a new one will continue to give your problems on your hills.

      The 28858 drive train has actually been around for a quite a while (it was in the Craftsman Pro tractors before MTD took that line over) It’s rugged and will handle your hills well.

      By the way, the 28858 has a 26 hp Briggs, the 28008 has the 26 hp Kohler. Same tractor/mower, different motor.

  26. Paul — I’m a first timer on you site. I seriously need help. I purchased a Craftsman 46″ 24 hp V-twin B&S model 2888570 YT 4000 on June 12, 2011. After 4 good cuttings, the transmission began to slip on runs and in turns and on July 18, stopped pulling when I was about 3/4s through cutting the yard (front yd has a 10-15 degree slope). Sears replaced the transmission on August 4th. On the first cutting after the replacement, the mower again had the same problems. Fortunately, the sears store manager agreed to exchange the mower or let me up grade and pay any difference because of my troubles with the mower. Do I get another 288570, the same mower with a manual transmission and a 42” deck, or move to the model 288580 26 hp B&S with 54” deck (is its transmission stronger than 288570?). I gave my son an earlier version of the 288570 with a manual transmission and a 42” deck which I had owned for 7 trouble free years. I had hoped the 288580 with the 46” deck and a hydrostatic transmission would be equally good.

    • @Doug, The transmission in the 28885 is an “automatic.” It uses a variable speed v-belt to change the ground speed. It is a good “flat lander” trans but I don’t recommend it for pulling loads or mowing hills.

      If you want to stay with a 46 inch deck, the 21 hp, 28852 or the 24 hp, 28857 are the way to go. The hydrostatic transmissions in these mowers are strong enough to mow your slopes. The 28857 is a v-twin and has less vibration than the 28852.

      The 28858 Briggs or the 28008 Kohler are good choices if you can use the 54 inch deck in your yard. The 54 inch deck does not cut quite as evenly as a 46 inch deck, but it is a good, rugged deck.

      The easy way I explain the transmissions. The trans in the 28885 weighs 18 lbs, the trans in the 28857 weighs about 23 lbs., the trans in the 28858, 45 lbs and the trans in the GT 6000 Model 28861 garden tractor weighs 70 lbs.

  27. @ Paul-
    Thanks…placing the order, including the heavier plow. Can’t see why I’d have the deck on in the winter anyway and we get enough snow and muck in Rhode Island to justify the heavier duty blade.

    Thanks

  28. Paul-
    All set to pull the trigger on the YT4000/46″ (model 28857) but still a bit confused about which bag system and which snow blade will fit this model.
    Six bushel soft Bag – Sears has model #24903 listed with the tractor, but I believe your accessories page listed 24891.

    There are two snow blades that would appear to fit this tractor – the 48″ blade, Model# 486.244283 and a 42″ blade Model# 24441. I’d like the extra pick-up of the 48″, but not sure it fits, even though the Sears page says “…Blade can be sold to fit all of these Brand tractors : Craftsman, Husqvarna Poulan Pro, MTD, Huskee, Cub Cadet…”.
    Thoughts?
    Thanks…in advance and for the great site you’ve put together.

    • @Steve, The 24903 is the right bagger for the 46 inch deck. I know the 24891 is for the 42 inch deck.

      The 24441 is the standard blade for that tractor. You can mount it without removing the deck. I think it is ONLY good for moving light snow.

      The 24483 is a heavier blade and attaches to the rear axle. This gives you better traction allowing you to push more snow. It comes with additional brackets to fit all the tractors

  29. I have found this site to be extremely helpful. Thanks for all of the great perspective. I’ve pretty much decided to land with this model, but wondered if I should wait until the 2012 model since the season is already 1/2 way in. Any thoughts on this?

  30. I wanted to put this in with the 46″ Sears mower, even though my YT4000 28928 is not current any longer – but the issues are.

    1) The mower deck won’t go high enough as already mentioned. It may be due to the 18 inch tires instead of 20s, but Sears is mum and doesn’t offer any remedies. I don’t like having a mower that can only use levels 5 and 6 AFTER I cranked the front link much tighter.

    2) The mower hestiates on hot days once or twice while mowing. I unscrew the gas cap, and it immediately runs fine, then screw it back on.

    3) The bagger full indicator doesn’t spin at all until the bags are mostly full, apparently due to the soft bags letting out so much air that the resistance isn’t there to spin the gauge.

    4) I don’t have the tight turn technology, but find that when I crank the tires too far they can rip up the grass as I go around a tree, and also actually hit the deck itself. Bad design.

    The big advantage this mower has over my 1996 is that it basically is self-cleaning as Paul says.

    • @Rick, Some of the problems you have brought up are not just with Craftsman mowers. The changes everyone had to make for 2011 has affected all brands.

      The mower hesitates because the manufactures are now required to have sealed fuel systems and vapor recovery. These will vapor lock on the hot days and about all you can do is loosen the cap when it’s starts to stall.

      MTD has stopped using the bag full indicator all together because they only work under ideal conditions. Mulching blades will cause them to not work, dry, dry conditions, too wet conditions all affect that little spinner. That little spinner has been around for many years and when Agri-fab’s mold finally wears out, I bet they will get rid of the indicator also. (Agri-fab makes the YT & GT baggers. )

      The tire camber is actually one of the flatest in the industry. Turning tightly on poor grass and sandy soil will scuff the lawn. That’s one of the reasons some of the other manufactures stay with the 18 inch turning radius, because they don’t scuff the turf.

      There are trade-offs in the deck/mower design. Take a mower and make it short enough to work on today’s suburban lawns. Give it a tight turning radius and the wheels will take up a lot more room when they are turned all the way. Three bladed decks (the old 48 inch) don’t have clearance issues but they don’t cut as well and throw into a bagger well at all. The two blades on the 46 inch decks have to be staggered one behind the other and because of that they take up more room. (they can rub in the right rear (if the rear tires are too big) and the left front (if you turn too tight)

      If you take away these new features you end up with a mower that drives and mows like the old clunker you got rid of a few years ago.

      • Paul:

        Thanks for your reply. I have the 2010, not the 2011, so I don’t know if those incorporate the new fuel system, but if so, then the MANUAL should state that.

        I haven’t measured my turning radius, but I don’t have the new tight turn technology.

        I don’t believe that my blades are staggered. The left front seems to be what hits, because I turn that way around the trees.

        I complained on the Sears forum, where there are a lot of complaints, and they asked for my info and left me a message yesterday, so we’ll see what they say.

        Thanks again,

        Rick

  31. Have had my YT4000 with 46″ for about a week and a half now and have mowed the lawn twice in that time. I have enjoyed every minute of it. My only complaint, if you can call it that, is that it seems to be adjusted from the factory to mow super low. There are 6 deck height settings and I can only use 5 and 6 without scalping the lawn. How easy is that to adjust?

    • @John, There is a general fix that is working to get a higher cut.

      Customers are replacing the right side fixed lift arm with the adjustable arm. This is giving them the additional lift they need.

      Use the box on the right side of the page to go to searspartsdirect.com (use the discount code at checkout) and order 195181.

    • Paul, like many other posters, I have noticed that the maximum cutting height appears to be right around 31/2 inches. Jim Cook indicated changing the linkage gave him approximately 4 inches, hardly a significant difference in my view. However, I am satisfied with the superior quality of cut and spending the extra $25 for perhaps a 1/2 inch increase seems hardly worth it for me.

      • @ Miles, Good point. For most people the cost does not warrant the 1/2 inch cut. I want a mower that will cut at 4 inches. The difference in a blue-grass/fescue lawn kept at 4 inch compared to 3.5 is unbelievable.

  32. I recently purchased a YT 4000 with the 46″ cut and the 24hp v-twin engine. I am very disappointed with the cut. The deck height can’t be adjusted high enough as mentioned already, and the deck seems to be to free floating. I have all these divets around my yard and an uneven cut. I did all the proper adjustments with the blades and tires are inflated properly. Sears sent a service guy out and he ordered a new deck and replaced it. Still has the same bad cut. My yard is a little rough and the deck seems to jiggle around to much when mowing ( really i’m not going that fast) I borrowed my neighbors cub 1046 and the cut was just fine. I just don’t understand how this mower gets all the raves on a great cut. If you have a solution please share. I would like to keep the mower but right now it is set to go back this Sunday.

    • Scott, I am very troubled and surprised by the cutting difficulties you are experiencing. I have Honda push mowers and believe me, they produce an outstanding (even, uniform and smooth) cut. I have visually compared the cut of the Craftsman and must tell you, one would be very hard pressed to determine where the Honda leaves off and the Craftsman picks up. Perhaps you simply have a defective deck. My yard is fairly well kept (although with this drought it is burning up) but it does have some ruts and uneven places. Still the cut with this tractor is exceptional. I can assure you that were it otherwise, it would be back in the Sears warehouse gathering dust. Although I got an exceptional deal (under $1500) when I purchased in May 2011, I don’t have money to waste. Consider deck replacement (under warranty, of course) before you give up.

  33. Pingback: 2009 Craftsman YT 4000 Model 28925 24 HP 42 inch 6 Speed Yard Tractor Review

  34. Thanks for all the great information. Do you by any chance know the footprint of this tractor? I’m interested in picking one up, but I’d like to make sure I have the space in my garage first. I can’t seem to find dimensional information online.

    • @Jason, The tractor itself is about 68 inches long and 42 inches wide. With the deck attached it will be 47 inches wide with the discharge chute up and 57 inches wide with the chute down.

  35. Got my 28857 June 11th.Only problem is the stated 4″ cutting height is not true.I can get not quite 3″ blade height with keeping the deck level.Trying to get Sears to install shorter mandrel’s(the shaft the blade is attached to) or install a 1″ larger tire to get this cut height closer to the 4″ spec. as stated.Any other comments , or others with same problem?

    • @Jim, Thanks for the input. I have a few people complaining about the cutting height on the YT 3000 and YT4000. They switched to the 20x8x8 tires on these models last year. The other models that will mow at 4 inches have 20x10x8 or larger tires.

      • Paul,That explains alot.My guess would be the smaller tire was used to get the turn radius as tight as possible,since that is what they are hard selling on this one?So you are saying larger tires/wheels will get the deck cut height back to 4″? I have been suggesting that solution to Sears in more than one phone call in talking with someone in the tech. dept.
        Your reviews of this mower pushed me to choose it over the others in that under 2000.00 range.The tight turn radius is a neat feature,but the tractor/mowing deck cutting,power,and durability are more important.Have I made a poor choice?Is there another Sears model similar but with larger tires,that will give a 4″ cut?Went with a 46″ deck because the 42″ deck is not as wide as the tractor and want to be able to cut close to the edge (sidewalks,ect.).The simple fix here might be for Sears to bring out another model tractor,and take back my #28857.What do you suggest?

        • @Jim, The 46 inch Craftsman Pro 26 hp 46 Inch Model 28888 Yard Tractor is the only tractor Sears has with larger tires in that deck size. I have had no one complain about the cutting height on that machine. It is a $400 more than the 28857. It has the best Briggs motor and electric deck engage though.

          The next tractor with larger tires is the 54 inch Craftsman YT 4500 B&S Model 28858 at Sears Again, 26 hp Briggs, electric deck engage and a heavier trans than the one in the 28857.

          • Hey Paul,
            Want to start by thanking you for your time and to inform you that I tried using your coupon when making my mower purchase to give you comm. or credit for the sale,but the online order form would not accept it.
            Sears Cares is sending out a tech tomorrow,and if a 4″ cut adjustment cannot be made,then we need to look at swapping out for another mower.You suggest the Craftsman Pro model 28888 on your previous mail.When you pull up model 28888 on Sears site it takes you to a model # 13AR91 PTO99.Is that a new/different mower?Or do you know?Don’t mind spending a little more money for a good long lasting mower,but not sure what direction to go.Want a deck wider than the tractor (so 46″ would be min deck I suppose?),Turn tight is nice feature,but not sure I could not live without it.Want good power,clean even cut,and a mower that will last a long time in a residential setting.A 54″ deck sounds way big for my acre lawn,but to get good power and durability,a larger deck is not out of the question.Is this Model 28888 (13AR91PTO99) the one I should consider first?Or do you have another in the Sears line to suggest?Again thanks for your help.

            • @Jim, Sorry, the 28888 is a shortcut number sears uses. It’s part of the Sears Item number 07128888000 to the left of the model number. This tractor will give you the power, cut, and will last.

              The 46 inch deck is a great cutting deck and regularly gets high reviews from Consumer Reports and other review magazines. It cuts as well as the 46 inch deck on the YT’s.

              • Paul, Thanks for all your comments and advice.Sears Cares sent out an experinced tech who told me that this mower deck use to come with adjustment linkage on both sides.He had an extra adjustable linkage on his truck,changed out the fixed side,and now you can raise the deck on both sides and still keep it level.Got a 3.75″ blade height right and room to raise it a litle more.Was a little concerned about getting the deck so high that there would be a problem with the belts and pully clearance.The tech likes this mower setup better than the MTD built mowers.In his open simpler is better (man. choke,less electronics,ect.)In any event,got the deck to very close to 4″ cut,and that was all I had a problem with so am keeping the one I have.Good power,handles great,and now a good high even cut.Time will tell how it holds up,but feel it will last a good long time.Got a nice Universal 12.5 cu.ft. dump cart, free home delivery,and including TN sales tax spent right at 1800.00.For that money,it would be hard to beat.Thanks again for your input and info.Will let you know of other pro’s and con’s as time goes on. Jim

          • Still waiting for a response from Sears about the tech changing out the linkage on the deck so that it will adjust on both sides.Is my warranty now voided?
            Safest thing might be to just have them swap it out.Considering the YT4500 28858.Other than side to side clearance,what is the down side,if any to having the 54″ three blade deck with elec deck engage vs. the 46″ two blade set up that will not get a proper deck height as set up from the factory?
            Your suggestion of going to the 28888 pro model is an option,but every other comment I hear is to stay away from the MTD built tractors?
            Right now both the 28888 an the 28858 models are right at the same price.Can I bend your ear once more? Thanks

            • @Jim, the 46 inch deck is better if you want to bag. It will throw the grass into the bagger better. The 54 inch is a good deck, but it will not cut as evenly as the 46 just because of it’s size.

              All of the Craftsman Professionals (MTD made) are on clearance including the 42, 46, 50 and 54 inch. They are good mowers and all have had great service records (except one plastic pulley on the 28884) but they haven’t sold well because of the higher price. These Pro’s are basically Cub Cadets and not the lower prices MTD Yardman’s everyone hates.

              The 28858 still has the turn-tight front end. The Craftsman Pro’s don’t have this feature.

              • The turn tite is not a deal breaker for me.Having said that the pro series 46″ deck with 26 hp B&S engine you still like better than the YT 4000 or 4500?You fee lthe MTD manuf.on this pro series is quality as good or better than the YT series?I want the best cut,and if the 46″ gives better quality than the 54″ deck then I need to try and get a tractor /deck combo that will give me a good high (around 4″)even cut
                using the 46″ deck.So bottom line is the pro series 28888 first and the YT4500 #28858 second?

                • @Jim, the 46 inch deck on the YT4000 has the best cut.

                  The Pro has actually had fewer problems out of the box. The 46 inch is so good that the district service manager in my area didn’t even know Sears had it! That 46 inch deck is the same as on the Cubs and always gets good reviews.

  36. It appears KMart may no longer handle this mower. It doesn’t show up when I followed the link and a further search showed only 10 ‘riders’ available today.

  37. Paul, I have used this tractor 3 times and on each occasion have come away extremely impressed with the cut and overall performance. I am grateful to you for your review of this model and for debunking the myths surrounding the turn tight technology. I can literally cut 90-95% of my lawn with this baby. My neighbor has the Deere 135 and his cut is no where near as smooth as the Craftsman. Kudos to Sears. If these tractors prove to be reliable, all the manufacturers will be struggling to catch up and compete. At this price point, there is probably no real competition.

  38. Paul, thanks for all the information on your great site and keeping it updated so frequently. After a ton of research we recently purchased the YT 4000 46″ 24HP 28857. With Friends and Family and another discount we got a great deal under $1,400.00. Although it won’t arrive for another week I am confident I will be very pleased and now the added bonus of the hi lift blades and we were able to use our double shop your way rewards we earned and got the dual bar bumper free today. Thanks again for your great site.

      • Yes, I picked it up May 18th as promised. Short on time so I did the basic checks, purged the transmission and waited until the next day to mow. I noticed the side to side deck adjustment was slightly off, easy fix.
        We bought this mower for a new home we just bought and the yard was rough only has been mowed twice this year. We also had a new well installed early that day so I hooked the roller up while mowing.
        This mower had plenty of power, the grass was pretty tall and while pulling the roller it didn’t miss a beat. I would like a little more height adjustment. The highest deck setting leaves me at 3 1/2″ blade height.
        So far I really like it especially the turn tight. I unhooked the roller when I finished to trim and this thing is nimble.
        Plus a coat of wax and it really shines.
        I will let you know more after a couple more runs but so far I am very pleased!

        • Thanks for the update. I agree with you on the cutting height at the highest setting. Let’s both hope it holds up. Take care.

  39. Paul. Mower delivered on May 7 as promised. My early review: First, be skeptical of delivery guys advice regarding set up. I asked if I needed to purge the transmission and adjust tire inflation as per owner’s manual. They responded, “Nah, our technicians handle that.” I checked tire pressure and just as stated in owner’s manual, they were grossly over-inflated. I adjusted tires and purged transmission. Others have mentioned that dismounting tractor from left side is somewhat awkward due to location of lift handle for deck. I found this to be absolutely true. I also purchased the 2 bin bagger and it performs beautifully. I like the fact that you slide the bags outward and then lift, rather than having to lift to remove them off the track. However, removing the bagger from and attaching it to the tractor where the hooks insert into the flanges requires some extra dexterity-not easy for a person with big hands and who is all thumbs like me. On a related issue, after a visual examination of the blades and comparing them to photos of the hi-lift blades, as well as noting on the inside of the hood where spare parts listing shows hi-lift replacement blade number, I tentatively conclude that hi-lift blades come standard on this tractor. Now on to the cut. In a word, exceptional. I have been pushing with a Honda mower (circa 1987-yeah, it still runs like a top)which produces an outstandingly smooth cut. The Craftsman matches it and one would be hard pressed to distinguish the two. It also does an excellent job of bagging dry grass from a well kept lawn-saw no evidence of grass left behind. After a bit of experimenting, I use the highest cut setting as it matches that used on the Honda (which is next to highest). I could never get the gauge wheels adjusted so that they are just “barely off the ground” at my cut setting. I would say they are somewhat on the high side. I don’t like the fact that the manual states that a hose should not be used for cleaning the tractor unless the engine and transmission are covered. I could possibly place a piece of plastic (over a cool engine, of course), but it’s just not practical to cover the transmission. Engine starts quickly and runs smooth. A gas gauge would be nice, however. We’ll see how it holds up.

    • @Miles, I’m glad you like your new tractor! Yes, the guys who take the tractor out of the crate have a checklist that they go through, but I hear too many stories where the complete list doesn’t get done. The checklist is the same as the one in your manual.

      The 46 inch deck has gotten great reviews from Consumer Reports and owners for a few years now. It also is a great bagging deck. The two blades with the large discharge opening really throw the grass well. I think it is the best bagging deck on the market for the price.

      For a while the manufacture was putting the combination blades on but now it seems that they are using the high lift blades. The hi-lift give the best cut, and are the best for throwing into the bagger. If you use your bagger all the time or if you go to a mulch plug also consider the advanced mulching blades when you replace the stock ones next year. The advanced mulching blades chew up the grass and leaves, yet will throw the clippings into your bagger well.

      The gauge wheels are not designed to ride on the ground. They are used to keep the deck from digging into your turf when doing the bottom of ditches, riding over tree roots, etc. Don’t worry about them at all.

      The deck wash is a gimmick. One manufacture start that a few years ago and now everyone has to have it just to sell their tractors. It doesn’t work that well and makes a huge mess when you use it. The Craftsman decks all have excellent air flow and are self-cleaning for the most part so they won’t have much of a build-up underneath anyway.

      • Paul, I want to thank you for your guidance on this purchase. I had thoroughly reviewed the Consumer Reports’ article on these new mowers and although I have bee a subscriber for over 20 years, I remain skeptical of some of their conclusions. For example, the model 28856 (42 inch version of this same mower) was rated 2 points below the comparably priced D Series from Deere, despite the fact the Craftsman has a better engine and bags better. Although the Deere has a slightly better dependability rating (2 points higher than the Craftsman), to get the V-twin you pay considerably more. So how can it have a higher rating? But after reading your reviews and prompt responses to my inquiries, I felt much more comfortable with the decision. Thanks again. I’ll be in touch.

        • @Miles, I too always have more questions than answers from the May issue of Consumer Reports.

          For Example: They rated the 42 inch Craftsman deck better this year and the 46 inch deck higher in 2009 and 2010. The decks haven’t changed.

          They didn’t give any of the Cub Cadet a good rating based on service records, yet the MTD built Craftsman Pro have proven to be just about bullet proof.

          I do like the Snapper NTX series and it is one great tractor, but someone has yet to prove to me the deck mows as well or better than the Craftsman 46 inch, Deere 42 inch or Cub Cadet 42 inch.

          I think the 2000 series Cub Cadet and 300 series Deere should be rated in class with the Simplicity Prestige and Craftsman PTY9500, not the under $3000 group they are rated in. They skew the results quite a bit in my opinion.

  40. Hey Paul, I see your reference in the review to “See Engine types for a complete explanation”. But I can’t seem to locate that information on your site. Could you give me a hand? Thanks.

    • @Miles, I sorry, I have been so busy I forgot to write that article. Give me a couple of days and I’ll get it done. In the meantime, is there and engine or two you would like to know more about?

      • No problem. I am delighted you take the time to respond. Interested in engine for Craftsman model 28857 reviewed above. Awaiting delivery scheduled for May 7. Thanks.

        • @Miles, The 24 hp Briggs & Stratton motor in that mower is not a pressurized engine. It is better than that. The motor actually has an oil pump that pumps the oil from the crankcase up to the bearings and other critical parts of the motor.

          In other words there are five types of B&S motors that I am aware of used in the tractors Sears sells. 1. Splash lube, 2. Pressurized, 3. Pressurized Oil Pump, 4. Professional, 5. EFM.

          The motor you are getting is Number 3.

          The professional motor, No 4 has a heavy duty bottom bearing, chrome valves and electronic fuel Control. It still uses a choke. The top of the line (in the Snapper) uses a new electronic fuel management system and starts like your car (without a choke)

  41. Paul, please take a look at this excerpt from a Sears reviewer, Tonyinindy, and let me know what you know about this issue:

    “One piece of advice before you start it up for the first time be sure you take a few minutes to read the owners manual. Then I recomend immeadiately engaging the blades for at least 5 minutes, if you let the mower run first without engaging the blades the pully will smoke the belt, therefore ruining the belt. One last thing is the wheels on the deck.”

    • @Miles, A few of the 42, 46, and 54 inch decks last year had the wrong idler pulley installed at the factory. When you started the deck up for the first time they would either burn up or throw the belt. If you happened to get one of these a phone call to 1-800-4MY-HOME fixed the problem. A tech came out and replaced the pulley and anything that was broke as a result.

      So, I can see where Tony could think the way to “break in” the mower was to turn it on and let it run for a few minutes.

  42. Paul, please note that your Sears bagger link is for the 42″ deck. I really appreciate and enjoy your reviews. I’m looking to buy this mower this week.

  43. Considering this tractor. Just a general question about this tractor… currently using a jd rx-75 9hp kawi (manual trans) that is having issues with the starter, hence the reason for considering a new tractor. the terrain is what i’ll call generously steep, and i’m concerned about the hydro transmission. any concerns about whether it’s strong enough? as far as maintaining the trans, is it sealed, and you just dump it if it goes (after warranty) or can i get in there to refill trans fluid, etc.? thanks in advance. (general homeowner who maintains equipment, and obsess over making the right choice.) thanks.

    • @jason, The hydro’s are fine. The biggest problem with all tractors today under 3 grand is they use a v-belt from the engine to the trans. Hilly terrain wears this belt out and you may have to replace it every year or two because of the hills. (order one and have it hanging around as a spare)

      Now of the hydro’s are serviceable anymore until you get into the $5000 range or higher.

      The Craftsman’s with a 54 inch deck have a heavier transmission and the GT6000 has the heaviest.

          • Thanks so much for your prompt and informative response. Will the standard blades do an adequate job of bagging on a well kept lawn or should I get the hi-lift blades?

            • @Miles, The blades is came with will do an adequate job for normal bagging. (Good grass, not too wet) I prefer the hi-lift for bagging though because they will throw under most conditions (not heavy wet grass in the rain)

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