2012 Craftsman 54 in 26 hp GEAR DRIVE GT 5000 Model 25024 Yard Tractor Review

Executive Summary: I will always recommend a hydro transmission over a gear drive.  There is only one reason to buy a gear drive garden tractor over a hydro – you want the transmission to last longer than any other component on the tractor. Gear drive tractors don’t use a clutch like you have on your car.  They have a clutch pedal, but that pedal releases tension on the engine/transmission drive belt.  You can’t “feather” the clutch on these tractors.  You put the tractor in gear, release the clutch, and hang on.  In other words, I only recommend a gear drive garden tractor if you have large, open areas of lawn and you don’t need to change speeds or back up often.  If you plan on using a 3-bin bagger be aware you can pop thr front wheels off the ground with the bags full of grass. If you have lots of obstacles and/or inexperienced operators I suggest you buy a tractor with a hydro transmission.  Go here for a good one that matches the specifications of this one:  2012 Craftsman 54 in 26 hp hydrostatic garden tractor

That said, Craftsman updated the gear drive Garden Tractor this year to include the 6 inch Turn Tight steering.  The new Craftsman GT 5000, Model 25024 is a great, heavy-duty tractor and will give you years of service.  It has a the good 54 in deck, large tires, deluxe seat, and Kohler Courage Pro engine.

Brand/Manufacture: Craftsman / Husqvarna
Model/Series: Yard Tractor / GT5000 | GT 5000
Item Number:GT 5000 Model 25024
Buy Here: Craftsman 54″ 26 hp Turn Tight Garden Tractor 49 States Deluxe high back
Store Pickup:Buy Online, Pickup At Your Local Sears or Buy Online, And Have It Delivered To Your Home: Craftsman 54″ 26 hp Turn Tight Garden Tractor 49 States Deluxe high back
Street Price: $2599.99

Basic Quality: (Cheap, Good, Best, Premium, Don’t Buy)  This is Craftsman’s Best Quality. The 28881 is less quality. The Craftsman Premium’s are better.

Type: (Riding Mower, Lawn Tractor, Yard Tractor, Garden Tractor, Estate Tractor, Sub-Compact, Zero Turn, Stand-On) Garden TractorSee the recommended attachments including ground engaging at the end of this article.
Compare it to:  2012 Craftsman 54 in 26 hp hydrostatic garden tractor

Craftsman GT 5000

Large Tires
Heavy Duty  Trans
6 inch Turning Radius!

Does Not Have Diff Lock

Retail Price: $2599.99 Check The Best Sale Price Here:
Craftsman 54″ 26 hp Turn Tight Garden Tractor 49 States Deluxe high back

My Review:

If you are looking for more than just a lawn mower. If you want to till your garden. If you want pull fire wood out of the timber. If you want the best ride, this is the mower for you.  This is Craftsman’s gear drive workhorse. It will mow your lawn, do most of the trimming as you mow and pull all of your stuff.  The deck side-discharges well and bags well.  It is a great tractor, with a good deck. Do the regular maintenance and it will last you longer than any other mower in it’s price range.  For anyone who has a few acres to mow, a large garden to tend and a few other chores that will quickly kill a lawn tractor this is a good choice.  This tractor is heavy enough to pull an Acrease wing mower or food plot chisel plow.

This garden tractor will mow in reverse.

This article was first published at TodaysMower.com 

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail on this review.  If you have specific questions leave a comment below and myself or the readers will be glad to answer them.  This is a great tractor and if you want one to last this should be at the top of your list.

Comfort – Ease of Use:  The gear drive, manual transmission is not intuitive to operate and will take an inexperienced operator some time to get used to.  If you are putting your new operator on this tractor expect a few run-ins with trees and other obstacles. Deluxe seat with armrests, easy to use operator controls, good field of view.  Very comfortable ride. Oh, It is shipped with the tires over inflated. Read the manual and adjust the tire pressure and you will have a great ride.

Power For Mowing:  This tractor has plenty of power for side discharge mowing every week.  It has plenty of power for every other task.  Don’t over fill the engine crankcase. If you don’t know how to fill it properly read the manual and ask someone you know.

Reliability – New to 3 yrs: This tractor is serviced by Sears.  This tractor is brand new, but I don’t expect any issues with it. Learn to take the deck off and put it back on by yourself. The store personnel don’t always get the deck on correctly. Read the manual and do this a couple of times until you are comfortable doing it.  This way you can easily clean the deck and sharpen the blades.  One thing to know – Sears takes the tractor out of the shipping crate but they do not “setup” the tractor. (John Deere dealers are the only retailer who does) You have to put gas in it, and run it for the first time. You may have to hook up the battery and charge it. If there is an assembly problem you call 1-800-4MY-HOME and a service tech comes out and fixes the issue. The store where you picked it up from or the delivery team does not repair the tractor.

Handling – Traction/Steering:  This tractor has good traction and handling and with the large tires is better than most of the other lawn tractors from the other retailers.   You can use this mower on slopes and medium hills, but I recommend you never use a mower like this on wet or drought-dry slopes. The 6 inch turn-tight is a great feature. Be aware that it is designed to almost zero turn around obstacles, don’t try and crank it all the way at 5 to 7 mph – you will bend the front steering. Remember, you don’t use your economy car for off-roading in the mountains, don’t use this tractor for a race car through the roughest part of your lawn.

Mow – Mulch- Bag:  This tractor get high marks by owners for mowing but not for mulching and bagging.  When you install a mulch plug the deck tends to throw debris out the right front.  If the wind is just right you will be covered in grass by the time you are done mowing. Be aware this is not a “high-speed” deck like you will find on a commercial lawn mower.  It mows perfectly at 4-5 MPH but don’t expect it to mow as fast as the tractor will go (5.5MPH) and give you the same results.  With this tractor/deck you set the height of cut using a lever on the tractor.

Specifications, Features, Benefits

The rest of this article is taken from the retailers website. Specs subject to change.

Type:  Garden Tractor
Maximum mowing area per hour (acres): 2.5 acres at 5 MPH
Recommended for moderate slopes? Yes
Excels in mowing around obstacles? Yes

Will Mow In Reverse? Yes

Manufacturer: Husqvarana
Brand: Craftsman
Engine Power: 26 hp* 
Displacement: 725 cc. 
Manufacturer: Kohler Courage
Cylinders: Twin, cast-iron liners
Type: OHV, oil filter, Pressurized
Charging System: 15 amp regulated
Battery: DieHard
Choke/Speed Control: Separate Choke/Throttle Lever
Fuel Tank Capacity: 4 U.S. gal. with Reserve
Transmission: Heavy Duty six speed manual
Transmission Control:  Direction – fender lever; speed gears
Cruise Control: NA
Forward Speed: 0-5.5 mph
Reverse Speed: 0-2.5 mph
Chassis: 12 ga.
Front Tires: 16×6.5×6
Rear Tires: 23×10.5×8
Front Axle: Cast Iron
Hood Material: Steel
Hourmeter: Yes
Tool Tray: NA

Cupholder: Yes
Headlights: Yes
Translucent fuel tank or Fuel gauge: Yes
Deck washout port: Yes
12-volt outlet: No
Steering: Type 2-wheel steer
Turning Radius: 6 in.
Uncut Circle Radius: ? in. 
Spindle Bushings: Ball Bearing Grease
Seat Back Height: Deluxe with armrests
Fore-aft Adjustment: 5 in. while seated
Seat Suspension: Two coil springs
Deck Lift System: Fender 
Mower Cut Height: 1.5 in. to 5 in., 12 position
Cut Height Increments: .25 in.
Preset Cut Height: No
PTO clutch: Electric

Mower Deck

Type: Side discharge
Mower Cutting Width: 54 in.
Blades: 3
Mower Deck Material: 12 ga
Mower Wheel Adjustment: Yes
Mower Level Adjustment: Exact
Mower Drive System: In-line belt, Electric PTO
Mower Attachment: 4 point Not EZ-Off
Mower Drive: Belt Tension Spring
Mower Wheels Rotate For Deck Removal: No


Wheelbase: ?-in. 
Overall Length: 73-in. 
Width without mower: ?-in. 
Width with mower: ?-in. 
Width with mower: (deflector raised for storage) 57 -in. 
Height: 46-in. 
Weight: 644 lb with mower, no fuel

U.S. Warranty: 2 year limited, 3 and 5 year optional protection plan

50 PURPLE MAJESTY MILLET (Pearl, Ornamental, or Black Leaf Millet) Ornamental Grass Pennisetum Glaucum Seeds


  1. Bob Yatsko July 8, 2014
    • Paul Sikkema July 9, 2014
  2. charlie January 7, 2013
    • Paul Sikkema January 7, 2013

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