2012 Troy-Bilt 30 in, 11.5 hp, Shift-On-The-Go Riding Mower Review

Executive Summary: This is Troy-Bilt’s new Small Rider.  I have not had a chance to test it yet (I will test the Craftsman Version in April) but I expect to give it a good review at that time.  It features a 30 inch 3-in-1 deck, 6 speed shift-on-the-go transmission and a short turning radius for a riding lawn mower.  This is not the same mower that most retailers had last year.  This new mower has the proven MTD Shift-on-the-go trans.

Update: March 21, 2012  “Paul – I saw this mower in Lowe’s today and I can say this is definitely not the “same” mower as the Craftsman 420cc 30″ 5-Speed Rider 16×6.5 that came out new this year. They may both be MTD builds, but the Craftsman has a 420cc motor with a screw on oil-filter and this troy-bilt is 344cc and I didn’t see an oil-filter. They look very very similar, but the craftman definitely is a better quality build (nicer seat, steering wheel, etc). I am dying to see your full-review on both of these machines!!!  Ed K”

by: Paul Sikkema

Brand/Manufacture: Troy-Bilt / MTD
Model/Series:
Troy-Bilt 11.5-HP Manual 30″ Riding Mower 13AC26JD011
Item Number: 372094
Buy Here: Troy-Bilt
Street Price: $999.99

Basic Quality: (Cheap, Good, Best, Premium, Don’t Buy)  This is a “Good” quality. The Craftsman LT 28881 series is less quality. The  YT-3000 series are better.

Type: (Riding Mower, Lawn Tractor, Yard Tractor, Garden Tractor, Estate Tractor, Sub-Compact, Zero Turn, Stand-On) Riding Mower

Troy-Bilt TB30 R Neighborhood Rider

 Pros:
Proven Transmission
Tight Turning Radius
EZ on and off
Will Fit Through Most Gates

Cons:
For Small Yards
Use for light attachments ONLY
No anti scalp wheels

Retail Price: $999.99

My Review:

There is not a large market for this small of a mower and when Briggs decided to stop making their 30 in a few years ago no one wanted to fill the gap right away.

This year though MTD has developed and released this new mower and it features their bulletproof 6 speed shift-on-the-go trans.

This mower is designed to go through most gates, mow small yards and be inexpensive. ($400 less than the Craftsman 28034) I expect a lot of customers to give this little mower good ratings as long as they use it for it’s intended purpose.

This article was first published at TodaysMower.com 

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail at this time. After I get a chance to drive one in April, I’ll come back and fill you in. I don’t expect ANY problems with the rider though.  This mower uses “standard” technology and won’t give you problems in normal use.  If you have specific questions leave a comment below and myself or the readers will be glad to answer them.

Comfort – Ease of Use:

Power For Mowing:  The motor is adequate for side-discharge and bagging. I’ll let you know about power for mulching.

Reliability – New to 3 yrs: This tractor is serviced by an authorized MTD Service Center.

Handling – Traction/Steering:  This tractor has a low-effort steering.   I recommend you never use a mower like this on wet or drought-dry slopes.  It is too narrow to work on slopes.

Mow – Mulch- Bag:  The 30 inch blade on this mower will cut great, but will tend to scalp your rough lawn.   If you have a rough, uneven lawn be aware of this and just raise the deck up a notch and it will mow fine.

Specifications, Features, Benefits

The rest of this article is taken from the retailers website.

Type:  Riding Mower
Maximum mowing area per hour (acres): .75 acres at 3 MPH
Recommended for moderate slopes? No
Excels in mowing around obstacles? Moderate to good

Manufacturer: MTD ?
Brand: Troy-Bilt
Engine Power: 11.5 ?  hp*
Displacement: 420 cc.
Manufacturer: Briggs & Stratton
Cylinders: Single
Type: OHV, oil filter, Full-pressure Lubrication
Charging System: 12 v ? amp regulated
Battery: 155 ? cold-crank amps
Choke/Speed Control: Integrated levers
Fuel Tank Capacity: 1.3 U.S. gal.
Transmission: Six Speed Shift on the Go
Transmission Control:  Fender/Clutch pedal
Cruise Control: NA
Forward Speed: 0-5 mph
Reverse Speed: 0-2.8 mph
Chassis: Frame Welded /Paint E-coat/powder
Front Tires: 13×5
Rear Tires: 16×6
Front Axle: Steel Tube
Hood Material: X
Hourmeter: No
Tool Tray: No
Cupholder: Yes
Headlights: No
Translucent fuel tank or Fuel gauge: Yes
Deck washout port: Yes
12-volt outlet: No
Steering: Type 2-wheel steer, Telescoping
Turning Radius: 18 in.
Uncut Circle Radius: ? in.
Spindle Bushings: Metal, replaceable
Seat Back Height: Mid-back Mesh Seat
Fore-aft Adjustment: 5 in. while seated
Seat Suspension: NA
Deck Lift System:Fender
Mower Cut Height: 1 in. to 4 in., 5 position
Cut Height Increments: ? in.
Preset Cut Height: Yes
PTO clutch: Manual

Mower Deck

Type: Side discharge 3-in-1
Mower Cutting Width: 30 in.
Blades: 1.
Mower Deck Material: 14 ga. Steel
Mower Wheel Adjustment: NA
Mower Level Adjustment: Exact
Mower Drive System: In-line belt, Manual PTO
Mower Attachment: 4 point Not EZ-Off
Mower Drive: Belt Tension Spring
Mower Wheels Rotate For Deck Removal: No

Dimensions

Wheelbase: ?-in.
Overall Length: ?-in.
Width without mower: ?-in.
Width with mower: ?-in.
Width with mower: (deflector raised for storage) 32-in.
Height: ?-in.
Weight: 332 lb with mower, no fuel

U.S. Warranty: 2 year limited

Optional Attachments

Mowers:  (standard)
Material Collection System:  bagger
Mulching System: Yes, FastAttach mulch kit
Front Thatcher: NA
Front Blade: NA
Tractor Shovel: NA
Snow Blower: NA
Front Bumper: Optional
Brush Guard: NA
Bucket Holder: NA
Tow-Behind Tools: 3

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36 Comments on "2012 Troy-Bilt 30 in, 11.5 hp, Shift-On-The-Go Riding Mower Review"

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Rolando Rodriguez
Guest

Hello, Paul. I was wondering if anyone else had run into this particular issue on this Troy-Bilt. I’ve had mine for two years now. Recently when I engage the PTO at levels 3,4, and 5, the belt comes off. Yet when I do it on levels 1 and 2, the blades engage with no issues. When I first got used two years ago, there were no issues with engage the blades at any level. The belt is new and everything else seems fine…any idea on what could potentially be the issue?

Tommy
Guest

Hi Pual,can u tell where the oil filter is for the TRoy Bilt 30in?

Don
Guest
Hello my girlfriend bought a troy bilt neighbourhood rider and she put it away last winter and I got i out today and put new battery in it and no start. have all the levers in the proper position i believe but the clutch petal is almost fully depressed and will not release up. I wonder if this is why it will not start. I will also check the chute switch but how do you release the clutch petal all the way up. In park it is all the way down..in a gear it is only slightly raised in the… Read more »
Rich B
Guest

I live in the north east and was wondering if it has a plow and or a snow plower attachment.

Edward Rodriguez
Guest

Can tell me where the 5AMP fuse is located. From Montgomery Il.

Sondra Negrete
Guest

Thanks Paul. However, that did not seems to be my issue.
Mower will not do anything at all. Not even crank. I can not even get it to roll when it is in neutral and the parking brake is off. Seems like a safety switch is not working.
Azle,Tx

Sondra Negrete
Guest

Where is the discharge chute safety switch?

stacia townsend
Guest

need help getting the mower belt back on.. need a diagram to know how it goes back on!!!

Troy
Guest

Paul sikkema that worked nd thx lots

Troy sanders jr
Guest

I’ve had my troybuilt 30″ riding mower for 2/3 months nd it’s always cranked , no promblem . I go to get it out of garage nd it won’t even turnover/ doesn’t make any clicking noise , etc. battery is fully charged. ANYONE THAT HAS ANY ADVISE PLEASE HELP. THX! my email is t. sandersjr@yahoo.com

Paul Baker
Guest

Paul, Has anyone found an oil filter that will replace the 2 1/10″ hgt on the 420cc engine? The Purolator L10241 seems to be too long. Has to be anti-drain.

Tom Soisson
Guest

I should have been more specific – I need to be able to transport whatever mower I buy from one home to another on a weekly basis if not more often, so I need one with a low profile (or I need to buy a truck!) Any thoughts? (I prefer Lowes but not required)

Tom Soisson
Guest

I have a few questions for anyone who can help. 1) Would this mower fit in the back of my SUV if the height from floor to the lowest point in the back opening is 28″? 2) I know I need to remove the seat and or steering wheel -is that relatively easy to do? 3) Is there a snowplow blade that fits this machine?

Tom Soisson
Guest

I have a few questions for anyone who can help. 1) Would this mower fit in the back of my SUV if the height from floor to the lowest point in the back opening is 28″? 2) I know I will need to remove the seat and or steering wheel -is that relatively easy to do? 3) Is it possible to attach a snowplow blade to this machine and does one exist that fits?

nick
Guest

Paul the tb has a 344cc briggs and the sears has a 420cc with an unknown eng manufacture with oil filter. Do you think your better off with the briggs then the unknown or is it the same manufacture that makes the snowblower engs thanks again nick

Wallace Green Sr.
Guest

With this being my first riding mover, I had no idea mulching system was not attach until my first use. The worst part was Lowes were I purched this don’t sell the mulching kit and have no idea where. Can you hee?lp m

Sam Pekins
Guest

Where can I find the dimensions of this mower? H – W – L??

Darrel
Guest

Does this have plastic steering gear that the Weed Eaters had?

Ed K
Guest

Paul – I saw this mower in Lowe’s today and I can say this is definitely not the “same” mower as the Craftsman 30″ that came out new this year (RER10000) They may both be MTD builds, but the craftsman has a 420cc motor with a screw on oil-filter and this troy-bilt is 344cc and I didn’t see an oil-filter. They look very very similar, but the craftman definitely is a better quality build (nicer seat, steering wheel, etc). I am dying to see your full-review on both of these machines!!!

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