2012 Craftsman 54 in 26 hp GT 6000 Model 28861 Hydrostatic Garden Tractor Review

Executive Summary: This Garden Tractor was a great tractor way back in 2008 and Craftsman has continued to improve it year after year. What makes it better than the competition? 7.5 mph, brush guard, arm rests, 6 inch turning radius, 5 anti-scalp wheels, and it looks good!  This is the best deal in the “under $3000″ class.  I like this tractor and would buy one if it fit my lawn.

This tractor has not changed for 2013.

Brand/Manufacture: Craftsman / Husqvarna
Model/Series: Garden Tractor / GT6000 | GT 6000
Item Number: Model 28861 (49 State) Model 28867 (CA Version)
Buy Here: Craftsman 54 In. 26hp Kohler Turn Tight Hydrostatic Garden Tractor Non CA 23 x 10.5 x 8 in.
Store Pickup: Delivery: Craftsman 54 In. 26hp Kohler Turn Tight Hydrostatic Garden Tractor Non CA 23 x 10.5 x 8 in. 
Street Price: $2999.99

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

Type: (Riding Mower, Lawn Tractor, Yard Tractor, Garden Tractor, Estate Tractor, Sub-Compact, Zero Turn, Stand-On) Garden Tractor. 
Compare it to: Cub Cadet Cub Cadet GT1054, John Deere John Deere D170

Craftsman 54 in 26 hp GT 6000

 Pros:
Large Tires
7.5 MPH!
Heavy Duty Hydro Trans
6 inch Turning Radius!

Cons:
Does Not Have Diff Lock

Retail Price: $2999.99 Check The Best Sale Price Here:  Craftsman 54 In. 26hp Kohler Turn Tight Hydrostatic Garden Tractor Non CA 23 x 10.5 x 8 in. 

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 quickly. If you want the best ride, this is the mower for you.  This is Craftsman’s workhorse. It will mow your lawn quickly, do most of the trimming as you mow and get you there faster than all the other tractors under $3000.  The deck side-discharges well and like all 54 inch decks that don’t use an auxillary blower bags adequatley.  I don’t really have any bad things to say about this tractor. 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 the best 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:  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 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.  There have been a few issues with the build quality. There have been very few issues with the build quality but 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 (7.5MPH) 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 Premium Hydro 
Transmission Control:  Direction – pedal; speed – pedal
Cruise Control: Standard
Forward Speed: 0-7.5 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

Dimensions

Wheelbase: ?-in. 
Overall Length: ?-in. 
Width without mower: ?-in. 
Width with mower: ?-in. 
Width with mower: (deflector raised for storage) 57 -in. 
Height: ?-in. 
Weight: 596 lb with mower, no fuel

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

Please give your city and state when you comment

  1. I own a 2011 gt 6000 been happy overall! once I to replace the steering rods on the tight turn.because I hit a couple of hole in my yard and bent them. but now after 3 years for some reason it don’t want to backup on any grade! it will backup on level ground! goes foward fine and climbs steep hills with no problem. I have replaced the drive belt. but it didn’t help.

  2. I had an interesting issue with my GT6000… I check the oil in my tractor religiously – at least every other cutting. Yesterday, when I had the hood up to check the oil, I noticed that the lower right side of the engine was coated in an oily, gritty, sticky mess. To make a long story short, the oil drain port had loosened just enough to allow a small amount of oil to leak out, vaporize and coat that side of the engine. Fortunately, the engine never ran low enough on oil to be dangerous – but ONLY because I check the oil religiously. A less cautious owner might never have noticed until the engine ran out of oil and seized up.

  3. I have a craftsman gt6000 28861 tractor mower. what do you have to by-pass to mow in reverse. right now it will shut down the whole machine. I am from Lincoln,ilinois

    • @Darwin, With the deck engaged turn the key to the reverse tractor position. It is the next position from the Stop null. You can now reverse the tractor and the deck will stay running.

      If this doesn’t work either a safety switch or the ignition switch is bad.

    • Chuck, I think I understand. The 28881 is last years basic lawn tractor. It had a 42 inch deck, 17 hp motor and sold for $999.

      The 28861 is a garden tractor. 54 inch deck and 26 hp motor. I recommend the 28861 for large yards, snow blowing and for owners who need a heavy duty tractor.

  4. Question: You bring an interesting question to mind as I consider my nest garden tractor. My current 2009 Craftsman 5500 loses power, likely from the transmision when hot under heavy load. No question I have abused this machine towing, plowing, cutting and and now my son starting to mow. How do I identify these heavy duty transmisions(hydrostatic). Tuff Torq has a nice web site but when I look at the GT6000 or similar Husky’s I can’t tell whats in them. What is the trans in my 5500, GT6000 and the Husky GT48XLS.
    Thanks
    David Hahn
    Upstate NY

    • @David, There is no quick way to figure out the different trans but his is what I do. Tale the model number of the tractor and look up the illustrated parts list for it. The model number is under the seat on your craftsman. The model number for the GT 6000 is 917.288610. The Model number for the Husqvarna is also under the seat. (By the way Husky is a cheap tractor sold by Tractor Supply)

      For the craftsman go to searspartsdirect.com. Put in the model number and then find the transmission breakdown. On some of the sheets the model and manufacture will be shown on the parts sheet itself.

      For the GT48XLS go to husqvarna.com, click on customer support, (not the support tab) then manual/parts. From there it is the same as the craftsman.

      If the manufacture and model number are not listed on the sheet use the part number from the parts list and Google it. Run through the search results and most of the time you can figure out the manufacture. In general Tuff Torq transmission are 5.5 mph and have an optional differntial lock. Hydrogear has the 8 mph trans. Both the GT48XLS and the GT6000 are considered garden tractor trans.

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  6. Hi Paul, I just purchased the GT6000 w/ Kohler motor. Even though I only have a half acre in grass I want to use it as a “hobby farm” tool.
    Among other implements I want to add a Kwik-Way loader to haul dirt, sand, gravel, hay, etc. http://www.kwmanufacturing.com/prod_load.htm It’s rated for 350 pounds.
    Looking at the front steering I’m concerned that it may not be able to hold much of a payload in the bucket without bending.
    Do you know the max capacity that the front suspension can handle?

    • @David, The front capacity is the weight of the 42 inch Craftsman Snow Thrower.

      Remember, the rated capacity is what the loader can handle, not the weight of the loader AND the payload. So when you look at the rating of the front end of the tractor you need to add the payload and the weight of the loader arms, cylinders, and bucket.

      This is my opinion only: A 3/4 inch rod bent like the front axles can handle about 750 lbs. So you need to keep the weight of the tractor, loader, and payload less than that…………and then take it easy when you use it. If it was mine, I would get a second set of axles and try to weld gussets on them to reinforce them for the load you want to put on them.

  7. I just received my GT6000 today so I can’t really review it yet but I can say that I like what I see so far. I got a great deal on the tractor and bagger, less than $3200 for both after 8.25% sales tax. It is a 2012 model, with an engine build date of 31mar2012 (less than five weeks ago). All I had to do after delivery was fill the tank and purge the transmission. Just to address a few comments that I have seen here and on other sites, Mine has the metal hood and came with the brush guard bumper. The floor models in my local store have plastic hoods so I assume that they are 2010 or earlier models.

  8. Hi Paul,
    With the sale price on the 8861 right now I am really tempted. What is your feeling on Sears service? Quite a variety of comments pro and con. Are they dependable?
    Thanks,
    Dave

    • @Dave, People who have no patience always find something wrong with a repair shop. It doesn’t matter if it is The Sears service tech, the autorized Lowes repair center, the John Deere dealer or their local repair shop. By the way, if you see an A&E service truck show up for the mower you bought from Home Depot…That’s actually a Sears Service Tech. (Sears Repair Service has these vans when they do repairs for other companies)

      Sears like everyone else has good techs, great techs and a dud or two. With 11,000 techs though chances are you will get a good one. The nice thing about Sears is you can always get a second opinion. Either through Sears Repair Service, mysears.com or your local Full-Line Sears store.

      If you have no patience and are used to taking your lawn mower to a repair shop and throwing a temper tantrum until the owner personally works on your AND gives you a loaner until your’s is fixed you won’t like Sears service. If the repair is a factory defect you get it repaired. If it is not, you get charged shop rate.

      Here is how to get great service at Sears:

      Call 1-800-4MY-HOME and schedule a service call. In 2 to 5 days a tech comes to your house and diagnoses the problem. If it is a minor repair he will have the part on the truck. If not, he orders the part right there and it gets sent to your house.

      He schedules a time to install it that coincides with the part getting to your home. Sears service will call to be sure the part is there, if not they will reschedule the appointment.

      He comes back and fixes your tractor.

      It’s that simple.

      • Thanks Paul for the quick reply. I’m a 79 year old farm boy who has had to repair a lot of machinery over the years. Just at the age where I’d like someone else to do the heavy stuff. Your answer takes care of any questions I had as far as Sears service.
        Off to Sears tomorrow. They have the 8861 for sale at $2699.99 in the town next to mine. Hard to beat!

        Thanks,
        Dave

  9. One thing that I hope will be addressed in any upgrade: I have lost two of the rubber “hub axle cap” that protect the grease fitting on the wheels. I now make it part of my regular put-away routine to check top make sure they are seated properly. At least once out of every 3-4 cuts, I find one (or more) working its way loose. At five bucks (plus shipping) a pop, this is could become an expensive problem.

  10. Paul…I happened to be in the local Hometown Sears store last weekend. They had the “New for 2012″ GT6000 out on display. I have to say that other than a metal hood and a what seemed to my mind’s eye to be darker-colored rims, there doesn’t appear to be any difference between the 2011 and the 2012 GT6000. All of the things we had noted as deficiencies in the NEW 2011 machine do not appear to have been rectified in the “New for 2012″ model. I guess the folks at Sears really do listen to the customer base, huh? On a positive note, it would appear that the floor unit wasn’t suffering from the uncrating/assembly issues I noted and reported last year.

    That said, I would like to tell anyone looking at this garden tractor that after a full season, I am satisfied with the machine. While it does have some idiosyncrasies, I would highly recommend to anyone considering a garden tractor that they give strong consideration to this machine. Like all mechanical devices, this tractor isn’t perfect. What it is, is a solidly made and truly affordable piece of hardware backed by Sears. The 2012 model is still a grand less expensive than its closest true competitor. I still believe that the only reason that to spend the extra bucks is that you might want the cachet that goes along with some other brand’s green & yellow color scheme. ;-)

    Anyone interested in seeing all of the comments – pro and con – made about the 2011 GT6000, here is quick link to that review; scroll down to see all of the comments:
    http://todaysmower.com/2011/2011-craftsman-gt6000-54-inch-26-hp-garden-tractor-model-28861-review/

    • @Ed L. Yes the 2012 GT6000 is identical to the 2011. I have a feeling that Craftsman had enough on their plate getting a new 30 inch, new zero-turns and replacing the entire Professional line with the Premium Tractors :)

      I have only had 3 people comment on the front end of the GT6000 and I feel 2 of them are pushing the tractor too hard. I have a feeling they are trying to drive faster than the mower will mow and because of that they are having issues with the front end.

      Speaking of “Deere killers” the new premium tractors are every bit as good as the 300 and 500 series green & yellow tractors and are a lot less money.

      • On March 27, Paul Sikkema said: “I have a feeling that Craftsman had enough on their plate getting a new 30 inch, new zero-turns and replacing the entire Professional line with the Premium Tractors :)

        Perhaps. But, OTOH, they had some VERY specific things that could have been easily redesigned to make it an even better machine. Also, now that there is less on that plate, they can address the two most glaring design flaws: (1) The location of the deck adjustment lever and (2) a redesign of cutting deck so that mulching doesn’t result in the operator getting covered in fine debris & dust and that the wash-out port actually does a proper job of cleaning the underside of the deck.

        On March 27, Paul Sikkema said: “I have only had 3 people comment on the front end of the GT6000 and I feel 2 of them are pushing the tractor too hard. I have a feeling they are trying to drive faster than the mower will mow and because of that they are having issues with the front end.

        No disagreement from me on that! It certainly takes a bit of time to get used to the tighter turn ratio. After spending an entire season with it, I still sometimes forget and just catch myself at the last instant. Also, while I’m not an engineer, I don’t really see any way that the steering could be re-engineered to make it better… Perhaps using stronger castings. But, even that might not work. And, as you’ve pointed out elsewhere, this is not unique to this machine, but rather the steering method itself.

        On March 27, Paul Sikkema said: “Speaking of “Deere killers” the new premium tractors are every bit as good as the 300 and 500 series green & yellow tractors and are a lot less money.

        I wish that the Hometown Sears store near me had either one of those. Maybe the next time I drive to the mall, they’ll have them on their floor.

        • @Ed L. I was going to wait until tomorrow to answer this but……..

          The deck washout has always been and always will be a marketing ploy. They don’t work well and unless you have a fire hose connected up they never will have enough water volume to work well.

          I’m not a deck engineer but I have drank enough beers with a few to understand the fine points of deck design. You can design a deck that cuts great. You can design a deck that mulches well. You can design a deck that bags well. But with the current methods you can’t design a deck that does all three well.

          To mulch with a 3 blade deck you need to install baffles and keep the airflow with each blade. If you don’t you get blow-by. Deere has a great mulching deck, but the mulch kit is about $180. Once installed the deck becomes a dedicated mulcher. The new Husqvarna rider with the 2 blade rear discharge deck mulches well because it has a large baffle that you install. It doesn’t bag.

          I have heard a lot of complaints from older people about the lift lever location. At least on the 28861 you only have the lever on one side. The YT3000’s have levers on both fenders and when you are old and stiff like I am they can be really hard to get off of. A simple fix would be to raise the seat up 2 to 3 inches making it easier to stand up and get off the tractor. Myself, I would like to see an electric lift on this tractor and get rid of the lever altogether.

          • On March 27, 2012 Paul Sikkema said: “I have heard a lot of complaints from older people about the lift lever location.

            Seriously, dude? You’re gonna play the ‘old fart’ card on me? ;-)

            FWIW, when I first got my GT6000 last year, one of my neighbors – who happens to be a teenager – saw me whipping around the yard and wanted to check it out. Even with the deck lever set in the full upright spot, his shorts got caught on the lever and he tore them. So, this is not just an issue with “older people”. {LOL}

            On March 27, 2012 Paul Sikkema said: “Myself, I would like to see an electric lift on this tractor and get rid of the lever altogether.

            Oh, no argument on that one! But, that would add at least $150-200 to the retail price, pushing the cost over the three grand mark.

            • @Ed L. Sorry, that is the age group I hear the comments from though. I do understand the shorts. All of the Husqvarna, Cub Cadet and Deere’s have this issue. I have a Dixon Zero-turn with the lift handle right next to the seat and I can’t tell you how many times I have caught my shorts on the lever.

              Talking about ergonomics, One other item that the whole industry has missed is left handed people and people with disabilities. There are many people out there who would love to mow, but for one reason or the other can’t use their right hand or right leg (or both) There is no mower out there that can be run with the left hand or foot. The only mower that comes close is the Country Clippers but even then you can’t move the joystick to the left side of the mower.

  11. I have read your articles and made comments, I see now that the front wheels are not going in the same direction toe in or out. I lifted the tractor and found the Left side looking from front to have a shaky wheel. I looked up a diagram and saw 2 washers #121749X and a outside one 188967 were all that the wheel contained, no bearings just a steel rod and 3 Washers I guess for bearings. I will replace them except on outside both188967 not one 121749X. It might be helpful to other to mention Grease those wheels as I found no grease inside of wheel.

    • @Arnold, Yes, that is a good thing to know. Most, if not all lawn tractors under $3000 use bushings, not bearings in the front axles. They are either plastic or bronze depending on the manufacture. To get the longest life out of these bushings you must grease them at least once a year.

      It is very important to grease the 4 points on the front axle and the three points on the 48 and 54 inch decks based on the operator’s manual recommendations.

  12. The ZERO TURN feature on the GT6000 is nice IF you are mowing a golf course type lawn (very smooth). I could not recommend this mower based on that aspect. Other than the steering this is a real nice machine.

    • @Dave, GT 6000 is the best in the $3000 price range. You will have to slow down to 3-4 mph to mow well. The CTX’s are better for this, but they are a lot more money.

  13. Paul’i am about resdy to buy my tractor online at sears through your link but before i do i want to make sure sears is selling 2012 models with the metal hoods not the 11 with plastic.Do you know if they are 11 or 12 they are selling ? thanks nick

    • @nick, The 28861 has a metal hood (both the 2011 and 2012). You may be confused with the 28884 from last year. That one had the plastic hood.

  14. Your reviews are more thorough than any others I’ve seen. I have a tough yard – 1.5 acres, slopes, obstacles, and – this is the biggie – holes from where the dogs have been after the tunneling rodents. I would like to be able to use a pull-behind fertilzer speader &/or thatching attachment. I thought thie Craftsman GT6000 reviewed here would be great until I saw the about the steering & hitting holes. What is your suggestion for this kind of yard?

    • @Susan, I have been on a 5 year mission to kill the grubs in my lawn. Without the grubs the moles and gophers have no interest in my lawn. No moles, no holes from my dogs digging them up! Last year I did not have one mole come into my dog yard.

      Based on what you told me I am going to suggest the CTX9000 as the first choice. Read my review here:CTX9000 Review. Why? The CTX9000 has Automatic Traction Control so it will pull up the slopes better than the GT6000. It also has a 46 inch deck so the deck won’t dig and scalp from all the holes.
      My second choice would be the the GT6000. It has larger tires to go through the holes. Unless your slopes are steeper than 15 degrees it will handle them fine. The deck is big, but it does have enough anti-scalp wheels and the edge is rounded so it own’t dig in as much as other brands. (raise it up and mow at 3 or 3 1/2 inches) Steering: If you use “common sense” and drive normally (3-5 mph) when you are mowing and slow down to make your turns you won’t have any problems with this tractor. Also, If you let others drive it, be sure to emphasize that they slow down on the corners and drive it sensibly. Out of the 5000 or so units sold last year there have only been 4 instances of the front end having problems. I would not hesitate to buy one if it fit my yard.

      To level your holes I suggest you make a chain link fence drag. Take a 4 foot section of chainlink fencing (usually 42 inches high) and attach one end of it to a 42 inch long 4X4. Take a rope or chain and attach that to the 4X4 to make a hitch for your tractor. Drag that around with you when you mow. The chain link drag will loosen up those mounds of dirt and level them for you.

      • Thanks for the input on the machinery! I’m not sure about the slopes – I’m afraid there are a copule that are more than 15 degrees but I can’t be sure. So, aside from the machinery, can you recommend a way to get rid of the grubs & moles? I’ve tried the granules that you sprinkle out and water in – supposed to last for 3 months & only lasted about 3 weeks. I have sandy-loam soil.
        Thanks again.

        • @Susan, Milky spore is your best bet , but it is expensive and it does take 3 to 4 years for it to take complete effect.

          I use Ortho Max when the ground is thawed and about 50 degrees (around May 1 up here in WI) If you have a Sam’s Club in your area you can get a big bag of it for around $20 in the spring. (Bayer products work as well)

          The 1st and 2nd years I put it on in May and again after the Japanese Beetles were busy laying eggs (around August 15th here) The 3rd, 4th, and 5th year I just put it on in the spring and around the plants where the Japanese Beetles lay their eggs (Wysteria, apple trees, etc)

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  16. Paul’Can you get gator blades for the 54″ deck ? and also i have not seen this tractor in person is the hood plastic or metal? was going to buy the yt 4000 with 42″ but might get this for the just because reason!! DONT NEED IT JUST WANT IT and after reading your reply i have no concerns over steering or frame. thanks nick

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  18. The 28861 model real tire sizes are :

    Rear tire size..23h x 10.50w x 12″ rim five lug wheel.

    Front tire size 16h x 6.5w x 8″ rim.

  19. Thanks for th review. Just one question. Are you sure the front and rear tire sizes are correct. I’m thinking the rears are on 12″ rims and the fronts are on 8″ rims.

    • @Tony, The size I listed is what is on Sears.com and is the same size that’s been on this tractor for the last 4 years. I’ll check for sure the next time I’m at a Sears store.

  20. Paul’ There have been some reviews on sears about the steering not being strong enough and some people having problems with the frame ? whats your take on these issues ? thanks nick noel

    • @nick, There have been 3 instances that I have read in reviews and 2 others where owners have emailed me. I talked to Craftsman last fall and the Craftsman labs reviewed the steering on the GT 6000 over the winter.

      Let’s put this in perspective first. There are at least 5000 of these mowers sold. 5 out of those 5000 owners have had problems with the steering.

      I feel 3 of the steering problems are operator error. Going to fast and trying to turn. Trying to turn from a stop. Going to fast and running the tractor through a dip and twisting the frame. The other two, I don’t know, but one could be an assembly error.

      I grew up driving a row-crop farm tractor so I understand the issues with this tight steering. In fact I still own a 1953 Super H Farmall. I also had quite a few rear steer commercial mowers and they have the same turning issues the turn tight can have. They all will almost zero-turn if you know their limitations.

      Grass is slippery and so is sand. When you try to turn too tight on either surface you will slide and the tractor won’t turn. Especially if you are going to fast. This is also an issue from a standing stop. If you crank the wheels all the way on the old Super H and then start to move the front tires just slide. If you are on sand they will just dig a furrow. To turn the turn tight all the way you have to be moving – slowly. If you go to slow the front wheels will slide and if you go to fast you can easily bend something. It looks like the first thing to bend will be the tie-rod.

      This steering is really a whole new era for the homeowner. This is the first time that a company has let the homeowner have this steering. It will take some time for them to get used to this type of steering and learn how to drive it well.