This is the least expensive Troy-Bilt lawn tractor you can buy. Lowes sells a ton of these but before you buy I want you to be sure it is the mower for you. It features a good 42 inch deck, a 17.5 hp B&S engine, and an easy to use 7 speed shift-on-the-go transmission. For a basic, no frills mower, it has a very good reputation. This mower can be equipped with a bagger, mulch kit and will pull a small yard cart!
Is this the right lawn tractor for you? Please read this entire review before you buy this tractor. I am going to spend some time and go over this mower completely. This mower is a great value but it is not for everyone.
Is this the right mower for you? The positive:
If you just want an inexpensive mower and you have a flat lawn about 1/2 to 1 acre, this tractor will do the job. This mower does not have special features. It is just a good, basic lawn tractor. It does not have anti-scalp wheels on the deck and it does not have a deluxe seat. If you have a flat lawn without a lot of trees and other landscape features to mow around this may be a good choice for you. This tractor will mow up to 1 acres an hour.
Most owners today prefer a tractor with a hydrostatic transmission: A “hydro” is easier to shift and saves you time when mowing around many obstructions. If your lawn does not require you to change speeds or back up a lot though the 7 speed shift-on-the-go transmission is a lot easier to use than the manual transmission in your old mower. You don’t need to use the clutch when shifting up. In other words when you shift from 1st to 2nd to 3rd you just move the dash mounted shift lever. When you want to use a slower gear or stop then you have to use the clutch. The transmission also has a “shuttle.” If you want to back up just depress the clutch and move the fender mounted lever from “F” to “R” and the mower backs up at the same speed as you were going forward. This is a nice feature that really improves the maneuverability over the older manual transmissions.
– You can use a 2 bin bagger on this mower. Many mowers in this price range do not accept a bagger.
Is this the right mower for you? The negative:
– This mower is a great value, but it is not for everyone. It is designed to primarily mow lawns. If you need a rider that will pull a heavy yard cart, sweeper or ground engaging attachments look at a different tractor.
– The specifications state it will mow from 1 to 4 inches, but in reality it will only mow up to about 3 1/4 inches. If you like a thick, lush lawn and mow high this mower will not mow high enough for you. If you install a mulch kit this mower may not mow high enough for you to get the best cut.
– If your lawn is very rough this mower does not have anti-scalp wheels on the deck. There are no after-market wheels available.
– This model has very basic tires. If you have a lot of sticks and other debris you mow over or if you need all the traction you can get because you are mowing slopes look at a different mower.
– This mower will not mow in reverse.
If you do not purchase the Lowes Extended Protection Plan be sure you understand how to get your new mower repaired if there is a mechanical defect. Talk to the store where you picked it up and read the operator’s manual warranty statement. Note: The engine is warrantied through the engine manufacture and not through Troy-Bilt.
Reliability – New to 3 yrs: This tractor is serviced by an authorized Troy-Bilt repair center. There have been no reoccurring issues with the build quality. After reading over 120 reviews of this tractor the only issues I really see in the last year is operator error. The most negative reviews comment about it not going up steep hills or the owner did not store it properly over the winter. The tractor itself is put together well.