2014 Craftsman Tractors First Picts!

Here are the first pictures of the new 2014 Craftsman Tractors! 

I’ll go into detail on the improvements in the next few weeks.

What do you think?

Do You like the new look?

Check them out here: 2014 Craftsman Tractors

Engine ratings have changed for 2014. Go Here to read about the changes: Revised 2014 Tractor Engine Horsepower Rating Standards

Craftsman  Craftsman 54” Complete Start (917)

2014 Craftsman 1 spin_prod_922106912 spin_prod_922106812 spin_prod_922106712 2014 Craftsman 1


Craftsman  19HP 46” Auto Transmission Lawn Tractor (247)

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Craftsman 48″ Turn Tight 22 HP V-Twin Fast Tractor (917)

Fast 1 Fast 2 Fast 3


Please give your city and state when you comment

  1. Just wanted to give an update on my G7400 I purchased back in February, this has been an awesome garden tractor for me but it was a bit of a rough start. The first mower I got would not disengage the deck blades so I could not use it until sears home service performed warranty work to repair it. After 3 weeks and the tech rescheduling on me twice, he showed up and said he didn’t have the part to fix it. He told me he would order the part and reschedule another appointment to fix it. I expressed my frustration about not being able to mow my lawn for 3 more weeks to the sears hometown store in Scappoose Oregon where I originally purchased the tractor and they allowed me to exchange it for another brand new one. Their customer service was top notch. Since then my only complaint is the rapid release blade system, the plastic covers don’t stay on and the magnets fall out while changing blades, not to mention the cost of replacement blades. I ended up buying a 54″ deck rebuild kit that came with bolt on blades to get rid of the rapid release system. It cost about the same as 3 replacement rapid release blades and it bolts right in. I mow 6 acres and once in a while I will mow over sticker bushes, this thing has exceeded my expectations.

    • @Jason, Thanks for the complete review. I had a feeling the quick release blade system wouldn’t hold up. Don’t throw the system away because there will be new styles of blades next year.

  2. Paul,
    I have the craftsman 54 inch pro series garden tractor 7400. Based on your information and advice, I purchased one and am delighted with it except for one issue… When I mow my newly planted annual rye grass, about 1/2 acre, I set the deck to the highest setting (12). Every few feet the mower chokes, spits out clumps of freshly mulched grass. The clumps are so finely chopped the consistency is tantamount to mashed potatoes. Occasionally , the grass will choke the blades to the point of almost stalling engine. It just doesn’t seem to eject the grass immediately out the discharge chute. Instead, it almost seems the grass clippings “hang-out” in the deck and get mulched and spit out moments later in large, unsightly. Lumps that just don’t compost very well.
    Is there a different blade I should be using?

    Thanks in advance,

    • @John, Residential mowers don’t mow high water content grasses well. Rye, Oats, Wheat, Clover, Crabgrass and some of the worst. Sometimes you can get by when the grasses are completely dry (mid afternoon) but most of the time you get what are seeing – a wet clumpy mess.

      High lift, side discharge blades help but unfortunately Husqvarna/Craftsman has not come out with additional profile blades for the quick release system yet. I don’t expect any until sometime next year.

      So for now continue to keep the deck up high and lift the discharge just a little so the clippings fly straight out. Also use the deck wash EVERY time you mow that field to keep the deck’s airflow as good as possible.

      Run over the clumps the next day with the mower or later in the afternoon after they have dried a little to spread them out.

  3. Recently purchased 24HP Zero Turn Mower with 54″ deck. It came with the new Complete Start Ignition system. Anyone had any trouble with system accepting code for starting? It wont accept new code when I change it, therefore wont start. On top of that it will be three weeks before service technician can come to check it out. Any suggestions? Tim in Cullman, Al.

    • @Tim, I have only heard of one Complete Start (or the Husqvarna version) having issues. I would try removing the positive battery cable from the battery, waiting 5 minutes and then hook it back up. That should reset the Complete Start and you should be able to use the default code at that point.

  4. Hi Paul!

    Back in March, for a very brief period of time, the Craftsman Pro series tractors were in fact advertised on Sears.com. To the best of my recollection, they were only available through through Sears for a couple of weeks before being removed from the site (for reasons you’ve already stated).

    Well, it was within that short period of time that I ordered (from Sears) the the 54″ 26hp Kohler (986450), along with the 5-year warranty. You had made it clear in your postings that folks would have to purchase new blades directly from a Hometown store (or outlet), and I decided that the sacrifice of having to do so was worth getting the tractor I otherwise wanted. (I really do like Kohler engines, and I also preferred a key-start rather than a push-button start.)

    Since then, I’ve received the tractor and I absolutely love it. It cuts beautifully, and it has the power to easily handle the slopes in my yard. I’m concerned now however about the warranty I purchased. You mentioned in your response to Ben that parts and service will only be available through the hometown stores. Do you think that will in any way affect the warranty I purchased through Sears? If Sears can’t get the parts, how would they be able to honor the service warranty. Perhaps I just don’t fully understand how warranty service is handled, but any insight would be appreciated.

    – Tom

    • @Tom, yes, they were on sears.com for a little while.

      I guess what I’m saying is if you have a problem with the tractor and want to talk to someone in person about it, you have to go to a Hometown Store. Otherwise, The tractor is still a Craftsman so any warranty work and the protection plan work will be done by another wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings Company (SHC) called Sears Repair Services. They are the technicians that come right to your home and repair your tractor.

      Another wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings Company (SHC) actually handles the parts – searpartsdirect.com. The tech gets their parts through partdirect and you can order your own parts online though them.

      If you don’t want to deal with a Hometown store just call 1-800-4MY-Home and they set up your appointment and do the work.

      I glad you like it.

  5. Hello Paul, I am looking at buying the craftsman pro 54″. I wanted to know if their is a reseason why they are on sale at sears outlet store and not the main sears wed site. Are they about to be replaced?

    • @ben, I am going to write an article on this confusing issue soon. 3 facts:

      1. The Craftsman name is part of a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings Company (SHC) called KCD Brands. This company within SHC owns the Craftsman name and is allowed to sell products anywhere it wants. Sears.com, Sears Full-Line Stores, Kmart.com and Kmart Stores are also wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings Company (SHC)

      2. Sears Outlet and Sears Hometown Stores are no longer part of Sears. They are independently owned franchise stores. Although they still primarily sell Craftsman and Kenmore they are trying to become their own, independent chain and as a result they have decided to try selling their own line of products. The products are still labeled Craftsman but in most cases they are different from the products the Sears Stores sell.

      3. The only internet presence that Sears Outlet and Sears Hometown Stores have is SearsOutlet,com. The individual stores don’t have their own websites as of this date. So the only way they can advertise and sell on the web is through SearsOutlet.com

      So – Sears Outlet and Sears Hometown Stores have enough buying power that they convinced Craftsman they need their own line of lawn tractors this year. The Craftsman Pro and Craftsman Gold names were resurrected just for them and these 4 tractors are only sold through the Sears Outlet and Sears Hometown Stores.

      Are they better than the red Craftsman? No, they are just different. (different motor, mower blade system, and a piece of metal around the deck bottom) In fact I am concerned about two things with these tractors. One, you will have to deal with the franchise store you bought it from for any returns, and service. The full-line Sears stores do not have parts for them and can’t return them if you decide it’s not for you. My understanding is these franchise dealers will charge you a restocking fee.

      Second, you will have to go to that franchise store for parts. This new Craftsman Pro tractor uses a special blade that will only be available at the Sears Hometown Stores. In addition, there is only one style of blade available and you can’t get a mulching or premium blade for it. The side discharge blades are listed on Searspartsdirect for $30 each plus shipping.

  6. Well, Sears came to look at my 20403, which had not been used. I could not lift the deck without the lever popping out and the deck dropping. Long story short, the frame is bent and now I have to bring it back and put another one together. Pain in the butt.

    • @John, There is one disadvantage from buying from the retail stores. All of them including Sears don’t inspect the tractor or start it to make sure it is ready to mow. Anything not assembled correctly at the factory or damaged during the delivery to the store is not noticed. It is the new owner’s responsibility to find those manufacturing defects. No one is trained to inspect the equipment and repair it before it gets to your home.

      It’s especially irritating when a delivery team brings your new tractor and just leaves it….and it doesn’t run.

      • I would have purchased a JD at a dealer but they are just too expensive for me. I assume that the mower had to be dropped to bend the frame but there was no visible damage. Could it have been bent when it was manufactured?

        • @John, In general, the crates protect the tractors very well, but human’s have messed up from time to time. I’ve seen a few mowers that got bent “in transit.” One had a refrigerator dropped on it, another fell out of the back of the semi, another was dropped at the warehouse from at least 15 feet and one that fell off the delivery trailer.

      • You are right Paul. Even at the outlet level (which at times seem to be the retail level), there is no checks on mowers, not unless the customer insists. In my case I wanted to hear the engine and it engage the blades. It took them 3 weeks, but they finally got some gas, took it out to the loading docks, put some gas in and started it up. After being satisfied, I requested a delivery date about 6 weeks out. The outlet sent the tractor to the delivering warehouse where during that time it walked (or should I say rolled), along with the paperwork. Next was to deliver a new one of my choice straight from the regional warehouse to my home. Someone must have told them how I was because they had broken it out of the crate, perform the assembly required, lubed all the fittings, checked all tire pressure, installed new oil and was rollin it up my driveway while buffing it with buff rags. Yeah, I though they may do that anyway with the new ones, not just for me. Nice thought though!

  7. Boston, MA. Paul, I purchased the Craftsman 20403. It appears to be quite a machine but I find it much louder than my past Craftsman. I will just have to wear ear muffs, not a problem. The only issue I ran into so far is that when I have the mower deck raised all the way up (#12?) the lever pops out of location due to the heavy weight. This happens even with the mover not running. Has this been an issue in the past? I have someone coming out to look at it next week.

  8. Hi Paul,

    Between you and Consumer Reports, I made my decision. I use to have a lawn crew do my yard. They were well, ok but like the old saying, can’t anybody do it better than you. So I decided to start this year in doing it myself. The Craftsman Pro Series GT 54″ 26hp Hydrostatic Kohler Elite Garden Tractor is the best way to go to ease the shock of doing it yourself. I went with the 54-inch 26hp model and believe me, it is a smooth ride. I am glad I waited for this model. I have a few hills and this tractor goes up them like they are not even there. Even at half power and pulling a four-wheel trailer, this tractor has what it takes to get the job done and done fast. Your information was very important in my decision and I recommend to anyone this tractor. You will not be disappointed.

    • @datagenwls, Great! I am glad you made the best decision for your yard! Yes, the Craftsman Garden Tractor is one of the best values on the market. Let us know how the new Kohler motor handles cutting heavy grass later on.

  9. I have been trying to find a user manual (pdf) for the Craftsman Pro Series 7400 (917.98645) but had no luck. Can anyone help, please? I live outside the US and I am looking into purchasing one of these brought from the States. I have not had a chance to look at it up close yet. Which existing model is it based on. Does anyone know who manufactured it for Craftsman? (e.g. some models were MTD). Any help would be greatly appreciated.

      • Thank you for your help, Paul. Your short post was very informative. BTW, I am in Europe and I simply need to make sure that the tractor I end up buying can be easily identified by the local shops for servicing. I find it interesting you posted a link to Sears Canada. Does the Canadian version use a different blade mounting system? Is the quick blade system only available in the US?
        One more question, if you don’t mind answering… I have recently looked at a tractor imported from the States, which looks exactly like the PGT9000 made by MTD except the engine is not a 28HP B&S but a 24HP Kohler Courage. It says P140 on the side and the model number is C459-60134. The model is obviously Canadian but Sears Canada say they do not have such tractor in their database. I checked and I can easily service an MTD where I am and as for the engine, it is a very common one so maybe I will be safer choosing this one…?

        • @Michael, Where is this number located? C459-60134 is a Canada model. Try this model number (17036013410) It was made somewhere around 2010-2011 (All they have to do is search their own site and the number comes up Here it is

          A U.S. Craftsman will have a model number under the seat. The first 3 digits tell the manufacture. 247. is MTD, 917. is Husqvarna.

          Your tractor may have been a returned tractor with a defective engine and they stuffed a Kohler motor into it for resell. It’s fairly common for repair shops to put whatever they have laying around to keep the costs down instead of using the original equipment. 24 hp is enough for that tractor and it will use a lot less fuel than the 28 hp.

          The tractor is a MTD/Cub Cadet/Columbia garden tractor so parts shouldn’t be an issue for you. It uses the 6 point star hole MTD blades.

          The quick blade system is only available on the 2014 Pro series and one Husqvarna Garden Tractor in the U.S.. It’s new and there are no optional blades.

          If the price is right (the PGT9000 is a 3 year old tractor) I would go with it.

          • Paul, one more question: How do I ship a case of quality beer from Europe to where you are?
            Thank you very much for all your help. The tractor number was on the sticker on the bottom of the seat (not on the tractor itself – strange). I’m glad you explained how the Kohler engine got there. I was wondering why the dates on the tractor and the engine are 1.5 years apart… now I know. Thanks to all the information that you provided I’m very close to making the decision to go for this one. As for the price… where I am those beasts cost double what they cost in the US so yes – the price is good… in a sense. Beer on me – any time :)

          • Hello Paul, I’m writing this to thank you again. I bought the PGT9000 in disguise (Canadian version with a 24HP Kohler) and I mowed my 4 acres with it last Saturday. I absolutely love it. The engine feels like it has enough beans for the job and the speed and the final effect are great. The only thing is that after I mowed in the orchard part of our yard with a dozen fruit trees and a hedge around it, I came out of that section tired. I guess a heavy-ish tractor with a 54″ deck and no power steering, although pretty agile, is not really meant for dealing with a million obstacles along the way. Anyway, I can easily deal with it because 80% of what I mow is a wide open area with obstacles that are easy to go around.
            Compared to my old 48″ 22HP Poulan Pro this is a great improvement. Thanks again for all the advise. I am very happy with that purchase.

            • @Michael, That’s great to hear! Yes, I wish we could get a Craftsman with power steering under $3500.

              I suggest keeping your front tire pressure about 14-15 lbs per sq in. The higher pressure makes the tractor ride a little rougher but makes it easier to steer.

    • @Jerry, who told you the tractor was discontinued? The tractor is alive and well but is only sold at the Sears Hometown stores. You have to go there to get parts, etc. for the machine.

  10. i just order the t3200 hope it will be the best tractor i could buy i was giving comeplet thought to a john deer d140 with same deck size this claims to be better thought i give it a shot hope it will be good

  11. Awesome! Thanks… BTW your review is the reason I ended up purchasing this model. Stepped up from a 2009 model Craftsman YTS3000.

  12. I just bought a craftaman g5500 20403 and I love this machine! Best rider I have ever used. Only issue which really isn’t a big deal but the engine will only run for 5 minutes when you get off the unit then automatically shut down. Is there any way to disable that?

    • @Nick, I don’t know that one! I get you an answer though Monday (the engineers don’t work the weekends)

  13. I went to the Sears Hometown store and ordered the 98465 and bagger. The nice man there told me that he heard the pro series would only be available in Hometown stores and then being online was a trial run. Don’t know how much truth there is to that, but they’re still available.

    • Ace has their own Craftsman mowers and snow blowers – why shouldn’t the Hometown stores have their own?

  14. Biloxi Ms. hi Paul one question about the craftsman Pro Series garden tractor. The red version of his tractor series states it has heavy hauling capability but every thing I look at including the new site at craftsman( which just appeared tonight) states the pro series is only light hauling capable even though they appear to have the same trans and wheel size. Please tell this is a mistake. I have one arriving on Tues. Thanks Bob Felt.

    • @Bob, I’ve learned not to trust the specs on sears.com, craftsman.com or any of the literature they print. (It’s not just sears by the way, just about all the websites have some mistakes.)

      I check the online and print specs against the parts lists. If there are differences then I call my contacts to find out what is correct. If I’m lucky the same buyer that ordered the items is still working that job and it’s easy to verify the data. (I have a copy of the original buyers sheet for the Pro Models so I have the correct specs)

      The specs of the 20403 are correct and the 98645 is the same exact unit with 3 items added. So read them, add the pipe on the deck, the quick change blade system and the Kohler 7000 (Elite means high capacity oil filter) And the Pro has a key instead of the push button start.

      I hope this helps.

      Original Specs: Ground Engaging Attachments – Yes, Baggers – Yes, Heavy Hauling- Yes, Snow Removal – Yes, 4.0 GAL w/RESERVE – Yes

      • Thank you very much. That answers all my questions. I will sleep well tonight. It’s a big purchase for me and i dont like spending that kind of money unless i have all the correct info. A plug for you. I informed the lawn and garden department at my sears that if they want ro get the proper info for thier products they need to go to your site. I know 3 of them have visited your site and r quite impressed. Thanks again. Bob Felt.

  15. What happened to the pro series garden tractors? I was just about to pull the trigger after weeks of research, and I can’t find anything about them? Oddly enough sears just had a press release about how great they are on Friday. What gives?

    • @Derek, The answer I get from Craftsman is: “stayed tuned.” In my opinion the only thing you are really getting over the red Craftsman’s with the pro series is the new Kohler engine. The Briggs in the red tractors is a proven full pressure engine and I feel is a great engine for the money. I know there are 2 guys out there who will argue the Kohler is better but at this point the Kohler is new so we really don’t know if it will be better than the Briggs.

      So what I’m saying is if you need a tractor now you can’t go wrong with the red Craftsman. If you have your heart set on the Pro series go find a Sears Hometown Store and buy it there. The hometown stores are the little Sears that only sell tools, lawn & garden and appliances. You can buy the tractor from them, you just can’t buy it online or at a full-line sears right now.

  16. Paul, I live in Santa Barbara, California and based on your reviews I’m close to purchasing the 2014 G5500 but since they clearly distinguish between the CA model and the non-CA model I wanted to know if the CA model I have to buy is effectively identical (Is it the same transmission, etc?). What is the difference?

  17. How do you feel about the Craftsman 3200, Husqvarna YTH24K48, John Deer D140… Basically in the $2k range.

    I’m specifically worried about longevity of engine and transmission, and I’m unsure how to find out the specs on the transmission…

    Thanks for your tips!

    • @Noah, The Craftsman uses the Briggs Platinum Full pressure engine, The D140 uses the Deere full pressure engine (made by Briggs) and the Husqvarna uses the Kawasaki full pressure residential motor. All 3 motors will give you more life than your old motor. (Craftsman advertises 25% more life)

      I don’t know where you found the Husqvarna. I think that model is a couple of years old.

      The Craftsman uses the new Element V automatic. The YTH24K48 uses the TuffTorq K57 and the D140 uses the TuffTorq K46. The Element V is the trans of the future. The K57 is a very tough trans. The K46 is used in many, many tractors and is the trans that has been used for years now. Owners either love it or hate it. Many owner never have a problem with it but if you use it on hills or pull heavy loads you can burn it out. You can google the 3 trans to read the specs.

      The Craftsman is my choice this year, but both the D140 and the YTH24?48 both have a long dependable reputation.

  18. I do realize the complete start is a feature it does not have which is something I took into account when I purchased it. I do like the idea of leaving the key in a certain position to mow in reverse rather than push a button every time I back up. The flyer I have for it says it has a 3 year defects, 5 year frame and lifetime axle warranty. I am looking forward to your review of the G7400.

    • @Jason, You do not have to press the reverse button each time you back up to mow.
      Here is the text from the manual

      Only use if you are certain no children or other bystanders
      will enter the mowing area.
      • With engine running, depress brake pedal all the way
      • Press ROS button (G) and ensure the ROS button is lit.
      • Look down and behind before and while backing.
      • Release brake pedal and depress reverse drive pedal
      to start movement.
      • When use of the ROS is no longer needed, press the
      ROS button to return to normal operation. The ROS
      button should no longer be lit.

      I will post the review of the G7400 when they post the tractors on Sears.com, It was supposed to be done last weekend. The G7400 has only 3 changes over the G5500. A Kohler Motor, the extra piece of pipe along the bottom of the deck (reinforced deck) and Husqvarna’s controversial EZ Blade System. Here is a video of it.

  19. Paul, I have been doing much research in the past couple weeks on which garden tractor to buy and I decided on the new G5500 (20403). When I went in to buy it today because my local sears was having a 10 percent off sale, the salesman asked why I was not interested in the pro G7400? I told him it was out of my price range, he said it was on sale for the same price as the G5500 and it comes with reinforced deck, 26 hp kohler elite 7000, longer warranty, quick change blades and had the same transmission as the G5500 (this was important to me because you spoke highly of this transmission) He talked me into it and I paid 2700 for it plus I received a 100 dollar sears gift card for ordering it when it was out of stock. Now that I’m home I can’t find much information on this tractor on line. Did I make the right choice? Is this a better tractor than the G5500?

    • @Jason, No you can’t find any information yet. I will have a review up next week. It is a Sears Hometown Store exclusive tractor and at this point of time will not be available from the Full-Line Sears stores. Yes it has the extra piece of pipe along the bottom of the deck, the new quick change blade system and the 26 HP Kohler 7000. (The Elite means it has the longer oil filter) It also has a 3 year defects warranty instead of the 2 years defects/5 year frame-axle warranty the 20403 has.

      It does not have the new push button start/electronic control panel.

      You did fine on the price because the G5500 is $2849 online (additional 5% or no interest with a Sears Card)

  20. Paul, I have been trying very hard to obtain information on the 2014 models so I can make a Craftsman purchase. I called Sears (twice) and they have no idea what a model # 20403 is.
    They informed me that the site says “New for 2014″ and it lists a model # 28861X.
    Can you explain?

    • @John, Here is the link to 20403
      Craftsman 24HP 54" Complete Start Turn Tight Garden Tractor - Non CA 16" X 6.5" - 8"

      I don’t work for Sears but I will apologize for their website and explain what’s going on.

      Sears ran out of the 2013 models before they were really ready to sell the 2014 models. Because of that they had to quickly get the information up on sears.com. Some of that early information was incomplete or wrong. They are getting it changed but because the site is so large it takes time for the changes to be made and then for the site to reflect those changes.

      Sears sets the model numbers based on their store/division/item number. It is a little different than the number you see listed on sears.com but I’ll show you how to break the sears.com number down.

      As listed on sears.com: Sears Item# 07120403000 | Model# 28861X The first 3 numbers are the division, 071 means this item belongs to the lawn & garden division (009 – tools, 006 – sporting goods, 046 refrigerators) The next 4-5 numbers are the item number (20403) and is 99% of the time used as the model number for tractors. The last 3 are used for items sold on sears.com by partner vendors.

      This tractor was actually listed before they had the model numbers set. They didn’t know what to call it yet and since it was the new GT6000 they just used the old number (28861X) for the time being. It eventually will get changed to 20403.

      You most likely got in touch with customer service reps at one of their call centers. These people are trained to help but are not always subject matter experts for a specific division. (they talk to you about tractors and the next person about shoes) In the future I suggest asking your question here first. Myself and many of my readers can answer most of them. If you want to call Sears try and get past the call center personnel and talk directly with someone at your local full-line Sears store and in the lawn & garden department.

  21. Boston MA–I am confused from what I have read in your posts. I read the specs on the 2014 54″ tractors and they all say “hydrostataic” transmissions. I thought that they went to a new maintenance free “cvt?” Can you explain before I make my purchase?

  22. @Paul I am seriously considering Model 20403. We have 2 acres of grass, half is nice smooth terrain, half is uneven almost field like terrain. We have a couple of small hills with not much incline, but they will still need to be mowed. We will be burning firewood the upcoming Winter. We’ve considered the possibility of maybe having a garden one day not sure if I would buy a tiller attachment or just get a standalone tiller. We live in the mountains but it doesn’t snow often. Would you recommend this mower for us? Or would you recommend something else. Max budget around $3500. Thanks for your help and advice.

    • @nost, I really think you have done your homework and this is a great choice for you. The 20403 will handle everything you want it to do. I like the larger tires for the rough areas, the heavy duty trans for pulling the firewood and the 8 mph trans so you can get the firewood faster. This tractor does not have a tiller attachment but it does pull the pull-behind tillers well.

      Be sure to check the special offers tab on the web page. Extra deals like “FREE DELIVERY on tractors over $1299 sold by Sears and Get an EXTRA 5% OR No Interest for 12mos on Lawn & Garden items over $299 w/ Sears card see details can make the $2999.99 even better.

  23. Do you know what Model 20403 (28861X) transmission will be included in this one? Is it the K66? Thanks, I’ve really enjoyed reading your site.

    • @Steve, I think the ZTL 8000 (model 25061) was a steal at $2999. It has a great motor and the transmissions are found on zero-turns costing $1500 to 2500 more. I would buy it a $1700 in heartbeat if I needed that much mower. Here is my original review 25061 review

      • Paul, Thanks so much for your knowledge and advise. Brought the ZTL 8000 tonight. Very happy with purchase!

  24. Paul, Thanks for the response. The model # under the seat and all documents I have show 917-203910. I guess the YT4000 is now called T3200. I also saw a model # T2400 in the store. I beleive it was the replacement for the YT3000 I returned.

    Some things I have noticed about the T3200 model I have compared to the YT3000 I returned. The rear tires are several inches wider (like my old LT1000 are), the steering wheel seems thicker and padded all the way around. I have not yet started it, so the big test will come this weekend. Im in Florida so I will be mowing this weekend.

    I just got a call from the Sears saleman, he got confirmation they do have at least 1 fender control twin cyl model available now. # 20401. Its a 24 HP 48 inch cut, and used to be called YT4500 or 5000. He offered it to me for $2599, but for an extra $600 I am going to give the foot control a try.

  25. Has the YT4000 been renamed T3200 for 2014? (stock #917-20391). I bought a 21HP single cyl, 46in YT3000 in December on clearance, I was excited to be replacing my 15+ year old LT1000 until the new mower arrived. It was so loud and vibrated so much I knew it was going back the minute I started it. To make a long story short, the sears salesman told me new mowers were coming but all twin cylinder models would have foot control and only single cylinder models would have fender control speed (I really wanted the fender control). Because my 30 day return period was just about up I traded up to the new 22HP twin, 48inch 3 blade (model #917.20391). Online it is badged YT4000, when the tractor was delivered yesterday, it is badged T3200. Did I get the right tractor? Just as a side note, the T3200 I got is manufactured by Husqvarna.

    • @Doug, This is going to be an interesting year. Because they sold out of so many of the 2013 models they decided to offer the 2014’s 2 months early. The downside is though they don’t have any literature printed and the online descriptions are not 100% accurate. (Sears.com is so large that even when they do make corrections it sometimes takes 7 to 10 days for those changes to show up on the website)

      Look under seat. The model number should be 917.203910

      The online photos are definitely prototypes so I’m not surprised that your new tractor has different decals.

      I’m not sure what the actual hood labels will look like. Craftsman does not have any literature or sales associate info printed yet. I did see the new signs at my local Sears yesterday, but I didn’t look at the hood decals. I live way up north so I won’t be able to see an actual tractor for another few weeks.

      It may be a month before we have all the info.

      And yes, only the single cylinder yard tractors have fender control (we are not sure about the 20401)

  26. @Walter, Craftsman had the right hand lift in 2009 with the PTY 9000 and PGT 9000. I think there is most likely a copyright or something where MTD has the right hand lift and Husqvarna has the left hand one.

    For the rest of you reading this, the lift on the YT and GT Craftsman are very easy to use. The lift is spring assisted and it less effort than lifting a 3 lb sack of flour.

  27. Paul, Another question on the new craftsman Garden Tractor model. I know this year there will be two garden tractors….the 54in and 48in. Looking that the specs it seems that they are identical except for the mowing deck. My question is, do you know why their maximum speeds are different. Just wondering if that is a typo of if the 48in. is actually slower. If it is slower, do you know why? Just curious of why their might be a speed difference if they do have the same engine and trans.

    I am still deliberating on whether I should have my new 28861 replaced with the new model or if I should get it fixed. I keep reading mixed reviews on the kohler engine in the 28861. Not sure if there is any difference in reliabily between the Kohler Courage or Briggs in the new model. Any insight would be appreciated. It’s hard to make a decision seeing that I can’t actually go to a store and see the new models since they aren’t in yet. Also considering the new 48in. mid-size garden tractor tgo help with storage. Gonna have to pull the tigger soon though. Any advice? Thanks.

    • @Wes, According to the parts lists on searspartsdirect the 48 inch 20401 has a different trans in it and smaller tires.

      Model 20401 Front Tire Size:16″ x 6.5″ – 8″ Rear Tire Size:22″ x 9.5″ – 12″ Weight 564
      Model 20403 Front Tire Size:16″ X 6.5″ – 8″ Rear Tire Size:23″ X 10.5″ – 12″ Weight 576 I am assuming the weight difference is the 8 mph trans in the 20403.

      Let me give you a little perspective on reviews. If you read 6 reviews that state there is a problem with the engine, remember there are 50,000 or more owners who have had no issues. The 26 Kohler Courage was around for over 10 years. It was one of the first residential motors with overhead valves and full pressure lubrication. There were 100,000’s produced. They were notorious for the right valve cover/head gasket leaking in the first 50 hours but after that they just worked. It is being replaced with a new design this year (7000 series) but Craftsman choose not to use it yet.

      The Briggs is a newer design and also has the full pressure lube. It doesn’t have quite the long history so it has fewer negative reviews.

      Either engine is fine.

  28. I’m in the process of replacing my 14-year-old Craftsman GT (22hp Kohler) that still works but is on its last legs. I’ve decided that for my 2.5 acres of (somewhat hilly) lawn, I’d upgrade to a 54″ deck. I’m interested in the new 20403 (28861X) B&S 24hp GT (and it’s within my budget). However, I have two concerns.

    The first is the overall width of the unit (with deck). If I’m reading the specs correctly, they claim the overall width is 52.5″, which I’m assuming must be excluding the deck, whereas the cutting width is greater than that. Unfortunately, I’ve searched and cannot find anything stating the full width of this unit, with deck. This is important as I must make certain it will fit through the door of my shed. Any idea where that information could be obtained?

    The second thing is not as much a concern as it is a bit of caution. Is this unit likely to be the only one its class for this model year? More specifically, I’m wondering if a Kohler version of it is likely to be forthcoming soon (with the idea that it might be worth waiting for.)

    Any thoughts on either of these? Thanks.

    • @Tom, No there will not be a Kohler model this year. Even though I am a little partial to the Kohler’s myself this Briggs has a better track record than the Courage. This Briggs has proven to be a very reliable engine.

      Width: Without the deck about 45 inches. The deck is 57 inches with the discharge chute raised. With the chute down it is 67.5 inches.

      • Thanks Paul. That’s exactly what I needed to know. I suppose my interest in the Kohler engine comes only from the fact that the one in my current GT has performed so beautifully for 14 years (although I’m guessing that back then they may have been building them a bit differently in comparison with today’s Courage engines.) I’ve read some very good things in general about the newer B&S engines, although I know nothing about the particular one used in the 28861X. Regardless, i’m certainly not opposed to it and whereas I’m planning on getting the 5-year protection agreement, I should be OK.

        I have one additional question for you, if you don’t mind. In your experience, is there any advantage or disadvantage to buying online vs. in-store? Online, they’re currently having a sale which includes $500 off and free delivery, providing that I order by 2/1/2014. In reality, I’d like to wait a bit, only because I’m here in southern NH and as I write this, it’s 4 degrees outside and I have almost 2-feet of snow on the ground. It will be a number of months before I would ever have a chance to use it. (I have a plow service take care of my driveway, so I’m not planning on using the tractor for that purpose.) As far as I know, this model isn’t even available for viewing yet at the local Sears and I’m assuming that as we get closer to spring, there won’t be as many deals.

        Thanks again.

        • @Tom, If you don’t know exactly what you want the sales associates at your local Sears Full-Line store are very knowledgeable and can help you select the best mower for you. They will also go over your new machine and show you how to use it.

          Of course you can always continue this conversation. I will be very glad to help you decide on the right mower and accessories for you.

          But, the best deals on Craftsman will be found online. If you know what you want that is the way to go. (The unit is shipped to your local store, taken out of the crate and assembled, ready for you to pickup. If you chose delivery the delivery team will assemble it and get it ready for you. Some of the delivery teams will also show you how to use it. (A few stores still use contractors to deliver and they are not trained to show you how to use it)

          Assume that the deals will continue all spring, just know that Sears moves the sale price around a little all the time. The “normal” sale price on the 20403 is $2999 ($500 off) There will usually be an incentive to use a Sears card. (Right now 1/03/2014) you can get an extra 5% off or no interest for 12 months) I assume the free delivery will come and go online. (The sale price does vary depending on whether there is free delivery or not) If they drop the free delivery or the extra 5% off with the Sears card the sale price may go down to $2899 or even less. Yes, It’s confusing, but that is the way Sears has always done business and the regular Sears customers know and expect this.

          Be sure you sign up for the shop your way rewards loyalty program. They run a lot of specials where you buy the tractor and get 2 to 10% back in points. You can spend those points at Sears of Kmart for anything else you may want.

          To sign up for Shop Your Way Rewards click this link:
          and go to the top left corner of the page and click on the “Shop Your Way Rewards” icon.

          The tractors are being shipped to the southern stores first. Don’t expect your local store in NH to get one for another month. When you do decide to buy your new tractor online I would appreciate it if you come back here first and click on the link in the review. That way I get a small commission.

  29. Paul, So, Sears has given me the option of sending out a technician to fix the crooked wheels on my brand new GT6000 (28861) or replacing it with the brand new 2014 model (28861X). Not sure if you have received any more information on the new model but I was looking for some advice. I did a lot of research prior to buying the GT6000 28861 but I have seen a lot of reviews regarding steering issues and I was wondering if you new if the new 2014 models in the 28861X may have fixed those component problems. Also, my current model has the 725cc Kohler Courage and the newer 2014 model has the 724cc Briggs……any preference to these two engines….if there a difference in reliability or performance that you know of with the engines…ie…torque? Also, do you know if there is any difference with the transmission. I know they are both Hydrostatic but I wasn’t sure if they were from the same manufacturer.

    I really like the 28861 even thought I haven’t really used it all that much yet since it was just delivered two weeks ago. Just trying to get as much information as I can to make an educated decision on whether I should keep the new 28861 I just got or having it replaced with the 28861X. Any advice or information on these questions I posed would be much appreciated. Thanks.


    • @Wes, There is finally enough information on the new tractor to give you the facts. The only changes to the new 20403 will be the hood, the ignition, the color and the engine.

      Here is the link to the new tractor.
      Craftsman 54" Turn Tight 24 HP Garden Tractor w/ Complete Start 16" X 6.5" - 8"

      1. The new tractor is red and it has a cool, new hood. Craftsman took 2 years to find the right look.
      2. The new keyless ignition can be coded so other can’t start the machine. It also will show you if safeties are in the wrong position. Here is a video. Coplete Start
      3. The new Briggs is the same size and power as the Kohler but the labeling now conforms with the new SAE J1995 engine ratings. In other words the HP is now measured at 3050 rpm instead of 3600.

      According to the parts lists on searspartsdirect the rest of the tractor is the same including the high speed, heavy duty transmission.

      So, if you like the look and feel of the 28861 I would stick with it. The 26 HP Kohler and the new 24 HP Briggs have the same power even though the engine labels state differently. My personal opinion though is the Kohler’s always had at least 26 HP and many of them actually had a little more.

  30. @Paul – the new look is great. Looking to replace a 2007 Cub LT1042 who’s crappy Kohler engine starting smoking heavily last season.

    • @Chris, Yes the entire line will look the same this year. Here is a link to what has been introduced so far and you can see the new look.New Craftsman Tractors The YT3000 and YT 4000 replacements are not listed yet, but the hood will look like the 48 inch fast tractor. What do you think of the new look?

  31. Paul, Thanks for the advice. Do you know of any major differences between the GT6000 and its new replacement that you mentioned (the 24HP 54″ complete start garden tractor). That would probably be the one I would go with to replace the GT6000. Other than the engines I don’t see any major difference in the specs. Do you know of any major performance differences in the engine types or the mowers themselves? Thanks a lot!

    • @Wes, The tractor sports a new hood. The new ignition system is trick. Here is a video on the new ignition. Complete Start. It is still made by Husqvarna for Sears and all the 2010-2013 attachments will fit. Craftsman has not given any other updates yet.

  32. Paul, any new info on the 2014 YT4500 (model 28861X)? I am looking to have my GT6000 replaced and was looking at the YT4500. It so new I haven’t seen any reviews on it. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

    • @Wes, I am getting ready to start writing in the next week on the new tractors that are available now. The YT4500 is being replaced with 2 models, The heavy duty model 20401 for $2599 and the 20391 Fast Tractor for $1999.

      Sears listened and one of the biggest issues with the YT4500 was the deck. It wouldn’t raise high enough and it scalped a lot because it was just too big for the tractor. To fix this the new models that replace the YT4500 will have a 48 inch deck.

      You can see a little more here: Remember, engine ratings have changed so the old 26 hp is now 24 and the old 24 is now 22. The engines haven’t changed, the government has just changed the way they are labeled. Also, the descriptions on sears.com have a few issues yet. For example they call a hydrostatic an “infinite speed automatic transmission” Just ask and I’ll help you sort it out.

      Craftsman 24HP 48 Hydrostatic Transmission Turn Tight Garden Tractor - Non CA 16" x 6.5" - 8"

      and here:
      Craftsman 22 HP V-Twin 48" Turn Tight Fast Tractor - Non CA 1 Acre and Above

      • Paul, thanks for your quick reply. My current problem is that I recently bought a Craftsman GT6000, 26 HP 54 inch garden tractor. When it arrived the other day the wheels were crooked, the alignment was off, and the steering wheel shaft is covered in surface rust. I called Sears to get someone out to fix it and the technician recommended just getting the whole mower replaced under the warranty. When I spoke to a warranty person they informed my the GT6000 had been discontinued and was not available for replacement at this time so they offered to replace it with any other Craftsman. I looked online and saw the new 2014 YT4500 “complete start” garden tractor 24 HP 54 inch, which looked pretty comparable to what I have now. My dilemma is that I haven’t found any reviews on the new complete start model since it is so new. So, I am not sure if I should just get the GT6000 fixed or have them fully replace it with the new YT4500 garden tractor. I looked like the major difference is the engine. The GT6000 has the khoeler and the YT4500 has the B&S. Both have the same cc but I wasn’t sure if there were any major pros and cons to the either one or if they are both about the same. If you have any insight to the major differences or any advice on my current dilemma I would really appreciate it. I basically have to make a decision within the next 24-48 hours so I am trying to figure it all out. Just afraid I will have the GT6000 replaced with the new YT4500 and will somehow be disappointed because there is a some major difference I didn’t know about. Thanks in advance. Wes

  33. Paul, thanks for all the information on the Craftsman mowers! After researching and watching prices for about a year, this fall I tried to time the fall discounts in order to buy the 2013 46″ 24hp Turn Tight Hydrostatic Yard Tractor model #28857 at its lowest price. Sadly, I missed my chance and Sears discontinued all the tractors in the St. Louis area.

    It appears that there are only three new options showing on Sears website for 2014, which is kind of limited in my opinion. I think the Craftsman 48″ Turn Tight 22 HP V-Twin Fast tractor shown is the most comparable to the model I was wanting, but it’s priced much higher. Will we see more options this year? And for the million dollar question, when is the best price usually seen on these tractors; now, spring, summer, or other time, etc?

    Thanks for the input!

    • @Craig, Craftsman has restyled the line and added a few new tractors for 2014 but they will not add them to sears.com until the middle of January. I will warn you that the government has changed the engine labeling and the 2014 will have 22 hp engine. It is the same engine as the 24 hp and I’ll go into detail about the labeling change soon. They are also changing the deck from a 46 to a 48 inch but the price will stay the same as last years 28857.

    • @Andrew, According to the information I have Craftsman will continue their long standing relationship with Husqvarna Outdoor Power and MTD for 2014.