I don’t always agree with Consumer Reports. But this time I do.
There is a lot to like about the 2015-2016 Craftsman Pro Series tractors. Great cutting decks, industry leading Turn-Tight Extreme steering and a frame that is built on the strongest design. Consumer Reports* tested two of the new tractors and both received their highest rating for side discharge, bagging and mulching. *subscription required to view
Update: Craftsman added four new models this year. An entry level 42 inch, a 46 inch Yard Tractor with Power Steering, a 50 inch Garden Tractor and a 54 inch Garden Tractor with Power Steering
Check out the 28 pictures of the actual Craftsman Pro Series Tractors at the end of this article.
Craftsman really did their homework with the Craftsman Pro series and blew everyone else out of the pool.
I have spent considerable time researching these new mowers. Pouring over the specs, looking at the design and the talking with Craftsman. Every component is designed to work together and give you the best operator experience, the best dependability and the longest life possible. Yes, you can buy other brands with drive over or ground hugging decks but you can’t find any mower on the market that cuts better.
I am going to say this is the best Craftsman overall that I’ve seen in quite some time. I’m not jumping on the bandwagon because everyone else has – I’m telling you this because I’ve done the research and this is one of the best Craftsman mowers in the last 15 years. I really like all the work that went into the design of these new mowers. The design is unique and Craftsman has exclusive features that are not just add-ons but integral parts of the entire tractor. It has a great deck, the best engines and the fit and finish is what you expect and better than what you have seen with other brands.
These new Craftsman Pro Series Tractors come in eight sizes: Click on the Link to see more at Sears.com
42 inch Model 20438 Yard Tractor. Craftsman Pro Series 42″ Auto 20 HP V-Twin Kohler Riding Mower NO Turn-Tight.
42 inch Model 20440 Yard Tractor. Pro Series 22 HP V-Twin Kohler Elite 42″ Turn Tight Extreme Riding Mower
46 inch Model 20442 Yard Tractor. Pro Series 24 HP V-Twin Kohler Elite 46″ Turn Tight Extreme Riding Mower
46 inch Model 20439 Yard Tractor with power steering. Craftsman Pro Series 46″ 24 HP V-Twin Kohler Power Steering Riding Mower with Turn Tight® Extreme
54 inch Model 20444 Yard Tractor. Pro Series 26 HP V-Twin Kohler Elite 54″ Turn Tight Extreme Riding Mower
50 inch Model 20443 Yard Tractor. Craftsman Pro Series 50″ 26 HP V-Twin Kohler Garden Tractor with Turn Tight® Extreme
54 inch Model 20445 Garden Tractor. Pro Series 26 HP V-Twin Kohler Elite 54″ Turn Tight Extreme Garden Tractor
54 inch Model 20447 Garden Tractor with Power Steering. Craftsman Pro Series 26 HP V-Twin Kohler 54” Garden Tractor with Electric Power Steering
Best Cutting Deck: For 2015 Consumer Reports gave the 46 inch Model 20442 their best overall rating for Lawn Tractors Class. (78 out of 100 – highest score 78) What is so important about that rating is, – it not only beat out all the other $2000 lawn tractors but this lawn tractor rated better than tractors costing twice as much. Craftsman really did their homework with this model and blew everyone else out of the pool. The 54 inch deck on the Garden Tractor also beat out all of the 48-54 inch decks in the Lawn Tractors Wide Deck Class. If you want the best cut, the best bagging and the best mulching in a residential lawn/garden tractor this is it. Removing the deck for cleaning and changing the blades is quick and simple.
2016 UpDate: I expect Consumer Reports will continue the Craftsman Pro decks their highest rating for 2016. There is only one other deck that may beat these this year but that will be on a $3000 lawn tractor (John Deere X330)
Great, comfortable seat and easy to reach controls: Hour meter, electric blade engagement, comfortable foot controls. Fully enclosed engine compartment to reduce noise and dust from the engine.
Beefed Up Heavy Duty Front Axle: Finally – a tractor with automotive style front axles**. To me this is a big deal. Maybe even bigger than the great cutting deck. With every other tractor the front spindle will bend and deform over time. Depending on how rough you are on your equipment it may bend in the first year, or the 20th year but eventually you will hit that pothole enough times that the front wheels no longer track correctly. The new design of the Craftsman Pro Series front axle eliminates that old weakness. Give this front spindle a shot of grease every 50 hours or so and I expect it to last the life of the tractor.
The exclusive cast front axle comes with a life time warranty. The 5 inch turning radius will make you forget about wanting a zero-turn. The rest of the modified rack and pinion steering components uses sealed ball joints, heavy 1/2 inch steering rods and metal gears. **Click here to see a typical auto front steering for comparison: Porshe 928 Steering.
Kohler 7000 Elite Engines:
Craftsman Exclusive Premium Kohler V-twin Elite Engines. These engines feature a pro-grade oil and fuel filter for longer engine life. In addition they come standard with a platinum spark plug for more reliable starting.
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