2010 Craftsman Professional Yard Tractor 42 inch 24 hp Model 28980 Review

Here is the updated 2011 review of this mower.  Here is the updated 2011 review of this mower.

I have been waiting to write a review this tractor because this is a new tractor from a manufacture who has not made this type of mower for Sears before.   I was finally able to test it and get answers to a few questions I had on April 15.

Read my review below the Specs.

Listed on Sears.com as: Craftsman Professional 24 hp 42 inch Yard Tractor Sears Item 07128980000

Specs:

Brand: Craftsman Professional
Series: Professional
Model: 28980
Ca Model: 28672
Engine HP: 24
Engine Brand: Briggs & Stratton Professional
Cylinders: 2
Transmission: Hydrostatic
Transmission Control: Foot Control
Mower Width: 42 inches
Blades: 2
Cutting Positions: 11
Gauge Wheels: 4
Washout port: Yes
Blade Engagement: Electric
Turning Radius: 12 inches
Front Axle: Cast Iron
Rear Tires: 20 x 8
Seat: High Back
Slide Seat Adjust: Yes
Service Minder: Hour meter

My Review:

This mower is considerably different than the 2009 Model 28970 from last year.  While it has the same yellow and black paint scheme, the frame, deck, transmission, tires, controls and overall appearance are different.  It still has the high-end Briggs & Stratton motor, electric blade engagement and rugged front bumper.

Pros:

This tractor has some of the basic components found in other mowers from this manufacture but Sears has dramatically improved this tractor over it’s cousins the Cub Cadet LTX 1042 , the Troy Bilt Range Rider, and the Toro LX427 . The Craftsman Professional has a commercial grade Briggs & Stratton ELS motor, a free brush guard and offers their legendary Protection Plan.

The deck is very similar to the deck on the Revolution Model 28933.  Consumer Reports rated the Revolution’s cut very high last year and again this year so I expect this deck to cut as well.

The frame is an “L” design instead of the channel frame found on the 28970.  It is a heavier 9 gauge steel.  The 28970 had an 11 gauge frame.  It appears to be strong and stiff.  I don’t expect you to have any problems with this design.

The hydrostatic transmission is a medium duty transmission and designed for the application.  It can pull all of the non-ground engaging attachments Sears sells.  It is does not weigh as much as the retired K 46 found in the 28970 but I don’t feel this will be a problem.  The tranny manufactures are very careful to size their transmissions to the application.

Last years tires were 20 x 10.  The new tires are 20 x 8 and not as flat across the tread. These new tires are a very common size and won’t give you any problems unless you are trying to mow in sandy or muddy conditions.

The drive control is now a foot control. (last years 28970 had a fender control).  It uses a simplified button for cruise control and the parking brake.

I had a chance to “mow” with one on April 10.  One of my customers purchased one with a three-bin bagger and used it to pick up thatch that he had pulled from a lawn with a power rake.  It was a good lawn so there was 3 to 4 inches of loose grass on the surface and the PTY9000 did a very good job of picking up this grass and throwing it into the bagger.  It filled the bagger well and evenly.

One of the key points for me on a bagger is how much suction the unit has.  A good way to check this is to run the mower down a sidewalk and have one edge of the mower hanging over the lawn about six inches. This is an easy way to see how well it picks up the grass clippings along the edge.  Many poorly designed decks will take the grass and blow it to the other side but the 42 inch deck on the PTY 9000 did a very good job of picking up the grass along the edge and throwing it in the bagger.  I’m confident it will work well for you on normal grass bagging.

Cons:

I am not a big fan of the 12 inch turning radius.  I personally feel this is too tight for this length of machine and if you have a poor lawn or sandy soil the tractor will “scuff” your lawn if you try to turn that tight.  If you buy one of these tractors and it does leave marks in your yard when turning sharply the only way to “fix” this problem is to not turn as sharp.  The tractor is engineered to turn sharply, but it will not work well in ALL lawn types and it will leave marks in your lawn under certain circumstances.  This is not a “don’t buy” situation, I am just telling you that while this is a good, solid, machine, there will be times where you can’t turn as sharp as the machine can without leaving marks in your lawn.

Summary:

In summary, this mower is a step up from the YT 4000 series and is worth the extra money over the YT series.  The free brush guard and Extended Life Briggs alone are worth the extra cost. This Professional Series Craftsman will give you many years of good service.

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12 Comments on "2010 Craftsman Professional Yard Tractor 42 inch 24 hp Model 28980 Review"

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[…] Craftsman decided to drop this tractor for 2011.  This tractor is unchanged from the 2010 model (Read my review here). Last year I was a little cautious about this mower because it was a new model from a new vendor […]

martyi
Guest
Hi Paul and thanks for the great review. Not many people seem to have been interested in this Pro model during the fall and holidays but I jumped on it based on end of year price and “friends and family” sale discounts. Plus, 10% cash back using Discover Card and buying on-line. It will be sent to a neighborhood store for pick-up and should arrive in a week or so. I get the impression you are a fan of the service/protection agreement. I have read several articles and reviews where you talk about the Sears plan as being very good.… Read more »
Dennis Coburn
Guest

Paul,

Sorry to bother you yet again, but I'm still not satisfied I have the right mower. I bought a 28922 but it doesn't seem to be cutting very evenly. I've adjusted the deck but it still doesn't cut too well. It's also pretty noisy as I've mentioned before. Now I'm considering the 28980 professional. Would you expect this machine to cut more evenly than the 28922? How about noise…would it be the same, better or worse?

Thanks for your help,

Dennis

Bob
Guest

Just a question? Who makes these new professional mowers for Sears?

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