2009 Craftsman 17.5 HP 30In. Model 28033 Side Rear Discharge Lawn Tractor Review

This Tractor has been replaced by the Husqvarna SRD 30 inch bagging mower

Craftsman 17.5 HP 30In. Side Rear Discharge Lawn Tractor Review

Sears item# 07128033000 Mfr. model# 28033



It seems that every mower manufacturer makes many great mowers and one or two duds.  This is Craftsman’s dud.

The design (idea)  is sound, BUT the implementation of the design is terrible.

So what is really wrong with this mower?

1.  The tractor wheelbase is wider than the deck.

2. The yard tractor only has a 30 inch deck, but will not fit through most 36 inch gates.

3.   The lawn tractor is advertised as a side, rear discharge mower but the side discharge or mulching cover are not included with the mower.

A Little More Detail:

This type of mower is very popular in Europe.  Many homeowners there compost everything so they don’t side-discharge or mulch.  A small deck with an integrated bagger works great.  Mow your yard and when you need to dump the bagger, just back up to your compost pile and pull a handle.  Here it will work fine if you compost.  So the concept is good, just the implementation of that concept in this mower is what is wrong.  Specifically here is what’s wrong.

1.  The tractor wheelbase is wider than the deck.  The way the yard tractor is built the deck sits to one side of the machine.  You can mow flush with the left side of the tractor, but the wheelbase is over 2 inches wider than the deck on the right side.  If you mow back and forth on your lawn like most of us, each time you mow with the uncut side on the right you are knocking over the grass.  If you have an area of your lawn where you can only mow in one direction you can not mow right up to the edge on the right side.  The bagging chute does not come out of the deck flush with the edge and sticks out the right side of the deck (but still under the fender.)

2. The Yard Tractor only has a 30 inch deck, but will not fit through most 36 inch gates.  Most 30 inch mowers will fit through a 36 inch opening and a 36 inch gate.  What’s the difference?  For example with my 36 inch chain link gate in my back yard the hinges stick an inch or so into the opening making the effective width of the gate about 33 1/2 inches.  Since my 30 inch mower is only 30 inches wide, it fits through the gate easily.  The Model 28033 on the other hand has a 30 inch deck, but the actual width of the tractor is 33 1/2 inches.  It will not fit through my gate.  A lot of other gates that use a pin style gate hinge will have the same problem.

3.  The Lawn Tractor is advertised as a side rear discharge mower so I am assuming (as will most people) that the yard tractor will side or rear discharge.  The first thing you notice when you unpack the unit from the crate is there is no side discharge chute.  The second thing you notice is that the bagger discharge chute is bolted to the mower deck.   A side discharge or mulching cover are not included with the mower.   A discharge chute or mulching cover are not listed anywhere on the Sears website, the owners manual or SearsPartsDirect.  Maybe I am just misunderstanding the name but 28033 Side Rear Discharge is not the mower the name suggests it to be.


I’m not even going to go through the specs for this mower, because I am not recommending that you purchase this mower.


Instead of designing this machine right it looks like some engineer went into the back warehouse and pulled parts out of the existing inventory and then built this mower without any modifications.  Why anyone would allow a mower to be produced with these basic design flaws is beyond my reckoning.  I know Peerless makes a hydrostatic trans that is narrow enough for this deck and it should be easy to manufacture the front axle 1 inch narrower on each side.


  1. Dave Murray November 15, 2010
  2. Beverly Barger September 30, 2009
    • Paul October 1, 2009
    • Brent October 5, 2009
  3. John September 5, 2009
    • Paul September 5, 2009
  4. Virgil August 30, 2009
    • Paul August 30, 2009
      • DAVE October 2, 2009
        • Paul October 2, 2009
  5. Beverly Barger August 23, 2009
    • Paul August 23, 2009
  6. Virgil May 30, 2009
    • Paul May 30, 2009
  7. Smart April 26, 2009
    • Paul April 26, 2009

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