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 get answers to a few questions I had on April 15.
Sears Item 07128984000
Listed on Sears.com as: Craftsman Professional 28 hp 54 inch Garden Tractor
Read My Review Below These Specs:
Series: Professional Series Garden Tractor
Ca Model: None
Engine HP: 28
Engine Brand: Briggs & Stratton Professional
Transmission: Heavy Duty Garden Tractor Hydrostatic
Transmission Control: Two Lever Foot Control
Mower Width: 54 inches
Cutting Positions: 11
Gauge Wheels: 3 with full length rear roller
Washout port: Yes
Blade Engagement: Electric
Turning Radius: 12 inches
Front Axle: Cast Iron
Rear Tires: 23 X 10.5
Seat: Deluxe High Back
Slide Seat Adjust: Yes
Service Minder: Yes
This mower is considerably different than the 54 inch 2009 Model 28974 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.
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 cousin the Cub Cadet GTX 1054 . The Craftsman Professional has a larger commercial grade Briggs & Stratton ELS motor, a free brush guard and offers their legendary Protection Plan.
The frame is an “L” design instead of the channel frame found on the 28972. It is a heavier 9 gauge steel. The 28972 had an 11 gauge frame. It appears to be strong and stiff. I don’t expect you to have any problems with this design.
Compare the features of this tractor to the GT5000 Garden Tractors, not the 28990 YT 4500. The hydrostatic transmission is a heavy duty transmission like the 28947 and is designed for garden work. It will not go as fast as the 28947. It can pull all of the non-ground engaging attachments Sears sells. It is a heavy duty garden tractor transmission.
The new tires are 23 x 10.5 are flat across the tread. These new tires are a very common size and won’t give you any problems in sandy or muddy conditions.
The drive control is a foot control. It uses a simplified button for cruise control and the parking brake.
The deck is the same deck as the Cub Cadet GTX 1054. Consumer Reports did not rate GTX 1054 this year. But when you have a deck larger than 46 inches on a residential mower the free floating design of the deck suspension causes the deck to not mow as evenly as the smaller decks. The decks themselves cut well, it’s just the overlap from one pass to the other that gets the average rating. This size of deck is suited for someone who wants to mow larger areas, but doesn’t need to have the “golf course” look and evenness.
This deck uses a “rear stripe roller.” I Yes, this gives you a beautiful striped look when mowing just like your favorite baseball field, but these full rollers tend to follow the ground contours of your lawn more than 5 wheel decks. If your lawn is rough and full of gopher mounds and mole trails you will get more unevenness in your cutting. It’s not a “don’t buy.” You just need to be aware of the negatives of having a stripe roller on your deck.
I’m not sure if this is a con but this 54 inch deck uses sealed bearings instead of the greaseable spindles you are used to on the 28947. Sealed bearings will give you years of service and you don’t have to remember to grease them.
It does not have a automatic or manual differential lock. This tractor is designed to pull ground engaging attachments and at this price I personally feel the transmission should have a differential lock.
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.
In summary, this mower is a step up from the Gt5000 series and is worth the extra money. 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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