2011 Craftsman 28006 42 inch Zero-Turn Review

2011 Craftsman 28006 42 inch Zero-Turn Review

It’s Not The Best Lawn Tractor….It’s The Best Lawn Tractor For You!

This model has been replaced with the Model 25001. Go her to read that review: 2012-2013 Craftsman 42 in 24 hp Model 25001

I have been waiting to do a review of this new zero-turn from Craftsman.  I knew I would be able to test drive the 52 inch version last week and I wanted to make sure I understood this zero-turn before I gave you my opinion.

2011 Craftsman 28006 Zero-Turn

My Rating of this Craftsman Riding Lawn Mower:

My Value/Cost Rating: Residential Zero Turn: Mows Lawn Well, Mulches.  Great for 1/2 to 2  Acre Lawns, Light Hauling, NO Snow Removal, Accepts Light Attachments & Bagger.

Type: Residential Zero Turn. See Tractor Rider Mower Types for a complete explanation.
Engine Type: Better. Full pressure with oil pump to critical bearings .
Transmission Type: Twin Hydrostatic. See Transmission Types for a complete explanation.
Speed Control: Over the seat levers with dampeners.

My Review:

Craftsman actually had a very good zero-turn with the previous 2009-2010 Model 28986.  It mowed well and was a very dependable mower.  The only real problem with it was the seat height.  You sat on the tractor like you would a kitchen chair and it gave the feeling that it was “tippy.”

For 2011 Craftsman completely redesigned this zero-turn.  Craftsman redesigned the frame so you now sit lower and the weight is distributed better.  They added footrests to help you maneuver your new zero-turn quickly.  They were smart though and used the best parts of the 28986, the deck, the motor and the transmission to create a new, updated mower.  They kept all the little features that sets this zero-turn from the rest of the pack, electric lift, steering dampeners, floating front axle and heavy gauge deck.

Two problems with residential zero-turns are traction and mowing on hills.  Both of these issues are caused by the light weight of the machine itself and the way the weight (including the driver) is distributed on the mower.  These weight issues cause the zero-turns to not work well on slopes.  In fact most residential zero-turns can’t mow on slopes greater the about 8 degrees and almost all of them can’t turn on a hill.

Craftsman did an excellent job of getting the weight distributed correctly on the new 28006.  At 700 lbs, this zero-turn is heavy enough to steer well. The weight of the machine and driver is very well distributed.  The demo I drove was a production-run 52 inch unit and it was smooth and agile.  I did not get a chance to test it on steep slopes, but I have to say it will mow your large suburban lawn well.

Residential zero-turns are not the best choice for most of you.  I strongly suggest if you have hills or slopes greater than 10 degrees (a 15 inch rise in 10 feet,) stick with a Turn Tight tractor like the Craftsman YT 3000 Model 28852 . Like all the residential zero-turns on the market you may not be able to mow steep side-slopes with this machine.  For example, you won’t be able to mow a septic mound lengthwise or turn around on the side of the mound.  But you will be able to mow it up and down or diagonally.

If you want a zero-turn mower that will mow 3/4 to 2 acres well, this is a great choice for you.  There are other zero-turns that Sears sells that will mow faster, but this is a great all around mowing machine.  This zero-turn is one riding mower that will work well for your normal suburban lawn.

I like the 2011 Craftsman zero-turns.  I think they represent a good value and a machine that if taken care of properly will last you a long time. If I had more than 1 acre and didn’t want to use it for gardening I would own one of these myself.

Final Thoughts:

I personally feel Craftsman got it right with this zero-turn.  For most of you this residential zero-turn will speed up your mowing considerably if you are now using a conventional lawn tractor.  It is easier to drive, is easier on your lawn and less expensive than the comparable zero-turn models.

There are very few negatives with this mower as long as you understand that it is a good quality mower with a large deck.  Don’t buy any residential zero-turn (under $5000) if you have slopes more than 10 degrees.  Take care of it (do the normal maintenance all lawn mowers need) and it will last you a long time.  I like this lawn mower for what it is designed for.  At around $2499 on sale it is a great value.

Product Description From Sears

This fun-to-drive mower offers the best of both worlds, the maneuverability of a zero-turn mower and the dependability of a Craftsman. The new look and feel was designed with you in mind. With its ability to turn 360 degrees, you will look forward to mowing the lawn. Cut around trees and obstacles with total control and in open areas, turns are quick and precise.You will be done in no time.The ZTS7000 comes equipped with a 21 hp Briggs & Stratton® Platinum Series™ engine. Other features include electric push button blade engagement, 3-gallon fuel tank, and cast-iron pivoting front axle. A 42 in. heavy-duty mower deck with anti-scalp wheels provides a great cut and reduces turf damage. Not for sale in California.

  • 21 hp Briggs & Stratton® Platinum Series™ engine
  • 42 in. heavy-duty mowing deck
  • Dual hydrostatic drive with rugged Hydro-Gear® EZT transmission for reliability, performance and better traction
  • 2 Anti-scalp wheels
  • Mulch kit sold separately
  • Weight: 716 lbs. (324.77 kg)
  • Color: Red
  • Some assembly required
  • This product does not meet current California emissions regulations

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