2012 Craftsman 42 in 19.5 hp LT 2000 Model 28884 Lawn Tractor Review

Executive Summary: This is Craftsman’s 2nd cheapest Lawn Tractor.  It has a better motor than the 28882 and an “automatic” trans. The “automatic” is easier to drive than a shift-on-the-go trans and the motor is the B&S Gold series with an oil filter. It doesn’t have Craftsman’s Turn Tight 6 inch turning radius but if you want a good lawn tractor JUST to mow lawn and pull a small cart this is a good choice!

by: Paul Sikkema

This tractor has not changed for 2013.

Is this the right mower for you?: If you just want an inexpensive mower and you have a flat lawn about 1/2 to 1 acre put this tractor will do the job. Nothing special, it just mows well.  Automatics are fun, agile and easy to drive, but they are limited to mowing a flat lawn and pulling a small yard cart. If you try to pull heavy loads or use this mower on hills you will be replacing the drive belt every two years or so.   This tractor will mow up to 1.2 acres an hour.

This rider has been around for a few years now.  It uses the proven MTD automatic transmission. You can use a 2 bin bagger on this mower but the bagger off your old Craftsman will not fit. (This tractor is made by MTD)  This is a great yard mower and is designed to primarily mow lawns.  If you need a rider that will pull a heavy yard cart, sweeper, snow blower or other normal pull-behind attachments look at a different tractor. Oh, One last thing, this mower will not mow in reverse.

Brand/Manufacture: Craftsman / MTD
Model/Series: Lawn Tractor LT 2000
Item Number:  28884 (49 State) NA  (CA Version)
Buy Here: Store Pickup: Buy Online, Pickup At Your Local Sears Delivery: Buy Online, And Have It Delivered To Your Home 
Craftsman 42″ 19.5hp Automatic Lawn Tractor Non CA Mid Back

Street Price: $1199.99

Basic Quality: (Cheap, Good, Best, Premium, Don’t Buy)  This is Craftsman’s Good Quality. The 28881 is less quality. All other Craftsman’s are better.

Type: (Riding Mower, Lawn Tractor, Yard Tractor, Garden Tractor, Estate Tractor, Sub-Compact, Zero Turn, Stand-On) Lawn Tractor. See Optional Attachments at the end of this article
Compare it to: Ariens 46 in. 20 HP Riding Mower  

Craftsman 19.5 HP 42 in Lawn Tractor

Foot Control Trans
Step-through Platform
It’s a Craftsman!

Single Cylinder Engine
18 inch Turning Radius!
Sludge-O-Matic Transmission
Does Not Mow In Reverse
Two Anti-scalp Wheels

Retail Price: $2999.99 Check The Best Sale Price Here:  Craftsman 42″ 19.5hp Automatic Lawn Tractor Non CA Mid Back

My Review:

If you are looking for a lawn tractor to just mow your lawn and don’t have a lot of money this is the one! This is a basic lawn tractor with a good cutting deck.  I don’t have a lot of good things to say about this mower, but I don’t have any bad things to say either.  It has a pressurized B&S motor, with oil filter.  It has only two anti-scalp wheels and if your lawn is smooth it will mow just fine. Sears says you can put a snow blade on it, but I don’t recommend it. Why? It has a tube steel front axle and these axles have a reputation of wearing out quickly if you use a snow blade. It has a large turning radius for a Craftsman, but is about normal for the other brands.  If your lawn is flat and open the turning radius is just fine. It doesn’t mow fast, but it mows well.

The transmission is MTD’s “automatic.”  This is a variable speed belt-drive trans similar to a snowmobile trans.  It works great for mowing but if you try to pull more than a small yard cart or try to push a lot of snow you will be replacing this special drive belt often.

This lawn tractor will not mow in reverse.

People who buy this lawn tractor know what they are buying and this is just what they want. That is why you will find so many good reviews on Sears.com.  No frills, they just want to mow their small surburban lawn and they don’t want to walk.

This article was first published at TodaysMower.com 

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail on this review.  If you have specific questions leave a comment below and myself or the readers will be glad to answer them.  This is a great tractor and if you want one to last this should be at the top of your list.

Comfort – Ease of Use:  Standard seat, easy to use operator controls, good field of view.  While not as comfortable as the Yard Tractors or the New Premium Craftsman Tractors your butt won’t go numb.

Power For Mowing:  This tractor has plenty of power for side discharge mowing every week.  I feel it is under powered for mulching and bagging.

Reliability – New to 3 yrs: This tractor is serviced by Sears.  There have been very few issues with the build quality.   One thing to know – Sears takes the tractor out of the shipping crate but they do not “setup” the tractor. (John Deere dealers are the only retailer who does) You have to put gas in it, and run it for the first time. You may have to hook up the battery and charge it. If there is an assembly problem you call 1-800-4MY-HOME and a service tech comes out and fixes the issue. The store where you picked it up from or the delivery team does not repair the tractor.

Handling – Traction/Steering:  This tractor has average traction and handling and is similar to all the other lawn tractors from the other retailers.   I recommend you never use a mower like this on wet or drought-dry slopes.

Mow – Mulch- Bag:  This tractor get high marks by owners for mowing but not for mulching and bagging.  But, be aware this is not a “high-speed” deck like you will find on a commercial lawn mower.  It mows perfectly at 2-3 MPH but don’t expect it to mow as fast as the tractor will go (5.5MPH) and give you the same results.  With this tractor/deck you set the height of cut using a lever on the tractor.

Specifications, Features, Benefits

The rest of this article is taken from the retailers website. Specs subject to change.

Type:  Lawn Tractor
Maximum mowing area per hour (acres): 1.05 acres at 3 MPH
Recommended for moderate slopes? No
Excels in mowing around obstacles? No

Will Mow In Reverse? No

Manufacturer: MTD
Brand: Craftsman
Engine Power: 19.5 hp* 
Displacement: 540 cc. 
Manufacturer: Briggs & Stratton
Cylinders: Single, cast-iron liners
Type: OHV, oil filter, Pressurized
Charging System: 15 amp regulated
Battery: DieHard
Choke/Speed Control: Integrated One Lever
Fuel Tank Capacity: 1.5 U.S. gal. 
Transmission: Foot CVT 
Transmission Control:  Direction – lever; speed – pedal
Cruise Control: NA
Forward Speed: 0-? mph
Reverse Speed: 0-? mph
Chassis: 13 ga.
Front Tires: 15×6
Rear Tires: 20×8
Front Axle: Steel Tube
Hood Material: Steel
Hourmeter: No
Tool Tray: NA

Cupholder: Yes
Headlights: Yes
Translucent fuel tank or Fuel gauge: Yes, Under hood
Deck washout port: No
12-volt outlet: No
Steering: Type 2-wheel steer
Turning Radius: 18 in.
Uncut Circle Radius: ? in. 
Spindle Bushings: Metal, replaceable
Seat Back Height: 13 in. open back
Fore-aft Adjustment: 5 in. while seated
Seat Suspension: Two coil springs
Deck Lift System: Fender
Mower Cut Height: 1.5 in. to 4 in., 5 position
Cut Height Increments: ? in.
Preset Cut Height: No
PTO clutch: Manual

Mower Deck

Type: Side discharge
Mower Cutting Width: 42 in.
Blades: 42 in.
Mower Deck Material: 0.105 in.
Mower Wheel Adjustment: NA
Mower Level Adjustment: Exact
Mower Drive System: In-line belt, Manual PTO
Mower Attachment: 4 point Not EZ-Off
Mower Drive: Belt Tension Spring
Mower Wheels Rotate For Deck Removal: No


Wheelbase: ?-in. 
Overall Length: ?-in. 
Width without mower: ?-in. 
Width with mower: ?-in. 
Width with mower: (deflector raised for storage) ?-in. 
Height: ?-in. 
Weight: 484 lb with mower, no fuel

U.S. Warranty: 2 year limited, 3 and 5 year optional protection plan


  1. tom
    • Paul
      • tom
        • Paul
  2. wussville, usa
  3. jeff
    • Paul Sikkema
  4. GENE
  5. Nick Senanes

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