2012 Troy-Bilt 30 in, 11.5 hp, Shift-On-The-Go Riding Mower Review

Executive Summary: This is Troy-Bilt’s new Small Rider.  I have not had a chance to test it yet (I will test the Craftsman Version in April) but I expect to give it a good review at that time.  It features a 30 inch 3-in-1 deck, 6 speed shift-on-the-go transmission and a short turning radius for a riding lawn mower.  This is not the same mower that most retailers had last year.  This new mower has the proven MTD Shift-on-the-go trans.

Update: March 21, 2012  “Paul – I saw this mower in Lowe’s today and I can say this is definitely not the “same” mower as the Craftsman 420cc 30″ 5-Speed Rider 16×6.5 that came out new this year. They may both be MTD builds, but the Craftsman has a 420cc motor with a screw on oil-filter and this troy-bilt is 344cc and I didn’t see an oil-filter. They look very very similar, but the craftman definitely is a better quality build (nicer seat, steering wheel, etc). I am dying to see your full-review on both of these machines!!!  Ed K”

by: Paul Sikkema

Brand/Manufacture: Troy-Bilt / MTD
Troy-Bilt 11.5-HP Manual 30″ Riding Mower 13AC26JD011
Item Number: 372094
Buy Here: Troy-Bilt
Street Price: $999.99

Basic Quality: (Cheap, Good, Best, Premium, Don’t Buy)  This is a “Good” quality. The Craftsman LT 28881 series is less quality. The  YT-3000 series are better.

Type: (Riding Mower, Lawn Tractor, Yard Tractor, Garden Tractor, Estate Tractor, Sub-Compact, Zero Turn, Stand-On) Riding Mower

Troy-Bilt TB30 R Neighborhood Rider

Proven Transmission
Tight Turning Radius
EZ on and off
Will Fit Through Most Gates

For Small Yards
Use for light attachments ONLY
No anti scalp wheels

Retail Price: $999.99

My Review:

There is not a large market for this small of a mower and when Briggs decided to stop making their 30 in a few years ago no one wanted to fill the gap right away.

This year though MTD has developed and released this new mower and it features their bulletproof 6 speed shift-on-the-go trans.

This mower is designed to go through most gates, mow small yards and be inexpensive. ($400 less than the Craftsman 28034) I expect a lot of customers to give this little mower good ratings as long as they use it for it’s intended purpose.

This article was first published at TodaysMower.com 

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail at this time. After I get a chance to drive one in April, I’ll come back and fill you in. I don’t expect ANY problems with the rider though.  This mower uses “standard” technology and won’t give you problems in normal use.  If you have specific questions leave a comment below and myself or the readers will be glad to answer them.

Comfort – Ease of Use:

Power For Mowing:  The motor is adequate for side-discharge and bagging. I’ll let you know about power for mulching.

Reliability – New to 3 yrs: This tractor is serviced by an authorized MTD Service Center.

Handling – Traction/Steering:  This tractor has a low-effort steering.   I recommend you never use a mower like this on wet or drought-dry slopes.  It is too narrow to work on slopes.

Mow – Mulch- Bag:  The 30 inch blade on this mower will cut great, but will tend to scalp your rough lawn.   If you have a rough, uneven lawn be aware of this and just raise the deck up a notch and it will mow fine.

Specifications, Features, Benefits

The rest of this article is taken from the retailers website.

Type:  Riding Mower
Maximum mowing area per hour (acres): .75 acres at 3 MPH
Recommended for moderate slopes? No
Excels in mowing around obstacles? Moderate to good

Manufacturer: MTD ?
Brand: Troy-Bilt
Engine Power: 11.5 ?  hp*
Displacement: 420 cc.
Manufacturer: Briggs & Stratton
Cylinders: Single
Type: OHV, oil filter, Full-pressure Lubrication
Charging System: 12 v ? amp regulated
Battery: 155 ? cold-crank amps
Choke/Speed Control: Integrated levers
Fuel Tank Capacity: 1.3 U.S. gal.
Transmission: Six Speed Shift on the Go
Transmission Control:  Fender/Clutch pedal
Cruise Control: NA
Forward Speed: 0-5 mph
Reverse Speed: 0-2.8 mph
Chassis: Frame Welded /Paint E-coat/powder
Front Tires: 13×5
Rear Tires: 16×6
Front Axle: Steel Tube
Hood Material: X
Hourmeter: No
Tool Tray: No
Cupholder: Yes
Headlights: No
Translucent fuel tank or Fuel gauge: Yes
Deck washout port: Yes
12-volt outlet: No
Steering: Type 2-wheel steer, Telescoping
Turning Radius: 18 in.
Uncut Circle Radius: ? in.
Spindle Bushings: Metal, replaceable
Seat Back Height: Mid-back Mesh Seat
Fore-aft Adjustment: 5 in. while seated
Seat Suspension: NA
Deck Lift System:Fender
Mower Cut Height: 1 in. to 4 in., 5 position
Cut Height Increments: ? in.
Preset Cut Height: Yes
PTO clutch: Manual

Mower Deck

Type: Side discharge 3-in-1
Mower Cutting Width: 30 in.
Blades: 1.
Mower Deck Material: 14 ga. Steel
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) 32-in.
Height: ?-in.
Weight: 332 lb with mower, no fuel

U.S. Warranty: 2 year limited

Optional Attachments

Mowers:  (standard)
Material Collection System:  bagger
Mulching System: Yes, FastAttach mulch kit
Front Thatcher: NA
Front Blade: NA
Tractor Shovel: NA
Snow Blower: NA
Front Bumper: Optional
Brush Guard: NA
Bucket Holder: NA
Tow-Behind Tools: 3


  1. Rolando Rodriguez
    • Paul
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