My Opinion: I first saw this mower at Lowes in 2012 and it had me confused. It looked like a Garden Tractor but the price was too cheap. The data on Lowes was normally cryptic and Husqvarna did not have it listed. Well, Husqvarna finally has all the data sheets available so I am ready to write a review.
Lowes continues to sell this lawn tractor and lists it as a Garden Tractor. At least they don’t state it can handle hills or ground engaging equipment – because it can’t.
by: Paul Sikkema
The LGT2654 is not a Garden Tractor.
I don’t like to write negative reviews because I know that 98% of the time the manufacture’s build a lawn tractor specifically for a certain user and my goal on this blog is to match that customer to the right lawn tractor. But in this case it appears this mower is targeted solely as a way to get market share away from other retailers. I have no idea if Lowes intentionally has applied P.T. Barumn’s “There’s a sucker born every minute” rule or if the buyers just did not know what they were ordering when they set this tractor up. (Sorry Lowes, I know you read this blog regularly) Build.com does list this mower correctly as a lawn tractor. (Husqvarna 960 43 01-48 Self-Propelled 54″ 26HP Lawn Tractor 960 43 01-48)
Now in Lowes defense, the definition of a garden tractor was never clearly defined. Even Wikipedia/Garden Tractor reroutes to a page on lawn mowers. Popular Mechanics does have an older article on garden tractors Comparison Test – 5 Garden Tractors. But the general consensus in the industry is a Garden Tractor is a dual purpose machine. Garden Tractors are intended to not only mow your lawn but to also pull ground engaging equipment. It can mow your lawn, disk up your garden and haul a full load of firewood out of the timber. The LGT2654 is not a Garden Tractor.
While the LGT2654 has a Garden Tractor Frame it does not have a garden tractor transmission. This tractor has a smaller, weaker lawn tractor transmission, the K46 Tuff-Torq installed.
If you actually want a Garden Tractor start your research by looking at the Craftsman G5000 Model 20403 or Craftsman Pro GT Model 20443 or 20445. Read my reviews here. Craftsman G5000 Review Craftsman Pro GT Review
If you want a lawn tractor with larger tires like this also look at the John Deere D170. The D170 has more history and the owners generally like the machine.
I am still not done with the negatives:
Before I discuss why you might actually want this tractor I still have a few more details of why this tractor is a poor design. I want you to completely understand why this is not a good garden tractor or even a good lawn tractor for some of you. If I am going to recommend a tractor I want you to feel confident that it will last and I have some concerns about the transmission life in this tractor.
Let’s get technical: The K46 Tuff-Torq transmission in this tractor is very popular and you will find it in many of the current lawn tractors. John Deere, Craftsman, Husqvarna, Simplicity and others all use it. It is dependable and can be modified for many applications. But it does have limits and they are: 20 inch max tire size, 3/4 inch axles, 675 lbs axle load, and 170 ft lbs of torque. (A Garden Tractor trans has 1 inch axles, 700-1000 lb axle load and a minimum of 300 ft lbs of torque) Because the K46 is not rated for 22 inch tires on this tractor, I feel the torque applied to the transmission with these larger tires may cause premature transmission failure. Using it on hills will cause the trans to overheat and fail. When pulling loads (like firewood) the transmission may not even have enough torque to pull the load up a hill. Instead of spinning the tires if the load is greater than the traction this transmission may just stall out. I have had a few transmissions stall out on hills over the years and it is a very scary situation. You can’t go forward and backing down with a trailer is next to impossible. You really don’t dare to put in the clutch and use the parking brake because you know the brakes on lawn tractors just are not that good. About all you can do is turn off the tractor, get off and get out-of-the-way as it careens back down the hill.
I am even concerned about installing a snow thrower or snow blade on this tractor because pushing that much weight may cause too much stress on the transmission.
What it is good for:
Flat lawns, no slopes or hills. The large tires will soak up bumps better than the smaller 20 inch tires on lawn tractors. Because of the larger tires the deck will lift up about 1 inch higher than a Craftsman YT4500 or Husqvarna YTH26V54. A lot of us prefer to mow our bluegrass/fescue lawns at 4 inches or higher and this tractor’s lift will allow it to mow that high. If I had 2 acres or more and just wanted a larger lawn tractor to mow my lawn I would consider the YTH26V54. If I thought I would use ever it for landscape work, plowing snow or hauling more than mulch in my yard cart, I would look at a different mower.
Model/Series: Lawn Tractor or Light Garden Tractor
Item Number: Item Number Varies By Retailer
Where To Buy: Husqvarna LGT2654 26 HP Hydro Light Garden Tractor, 54-Inch
Street Price: $2299.99
Basic Quality: (Cheap, Good, Best, Premium, Don’t Buy) This is Husqvarna’s Good Quality. There is a better quality sold at your local Husqvrana Dealer.
Type: (Riding Mower, Lawn Tractor, Yard Tractor, Garden Tractor, Estate Tractor, Sub-Compact, Zero Turn, Stand-On) Lawn Tractor.
Compare it to: Craftsman YT-4500
Good Price for the size!
Large tires, rides well!
Makes a mess when mulching
18 inch Turning Radius!
Transmission too small!
Summary: If you are looking for a yard tractor but you don’t need the Craftsman Turn Tight Steering or an 8 mph ground speed this may be for you. This tractor uses the same hi-flow 54 inch deck as the Craftsman YT-4500 . It is a good cutting deck and great for side discharge and bagging.
You will hear a lot of comments in the tractor forums about the idea that you need a fabricated deck when you get to this size (54 inch). This deck has superior air flow over a fabricated deck. It lifts the grass well and cuts it evenly. It throws the grass out the side discharge well and spreads it evenly. You can use a bagger with this deck and not have to spend the extra $400 to $500 on a discharge blower. (a fabricated deck does not have the airflow this one has and you need to add a grass blower to it to use a bagger)
This lawn tractor will mow in reverse.
People who buy this lawn tractor know what they are buying and this is just what they want.
This article was first published at TodaysMower.com
Comfort – Ease of Use: Deluxe seat, easy to use operator controls, good field of view. With large tires this tractor is comfortable to ride for this price range.
Power For Mowing: This tractor has plenty of power for side discharge mowing and/or bagging every week. It has plenty of power for mulching.
Reliability – New to 3 yrs: This tractor is serviced by your local Husqvarna dealer if you buy it from Lowes, Build.com or Northern Tool.
Handling – Traction/Steering: This tractor has average traction and handling and is similar to all the other garden tractors. I recommend you never use a mower like this on wet or drought-dry slopes.
Mow – Mulch- Bag: This tractor’s deck gets high marks by owners for mowing and bagging but not for mulching. This deck is a high-air-flow deck and cuts very evenly for a 54 inch deck. But when you plug the discharge with a mulch plug the air still has to go somewhere. The air comes out the right front and if you are mowing dry grass the clippings fly out there and usually right into your lap. If you want to mulch all the time buy a Husqvarna with a fabricated deck. With this tractor/deck you set the height of cut using a lever on the tractor.