2016 Craftsman Garden Tractor Line-Up – You will really like Number One!

One of the best ways to dust the snow off this blog is to tell you what’s new for 2016.

Update: I have people ask all the time if Craftsman Garden tractors are heavy enough for hills or should they go with a Husqvarna or Cub Cadet?  Answer: All Craftsman Garden Tractors EXCEPT number 5 on this page are heavy enough. They all (except #5) have ground engaging transmissions.

I always start the year off with what’s new at Craftsman. I’m going to do something new this year and publish four articles. A few opinions – but mainly just the facts as given to me by Craftsman.

2016 Garden Tractors: This Article: Large areas to mow, big tires for rough lawns, 4 of the 5 models will handle all attachments including ground engaging attachments like harrows and pull-behind tillers.

2016 Yard Tractors: Read About them here: Normal size lawns, easy to use, better engines, 5 or 6 inch Turn-Tight Steering. Will handle most attachments except ground-engaging.

2016 Lawn Tractors: Read About them here: Small yards, great value mower. Good engines, standard steering. Will handle bagging and light pull behind attachments.

2016 Craftsman Zero-Turn Mowers: The article will come later: Craftsman now has residential, Craftsman Pro and Steering wheel versions!

Craftsman Garden Tractors

Craftsman is starting the year off right with two revised Garden Tractors and three Pro Series Garden Tractors including one new model with POWER STEERING!

1.NEW! Pro Series Garden Tractor: Craftsman Pro Series 26 HP V-Twin Kohler 54” Garden Tractor with Electric Power Steering

SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE: $3599 ish
See Actual Sale Price Here. Be sure to check the special offers tab for extra savings! Craftsman Pro Series 26 HP V-Twin Kohler 54” Garden Tractor with Electric Power Steering

20447This new Craftsman Pro Garden Tractor builds on the 2015 Consumer Reports Best Buy Model 20445. This new model has POWER STEERING!  The New Craftsman Pro Series 26 HP* V-Twin Kohler 54” Garden Tractor  features the Craftsman Exclusive, Turn Tight Extreme™ technology that provides the tightest turning radius in the industry on Lawn & Garden Tractors. In addition the new electric power steering allows you to maneuver with ease.  The powerful 26 HP V-twin Kohler 7000 Elite Series engine uses Kohler’s proven  Consistent-Cut™ technology that excels in tall grass, and hilly terrain, giving you the best cut. The Kohler Elite Series engine has a pro-grade oil and fuel filter for longer engine life, and a platinum spark plug for more reliable starting.

The Craftsman Pro Series 54″ Garden Tractor is equipped with a reinforced cutting deck. The deep-domed design gives you the best side discharge, bagging and  mulching performance for a 54 inch deck. The spring-loaded lift system provides twelve easy height adjustments. The heavy-duty deck mounts give you side-to-side stability needed for an even cut and increased belt life. The deck is easy to remove for maintenance.

Note: The power steering unit itself in this tractor has been around for a few years. It’s an expensive, dependable item. If you need/want power steering don’t feel bad about spending the extra money.

Vendor: MTD
Brand: Craftsman Pro Series
Series: G8500
2016 49 State Item number: 20447
2015 49 State Item number: NA
CA Item number 2016: NA
CA Item number 2015: NA

Defects WARRANTY: 2 Years
FRONT AXLE WARRANTY: Lifetime
FRAME WARRANTY: 5 Years

Please see the complete Specifications on sears.com here: Craftsman Pro Series 26 HP V-Twin Kohler 54” Garden Tractor with Electric Power Steering

2. Garden Tractor: Craftsman Pro Series 26 HP V-Twin Kohler Elite 54″ Turn Tight Extreme Garden Tractor

SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE: $2999 ish
See Actual Sale Price Here. Be sure to check the special offers tab for extra savings! Craftsman Pro Series 26 HP V-Twin Kohler Elite 54″ Turn Tight Extreme Garden Tractor

20445 This Craftsman Pro Series 26 HP* V-Twin Kohler 54” Garden Tractor was chosen as the 2015 Consumer Reports Best Buy!

The New Craftsman Pro Series 26 HP* V-Twin Kohler 54” Garden Tractor  features the Craftsman Exclusive, Turn Tight Extreme™ technology that provides the tightest turning radius in the industry on Lawn & Garden Tractors. The powerful 26 HP V-twin Kohler 7000 Elite Series engine uses Kohler’s proven  Consistent-Cut™ technology that excels in tall grass, and hilly terrain, giving you the best cut. The Kohler Elite Series engine has a pro-grade oil and fuel filter for longer engine life, and a platinum spark plug for more reliable starting.

The Craftsman Pro Series 54″ Garden Tractor is equipped with a reinforced cutting deck. The deep-domed design gives you the best side discharge, bagging and  mulching performance for a 54 inch deck. The spring-loaded lift system provides twelve easy height adjustments. The heavy-duty deck mounts give you side-to-side stability needed for an even cut and increased belt life. The deck is easy to remove for maintenance.

The only difference between this model 20445 and the 20447 is the 20447 has power steering.

Vendor: MTD
Brand: Craftsman Pro Series
Series: G8400
2016 49 State Item number: 20445
2015 49 State Item number: 20445
CA Item number 2016: NA
CA Item number 2015: NA

Defects WARRANTY: 2 Years
FRONT AXLE WARRANTY: Lifetime
FRAME WARRANTY: 5 Years

Please see the complete Specifications on sears.com here: Craftsman Pro Series 26 HP V-Twin Kohler Elite 54″ Turn Tight Extreme Garden Tractor

3. Garden Tractor: Craftsman Pro Series 26 HP V-Twin Kohler Elite 50″ Turn Tight Extreme Garden Tractor

SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE: $2599 ish
See Actual Sale Price Here. Be sure to check the special offers tab for extra savings! Craftsman Pro Series 26 HP V-Twin Kohler Elite 50″ Turn Tight Extreme Garden Tractor

20443 This Craftsman Pro Series 26 HP* V-Twin Kohler 50” Garden Tractor is the same tractor as the Consumer Reports Best Buy except with a smaller deck. If your lawn is very rough or you can’t fit a 54 inch deck through your obstacles this is a good choice. It features a Craftsman Exclusive, Turn Tight Extreme™ technology that provides the tightest turning radius in the industry on Lawn & Garden Tractors with a 5″ turning radius. The powerful 26 HP V-twin Kohler 7000 Elite Series engine uses Kohler Consistent-Cut™ technology that excels in tall grass, and hilly terrain, giving you the best cut. The Kohler Elite Series engines feature a pro-grade oil and fuel filter for longer engine life, and a platinum spark plug for more reliable starting.

The Craftsman Pro Series 50″ Garden Tractor is equipped with a reinforced cutting system. A deep-domed and curved deck design produces optimal airflow for excellent cutting performance. The spring-loaded lift system provides twelve easy height adjustments. The heavy-duty deck mounts are engineered for stability needed for an even cut and long belt life. A simple deck removal makes maintenance quick and easy.

Vendor: MTD
Brand: Craftsman Pro Series
Series: G8300
2016 49 State Item number: 20443
2015 49 State Item number: 20443
CA Item number 2016: NA
CA Item number 2015: NA

Defects WARRANTY: 2 Years
FRONT AXLE WARRANTY: Lifetime
FRAME WARRANTY: 5 Years

Please see the complete Specifications on sears.com here: Craftsman Pro Series 26 HP V-Twin Kohler Elite 50″ Turn Tight Extreme Garden Tractor

4. Updated Garden Tractor: Craftsman 24 HP 54 in. Turn Tight® FAST Hydrostatic Garden Tractor

SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE: $2599 ish
See Actual Sale Price Here. Be sure to check the special offers tab for extra savings! Craftsman 24 HP 54 in. Turn Tight® FAST Hydrostatic Garden Tractor

20408

Craftsman 24 HP 54 in. Turn Tight® FAST Hydrostatic Garden Tractor Lets You Get Everything Done.

The Craftsman 54 in. Turn Tight® garden tractor has everything you need to cut your lawn comfortably. You get a deck with a 54 in. cutting path and a chassis with a 6 in. turn radius. This means a faster and more efficient cut. 

Compatibility and the Craftsman 24 HP 54 in. Turn Tight® FAST Hydrostatic Garden Tractor go hand-in-hand.  Attachments that will work with this vehicle include all a bagger, snow plow and snow thrower.  Additional this garden tractor also works with all ground engaging attachments including tillers and aerators. You will be able to use your tractor during every season. The 24 HP motor gives you all the power you need to get over hills. The FAST hydrostatic transmission with top speeds of 7.5 MPL allows you to get any task quickly and easily..

For 2016 Craftsman by consumer request REMOVED the smart ignition switch and replaced with the standard key switch your are used to.

Vendor: Husqvarna Outdoor Products
Brand: Craftsman
Series: G5600
2016 49 State Item number: 20408
2015 49 State Item number: 20403
CA Item number 2016: 20409
CA Item number 2015: 20404

Defects WARRANTY: 2 Years
FRONT AXLE WARRANTY: Lifetime
FRAME WARRANTY: 5 Years

Please see the complete Specifications on sears.com here: Craftsman 24 HP 54 in. Turn Tight® FAST Hydrostatic Garden Tractor

5. Updated (Light) Garden Tractor: Craftsman 48 in. Turn Tight® Hydrostatic Garden Tractor

SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE: $2399 ish
See Actual Sale Price Here. Be sure to check the special offers tab for extra savings! Craftsman 48 in. Turn Tight® Hydrostatic Garden Tractor

20407

Craftsman states this is a Garden Tractor. In reality it is a full featured lawn tractor. It has a garden tractor frame and large tires but uses a lawn tractor transmission. What that means is it will handle all your chores except using ground engaging equipment. With the 48 inch deck, heavy-duty frame and larger tires it is a great value if you have a rough lawn and like the better ride a garden tractor gives you.

For 2016 Craftsman by consumer request REMOVED the smart ignition switch and replaced with the standard key switch your are used to.

Vendor: Husqvarna Outdoor Products
Brand: Craftsman
Series: G5200
2016 49 State Item number: 20407
2015 49 State Item number: 20401
CA Item number 2016: NA
CA Item number 2015: 20402

Defects WARRANTY: 2 Years
FRONT AXLE WARRANTY: Lifetime
FRAME WARRANTY: 5 Years

Please see the complete Specifications on sears.com here: Craftsman 48 in. Turn Tight® Hydrostatic Garden Tractor

 

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Mike
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Mike

Is there a Snow/Dozer blade for the sears model 20408 garden tractor? What is the Husqvarna model that is equivalent to the 20408 and can i but attachments from Husqvarna? So far I am not finding much from sears for attachments, like a dozer/snow blade i really want/need.

tim
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tim

Nowhere can I find any specifications on which of the tough torque transmissions the Pro 54″ models have. I’m interested in buying Model # 27044. If it’s only got the K46 transmission I’m not interested, as you yourself said the K46 was designed for 46″ – 48″ max, mowers. Other than the power steering models I don’t get what the difference is between the 27044 and the other pro 54″ models that sell for considerably more money, as they all use the 26hp Kohler motor, turn tight steering, etc. I was actually going to go with the 20442 46″ mower… Read more »

Billy
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Billy

Okay, thanks Paul. That’s good info. BTW You Rock!

Billy
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Billy

Hi Paul. We’ve sold our Florida house on an acre where our bottom of the line JD L110 has been a workhorse for the last 12 years on a flat lot, but now we’re going to a new house in Georgia. Gentle slope (probably 10 degrees) from top to bottom, 2 1/2 acres. You are pretty positive about the new Craftsmans, but I wonder how durable MTD mowers really are and who will be providing warranty service if/when Sears goes down the tubes. I also notice that you are not prone to say anything good about Husqvarnas, which have some… Read more »

Kim
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Kim

Looking at Craftsman model 20439. What are your thoughts ?

Jimmy
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Jimmy

Hi Paul – got a Craftsman 20408 earlier this year, based in part on your reviews. Great tractor. It’s got a big, wide 54″ deck, and where the ground is uneven I’m gouging the lawn with the deckside wheels. I’ve tried raising the deck a bit and slowing down, which have helped – any other thoughts on techniques to use to avoid the gouging? It’s a big lawn, so I like the time savings from the extra width the 54 has, but maybe should have gone with the smaller tractor.

Mason
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Mason

I wanted to give a quick update on my experience trying to buy a Craftsmen tractor. I purchased online a Craftsman 20442. Deliver was to be 9-13 to my local K-Mart. I received an email today that the shipment has been delayed and Sears apoloizes for the inconvenience. That doesn’t work for me since I’m leaving on a trip for a month on 9-14. There was no way to send an email so I got into a chat session with a Sears rep. He told me that tractor was not delayed and would be delivered on time. I told him… Read more »

Patrick
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Patrick

Hi Paul…after reading many of your posts on the site I just recently purchased the red Craftsman 54″ Fast Auto 24 HP Briggs & Stratton V-Twin Turn Tight® Garden Tractor (Model # 20408) based on your positive comments. Unfortunately I have an issue with this machine and the foot pedal and managing my slopes. How does the red Craftsman 48″ Auto 24 HP Briggs & Stratton V-Twin Turn Tight® Garden Tractor (Model # 20407) compare? I understand that these two tractors are almost identical except for the transmission. I have just over a half acre of land and the back… Read more »

Deb Campbell
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Deb Campbell

Hi Paul – I hope you have a moment – I am recently widowed and my husband took care of the Mechanical stuff. I did mow but he did the machine maintenance. Well I just threw a rod and was told it would cost $1000 to fix. I have been using a Husqvarna YTH2148 which was purchased in 2003 I think give or take a yr. I have 5 acres – about 3.5 that I mow the rest is forest. 1.5-2 acres is lawn the ofer 1.5-2 is field. The field is very uneven but fairly flat. The lawn has… Read more »

Bryce
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Bryce

How much would I benefit from the locking differential on my hill with the husqvarna versus one of the craftsman mowers?

Bryce
Guest
Bryce

Paul,

I have 2.5 acres that is about 1/3 flat and 2/3 hilly. I need a new mower. I am think about the big craftsman pro, but am unsure about the transmission being heavy enough for ground work and the hills. Would I be better off gong with the Husqvarna that has the locking rear differential?

Any recommendations you have would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Bryce

tom kosmoski
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tom kosmoski

does the 48 inch 22 hp craftsman fast auto have the same rear as the 54 inch model. Notice the weight difference is very little between the both.

Nick
Guest
Nick

HI Paul, GREAT site!!! I’m in south west NJ, and looking to upgrade my LT1000/42″ 16 Kohler with something bigger, i’m on the fence between the Cadet LX 50, 25 Kohler and the Husqvarna, 48 or 52 and now that I’ve been reading your fantastic site, i’m really confused, and so now I like the Craftsman for the speed. i have about 7 acres of property, flat but with a lot of trees mole/groundhogs trails/holes, I only mow front/back lawns, (mostly weeds) and in between tree rows and roads around rest of property, and in my goat pasture, let’s say… Read more »

Ryan
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Ryan

Great websit,but it’s making it difficult to make up my mind! I mow about 1.2 acres all of it is a hill, some sections are too steep to go straight up so I must lean to one side and go across the slope. I have dips, holes, crowns, trees, landscaping beds, walls and whatever else can be found in a very uneven lawn. I have been using a Troy bilt since 1999 which has just mowed it’s last blade of grass, the transmission just broke. The Troy bilt has a 46 inch deck which has to stay at the highest… Read more »

Chris
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Chris

Hi, Paul. I just took delivery yesterday of my new Pro Series 20447, fueled up and began mowing. Ran out of gas, and could not find the reserve tank switch anywhere. Had to hoof it back to the shed, return with the gas can and refill. My old GT6000 had a reserve switch under the seat (but it was a Husky) and this tractor does not, or so it seems. Am I just overlooking it? No info in the Manual, so thanks for your input. Chris

Brian
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Brian

Hi Paul, Great site and like so many others it’s been an invaluable resource in the buy decision – thanks. I picked up my 20440 last night. My 2/3 acre, < 15 degree-slope, smooth enough, gates-too-narrow-for-the-20442, fescue lawn in Leawood, KS, is very happy with the new purchase. Once the mower was in the garage I did an initial pass on the set-up. Overall everything looks good; two things jumped out but they both seem manageable. The right-front has a slight toe-in: it isn't parallel to the rear wheel when the steering wheel is at 12:00 (left side is fine),… Read more »

Will
Guest

Hi Paul great website. I mow a 1/2 acre of yard that is mostly smooth with very little slope. I plan on mowing with the tractor and using a snow plow on a 20 by 70 driveway here in central Illinois. I am looking at the Craftsman Professional 20442 or 20443. I am looking for the best cut. I like the 20443 because of the heavier transmission, but will it cut as good as the 46 inch 20442. Can you have Sears put a 46 inch deck on the 20443? That would be my ideal set up. Thanks for your… Read more »

Mr. G
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Mr. G

What transmission do this have?

All of them g730 or any k66?

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Hi Paul I purchased the Craftsman pro 26 hp, 54″ with turn tight based on reading your reviews. I have tried for days (calling Sears, going in to the store, looking online) to find out which snow plow attachment is compatible with this tractor, but have had limited success. I live up here in Canada (St. John’s, Newfoundland, 1.5 acre hilly yard, with a very large, paved driveway) and I wanted to try to get a 50″ plow for our very snowy winters. Any idea where I could find this out. I have found it very difficult to find accessory… Read more »

FrankF
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FrankF

Paul, I’ve ordered the Craftsman 20408 per your recommendation and the info on your site. I see you recommended the Johnny Bucket as a scoop. I assume they have one that fits the 20408. Are there body conflicts to overcome during the installation, e.g., remove bumper, etc. Will the 20408’s front axle/etc. safely support the load in the bucket? Also, is there a newer Husqvarna parts/attachment reference than your 2014 one? Is there a Husqvarna mower model # that has interchangeable parts with the 20408, in case Sears doesn’t have a part? Thanks!

michael
Guest
michael

Hi Paul, I have a 1/2 acre yard that is bumpy and hilly. The hills are short runs that I mow in an up and down fashion. After much research I purchased a Husqvarna YTXLS42 in late 2015. Locking different has proven beneficial on the hills and the deck is both rugged and offers a good quality cut. The engine is the Kawasaki which I have had good luck with in the past. What concerns me is the amount of frame flex and the bushings in the front end. Also I am concerned with longevity with the K46. Any thoughts… Read more »

Boomer
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Boomer

Hi Paul. I submitted a question to you a couple days ago but it must have got lost in cyberspace as I don’t see it on here. So, forgive me if this is a duplicate. I stumbled across your website while researching my garden tractor purchase. All the information you have provided has been extremely helpful. I have narrowed my choices down to 3 and I can’t seem to make up my mind. I have a little over 2 acres of flat yard to mow. It has some small dips and bumps but isn’t overly rough. I also have a… Read more »

Sean
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Sean

Hi Paul,
I purchased the Craftsman 20443 50″ GT and it’s been great, but it’s already time to change out the blades due to my sandy property. I pulled up the OE part # on the Sears parts direct website, but am having a hard time finding out what the OE blade thickness is and if there are any thicker alternatives that may be better.
Do you have any suggestions other than the OE part #942-05052A ?
Thanks in advance!

bryan
Guest
bryan

Paul,

With the 20443 likely sold out for the year, I am interested in the 20442. I’m familiar in the differences between the engines and trannys but are the front ends of the two built the same?

I’m asking bc I currently have a 2011 917-28856 that has severe toe out. Ive replaced the drag links (with adjustable) and wheel spindles. Neither has fixed the problem. I don’t drive the tractor like a car but I need something extremely durable. So that’s why the 20443 seemed like a good option.

Will the 20442 be as durable as the 20443?

Dave
Guest
Dave

Good morning Paul, I have been reading your articles for some time and they are quite informative. Thank you for your time and research! My riding mower gave up the ghost and am in the market for another riding mower – garden tractor. As I read the various articles and posts I feel, at times thst I am at Baskin Robbins with so many choices. Once I think I have a direction to go regarding a mower I read a respose to a post and I begin to wonder if my choice may not be the best. I know there… Read more »

bryan
Guest
bryan

Paul,

Any update on availability of the 20443? Do you have confidence it may be in stock by July? Hopefully so bc its the mower I want.

Steven
Guest
Steven

Hi Paul, I was really close to buying a Craftsman Pro 20445, but am wondering if I should go for a Husqvarna Garden Tractor(GTH52XLS) that would be utilized for not only mowing, but also grading gravel. My yard is just under 1 acre with minimal slope and the gravel area is only a parking pad that can fit 3 vehicles. During the winter the plow tears up the gravel and I need to grade it every spring. Certainly nothing big enough to warrant a Sub-Compact tractor like the Kubota BX series. The Husqvarna line has a front mount scoop available,… Read more »

Norm
Guest
Norm

Bought the 447 from Sears , will take delivery this coming Monday . Question is about engine oil . At the 5 hour mark I will change the oil and filter . I am a mobil 1 guy , but have used Rotella in the past . Do you have a favorite and why .
Thanks , Norm .

Dennis Sullivan
Guest

Hello Paul- I love your site-very informative! I recently purchased a new home with a much larger yard and will have to upgrade all my yard equipment. I have already burned out my weed eater and leaf blower that were suitable for my previous 1/4 acre lot! I have 2 acres of lawn, with a good number of new and mature trees on it. The yard is relatively flat, but gently rolling and mildly rough, and slopes off on the edges where it borders the road and thickets, so I do have some slopes to cut. The lawn frequently has… Read more »

Bruce
Guest
Bruce

Hello Paul, Reading your response to Marie C on the Craftsman 20442. With and without the deck on, what is the width of this tractor? Is the 20440 the same? I’m would like to get one, but my wooden shed door is about 42 inches wide. Would one of these fit in if I take the deck off for winter storage. During the summer it will just go into the garage. From what I have read, storing it outside, covered, could provide a winter retreat and even worse, SNACKS for various critters . Otherwise I might take it to a… Read more »

Marie C
Guest
Marie C

I have 1-1/2 acres, small area of it is slightly rolling, to a swale. Looked at John Deere, went to dealer, discarded notion of Dseries bc of reports of transmission problems. Looked at 240 sports. Because of your site, I am now comparing to Craftsman, pro series, 20438, 20440, 20442. I am 66 yrs old, and can not service mower myself. I appreciate your comments regarding sears service plan, as well as future for Sears stores in general, as this had been on my mind. I thought I would be better off paying less for Craftsman and adding service plan,… Read more »

Geoffry
Guest
Geoffry

Hi Paul. I bought the 2015 Craftsman Pro 54″ (black) early last year. I’m wondering if the front wheels need to be adjusted. Should they be perfectly aligned with the rear wheels? (They appear to be.) All tires are inflated to 10 psi. I ask because we have dead arcs in our lawn where we make moderately tight turns. The dead strips follow only the outermost track. We didn’t have that problem during ten years of mowing with our old 42″ tractor. By moderately tight, we have a round flower bed with a ten foot diameter. There is now a… Read more »

Ed DeBolt
Guest
Ed DeBolt

I have the 2015 model Sears Craftsman 54 inch garden tractor. It is now finally functioning properly after Sears finally installed all of the parts missing from the factory The tie rod connectors were not installed at the factory and various other parts and my wheels kept falling off and both front tires went bad after only 35 hours use. It is a great garden tractor, but Sears service in my opinion is very poor! It took me weeks to get service , waiting on a traveling mechanic to get to me on three separate occasions. Just be aware that… Read more »

John
Guest
John

Man, great info on here. I found the Craftsman 20444 on sale with all discounts for about $2031. Sale is off tomarrow. Seems like a great deal, but I see some concern over the tranny’s long term ability to push that big unit. I have about 2.5 acres that I mow. Nearly all flat with one good size hill. I am mowing it with a Y3000 now but would like to get it done faster. I have an ATV for hauling and plowing. My hard is bumpy and I feel like I am beating that Y3000 up. Had deck re-welded… Read more »

Gary
Guest
Gary

Hey Paul: My son -in-law just picked up his Craftsman Model 20391 48″ cut mower. I have read reviews that say the transmission, (fast CVT) is not a good unit at all and a lot of them fail. Did he waste his money, should he buy the extended warranty. The store manager said that it would be a good idea. What do you think?

Douglas surprenant
Guest
Douglas surprenant

Was this a great deal? 2016 John Deere D160 just went on sale this week at lowes from $2350 down to $2150….. then I found a 10% off online code.. (always available)

$1934…. plus free shipping to my house. For a 25hp 48″ deck.. 22″ rear tired green JD…

Hudson NH 1.2 acres… small Hill only plan on pulling 15cu poly trailer for leaves/dirt

Thoughts ?

Darwin
Guest
Darwin

I’m looking at a 3 acre property near Winterset, IA that slopes to a creek and one border. I haven’t mowed it yet but would think at least some of it would be a little rough since it hasn’t always been a lawn. There are a few trees right now but I plan adding several more trees, shrubs, and a garden. I think I will also need to to pull some kind of cart too for gardening and orchard work once the trees grow larger. I am open to either a tractor style or zero turn but don’t know which… Read more »

Jon
Guest

Hi Paul
I am in the market for a craftsman garden tractor and need advice on the right choice with a strong transmission for ground attachments Could you tell me if the 20443 garden tractor can handle a tiller? Or do I have to look at the pro 48″ 24hp ? And which is the better for ground attachments ? I am on less than 1 acre a little rough with slopesand will be moving up to about 3- 4 with hills and slopes. Also is the Briggs a better engine than the Kohler?

Myron
Guest

Hi Paul, Great information here. My question is why can’t they make a Garden Tractor with a 42 inch deck and the heavier transmission that you can bag leaves with? All The models seem to have either 48, 50, 54 inch decks (mainly fabricated) with 3 blades. I only need 2 blades and I only bag leaves in the fall. Just want a machine that will last more than 300 hours without the K46 transmission going out. Cost me $1000 to replace on John Deere X300. To get the heavier transmission you are offered the bigger deck. Is there some… Read more »

Hunter
Guest
Hunter

Paul, Great site! I am in the market to replace my 17 year old craftsman yt4000. I mow 2 acres with some slopes 15-20 deg. I also want to be able to pull a cart and a small disk with disks set to slice the turf not turn.

I am looking at the husquavarna GT 52xls. I am not sure the transmission is maintainable or sealed. Really do not know much about the unit.

I am also considering the Toro swx5050. This unit has two maintainable hydraulic trans.

Brian
Guest
Brian

Hey Paul, While searching for information regarding Garden Tractors I came across and recently signed into today’s mowers. This forum appears to be the most user friendly and informative. I’ve delved into a substantial amount of your reviews and have on several occasions done a full gainer into the mailbag exchanges of this forum. I’ve learned enough about YT’s and GT’s to effectively spin my decision making process as though it were a lad’s dradle. I need help. It appears you have a propensity to speak fondly of Craftsman. I like that. I have a little mule; an ss 16… Read more »

Charles
Guest
Charles

Husqvarna was actually my first thought. That GT48xlsi looks nice. I would settle for the GT54LS if a smaller deck would fit it
I find myself in the position of having a long narrow 3/4 acre yard that lends its back end well for a large garden and I’m wanting a tool that will help prep the ground. What I’m wanting is the tougher trans with traction control coupled with a smaller deck for my yard size. But I’m afraid I’m asking for a unicorn.

Charles
Guest
Charles

Paul, this is a fantastic site. I am thoroughly enjoying the information you provide. I just have a few more questions before I can make my decision: Which craftsman Garden Tractors, if any, feature a locking rear differential? It is not a spec mentioned on craftsman’s website. Also, I read in some comments in another article (I forget which one because I’ve read so many) that the craftsman red garden tractors have stronger transmissions than the black pro series. What transmission is that? Is it worth the 2hp drop in power? Would you recommend a red gt over a pro… Read more »

Chip
Guest
Chip

Great Site! Question: What transaxle does Craftsman put in the Pro 20443 & 20444? The sears website does not say which one.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Thanks – that is super helpful advice!

Mark
Guest
Mark

Hi Paul, Quick question – Craftsman Pro 46″ With Power Steering (# 20439) for $2,699 or Craftsman Pro 54″ Model (# 20444) without power steering for $2,499? Stats – small ranch 200 acres, 2 meadows, some hills, roads & some trails to mow, mostly undulating terrain. Most of the mowing will be roads and some meadow. Cost is close & prime difference is deck size & power steering from what i can tell. Trying to decide if gaining power steering is worth losing 8″ per pass. My sense is it may be – love to get your opinion. Loading...

Tony
Guest
Tony

i am looking to purchase a garden tractor very soon. I am liking the 20443 especially. I have about 1 acre to mow, but a very long driveway and lots of trees. Was going to use for pulling a dump cart and possible a snow/dozer blade. Maybe even a johnny bucket. I have also run into the Husqvarna GT52XLSi. The 20443 and the Husq are approx the same price at $2,800. I don’t see much information on the Husq brand. If it comes down to price, any thoughts on one over the other?

Dave Boutin
Guest
Dave Boutin

Hi Paul, Great site- lots of helpful advice on this site. I’ve been looking for a replacement tractor after my Husqvarna yth2448 decided to go up in flames- yeah, literally. Not sure the cause but one dealer thought it could be related to deteriorated fuel line from ethanol? Who knows. So, on the way I spotted some mowers outside a local shop and decided to check them out. Well, they were Jonsered tractors and he had a leftover 2754 GTHi with a price that I could not pass up. $1,999.00! New with full warranty and dealer service. I’ve see these… Read more »

chris
Guest
chris

Paul , absolutely awesome site!!! I hope I am not replicating my post. It seems to have got lost in Cyber space. live in Se Ks on 6 acres but only mow about 1 1/2 acres some of it fairly rough old horse pasture /orchard. I currently have an old Murray wide body with an18 .5 Briggs. I have abused this machine terribly including mowing the 5 acres of horse pasture when it was 2 ft high at least 6 times. It is time to get something a bit newer and between my shopping and your website I am now… Read more »

Rick Vardmaan
Guest
Rick Vardmaan

Hi Paul, I recently purchased a Craftsman 54″ Fast Auto 24 HP Briggs & Stratton V-Twin Turn Tight® Garden Tractor to replace a 2004 Husqvarna LGT2654 that had been well maintained/serviced but recently sucked a crankcase sump gasket. The Husqvarna, over the 12 years that I owned it, served me well in maintaining roughly 4 acres of hilly, semi rough yard (we refer to this property as the “quartz farm” due to the high content that shows up after every rain), with that said, the only problems I encountered were with the deck lift arms having to be welded due… Read more »

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