About Paul Sikkema
Paul Sikkema has been writing about snow blowers, riding mowers, and other lawn and garden equipment for over 10 years. Paul does most of his writing out in his workshop where he feeds the wildlife and birds in the yard.
He spends as much time with his granddaughter as he can.
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Thank you! I think I’ll go with the 20408. Does Sears sell the weights, Snow blade and mounting kit, or are those 3rd party things?
@Tom, Sears has more available for the 20408 than any other tractor on the market. The tractor itself has been around for a very long time so there are a lot of Craftsman and aftermarket stuff for it.
Here is a page of a lot of the stuff Sears has for it. Craftsman 54 inch attachments. Since I wrote that page I do have a few new yard carts I also like. The dozer blade is the snow blade you want.
The page also does not include the sleeve hitch and attachments for it.
If my wife really does want power steering, will the Pro Series Model # 20447 work just as well for hauling and plowing as the Model # 20408? $1000 does seem like an expensive option, but otherwise – on paper – it seems pretty similar.
Hi Tom, We got 2 inch over the weekend otherwise it’s been too dry up here. I could dig down 12 inches without finding moisture in my garden. My yard is Frac sand so it does drain quickly.
The tranny in the 20408 is one of the strongest on the market. I call it “bulletproof” in my review of the tractor. The tranny in the 20447 is slightly smaller but I am confident that it will hold up to snow plowing for many years.
The power steering is a fixed cost and adds about $500 to the tractor. The rest of the price is #1 the Red Craftsman is discounted $250 over previous year. #2 The front axle on the Pro is the best on the market right now. That adds another $150 or so. The rest is just the fact that the Pro is Hot! and one of the best selling tractors.
Thanks so much for such an informative site. I’m recently in the market for a ztr as I’ve purchased a home with 1.25 acres, mostly flat with a very slight slope of 5 degrees or less on 0.5 acres of that. The yard has around a dozen trees.
I originally started looking at ztr’s 3k and under, like the Hustler Raptor 54 in, Husqvarna 245/6, Troy Bilt Mustang, even a few of the Cubs but noticed the transaxle on many was a 2200. I also noticed they all have roughly 18 in tires. Wouldn’t a tire that small cause issues spinning? I’ve since started looking at the 5k and under range due to the issues mentioned. I’ve looked at the JD Z525E, JD 540R, Husqvarna MZ54S, Raptor SD 54/60. Any recommendations on one in the 4-5k range, or are the ztr’s with 18 in tires, stamped decks even ok? Thanks so much in advance!
Hi Travis, Have you read this article? Do you really need a zero-turn mower? 17 reasons why you may not want one.
It actually sounds like you could use the cheaper ZTr’s but for long life and peace of mind it is a good idea to buy in the $4-5K range.
There are really 30 ZTR’s in the $4-5K range that are good mowers. For 1.25 acres I suggest a 48 inch. A 48 will get the job done fast but it’s not woo wide so that it gouges and scalps the lawn.
Mowers in that price range have ZT2800 and a few ZT3100 drives. They still use residential engines so Kawasaki FR, Kohler 7000 and Briggs Endurance/Pro series.
Besides the ones you looked at I like the Toro MX, Cub Cadet Z-Force, Ariens IKON XL, and Craftsman Pro.
General rule: stamped decks cut better, fabricated decks take a beating better.
20 inch tires are the most common. The secret is to get the flattest tread. Wide also helps but not as much. Rounded tires on the Cheap ZTR’s tear up the lawns.
Paul, you answered this question a couple years ago, but I wanted to make see if anything had changed. We have a commercial service cut our grass as it is 3 acres, so whatever we get, the mowing deck will probably never be used. What we want is a unit to haul things in a cart or small trailer, and plow snow on a very large – but flat – driveway. Power steering would be nice for my wife, but is not a deal breaker. Price is not really an issue.
So given all that, what would you suggest we buy?
Hi Tom, I’m really thinking a side-by-side utility vehicle may be a great choice. Most of them will take a plow and they are fast so clearing a long driveway won’t take long at all. They also have a small box in the back and a hitch for a larger trailer. Start with the Polaris brand.
Well I’d LOVE one of those. I’ll check them out today. But just in case she doesn’t want something that large, what garden tractor would be best for pulling and plowing after we remove the mowing deck?
Hi Tom, I would suggest the Link: Craftsman 20408 Garden Tractor.
It’s a good tractor, a good value, comfortable and will go 8 mph! All the others go 5.5 mph. Use the link above and this week they have free delivery, an extra 5% off and good financing on a Sears card.
Nick Henry (Lawnaholic)
That’s very thoughtful. Thanks for remembering those who have allowed us to live a freedom lifestyle.