2011 Ariens 46 in 20 HP Riding Lawn Tractor Model 960460023 Review

Ariens 46 in 20 HP Riding Lawn Tractor Model 960460023 Review

New Ariens or Old Craftsman?

It’s Not The Best Lawn Tractor….It’s The Best Lawn Tractor For You!

I have seen this mower before. It looks like a very popular tractor from the last decade.  It took me a while to figure out exactly where I had seen it, but finally I figured it out.  It has the exact same specs as a 2008 Craftsman.  Right down to the hood, engine type, turning radius and controls. Because of this fact I will change my normal review layout to include a direct comparison of this tractor with the 2011 Craftsman it is competing against.

What a compliment to Sears and their Craftsman tractors.  It’s one thing when someone copies your work because they like it and feel it is the only way to compete.  It’s another when they use your old, outdated technology to say they have a “new” riding mower.

Face it, Craftsman mowers are popular.  They consistantly are the best rated mowers in the industry and eventually you will own one.  They are so popular that it looks like Home Depot is now offering similar (read older) versions of them with Poulan and Ariens names and colors. I spent a few hours comparing the specs of the “new” Ariens mowers at Home Depot and I have come to the conclusion that these Ariens tractors have the same, exact specs that the Craftsman models had in 2008!

Ariens and Home Depot are welcome to contact me and show me the difference!  I’m sure the engines in these mowers have the required EPA changes for 2011 otherwise I can’t tell the difference between these “new” mowers and the 2008 Craftsman lineup.

What do you want to do with your riding mower?

The Ariens does not have the 6 inch Turn Tight Technology the 2011 Craftsman’s have.  In fact the Ariens has a large 16 inch turning radius. The older Craftsman had a 14 inch.

My Review:

My Value/Cost Rating: Yard Tractor: Mows Lawn Well, Mulches, Gets Through Tight Spaces Well.  Great for 1/2 to 2  Acre Lawns, Light Hauling, Light Snow Removal. Accepts Light Attachments & Bagger.

Type: Lawn Tractor. See Tractor Rider Mower Types for a complete explanation.
Engine Type: Good. See Engine Types for a complete explanation.
Transmission Type: Hydrostatic. See Transmission Types for a complete explanation.
Speed Control: Fender Infinite

Accepts Light Duty Attachments

Direct Comparison of this tractor with the 2011 Craftsman it is competing against.

Product Data is taken directly from Home Depot .com and Sears.com at the time of this review. Please check the sites for current info.

  • Brand: Ariens Model 960460023 Craftsman Model 28852
  • Engine Size: Ariens 20 hp Craftsman 21 hp Oil Pump Briggs (Yellow Filter)
  • Cylinder: Ariens 1 Craftsman 1
  • Transmission: Ariens Hydrostatic Craftsman Hydrostatic
  • Cut Width: Ariens 46 in. Craftsman 46 in.
  • Blades: Ariens 2 Craftsman 2
  • Turning Radius: Ariens 16 in. Craftsman 8 in.
  • Frame: Ariens Steel CraftsmanSteel
  • Cutting Positions: Ariens 6 Craftsman 6
  • Forward Speed: Ariens 5-1/2 MPH Craftsman 5-1/2 MPH
  • Gas Tank: Ariens 1.5 gallon Craftsman 1.5 gallon
  • Average Price: Ariens $1299 Craftsman $1495

What I Like!

If you want a mower that will mow 1/2 to 2 acres well, handle a snow blade, and all the non-ground engaging attachments this is a great choice for you.  This tractor is heavy enough to handle moderately hilly and rough lawns.  This lawn tractor is one riding mower that will work well for your suburban lawn.

There are very few negatives with this mower as long as you understand that it is a good quality mid-sized mower designed to mow lawns well.  Take care of it (do the normal maintenance all lawn mowers need) and it will last you a long time.  I like this lawn mower for what it is designed for.

I personally feel the new Turn Tight Technology on the Craftsman yard tractor changes the game though for just about all residential yard owners. For most of you this will mow as quickly as a residential zero-turn.  It is easier to drive, is easier on your lawn and less expensive than the comparable zero-turn models.  There is no “learning curve” like there is with a zero-turn. It will handle slopes that the residential zero-turns won’t.  And………it will pull stuff!

I am confused on the motor.  The Craftsman uses the better B&S engine with an oil pump.  The literature for this Ariens st

Product Description From Home Depot .com

This Ariens riding tractor has premium features found on more expensive tractors such as a powerful Briggs & Stratton 20 HP engine, a hydrostatic automatic transmission, plus a wide 46 in. mowing deck with 4 anti-scalp wheels and a wash out port, all at a value price. Throw in a comfortable high back seat and handy beverage holder and you will find this solid looking riding tractor is all you need to get the job done quickly and easily.

  • Assembled Dimension: 49.5 in. W x 72.75 in. D x 46 in. H
  • Powerful 20 hp Briggs & Stratton pressure lubricated engine
  • Smooth hydrostatic automatic transmission with lever control that allows you to match the speed to the job
  • Wide 46 in. wide mowing deck with wash out-out port, 4 anti-scalp wheels, and spring assisted lift
  • Dual-blade cutting deck design ensures that grass is cut evenly on every pass
  • Tight 16 inch turning radius that allows you to maneuver around obstacles with ease
  • Durable, welded steel frame for long life
  • 6 cutting positions let you cut grass down to as short as 1-1/2 in. and as tall as 5-1/2 in
  • Travels at speeds of up to 5-1/2 MPH forward and 1-1/2 MPH in reverse for efficient mowing
  • Comfortable, adjustable, high-back seat plus a handy beverage holder
  • 1-1/2-gallon fuel capacity minimizes the need for refueling
  • Mulching capability extends the mower’s functionality requires mulching blade, not included
  • Mows in reverse,this feature is not found on comparably priced front engine lawn tractors at other retailers
  • MFG Brand Name : Ariens
  • MFG Model # : 960460023
  • MFG Part # : 960460023
  • Number of Cylinders : Single Cylinder

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mannykjackBeLeonard BonamPaul SikkemaLeonard Bonamo Recent comment authors
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mannyk
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mannyk

All I want to know is; how much oil does my Ariens 46 in. 20 HP Briggs & Stratton Front-Engine Hydrostatic Riding mower takes?

jackBe
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jackBe

Thanks for the tip about Agri-Fab, but i could not find anything on their site about snow equipment whatsoever. They do not sell a plow or a blower, at least not on that site.

Craftsman has on on their site but I’ll definitely need to confirm it’s the right part – the blower costs more than I paid for the tractor!

jackBe
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jackBe

Thanks for this detailed review. I just picked up an Ariens 46″ at home depot for just over $1000. It was a display model from last year that did not sell, but still brand new. The sales rep said that this mower can even take a snow blower attachment or a plow blade. Does this mean I can use the Craftsman snow blower that’s still sold on the Craftsman web site, or has the chassis changed on the new Craftsman tractors so they are no longer compatible with the ones they were putting out in 2008 (a.k.a., the 2012 Ariens… Read more »

Leonard Bonamo
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Leonard Bonamo

Like the blog (hate the term blog) Hey Paul, it sounds to me like you are a craftsman sales rep. I do like the craftsman mowers, and my wife groans every time we go to sears, because I always park out back where the service desk/pickup door is so I can look at the mowers outside and of course the tool ection is the first section just inside the door. I really looked at Craftsman mowers and others before I found the Ariens on clearance at Home Depot. As mentioned before my wife asks me why I am still looking… Read more »

Leonard Bonamo
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Leonard Bonamo

The Ariens 46″ mower with 20hp B&S engine, Hydrostatic drive is actually built by Huskqvarna. Based on how the craftsman (2008 model) you described, it was too probably. I bought a factory reconditioned Ariens (46″/20horse Briggs) at Home Depot this Feb for $612.00 At that price, my shopping was over with. It appeared that someone bought it, mowed their lawn once ,bent a blade and returned it. The factory did not correct the problem, but when I pointed it out to Home Depot, they sent sent a repair shop out bto pick it up for repairs at no cost. Since… Read more »

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[…] Sub-Compact, Zero Turn, Stand-On) Lawn Tractor Handles a few attachments. Compare it to: Ariens 46 in. 20 HP Riding Mower […]

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[…] Tractor, Sub-Compact, Zero Turn, Stand-On) Yard Tractor Handles many attachments. Compare it to: Ariens 46 in. 20 HP Riding Mower, John Deere 42 in, 21 hp, Cub Cadet LTX 1045 Craftsman 46 in 24 hp Turn Tight […]

trackback

[…] Tractor, Sub-Compact, Zero Turn, Stand-On) Yard Tractor Handles many attachments. Compare it to: Ariens 46 in. 20 HP Riding Mower, John Deere 42 in, 21 hp, Cub Cadet LTX […]

trackback

[…] Tractor, Sub-Compact, Zero Turn, Stand-On) Yard Tractor Handles many attachments. Compare it to: Ariens 46 in. 20 HP Riding Mower, John Deere 42 in, 21 hp , Note Home Depot does not have  42 in Cub Cadet with a hydro for 2012 […]

trackback

[…] Tractor, Sub-Compact, Zero Turn, Stand-On) Yard Tractor Handles many attachments. Compare it to: Ariens 46 in. 20 HP Riding Mower, John Deere 42 in, 21 hp , Note Home Depot does not have  42 in Cub Cadet with a hydro for 2012 […]

Jeff
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Jeff

Compare this to the Craftsman model 28885 which sells for $1299. The Craftsman unit has a CVT transmission Vs a hydro, doesn’t have the mow in reverse feature which the Ariens does has 2 Vs 4 gauge wheels, an 18″ turning radius Vs 16″. The unit you are comparing to sells for $1499, not apples to apples.

Keith
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Keith

Thanks Paul! That’s what I thought, I just wanted to make sure before I buy this gem next month. I thought it was surely a mis-print until I considered how a front wheel might handle. I have long, slopped barrow-pits to mow and keeping on the slope is accomplished by slightly turning the front tires uphill and skidding them. Maybe front wheel drive would work better for that situation. But it looks like I’ll not have a chance to find out!

Thanks again. This is an incredibly good service you provide here!

Keith
Guest
Keith

The specifications tab on the Home Depot page for this Ariens mower says that it’s Drive type is Front wheel drive. Is that a miss-print, or it it really front wheel drive? If it is, is the Craftsman also front wheel drive?

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