2011 Ariens 54 in 25 HP Garden Tractor Model 960460028 at Home Depot Review

Yes there is a review of this mower in here somewhere:

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.

2011 Ariens or 2008 Craftsman?

What do you want to do with your riding mower? It’s Not The Best Lawn Tractor….It’s The Best Lawn Tractor For You!

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  It’s another when they use your old, outdated technology to say they have a “new” riding mower.

This move by Home Depot makes me wonder two things.First, “If one of the world’s largest brands of mowers (Ariens) decides that using their name on old Craftsman technology is the best way to sell mowers, what does that say about the new 2011 Craftsman? ”  Second, “Home Depot may feel that the only thing you are interested in is price.  These old technology Ariens mowers are priced about $100 less than the 2011 Craftsman mowers they compete with. It appears they are not interested in getting you the best mower, just getting you to buy their mower because of the price. This is my opinion only, and Home Depot and Ariens are welcome to send me a rebuttal that I will gladly post on this site.

Face it, Craftsman mowers are popular.  They consistently are the best rated mowers in the industry.  They are so popular that it looks like Home Depot is now offering similar (read older) versions of them with Ariens names and colors. Proof? I happen to have a copies of the 2008, 2009 and 2010 spec books that a Sears Sales Associate carried around in their pocket to help you find the right mower. This is the handbook that goes along with the hours of training every Sears Lawn & Garden Associate gets before they are allowed to help you. Anyway, I spent a few hours comparing the specs of the “new” Ariens and Poulan XT mowers at Home Depot and I have come to the conclusion that these Ariens and Poulan 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.

The Ariens does not have the 6 inch Turn Tight Technology the Craftsman’s have.  In fact the Ariens has a large 18 inch turning radius. The older Craftsman had a 14 inch.

My Review:

My Value/Cost Rating: Garden Tractor: Mows Lawn OK, Mulches, Great for 1 to 3  Acre Lawns, Hauling, Snow Removal. Accepts Attachments & Bagger.

Type: Garden Tractor. See Tractor Rider Mower Types for a complete explanation.
Engine Type: Better. See Engine Types for a complete explanation.
Transmission Type: Heavy Duty Hydro. See Transmission Types for a complete explanation.
Speed Control: Foot (Pedal)

Accepts Most Attachments

Direct Comparison of this tractor with the 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 960460028 Craftsman Model (28861)
  • Engine Size: Ariens 25 hp Craftsman 26 hp
  • Cylinder: Ariens 2 Craftsman 2
  • Transmission: Ariens Heavy Duty Hydro Craftsman Heavy Duty Hydro with Excellerator
  • Cut Width: Ariens 54 in. Craftsman 54 in.
  • Blades: Ariens 3 Craftsman 3
  • Turning Radius: Ariens 18 in. Craftsman 8 in.
  • Frame: Ariens Steel CraftsmanSteel
  • Cutting Positions: Ariens 6 Craftsman 12
  • Forward Speed: Ariens 5-1/2 MPH Craftsman 7-1/2 MPH
  • Gas Tank: Ariens 4 gallon Craftsman 4 gallon
  • Average Price: Ariens $2699 Craftsman $2799

This mower is great for those of you who want a cheaper mower than the 2011 Craftsman but need a heavy duty transmission.  It doesn’t mow as fast, doesn’t turn as sharp, and doesn’t have the 26 HP Kohler that has such a great repair record.  (Way back in 2008 the 25 hp had a few problems with head gaskets blowing)

Ariens 54 in. 25 HP Kohler V-Twin Engine Hydrostatic Garden Tractor Model # 960460028: Compare this to the Craftsman Craftsman GT6000 Model 28861 (The Craftsman has an 6 inch turning radius, 8 MPH forward speed, 12 cutting height positions and a larger Kohler motor for only $100 more.)

Product Description From Home Depot .com

This Ariens Garden Tractor has a powerful 25 hp Kohler Courage V-Twin engine and its solid design enables it to perform with various ground engaging attachments. When you add in the heavy-duty premium hydrostatic automatic transmission plus a wide 54 in. cutting deck this is the perfect tractor for all you lawn and garden needs, allowing you to get the job done is less time. This is a true garden tractor.

  • Assembled Dimension: 58 in. W x 72.75 in. D x 58.75 in. H
  • Powerful and dependable Kohler v-twin 25 hp engine gives you more power to tackle all the big jobs
  • Premium heavy-duty transmission allows you to match the speed to the job with convenient pedal control
  • Wide 54 in. cutting deck with 4 anti-scalp deck wheels and nose roller, spring assisted lift and deck wash out port mows more grass in fewer passes and less cutting time.
  • Triple-bladed cutting deck design ensures that grass is cut evenly on every pass
  • Tight 18 in. turning radius allows you to easily mow around obstacles
  • Durable, welded steel frame for long life
  • Electric blade engage effortlessly engages the blades with the pull of a button on the dashboard
  • With less vibration and quieter operation a v-twin engine give you a better operating experience
  • 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 cup holder
  • Delivered to your door 100% assembled
  • MFG Brand Name : Ariens
  • MFG Model # : 960460028
  • MFG Part # : 960460028
  • Number of Cylinders : Twin Cylinder

Ask a question, leave a comment, tell us about your mower below:


  1. Tony
    • Paul Sikkema

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