Got my tractor from the Sears in Missoula. The salesman (Bruce) that I purchased it from was very friendly, very knowledgeable, and helpful. So were the two guys in the warehouse that helped me load it on the trailer. I read all the existing reviews on this tractor before buying it, and they were mixed, but I decided to take a chance anyway. I can honestly say that if you just went and hopped on the tractor and tried to start mowing, you would have problems. READ the MANUAL. Do the tires have too much air in them? Yes, but it says that in the manual. Do the deck wheels need adjusted after you get it home? Yes, but it says that in the manual. Does it come with just fumes in the tank? Yes, but it has to ship that way because of D.O.T regs. Check the oil level, deflate the tires to the right pressure, adjust the deck wheels, and then give it a go. I could definitely say if I had just started it up and tried to mow with it "as is" it would have been getting stuck, losing traction, digging into the yard, not mowing evenly, etc, etc. I was mowing 1 to 1 1/2 ft. tall grass on a 5 acre property we had just bought and it performed very nicely. I do think I will replace the two front deck wheels with castor/crazy wheels in the near future for the simple fact that the deck wheels that come with the mower are pointed straight forward and they work fine when you're going straight, but when you try to turn in deep grass or damp areas and lose some steering traction, the deck wheels try to keep you moving in a straight line (they're fighting the steering wheels). If they were castor wheels, they would still do the same job and when you turned, they would go with the flow vs. fight the turning. If you've ever been around a JD garden tractor made back in the 80's, you would know what I mean. A lot of their decks had castor wheels in the front and they worked great. Sears/Husq might want to consider this for future models as it would cut down on a bunch of the complaints and be an easy fix. Not crazy about all the safety stuff on there, but I guess it is 2012. It would be nice if you could re-situate yourself on the seat a little bit without the engine cutting out. The hydrostat transmission was great. No issues. Liked the cruise control. It turns very sharp-almost to the point you could bend a tie-rod if you were going too fast and were in bumpy ground. It might turn a little "too tight" if that's the case, but all the manufacturers are trying to have the tightest turning radius in history, so be cautious when turning all the way L or R. The engine is a flat out monster. No need whatsoever to have it full throttle to mow. You're just wearing things out faster than necessary that way. B&S has a great powerplant. I would buy this tractor again. The last real garden tractor I used was back in the late 80's when I had a B-10 Allis Chalmers with a 42" deck and a 10 HP Briggs. Cutting 12" wider with 16 more HP is definitely a change! This is a major upgrade for me and I am happy with the tractor.
We purchased this last year to replace a 7 year old Craftsman GT5000 which we were very happy with. This tractor is useless to us. The deck hangs up on every bump and dip in the lawn, the wheels are out of line, making it difficult to steer and the hood only remains in place with the use of bungee cords. After we had it two weeks and one failed service call we requested that they take it back, only to be told that, unlike the advertising of 30 day return policy, we had only 15 days from purchase (not delivery) to return it. So now we are stuck with a worthless piece of junk. every time I try to use it, I just get more frustrated. An email to sears produced no response, so I am writing this review as a warning to others.
My new tractor meets my yard care needs and has so far exceeded my expectations. I have two acres and need a powerful, yet manueverable tractor. The sales associated at the Bridgeville, PA outlet was able to find a tractor to my specifications. Graydon was exceptionally responsive to the criteria I gave him. His help went beyond my expectations. I will definetely return to the store when I am ready to make my next purchase on an appliance. My new tractor's turning radius, power, and comfort exceed the qualities of my last two tractors. In addition to the product's quality, the sales team and Graydon deserve my customer loyalty for the effort they put into making my purchase satisfactory.
The machine has potential to be great but the design of the "Tight Turn" feature is need of a serious design review. I am only one of many who have had issues with the tires wearing out prematurely (less than 60 hours) due to extreme toe-out on the front tires. This condition cannot be adjusted since the steering link arms have no adjustment and there is no tie-rod as is typical on many machines. Sears/Husqvarna obviously acknowledge the deficiency by offering retro-fit steering links that are adjustable through Sears Parts for about $130 a set. Couple that with the worn out tires and your pushing $250 for a known defect. Other than the frustration of the known steering problem, the YT4500 has been a good value. I've had this unit now 3 years. It mows well and with the big 54" deck takes me less than 35 min. to mow my 1/2 acre lot. I also bought a new snowblower attachment 2 years ago and it works great! The big 26HP engine really eats up the snow. If it weren't for the front end issue, I'd give this thing 5 stars....too bad.
I have had it for 2 years, the front tires have fell off twice, drive it only on grass and the front tires have worn to the cords. it came to me like the axle was bent but sears said it was alright. if the grass is damp has no traction, for a 26 hp has no power. had a murry with a 21 hp that mowed and went faster. this is the digest P.O.S I have ever bought! They wont allow any other rating than poor because if they did I would of used it.
I bought this mower to replace our 14 year old mower that finally conked out last October.
People have to understand that there is some work to do to the mower when you get it home. The store guys can't set it up for every yard.
Firstly for, shipping purposes, the air in the tires is double what is recommended so you'll have to let some of the air out. If not the tires will not have good traction.
Secondly the deck settings are extremely easy to adjust. Find a nice even spot. You want the front of the deck to be between a �" to �" higher than the rear of the deck to ensure a good even cut. All it takes is a 3/4" wrench to adjust both sides (rear) and the front. The deck wheels should be adjusted to be just off the ground when in your normal cutting position.
I took my deck wheels off and readjusted them then used locking washers when I put them back on the deck. I have had no problems with the deck wheels either coming loose or off.
68 hrs. of usage and not one problem.
This is the most expensive lawn mower I have ever bought, but mostly the WORST I have ever owned. I cut 5 acres with this and almost every time I cut, something breaks. I replaced the cast housing for the blades 3 times, tension spring once, the tires are a joke if someone spits in front of it, I lose traction. I am always getting stuck if the grass is wet or on a hill. The power is disgraceful for 26 h.p. I'm sorry I ever bought this, so please take my advice, BUY SOMETHING ELSE!!!!!
I am totally disappointed in this mower. The 26 hp and 54 " deck is a let down. I get stuck in my yard, the deck sounds like it is dragging, the hp won't even climb a small incline, won't always crank, uses too much gas, the hood bounces up & down, rough ride. My little 42" Troy Built from ***** took longer to mow but at least it could handle the job. I have a full acre and this Craftsman is not worth what I paid for it. And now I am stuck with it. Maybe my local repair man can figure out how to make it work better. Definitely would not buy another one.
After 21 hrs of use these items failed any measurable test:
Difficult to start-engine appears to lose fuel prime after four days
Mower deck fills w/grass and boggs down, doesn't mulch or discharge
Must use highest deck setting; needs higher available settings
Seat does not latch; slides around--locking tangs not long enough
Consumes nearly twice as much fuel vs my 1996 26hp Briggs
Available turn radius at nominal speed exceeds stated TR-apprx 24 "
Noticeable decrease in power on a 1% up grade (rise/run)
YT 4500 with the Briggs & Stratton engine.
Used it to mow about 4 acres of prairie desert grassland type land, some of which hasn't been mowed in years. And it's the rainy season right now, so all the grass, weeds, etc. are super thick and high. Took the tractor into some fields that literally have not been mowed in 5+ years. 3 1/2 foot high grass, pig weed and sacaton. Also a lot of dead, woody material from previous summers. This thing went through all of it with power to spare. Rocks? No problem. The deck wheels actually do a good job keeping the deck above objects like large rocks, etc. I must have run over 5 or 6 good-sized rocks accidentally (the biggest was about the size of a hunting dog's head) and when the blades hit them, it split them up and kept on chugging. I even ran into some unseen fencing wire (thick gauge wire) that got wrapped around the blade spindle. It took about 20 minutes to cut it loose, but after I got it off, the mower was fine. Not even slightly out of balance. I ran this thing over sacaton clumps, mesquite tree saplings and super thick, high grass. It handled everything I threw at it without any problems...not even a flat tire. I was very impressed.
This tractor is VERY robust and quite maneuverable for its size. I am not exaggerating when I tell you it handled ground that most people would have used a bush hog for.
The only problem I noticed was that after about 20 minutes of initial use, the steering wheel was about 90 degrees off from the two front wheels. All i had to do was pop off the center steering wheel cover, take off the retainer nut, re-position the steering wheel and I was good to go. Some of the cosmetic pieces may rattle loose, but the parts that are important (deck, blades, engine) are rock solid IMO.
Overall, I am extremely satisfied with this tractor. I think it's as good, if not better, than competitor models, and you won't have to take out a second mortgage to afford it.
Let me start by saying my last mower, Craftsman YTS4000, was.awesome until it was stolen. I replaced it with the yt4500 thinking it would be a step up but boy was I wrong. It would bogg down way too easy. Even after cutting it would bogg down going over the clippings. Too big deck for the Kohler motor I guess. My old 24 hp briggs never had that problem. Unless your grass is very thin, I would not recommend.
1. the turn tight. they claim that w/ the 6" turn radius that it turns almost as fast as a zero turn but what really happens is that the wheels turn but you still go straight and end up pushing the turned tires and mess up your lawn
2. Slow. the salesman claimed that it ran just as fast as a zero turn but this one definitely does not.
3. lastly it alway getting stuck ALWAYS I don't know if the tires aren't aggressive enough or its because theres not a lot of weight to it idk
so if your 80+ and have a completely flat piece of land and have all day to cut it then this mower is for you.
Ps. don't let the salesman talk you in to this mower like he did me
I purchased this tractor in the fall of 2012 also purchased the 2 stage snow thrower attachment. I have three acres of grass to cut and a 700 foot driveway to clear of snow and when I purchased the property 18 years ago I purchased a Craftsman 19 HP tractor and snow thrower attachment. That tractor was manufactured by MTD and served me well for 15 years. After reading many of the negative reviews I was skeptical this tractor. Well many of the negatives are true. There are only three usable settings on the deck height of with six settings. It's almost like the deck was not made for the tractor but retrofitted to make it work. And the lower setting of the three usable will give you guaranteed gouging on turns. Turn tight poorly designed and it is obvious why there are complaints of knocking the front wheels out of alignment to the point of no return. I wish I could purchase a 42" deck to replace the 54". The snow thrower although a bear to install and remove works well.
We previously owned a Murray wide-body 38" rider, which was great for our .75 acres in town. I could mow the whole thing in about 30-40 minutes. About three months ago, we moved to 5.5 acres. Its all flat, but a little rough out in the pasture areas. We have only been mowing the front 3 acres, but it took nearly 6 hours to mow 3 acres with the Murray and I bent a spindle when I hit a hole. Since getting this Craftsman, my mowing time has been cut by over half. It now only takes me about 2.5 hours to mow.
Many of the other reviews were very helpful. The tire pressure was high when it was delivered and the delivery guys know nothing about the tractor (keep in mind, these are the same folks that will be delivering your mattress and any other large item). Once I adjusted the deck, which was extremely simple compared to the Murray, and released pressure from the tires, this thing has been mowing the heck out of my 3 acres. Excellent tractor!
I have had this riding mower now for about 50 hours of usageI picked up the mower in the crate, took it home and performed the prep and assembly myself. As many of the other reviews have stated --- READ THE MANUAL before trying to use the product. Yes it had too much air in the tires, as stated in the manual, etc. During assembly I found that the front deck roller was missing. I contacted my local store where I bought it from and they removed the roller from a unit on the display floor for me. The super sharp turning on this mower is just plain awesome. This has cut my mowing time significantly since I can now go around trees in one pass. Ability to set it to mow in reverse is awesome as well and a huge time saver when mowing, as is having the 54" deck. The two things I do not like is the tire size and the deck height. I have found that I will never mow in anything but the highest setting. If I could do over, I would go to the next size tractor up with bigger tires.
There are a lot of reviews for this tractor that say, 2 hours in and it died, then the replacement died, or mowed fine X amount of time and died, etc. I've been mowing with mine for a while now and have not had any problems with the mower dying. I just follow the instructions to check oil and everything before starting it up and there have been no problems.
I have almost a 2 acre lawn with some trees to trim around and it takes about 1.5 hours every time to mow the lawn. I do have a fairly flat lawn so I can't speak for how this mower does on inclines.
There are two things I have issues with on the mower that are design flaws. First is that the hood does not latch so on a bumpy lawn it can fall off (fixed with industrial strength Velcro). Second is that the throttle is on the trim side so if you are trimming close to a tree with low branches it pushes the throttle to low.
I splurged on this mower and selected it for the large deck and tight turning radius. Within the first year, ALL the tread has worn off the front tires - while only riding on grass! I bought it in the spring and in the fall the front left wheel fell off!. I went on line and ordered the parts that had fallen off and gotten lost in the yard, and put it all back together. It seems that the alignment is off or something - I suspect it may have been dropped off the delivery truck before I got it. Now in year two, the same wheel is wobbling - the inside of the wheel itself is wallowed out - despite being greased last fall when I re-assembled it. I will order a new wheel, and then sell it to get something else.
After a 2-week delivery debacle, the first time I tried to use the tractor, I pulled the blade-engagement ****, the blades did not turn and it began to smoke from under the deck. When the blades finally began to turn, I started mowing, got about 3 feet and the belt broke.
I bought a garden tractor in 1988 and it has done everything I could ask of it. When I wanted to get a new tractor with a lager mower deck I thought I would go back and get another Craftsman tractor. Bad Idea. This tractor is a piece of ****. At this point it will not steer straight. While its under warranty they do not have the parts to fix it. I am now mowing my 3/4 acre lot with a walk behind . I have been waiting for the repair to be done for 2 months. You have been warned......
I purchased mower in April 2013, used it once. PTO switch did not stop blades, wheel fell off because of stripped nut.
Received replacement mower a week later. Used it for 2 cuttings. Yard size is about 3/4 acre. Battery nearly dead. Found coil, wire to regulator and regulator bad. Sears service fixed it.
About 10 days later, same issue. Sears will be providing another replacement unit.
The people at Sears have been helpful but hopefully third machine will be ok; if not; i'll protest credit card purchase.