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.