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26 HP Briggs & Stratton 54" Yard Tractor
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.
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Yard tractor is junk
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.