Would you buy a Sears Craftsman Garden Tractor?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by moonwolf, Jun 12, 2005.

  1. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Why, or why not?

    Checking out the 22 hp model with 46" cut and 9bu. grass clipping bagging system. Mechanically and functionally, what's your opinions on this?
  2. momanto


    Jan 14, 2005
    Our Experience, Buy The Longest Service Contract They Have. When That Expires Be Prepared To Repair It Yourself, Continually. Otherwise When In Service, It Cuts Nicely. Hopefully. Sometimes.

    Do You Live Near Sears?

  3. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

    Jul 12, 2003
    east ont canada
    the sears of today are not a patch on their old mowers. wifes boss bought one last year and has had some small problems crop up(now has hay to cut) that sears has been unwiling to fix . not the same ball park as kubota.
  4. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

    Nov 1, 2004
    I've got a Craftsman Lawn tractor and have been using the heck out of it 2 years. I just did a blade change this last weekend (which was a miracle, never did anything like that before). It's never had a tune up or anything other than gas and these new blades. I'm going to read the manual this next weekend and do a tune up on it. But it's never broken down on me and I've put it through some of the thickest stuff you've ever seen and it never hesitates. Thick wet grasses, thorny dense vines, branches - you name it.
  5. luvrulz

    luvrulz Well-Known Member Supporter

    Feb 3, 2005
    We have several pieces of Craftsman equipment around here and I agree with the earlier post about buying the longest service contract possible. Our tiller has had a new transmission put on it and so far is still running....luckily.... Our riding mower 42" cut has had a new motor put on it and is now running. They always seems to break down when you need them the most and since we're in a really rural area in Ky, we have to wait a month for them to schedule service. Find out about how the service is handled. We weren't aware it was going to be so long - we might have bought something else if we had known.....

    In your area, it might be better to buy something that has service right in your vicinity. That way, you don't have grass up to your arm pits by the time Sears comes out.

    And whatever you buy, remember to do the oil changes and maintenance stuff....otherwise, you're in another pickle!
  6. 2story

    2story Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2005
    No, I have a 20 year old JOhn Deere, and if it breaks (usually someone breaks it) I can go and get parts, from a person behind a counter that i can see, and he knows his stuff. I have no real brand loyality, i just know that when it is time to mow I want to get on a piece of equipment that can do the job, without me having to make love to it first!
  7. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

    May 10, 2002
    Back in the USA
    Check out the construction you get in something around 20hp at a John Deere or Kubota dealer. Then take another look at the Crapsman. Used JDs or Kubotas that will do the job for you are out there. They'll still be running long after the Crapsman has been retired because you either can't get parts or you finally realized it's a dog. Do you really want to buy something that folks are telling you to buy the longest service contact when you purchase it?

    I've always wondered about the hp rating on gasoline engined lawn mowers. I think someones been using marijuana for more than just a medical condition.
  8. mohillbilly

    mohillbilly Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    south west Mo
    No, I would not buy a crapsman lawn mower. I have first hand experience with them and I can honestly say they are are not worth a hoot. Like others have said, stick with a lawnmower that has quality service and parts availability.

    John Deere is probably the best for this in my opinion. Pricey yes, But the darn things will run and run. My fatheres is a diesel 20 hp 42 inch cut with full hydraulics and power steering, he bought it 10 years ago used with a trade in of an older JD gas mower. and I think about 1500 bucks on top of that. The only problem with it was the electric clutch for the blade engagement broke.( after 15 years of service on a 3 acre yard)

    Stay away from craftsman in my opinion,
  9. cowboy joe

    cowboy joe Hired Hand

    Sep 13, 2003
    western New York
    Guess I'm out man out but I'll give my opinion any old who. Bought a Craftsman Garden Tractor 4 years ago. This is not a standard lawn tractor as it has a heavier frame for tow behind implements. Let's see...25 hp, 46" cut on the mower. I had a problem during the first year as I burned up the drive belt. It was under warranty so Sears replaced the belt at no charge. Spoke to the mechanic. He explained that, in his opinion, that the motor had too much torque for the mower. His advice...keep the blades sharp and the chute clean. Haven't had a problem since.

    I bought a plow blade and disc for the tractor this year and used it to fit up over an acre of fallow field. (Tire chains are a must for doing this.) The tractor had plenty of torque to get the job done. Best part was I used about 1/4 of the gas I would have with the my old 9N...partly because of the weight from the loader and calcium filled tires but a savings none the less.
  10. halo

    halo Member

    Jun 25, 2005
    Personaly, I think the heart of any mower is the motor. Sears (Craftsman) buys engines from diffrent suppliers. If it has a Briggs and Stratton you know you are going to be able to find parts and service long after the warrenty expires. If it has a generic Chinesse or other no name or lesser name brand, expect to replace the whole engine in a few years or sooner. Just my 2 cents.
  11. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

    Mar 4, 2005
    ever since Sears stoped the mail order busness, that made them who they were, they have been going down hill,

    my friend had a old JD 111 mower, yes the briggs motor was wore out, in it, he gave me that mower, he had bought used, he bought a new sears mower for replacment, it was broke in less than two weeks broke a mower spindle, I have now had that mower for 15 years, THE JOHN DEERE, yes I put a new motor in and once I broke out the transmission when I make a grear reducer and sub frame and was pulling under ground sprinkler pipe, and yes I dumped it off a truck bed and broke a axel off it, but ever repair i jsut called JD, and had them send the part to our small towns JD parts drop off box, (motor I did not buy from JD),

    and the 111 lawn tractor is not one of there better tractors,

    i mow about 4 acers, and have mow under electric fences, and in the pasture places most mowers fear, if the stick is less than 2" it will mow it, Yes I am hard on mowers, last year I had kids using it mowing besides over 8 miles of trees,

    my old JD 110 made in the 1960's I can still buy most things for it,

    but IN my experence JD will service the parts for a very long time,
  12. Daddyof4

    Daddyof4 Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2004
    I don't know about "Crapsman" but I know I can tell you what NOT to buy... SNAPPER!! Their motto should be "Built 'BY rednecks FOR rednecks" because mine constantly needs minor repairs and is a pain to start.

    My Snapper is a nine horse 30" single blade cut. Sound simple? NOT!! The blades are notorious for breaking. I found a large four inch chunk lodged in the discharge cover. If the cover hadn't been there, someone could have been hurt. So when I went to the dealer to get a blade, they said "Yep, them there blades are known for breakin' like that so ya gotta watchem!" And boy was he right! I have to tip up the mower and inspect the blade after every couple of mowings just to look for hairline cracks.

    That brings me to the pull start. It only took me twenty pulls the other day to start er up. I've changed plugs, wires, and all other adjustments. I even had it in the shop for the same thing to let someone "qualitifed" look at it and they didn't help it at all.

    And the rear tires won't hold air. I have to pump them up if they sit over a day. I bought more tires and still have to pump them up.

    Now I know people who swear by Snappers. I hear things like "Dem mowers is made in AMERICA so you know they're good". Well I am not convinced. I talked to another Snapper owner who owns the same model and he has the same problems exactly!!

    Last Snapper I'll ever own. I don't know about Crapsman, but John Deer is looking better all the time. I NEVER hear bad reviews on them.
  13. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
    A tune up? All that's involved in a mower tune-up is changing (or cleaning) the spark plug....right? I suppose one could also check the gap on the coil, but that shouldn't change with time.
  14. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 18, 2002
    SE Washington
    There are only two manufacturers of lawn tractors today. MTD is one of them, they make Sears, lower quality John Deere and many other brands. I have a MTD that I bought four years ago and mow over an acre every week, in the spring it's twice a week. They are not of as good of quality as I would like to buy, but for $800 it does a pretty good job.
  15. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2004
    Always helps to compare apples to apples, and never send a boy to do a man's job (how's that for homilization? :happy: ).

    I've got a Sears 15.5 hp with hydrostat that I've mowed with for almost ten years. No problems other than routine wear and tear (spindles, blades, belts), but i have noticed the rustmites attacking the deck pretty hard lately.

    If it gets past grass-cuttin' I crank up the 35hp Long diesel....