5 Stars By David L. Maccubbin on 2015-07-04
These were one of our best sellers back in the 70's
I am a retired John Deere Consumer Products Dealer (1970's era) we sold lawn & garden tractors (not the lawn tractors that Deere has now.) I had some health problems that required a riding mower. Looked for a rear engine 30" Deere, not available in the USA only available in Europe. Go figure. These were one of our best sellers back in the 70's.
Did about one week's worth of research on internet and in the big box stores. MTD seems to be the leader in the 30" rear engine rider. Making them for Cub Cadet, Craftsman, Troy Bilt and others. Same unit but some different motors and colors. The Troy Bilt is available with a Briggs & Stratton or a "Troy Bilt" engine.
The Troy Bilt engine is a 420cc Powermore, It has a cast iron cylinder sleeve, pressure oiler and a screw on automotive type oil filter. Yes it's made in China, but so are about 50% of the Briggs & Stratton. The powermore has roller bearings on the crank-shaft and a smoother acting mechanical governor. Fuel shut off solenoid (prevents after boom) during shutdown. Dual circuit alternator allows for faster battery charging. The 420cc is rated at 14.5hp to 15.5hp depending on the method used for calculation. Forged steel crankshaft making it stronger and more durable than cast iron. WE HAVE A WINNER!
2DayDeliver has this mower with this engine at the best all around price including shipping for prime members. Left gate delivery right into you garage. Lowes has a 30" Troy Bilt but, it is the Briggs engine with none of the above engine features.
Plan on about 45 minutes to assembly using SAE 7/16", 1/2", 9/16" wrenches.
Cuts like a golf course lawn and that is cutting this coarse Flora-tam (crab-grass type) Florida Lawn.
I am 6'-5" and 240lbs and the seat is adjustable to fit from small to XL people.
Take it from a die-hard John Deere person, this thing "runs and cuts like a Deere"
4 Stars By Bruce D. Henson on 2015-05-18
MOWS GREAT DESPITE A COUPLE PICKY IMPERFECTIONS
I'm very pleased with my new Troy-Bilt. It's a sturdy mower, turns on a dime, and mows beautifully. It actually mows closer to the house than my old push mower! It arrived on a full-size (53-foot) semi truck. The driver backed in to my long driveway, unloaded the mower (shipped on a pallet) and put it in the middle of my garage floor. It arrived in perfect condition. Fortunately I was able to use some boards and blocks as a ramp to back the unit off the pallet. Make sure you have these, or you're going to need to figure out some other way of getting it off the pallet, as I believe it will hang up on the mower deck. The mower rolls very easily in neutral gear, and I rolled it right off without starting it. The directions were clear for assembly: the steering wheel column and cowling, engine cover, trailer hitch plate, seat brackets and seat need to be attached, and were all fairly easy to assemble. The one-star deduction is for the foot-rest area which is plastic and, though sturdy enough and formed with a non-skid pattern, is still very slippery (which I will alter with some type of compatible non-skid applique); also, the seat should come with 2 heavy-duty springs instead of one mediocre spring; and finally, the throttle label appears cheap, and looks like it was mounted by a child. For the price, I think MTD could have done better on these minor things, but I am happy with the mower overall.
5 Stars By Creedeco on 2015-08-05
Perfectly satisfactory... yields a good result.
I really can't add anything new that one reviewer or another hasn't already commented-on. If your yard isn't too large, space in your garage or storage shed is a little tight, and you don't mind riding on a sea of plastic assembled on a frame that flexes over every little uneven spot (I weigh 220 lbs., my wife, who does not, claims she never felt any deflection)... then you'll get a nicely-mown lawn, although the 30"-wide blade will scalp, to varying degrees, some of the uneven spots.. The Chinese "Powermore" engine starts easily (push the brake/clutch all the way to the floor), runs strongly and reasonably quietly, is an overhead-valve design with a cast-iron cylinder-liner, has a pressurized automotive-style lube system with a spin-on oil filter (some domestic engines in this size class do not), and parts seem to be readily available - should you need them. The shift lever IS in an awkward spot between your knees, and the knob does come off... but that's a good thing, because down the road you'll probably have to yank the plastic shroud off the motor to replace a belt or two (if the shift knob didn't come off, you'd have to cut-away some of the shroud to get it off). The MTD people have a service manual for the engine available for free downloading, but the mower itself is such a new design that, the girl I spoke with claimed, they haven't yet had a chance to write a service manual for it. I wouldn't want to mow five acres with this, but it handles our Colorado acre just fine: hacking away at the weeds, and trimming the grass, even charging up our little hill (turn at the top). It's light, it's maneuverable, and at just under a grand with free shipping (the delivery company even took back the pallet) and, at our locale, no sales tax - it was a heckuva deal.
4 Stars By SKOOTERBUM on 2017-04-18
Could be a problem for older people to operate this
Good mower for absolute flat landscape's. Any mild to moderate changes in the grade of your land, and it becomes difficult to hang on to / control the steering wheel. The steering system seems to be very loose to me. It seems to be a very quiet running mower, but I'm becoming hard of hearing, so I could be wrong. It's also difficult to shift from forward to reverse. If your on any kind of hill, or hole, it's almost impossible to change the gears. Your also required to stop the cutting blade before you can shift into reverse. Something I plan on changing if possible. Easy to assemble, with good directions. Good packaging. Fast shipping. Comfortable riding position for me at 5' 9". The steering difficulties, and shifting difficulties could become a moderate problem for me the older I get. I would think that the manufacturer could simply tighten there tolerances to a more acceptable level, and could quite possibly eliminate, or at least greatly improve these two problems. This is not a GREAT mower, but it is a decent mower for the price.
5 Stars By TXBUD on 2016-10-27
One of my better deals of 2016...Excellent piece of lawn equipment at a Bargain. Does great job!
Wow...read all the reviews and knew this was good value for the investment. Was a little nervous about the jerky clutch comments I read.
So it arrives today and was delivered at 1 PM this afternoon..Looked it over and true to set up remarks I had read...it came from 2DayDeliver with plug and blade.for mulching.. I had a yard full of leaves and after assembly and cleanup I was out there chopping up leaves better than the Snappers,Toros, John Deeres. Lots of fun to drive..I'll be doing the yard next year in 10 or 15 minutes.
Now back to the clutch thing..you that comment about the jerky clutch...let it out sloowwly..and no problem..Kind of.like the farm tractors I grew up driving.
1 Stars By S.O. on 2016-05-12
So far not good. Oct 2016: updated review. Mower was Finally repaired and worked fine. Oct 16, 2016 it stopped running AGAIN.
So far not happy. Not used yet because: The streering function doesn't work. On hold with manufacturer 30min. Finally told that still under warrantee so call local lumber yard which is authorized dealer. No longer the case it turns out. I found another lumber yard farther away. Only has service on Tues and Thurs. I'm told booked up, maybe next week. I am not satisfied so far.
5 Stars By Patrick N Barnes on 2016-08-20
Good so far
This mower was home delivered in a short moving style van. The 2 guys put it exactly where I wanted it in my garage.
Assembly of the mower which is putting the steering wheel on, attaching seat and rear hitch and finally attaching cables to the battery. The 2 hardest things were getting the box off of the crate and attaching the battery cables. Took about an hour.
Everything red on this mower is plastic as is the deck where you place your feet. With that said I was expecting that. Everything is solid and fits together well. You need to read the manual before starting the mower. All kinds of safety features and if you don't have everything right it won't start. It did come with oil in it and the manual says to change after the first 5 hours. I put gas in it and it fired right up, no problems. I'm sure I'm not used to it but the clutch is also the brake, when you depress it the mower stops on a dime with a jerk.
I have not mowed yet as we were having a thunderstorm when I assembled it.
The steering wheel is fixed but I am 6'2" and didn't even have to adjust the seat. It has a spin off oil filter and holds just under 2 quarts of 10-30 oil. This mower has the Troy Bilt 420cc motor. Controls are easy to reach but as I said read the manual. It came with the mulch plug installed and the discharge chute in a bag. The only thing I would have liked to see was a front bumper. The hydrostatic model as the big box store has one and it can be purchased from Troy Bilt on line for $35. I will probably do that just to protect the the plastic around the steering post. No regrets on my purchase, exactly what I expected.
Follow up. I mowed with this mower today. I do have a hill in my back yard that is at least 15 degrees, not what this mower is rated to handle. Due to a broken foot I had not mowed the hill in 4 weeks. The grass was a foot tall. Just because I wanted to see... I took one pass up hill thru the tall grass. I'm 6'2" and 225 pounds. Put the mower in first gear and the blade on 3rd height setting. Using the mulch plug. This mower plowed right thru it, never bogged down it didn't hesitate a bit. I did have to lean forward over the steering wheel to keep the front tires on the ground. I mowed the rest of the hill going down. This mower has the Troy Bilt 420cc motor. If I would have gotten the big box version with the 10.5 hp (about 320cc) motor I'm not sure I would have made it up the hill. If you have a flat or fairly flat yard this mower has power to spare. Keep in mind this is a mower for smaller yards and is an "entry level" riding mower. You will have to do some trimming with your string trimmer in the corners. If you are tired of pushing get this mower. With free shipping and a Troy Built engine this is a good value.
4 Stars By David Smithson on 2017-03-06
so it was useless until that was received through Troy Bilt
So far: (update at bottom)
the mower was shipped poorly- the box was smashed and halfway open.
It was missing the brackets that hold the battery, so it was useless until that was received through Troy Bilt.
There were also a couple Minor cracks in the plastic body- nothing significant.
I've mowed my lawn ONE time. It seemed to mow well; HOWEVER, the mower height deck will not stay in place. If the mower is bumped in the slightest, even letting off the brake, the deck slips out and down to height one.
Troy Bilt gave me the phone number of 3 area certified repair shops to make sure I didn't damage the mower.
One shop is 4 weeks back-logged on repairs and there's a $50 pick up/delivery since I don't have the means of transporting a riding mower.
Another shop hasn't called back.
Maybe if I paid the extra $100 and bought this at LOWES, I'd be better off.
I bought this because I can not physically mow my lawn any longer and this smaller rider will fit in my garage, which it actually fits very nice.
I will update this review on performance once I actually get to use this mower more than once.
A great disappointment so far.
UPDATE: after being shipped in disrepair and taking it in myself to a repair shop, the mower has been functional. The shop tried pulling a fast one telling me their distributor did not have the needed part, and it would be about another month to get. WTH?
In discussion with the shop, I discovered their "distributor" is not the same as Troy-Bilt (MTD). I had to make the call to Troy-Bilt and give them the details. They called the shop immediately, got the part number and it was delivered in 3 days. None of this cost me money, only the time (often more valuable) and headache of the situation. However, Troy-Bilt was wonderful in remedying the headache they caused.
The mower cuts great! Clean cut, the height deck works now. 1 & 2 heights are much too low for most lawns. Height 3 is pretty low but works. 4 & 5 I use when the grass is longer and needs a trim first.
The speeds are good- 1 & 2 used mostly. Goes up to 6- which is pretty fast.
The reverse cuttting is a big bonus!! I usually mow with it already in that key position and leave it.
The body is plastic and the frame is metal but seems sturdy.
The size of this mower allows it to be stored in my garage, in between the garage side wall and my SUV (about a 3 foot wide space)- wonderfull!
The turning radius is really good- better If going slow.
Complaint- the engine is a clutch drive. Sometimes the clutch will slip out of forward drive. I need to really push the drive lever over far and hard to make sure it's actually in drive- otherwise it won't catch or will slip out and stop.
Other than that, this mower (so far) has been an excellent investment for me. The price was right, the size is right, and it does the job.
Time will tell how long this will last.
4 Stars By Johneb on 2016-06-14
Great value, great machine.
Clutch is a little "touchy" have to push slow. I also purchased a roll of "anti skid" tape for steps and put it on the raised spots where your feet are. Also used "JB Weld" to secure the shift knob. Other than these 2 minor fix's, I love this machine. Just wish the "Hydro" model wasn't so expensive. And this tractor will "FLY."
4 Stars By Kodie on 2016-04-19
TroyBuilt 420CC 2016 Riding Mower
Pilot Delivered the mower on time and I have to say they did a great job of it. The driver even had taken it out of the box and crate while lowering it to my driveway. He even stayed and check the oil and gave advice on how to assemble. What a great dude. Okay now on to my findings about how this mower stacks up. I have read most everyone's reviews before purchasing. Assembly was easy but I did a few things different. I didn't install the additional cowing cover and I removed the black bar behind the engine. This makes it easy to access the motor for checking the plug, air filter and transmission ( if needed). Also the engine runs cooler as I live in hot climates.. Okay still setting it up I noticed owners complaining about the seat switch shutting off the mower when leaving the seat. No you do not need to glue the switch down because if you were to ever sell the rider, someone else may want it working. An easy fix is to just remove the center spring and problem solved plus the seat is more stable. I am tall so I adjusted my seat all the way back and plan on leaving it there. I also found that putting larger washers on the left and right seat bolts stopped the seat from extra rattle. You will have to loosen those bolts if you decide to change the seat position. Next, The little black oil extension tube for changing oil was a stupid design. The plastic tube engineer really needed his brain examined. One issue is they should of designed it to 2-4 inches longer. and it gets worse,... When you try and fit it over the oil drain plug casing on the engine, notice the lower casing is square and the plastic oil tube is rounded at the bottom. Grab a tube of gasket RTV sealer ( blue or red is fine) and make a seal across covering the rounded area . Now you have a working extension tube that when you fit it up to the oil drain plug , it will not leak.... duh.. You still must tilt your mower 4-6 inches leaning so that all the oil drains. Okay onward. Go to Troy built website and download the 420cc engine service manual its free. It is full of excellent engine stats. I have not found the mower service manual but I did find the parts discovery manual showing MTD/TroyBuilt part numbers. Okay for more tips: If you decide to wash your mower ever so often and for season storage make sure to remove the air filter and cover the hole. Plug the exhaust port, and use a thick plastic bag or similar and fit it over the engine exhaust fan. You can find these little end caps and grommet sizes online or at most hardware stores. If you use a power washer don't use high pressure and use a narrow nozzle and completely let the mower dry or use a leaf blower. You will need to have grease on hand . Wal-Mart sells hi temp waterproof cans for 2 bucks. Grease your rack and pinion, steering pivot points, and all moving deck parts. At storage lube the wheels too. If your mower is new , break the engine in slowly first 30 min and inspect for leaks, loose parts , etc. My advice is do the oil change long before the first 50 hrs.and change the oil filter. I use synthetic 30 weight 4 cycle. When changing the oil filter, add an ounce or more of fresh oil to the filter before installing and swirl it around a bit. This makes it easy on your engine by not starting up on a dry filter. Now your set for the season. This is a fast mower . I do not use full throttle and a speed setting of 3-4. IF you set it at 6 you will probably beat every mower in the neighborhood. My yard is mainly flat and this model works perfect although it will climb hills amazingly. Don't forget at the end of the season check the valve clearance and check the plug. If your in a dusty area replace the air filter. Put in fresh oil and drain all the fuel including the carb. If you store the mower outdoors in cold climate , remove the battery. I would not recommend sharping the blade. Uneven blades can damage the deck bearings and cause your mower to vibrate excessive. I already stocked up on 4 years of parts. ( oil filters ,air filters and a few blades ). Something else I noticed about the steering is it has some play in the steering column because the stabilizer bar and the steering rods become loose over time. The only thing supporting them are the cotter keys that hold the rods in place. TroyBuilt should of designed this to be a tighter fit. I found that by getting 4 1inch or 1 1/4 inch washers with an inside diameter of 3/8 and about 1/8 thick and placing them under the cotter keys will tighten the steering significantly. Make sure to apply grease to the upper and lower sides of the washers before installing the cotter keys. This fix will now allow the grease to keep the 4 steering pivots lubricated. I'll update as I experience more about it