The best 42" riding mower available. Period.
I have the 2012 Husqvarna YTH24V42LS (this exact mower minus the side tray, side handles and charging port). I've owned the mower for almost 2 years now. 35 hours on the meter. When my neighbor's brand new Craftsman rider snapped it's drive belt last summer and I let him borrow my Husqvarna his exact words were "It's like driving a Cadillac!". I live in Florida and mow St. Augustine grass. Sharp blades and not too tall of grass and it'll mow like a dream, even at higher speeds. Kawasaki engine is an awesome power plant. Ample amount of power and with regular oil/filter changes, synthetic oil and regular cleaning of the entire engine it'll likely last 25-30 years. I do have to say that the engine is quite thirsty and I have not noted the same fuel savings as others. In regards to the Tuff Torq K46 transaxle it tends to groan and strain on extreme grades. I've seen some complaints in regards to the trans but that's not really fair. At this price point you can expect nothing more. The John Deere X300 is $400 more and has the same trans. Just don't use ground engaging attachments, keep the case clean and change the oil (many online guides available) at 50 hours (per Tuff Torq recommendations) to Castrol Syntec 5W-50 and every 200 hours thereafter and the trans will last as long as the rest of the mower. Another complaint I've seen is the tendency for the tractor to plow forward due to the locking differential. To that I say, did you not test drive before the purchase? It can be annoying at times but just drop your ground speed and it becomes more manageable. When you need the locking diff (such as going up a wet, steep hill) you'll be thankful for it. On the topic of steering I have one complaint: it is a little difficult to steer at lower speeds. It doesn't bother me all that much but I have 8 John Deere riding mowers ranging from late 70's to the late 2000's and the steering on almost every single one is much easier, including the LA130 with a certainly as heavy engine as the Kawasaki. The fabricated deck is of course the other highlight of the mower. Lifetime warranty, twin sheets of 11 gauge steel, greasable spindles, easy to clean top to bottom and metal belt guards (not plastic like a Craftsman or John Deere). This deck is about twice as thick as the competition's AND includes a front nose roller to further avoid scalping. Another great feature is the fabric seat, not that awful vinyl that will inevitably crack and fade. Lastly, the awesome metal hood/hood hinges. Many manufacturers are cost cutting and switching to plastic or variations thereof and they simply are not as durable or long lasting. My John Deere LT180's hood (made of plastic-like material called Xenoy) is about $500 to replace. They say the plastic will take a hammer strike without damage but the problem is that it'll inevitably crack in pressure points such as the hinges. I'd rather bang out a dent than replace the entire hood (been there, done that). In conclusion the YT42XLS is hands down the best sub $3000 mower available considering the metal hood, fabricated deck, fabric seat and Kawasaki engine. If you're in the process of comparing do so no longer and purchase this unit. You will not regret it.
Post script: As an aside I do have a protestation to put forth: the bagger for the fabricated deck is an outrageous $849.95. A truly ridiculous sum that is accompanied by poor reviews in quality. Personally I purchased the reasonably priced mulch kit (also made of metal, not of plastic like John Deere mulch kits).
May 26, 2014
I absolutely love this tractor. My previous mower was an older Deere and this out performs it ten fold.
This cuts great, starts easy, the ride and handling are superb and the look is impressive. The fabbed deck and hydrostatic transmission is a must now-a-days.
May 22, 2014
A Good Dealer Is A Must
Be sure you save your review. The site crashed and mine was lost - but I had saved it elsewhere.
Delivered on April 4, 2014 the tractor has only about 2 hrs on it. So, it is difficult to predict reliability. It appears well made and the Kawasaki engine is very smooth. I have noticed what an earlier reviewer stated about the limited slip differential in that the tractor will not easily turn hard left without ploughing the front wheels because the rear wheels are in traction lock mode. I found that the way to get around this is to lift off of the forward control pedal slightly and then push it back down. Normally, however, this is not a problem area for me. I have also found that the rear point of the discharge chute will dig into the ground when backing. I may trim off some of this back point which is too aggressive. While a three blade mower, I have found that the mower does not readily cut tall thin weeds. You either have to back over them again, cut from a different direction or just mow over them again. Again, this is not a real issue for me because I was doing the neighbor a favor and cut her rear yard. When just cutting grass, the cut is fine.
A call to Customer Service for a question was not answered after 30 minutes on hold and I gave up. My call concerned removal of a "bolt" at the bottom of a mesh inverted "V" shaped insert. Removal of this insert facilitates the attachment of the plastic tube and then the turning of a small valve with a wrench to drain the oil and finally the removal of the oil filter. The site's video help site and manual state only - "remove the bolt". They do not state how this is done as there is no ridged head or nut on this bolt. It is just round. I stopped in and asked the service mechanic at the selling dealer. It is like a snap fastener. Slide a screwdriver or other thin flat prying attachment between the frame and the black mesh cover and carefully pry it away from the frame. This plastic bolt will then "pop" through its retainer on the inside of the frame allowing you to remove it. Now, carefully lift the mesh cover up and remove it also. It has small "doglegs" that will go into inserts when you reinstall it. Being sure that the engine is well warmed, loosen the ridged oil fill knob attached to the dipstick used to measure the amount of oil in the engine. Once the oil is drained using a wrench to turn the valve, remove the used oil filter. Use a rag as this filter will be hot. Now, lubricate the large "O" ring on the new filter with new oil. Dip your finger into the new oil and liberally wipe it on the "O" ring being sure that the surface is covered. One note of caution - new oil does not contain the carcinogens that used motor oil does. If you get the used oil on your hands or anywhere else on your skin, it is important that you wash and clean your hands or other area well with soap and water - several times. Now, with a clean lint free cloth, wipe the filter sealing surface on the motor. Carefully thread the new filter onto the threaded portion of the engine where you removed the old oil filter. Tighten until the "O" ring makes contact with the engine flange and then, by hand tighten it one half turn more. Close the drain with the wrench, remove the plastic hose carefully, as you will reuse it for years. Before you add the new oil carefully wipe the oil filler tube being VERY careful that no debris falls into the oil filler tube. When you you add the new oil the guideline is a total of 3 qt for oil and filter. With the throttle set on idle, start the engine. Do not use full throttle at this time as the engine will be operating with no oil pressure until the filter is filled. It takes only about four seconds if you have no accessory oil pressure light. Check for leaks. Shut the engine off. Re-install the mesh doglegs into the slots on the side of the housing where you removed it. Be careful, they are delicate. When you have checked for a correct installation, now put the plastic bolt into the hole and push or tap it into place. You should hear a click to tell you that it is latched. Now, remove the dipstick. Wipe off the measuring end and carefully wipe the area around the oil fill. Follow the directions for the Kawasaki motor. Instructions in the downloaded manual are wrong. When the engine has been shut off for several minutes, insert the dip stick into the oil filler tube and set the screw cap down on top of the threads. Do NOT screw the cap down as the instructions state. It gives an incorrect reading of one half quart. Withdraw the dip stick and check the oil level. It should be on the "full" mark. If not, you can add more, but very carefully and only a little at a time. When correct, screw the cap into place and your oil and filter change are complete. Now grease the mandrels wiping off the accumulated dirt before attaching the grease gun or you will inject dirt into the bearings - not good.
I did purchase the charge maintenance unit. It plugs into the port, after you remove the dust cover, on the hood of the tractor. There are three lights on the hood. Blinking Green is good, amber is marginal and red - charge it. This external charger and battery maintenance unit will be handy when winter comes and/or the tractor will not be used for a month or more. Beats buying a battery and will help the original last much longer.
Also, be sure to check the tire pressures as advised. My rear tires are to have 10 lbs of pressure and had about 24. Not Good.
I like the tractor. It is difficult for me to judge value until I have had it for several years.
May 16, 2014
GREAT TRACTOR !
This is my first riding mower and I am very pleased with it . I'm glad I decided to pay a little extra and upgrade to this model with the fabricated deck and also like that it has multiple grease fittings to help reduce the wear on the deck spindles , steering and front wheel bearings .The Kawasaki engine has plenty of power and the 3 blade deck gives a superior cut , also the built in Ctek charge port / battery level indicator is a handy feature . The only downfall which has nothing to do with the tractor is the price of the bagger attachment for the fabricated deck which I feel is way too high but otherwise I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a tough high quality riding mower
May 8, 2014
Purchased this unit July 2013 from a local tractor dealer because I wanted a fabricated deck and the Kawasaki power plant. Did my fair share of research on JD, Cub Cadets and Craftsman. I just hit 20 hrs. on the meter so I feel I can give an honest evaluation. Do yourself a favor, pay a little more and get a lot more and skip the big box stores. I mow 3/4+ acre on a hill that killed a big box "Troy Built" toy in less than 3 seasons. The 3 blades in the deep fabricated deck do a great job and I found that the deeper the deck the better vacuum couple this with the 3 blades in the fabricated deck and it stripes my lawn like a ball park. The mower has power to spare and the heavy duty hydrostatic transmission is smooth. The XLS series sport bigger tires so inclines are a piece of cake. The hour meter and amp gage is a sweet feature and takes the guess work out when to change oil or if you need to attach the trickle charger during winter storage. Another nice feature is all the grease fitting that you can keep lubricated yourself, again extending the life of the mower. My neighbors all have the JD series and they are impressed with the finish results of my Husqvarna. In addition, their stamped decks all look worn out after just 3 -4 seasons. The service from my local dealer is over the top. Took it back with 15 hours and they hit all the grease fittings and pointed them out to me & n/c for the service. Service after the sale is really what you are after. Good luck getting that at your Big Box store retailer. In summary, it has the power plant and fabricated deck that will lead to years of service plus a better warranty, lifetime on the deck, 3 years on the motor and chassis.
May 3, 2014
Descent lawn tractor
I am pleased with the overall performance of my YT42XLS.
It is well constructed with ample power and it runs very smooth. I rate the mowing performance of this as "a little above average" compared to other riding mowers I have owned and operated. I currently have two John Deere mowers also and I believe they mow a little better than my Husqvarna but not much better. The YT42XLS is much smoother to operate than my other mowers, but it is a little rough riding. The grass shoot drags on the ground and catches the ground when backing up, as noted in other reviews.
Many companies are advertizing the hose port to wash the deck out after mowing. I don't believe these work. At least mine doesn't clean the bottom of the deck. I run the water much longer than the manual recommends and it removes some of the grass but the deck is still caked with grass when I inspect it.
April 26, 2014
Disappointed in Texas
I rarely write reviews like this, but in this case I have to. This has been one of the most disappointing things I have ever purchased and now I guess I am stuck with it. I will give some background.
I have owned John Deere lawn tractors in the past. My most recent one started having motor problems with 800 hours on it so I decided to purchase a new lawn tractor for my 2 acres. I had always heard that Husqvarna was a good brand and we have a local dealer who can work on them, so I went shopping. I fell for the hype from the sales person about the strength of the fabricated deck and other features of the YT42XLS, so in September 2013, I made this purchase of a new machine. The tractor starts easily, drives fine, and is easy to operate. What is the problem?.....it does a lousy job of cutting grass. Within weeks of my purchase I had used it twice, both at my home and at our 5 acre church lawn. It left two strips of grass virtually unmowed in the center of the machine. I took cell phone photos of this and took the photos to the dealer where I had made the purchase. That is when the excuses started. I was told that Husqvarna was having some problems with "some" of the mowers with the fabricated decks in that the fabricated deck did not allow the proper "lift" to the grass so it could be cut evenly. I was told Husqvarna was working on a "baffle" kit which they would install free of charge to fix the problem. These baffle kits were not yet available but the dealer installed new "high lift" cutting blades to correct the cutting problem. I did note some improvement to the cutting ability, but still it would not cut correctly. Months went by and finally in February, 2014, the baffle kits arrived and over the course of a week or so this kit was installed on my tractor. In April, 2014, I used the mower for the first time this season......still leaving areas virtually uncut and I have to run over the yard twice to get the grass to look decent. I took more photos and have told my dealer I want a new machine and that I am fed up with a new machine that will not cut grass. I have waited 5 months to fill out this review to give Husqvarna time to correct this issue. Whether I can get a new machine or whether I will be stuck with this one, I do not know as yet, but this has proven to be one of the most disappointing purchases I have ever made. My beat up 7 year old John Deere tractor cut grass a lot better than does this brand new machine. I regret making the purchase and my feeling about Husqvarna has seriously declined. In the images below, the first one shows the cutting when the machine was brand new in Sept. 2013. The 2nd image shows the cutting after the "baffle kit" was installed. Still a terrible cut.
April 23, 2014
Being a home owner again and having a large lawn to mow and a long driveway I needed a lawn tractor for the first time. Doing extensive research online led me to decide on this Husky. I was not disappointed. It has handled everything I needed to do with no problem. It is a great lawn tractor.
March 21, 2014