Are you in the market for a new riding mower to help keep your grass neat and clean? If so, then the GT6000 from Craftsman may pique your interest. Here is a quick Craftsman GT6000 review article that might help you decide.
The Craftsman GT6000 Garden Tractor comes with a 2-cylinder, air-cooled engine capable of producing up to 26 horsepower (19 kW). The engine is coupled to a 6-speed gearbox, a 2-wheel drive, and an electric starter.
Read on to learn more about the Craftsman GT6000 specs and review. You may end up deciding to get one for yourself later.
Craftsman GT6000 Specs
One of the Brand’s Most Popular Mowers
If you are looking for a reliable riding mower, you cannot go wrong with the Craftsman GT6000 garden tractor. This particular riding mower model has been in production for over 20 years. It is one of the brand’s most popular mowers.
Allows You to Cut Vast Swaths of Grass At a Time
The Craftsman GT6000 lawn tractor has a 54-inch-wide mower deck. This allows you to cut vast swaths of grass at a time, making short work of any lawn. With that, you will have more time actually to admire your handiwork.
Equipped with Three Blades
There are three blades made from 12-gauge steel. You will also have access to 12 different cutting lengths. This means you can cut your grass to whatever length you want.
Offers Plenty of Power
Depending on the model, your GT6000 might have a different engine. However, all of them have similar specs. Typically, their engines have a 26-horsepower output.
For instance, the Kohler Pro model has a gasoline-powered, 0.725 displacement engine. The engine is also air-cooled. It has a pressurized lubrication system to keep every component running smoothly.
A hydrostatic transmission transfers the power from the GT6000’s engine to the wheels. This provides infinite speeds forward and in reverse.
You control the speed simply using a foot pedal. This mower can hit a top speed of 12 miles per hour, which is quite fast. Even I do not mow my lawn at even half that speed.
This mower is also rear-wheel drive. Speaking of the wheels, they measure 10.5″ in the rear and 6″ in the front.
Another nice feature of this garden tractor is the cruise control. It makes mowing your lawn even more relaxing. This mower also comes with an hour meter, so you will know when to service it.
Craftsman GT6000 Review
The Craftsman GT6000 lawnmower uses a 2-cylinder, air-cooled engine for its power. It is capable of producing up to 26 horsepower. It also uses a hydrostatic transmission to transfer power to the rear wheels. This gives you an almost infinite number of variable gears going both forwards and back.
Speaking of speed, the GT6000 can have a top speed of 12 miles per hour. This is more than fast enough for mowing grass, almost too fast. I usually only go half that speed to ensure my grass is cut correctly.
2. Wheels and Tires
The front axle of this riding tractor uses cast iron material, making it quite durable. You can expect these tractors to last for at least a couple of decades, depending on the frequency of maintenance.
There are currently several old GT6000 tractors from the 90s in the used mower marketplace. I am glad to say that most of them still work great.
The front tire of the GT6000 measures 16-inch in diameter and 6.5-inch wide. Meanwhile, the rear tires that also serve as the drive wheels of the tractor measure 23 inches in diameter. They are also 10.5 inches wide.
The rear wheels provide more than enough traction even on relatively steep slopes. I have used mine on a 2-acre patch of lawn, and it had no problems gaining traction.
3. Mowing Deck
As mentioned earlier, the Craftsman GT6000 riding mower has a 54-inch diameter mowing deck. Inside it, you can see three spinning blades made from 12-gauge steel.
In my experience using this, the wide mowing deck made it relatively easy to mow my rather wide lawn. The three blades also help cut the grass so evenly.
There are 12 settings for the cutting height of the blades. Each setting lowers the cutting in increments of ¼”, letting you cut your grass to your desired length.
This also makes it easier to create lines and patterns on your lawn if that is your thing. I like to set my mower deck height at around the middle. If I want to create lines, I will lower the deck two or three levels, making the cuts contrast nicely.
Speaking of the deck lift setting, you have to do it manually. There is no automatic way to adjust the cutting height of the mower deck.
You must turn off the engine and manually set the deck height. It only takes a couple of minutes. Some people prefer finding a way to do this without getting off the mower.
Regarding grass-cutting power, the GT6000’s 20-horsepower engine provides more than ample power to the blades. I have been using mine for months, and the grass on my property is thick. However, I’ve never had to do another pass to cut it evenly.
The blades were also quite durable. I’ve had them run through a couple of rocks, as typically happens when mowing.
Although I noticed some slight chipping, the blades still cut through the grass like they were nothing. I haven’t tried sharpening them yet. However, I think that the blades are easy to remove and sharpen.
My property pretty much consists of flat and level land, so the rear-wheel drive of this garden tractor worked fine. Are you thinking of getting the snowblower or snowplow attachment?
Then you might find it will not work as you thought it would. I have a couple of friends who own the same garden tractor. They said the rear-wheel drive did not provide enough traction through the snowy ground.
The Craftsman GT6000 mower can still mow the grass on small hills without any problem. However, the mower deck does not have enough ground clearance for the uneven ground to keep it from getting stuck.
The mower deck is relatively low, even at the highest cutting length. This is one of several major Craftsman GT6000 problems.
5. Handling and Performance
The GT6000 is a fun little tractor to drive. The steering is relatively light, and because the tractor is so soft, it is like you’re driving a spry go-kart. I like riding this tractor through my yard for fun, even when I am not mowing the grass.
Although the GT6000 is not a zero-turn mower, I could still make sharp turns quickly. However, I still had to go back to trim the edges where I do make turns while mowing.
I have an issue with the GT6000 emitting a lot of smoke. Even when the oil level was still high, I noticed that mine was just a pint low. The mower starts to smoke.
It seems like the oil pump is not quite as strong as needed. In addition, the lawnmower would also start smoking when going up a slightly steep incline. It is most likely because the oil would go down to the side of the sump.
The included tires are fine. However, if you live in a place with a lot of snow during the winter, you have to change them immediately. The included tires do not have deep enough treads to grip on slick snow.
This means enormous trouble when the wheels start spinning in the snow. Because the wheels do not lock, your tractor will be digging itself deeper.
6. Ease of Maintenance
Maintenance can be quite troublesome for the GT6000, especially if you do it yourself. First, the mower deck cannot be lifted high enough to access the blades.
This might be a safety feature, but it makes it hard to work on the blades when needed. To reach the blades underneath, you must jack the lawn mower’s rear relatively high.
Another gripe I have with the Craftsman GT6000 is how difficult it is to change the oil. The way the oil filter and oil pan are set up, you need a lift to change the oil. Alternatively, you should put the tractor on the stands to do the job. It is not impossible, but it is much more complicated than it needs to be.
Luckily though, you won’t need to change the oil that often. I have used the GT6000 regularly for an entire year and only had to change the oil once.
Brief History of Craftsman Lawnmowers
Although the Craftsman brand is more famous for making quality tools, they have been in the business for a long time.
It has been more than five decades since they started making riding mowers. It started when Sears began selling the Craftsman riding mower in 1965. The legendary David Bradley designed the mowers. Collectors of the brand sought the first run of these machines.
Today, the manufacturing of Craftsman OEM lawnmowers is under MTD Inc.; you can still get them from Sears.
Again, is Craftsman GT6000 Garden Tractor a good tractor? The Craftsman GT6000 Garden Tractor has a 2-cylinder, air-cooled engine that can produce up to 26 horsepower (19 kW). Plus, its engine is attached to a 6-speed gearbox, a 2-wheel drive, and an electric starter.
How to Adjust the Craftsman GT6000 Mower Deck Height
As mentioned earlier, you can’t adjust the height of the mowing deck of the GT6000 on the fly. You have to do it manually. Fortunately, doing so is not that hard.
You’ll need a couple of basic tools for this task:
- Work gloves
- Safety goggles
- Straight ruler or measuring tape
- Adjustable wrench
- A flashlight
You will be placing your hands dangerously close to the sharp mower blades. This makes it necessary to wear work gloves to protect your hands. Safety goggles are always required.
The reason is that you will not know when a stray piece of debris will fly toward your eyes. Ideally, you should use a small straight ruler to measure the clearance of the mower blades.
You need to check the tire pressure of the mower. If the tires are either under or overinflated, the adjustments may not be as accurate as you would have wanted. If you do this when the tires are not at the correct pressure, you need to re-adjust it later.
Also, make sure to park the mower on level ground or as level as you can find. This is not just to make the mowing deck easier to adjust. This is also for safety purposes as it prevents the mower from rolling. Placing the mower on the level ground also makes your adjustments more accurate.
You should also disengage the clutch. Switch the attachment clutch kit to the disengaged position. This will allow you to rotate the blades.
This is important as it facilitates measuring the clearance between the blades and the ground. Also, put chocks on the wheels to prevent the mower from moving.
2. Adjust the Mowing Deck Height
The thing about the GT6000 is that you need to adjust the mowing deck using a wrench. This model does not have an adjustment lever. You will need to tighten or loosen a couple of nuts underneath the mower.
There are adjusting nuts that will help you position the mowing deck height. Check the front and rear of the mower deck. There should be rods holding the mower deck in place. The rods should have two nuts threaded on the front and rear of the mower deck.
Before starting, the sides of the mowing deck should be level. Also, position the blades in a way that they face the sides. If you cannot turn the blades by hand, you probably did not put the mower into neutral:
- With the blades in place, continue measuring either side of the blades. Use the outer tip of the blade as a reference. They should be within 1/4″ of each other.
- If you need to adjust the sides, loosen the locknut first. It is the one that is the outer nut of the two that you will see. Use an adjustable wrench to do this.
- After loosening the locknut, turn the inner nut clockwise to raise the deck and counterclockwise to lower it. Each full turn will increase or reduce the deck by approximately 1/8″.
- After adjusting the sides to make them level, proceed with the front-to-back adjustment. Use the same procedure mentioned above. According to Craftsman, the front of the mowing deck should be 1/8″ to ½” lower than the rear.
Remember that while adjusting the deck’s height. Set the height of the blades. Make sure the front and back are within the acceptable range.
3. Measure the Deck Wheel Height
The deck wheel, also called anti-scalp wheels, keeps your mower deck from damaging your lawn. It keeps the mower deck from digging into the ground. When you are adjusting the deck height, set the deck wheels first. Doing so will ensure that your mower deck is at the correct height.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Does the GT Stand for In the GT6000?
As per Craftsman’s naming procedures, the GT stands for Garden Tractor. This is because you can use the GT6000 for other tasks, not just for mowing the grass.
What Attachments are Available for the GT6000?
The Craftsman GT6000 is compatible with many attachments, even those made for other brands. The most common one you will see is the wagon you can tow behind the riding mower.
Another one is the mulching bag, which attaches to the mowing deck. However, you can also turn the GT6000 into a small payloader using the front-end loader attachment.
How Much Does the GT6000 Cost?
As per writing, the Craftsman GT6000 price is around $1,500 for a brand-new unit. If you are looking for a secondhand unit, you can usually find one a couple of years old.
This usually sells for around $800 to $900. Make sure to pick a secondhand unit still in excellent condition.
You can even find some units sold in the 90s and early 2000s that are still in good running condition. You can often get these units for less than $300.
In Closing – Craftsman GT6000 Specs and Review
The Craftsman GT6000 Garden Tractor is one of the best riding or garden mowers you can invest in. This unit is powerful and powered by a 2-cylinder, air-cooled gasoline engine.
The engine is capable of pushing out up to 26 horsepower. This can propel the riding mower to 12 miles per hour. The engine also uses a hydrostatic transmission and is rear-wheel driven.
The GT6000 is one of the most reliable riding mowers if you have a somewhat limited budget. It has its share of problems. Still, you can easily overlook them when you use them within their work parameters.