07 Husqvarna 23HP V-Twin 48" Lawn Tractor 2011 UPDATE
Oct 10, 2007 (Updated Jul 28, 2011)
Review by termy
Rated a Very Helpful Review
User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Use:
Pros:Power, Durability, 48" Deck, Hydrostatic, Cruise Control, Cup Holder, 3-Gallon Fuel Tank, 18" Turning Radius
Cons:Fuel Indicator, Deck Grind In Uneven Terrain
The Bottom Line: If you need power, durability, features, and ease of use to mow your 2 to 4 acre property, this machines for you! Best Bang For Buck!
I used to own a Murray 8HP RER, which had a 30” deck and it would take an hour and a half just to mow a 1/2 acre lot. The machine was underpowered cause it could not mow heavy grass and could not pick it up. It could not move any faster than 4 MPH but you were actually cutting at 2.5 MPH. Mowing 3 acres? Forget it, it would take you 6 hours! Changing gears with this thing was not any fun either. This machine was getting tired and it eventually died, it was time to buy a bigger and better machine. After many days of research, I decided on the Husqvarna YTH2348 LT for power, durability, features, and affordability. Tip to all people who want to purchase an LT. If you buy a cheap machine from a box store such as Sears or Home Depot, do not expect to get service and support.
Recommend this product?
SERVICE & SUPPORT: If you want service and support, you need to go buy your machine from a dealer such as I did. When I had my dealer order my LT from the manufacture, I had him order the 3-bag collection system, which cost me $400.00. An authorized dealer will be qualified to put together a LT and install a bagger such as they did for me. They also serviced the machine and delivered it to me for free as part as the service.
Craftsman 3-Bin Bagger For AYP 48" Decks
COMFORT: First thing I noticed when I sat down on the seat was it was comfortable, your butt won’t be hurting after hours of mowing. There are suspension springs bellow the seat which take most of the shock when riding over bumps. However, after mowing all day, I find these springs to not be enough. I went and purchased one of those seat cushions for tractors, not only do they make the seat more comfortable, but they also protect your seat and provide pockets for tools and or trash pickup.
Tractor Seat Cover 15" Back-Rests
STARTING & OPERATING: I put the key in, choke pulled out to full, throttle is at idle, and I start the engine. Always starts in 3 seconds or less. All the controls are at easy reach and are easy to operate. Throttle, choke, electric PTO, lights, ignition, and hour meter are located on the dash. Bellow the dash are the parking break and cruise control levers and on the left fender is the deck lift lever. Brake is located at the left of the machine and the gas forward and reverse located at the right of the machine.
This machine has a hydrostatic drive system and as such it wont free wheel unless you put it in neutral by pulling the neutral release pin out on the back of the machine. As I understand it, the hydrostatic transmissions on these machines are sealed and do not require changing or adding the hydraulic fluid. Just keep the transmission clean of grass and dirt and make sure the fan on it can move freely.
POWER HOUSE: The engine is a 23HP V-twin overhead valves engine from Briggs & Stratton. It has a fuel pump on-board along with oil filter, fuel filter for long life and dual element air cleaner. It also has an internal oil pump, full pressure lubrication system with low oil shutdown. Extra options include, 16-AMP alternator, fuel after-fire solenoid and oil drain valve.
FUEL SYSTEM: There is a 3-gallon fuel tank located in the back, which allows you to mow 3 acres or more without refilling. It has a wide mouth opening for easier filling, fuel reaches the carburetor via vacuum fuel pump. Fuel is delivered to the engine through a dual chambered carburetor. I like these better as I notice no hesitation when revving the throttle up, as opposed to single chamber carburetors. Fuel is shutoff to the engine when ignition key is in the off position via after-fire solenoid.
FUEL CONTINUED: I really like having a 3-gallon fuel tank with a 3-inch wide mouth opening for easy filling. I have been able to mow 4 acres and still have a half tank of gas left after I am done! Though it has a fuel level indicator just bellow the seat, I have never been able to read it, this is due to the crème colored fuel tank. I wonder if Husqvarna will install a fuel gauge next time? It would make it a good habit to refill your fuel tank back up after mowing 3 acres. This machine burns clean so fuel economy is not really an issue. I was able to mow 2 acres in 45 minutes.
GAS CAN CHOICE: Since this tractor uses a 3-gallon fuel tank, obviously your going to want at least a 5-gallon gas can. The trouble is, because of all the EPA regulations that are going on, all gas cans today, use gadgets on them. I do not recommend you buy the self-venting gas cans, as they don't work well, especially when holding a 5-gallon gas can. If you can get access to an older can with a flexible spout, thats your best bet.
However, if you are buying new, I highly recommend you purchase a can with the no-spill technology. Read my review for the 1-gallon can version...
Blitz No-Spill Design Gas Can
Also, if you are disabled in some way or are a senior citizen, and are planning on buying a gas pump, I highly recommend that you "NOT" purchase this pump bellow...
Han - D - Pump
GAS PUMPS: If you are planning to use a gas pump on a gas can, I have found the Superflo by Flo-N-Go to be the best one.
Superflo Gas Pump
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM: I have used older tractors before, including my old Murray RER, and they always had crazy electrical systems. Wires were all over the place, going every which way, and none of the wires were tied together, or inside some organized wire loom. Also, the wired connections were not insulated in any way, not only did this make them not safe, but let them be open to the elements. After about 3 to 5 years, they would begin to short out and you would soon, either have a intermittent reaction, or a fire!
Now, you can understand why, when I looked under the hood, I was in complete aw, at how well organised the wires were with wire ties, and wire loom. All of the wires are together neatly and exit neatly to their designated locations. You can operate the ignition, and all of the switches, without the worry of intermittent response, or possible fire. This also saves you money, because you don't have to worry about having to buy new, switches, buttons, wiring, and solenoids.
THE FUSE: However, like any machine with a ATC blade fuse, they breakdown over time, due to condensation/water. This is something you can expect, living in the pacific northwest, or near coastal areas. You can expect your fuse to decay in a couple years. If you live in dry climates, like most southern states, you won't have to worry about that, unless your fuse blows by a power surge. When your fuse does blow, the symptoms are, you can't start your tractor, or get any hour meter reading. I like to keep a set of spare fuses on hand, I store them in my seat cushions dust free pocket.
When this happens, its super easy to replace your fuse. First of all, the YTH2348 tractor uses the 20-AMP ATC blade fuses, they are the yellow ones. The fuse holder is located on the right side of the machine, under the hood. It has a clip on the back of it, and you can find it clipped onto the dash frame. All you have to do is, pull the old one out, and replace it with a new one, that simple! Once you replace your fuse, turn your ignition key to "ON," and you should see a reading on your hour meter, and be able to start the tractor.
THE BATTERY: The battery in the tractor is a 280-CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) battery. It is a generic battery but it is made in the USA, and thats all that matters to me. The battery sits in a hard plastic cradle under the dash, with a bungee securing it. When the engine is running, the 16-AMP alternator, keeps charging the battery at a 1-amp interval. I find that my battery never goes dead in my tractor. However, if you leave your battery sit out in the winter months, expect it to be near dead, or dead, by the spring season. Keep battery inside house during winter months.
CUTTING DECK: This model has a 48” wide deck on it with 6 positions for mowing height, vented design with gauge wheels. It uses 3-blades for cutting, each 16.5 inches long. Can be used with standard, mulching, or high lift mower blades. Star shaped shaft design for precise blade mounting to mandrel spindles. This machine has spindle, bearing, and mandrel grease zerks for long life operation. And a handy cup holder located on the right fender to store your favorite drink.
STEERING AND DRIVE: I really like my Husqvarna’s 18-inch turning radius which allows me to mow around trees and flower beds easily, I really did not have to back up to continue the turn, unless I was making a 180. It uses a sector and pinion steering system, and when properly lubricated, delivers smooth steering response in all situations.
The hydrostatic drive was very easy to operate since it’s controlled via pedals by your foot, I could adjust my speed wherever I had to mow without having to push in a clutch to change a gear. Much smoother operation than a gear drive I have to say. It can go 6 MPH on flat ground but going down hill it can go 10 MPH easily so be careful. 1 to 4 MPH in reverse mode.
GAUGE WHEELS: I like to mow fields at the 6” position and I like to mow lawns at the 3” position. It really does make a nice even cut and as long as you keep the blades sharp, you will have no problem. If you mow at the 1" or 2" position, make sure to have your gauge wheels in the top most hole. If mowing at the 3" to 4" position, put the gauge wheels in the second hole from the top. When mowing at 5" to 6" all the time, just use the third hole.
TIRES: Husqvarna installs Turf-Saver tires on their tractors. On the YTH2348 tractor, it has 15" front tires and 20" rear tires. The front tires take 15-PSI (Pressure Per Square Inch) and the rear tires take 10-PSI. These tires hold pressure well, but they can easily be punctured by 1" Honey Suckle thorns, nails, and barbed wire. When my tires got punctured, I used Fix-A-Flat to restore them.
Weather punctured or not, it is good to inflate your tires before each mow. This is because your tires can lose air pressure after sitting for long periods of time. By keeping the tires properly inflated, you make sure that your mowing is "even" as it can be. This prevents scalping and makes your lawn look that much better.
BAGGING: I am using high lift blades on my mower. When picking up the grass, these blades create a lot of volume force and blow the clippings into the bags pretty easily. If your grass is a little wet, you need to run full throttle and move slow at 2MPH otherwise you will clog the shoot. The good thing however is that the shoot is easy to remove and put back on to unclog it. The shoot also has a flow indicator on it to show weather the shoot is clogged or not. Engaging and disengaging these blades is easy via the push/pull electric PTO clutch on the dash.
HEADLIGHTS: I used the headlights a few times because I wanted to finish mowing the field and it was like 9:00 PM, they illuminate the area all right but I would like to upgrade the lights so that I can see the job even better though. The headlights on these tractors are primarily used for safety. I purchased a couple 50-watt halogen 1156 bulbs to replace the original ones. Though they were much brighter, halogens are not able to take a whole lot of shock vibration and burned out within a short time.
SAFETY FEATURES: Among the normal safety features that a LT has like PTO clutch sensor, operators presence sensor, brake sensor, it also has a new safety feature called ROS. Too many kids die every year from their fathers mowing in reverse. So what Husqvarna did is they put this ROS system in so if the key is on and the blades are on, if you try to mow in reverse, the engine will shutdown. However, if you believe you are safe enough and don’t need that, you can turn your ignition key to ROS and that will allow you to mow in reverse. I only use reverse while mowing to back up so I can make a 90-degree turn.
CRUISE CONTROL: As stated earlier in this review, this machine has a cruise control. Now this is a neat feature to have and if you’re mowing really long strips, it’s nice to rest your feet off the gas. What you do is set your speed with the forward gas pedal and then you lift the cruise control lever up. The cruise control will sustain your speed as long as you keep moving straight. If you start making turns and stuff, you will slowly loose speed. This is because the cruise control on a LT is mechanical in nature and not computer controlled like a car has.
MOWING: This engine has so much power that it was able to handle mowing 4 feet of grass with ease, hardly bogged down any! Even if you keep your tires inflated and you have your deck level with your gauge wheels in proper position, I find, if you back up on a slight hill and turn, you will dig your deck into the lawn and create an ugly looking line. My best advice is to not do that and just take the long way and come about.
There is definitely a noticeable difference when mowing in dry conditions vs wet conditions. It tends to cut finer and cleaner when mowing dry grass, and it will discharge and bag pretty well. If you cut wet grass, expect the machine to miss some of the grass and not bag it at all, and rather clog under the cutting deck. I only recommend cutting wet grass when you have no other choice.
LUBRICATION: Almost everybody has a few screwdrivers and sockets with a ratchet for tools. What most people do not have are commercial grease guns with a flexible hose. In order to put grease in the grease zerks, your going to need to purchase one of those from your nearest auto parts store or online. I use high temp lithium grease which I find to be excellent for things that move at high RPM's. If you can't find that kind of grease, any high performance grease will do. Also make sure to WD-40 parts such as, throttle cable at carb, choke, springs, and sector and pinion steering.
DURABILITY & ATTACHMENTS: This is a LT so don’t mix it up with a GT that is capable of utilizing ground engaging attachments. However this LT does have a nice 11 gauge steel frame. And the mower deck is made of 13-gauge steel so it’s also durable. This LT is capable of using front mounted attachments such as, dethatcher, snow blade, and snow thrower! And you can get a snow cab for these things too. I have not done so yet but I have plans to purchase the snow blade and get a pair of chains and wheel weights for it.
I am also planning to purchase the dethatcher attachment one of these days. These attachments obviously make lawn maintenance a breeze because the machine does the work, not you. Taking the deck off is not as much of a project as some of you might think; it actually can be done in 30 minutes or less depending on technical expertise. The deck has to be removed in order to use attachments like the snow blade for example.
ENGINE LUBRICATION: The engine uses a little over a half gallon of oil SAE 30 weight so its best to buy a 1-gallon container. However, if you’re going to be running the engine in the wintertime, you need to drain the oil and put in 5W30 oil. This is because the freezing temps make SAE 30 oil too thick and the engine does not get any lubrication, that’s why you must run 5W30 cause it’s a thinner oil viscosity. If you do this, again, make sure you drain the oil and put SAE 30 oil back in the engine for the warm season.
OIL DRAINING: When I used to have the Murray RER, making oil changes was a real mess and oil was all over the ground. Husqvarna made it really simple to drain the oil too, no more messes! All you got to do is pull the yellow cap off and put the tube on it that they gave you with the machine. Then you push the valve, turn it, then pull out and wala, you’re draining the oil! Then you push it back in and turn it and remove the tube and replace the yellow cap, that simple!
OIL FILLING: When filling the engine with oil, I like to use one of those large 12" long, automotive funnels. They are the black ones, I like to use them when servicing tractors and cars. I pour oil into the dipstick tube for a while and then stop. I then use the dipstick to check the level of the oil. If I need to add more, I do so and repeat the process. The main thing you don't want to do though, is overfill the engine with oil. Too much oil, will cause oil burning, and premature engine failure. So fill to the full line on the dipstick and not over!
MAINTENANCE: To keep any machine running, not just this one, you have to maintain it. Cause, if you don't, you can expect it to give you problems in short order. As far as the engine is concerned, its a good idea to change the oil every year, and replace the oil filter. Its also a good idea to clean the air filter 3-times per year and replace the fuel filter once every 3-years. I also like to run MMO in the gas and oil of my tractor, read review bellow... Keep the engine clean in general, and always remember to clean out the cooling fins and blower housing.
Marvel Mystery Oil
As far as the tractor itself is concerned, make sure that you lubricate all moving parts, including springs and linkages with WD-40. Make sure to put grease in all 7 grease fittings on this tractor every year, or after 40-hours. At least once a year, you should clean out the underside of the cutting deck, even if this means scraping the deck out. If you puncture the tires, use Fix-A-Flat to restore them, or replace the tire if the damage is severe. And keep the machine clean in general. A good wax job on the paint will also make the paint last longer and will protect it.
CONCLUSION: I have a landscaping service and as such, I need equipment that can perform in tough conditions and provide the power and features I need without needing a huge financing plan to pay for it! The 23HP V-Twin engine coupled with the 48” deck and hydrostatic automatic transmission are exactly what I needed. As a plus, I have a cruise control and a cup holder. All the controls are within easy reach and are simple to operate, even for a novice. Having a hydrostatic automatic transmission is nice but they must be kept clean or they can overheat and break.
This machine burns clean and as such fuel economy is not a problem in today’s world of high gas prices. Despite a few of the negatives, this is the best LT I have ever bought! I would recommend this LT to anybody who has a 2 to 4 acre lawn. I give this machine 5 stars…
Prolonged exposure to loud noises, can cause hearing loss. Please use ear plugs while operating equipment.
Mack's Ultra Safesound Earplugs
MY THOUGHTS ON HUSQVARNA: It amazes me how most companies will put out a product for no more then 3-years, and then replace it with a new model. When you look at the new version of the YTH2348 tractor, the only differences are, more plastic on the machine, and handles to hold onto.
Honestly, I don't see why companies feel the need to put things on tractors that never needed to be there in the first place, while completely avoiding the real issues that need to be tackled. For example, my largest complaint against the YTH2348 is, that it has no real fuel indicator onboard.
If companies spent half their time listening to its customers, as they do putting more plastic on the machines and slightly changing hood design, we would have a better product out on the market. Just give me a fuel gauge please, and leave the rest alone!
YEARS OWNED: I have owned my Husqvarna YTH2348 tractor for 4-years now and it has around 255-hours on it. As you can see, I have put less hours on it last year then I did over previous years. This is because fuel is now so expensive, I am reserving the tractor for large area mowing only.
TRACTOR CONDITION: So far, my tractor is still in good condition. The engine is still purring along with no issues, still is able to handle both small and large mowing tasks. The electrical system seems to be still functioning properly, and the 4-year old battery is miraculously, still taking a charge!
I do have plans to replace the battery though with a quality Die-Hard Gold tractor battery, as batteries usually start losing their quality after 4-years. I have gauges that I have installed that let me know how my engine and electrical system is doing.
When the engine is cold, the oil pump, even after all this time, is still maintaining 60-PSI of pressure. Like most engines when they get hot, their oil pressure drops. With a hot engine, my oil pressure drops to 40-PSI, which is still good!
I have a 16-AMP alternator onboard, my AMP gauge is showing me that my alternator is performing 2-amps at idle, 5-amps at 1/2 throttle, and 10-amps at full throttle. Keep in mind there is a regulator onboard, so it downsizes the current so it doesn't fry out the onboard systems.
Since they now make LED based 1156 socked bulbs, I am also planning to replace my standard incandescent bulbs with 19-LED 1156 bulbs. This should draw less current on my electrical system, and will either be as bright, if not brighter, then the incandescent bulbs.
HYDRO DRIVE: Most of you would like to know how my automatic hydro drive is doing, since you have probably heard stories that manual transmissions are more durable. I have not only mowed lawns with my tractor, but I have pulled 400-pound lawn rollers, dump trailers with 700-pounds in them, and the hydro drive has not broke down on me.
I have also used my tractor to pull trees out of the ground when already half cut by a chainsaw, and used it to dethatch lawns as well. In every one of these tasks that require extra power from the tranny, there is a noticeable louder wine from the tranny yes, but it has never broke on me.
I have also used my tractor to pull somebody else's tractor out before, who was using those crappy Turf Safer tires. My tractor had a bit of a wine while being put under load, but it effectively pulled that guys 800-pound tractor out of the mud without a hitch. Then the sound of the tranny returned to normal once the load was released.
WHEELS: While the tractor itself was never at fault for losing traction, the tires were. Like all tractors today, they install those simple Turf Saver tires, in order to save them money. The truth of the matter is, if you ever have to do garden related chores, or go up and down hills, those Turf Savers will lose traction every time.
I didn't have to do much research to find out that the Carlise Super Lug Tires…, were highly recommended for running tractors in those kind of conditions. I now have ultimate gripping and pulling power for anything I have to do with my tractor, Super Lugs are the only way to go!
CUTTING DECK: As you may or may not know, I have been maintaining my cutting deck by scraping it out and keeping it clean every year. However, I also wire brush and repaint the bottom of it every year as well. From what I can tell, my cutting deck has no rust, nor any holes in it.
The cutting deck mandrels, or spindles if you will, are still in great condition, and have not given me any trouble. Usually when those go out, you will hear a bearing grinding sound, I have had my tractor for 4-years with 255-hours on it, and I have not any trouble with them.
I like to sharpen my blades as much as I can, and as such, I do not replace my blades every-year like some people do. I have only replaced my cutting blades once, and I find that they do an excellent job of mowing my lawn, as well as bagging. Keep in mind, I am using the high-lift blades for bagging.
STEERING: Sometimes you hear about people who's steering gets all out of wack. Basically they will either bend their front axle, which would be incredibly difficult, since its cast iron, or they will bend the steering section, which will put the toe and camber out of alignment.
I take care of my tractor and do not abuse it in any way. From what I can tell, my steering still does not have any play in it, and the toe and camber still seems to be right. Remember, properly aligned tires, will be towed in a little when the tires are straight. If they are pointing outward, you can wear out your bearings, which can cause you to lose the tire off the shaft.
ATTACHMENTS: Here is the list of attachments I currently have for my Husqvarna tractor!
Craftsman/Husqvarna Front Mount 40" Dethatcher...
Craftsman/Husqvarna 12.5 CU FT Poly Dump Cart...
Precision Products 36" Poly Lawn Roller
Earthway 85 Pound Lawn Spreader
Carlise Super Lug Tires…
Meteor/Good Vibrations Grip Wheelie Rim Covers…
Blue LCD Digital 12-V Volt Meter
Switched To 24-LED 1156 Bulbs
CONCLUSION: I have to say, Husqvarna may not make the best tractors in the world, but they make some pretty good ones. When you consider the balance of cost vs durability and features, Husqvarna comes out on top. My attachments allow for more versatility, and my mods add for more features. I love my tractor 5 out of 5!
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Amount Paid (US$): 1800.00
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