Craftsman 3-Bin Bagger For AYP 48" Decks

Feb 1, 2010 (Updated Mar 30, 2010)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Universal AYP Fit! Breathing Bags! 9-Bushel Capacity! Easy To Use!

Cons:Can Clogg! Plastic Hopper! Is Not Dust Free!

The Bottom Line: They don't make better baggers for these tractors, they collect more grass at one time, just wish they were cheaper!


As some of you might know, I purchased a Husqvarna YTH2348 tractor back in 2007. Knowing how a lot of customers like to have their grass clippings, and or leaves picked up, I knew that I had to purchase a bagger system to go along with it. The only thing I did not like about the bagger was how much it cost me to purchase it, $400.00!

FITTING: These baggers are universal AYP fit, in other words, they fit both Craftsman and Husqvarna tractors. They make different baggers depending on your deck sise, so make sure you are purchasing the right one. This bagger which I am reviewing is for the 48" decks.

INSTALLING: I had my dealer install the bagger at the dealership, I suggest you do the same thing, as they know how these are to be installed correctly and have the tools needed to do so. When the machine was delivered to me, the bagger was installed properly and I was able to start using it right away.

VERSIONS: The first thing I want to point out, due to the fact there are two versions, is that this is the bag version. They also make a plastic bin version which requires you to use hefty bags inside of it. I elected to not go with that option since its a pain and I don't need the hassle!

Another reason I like the bags better is because they can breeth. This way, any grass clippings which have been left in there, will get dry before they have a chance to start rotting and going moldy.

As the title suggest, this is a 3-bag collector, I like these over the 2-baggers because they can hold much more grass clippings, and or leaves, before you have to empty the bags. One thing to keep in mind is that the larger your deck size is, the more grass gets cut and collected at the same time. So it makes sense to have a 2-bagger for 38" to 42" decks, and a 3-bagger for 46" to 54" decks.

EASE OF USE: What I like about my bagger system is that I don't have to remove the whole thing if I want to switch to discharge mode! What a time saver it is, when all you have to do is remove the shoot off the mower deck and collector. The shoot is just helled on by a couple of bungee cords with hooks on the ends of them. Remove those connections, lift the shoot upwards, then pull out.

To go back to bagging mode, all you have to do is put the shoot (collector side) into the collectors hole. Then at the other end, (decks end) Slide the shoot into place, making sure the slot goes in, and then hook the two bungee cords up, and your done!

DURABILITY: I will admit that I am not fond of plastic being on something that is meant to receive grass clippings, dirt, and or rocks. With that said, I think the shoot itself is pretty strong and I think it will last a long time. However, the plastic on the top of the collector/hopper, I think it will last maybe 4 seasons before it starts to crack or get holes in it.

A piece of advice about plastic and rubbers in UV sun. I highly recommend that everybody who ones this bagger to apply Armour All to the plastic surface at least once a year. Its an attempt on your part to try and get the plastic hopper to last as long as possible.

OPERATION: First of all, you need to be using "High Lift" blades on your cutting deck, of your tractor, at all times when bagging. When you are not bagging grass or leaves, you can easily mow a lawn at 1/4 to 1/2 throttle on the engine. However, when you are bagging grass clippings and or leaves, you have to raise your throttle to full. This is because you need the full blowing force from the cutting blades to shoot the clippings into the bags.

If you try to use lower throttle settings, you could risk clogging the shoot. However, the shoot has a cool new feature over the older bagger systems. It has a red colored wheel on the shoot that rotates when the shoot is not clogged. When the shoot gets clogged, the wheel will stop rotating, and chances are, you will hear a lot of crunching sounds from under the cutting deck.

UNCLOGGING: When and if you ever clog your shoot and are left wondering how to get it unclogged. All you have to do is remove the shoot, and shake it (vertically) vigorously, and all the grass will come out. then using your hand, remove the clogged grass under the deck near the discharge side. Replace the shoot, then you can start mowing again.

The only big thing I do not like about this bagger is that its not sealed in anyway. Meaning, if you start mowing in super dry conditions, or around dirty areas, a ton of dirt/dust will come out the bagger. In other words, you better keep moving forward as fast as you can or you will be in the cloud coughing.

CONCLUSION: In conclusion, I think this is a pretty good bagger system with a couple of faults. The price is just too expensive for an attachment which just collects clippings, should be $200.00 instead. I wish it was dust free and that the hopper was made stronger. Just remember, use only "High Lift" cutting blades and run at full throttle while using the bagger. I give this a 4 out of 5.

PRICE: $400.00


Update 3/30/2010


The Hopper Collar:

"michiman1's Bagger" an adviser, mentioned that the collar of his bagger had broke. Now, I assume what he means by the word collar, is the portion of the hopper assembly that pulls over, and closes onto the bag frame.

My bagger's hopper, developed a crack, in between the rear handles. What is happening here, is that everytime you pull/lift up on those handles, it wants to spread apart. So, eventually, after all that opening and closing, it developed a crack.

I attempted to fix it using some silicone, as I didn't want the crack to spread. Then I used a small Benjie cord, to attach to either end of the handles on the collar. This has been keeping constant pressure on the crack, to try and keep it from splitting apart.

Unfortunetly, this fix, only lasted a few months. The glue is no longer keeping the crack sealed, and its split apart again. However, that bunjie cord, is keeping it from getting worse, I hope. I really don't know how else to fix this, a new hopper assembly would cost more then what I would want to spend.

The Chute Sealer:

There is a rubber piece in the hopper, which the chute will go through and rest in place. The job of this rubber piece, is not only to keep the chute in place, but it also provides a seal, to keep grass from back flowing out of the hopper, and all over you.

I don't know what you call them, so I will just call them pegs for the sake of this review. There are 4 pegs which hold this rubber piece in place. Unfortunately, because the rubber piece has no slack in it what so ever, the constant tension, eventually caused the rubber piece to tear around the pegs, causing the rubber piece to pull away from the pegs.

You can't operate the bagger without this rubber piece, unless you like taking a dirt and grass shower. So I once again, used my trust silicone glue, I spread glue down into the crack as much as I could. Then I pushed the rubber piece up into place, and now I am letting it dry as we speak.

With the rubber piece, its actually an easier fix. If the glue does not fix the problems, all I need to do, is put some screws through the assembly, and tighten on some nuts. However, the crack on the hopper's collar, I see no fix in sight.


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