Pros: This tractor lives up Craftsman's legacy of reliability, value and performance. One great tractor.
Cons: An hour meter is the only improvement suggestion on an otherwise great lawn tractor.
If you have less than two or three acres of mostly level lawn area and don't like messing with things, basically turn key, cut the lawn, and maybe some other basic lawn care tasks, you'll be hard presses to find better lawn tractor than the Craftsman LT-2000.
My LT-2000 had a 17HP Kohler engine, but I'm told the Briggs and Stratton units would've performed equally as well.
I purchased the LT2003 in 2003 and until then never owned a lawn mower let alone a riding lawn tractor before, so I was a total novice. That said, within a couple of hours on the LT-2000, I easily became familiar with its features and capabilities.
The tractor's layout makes filling the oil fill, draining the oil, filling the gas tank, changing the oil filter, air filter, fuel filter, spark plug a very easy task.
The tractor's tight turning radius (about 18 inches) makes it very nimble when cutting the lawn or doing lawn care tasks around trees, bushes, or concrete landing steps.
The LT 2000's low center of gravity also makes maneuvering on the few slopes on my property less of an adventure. The tractor's Turfsaver tires helped to prevent me from damaging the lawn or disturbing too much areas where I put down new mulch, grass seeds, etc.
The tractor's electrical system (Ammeter) and lights (switch in ignition column) made its operation very user-friendly.
The tractor's steering is responsive and its cast iron wheels have wheel grease zerks which makes lubricating the front wheels columns a snap.
I changed the oil regularly, and with the oil, air and fuel filters so easy to get to as mentioned earlier, I did all the maintenance routines and changes as outlined in the tractor's owner's manual myself.
Tip - When changing the fuel filter, run the machine until there's only a little bit of fuel in the tank.
One time I had to tweak to the tractor's cutting deck. I called Sears and the person over the phone got me to link to a diagram over the web which I downloaded. They walked me through the process of adjusting the cutting desk. The LT2000 cutting deck's heavy duty 12 gauge steel is strong enough for most lawn care requirements.
Changing blades and or belts as required or needed is a fairly straightforward task. The adjustable locking cutting height bar never presented any problems for me, basically set it and forget it.
The LT-2000 allows you multiple options when it come to accessories, either from Sears or other vendors. I bought a broadcast spreaders, sweepers, aerator, dethatcher, shade, bumper, most not from Sears and they all worked quite well with the LT-2000.
For three years the LT-2000 has done its thing which enabled me to do my thing, namely keep my lawn the envy of the neighborhood. With Sears standing behind the tractor, you can rest easier knowing the parts, skilled talent and help is only a phone call away.
Theres a lot of tractor on the market these days some are great and others are junk. For those who think they need to spend more (or less) for a lawn tractor, I'll stay with Sears if they'll continue perfecting lawn tractors like the Craftsman LT-2000. Obviously, you can spend more on a tractor, and some folks may feel they need to, but the Craftsman LT-2000 makes a good case for not having to do so, unless you really need something more from a lawn tractor.