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Troy-Bilt TB46 19HP / 540cc 46-Inch Riding Lawn Tractor Review

First, the basics. Made to mow the largest of lawns, the gas-powered Troy-Bilt TB46 lawn tractor has a solid Briggs & Stratton Intek engine (see details about it in “Key Features”) and automatic transmission through a foot pedal. Looking for comfort as you mow that never-ending pasture of lawn? This large and powerful mower offers a comfortable ride thanks to a mid-back seat and Step Thru Frame, which offers the operator an easy way to get in and out of the mower. Further comfort is found in the patented soft-touch steering wheel. Furthermore, you’ll get great efficiency with the automatic CVT transmission via a foot pedal. The durable wheels (15” x 6 “ in front and 20” x 8” in back) allow for great maneuverability. You can mow while going backward, and the sturdy 46-inch deck rider offers further efficiency. This heavy-duty lawn tractor is 520 pounds of power and has dimensions of 69.8” x 46” x 35.5”.

Key Features

  • Powered by a dependable 19-horsepower/540cc Briggs & Stratton Intek engine and a foot-pedal automatic transmission
  • Powerful lawn tractor is ideal for mowing large areas
  • Operator comfort includes soft-touch steering and mid-back seat
  • Equipped with large 46-inch side discharge mowing deck and Mow-in-Reverse capabilities
  • 2-year limited warranty

Performance

Think of the Troy-Bilt TB 46 riding lawn tractor as a reliable mowing beast that can cut the grass of a quarter-acre lawn in around 20 minutes and then clear debris from messy trails like it’s nothing. Full disclosure: I’ve even seen this monster do some of the things it says NOT to do in the manual, stuff such as riding up steep hills, powering over stones, and cutting through wild-growing vegetation. I’m certainly not recommending you do these kinds of things with your lawn tractor, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to push machines to the limit to see what they can do. This machine handled my off-the-beaten-path antics like a rugged and seasoned pro throughout a large chunk of the day. And when we did get snagged up on things such as a log or maybe slippery traction, it just takes one other person to push you out and get you back on your way. Amazingly, as hard as I’ve used the TB46, none of the paint is chipped and it looks as good as the day I bought it. But you do have to give it a good cleanup after each use. Because it has a Briggs and Stratton engine inside, you know it’s going to be reliable and flawless when it comes to performance on more than a ½ acre of lawns. Keep in mind that when comparing this to a hydrostatic transmission, it might be considered somewhat jerky and slow when going in reverse, but everything comes at a price.

Ease of Use

Before getting it on the lawn for its first cut, you’ll need to have an adjustable wrench or socket set to attach the seat and steering wheel.

This baby comes with motor oil already in it, but be sure to check the level before operating the machine. The gasoline tank can be found underneath the hood. Make sure the gas isn’t more than 30 days old, and fill the tank at no more than a half inch below the bottom of the filler neck. This allots for fuel-expansion space. The steering is smooth, everything you’d come to expect from a mower of this caliber, although not quite up to par with those of zero-turn mowers where you know the maneuverability can be performed on a dime. No joke. The dashboard controls are very intuitive and within reach.

Cut Quality & Options

The 46-inch cutting deck adjust up and down and delivers an ultra-precise cut. Adjust the height simply by using a 5-position hand lever. Signature features of this lawn tractor include the StepThru Frame, which allows for getting in and out of it easily, and it is compatible with FastAttach accessories that can make it quite a versatile workhorse in to time, with no tools required. Discharge of all lawn material is on the side of the mower. As you would expect, you can get some optional attachments such as a Rider bagger and mulching kit. For better stability, there are also weights that would be mounted on the back which offer counterbalance if you choose to use the optional snow plow on front. If you get the snow plow, definitely don’t leave out the tire chains.

Maintenance

Prior to storing your TB46 lawn tractor, do these things: clean the hood and dash louvers; clean the battery terminals; lube the front axles and rims; clean the engine cooling fins; and lube the pedal pivot points. After every 10 hours of use you’ll want to clean the hood and dash louvers, clean the battery terminal, and lube the pedal pivot points. And after every 25 hours of use, be sure to lube the front axles and rims and clean the cooling fins. Of course, change the oil and also change the oil filter at every oil-change interval.

Check your cutting blades every so often and inspect for cracks or damage, and do that especially if your blade hits an object you’re unsure about. Replace it right away if it’s damaged.

Some of these models are equipped with deck gauge wheels and a hood scoop, so these items will need to be attached before use. As with any lawn tractor, be sure to make sure all of the tires have equal tire pressure so that your mowing job is perfectly even. That would be 10 psi for the rear tires and 14 psi for the front tires. Don’t overinflate them.

Safety Features

Two deck wheels help prevent the scalping of grass. The parking brake is useful for keeping the mower in place when needed, and it’s easy to depress. The headlights are bright and obviously useful when mowing during the latter part of the day or even at night. Though you wouldn’t normally think of the gas pedal as being a “safety feature,” it sort of is because of the way the mower abruptly stops when you release the pedal.

Special Features

The Reverse Caution Mode function on the TB46 allows you to engage the blades and mow in reverse. The 46-inch cutting deck, made of 13-gauge steel, can lower or can be raised with the simple movement of your hand. There’s a 5-position height adjustment lever and two deck wheels that help make sure your lawn won’t be sheared too short. While not included, you can even attach a snow blade on front.

Cost Effectiveness

Folks who want a power riding lawn mower that cuts large yards with a vengeance are going to plop down the money it takes to do so. Be aware that the TB46 requires the usual things such as gas and oil to run, and it does require time and maintenance to keep it operating at full capacity. It’s also got accessory options, some of which are sheerly functional, and some of which are kind of fun in my view. For instance, those needing better traction and stability can get tire chains, a 42-pound suitcase weight, and a rear weight kit. There are a few bagger options, a mulching kit, a front bumper kit, a lawn tractor cover to keep it looking pristine, and extended spark plug wrenches. With that basic stuff understood, for the low price, it’s really worth it. You get so much in this package. Overall, for a riding mower, the price for performance should not be overlooked if you’re looking for a quality lawn tractor that does the job for larger properties over 1/2.

 

8.5 Total Score
Exceptional performance for the price

PROS
  • Headlights
  • Maintenance-free battery
  • Can stop on a dime
  • Great for half acres or more
  • 2-year warranty
  • Optional snow blade
CONS
  • Suspension a bit lacking
  • Single slow speed in reverse
  • Steering can be loose
Troy-Bilt TB46 19HP / 540cc 46-Inch Riding Lawn Tractor Review
Troy-Bilt TB46 19HP / 540cc 46-Inch Riding Lawn Tractor Review
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