Troy-Bilt Pony Riding Lawn Mower:
Fuel Tank Capacity:
42″ Side Discharge
Deck Height Adjustment:
15″ x 6″ / 20″ x 8″
Single Briggs & Stratton
2 – Standard
12V / 155 CCA
70.5″ x 48″ x 35.5″
- 1x Troy Bilt Pony Riding Mower
- 2x Ignition Keys
- 1x Owner’s Manual
If you’re a homeowner with a garden larger than one acre in size, or you’re a gardening or landscaping professional who tackles oversized lawns on a regular basis, then a riding lawn mower is a must-have piece of equipment in your gardening arsenal.
Nowadays, there is a massive selection of riding lawn mowers available that pack more than enough punch to make light work of your large-scale grass cutting needs and preferences. From models with powerful motors and wider cutting decks to help you mow faster, to those with the flexibility to let you handle your grass clippings in a variety of ways (for example, side discharging, mulching, or collecting as you go) – you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Today, we’re going to be looking at the Troy-Bilt Pony riding mower, a 17.5 HP example with a 42-inch cutting deck that comes packed with many of the features found on more expensive models, but with a price tag that will likely be very appealing to both amateur and professional users alike.
But is it the right choice for you, though?
Let’s find out by looking at everything you need to know about this Troy-Bilt lawn mower…
The Troy-Bilt Pony riding lawn mower is best-suited to the following types of users:
- Homeowners or professionals – Besides being intuitive and easy-to-use, a whole host of features such as a powerful motor, large-sized cutting deck, and a convenient and straightforward 7-speed Shift-on-the-Go transmission that make it ideally suited to anyone from homeowners with larger gardens or professional gardeners and landscapers tackling more substantial projects.
- Users with large-sized gardens – Given its overall size, cutting deck width (42″), top speed (5.5 MPH), and fuel tank capacity (1.36 Gallons), the Pony is best-suited to users with gardens between 1-2 acres in size. For smaller gardens, you probably won’t have the space to maneuver this model effectively, while larger gardens would probably require a riding mower with a wider cutting track.
- Users who want flexibility with how they handle their grass clippings – While the Pony offers a side-discharge function for grass clippings as standard, users can take advantage of optional accessories which allow cuttings to either be mulched or collected in a rear bagger system. See the accessories section below for more details.
- Users who want the convenience of a riding mower – If you’ve made do with lugging around a conventional push mower, it’s easy to see the attraction of a riding lawn mower. It’s less backbreaking for a start, and with features such as a soft seat and even a cupholder on the Troy-Bilt Pony, it provides an opportunity to mow your lawn in both comfort and style.
- Users with sufficient storage space – There’s no getting away from the fact that riding lawn mowers are big. Like seriously big – 70.5″ x 48″ x 35.5″ in the case of the Pony. You’ll probably need a large shed or garage to keep it protected from the elements as a result.
While it’s pretty obvious what a riding lawn mower is designed to be used for, we’d rather be as specific as possible to help you determine whether the Troy-Bilt Pony is the right choice for you.
Here are a few examples of the tasks and conditions that it is best suited to:
- Mowing lawns of between 1-2 acres in size.
- Cutting grass of less than 10-inches to between 1.5-inches and 4-inches in length.
- Side discharging grass clippings.
- Mulching grass cuttings (when used with the relevant mulching kit – see accessories section below).
- Collecting grass cuttings (when used with the relevant rear bagging kit – see accessories section below).
- Cutting grass on slopes of less than 15° (as per the Pony’s owner’s manual).
- Cutting dry grass only (to achieve the best finish and reduce potential safety hazards).
One of the most important factors to look at when choosing a riding lawn mower is the horsepower output of the engine. Not only does the engine need to handle the cutting aspect of the mower itself, but it also needs to provide enough kick to transport the user and any optional accessories (for example, a towing cart) through potentially dense grass and over challenging terrain such as slopes.
The 17.5 HP 500cc Briggs & Stratton PowerBuilt engine on the Pony isn’t the most powerful out there, but it’s by no means the smallest either. Troy-Bilt is clearly confident in the engine’s ability to perform in the Pony as not only do they not provide a user weight limit for this model, but some of the main selling features are that it can travel at up to 5.5 MPH, navigate slopes up to 15-degrees, and cut grass up to 10-inches in length.
Pretty impressive performance if you ask us.
Briggs & Stratton has a stellar reputation for producing quality lawn mower engines too, so not only can you be confident in the Pony’s ability to handle the bulk of cutting requirements that you throw at it, but you can also have the peace of mind that its tried, tested, and trusted to provide you with a mower that you’ll be able to use for years to come.
The Pony also features a 7-speed Shift-on-the-Go transmission for each speed adjustment. While this isn’t as refined as the foot-controlled automatic CVT (continuously variable transmission) found on the Troy-Bilt Bronco, for example, it still has the massive advantage of helping the Pony operate like an automatic car, allowing you to change speeds without clutching or stopping. So, the harder you press the accelerator, the faster the Pony will go up to its top speed of 5.5 MPH when the forward gear is engaged using the gear selector on the left fender.
Finally, the Pony also features a good-sized fuel tank with a capacity of 1.36 gallons, of particular benefit when cutting larger areas of grass or when you need to cut for longer overall, as you can do so without the hassle of needing to stop and refuel as often.
It’s pretty obvious that the wider a riding mower’s cutting deck is, the quicker you’ll be able to mow the entirety of your lawn thanks to being able to cut more grass on each pass. The Pony’s 42″ cutting deck is just one reason why it’s well-suited to gardens up to two acres in size – although, we’d definitely recommend a larger cutting deck if your garden or cutting area is above this size.
The mower also features a 5-position deck height adjustment system to help you effortlessly achieve the required grass length. Simply adjust the mower’s deck lift lever which is located on the right fender to select a cutting height anywhere between 1.5-inches and 4-inches.
As we’ve mentioned above, the Pony is particularly adept at handling difficult terrain and hard to reach areas with ease thanks to some key design features. Firstly, it has an impressive 18-inch turn radius that boosts maneuverability of the mower, allowing you to cut as close as possible to trees and other landscaping features.
When it comes to accessing uneven terrain or mowing slopes of up to 15-degrees, the cutting ability of the Pony is improved significantly as a result of the large front and rear wheels (15″ x 6″ front wheels / 20″ x 8″ rear wheels), designed to help you navigate the mower across challenging terrain quickly and easily for the most thorough finish possible.
Another advantage of the Pony is that it features Troy-Bilt’s innovative Operator-Controlled Reverse System (OCR) that allows the user to continue mowing while in reverse gear. This option is particularly useful when trying to access hard to reach areas, and it can also speed up cutting thanks to the fact that you don’t need to turn the mower as often – you can cut one patch of grass in a forward gear, followed by an adjacent area in reverse gear to save time.
A potential disadvantage of the Troy-Bilt Pony that potential buyers should be aware of, however, is the lack of deck wheels as standard (it’s not all doom and gloom, as you can still buy these as an optional accessory).
Deck wheels are a popular attachment on riding mowers which sit on the cutting deck itself, and their purpose is to stop the deck and cutting blades coming into contact with higher patches of ground while mowing. When this happens, the mower often ‘scalps’ or slices off the higher sections of grass, leaving dirt patches which can detract from the appearance of the lawn.
Aside from the simple 7-speed transmission that requires no user input other than selecting forward, neutral, or reverse on the gear selector and pressing the accelerator pedal, and the handy adjustment lever that allows the user to change the Pony’s cutting height in an instant, the mower also comes with a few other helpful features in a bid to make it as intuitive and easy-to-use as possible.
Firstly, you can forget about endlessly yanking on a pull-starter to bring the Pony to life, as it comes with an electric key start as standard to start the engine with minimal fuss and hassle. There’s no mixing of gasoline and oil needed either, as the Briggs & Stratton PowerBuilt engine is a 4-cycle example where the fuel and oil are added separately by the user, saving even more hassle and time whenever you need to use your Pony.
When it comes to using the mower, its fully-welded frame features a step-thru design allowing you to access or exit the mower from either side quickly and easily, and it even features a cup holder to keep you hydrated during those longer mowing tasks. Speaking of mowing for longer, you don’t need to worry about the light starting to fade either, as the Pony comes with dual headlights (as shown below) to keep whatever surface you’re cutting illuminated.
There’s no getting away from the fact that riding lawn mowers take plenty of abuse. Besides the primary cutting function which already puts plenty of wear and tear on the mower’s components, they also need to transport the user which adds even more strain.
Thankfully, the Troy-Bilt Pony comes loaded with many features to make it as tough and durable as possible, including:
- A fully welded frame for added strength and rigidity.
- A deck constructed from 13-gauge steel for added durability (useful for handling the vibration generated and potential impacts with obstructions while mowing).
- Deck pulleys manufactured from 14-gauge steel (of particular benefit as these experience considerable stress and strain during use).
- A front axle that is constructed from steel to prevent it buckling under load/during use.
- Deck spindles that feature maintenance-free sealed ball bearings for add convenience and extra life.
- The entire mower comes with a 2-year limited warranty for added peace of mind.
Each of these should give you the confidence and peace of mind that your Troy-Bilt Pony will continue to handle the bulk of your cutting requirements for years to come.
As you can see, the Troy-Bilt Pony provides a good compromise between having enough power, speed, and cutting capacity thanks to its wide cutting deck to handle the mowing requirements of most professionals, while also being intuitive and easy enough to use to make it a good option for homeowners and non-professionals too. It’s a genuine all-rounder.
The main drawback in our opinion is that it doesn’t offer mulching or rear-bagging capabilities from the get-go. Users can still get access to these functions (and more) thanks to the large number of optional parts and accessories that the Troy-Bilt Pony is compatible with, but it’s unfortunate that these aren’t available as standard.
Having said that, the Pony is still more than enough lawnmower for the vast majority of users, and you shouldn’t overlook it as a result, especially at this price point.
Still not convinced? We’ve included a summary of the various advantages and disadvantages of this Troy-Bilt lawn mower below to help you make up your mind.
Troy-Bilt Pony Riding Lawn Mower
- The Pony’s 17.5 HP Single Briggs & Stratton engine provides the ideal mix of reliability along with having enough power to cut denser grass (up to 10-inches in length) and navigate tougher terrain (including slopes of up to 15°).
- You can vary the Pony’s speed to best-suit each type of lawn given its 0-5.5 MPH speed range.
- The Pony’s 42″ cutting deck width will allow you to cut more grass during each pass, helping to minimize the time taken to mow your lawn.
- It features a 7-speed Shift-on-the-Go for effortless speed changes – the harder you press the accelerator pedal, the faster the Pony will go (up to 5.5 MPH).
- Effortlessly achieve the required grass length thanks to the Pony’s 5-position deck height adjustment which allows you to vary the cutting height between 1.5-inches and 4-inches.
- Mow closer to trees and other obstructions thanks to the Pony’s 18-inch turning radius.
- Enjoy the flexibility of mowing while both in forward and reverse gears given this model’s Operator-Controlled Reverse System (OCR).
- Continue to use the Troy-Bilt Pony while the light fades thanks to its dual headlights.
- Navigate tougher terrain with ease as a result of the Pony’s large front and rear wheels (15″ x 6″ front / 20″ x 8″ rear).
- Climb aboard and exit the Troy-Bilt Pony with ease thanks to its simple step-thru frame design.
- It’s compatible with a whole host of accessories including mulching kits, rear-bagger kits, and snow blade attachments to name but a few (see accessories section below for more details).
- It comes with a two-year limited warranty for added peace of mind.
- It doesn’t feature deck wheels, meaning the deck is more likely to come into contact with higher patches of ground during mowing (which could cause scalping – i.e., slicing them off).
- It doesn’t offer mulching or rear-bagging capabilities from the get-go. Users can still get access to these functions via optional accessories which sell separately, but it’s unfortunate that these aren’t available as standard.
Troy-Bilt Pony vs Bronco
At first glance, there isn’t a huge amount of difference between the Troy-Bilt Pony vs Bronco.
Both have a similar weight, size, and maximum top-speed of 5.5 MPH. Each model also has large front and rear wheels (the same size on both) to help cover tougher terrain while mowing.
The most significant difference comes from the engine type used on each model, with the Pony featuring a 17.5 HP Single Briggs & Stratton unit compared to the Bronco’s more powerful 19 HP Single Kohler Courage engine.
The transmissions are different too, with the Pony featuring a 7-speed Shift-on-the-Go transmission versus the Bronco’s foot-controlled automatic CVT (continuously variable transmission). Both behave just like an automatic car, allowing you to change speeds without clutching or stopping just by pushing the pedal down further, but the main advantage of the Bronco’s CVT transmission is that it provides better fuel efficiency.
When it comes to cutting, the Pony features a standard 42″ side discharge function, whereas the Bronco comes with a 42″ staggered side discharge capability. The Bronco also features deck wheels unlike on the Pony, the main advantage of which is that it stops the deck coming into contact with higher patches of ground during mowing (which could cause scalping – i.e., slicing them off, ruining the appearance of the lawn).
Here is a summary of the key details for each model:
(Scroll table if needed)
As standard, the Troy-Bilt Pony doesn’t come with any rear bagging or mulch clipping capabilities – separate accessories are required to provide these functions which are listed below (the Pony offers conventional cutting and side-discharging of grass clippings only without these optional accessories).
Another popular accessory for Pony users in colder climates is the 46-inch snow blade attachment, with bolts directly onto the lawn mower and features both skid shoes and a spring-loaded blade return to allow the Pony to work as a useful snow plow.
Please note – while each of these accessories is listed as ‘MTD Genuine Parts,’ they are all listed as being compatible with the Troy-Bilt Pony riding mower (MTD Products Inc. is the manufacturer of Troy-Bilt riding mowers).
MTD Genuine Parts 42-Inch and 46-Inch Twin Bagger
Fits all models with 42″ And 46″ side discharge decks, 2010 and after. Features a 6.5 Bushel capacity, flex tubing for visual grass flow, a top-hinged hood to prevent the need to flip the seat up when emptying, and a sight window.
See It on Amazon
MTD Genuine Parts 42-Inch Tractor Mower Mulch Kit
Fits side discharge models with 42″ decks including the Troy-Bilt Pony riding mower. The kit includes 2x mulching blades, a molded plug, and all required mounting hardware and instructions. The part number of this kit is 19A70041OEM.
See It on Amazon
MTD Genuine Parts 46-Inch Snow Blade Attachment
Fits Troy-Bilt Tractor mowers from 2015 onwards. Features manual angle adjustment from straight ahead to 25 degrees left or right, and adjustable skid shoes and spring-loaded blade return. The part number of this kit is 19A30017OEM.
See It on Amazon
- What size of garden/grass area is the Troy-Bilt Pony recommended for?
For smaller gardens, you probably won’t have the space to maneuver this model effectively, and hence a self-propelled lawn mower with a mid-sized deck width is perhaps the best option. For gardens larger than 2 acres in size, a riding mower with a wider cutting track than the Pony’s 42″ is likely a better choice.
- Does it feature a hitch for towing?
- What range of the cutting heights are available with this model?
- How much assembly is required?
All requirements are covered in detail with visual instructions in the owner’s manual.
- Can you mow while in reverse with the Troy-Bilt Pony?
- What type of fuel does the Troy-Bilt Pony use?
- What type of oil does it use?
- Can the blade be disengaged while this model is running?
- Is the seat adjustable?
- How do you clean the underside of the Troy-Bilt Pony?
Troy-Bilt Pony Riding Lawn Mower