Lawn Tractor Tire Chains

Lawn Tractor Tire Chains

When using your Cub Cadet Lawn Tractor during the winter season, you may find that the tractor tires don’t have the stability and traction needed when the pavement is covered by hard-packed snow or ice. Under these conditions, you can increase the traction by using lawn tractor tire chains.

Most tire chains are used on lawn tractors’ rear drive tires. Since manufacturers have been making snow blowers more and more powerful, they can also provide added grip to 2-stage snow blower tires that would otherwise slide around when under full power.

Not only do tire chains add traction to your rear wheel drive, they also help break up ice on your drive and walkways. Tire chains are highly suited for driveways that are inclined. Since they are made of hardened steel, combined with the weight of the tractor, there is risk of damage if tire chains are used and operated on brick pavers. If you store your Cub Cadet tractor in the garage, it could possibly damage weak floor surfaces.

There are 2- and 4-link chains available, which refer to the spacing between skipped side links. For 2-link spacing, cross chains occur between every two side link chains. For 4-link spacing, cross chains occur between every four link chains.

Which chain is better? That depends on which chain spacing suits your needs. The 2-link spacing tire chains will give more traction because there are more cross links and the tractor’s ride will be steadier. The 4-link spacing chains are generally less expensive, and still provide a little extra traction.

The chain size is the same dimension that is formed into the side of the tire wall. Tire chains are available in every size used for lawn and garden tractor wheels. Some chain sets are meant for more than one tire size, and links may have to be removed with bolt cutters or by bending the connecting links with pliers.

To Install Lawn Tractor Tire Chains you will need:

  • Tire chain set
  • Air compressor
  • Bolt cutters or strong pliers
  • A level area of pavement to work from

Here’s What To Do:

  1. Semi-deflate the tires that you will be installing chains on
  2. Lay the chains out flat on the ground and remove any tangles
  3. Lay the chain over the tire, cross chain hook facing up, and fastener to the outside
  4. Tuck the first cross chain between the front of the tire and pavement
  5. Move the tractor forward until the end fasteners are about axle high
  6. Hook the inside fastener first, remove slack, then hook outside fastener
  7. You want the chain to be hand tight which will extend the life and performance of the tire chains
  8. Fill tires to the proper PSI rated on tire wall – this will seat the chains to proper tension

Any remaining length can be shortened by removing one or more cross sections. Using pliers to pry the cross chain connecting link open and unhook or use bolt cutters.

It is important to check that you have enough clearance in both rear wheel wells for tire chains. There should be, at minimum, three inches of clearance between the tire and the inside wall and any drive components.

If you still need more traction, some tractors have wheel weight kits that mount on the outside of the rim, or “suitcase” styled weights to add to a rear weight bar bracket, if available as an accessory.

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Fuel Tips for Cub Cadet Snow Blowers

Fuel Tips for Snow Blowers

Your Cub Cadet snow blower’s fuel system is designed to withstand years of use. However, if you are not mindful of the fuel in your machine and allow it to go bad this can cause starting or running problems and damage to the fuel system. Read more as our experts explain how to avoid fuel-related problems in your Cub Cadet snow blower.

Fuel Recommendation #1 – Store fuel properly

Store your fuel in a clean, plastic, sealed container approved for fuel storage. This will help prevent rust and metallic contaminants from entering the fuel system. Close the vent, if equipped, when not in use and store the container away from direct sunlight. Fuel will deteriorate faster when exposed to air and sunlight.

If it takes longer than 30 days to use the fuel in the container, add a fuel stabilizer when you fill the container.

Fuel Recommendation #2 – Do not use gasoline with more than 10% ethanol

Gasoline containing higher levels of ethanol is corrosive and attracts water, which can cause starting or running problems and damage to your Cub Cadet snow blower’s fuel system. Engines produced for use in outdoor power equipment are not designed for gasoline with more than 10% ethanol. Read your Cub Cadet snow blower owner’s manual for information on the proper fuel to use in your machine.

Fuel Recommendation #3 – Remove fuel for summer storage

When winter comes to an end, drain the fuel out of your Cub Cadet snow blower. After draining, there may still be fuel in the fuel line and carburetor, so start your blower and allow it to run until no fuel is left in the machine.

This is an important step for off season storage because if old fuel is left in your snow blower it will deteriorate and cause problems for your machine. Your blower may not start or run properly and, in some cases, there will be damage to the fuel system.

Fuel Recommendation #4 –Add fuel stabilizer to your fuel storage container

If you use your Cub Cadet snow blower infrequently during the winter, add fuel stabilizer to your fuel storage container. Untreated gas left in your snow blower can deteriorate quickly, causing problems for your machine and the fuel system. Ensuring that the fuel in your Cub Cadet snow blower is stabilized minimizes the chances of deterioration and damage.

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When to Sharpen or Replace Your Cub Cadet Lawn Mower Blade

When to Sharpen or Replace Your Cub Cadet Lawn Mower Blade

To achieve a great cut and a healthy lawn, it is essential to regularly sharpen or replace your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade. While many people only need to sharpen their lawn mower blades once every couple of months, people who mow more than once a week will need to increase maintenance to once each month. The exact timing depends on workload, but if you’re not sure how often to perform blade maintenance, there are a few tell-tale signs that will help you stay on schedule.

With the following tricks, you can develop a trained eye and keep your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade up to par all season.

The first and most obvious thing to look for is unevenness in your lawn. When your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade is sharp, your grass should be cut at the same height every time with just one pass of the mower. If you find yourself making multiple passes to compensate for missed patches of grass, a dull blade may be the culprit.

Another way to tell if your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade needs sharpening is by closely inspecting the grass. If you notice that the tip of each grass blade is torn and not cleanly-sliced, it may be time to switch out your blade. Torn tips may also decrease grass health, causing grass to lose its lush, green color to an unhealthy shade of brown.

Lastly—and perhaps most obviously—you can inspect the blade itself. While your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade can usually be salvaged with routine sharpening, it is important to look for large chips or dents in the cutting edge that cannot be smoothed out. Inconsistencies in the blade are likely to tear grass rather than delivering the clean cut that’s important for your lawn.

Also pay attention to the thickness of your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade. Over time, sand, dirt, and other yard debris can erode the blade, causing the metal to weaken and become paper-thin. If you notice this, replace the blade immediately to avoid breakage during mowing, which can cause pieces of metal to fly apart and possibly injure you or other bystanders.

Overall, paying close attention to your lawn and your mower will help greatly in determining when to sharpen or your replace your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade. Remember the signs, perform maintenance regularly, and your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade should cut beautifully every time you mow.

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4 Ways to Dispose of Leaves

4 Ways to Dispose of Leaves

When fall rolls around, sometimes it’s hard to decide the best way to dispose of the leaves scattered across your lawn. Is it better to bag or mulch? Leave leaf piles for curbside pickup or compost them? No one method is correct because every leaf removal situation is different. Our experts discuss the different ways to dispose of leaves to help you decide which method is best for you.

Method 1 – Bagging

For areas that do not offer open curbside pickup, bagging is a popular and eco-friendly alternative. Using a leaf blower or rake, gather leaves into piles and dispose into paper lawn and leaf compost.

Unlike plastic trash bags, compost bags will decompose over time. You can also maximize bag space by shredding leaves before disposing of them, compacting yard debris down to a fraction of its original size.

Method 2 – Curbside Pickup

Many cities offer curbside leaf pickup during fall months. Research your city’s guidelines to learn if seasonal leaf pickup is available in your area. If it is, use a powerful leaf blower to blow leaves onto a large tarp. Drag the tarp to the curb, and then wait for your local collection service to show up and take the leaves away.

Method 3 – Mulching

Mulching is another great way to rid your lawn of leaves.  You can even use with your lawn mower to do so. Simply mow your lawn as you normally would, and chop leaves as you go. Along with grass clippings, finely-chopped leaves will naturally decompose, returning nutrients to your soil and improving the health of your lawn.

Keep up with leaves as they fall, or you may end up with leaf piles that contribute to thatch and do not break down as easily. If this happens, you should consider an alternative cleanup method mentioned here.

Method 4 – Compost

If you’re looking for a way to speed up leaf decomposition in your own yard, you may choose to add shredded leaves to your compost bin. Use leaves over time as needed to mulch your flower beds for the winter, or fertilize your gardens in the spring.

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5 Fuel Tips for Your Outdoor Power Equipment

5 Fuel Tips for Your Outdoor Power Equipment

Using the correct fuel in your outdoor power equipment is very important. If you do not use the proper fuel or change it in the proper time, your machine will suffer. Read on to learn what our experts have to say about fuel and how it affects your outdoor power equipment.

1 – Only purchase the amount of fuel that will be used in 30 days

After 30 days, the volatile compounds in the fuel start evaporating, and this occurs whether the gas is in your outdoor power equipment or in the gas can. As fuel sits and grows older, it evaporates and forms brown sticky deposits that eventually turn into a hard varnish. Deposits and varnish can plug passages in the carburetor, preventing the engine from running properly.

2 – Purchase gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher

Standard 87 octane gasoline is perfect for small engines. However, mid-grade or premium gas with an octane rating of 89 or higher can be used for engines that require the higher octane. Read your owner’s manual for information on the proper fuel to use in your outdoor power equipment.

3 – Don’t use gasoline with more than 10% ethanol

Engines produced for use in outdoor power equipment are not designed for gasoline with more than 10% ethanol. Using higher ethanol fuel blends can lead to engine damage and performance issues.

4 – Use gasoline without any ethanol

Ethanol-free gas will reduce the amount of moisture the gasoline can absorb from the atmosphere. Many areas carry ethanol-free gas. Visit https://www.pure-gas.org/ to locate ethanol-free gas stations near you.

5 – Use fuel stabilizer

When stabilizer is added to fuel they separate and create a thin film on top of the fuel to keep out air and moisture. These stabilizers also reduce the rate at which the fuel’s volatile compounds evaporate.

Try adding a stabilizer to your fuel the day the it is purchased to help it stay fresh longer.

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Snow Blower Safety Tips

Snow Blower Safety Tips

When it’s time to clear snow from your drive and walkways, nothing lightens your workload like a powerful snow blower. While there are multiple benefits to using a snow blower, there are also dangers to watch out for. Use these snow blower safety tips and you can enjoy a stress-free winter.

Safety Tip #1: Be Smart About Using Your Snow Blower

Do not start your snow blower in any indoor area such as inside your garage or shed because fumes from the machine are dangerously toxic in enclosed spaces. Always make sure you are operating your snow blower in an open, outdoor area.

After starting your snow blower, be aware of your surroundings and stop the machine if people, animals, or unexpected objects appear in your path. Always point your chute away from anything or anyone that could be damaged or hurt and be careful of your footing when walking on icy surfaces. Also, avoid operating your machine when bad weather impacts visibility.

Safety Tip #2: Be Aware of Your Surroundings

In addition to watching for people or animals in your path, be sure to remove any rocks, sticks, or other objects that could be picked up and thrown by the snow blower.

If you live on a steep hill, consider using an alternative snow removal method because using a snow blower can be dangerous in places where you might lose your footing. If you must use your snow blower to clear a gravel driveway, use a two- or three-stage blower and adjust the height to pass over loose rocks. Lastly, never use a single-stage snow blower on rocky paths because small stones can be picked up and tossed into the air.

Safety Tip #3: Know Your Snow Blower

It’s important to know everything about your snow blower before starting it up. Read your owner’s manual, learn how to shut off your machine in case of emergency, and make sure you know how to use all of the features on your machine.

Do not let children under 15 operate a snow blower. For children 15 and over, make sure you go over all snow blower safety rules and functions prior to operation.

Safety Tip #4: Make Sure Everything Works Properly

Snow blower safety depends heavily on the condition of your machine. Damaged blowers are more likely to malfunction, so it’s important to make sure that everything is in good shape and works properly.

Make sure tires are inflated; check the clutch, the chute, and the blower system for any wear and tear. Also ensure that all extension cords (for electric snow blowers) are designed for outdoor use and are not fraying.

Safety Tip #5: Always Wear Protective Gear

Always wear eyewear, in case of flying objects. Wear gloves to protect your hands from the cold, boots with good traction, and earplugs to protect your ears from loud snow blower noise. Make sure all clothing is fitted and avoid wearing loose scarves or dangling jewelry because these can get caught in the snow blower while it’s running.

Snow blower Safety Tip #6: Consider Your Health

Snow blowers are designed for convenience but individuals with heart, back, or other medical conditions could be negatively impacted by the physical exertion of using a snow blower. Check with your doctor to see if this activity is safe for you, and consider hiring an outside service to clear your driveway if you have any concerns about your health or safety.

Becoming knowledgeable about your snow blower and using common sense will take you far when it comes to snow blower safety. Read instructions and follow the rules and removing snow should be quick and easy.

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How to Install a Mulch Kit on a Cub Cadet Tractor

How to Install a Mulch Kit on a Cub Cadet Tractor

A mulch kit is a way to convert your Cub Cadet tractor into a mulcher. When you change the tractor’s standard blades to mulching blades, the mulch kit recycles the lawn clippings as you mow and spreads them back onto your lawn. This returns nutrients back into the soil, keeping your grass healthy. Here’s how to install a mulch kit on your Cub Cadet tractor.

Depending on your model number, these instructions may vary.  Be sure to refer to your owner’s manual for detailed instructions, recommended maintenance and safety instructions.

Before performing any maintenance on your machine, engage the parking brake on a flat, level surface and remove the key from the ignition. Disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent accidental starting.

To install a mulch kit on a Cub Cadet tractor, begin by removing the mower deck. Set the deck height to its lowest setting. Pull the right idler pulley to release tension on the deck belt, and then ease the deck belt off the engine pulley.

Use pliers to remove the cotter pin from the front deck lift rod and slide the rod out of the hanger bracket. Remove the hairpin clip securing the right side of the deck to the hanger bracket supporting the cutting deck and release it from the hanger bracket by moving the deck outward and off the hanger rod making sure the deck doesn’t fall. Repeat this step on the left side and slide the deck out from underneath the tractor.

Once the mower deck is off, flip it over to access its underside to prepare to remove the old mower blades. Note: always wear heavy duty gloves when handling blades.

Use a block of wood and wedge it between the blade and the frame of the mower deck. Make sure it’s good and steady because you’ll be applying force. Remove the center holding nut from the mower blade with a wrench. Use a gloved hand to keep the blade from turning while removing the nut. Save the nut for installing the mulching blade. Repeat this blade removal step for the mower blade on the other side of the deck.

Once the old blades are removed, you can replace them with the new blades included in the mulch kit. Place the center hole of the mulching blade over the mounting stud on the underside of the mower deck. Make sure each blade with the side marked “bottom” or with the part number on it is facing the ground when the mower is in the operating position.

Use your gloved hand to hold the blade in place while tightening the holding nut with your wrench. Repeat this step to install the mulching blade on the other side of the deck as well.

To install the mulch plug on your Cub Cadet tractor, lift the discharge chute up. Place the mulch plug into the deck discharge chute by fitting the bolt on the rear side of the mulch plug into the hole in the deck.  Move the mulch plug into place, then pull and stretch the retaining plug on the mulch plug over the deck wheel bracket and hook it under the bottom of the bracket.

Slide the deck back under the tractor and reattach the deck. You are now ready to use your Cub Cadet tractor as a mulcher.

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How to Change a Cub Cadet Walk Behind Lawn Mower Blade

How to Change a Cub Cadet Walk Behind Lawn Mower Blade

Sharpening or changing your lawn mower blade is imperative to a well-manicured lawn. A lawn mower with a dull blade will cut the grass unevenly and the tips of grass blades will be torn instead of cleanly-sliced. Periodically inspect your lawn and lawn mower to determine if a new blade is needed. As a rule of thumb, sharpen or replace your lawn mower blade at least once a year. Refer to this guide when it’s time to change your .

Before performing any maintenance on your lawn mower, refer to your owner’s manual for maintenance instructions and safety information. Maintenance instructions vary by model, so depending on your lawn mower model our instructions may vary slightly.

Before changing the wheels on your lawn mower, please abide by these safety precautions:

  • Shut off the engine
  • Allow the engine to become cool to the touch
  • Disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent accidental starting

First, turn the mower on its side to access the blade. Make sure the air filter and carburetor side is facing up. Mower blades are sharp so make sure you always wear gloves for protection. Secure the lawn mower blade using a blade removal tool or place a block of wood between the blade and the frame of the mower to support the blade when you apply pressure to remove it.

Remove the blade retaining bolt and then remove the blade. Depending on wear and tear, either sharpen the blade or replace it with a new one. Secure the new or sharpened blade with the blade removal tool or block of wood. Then tighten the blade retaining bolt to the torque indicated in your owner’s manual.

The side of the blade that says “Bottom,” or shows the part number should face the ground when the mower is in operating position. Once the blade is secured on your lawn mower, turn the lawn mower right side up and reconnect the spark plug. Start your lawn mower and listen for noises or vibration.

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How to Sharpen Your Walk Behind Lawn Mower Blade

How to Sharpen Your Walk Behind Lawn Mower Blade

Your Cub Cadet walk behind lawn mower is useless without a sharp cutting blade.  The only way to achieve a quality cut and healthy lawn is to regularly replace or sharpen the blade on your lawn mower. To determine if it’s time for a blade sharpening or replacement, periodically inspect your lawn and lawn mower. If you see unevenness in your lawn or notice the tip of grass blades are torn and not cleanly-sliced, it’s time to sharpen or replace your lawn mower blade. Additionally, if your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade has dings, nicks or rust, then it is time to upgrade your blade.

Here’s how to sharpen the blade on your Cub Cadet walk behind lawn mower.

Before performing any maintenance on your lawn mower, refer to your owner’s manual for maintenance and safety information. Maintenance instructions vary by model. Depending on your model number, these instructions may vary.  Be sure to refer to your owner’s manual for detailed instructions.

First, disconnect the spark plug wire from the spark plug to prevent accidental starting. Then turn the mower on its side to remove the lawn mower blade – make sure the air filter and carburetor side is facing up.

Place a block of wood between the blade and the frame of the mower to support the blade as you apply force to remove it. Remove the hex bolt and the blade bell support holding the blade and blade adapter to the engine crankshaft. Take the blade and adapter off the crankshaft. Remember, cutting blades are sharp so always wear heavy duty gloves when working with them.

Sharpen the blade with a mower blade sharpener, file, or on a grinding wheel. Do not try to sharpen the blade while it is still on your mower.

Secure the blade in a vice when sharpening with a file or hand-held grinder. When you sharpen the blade, follow the original angle and grind. To keep the blade balanced, grind each cutting edge equally. To test the blade balance, remove the blade and balance it on a round shaft screwdriver. Shave metal from the heavy side until the blade balances evenly.

Before placing the blade back on your lawn mower, lubricate the blade adapter and crankshaft. Lubricate the crankshaft and inner surface of the blade adapter with light oil and then slide the blade adapter onto the engine crankshaft.

Replace the blade adapter. The side of the blade marked “Bottom,” or with the part number, should face the ground when the mower is in operating position. Make sure the lawn mower blade is aligned and seated on the blade adapter flanges. Place the blade bell support on the .

Align the notches on the blade bell support with the holes in the blade. Replace and tighten the hex bolt by hand. Place the block of wood between the and the mowing deck housing again and tighten the hex bolt to the torque recommended in your owner’s manual.

Turn the lawn mower right side up and reconnect the spark plug. Start your lawn mower and listen for noises or vibration. Adjust the blade balance if necessary.

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High-Lift Blades and Mulching Blades

High Lift Blades and Mulching Blades

The most important function of your lawn mower is to cut your grass and the biggest factor in achieving a quality cut is your lawn mower blade. While all blades cut the grass, not all lawn mower blades are created equal. Different types of lawn mower blades function differently, and there are two styles of blades you should be aware of – high-lift blades and mulching blades.

High-lift blades

High-lift blades are also referred to as 2-in-1 blades. These blades aid in assist in cutting grass and discharging the grass clippings out from the deck to fall back onto your lawn. High-lift blades are designed to create higher-lifting airflow. These blades can be identified by a drastic upward angle on the back end of the blade, which helps to propel the clippings through the discharge chute to the back of the bag, reducing clogging.

Mulching blades

Mulching blades are also referred to as 3-in-1 blades. They cut the grass into extremely small particles, eliminating the need to frequently unload heavy bags or pick up clumps of grass clippings. This method of cutting has a positive effect on the health of your lawn. The mulching blades chop grass clippings into small particles that can become a natural fertilizer. That fertilizer replenishes the soil with nutrients that your grass has absorbed over the season.

Mulching blades are designed with a more curved style surface. They frequently include extra cutting surfaces along the blade edges and may also come in a “+” design. The “+” design is two individual blades arranged in a perpendicular manner to enhance mulching.  Usually older style mowers utilize this blade design.

Mulching blades are used with mulch kits. Mulch kits generally consist of mulching blades, a mulching plug which closes off the discharge opening to keep grass clippings contained under the deck for re-cutting, and any necessary hardware for installation.

There is a different lawn mower blade for different situations and each one serves a very specific purpose. There isn’t one lawn mower blade that can do it all as effectively as the lawn mower blade specifically designed for the method you wish to use.

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