Are Chains Required?

Tue Dec 21, 2004 11:00 am

After wanting one for 12 years I finaly have a front mounted snow blade. This came after sticker shock, searching, E-bay bidding, and paying half the value of the blade in shipping.
I know if there is a glaze of ice under the snow I'll need chains, but how much snow can I get through without them? Almost all of the IH ad photos show no chains at all.
I hope some northern Cub owners can give me some tips.


Tue Dec 21, 2004 11:18 am

Here in the West Virginia panhandle, I've pushed 6 to 10 inches of snow in the concrete drive way and the street with no chains OR wheel weights. It would slip some as the pile started to come over the top of the blade.
When I got over in the dirt the wheels would dig in and the tractor would start to stall before the wheels started to spin. I've added wheel weights this winter 'cause my driveway is now gravel and longer and wider than at the last house. I'm very impressed with the ability of the Cub to move snow and dirt and gravel for that matter.


Tue Dec 21, 2004 12:35 pm

My experience indicates that more often than not, you will wish you had chains and rear wheel weights when plowing snow. If you are pushing light snow on dead level ground with no ice, then you may be ok without them.

Tue Dec 21, 2004 12:53 pm


I was pushing snow fairly good on level ground, but as soon as I encountered a small grade with slick packed snow on the base of driveway, the Cub would just spin. I was ready to throw in the towel until I got some chains. Pushes like mad now. I had already had the wheel weights on but the chains made a world of difference. I'm heading out right now to push some more. Good luck.

Tue Dec 21, 2004 1:01 pm

I have pushed literally tons of snow with a cub and no tire chains. You may not be able to take a full swath all the time but it will do it. That is not to say that there are times that I wished I had them.

Tue Dec 21, 2004 6:19 pm

Amen to that Biggy.

Just came in from an excellent couple hours "in the seat". I was doing my neighbors driveway when the lever arm from the touch control to the blade fulcrum broke off near the bottom. I ran to the welders and got there just as he was leaving, he fixed me up for $7 and before 40mins. were up, I was back "in the seat". Nice weather too, +6F.

Tue Dec 21, 2004 6:24 pm

I've pushed a lot of snow without chains, but here in the Mo. hills chains work a lot better. Not nere as much spinning, no worrying about getting stuck if you rund down hill into a snow bank, etc.

Tue Dec 21, 2004 7:08 pm

No comparison at all, in my opinion. My cub had loaded ag tires with rear weights, but when I pushed the snow downhill and then couldn't back out of the pile I knew I needed more help. Chains transformed it miraculously. Now it'll dig and paw, and when the snow comes over the top of the blade it'll keep right on going. Very impressive.

Tue Dec 21, 2004 7:40 pm

they make a night and day differance

Tue Dec 21, 2004 8:19 pm

I'll second John's opinion, in these Missouri hills there a must. Put mine on tonight........looks like John and I will be clearing some in the morning.

Tire chains

Tue Dec 21, 2004 10:39 pm

For what it is worth, my first year I had only loaded ag. tires. It did OK. The next year and every year since then I have had a set of rear weights on in addition to the loaded tires. Made a world of difference. I also have a second set of rear weights if I need them, so far I have not. If the right rear tire starts to spin a little, I just feather the right brake and I have good traction. I have yet to get stuck. Most of my plowing is on macadam. Some has a little slope. I do my place plus three neighbors and anybody else who asks while I am out on the tractor. I also clean the street up around my house since I am often not satisfied with the way the town does the plowing.


Wed Dec 22, 2004 9:31 am

In my opinion, and I've pushed snow on both gravel and pavement, chains are the only way to go. You don't always need chains; but, they shure make pushing snow a lot quicker with almost no tire slip.

I have the twisted latter type chains I got from TSC for about $85 (Six years ago) it was the best $85 I ever spent for the Cub.


Wed Dec 22, 2004 4:33 pm

Has anyone tried the strap on emergency chains? Looks like they might give you just enough bite to back up.
I have a set of 10X20 truck chains I guess I will have to lengthen, but was looking for a quick fix.

Thu Dec 23, 2004 1:08 am

I just bought a set of tire chains along with tensioners. I tried them for the first time on my driveway with a slight incline and didn't like the wheel hop. I push the snow up hill out of the driveway and with chains I still slipped a little pushing about four inches of snow or so. I've have no rear wheel weights. I really don't want to risk tearing up the driveway with the chains spinning so I've taken them off. I pretty much made it all last year with no chains or weights with no big problems. I'll reserve the chains for the biggest storms here in Ct.

Thu Dec 23, 2004 8:31 am

Sounds like I have a similar set up as you theRocket. I have a 100' long asphalt drive with an incline most of the way up. I don't want to risk ruining the drive with chains and expect that most of my snowpushing will be on the downhill end. Can't wait for that first 1' storm!