Fitting Tire Chains to Your Mower

chains on cub cadet tires

Winter may be on its way, but that doesn’t mean you have to put your Cub Cadet riding mower into storage. By fitting a set of tire chains, you can use your mower for winter lawn care tasks including snow removal and salting.

When Do I Need Tire Chains for My Mower?

Chains provide better grip on ice and snow, giving your mower the traction it needs to handle added front end weight of a snow plow as well as making it easier to pull a trailer. Even if you use a snowblower to clear snow, you may still want to use your tractor with a broadcast spreader to lay down salt.

Tire chains don’t work well on uncovered turf and can damage grass, particularly if the ground is muddy. Always remove the chains before you start using your mower to cut grass.

Will Tire Chains Fit on My Mower?

Cub Cadet currently makes one set of tire chains that fit both 22 x 9.5 x 12 inch and 23 x 9.5 x 12-inch lawn tractor tires, two sizes used in the majority of riding mowers and garden tractors they’ve built in the past few years. If you plan on using a snow plow with your tractor, you may also need to install a weight kit on the rear to balance out the added weight of the plow and snow on the front end.

The Parts of Your Tire Chain

Here’s how you can identify each part we reference in this guide:

  • Side chains – These run the length of the tire chain. There is one on each side.
  • Cross chains – These attach to both side chains and run across the tire tread when installed.
  • Cross-links – These have a loop that goes through the cross chain and two hooks that go into the side chain, connecting them together.
  • C-hook – A simple hook on the end of the inside side chain.
  • Locking link – A flat piece of metal with a hook on the end, found on the outside side chain directly across from the C-hook.

Preparing Your Mower

For this job, you’ll need access to an air pump to release air from the tires and air them back up as well as a couple zip ties to secure loose links.

Park the mower on a flat, level surface with some space behind the drive wheels to roll out the chains. Disconnect the positive battery terminal and the spark plug wires to prevent an accidental start. Make sure the tires are aired up to the recommended pressure. Put the mower transmission into neutral and release the parking brake.

Mounting the Chains

Roll out the chains behind the drive wheels so that the open sides of the cross chain hooks are facing up. The C-hooks should be on the inside edges. Straighten out any twists in the chain.

Pick up the chain and lay it on the tire. The cross-chain hooks should be facing away from the sidewall. Tuck the loose ends under the tire.

Roll the mower forward just enough for the tire to roll on top of the end of the chain. Connect the C-hook to the second or third link on the side chain. Pull the chain tight over the outside of the tire and connect the locking link to the second or third link of the side chain. Fold the link back and hook the end to one of the chain links.

Deflate the tire slightly, then pull on the side chains to get a tight fit over the tire. Once in place, the side chains should be close to the center of the tire sidewall. Re-inflate the tire. Use zip ties to secure any unused links.

Buying Snow Chains, Plows and More for Your Cub Cadet is a certified dealer for Cub Cadet, which means we’re able to offer the full line of OEM parts and accessories for your mower. Our site lets you search based on your model and serial number and can show you where parts fit using factory diagrams so you can be sure you’re getting exactly what you need. We ship across the U.S. and Canada.

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