Demystifying Water Pump Terminology

Buying a water pump can be downright confusing. Instead of simply buying by engine size or flow rate, there are several factors to consider, including pressure, head and water type. What do all these terms mean, and what do you need to look for to get the right pump for your needs?

What is Head, and How Does it Affect Performance?

Head is the pump’s maximum pumping height. Static head is the theoretical maximum height a pump can move water. Dynamic head takes friction into account, compensating for losses from hoses, fittings, strainers and other parts connected to the pump. Dynamic head figures that are quoted by manufacturers are based on hoses and other parts included with that model. If you add accessories or use different hoses, it will affect performance.

Head can be split into suction head, the height between the body of water being drained and pump, and discharge head, the height difference between the pump and the end of the discharge hose. If you drop a hose in the water, it fills up to the body of water’s surface level. That means suction head is measured from the water surface to the pump, since that’s where it has to start pumping. The discharge head is the height difference between the pump and the height of the discharge hose.

Pump pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). You can calculate pressure by multiplying the total head in feet by 0.433. If you have a total head of 10 feet, the pump is generating 4.333 PSI.

You may be surprised to see that most pumps have a maximum total head of 26 feet. That’s because centrifugal pumps depend on atmospheric pressure to help pull water through the pump. Since air is less dense at higher altitudes, there’s less atmospheric pressure. On average, the pump’s maximum head decreases by two feet for every 1,000 foot increase in elevation. Positive displacement pumps use a sealed chamber with a piston to move water. These aren’t affected by atmospheric pressure, but they’re also less efficient.

What’s the Difference Between Standard, Self-Priming and Trash Pumps?

A standard pump is only built to move water. Water must be added to the volute case before starting, or it won’t be able to draw water through the hose.

A self-priming pump isn’t just water tight, it’s also air tight. This lets it pump air through the hoses until water reaches the volute case.

A trash pump has a heavy-duty pump seal and extra space between the impeller and volute case. This lets rocks and other debris pass through without damaging the pump.

Cavitation and Water Hammering

Pressure increases suddenly as water moves between the suction and discharge sides of the pump’s volute case. This is balanced out by using a large intake and matching hose. However, if the water flow is out of balance, it can cause cavitation. This creates vacuum bubbles that exert massive amounts of force on the impeller, splitting it apart. Cavitation is usually caused by using hoses that are too small.

If the discharge hose is blocked, water flow stops, increasing pressure through the hose up to the impeller. The resulting pressure wave is called “water hammer.” This wave can damage the volute case and seals.

Where Can I Get a Quality Water Pump?

Shank’s Lawn Equipment carries the full line of Honda Power Equipment pumps, including everything from 50cc watering pumps to large industrial trash pumps. We service everything we sell, and we carry all the OEM parts and accessories you need for your equipment. Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. You can also order parts and accessories for your pump by visiting our website, We ship across the United States and Canada.

Billy Goat’s New Vanguard Single Cylinder Powered Equipment
Honda’s GX Series dominates the commercial market, especially now that Subaru has shut down their small engine division. However, Vanguard is aiming to change that with their new line of single cylinder engines. They bring the improvements that have made their V-Twins the leading choice for large commercial mowers and tractors. This new engine is being added to several Billy Goat models, including the AE402V, PL1802V and PL2501SPV aerators as well as F1402V and F1402SPV blowers.

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Outfitting Your Snowdog Power Sled

Snowmobiles are great for winter fun, but they’re big, heavy, thirsty and expensive. If you’re looking for something more affordable and manageable, a Snowdog is a great alternative. Modeled after dog sleds, these machines can be used on their own, or in combination with trailers and other accessories. This makes it easy to transport cargo and people, and they can even be used to maintain snow trails. Here are some of the ways you can outfit your motorized sled.

Cargo and Passenger Accessories

Sled: While the sled may look like a simple composite bucket, it has rails built into the bottom to glide over snow and ice. This keeps the center of gravity low for stability. A damper device built into the hitch keeps the sled from jiggling around when accelerating and braking. You can outfit the sled with narrower steel skates for better performance on ice.

Standard chair: This heavy-duty chair has a built-in hand rail. One passenger can sit in the chair, while a second passenger can stand behind them.

Rotating chair: If you prefer comfort over capacity, Snowdog makes a rotating seat without the hand rail. This rotating chair has built-in storage for drinks and small items.

Cargo semi-trailer: This trailer comes with the standard chair from the factory. It rides on low pressure tires, allowing it to be used year-round to carry people and cargo. The back of the trailer folds down, so it can be used to carry boards, skis and other long items.

Sport semi-trailer: This is a stand-on trailer that functions like a sulky on a commercial walk-behind mower. It gives you a more comfortable platform to stand on, providing a clear view of the surrounding area while operating your vehicle. This chariot uses the same low pressure tires as the cargo semi-trailer. It has a hitch on the back to connect additional cargo or passenger trailers.

Snowdog Upgrades

Handlebar warmer mitts: These mitts are made from three layers of waterproof Oxford fabric. They have plenty of room to let you reach the controls while shielding your hands from snow and wind. Snowdog offers these in plain black and a white camo pattern that blends in with winter forests.

Handlebar bag: This bag is made from the same fabric as the mitts, and is offered in the same color options. It has a transparent window sewn into the top that protects your phone or navigation device while keeping the screen visible.

Slider suspension: This replaces the sprung wheels that support the bottom of your Snowdog’s tracks. By adding full length support, this suspension improves traction on deep snow.

Snow Maintenance

Groomers: The low ground pressure of a Snowdog makes it an ideal vehicle for dragging a groomer. These devices use a weighted flat plate to smooth out snow for recreational use. There are two versions available:

The ski trail groomer compacts snow, preparing trails for cross-country skiing. It creates a wide compacted snow surface.

The single track groomer prepares single track trails. The groomer by itself is 20.5 inches wide, extending to 34 inches wide when used with the included side panels. This groomer is ideal for preparing fat tire bike trails.

Shank’s Lawn is Your Source for Winter Power Equipment

Shank’s Lawn Equipment has more than lawnmowers and string trimmers. We carry a wide assortment of snow clearing equipment and accessories from brands like Honda, MultiOne, Cub Cadet, Woods and more. If you’re looking for something fun, we also carry Snowdog power sleds and Argo amphibious ATVs. Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA, or see what we offer at We can ship parts and accessories for everything we carry to any address in the U.S. or Canada.

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Solving Common Winter Problems for Outdoor Equipment

It should be no surprise if you have trouble with your equipment now and then, but winter adds extra problems, thanks to ice, snow, cold and long term storage. These tips will help you address common issues, whether your snowblower isn’t working, you have failing batteries, or you need to run your mower to just long enough to move it out of the way.

Starting in Cold Weather

Small engines need longer to warm up than normal, especially if they’re built for summer use. If the engine has a manual choke, open it slowly after starting. The engine is warm when it runs smoothly with the choke fully open.

Are you using the right oil for the current weather? Thick oil also makes the engine harder to turn over. Synthetic oils may be stable at lower temperatures, but you should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for viscosity. For example, Vanguard recommends their 15W40 synthetic oil for all temperatures, but Honda still recommends thinner oil in the winter, whether it’s synthetic or conventional.

Keeping Batteries from Dying

Most issues with dead and weak batteries can be solved with proper care:

– Store batteries in a climate controlled area when possible
– Connect the battery to a trickle charger, or give it a full charge every month or two
– Disconnect the battery while in storage to prevent drain from phantom loads.

Your Snowblower Augers aren’t Spinning

Snowblowers use shear pins and belts as sacrificial parts. If the auger jams, the shear pins break before the force damages the drive system. Likewise, drive belts will stretch and break before the engine is harmed.

To check these parts, start by shutting off the engine and let all moving parts come to a complete stop. Use a clean out tool to remove any snow or ice packed into the auger housing and discharge chute. If your snowblower doesn’t have a cleanout tool, use a stick or piece of wood, not your hand. The auger is very sharp, and it’s easy to get fingers pinched between the auger and the housing.

Once everything is clear, check the shear pins. These are located on the ends of the auger and chute impeller, both at the edges of the housing and next to the transmission. Replace these as needed. If they still won’t turn, check the drive belt and clutch mechanism for wear and damage.

How Do I Safely Move Stored Equipment?

Start by checking the air cleaner box. This is a common target for squirrels, mice and other rodents.

Air up the tires. If you move them while they’re low on air, you could roll them off of the bead. You can usually find the recommended tire pressure on the sidewall. Need to seat the tire on the bead? If air pressure isn’t enough, wrap a ratchet strap around the center of the tread and tighten it down. This pushes the sidewalls out, helping the tire make contact with the rim when inflating.

If the fuel tank is empty, add just enough fuel to run the engine for a few minutes. Remove the gas once you’re done running your equipment to prevent stale fuel problems.

Push the equipment out of the building and start the engine. Don’t be surprised if you see smoke. This is normal if you added oil directly to the cylinder before storage. You may also see smoke if you previously coated unpainted parts with fogging oil.

Need Help with Your Outdoor Equipment?

Shank’s Lawn Equipment sells and services most major equipment brands, including Honda, Cub Cadet, Exmark, MultiOne, Scag, Woods, Wright and more. If you’re looking for new snow clearing equipment, or you need help getting your other equipment running, come see us. We’re located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. You can also check our current inventory and order parts and accessories for your equipment at our website,

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Using Your MultiOne Mini Loader for Snow Removal

The best feature of a MultiOne mini loader is its compatibility with a long list of attachments. You can get everything from a simple front loader bucket to task-specific tools like beehive forks and feed dispensers. Naturally, there are also ways you can use your MultiOne to tackle winter weather. These attachments give your loader the ability to move snow, scrape off ice and lay down traction and ice melting materials.

Snow Blower

The snow blower attachment has two stages: it has an auger that picks up snow and an impeller to push it though the chute. The chute rotates 200 degrees, and can be controlled from the operator’s position. The chute also has a manual angle adjuster, which controls how far snow exits the machine. MultiOne makes 6 versions of this attachment with widths ranging from 39.4 to 70.9 inches.

Snow Plow

This plow uses a two piece design that folds and tilts for different uses. Turning the plow up to 30 degrees right or left pushes snow to the side. Tilt the sides back, and the V-shaped point can bust through tall and heavy snow. Using the plow with a straight surface makes it easy to push snow into piles. Swinging the sides forward forms a scoop to give the pile its final shape. The sections are controlled hydraulically from the operator controls, so it’s easy to switch modes.

Plow Blade

The plow blade uses spring mounts for attachment. This helps it resist shock, and lets the edge trip over objects, reducing wear and tear. MultiOne makes three versions with widths ranging from 50 to 90 inches. Extension wings are available if you need a wider plow.

Snow Blade

This attachment works like the snow plow, but it’s one solid surface. It rotates 30 degrees left and right. This blade works well for light accumulation on driveways and sidewalks, where you just need to push the snow off into the grass. Your mini loader must have a floating boom valve installed to use this attachment.

Salt and Sand Spreader

This unit has a bucket that holds up to 441 lbs. of ice melt or traction material. It drops this material across a 180 degree arc up to 23 feet in width. MultiOne makes a boom-mounted version, as well as a towable version. The towable spreader uses an axle gear to operate the spinner plate, so it only drops material when in motion.

Rotary Broom

This broom has bristles that scrape off compacted snow, mud and ice off of pavement, creating a clean surface. It rotates 30 degrees left and right, pushing lifted dirt and snow to the side. Adjustable casters on the ends of the broom make it easy to get the right working height, even as the bristles wear down. This broom is available in 44.5 and 54.7 inch widths. Like the snow blade, you’ll need a floating boom valve to use this attachment.

Light Material Bucket

While this is intended to be a general purpose bucket, it’s perfect for picking up snow. There are four buckets available with widths ranging from 43-71 inches. All buckets are 30 inches high and 30 inches deep.

Get More from Your MultiOne

With dozens of attachments available, a MultiOne mini loader can do just about every job you can think of, from snow clearing to construction and farming. If you want one of these machines, or you want to outfit it for more uses, visit Shank’s Lawn Equipment. We’re a full service MultiOne dealer. Our shop is located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. We also ship parts and accessories for these machines across the United States and Canada. To order, visit our website,

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Woods Brushbull Single Spindle Rotary Cutters

When you need to clear thick brush, a mower deck isn’t going to cut it. Woods Equipment’s single spindle brushbill rotary cutters deliver the power you need in a size that works with small and medium tractors. Their thick blades and heavy-duty decks are perfect for clearing land, slicing through brush and saplings with ease. A recent redesign brings easier maintenance and a longer lasting gearbox to the line.
What’s New for Woods’ Rotary Cutter Line?
Woods completely redesigned their line of single spindle cutters, making them more durable, easier to use, and easier to maintain.
The deck top now has a large blade access hole. The blades are mounted on greasable quick change pins that can be accessed from this hole. As a result, blades can be removed and installed without needing access to the underside of the deck.
An adjustable driveline hanger is now standard on all models. This keeps the driveline close to the level  of the PTO. When you’re ready to connect to the cutter, you only need to lift the driveline an inch or two to make the connection.
A new corner angle back provides extra space for tractor tires, so you can lift the cutter up high without worrying about rubbing. Replaceable full length bolt-on skid shoes protect the bottom edge of the deck. Heavy-duty models have shoes with builtin height adjustment.
The deck top is sloped, which helps debris slide off. Look underneath, and you’ll find baffles around the rear of the deck. This increases vacuum for better cut quality. All versions of the brushbill cutter use ½ x 4 inch blades. Woods offers optional chain shielding that wraps around the back of the deck to deflect debris.
The rear is protected by a steel bumper that is twice as thick as competitors. This bumper is supported by a Z-channel frame for extra strength and durability.
The gearbox is a new, stronger design with a longer service life. Woods has increased the gearbox warranty to 6 years. This covers everything including the seals.
Depending on the model, these brush cutters can connect to CAT 1 or 2 three point hitches. All models are quick hitch compatible, and they’re designed for a PTO speed of 540 RPM.
Works with CAT 1 hitches
Cuts brush up to 2 inches in diameter
10.5 inch deep deck
Gearbox rated for 65 HP
48 inch cutting width, 55 inch transport width
Works with CAT 1 hitches
Cuts brush up to 2 inches in diameter
10.5 inch deep deck
Gearbox rated for 65 HP
60 inch cutting width, 67.3 inch transport width
Works with CAT 1 and CAT 2 hitches
Cuts brush up to 3 inches in diameter
12.7 inch deep deck
Gearbox rated for 150 HP
60 inch cutting width, 67.3 inch transport width
Works with CAT 1 and CAT 2 hitches
Cuts brush and saplings up to four inches in diameter
12.7 inch deep deck
Gearbox rated for 210 HP
60 inch cutting width, 67.3 inch transport width
Get the Professional Support You Need for Your Professional Equipment’s
Shank’s Lawn Equipment has been helping professional landscapers with their equipment since 1985. We can set you up with a brush cutter that fits your needs, and take care of the parts and repairs you need to keep it working. If you need something that can tackle the toughest landscaping jobs, stop by our shop at at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. You can also visit us online at Here, you can see the equipment we have in stock, and you can order parts and accessories for anything we sell. We can ship your order to any address in the U.S. or Canada.

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Cub Cadet Hydro Walk-Behind Mowers

When you mow lawns for a living, you often find yourself dealing with two extremes. Lawn tractors and ZTRs can make quick work of large spaces, but they can’t get into areas that are surrounded by landscape features and buildings. Walk behind mowers can get into these spaces, but they’re slow. Cub Cadet hydro walk-behind mowers are designed to strike a balance between these two extremes. Their delicate controls and compact size help them get to places other mowers can’t reach, yet they’re also fast enough for wide open spaces.
All models in the Hydro Walk-Behind series are powered by Kawasaki’s FS481V V-twin. This 603cc engine produces 14.5 HP. An hour meter on the control panel makes it easy to keep track of maintenance.
The Pro HW series uses a pair of Hydro-Gear ZT 2800 hydrostatic motors. These commercial quality units can propel the mower to a top speed of 7 MPH going forward, and 3 MPH in reverse. A speed control lever allows the operator to adjust the mower’s top speed. This way, it can be limited to walking speeds when using the mower as a walk-behind, or when trimming around obstacles. Connect a one or two-wheel sulky, and the mower’s full speed can be put to use. The HW has a large pad mounted to the control tower, so the operator can lean against it when using a sulky. The drive system also has cruise control for wide open areas.
Normally, making tracking adjustments is a lengthy process. You have to stop and start the hydraulic motors repeatedly, while using a screwdriver to make tiny adjustments to the hydrostatic motor valves.  These mowers have a single adjustment knob under the dash. If the mower starts to pull in one direction, just turn the knob to compensate.
A Solution for Fine Control
Stiction is a major obstacle when it comes to fine control of hydraulic systems. It takes considerably more effort to get a control lever to start moving than it does to keep it moving. If you’re using a front loader on the tractor, this movement can make the bucket jump around. If you’re using the drive controls on a mower, that sudden motion can push the deck into landscaping instead of around it.
Cub Cadet addresses this issue by using ball bearing linkages for the hydrostatic drive levers. This all but eliminates friction between the levers and the drive motors for smooth engagement. The result is a fine level of control that matches that of a push mower.
The fabricated deck shell is made from 10 gauge steel with 7 gauge reinforcements along the bottom edges and deck top. The spindles are completely sealed, making them maintenance free. These decks are fitted with Marbain blades. This proprietary alloy resists wear longer than other blade materials.
The decks on these mowers have 7 cutting height positions ranging from 1.5 to 4.5 inches.
All versions of the Pro HW are identical, aside from the deck size.
Pro HW 336: 36 inch deck
Pro HW 348: 48 inch deck
Pro HW 354: 54 inch deck
We Can Help You Find the Perfect Mower
Shank’s Lawn Equipment has helped professionals with their outdoor equipment for over 35 years. We carry most commercial lawn mower brands, including Honda, Cub Cadet, Exmark and Scag. If you need a new mower, or you need help with your current mowers, visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA.
We also ship OEM parts and accessories for every brand we carry. If you live in the U.S. or Canada, you can order from us by visiting our website,

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Tips for Trimming and Pruning Trees

Do you want to shape your trees to better fit your lawn’s layout? Are you worried about broken limbs and low-hanging branches? These tips will help you prune and trim your trees to get the results you want while maintaining the health of your plants.
Cutting Off Branches
Cutting in stages helps the tree develop a callous over the bare wood. Shortening the branch first takes the weight off of the tree, so you can make a clean final cut.
Start by making a cut half way through the underside of the branch about 18 inches above where the branch meets the trunk. Next, make a cut on the top side of the branch one inch farther from the trunk than your previous cut. The resulting L-shaped cut will remove most of the branch without splitting the wood. Finally, make a 45 degree angle cut against the branch collar. This area has thicker bark than the rest of the branch. The finished cut should sit flush against the collar without a stub sticking out.
Pruning can begin as soon as the tree is planted. During the plant’s first season, pruning should be limited to removing broken or diseased branches. After the first winter, you can start pruning the plant to give it shape. Pruning can be divided into four categories.
Crown thinning: This reduces branch density, which improves air and sunlight penetration. It also takes weight off of long branches. Never remove more than 20% of the branches from the canopy.
Crown reduction: This is like crown thinning, but only lateral branches are removed. This pruning method encourages new growth.
Crown raising: Removing low-hanging limbs makes it easier to walk under the tree. It’s easy to trim too much. The total thickness of low branches should be at least 60% of the trunk width.
Crown cleaning: This is the removal of dead and damaged branches.
When should you prune? It depends on the situation and the type of tree.
– Always remove damaged and diseased branches as soon as possible.
– The best time to trim and shape most trees is in mid to late winter. Once the tree comes out of dormancy, it will recover quickly from the cuts. Don’t worry if the tree leaks sap. This is natural, and won’t harm the tree. The flow of sap will usually stop once the tree starts budding.
– Trimming in late summer after peak growth can be useful for managing branch growth. Removing leaves reduces the amount of sugars the plant is able to generate for growth.
– Tree varieties that bloom early, like apricot and magnolia, are fueled by growth from the previous season. If you trim these plants in the winter, they won’t bloom. Instead, trim these plants right after they bloom in the spring.
– Late blooming trees like dogwood and hawthorn bloom better if they’re trimmed early in the season. This takes some of the nutrient load off of the tree, so it can focus its energies on making flowers for the remaining branches.
Get the Tools You Need for Better Landscaping
Shank’s Lawn Equipment is the best place to get any type of landscaping tool, from groundbreaking implements to mowers. We carry multi-tools, hedge trimmers and chainsaws from most major brands, including Echo, Shindaiwa, Bear Cat and Honda. If you’re looking for tools to help you take care of your trees and shrubs, or you need service for your current equipment, come see us. We’re located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA.
Need parts or accessories for your lawn care equipment? We can ship what you need to any address in the United States or Canada. To order, visit us at

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Woods Augers and Post Hole Diggers

Even if a one or two man auger can dig the holes you need, they take a lot of time and effort to use. Augers and post hole diggers from Woods Equipment don’t just let you drill bigger holes, they let you drill faster. These augers are made to fit a wide range of vehicles, including tractors, skid steers, backhoes and excavators. Using these tools, you can prepare land for fencing, create holes for foundation piles and more.
Post Hole Diggers
These augers are designed to be mounted to a three point hitch and driven by a tractor PTO. Twin supports mounted to the gearbox create three points of contact, while a long handle at the top of the swivel joint helps line up the auger. If you have an open tractor, this handle will usually be within reach of the operator’s position. This makes it easy to drill at an offset, whether you need to drill a hole at an angle, or make up for tool movement when drilling a straight hole.
The booms on these diggers can be set to four positions, so they’ll work with most tractors. The gearbox is designed to work with a 540 RPM PTO. If the auger bit gets hung up, a shear bolt stops torque transfer, protecting drive components. All models can be fitted with an optional 12 inch auger extension for digging deeper holes.
Supports 6, 9 and 12 inch augers up to 36 inches long
Compatible with CAT 1 and Limited CAT 1 hitches
Works with 14-25 HP tractors
Supports 6, 9 and 12 inch augers up to 48 inches long
Compatible with CAT 1 three point hitches
Works with 20-35 HP tractors
Supports 6, 9, 12, 18 and 24 inch diameter augers, up to 48 inches long
Compatible with CAT 1 hitches
35-95 HP tractors
Hydraulic Augers
These augers are designed to use hydraulic power from a backhoe, excavator or skid steer. Once mounted to the front arms of the machine, they can operate at a 40 or 50 degree attack angle.
The gearbox uses a planetary drive system, spreading out the load over multiple teeth. This makes these augers ideal for cutting through hard soil. Woods offers these augers with a choice of standard, hardface and carbide teeth, letting you balance cutting strength with durability. All models support auger diameters ranging from 6 to 36 inches. Woods recommends using the HA15E and HA20E for general construction use, while the HA30E and HA35E are built for heavy duty digging tasks.
Maximum depth: 10 feet
Hydraulic fluid pressure range: 1,500-3,750 PSI
Auger speed
20 GPM: 104 RPM
25 GPM: 129 RPM
Maximum depth: 10 feet
Hydraulic fluid pressure range: 1,500-3,750 PSI
Auger speed
20 GPM: 66 RPM
25 GPM: 82 RPM
30 GPM: 99 RPM
Maximum depth: 20 feet
Hydraulic fluid pressure range 1,500-5,000 PSI
Auger speed
30 GPM: 92 RPM
35 GPM: 107 RPM
40 GPM: 123 RPM
Maximum depth: 20 feet
Hydraulic fluid pressure range: 1,500-5,000 PSI
Auger speed
35 GPM: 87 RPM
40 GPM: 99 RPM
45 GPM: 111 RPM
We Have More than Just Mowers
Shank’s Lawn Equipment carries a wide range of outdoor power equipment for both residential and commercial use, including attachments from Woods. As a certified dealer, we service everything we sell, so we can help you keep your equipment running. Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA.
Do you need parts or accessories for your Woods attachments? We can ship what you need to any address in the U.S. or Canada. To order, visit us online at

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Choosing a Snowblower

Choosing a snowblower can be confusing with all the options available. Here’s everything you need to know to get the right model, from the size to the starter.
How Big Does the Snowblower Need to Be?
Generally speaking, you should buy something with a little more capacity than you think you’ll need. This lets you use less than the full capacity of your blower to compensate for heavy snow.  Expect to overlap at least 20% with each pass, and up to 50% if the snow is particularly dense, or it’s near the maximum height capacity of the snowblower.
How Many Stages Do I Need?
A single stage snowblower has a single auger that picks up, chops and throws snow. That’s a lot of work for one set of blades, so you’ll only see the smallest residential models use this design.
A dual stage auger adds an impeller that helps chop up snow and push it through the chute. This design is used by most large residential and commercial blowers.
Troy-Bilt and Cub Cadet make three stage snowblowers. They have a second auger between the main auger and the chute impeller. This added stage helps break up heavy snow and ice. These machines are a great choice if you frequently deal with heavy snowfall.
Wheels or Tracks?
A track drive is better at climbing slopes and has better grip on packed snow. This makes it a great choice for clearing snowbanks and picking up snow that has been driven on. Wheeled snowblowers are easier to turn, reducing the effort needed to clear driveways and parking lots.
What Drive System Works Best?
Small single stage blowers are pushed like a walk-behind mower. The action of the auger helps pull the machine forward. Since these machines are light, it doesn’t take much effort to move or turn them.
A gear drive is simple and inexpensive, but it can be hard to deal with. Most of the time, you’ll have to use a gear that is a little too fast or slow for the snow you’re clearing. The drive system does not assist with turning.
A hydrostatic drive lets you vary the speed infinitely, so you can go as fast as your snowblower can handle. Some models have dual hydraulic motors. This lets you engage the wheels separately, turning the snowblower like it’s a ZTR mower.
Honda’s HS1336iAS snowblower has a hybrid drive system. The engine only powers the augers, while the tracks use electric motors. This gives you extra torque for climbing hills, and it lets you transport the blower with the engine off.
Do I Need Drift Cutters?
These blades mount on the sides of the snowblower, slicing through snow that extends above the auger housing. They’re useful for knocking piles of snow from snow drifts into the auger for removal.
Do I want AC or Battery Electric Start?
An AC starter plugs into a household outlet. You never need to worry about having enough power to turn the engine over. However, you also need ready access to an outlet. This makes it a great choice for home snow clearing, but not for commercial use.
A battery starter can be used anywhere, but this adds the trouble and expense of battery maintenance.
Get the Equipment You Need This Winter
Shank’s Lawn Equipment sells and services snowblowers from several major brands, including Honda, Cub Cadet, Troy Bilt and MultiOne. If you’re looking for a new snowblower, or need help fixing your current snowblower, visit our shop, located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. That’s one mile off of I-81 from Exit 10. We also ship parts and accessories across the U.S. and Canada. To order, visit

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Shindaiwa Chainsaws: A Great Choice for Hobbyists and Professionals

While Echo may be more famous for chainsaws, their parent company, Shindaiwa, also makes some great saws of their own. Which one is right for you?
What Do You Get with a Shindaiwa Chainsaw?
Every Shindaiwa is designed for commercial duty. They aren’t just durable, they’re also easy to maintain. The air filter can be accessed without tools, and the chain adjuster is mounted on the side for quick tension changes. Their “Youcan” maintenance kits have all the parts you need for scheduled maintenance and common repairs, including tune-ups and fuel line replacements.
All engines used in these chainsaws are traditional two-strokes. Shindaiwa uses upgraded professional engines in their larger saws. These use better air filtration systems for a longer service life.
All chainsaws are backed by a one year warranty for commercial users, while residential users are protected for 5 years.
This compact saw tips the scales at 8.8 lbs. without the bar and chain. The 30.5cc engine comes with Shindaiwa’s i-30 starting system, which has a secondary spring built into the recoil starter. This helps kick the engine over, even on slow pulls. The 305 is compatible with 14-inch bars.
Want more power without adding weight? The 340S has a 34cc engine and can use a 16-inch bar. Otherwise, it’s identical to the 305S, down to the weight.
This model is targeted at arborists, balancing weight and power to minimize strain over the work day. The top handle has a palm rest, and both handles are positioned to keep the hands in a natural position. This reduces hand and wrist fatigue.
The 358TS has a 35.8 cc professional grade engine and can be used with a 14 or 16-inch bar. It weighs 8 lbs.
This is Shindaiwa’s value professional chainsaw. It has a 40.2cc professional grade engine with an i-30 starter. The G-Force pre-cleaner uses centrifugal force to push large dirt particles out of the air box before they reach the filter, extending service intervals
The 402S can use a 16 or 18-inch bar. It weighs 10.1 lbs.
At first glance, the 491S seems like it’s just a beefed-up 402S. It comes with a 50.2cc engine, and it supports a 16, 18 or 20 inch bar. It also comes with a G-force pre-cleaner. However, you also get a dual post chain brake and a chrome-plated cylinder to extend the saw’s service life. A magnesium crankcase that helps keep weight down to 10.6 lbs.
This big saw is made specifically for cutting firewood The massive 59.8 cc engine give the 591 the power to run an 18 or 20-inch bar. A decompression valve makes the engine easier to turn over, while a G-force pre-filter and two-piece air filter protects the motor from excessive wear. The 591 has a translucent fuel tank, letting you check the level at a glance. It weighs 13.2 lbs.
Like the 591, but want more power? Tuning and gearing changes give the 600SX the power to run 20, 24 and 27-inch bars, while dual bumper spikes make it easier to control. It weighs 13.7 lbs.
Whether You’re a Pro or Hobbyist, Shank’s Has the Equipment and Support You Need
Are you looking for a new chainsaw? Come see the experts at Shank’s Lawn Equipment. We’ve been helping residential and commercial customers with their outdoor equipment for 35 years. Our shop is at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA.
Do you need some parts or a tuneup kit for your Shindaiwa chainsaw? We can ship the OEM parts you need to any address in the USA or Canada. To order, visit us online at

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