Choosing a Pressure Washer

With so many factors at play from multiple power measurements to nozzle designs, picking out a pressure washer can be confusing. This breakdown will help you understand what all these numbers and choices mean, so you can find a machine that fits your needs.
Power: GPM, PSI and CU
There are three measurements for pressure washer power:
– Pounds per Square Inch (PSI) is the amount of water pressure
– Gallons per minute (GPM) is the amount of water coming out of the nozzle
– Cleaning Units (CU) is GPM multiplied by PSI
Cleaning power depends on both pressure and volume, so CU gives you the best picture of the washer’s performance. This is easy to overlook, since most residential pressure washers emphasize PSI. For example, let’s say you’re comparing Vortexx’s light duty pressure washers. If you look at PSI, they seem to be about the same. However, there’s a big difference when you factor in volume.
2700LD: 2,700 PSI x 2.5 GPM = 6,750 CU
2750LD: 2,750 PSI x 3 GPM = 8,250 CU
The 2750LD makes only 50 more PSI than the 2700LD, but thanks to a flow rate increase of 0.5 GPM, it provides 22% more cleaning power.
Power Washer Nozzles: A Size for Every Job
Most pressure washers come with 5 nozzles.  The black nozzle can pick up detergent from the soap system and spray it on the surface you’re cleaning. The other four nozzles have different spray patterns from a 40 degree white nozzle to a 0 degree red nozzle. Each nozzle has a specific cleaning use, from washing cars to removing rust and dirt from bare metal.
Concentrating the spray increases force, but it doesn’t increase cleaning power. If you use a nozzle with too small of an angle, you can damage the surface you’re cleaning. If you need more cleaning power, you need a pressure washer with a higher output.
Pump Design: Triplex or Axial
While there are several pump designs on the market, most pressure washers use either an axial or a triplex pump.
An axial pump uses an impeller to move water. This pump connects directly to the engine shaft. These pumps are cheap, but their output is limited. They also wear out quickly, so they’re mostly used in residential pressure washers.
A triplex pump has three pistons that move up and down to pump water. This pump design connects to the engine using a gearbox. By changing the gear ratios, the manufacturer can increase the pump speed to deliver more pressure. These pumps last a long time, so they’re great for commercial use.
Hot Water or Cold Water?
Hot water is more effective at cleaning than cold water, but it also makes buying and fueling the pressure washer more expensive. With the heater turned off, the machine works like any other pressure washer. Turn it on, and the hot water coming out of the nozzle cuts through grease, oil, glue and tar with ease. Hot water systems are a great choice for cleaning vehicles and heavy equipment. They’re also the only effective way to remove old chewing gum from pavement.
We’re More than Just Mowers
Shank’s Lawn sells and services all types of small engine equipment, including pressure washers. We’re a certified dealer for Cub Cadet and Vortexx pressure washers, and we service pumps from popular brands, including AR and Cat Pumps. If you’re looking for a new pressure washer, or you need help with your current unit, visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA.
We also ship factory parts and accessories across the United States and Canada. To order, visit our website,

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The 5 Most Common Lawn Care Mistakes

Not all of us work on landscaping for a living, but we still need to take care of our lawns. Even if you don’t know the difference between an N-P-K and a perennial, you can make some small changes to your lawn care routine to get better results. These tips will help you address the most common lawn care mistakes, so you can get a better looking yard with minimal effort.

Mistake #1: Not Testing the Soil Before Adding Fertilizers

Is your soil low in nutrients, like nitrogen or phosphorus? Is it too acidic or basic for your grass to thrive? Could your weed problems be caused by soil conditions that make your lawn easy for weeds to grow? The only way to find out is with a soil test. Attempt to fertilize your lawn without this information, and you’ll either get poor results from lack of nutrients, or damage your plants by adding too much.

To get the best results, get several soil samples across your lawn. Dig several holes 6-8 inches deep, and mix the soil from these holes together in a bucket. Spread out the soil and let it dry before sending it to your local extension office. Do this long before you plan on fertilizing your lawn: it will take at least two weeks to get the results. The report will tell you what’s missing from your lawn, including nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, sulfur and trace minerals. It will also warn you about anything that may be hazardous to plants and people, including aluminum and lead. From there, you can choose the right combination of fertilizer and adjuncts to bring your soil’s nutrients and pH into balance.

Mistake #2: Cutting the Grass Too Short

The shorter you cut the grass, the less often you have to mow it, right? While technically true, you’ll probably end up mowing less often because you damaged the grass. Do a little research into the grass varieties you have on your lawn. Each type of grass has its preferred minimum height, which can range from ½ inch to two inches.

When mowing, never cut more than 1/3 of the total height of the leaves at one time. Cutting any more is too much of a shock to the plant, stunting its growth. If you’re dealing with tall grass, mow in stages, giving the grass a couple days between cuts to recover.

Mistake #3: Mowing with Dull Blades

A dull blade tears instead of cuts. These jagged edges are effectively wounds that offer a pathway for diseases to enter. Your mower’s blades should be as sharp as a butter knife and have a consistent edge from center to tip.

How often do you need to sharpen your mower’s blades? That depends on where and how you mow. A typical homeowner may only need to sharpen once per season, while landscapers may need to sharpen their blades every week. Running over rocks and scalping the ground wears the edge down prematurely. It’s a good idea to inspect your blades after either of these happens. Likewise, you should always sharpen your blades after using your mower to cut up soil plugs left over from aerating. No matter how carefully you mow, blade wear will always be faster in areas with sandy soil.

Mistake #4: Always Bagging Lawn Clippings

Bagging leaves the best finish, but it’s rarely the best method for keeping your grass healthy. For most mowing, you should mulch. By slicing grass up into small pieces, it can be broken down quickly, returning nutrients to the soil.

Bagging should only be used if you need to eliminate weed seeds, or you’re getting ready to cut away the turf to replace it with sod. It’s also useful for removing excess leaves in the fall.

Side discharge mowing is a good option if the grass is too thick to mulch properly. However, it doesn’t mean you have to leave lines of clippings on your lawn. Make a second pass to chop up the clippings, so you can return them to the soil.

Mistake #5: Using the Wrong Equipment

Buying the cheapest thing on the shelf at your local home improvement store is a surefire strategy for frustration. The next time you need outdoor equipment, visit Shank’s Lawn Equipment. We’ve been in the power equipment business since the 1980s, helping homeowners and professionals with their lawn care tools. We carry most major brands, including Honda, Cub Cadet, Echo, Billy Goat, and Troy Bilt, so we have exactly what you need to get the job done. We also have a full service department and a massive parts warehouse to help you keep your equipment running. Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA, or online at We ship parts and accessories across the U.S. and Canada.

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Keeping Your Lawn Green During Peak Summer Temperatures

Watering Your Lawn in the SummerIs it possible to have a great looking lawn through the summer? Yes, but it takes some planning. Using the right mowing and watering techniques, you can help your grass survive the hottest, driest parts of the summer, and still stay green. These tips will help you address common summer lawn issues, and let you know when it’s time to step back and let your lawn turn brown.

Why is Summer Stressful to Grass?

In most areas, there’s less rain in the summer, which means more irrigation is needed to make up the difference. Heat stresses grass directly, but it also increases evaporation, drying the soil out further. To keep grass healthy, lawn care should focus on keeping the soil moist, while removing factors that can strain grass growth.

Use Your Grass to Shade the Soil

Let your grass grow longer in the summer. The blades shade the ground, protecting the root system, and reducing evaporation. Most warm-season grasses remain healthy at heights up to three inches. Bermuda thrives at a maximum height of 2 ½ inches, while Bahia and buffalo varieties can grow up to four inches high.

Water to Keep Soil Moist

The deeper you can get water to penetrate the soil, the better your grass will be at handling the heat. For most grass varieties, you want to add 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week. Dividing this up into one or two applications each week will help saturate the soil across the entire root system.

Timing irrigation is a balancing act. On one hand, you don’t want the water to evaporate. On the other hand, putting down so much water at one time encourages fungal infections. Ideally, you should water early in the morning, just before the sun comes up. This gives the time for the soil to absorb the water while letting any standing water evaporate once the sun is up. If you have an irrigation system with a timer, set it to activate around 5-6 am.

Protecting the Grass from Other Sources of Stress

A dull mower blade breaks off the ends of your grass instead of slicing them. This opens up your lawn to infections. If you see jagged tips on your grass after you mow, you need to sharpen your blades.

If you have a pet in your yard, their urine can take a toll on your grass. Urine has a high nitrogen content. Between a lack of water in the summer and your dog or cat’s habit of using the same spot for potty breaks, there’s a high chance of having burns. Spray down the area with water to dilute the nitrogen as soon as possible, and keep the area watered to help plants bounce back.

Now is not a good time to fertilize your lawn, or treat it with herbicides and insecticides. If you have a weed problem, stick to contact herbicides. Since they’re only applied directly to the weed, they’re less likely to affect the surrounding grass.

My Lawn Turned Brown. Now What?

Your lawn probably isn’t dead, it’s just dormant. In times of drought and heat stress, your grass will shut down its leaves to focus nutrients and water on the roots to keep the plant alive. How do you tell the difference between dormant and dead grass? Dormant grass turns brown across your lawn, while grass will die in patches. However, if your irrigation system doesn’t have good coverage, you may have dormant spots outside of the water’s reach.

Usually, grass can stay dormant for up to a month before it starts to die. Trying to revive grass immediately after it goes dormant adds more stress, which may end up killing it. Instead, wait until the weather is more favorable, either because of increased precipitation or lower temperatures. If you see some green reappearing, it’s safe to resume watering and mowing your lawn.

Shank’s Lawn Equipment has Everything You Need for Lawn Care

From mowers to towable spray tanks, we carry every type of outdoor equipment you may need to take care of your lawn. Need help with your equipment? Shank’s is an authorized service center for most major brands of residential and professional equipment. We also have a massive parts warehouse, and we ship parts and accessories across the United States and Canada.  Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA, or online at

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Yanmar SA Series Tractors: When Lawn and Garden Tractors Just Won’t Cut It

Yanmar SA Series TractorsIs your garden tractor not cutting it? Do you wish you had a tractor, but can’t justify their high price? Maybe what you need is a Yanmar SA series. These compact tractors bridge the gap between tractors and lawn equipment, offering a mix of features that make them flexible, powerful, and easy to use.

Attachments: What Makes a Tractor a Tractor

No matter how big a garden tractor may be, attachment use is limited. At most, you may be able to add a snow blade or pull a grass seeding trailer. With the SA Series, you get three places to attach implements, either built for these tractors by Yanmar, or by third parties using industry-standard fittings.

At the rear of these tractors, you’ll find a standard three-point hitch. The PTO has a 35mm (1 3/8 inch) outside diameter with  6 splines, and it can spin at 554 or 3,200 RPM. This makes it compatible with a wide range of aftermarket equipment, including everything from brush mowers to snow blowers.  Yanmar makes a backhoe that fits this hitch.

There’s a second mid-mounted PTO designed for under-frame attachments. It has an SAE 16/32 inch PTO with 15 splines, and it can spin at 2,057 or 3,200 RPM. Yanmar offers a 60-inch mowing deck for this attachment point, making the SA Series a great replacement for a lawn tractor.

The SA series also supports front-mounted attachments with connections to the tractor’s hydraulic system. The hydraulic pump moves up to 4.3 gallons of fluid per minute, giving it the power to operate attachments including front loader buckets, forks, and hay spears. Yanmar even offers their own boom loader for this hitch, as well as a grading blade, snow blade, and rotary broom.

Lawn Tractor Usability with Tractor Capability

These tractors use a hydrostatic drive that’s just as easy to use as the units on lawn tractors. It uses two pedals to control forward and rearward motion, with no need to use a gear shift or hand throttle to set the speed. Top speed is 8.6 MPH going forward, and 6.3 MPH in reverse. Selectable four-wheel drive gives these tractors added grip on soft surfaces. Yanmar designed every part of the drivetrain in-house, so these components are built to work together for maximum efficiency.

Since there are no shifters, the operator position has a large, flat footboard. Coupled with the high backed seat and armrests, this makes the SA more comfortable to use than most full-size tractors.  Like a full-size tractor, these models have hydraulic steering. Instead of spinning a steering shaft, turning the wheel controls valves that move the steering rack left and right. This eliminates bump steer and reduces vibration. A full-frame quells vibrations before they can reach the seat and controls.

The ROPS protects the operator from rollovers, and it folds down, reducing the tractor’s total height by 20 inches for storage. The SA Series comes with front and ROPS-mounted work lights, as well as side marker lights for visibility.

The SA Series is powered by Yanmar’s famously reliable liquid-cooled diesels. They’re guaranteed with a 5-year powertrain warranty. The built-in 6.1-gallon fuel tank will keep this tractor running all day.


Yanmar makes three versions of the SA Series: the 221, the 324, and the 424.

The 221 is built to be a low-cost upgrade from lawn and garden tractors. It comes with an engine that makes 19.4 HP.

The 324 is targeted at 3-5 acre properties. It has an engine that produces 21.7 HP, so it can handle larger implements than the 221.

The 424 is a 324 outfitted for earth moving. Bigger tires give it 9.9 inches of ground clearance, 1.4 inches more than the 324. It comes with a YL210 front loader attachment from the factory.

Looking for Better Lawn Care Tools? We Can Help.

Looking for something with more flexibility than a standard garden tractor? Shank’s Lawn equipment carries Yanmar tractors, BCS America two-wheel tractors, and MultiOne mini loaders. Looking for implements? We also carry OEM attachments from these brands, as well as products from Woods Equipment. Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. You can also see our current inventory and order OEM parts and accessories at We can ship your order to any address in the U.S. or Canada.

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The New Echo CS-3510 Chainsaw: Consumer Performance Without Compromises

Echo CS-3510 ChainsawMost of us aren’t arborers or lumberjacks, but that doesn’t mean we’re stuck using terrible consumer-grade chainsaws. The new Echo CS-3510 chainsaw is aimed at the consumer market, but it comes with a lot of the features that make their pro chainsaws great to use. This makes it a great choice if you’re looking for a saw for occasional use for home cleanup, cut firewood for camping, or manage small trees and branches.


The CS-3510 follows in the footsteps of the CS-4510, utilizing new design features to reduce weight and deliver more power than its predecessor, the CS-352. According to Echo, owners can expect 20% better cutting performance, 12% more power and a weight reduction of over half a pound compared to the chainsaw it replaces.

The CS-3510 is powered by a new 34.4cc commercial grade two-stroke engine. It uses Echo’s i-30 starter, which has a spring assist to reduce starting effort by 30%. The handle is mounted on a three point spring system, helping separate it from the vibrations coming from the engine and chain. The CS-3510 has the highest power-to-weight ratio in its class, tipping the scales at just 8.2 lbs. without the bar and chain. Expect a complete chainsaw with fuel and oil to weigh two to three pounds more.

While the CS-352 is compatible with 14 and 16-inch bars, the CS-3510 only works with a 16-inch bar. This chainsaw has enough power for cutting down small to medium sized trees. It’s also good for light firewood cutting, pruning, thinning, and general lawn and storm cleanup. Thanks to its compact size, it also makes a great camp saw, making quick work out of chopping firewood or cleaning up branches on the trail.


The CS-3510 has a 7.8 oz. bar oil tank and a 9.5 oz. fuel tank. Both tanks are translucent, so you can check the amount of fluid in them at a glance. The oiler isn’t adjustable, but it uses an automatic clutch drive. This drive only lubricates the chain when it’s in motion, reducing bar oil consumption.

A new air injection air cleaner reduces maintenance by separating out large dust before air reaches the filter. This saw has toolless filter access thanks to a cover held down by two metal tabs. Fuel line replacement is easy, too. The line has a fixed grommet, so you know the line is reaching the bottom of the tank when you install it. You can expect Echo will release YouCan maintenance kits for this chainsaw soon. These include all the parts you need for common repairs, including tune ups and fuel system rebuilds.

The bolts for the bar and the chain tensioner are next to each other underneath a side cover. This makes it easier to replace the bar and chain. These are both positioned away from the exhaust, so you don’t need to worry about burning yourself if you need to work on this saw shortly after using it.

The air purge bulb, choke and off switch are mounted on the back side of the engine cover, next to handle. The choke automatically disengages when the throttle is used, keeping you from leaving the choke on when you make your first cut. The ignition switch is spring-loaded, so you’ll never crank the engine with the ignition off, flooding the engine.


The Echo CS-3510 is guaranteed for one year of commercial use, or 5 years of residential use.

When You Need Help with Chainsaws, Talk to the Experts

Shank’s Lawn Equipment covers all types of outdoor and lawn care equipment, including everything from mowers to chainsaws. If you’re looking for a new chainsaw, or you need help with your Echo, visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. We have a massive parts warehouse with everything you need to fix your saw, as well as a service department that can help you with difficult repair work. You can also check us out online at Our site lets you browse our current equipment inventory, and order everything you need for your chainsaw. We ship parts and accessories across the United States and Canada.

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Echo X Series String Trimmers

Echo X Series String TrimmersThe idea behind Echo’s X Series is simple. Instead of having to look at a dozen or so models to find the best one for your landscaping business, they put this label on the best they have to offer.
What do you get when you buy one of their X Series string trimmers? Something that isn’t as heavy and awkward as a purpose-built brush cutter, but still has plenty of performance and design features that make it easy to use all day.

What Makes These Trimmers Commercial Grade?

Echo started with engines taken from Echo’s chainsaw lineup. These two-strokes have a magnesium fan housing to keep weight down. A bellows-style fuel transfer system prevents vapor lock, making it easier to start the engine when it’s hot. Air passes through a two stage air filter, keeping the inside of the engine clean for a longer service life. This filter can be serviced without tools, making it easy to clean and replace.

The main maintenance interval comes every three months, and it’s simple enough for owners to do themselves. Echo even makes tune-up packs with everything you need to keep your trimmer running. If the cooling fins get dirty, you only need to remove a couple screws to remove the engine shroud. While most repairs are relatively simple, Echo recommends having the carburetor adjusted by the dealer if you operate at altitudes over 1,100 feet.

Over-molded front and rear grips, like you’ll find on most power tools, provide better grip and absorb some of the engine vibration. Echo uses loop grips on all of their X Series models.



The smaller X Series trimmer comes with a 25.4 cc two-stroke engine that makes 1.35 HP. A 1.62:1 gear ratio keeps line speeds high to rip through grass. This model comes with a Speed-Feed 400 cutting head that reloads quickly without needing to be disassembled. It comes pre-loaded with Echo’s updated 0.095 Black Diamond line, but this head can handle line up to 0.130 inches in diameter. The cutting swath for this model is 17 inches. The 2620 tips the scales at 12.3 lbs.


Need more power to cut through woody growth? The SRM-2620T has a 2:1 gear ratio, giving it 28% more torque than the standard 2620. This larger gearbox increases weight to 12.5 lbs, but it’s otherwise identical to the SRM-2620.


How do you follow up the success of the SRM-2620? Add more power. The new 3020 has a 30.5 cc two-stroke engine producing 1.8 HP. That added power cuts a 20 inch swath using a Speed-Feed 450 cutting head. This head handles up to 0.130 inch line, and comes with the same 0.095 Black Diamond line as the 2620. The gearbox has a 1.62:1 gear ratio. Without fuel, the 3020 weighs 13.7 lbs.


The high torque version of the 3020 has a 2:1 gear reduction and weighs 13.9 lbs.

Attachments and Accessories

Echo offers an edger, tiller and brush cutter for their X Series line. Currently, these attachments are only available for the SRM-2620 and  SRM-2620T.

The edger attachment uses a 0.090 inch blade to cut clean edges against pavement and redefine garden beds. It’s compatible with Echo’s Crack Chaser wire wheel. This wheel removes dirt and vegetation from pavement, preparing it for sealing.

The tiller attachment replaces the trimmer head with a pair of tilling blades for tilling and cultivating.

Echo also offers a blade conversion kit for brush cutting. It uses a 20 mm arbor, and is available with or without an 8 inch, 8 tooth brush blade. A harness and barrier bars are included.

Like the X Series, but want to use a different cutting head? Echo offers a high capacity manual head, a heavy-duty fixed line head and the ECHOmatic bump head. These heads can be used with all X Series models. The Maxi-Cut head uses heavy-duty composite blades instead of line, making it a good choice for cutting thick brush. It’s only compatible with the 2620.


Echo guarantees the entire trimmer for two years of commercial use, and 5 years of consumer use.

When You Need the Best, Go to Shank’s

Shank’s Lawn Equipment has been in the outdoor equipment business since 1985. We offer residential and commercial grade lawn care equipment from top brands including Echo, Echo Bear Cat, Mantis and Honda. Looking for parts and accessories? Need to have your equipment fixed? Our parts and service departments can help you keep your equipment working. Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA, or check out our website, We ship parts and accessories across the United States and Canada.

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Cub Cadet Challenger UTVs: Perfect for Work and Play

Cub Cadet Challenger UTVThe fact that Cub Cadet makes UTVs shouldn’t be too surprising. These vehicles were originally created for farmers, landscaping professionals, and groundskeepers. What you might be surprised to find that not all of these UTVs are strictly utility oriented. Cub Cadet’s Challenger line offers a mix of vehicles that work just as well roaming the outdoors as they do hauling planting soil and moving snow.


This Challenger is powerful enough for work, and at just 50 inches wide, it can fit in a full-size pickup bed. Under the hood, you’ll find a 404cc, single-cylinder Subaru EX40 making 14 HP. This lets the 400 can tow up to 1,200 lbs. using its Class 1 hitch receiver, and the bed can carry up to 400 lbs. The top speed is limited to 25 MPH to make it legal for neighborhood street use. A roof, LED headlights, alloy wheels, and adjustable headrests come standard.

Cub Cadet offers this model in two versions. The 400 4×4 has four-wheel drive, while the 400 LX has is rear-wheel drive and comes with a full windshield.

MX 550

While the 400 is mostly work-focused, the 550 is built for play. This isn’t a small upgrade over the old 500. This Challenger uses a newly reinforced frame designed to handle heavy loads and plenty of punishment.

The 550 comes standard with a cab, half doors, and side-view mirrors. The windshield can be removed if you want more airflow. Inside, you’ll find a pair of bucket seats and a fully digital dash.

Power comes from a 546cc single-cylinder engine. It comes equipped with EFI, reducing fuel consumption while making the engine easier to start in cold weather. The 550 can tow up to 1,200 lbs, and its bed can carry up to 500 lbs. Top speed is 45 MPH.

To keep things fun, this UTV has alloy wheels with off-road tires, 11 inches of ground clearance, and a standard winch rated for 3,500 lbs. The CVT has a low range gear, and both the front and rear differentials are lockable. Cub Cadet offers this UTV in camouflage, yellow and black.

MX 750

Like the 550, but want more power? The 750 uses a 735cc engine with electric fuel injection, giving it a major boost in acceleration. The 4×4 system carries over, as do the winch and cab. You also get the same selection of colors.

The Challenger 750 has a 1,200 lb. towing capacity and 1,100 lb. cargo capacity including a maximum of 500 lbs. in the bed. While the unassisted steering is light in most circumstances, you might want to get the EPS model if you plan on tackling difficult trails. It adds electric power steering, making the UTV easier to steer, especially with the front diff locked.


Buying a 550 or 750 for some off-road fun? Cub Cadet offers rock sliders to protect the undercarriage and a four cube light bar for better visibility. If you use your UTV for work, you can outfit it with a chainsaw mount and a bed sprayer that moves 2.2 gallons of fluid per minute at 70 PSI. No matter how you plan on using your UTV, you should also check out the upper door sections and the brush guard.

Want to upgrade the Challenger 400? You can add a soft cab and rear dust panel for weather protection, while tail lights and a horn kit make for safer off-roading. This side-by-side can also be fitted with the same 3,500 lb. winch found in larger models. Cub Cadet makes a 58-inch snow blade that is lifted and lowered by this winch.

We’re More than Just Lawn Care Equipment

Shank’s Lawn Equipment specializes in all types of outdoor equipment, including UTVs. We carry vehicles from Cub Cadet and Yanmar, as well as amphibious ATVs from Argo. Need to have your vehicle worked on, or want to add some accessories? Our service department can do it for you, or you get the parts you need from us to do it yourself. Come see what we have to offer at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA, or visit us online at You can use our website to check our current inventory and order what you need to fix your Cub Cadet. We ship across the United States and Canada.

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Cub Cadet Volunteer UTV

Cub Cadet Volunteer UTVSide-by-Sides have an odd place in the market. While they were created as an alternative to large work trucks, most models are still closely tied to more sport-oriented ATVs and motorcycles. That means while they may have great off-roading capabilities, they aren’t cut out for serious work. That’s not the case with the Cub Cadet Volunteer. It’s built from the ground up for working, from its torquey engine to its long list of standard equipment.


The Volunteer uses a 747cc Kohler Aegis V-Twin. Unlike the motorcycle engines found in most UTVs, this fuel-injected, liquid-cooled engine is built primarily to deliver low-end torque. Its 31 HP rating may not sound that impressive in this segment, but it delivers 47.7 lb-ft. of torque at a low 2,400 RPM. This gives you power where you need it for pulling trailers, pushing snow and carrying heavy loads. The engine uses a heavy-duty air filtration system like you’ll find on a high end mower.

Cub Cadet fits this model with a 6-gallon gas tank, but thanks to the added efficiency of EFI, you can expect this small tank to keep the engine running as long as the 8 and 9-gallon tanks found in competitors’ side-by-sides. Fuel injection also helps this engine burn stale fuel, and it makes starting easier on cold days.

Power is sent through a CVT to a four wheel drive system with a lockable rear differential. Top speed is 25 MPH, which is lower than previous models. This helps the Volunteer meet neighborhood vehicle regulations for street use. The Volunteer has 11 inches of ground clearance and 8 inches suspension travel courtesy of adjustable coilovers.

Payload and Towing

Cub Cadet builds the Volunteer around a 3-inch ladder frame, much like the frame you’ll find in a full-size truck. This lets it carry up to 1,400 lbs, including up to 1,000 lbs. in the steel bed. Out back, you’ll find a Class 1 hitch receiver that lets this UTV tow up to 1,400 lbs. With 8 inch hydraulic disc brakes on all four wheels, you don’t have to worry about slowing down when you’re fully loaded.


Cub Cadet used to offer several versions of the Volunteer, but now there’s just one model to pick from that comes with the most popular equipment. While most manufacturers will photograph their models with optional equipment, everything you see in promotional photos comes standard. That includes a fully enclosed cabin with hard doors, a windshield, a wiper, a rearview mirror and high-mounted work lights.

While some manufacturers try to squeeze three seats together in their side-by-sides, this vehicle has large bucket seats to accommodate two people.


While most of what you’ll want comes standard on this Cub Cadet, there are still upgrades available to tailor the Volunteer to your needs.

12-inch alloy wheels come stock, but you can get 14-inch rims if you’re looking for different tire options. For more storage space, you can add a hood rack. Do you need a backup alarm to meet your workplace’s safety requirements? The Volunteer comes pre-wired for accessories, so the reverse alarm is a drop-in addition.

Need to drag obstacles out of the way, or rescue your vehicle if you get stuck? You can add a Warn winch with a whopping 4,000 lb. load capacity. It fits behind the stock brush guard, so you don’t need to worry about banging it up.

Since this UTV has a liquid cooled engine, Cub Cadet is able to offer a heater kit that works like an automobile heater. It blows air through a heater core that taps into engine’s coolant system, delivering heat without putting a large load on the electrical system. Speaking of cold, you can fit the front end of this UTV with a 72-inch snow blade. This blade must be paired with the winch, which is used to raise and lower the blade from the cabin.


The Volunteer is available in yellow, red or camouflage. There is no extra charge for any of these colors.


Cub Cadet covers this UTV for one year of residential use. Kohler guarantees their Aegis engines for three years of residential or commercial use.

Your One Stop Shop for Outdoor Equipment

Shank’s Lawn Equipment has more than just mowers. We carry all types of outdoor equipment, from generators to work-ready UTVs from Cub Cadet and Yanmar. Need parts or service for your vehicle? We do that, too. Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA, or check out our website,, to see our current stock of vehicles. You can also order parts and accessories for your side-by-side from us online. We ship across the United States and Canada.

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How to Choose the Right Chainsaw

Cub Cadet ChainsawWhat features do you need in a chainsaw? How big of a chainsaw do you need? What’s the best type of engine for a chainsaw? If you’re looking for a new saw, there are a lot of choices you need to make. Here’s how you can answer these questions, so you can get exactly what you need.

How Often Will You Use Your Chainsaw?

While most lawn care equipment is divided into residential and commercial models, chainsaws also have a “farm and ranch” or “prosumer” category that fits somewhere in the middle. These categories target the amount of use the saw sees during its lifetime. Homeowners use saws a few times a year, large property owners may use their saws every few weeks, and professionals use them almost daily.

Like other equipment, moving up a category doesn’t just get you more power. Higher end models will have more vibration dampening and larger fuel tanks. That said, you will still get a kickback safety and an automatic bar oiler on any modern residential saw. Many of these models also include a spring-assisted starter, which makes the engine easier to turn over.

Weight, Power and Bar Size: Getting the Right Combination

Bigger is better, right? Not necessarily. Going for a bigger chainsaw gives you more power and lets you use a longer bar. However, you’re going to feel every extra pound after lugging it around all day. An arborist chainsaw can easily weight twice as much as a more residential-friendly model, and that difference is even greater with the bar installed. Using too big of a chainsaw doesn’t just make cutting harder, it also becomes a safety risk as your arms get tired. Kickbacks are more likely the longer the bar is, so it’s best to stick with a smaller chainsaw if you aren’t an experienced user.

Likewise, you should choose a guide bar based on the size of trees and branches you’re cutting. A longer bar can handle larger trees, but a shorter bar is more maneuverable. Your chainsaw’s bar should be at least two inches longer than whatever you are cutting. For the best performance, use a bar that is no more than two inches longer than the stock bar that came with your chainsaw. Anything longer will likely demand too much power from the engine.

Why are Most Chainsaws Two-Strokes?

A two-stroke engine draws in air and fuel and pushes out exhaust at the bottom of the piston stroke, then ignites the fuel/air mixture at the top of the stroke. The engine ignites fuel with every rotation of the crank, while a four-stroke ignites every two rotations. This increasing power. Oil is mixed into the fuel, circulating through the crankcase before entering the cylinder. There’s no need to have a separate lubrication system, so the engine stays lubricated no matter what angle it’s running at.

While emissions are an issue, two-strokes have largely fallen out of favor because they have a very narrow powerband. Slow down the engine, and power drops off significantly. In a chainsaw, this is a benefit. Normally, the engine runs at top speed. If the chain snags, the engine will stall, helping prevent kickback.

This is one problem that makes two strokes inconvenient: fuel sensitivity. Modern fuel goes stale quickly, and two-stroke engines are very sensitive to stale fuel. Manufacturers recommend using gasoline within one month of purchase, even if it was mixed with an off-the-shelf stabilizer. You can avoid problems by buying shelf-stable pre-mixed fuel like Echo’s Red Armor, or two-stroke oil with added stabilizers, like Shindaiwa’s One oil. These formulas keep fuel fresher longer.

What Do I Need to Get With My Chainsaw to Use It?

Good safety equipment is a must. Eye protection keeps sawdust at bay. Non-slip shoes or boots help you keep your footing while hearing protection blocks engine noise. You can protect your hands and reduce fatigue by wearing anti-vibration gloves. Heavy pants are good for protection, but chainsaw pants or chaps are better. Look for a pair that meets the ASTM F1897 standard. These have a Kevlar layer that binds up the chain before it can cut your legs.

The saw should feed itself into the wood. If you find that you have to pull the saw forward and back to get it to cut, the chain is dull. Either pick up a chain sharpening kit or have your chain professionally sharpened when you start having cutting problems.

Get the Right Chainsaw for Your Needs

Shank’s Lawn Equipment carries a wide range of outdoor equipment, including chainsaws from Echo and Shindaiwa. We can help you find a saw and bar that fits your needs, and we have the parts and service you need to keep it running. Our shop is located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA.

Need parts or accessories for your chainsaw? Visit our website, We can ship your order to any address in the U.S. or Canada.

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What’s the Best Way to Deal with Clippings: Mulching, Bagging or Discharge?

What’s the Best Way to Deal with Clippings: Mulching, Bagging or Discharge?While there are generally accepted practices for cutting grass, there’s a lot of confusion when it comes to dealing with the clippings. Is mulching always the best option? Why shouldn’t you always bag clippings? Why would you want a rear discharge deck? Here’s what you need to know about how these methods work, and when you want to use them to deal with your lawn clippings.


Under most circumstances, mulching is the best choice for mowing. Mulching cuts grass clippings into tiny pieces, allowing their nutrients to be reabsorbed into the soil. Returning these clippings to the lawn also supports microorganism growth, acting as a sort of first course before microbes tackle the tough, woody material that makes up thatch. Done correctly, mulching reduces the need for fertilizer and keeps thatch buildup under control.

Modern mulching systems use high lift blades that act like fans, blowing clippings up into the deck’s mowing chamber. As the clippings fall back down, they’re sliced again. Large clippings continue to flow back into the mowing chamber, while small clippings fall between the blades onto the ground.

All that cutting can bog down the mower with clippings. To speed up this process, Honda’s Microcut system uses a pair of blades stacked on top of each other to slice clippings twice with each pass. Other manufacturers like Scag take a similar approach, adding serrated edges to the ends of their mulching blades to make two initial cuts before mulching.

In the past, there was a major difference in mulching performance between stamped and constructed mower decks. While a stamped deck can be shaped to hug the blades for increased vacuum, a constructed deck’s flat sides leaves the deck almost completely open. Today, manufacturers get around this by including baffles with their mulching kits. These metal plates seal the mowing chamber, improving vacuum. While you won’t get the finish of a stamped deck, the results are much closer than they were on older mowers.


Bagging is generally frowned upon in the landscaping community. By removing clippings, you’re stripping their nutrients from the soil. More fertilizer has to be added to the soil to compensate. However, there are times when you may not want clippings on your lawn:

– If weeds are germinating, mulching or discharging will spread their seeds across your lawn.

– While you can leave a thin layer of mulched leaves on your lawn for microorganisms to digest, a thick layer will block water and sunlight while turning acidic. Bagging removes leaves before they get out of hand.

– If you have black walnut trees, you may want to remove all leaves from your lawn. These leaves contain juglone, a chemical that is poisonous to a wide variety of plants.

The clippings you collect don’t have to go in the garbage. Instead, you can create a compost pile. Weed seeds, pollen and juglone break down after a few weeks, making the resulting mulch harmless to your lawn.

Side Discharge

A side discharge system is the simplest way to deal with clippings. The blades cut the grass and push the clippings out of a chute on the side of the deck. Vacuum is still important to lift the grass and get an even finish, but there’s no need for tall mowing chambers, tight tolerances and high lift blades to get a good cut. However, the clippings left behind can clump together, and they don’t integrate into the soil as well.

Discharging takes less power than mulching, making this method a good choice for exceptionally tall or thick grass. To keep your lawn healthy, never cut more than one-third of the grass’s height at a time. If you need to get overgrown grass down to a manageable height, cut one-third of its length over multiple mows, letting the grass recover for a couple days between cuts.

Rear Discharge

Aside from some walk-behind mowers, a rear discharge deck cannot be adapted to bag or mulch clippings. However, letting the clippings leave the rear of the deck eliminates the need for a discharge chute. This makes rear discharge decks narrower than other decks. Since clippings are spread across the entire width of the deck, there’s less chance of clumping. Rear discharge mowers are a great choice for maximizing cutting width while keeping the mower small enough to weave through and around landscape features.

We Can Help You No Matter How You Mow

Need to upgrade your mower for mulching or bagging? Want to add a rear discharge mower to your fleet? No matter your needs, Shank’s Lawn Equipment can help you. We’re a dealer for most major mower brands, including Honda, Cub Cadet, Exmark, Scag and Wright. We can help you find a mower that fits your needs, add accessories, and keep it running with parts and repairs. When you need lawn care equipment, visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. You can also order parts and accessories from us at We ship across the U.S. and Canada.

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