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Cub Cadet 31AH5IVTB56 Snow Blower

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A northern winter will test the mettle of all who live through it, try the souls of the heartiest of boreal warriors and scare away Amazon delivery drivers. The latter is a concern.

Walk-behind snow blowers are as much an element of life in the north as log fires and bear spray. The Cub Cadet 31AH5IVTB56 blower is a machine to give the north pause.

Superbly engineered and flawlessly manufactured, the Cub Cadet snow blower doesn’t just move snow… we’ve become increasing aware that it frightens it. Maneuverable, powerful and a genuine pleasure to operate, it almost makes clearing our driveway a winter sport. Our driveway and subsequent forecourt are well over a hundred feet long – there’s a lot of sporting to be done.

The Cub Cadet 31AH5IVTB56 snow blower is bright yellow, which is both genuinely cheerful in the dead of winter, and readily observable if the machine is asked to run during a blizzard. It’s not unheard of to encounter one of the aforementioned Amazon delivery drivers in our driveway while it’s being cleared.

Powered by a beast of a 272cc overhead-valve gasoline engine, the Cub Cadet blower features something its manufacturer calls IntelliPOWER. The engine output adjusts itself automatically to the changing demands of whatever it’s being driven through. It uses less fuel than a conventional fixed-speed blower, and most of the time it makes substantially less noise. The base engine speed is adjustable as well, should you find yourself with a light dusting of snow and nearby neighbors. We’ve yet to use this feature, as all our neighbors are bears, and they can be assumed to be hibernating by the time a snow blower is called for.

We’ve owned a number of Cub Cadet / MTD machines – their engine technology has proven to be exemplary.

While the engine for the Cub Cadet 31AH5IVTB56 blower includes a traditional rope-driven recoil starter, it also has electric starting. Plug an extension cord into the side of the engine, push the big red button and the machine will be running in seconds. This is a treat on very cold days. The extension cord can be disconnected as soon as the engine’s on line.

The fuel cap for this engine is enormous. It’s dead easy to get its gasoline in its tank, rather than all over the floor.

Once the Cub Cadet blower is running, it proves to be a supercar of snowblowers. It has a cabled discharge chute, allowing the angle of the snow it’s blowing to be adjusted without stopping the machine. It also has a cabled discharge chute direction adjustment. Unlike other comparable blowers, the chute is made of steel rather than plastic.

The Cub Cadet blower arrives with two decidedly savage tires that laugh at deep snow. Individual brakes for each of its wheels allow it to turn in little more than its own width.

Perhaps the most praiseworthy of the high-end features of this machine are its heated hand grips. Whoever thought to include them deserves a corner office and a nice parking spot.


The Cub Cadet 31AH5IVTB56 disembarks in a really large, somewhat unwieldy box. We brought ours home in the back of a pickup truck. Two people can wrestle it to the ground without undue effort or profanity.

To its credit, this snow blower all but assembles itself. It requires that its owners bolt on its handles and its discharge chute, but its lucid instructions make doing so pretty much effortless. This said, it’s a really good idea to buy one of these things well before the onset of winter, so you can assemble it without a lot of cumbersome outerwear.

This being our second MTD snow blower, we were pleased to find that the inner workings of the Cub Cadet blower haven’t changed appreciably. The clutch of the machine… that which is arguably the most fraught element of a snow blower… is extremely simple, consisting of a drive belt, two pulleys and an idler to tension the belt when someone squeezes the appropriate hand grip. Aside from being extremely reliable, it can be repaired with a few simple tools and minimal eye-hand coordination when it requires attention. The only thing we’ve ever replaced on our previous MTD blower was the clutch belt, a task that hardly entails breaking a sweat.

The Cub Cadet 31AH5IVTB56 snow blower includes a three-year warranty on the entire machine, and five years on the auger gearbox. It even comes with oil in its engine, and a spare set of shear pins for its auger.

We’ve rarely been more impressed with a piece of machinery, ‘specially the first time it snowed.