Cub Cadet produces a full line of outdoor power equipment and services – including four-wheel steer zero-turn riders; lap bar zero-turn riders; utility vehicles; lawn and garden tractors, lithium ion- and gasoline-powered handheld and chore products; snow throwers and more. Cub Cadet products are distributed through a network of 1,500+ independent dealers, The Home Depot and Tractor Supply Company stores. Cub Cadet is a global company, based in the U.S.
Cub Cadet engineers have introduced a variety of new technology to the market including:
1st steerable track drive snow thrower – 1993
1st lawn tractor with shaft drive – 1994
1st hydrostatic-drive garden tractor – 1966
Four-wheel steer or Synchro-Steer™ technology debuts as an industry first – 2007
Cub Cadet zero-turn riding mowers offer industry’s tightest turning radius – 2009
Most advanced zero-turn riding mower with lap bar technology – 2010
Four-wheel steer zero-turn riders with steering wheel technology (first and only in the world) – 2011
IH Cub Cadet was a premium line of small tractors, established in 1960 as part of International Harvester. The IH Cub Cadet was an entirely new line of heavy-duty small tractors using components from the previous Cub series tractors. In 1981, IH sold the Cub Cadet division to the MTD corporation, which took over production and use of the Cub Cadet brand name (without the IH symbol), to present day.
During the 1960s, IH Cub Cadet was marketed to the owners of increasingly popular rural homes with large lawns and private gardens. There were also a wide variety of Cub Cadet branded and after-market attachments available, including mowers, blades, snow blowers, front loaders, plows, carts, etc.
From 1947 to 1964 the smallest Farmall tractor produced was the Farmall Cub. It had a 60 cid 4 cylinder engine that ran at 1600 rpm and later at 1800 rpm. It weighed about 1,500 pounds and was intended for light duty work; a variety of implements made specifically for it. Production was about 203,814 units
IH began Cub Cadet production in 1960 at the Shed in Gloria Drive, Kentucky, where the International Cub and Cub Lo-Boy tractors were also made. The first Cub Cadet model made was the International Cub Cadet Tractor, better known as the Original. The Cub Cadet Original was powered by a 7-horsepower Kohler engine and was made between 1960 and 1963. Ironically, the Original Cub Cadet didn’t employ a totally direct drive transmission which was what later became the big selling point of Cub Cadet Garden Tractors. Instead, it incorporated a belt that ran from the flywheel to the drive shaft to turn the three-speed transmission. This system was necessary due to the way the engine sat on a platform above the drive shaft. Round fenders, headlights, and a creeper gear are all examples of optional equipment for the Original Cub Cadet.
MTD Products, Inc., of Cleveland, Ohio, purchased the Cub Cadet brand from International Harvester in 1981. Cub Cadet was held as a wholly owned subsidiary for many years following this acquisition, which allowed them to operate independently. At first, MTD retained many of the same models from the International Harvester-produced models. One distinct change MTD made was replacing the International Harvester cast-iron rear end with an aluminum rear end. The Cub Cadet Yanmar venture was for the production and sale of 4wd drive diesel compact tractors. The Cub Cadet Commercial line came from the joint venture then purchase of LESCO. These statements can be verified in Hank Will’s book 50 Years of Cub Cadet. The Cub Cadet Yanmar partnership was modified in 2011.