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Snow blower

Post in 'The Gear' started by chazcarr, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. chazcarr

    chazcarr Feeling the Heat

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    Hope this is the right thread for this.

    It has become clear to me that I am going to need a snow blower since my driveway is unplowable and shoveling 3 feet of snow is no fun.

    It is a gravel driveway, about 40 yards long and 5 feet wide. There is a wall about 4 feet high on one side and a grassy hill about 3 feet on the other. That is why plows fail. Nowhere to push it but straight ahead.

    So, do people on here have any recommendations for a snow blower strong enough to get over that wall? You've all been very helpful on all my other power equipment purchases.

    Thanks!

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  2. MofoG23

    MofoG23 Feeling the Heat

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    Make sure you get something that is a 2 stage blower. More HP, the better.... :)

    I have an older 2 stage blower - 24" path with a 5hp snow king motor. Worst snow storm we had was 26" in 1.5 days a few years ago....I had no issues clearing the snow. As a matter of fact, I ended up clearing a few of my neighbors driveways who had single stage blowers or tried using a plow on a lawn tractor....single stage and small lawn tractors with plows simply do not work with a large amount of snow.
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    You need one of these:
    FC-170 Snow & Go.jpg
    PA Fire Bug, nate379, raybonz and 2 others like this.
  4. NickDL

    NickDL Member

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    Do you have a garden tractor? If so, then you can look into getting a blower attachment for it. If not then you will definitely want a two stage with as much power as you can get. I have an MTD that I bought at Depot many years ago & it has served me well. It has tackled quite a few snow storms & keeps on going.
  5. FrankMA

    FrankMA Member

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    The 2 stage Sno-Tek line from Ariens get good reviews and is reasonably priced.
    chazcarr likes this.
  6. Bocefus78

    Bocefus78 Minister of Fire

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    I'm assuming the house is at the end of the drive with no way to pile it up on the side. Believe it or not, that wall and hill will help hold the snow in front of the plow rather than letting it fall off the sides. Back plow truck in as far as he can make it, push snow forward across the road then repeat as many times as necessary. Make sure to clean up the road better than it originally was. A good plow driver can do it. Hell, if he hits it fast enough, he could easily make the snow go over the 3 foot hill. I have yet to see a snow blower like 3 feet of snow. Wish I was there....I'd try it in my plow truck.
  7. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    Don't listen to any of them, if you can drive out to buy a snowblower, you no longer need one. If you're planning for the future, consider that if you have a historic depth of snow in your driveway, the roads will be impassable too, so you've got nothing better to do in the meantime but shovel anyway. The longer you can live without a snowblower, the longer you will live.

    Just my 2c to try keep those here fit, healthy and with a few more $ in their pockets, but my way doesn't help fix this recession.

    TE
    gregbesia likes this.
  8. FrankMA

    FrankMA Member

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    It took me 4 hours with my 9HP Honda 2 Stage to clear my driveway, walkways and deck. I'd still be there if I did not have the right tool for the job, although I might also be in the hospital awaiting disc surgery... :cool:
  9. chazcarr

    chazcarr Feeling the Heat

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    I wish, working in a hospital, I am always expected to come in. I am feeling the pain today, so hopefully there is a lot of gain.
  10. chazcarr

    chazcarr Feeling the Heat

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    I have a lawn tractor, so no available blower attachment. I looked into it. That would have been nice.
  11. Gripptide

    Gripptide Member

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    tbuff likes this.
  12. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    Until three years ago, I hated snow removal. Now I tolerate it. (Frontier 64")

    [​IMG]
    MasterMech and chazcarr like this.
  13. KB007

    KB007 Feeling the Heat

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    I have a 13HP Husquvarna. The wider the better, means less runs up and down. With a gravel driveway it'll be lots of fun, just watch out for the gravel hitting anything and coming back at you. Pretty much any 2 stage machine will list snow over a 4 ft wall.
  14. I have a 4' high bank on the side of my driveway. My old toro had a chute that was too short to blow snow over it once you got to close to it. Upgraded to a Honda because the chute is much higher and the deflecto goes almost straight up. I can blow a lot more snow over the bank now.
  15. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Problem with that is a lot of folks drop over, when their only exercise is moving that 3 foot snowfall.

    When it comes to mowing the grass, I push mow. Splitting wood (mine as well as a bunch more to sell) that's done by hand. Etc, etc.

    When it comes to making the driveway passable, I'm not screwing around, snowblower is the way to go. It's one thing if the grass goes a day or two more than I'd like between cuttings, the drive way is something different. Also, with an elderly dog who can't wade through snow anymore, and needing to get to wood piles with the wheelbarrow in the winter, I need to move a lot more snow than it's worth. Just horsing around that snowblower is a good workout, since it's a heck of a lot quicker to drag it back than to use the reverse!

    That said, a 5hp 2 stage would be the least I'd consider. I have an 8hp 26 inch and would say for a 120 foot drive, that wouldn't be a bad option.

    In general, if you don't get greedy with a 2 stage, and you know the machines limits depending on how heavy the snow is, they all should blow over the wall and onto the bank you have. Some just may do it quicker than others.

    pen
    chazcarr likes this.
  16. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    See TreePointer's Post.(#12) ;)

    What model tractor? Berco and Agrifab both make blowers for virtually anything with wheels.

    No necessarily. Try working with one of those 42" walk-behind monsters. You know, the one's with the cool dual tires? :rolleyes: They don't have any more impeller/chute to them than their 26" cousins. Just makes for a slower walk. And if your driveway is 11 feet wide (standard), a 26", 28". and 32" machine all take 5 passes to get it done. ;)

    Impeller Size, Engine HP, and discharge opening have a lot to do with how much snow a machine will move, lbs/min is the name of the game.

    That probably has a lot more to do with impeller speed rather than chute height. You should see the Toro PowerMax machines throw. ;)


    What kind of gravel? Hard pack? Pea Gravel? Stones are hard on blowers so you will want to set the scraper high and leave at least .75"-1" of snow behind.

    Ariens, Simplicity, of course Honda, and my favorite (for bang for the buck) - Toro all make good blowers. Your budget will determine how much blower you need but I'd try for a full-size with at least 7-8hp. Compact or mini 2 stage machines will be quite a fight with snow over 12-18".

    Avoid Troy-Bilt, Cub-cadet, Craftsman, Murray, and Husqvarna (surprise!) like the plague.

    There are many re-badged machines out there so if it looks close to Brand X, it probably is. That can be good or bad.
    chazcarr and TreePointer like this.
  17. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Last I checked, there is plenty to do in the house even if the roads are impassable. When we got 4 feet of snow here 3 years ago, I was out the next day in my truck. However, even if I had to stay home there is plenty to do. Play with the kids, work on reloading, work on actual work (i.e., I work from home), read a good book, etc. I can think of plenty of things I would rather do than shovel the driveway.

    We moved into this place 2 years ago and got 5 inches the first week we were here. Before we bought the place, my wife had said she would help me shovel the 200 foot driveway if it snowed. Well, we spent an hour shoveling and then our neighbor came by with his Kubota and back plow. We had about another 15 to 20 feet to go. He offered to clear it for us and I took him up on the offer. It took him 60 seconds at most between the plow and the bucket. My wife and I had been talking about tractors, wood burning furnaces, chainsaws, etc. before buying this place. She wasn't all too enthused about me getting a John Deere 2x20 or 3x20 tractor because of the price tag. Well, after having an hour of "fun" shoveling the driveway, or mostly watching me shovel the driveway, and then seeing what the neighbor did with his tractor, she said "You can get whatever tractor you want" and then she turned around and walked into the house. It is 2 years later and I have taken her to look at the 3720 and she has not said a word other than "Build the shed before you buy the tractor".

    There are plenty of other ways to stay fit on my own time schedule and terms, than trying to shovel several feet of snow first thing in the morning before driving my wife to work with the 3 kids in the truck.

    If we were broke, shovels it would be, and what it currently still is. The entire reason we have not bought the tractor yet is because I want to pay cash for it and I want to have a welder, the 30x40 shed, and now some more guns before the tractor. Just not enough money for everything I want. Plus, the tractor will also help with the firewood.
  18. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    From the research that I have done on snow blowers, it seems as though Ariens is the way to go with them. I'm holding out for a tractor, but if push comes to shove I will buy an Ariens before I shovel a foot+ from our driveway.
  19. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    The activity that bothers my back the absolute most is snow shovelling. And I heard yet another news blurb yesterday about a snow shovelling heart attack victim. Snowblowing still gives a workout and uses lots of muscles - I don't think going to a blower will suddenly cause someone to be un-fit. Plus, roads are passable long before driveways are, and the wall of snow left where they meet can be killer with a shovel. Not to mention drifts - and it sounds like the OP has a driveway configuration that is a natural snow catcher.

    I've got a small 5hp/22" cut MTD that is barely big enough most times. We have a tractor so I got the blower for the small areas like door & walk ways, digging out vehicles, and mainly the kids backyard rink. They've almost outgrown the rink, but I'm finding it increasingly handy in those other places, especially with the snow of this past weekend - and double especially since my folks next door could use more help with each passing year.

    I've now got my eyes open for a decent used one, bigger but not too big, that'll throw the snow farther - maybe something in the 8-10hp/24-26" range. There are lots of them around here on Kijiji for less than $500. The one I have now has a Tecumseh motor that has been flawless, but they aren't made any more (I don't think), so I'll be looking for something with a B&S engine - or a Honda if I get real lucky looking.
  20. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

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    The most powerful engine on the market I do believe. Husky Snow King. Not going over a 4 foot wall of snow tho.
  21. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf Minister of Fire

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    Chaz I feel your pain. We got an official 31" in Colchester. I have a 26 year old Simplicity 8hp 24", and with a 150' drive it took me 3 hours to do the drive and another 2 hours on Sunday to do the sidewalk and the turn around where the other cars were parked. I wouldn't go with anything less than an 8 hp. While this last snow fall was exceptional, there have been years where a secession of moderate snows still added up to 3-4 banks on either side of the drive. You have to angle the chute pretty high but it will throw the snow a good 30-50 ft depending on the consistancy.
    chazcarr likes this.
  22. chazcarr

    chazcarr Feeling the Heat

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    I will look for the Berco, agrifab is not rated for my mower either.
    I know to avoid the first 4 brands, but I heard a lot of good about the Husky, what negatives have you heard?

    I think I am leaning towards a Ariens snow king at the moment. I don't need a lot of fancy stuff on it.

    If money were no problem though, I like that Honda with the treads. Looks like a snow tank that could tow cars out of ditches.
  23. charly

    charly Guest

    Get'er done!

    100_5183.jpg
    chazcarr likes this.
  24. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I have a similar setup, but mine's painted green, so it actually works. :p Deere 855 with Deere 52 FEL and Woods SB64S blower.

    Ditto all the recommendations for a tractor-driven blower. Also, your drive is surely wider than 5 feet, or else you'd not get a car down it!
  25. I have the 9hp tracked honda blower. This is my first winter with it and it puts my old toro to shame. When the winds just right I can put snow in my neighbors drive way about 100' away ;). Found it on cl for 700, 3 years old and only used for the walkways around the house. Older couple that was moving away.
    raybonz likes this.

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