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Tractor for snow removal

Post in 'The Gear' started by Flatbedford, Mar 1, 2010.

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  1. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Flatbed, EJL923 has a point about snowblowers. If your only looking for snow duty, they are hard to beat. However if your looking to cut the grass, pull a trailer (mulch), rough grade, knock down brush, move rocks/small bolders, tear out bushes, plow snow, a garden tractor with a plow and mowing deck might be the ticket.

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  2. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    That's what I am thinking. Whatever I get will be overkill for my "acreage" anyway. I have a snow shovel / push mower / wheel barrow size place here.
  3. EJL923

    EJL923 Feeling the Heat

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    Plus, they make snowblowers for all sizes and duties. If you have small lot, buy as needed. Usually i love using the blower, im kind of bummed if we dont get a lot of snow to really make it worth it for me to spend the time. Of course, i have a large steep driveway, so i have a tracked snowblower which is a lifesaver.
  4. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

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    I've got a huge fondness for tractors, especially older ones, but have to agree that for the needs being described here, a good snowblower makes the most sense. Unless you get into the pretty serious machines, some of the lawn-tractor snowblowers are single stage (only an auger with no secondary fan) and they'll be _lame_ compared to a decent dedicated snowblower. Wheel weights added for traction on a garden tractor also sometimes lead to the early demise of the transaxle or snapped axles. Most of the newer lawn tractors (including some formerly premier names) are prime examples of disposable engineering except perhaps if you get up into their top, top models.

    On snowblowers, having owned a couple of types, and helped repair a number of other types for others, I can tell you that in my mind two makes stand head and shoulders above the rest in design, construction, durability/ reliability and effective/ convenient performance: Ariens and Honda. And the models with tracks REALLY are great to use rather than futzing with something that doesn't get traction when you get wet or icy conditions. I've got a 26 some-odd year old tracked Honda snowblower; it's only needed oil changes, one spark plug change during all its years, and some minor adjustments. I don't use it much anymore but it's still got years of good usability left.
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    If I had to choose between a snow thrower and a push blade, it would have to be the snow thrower. The problem with pushing is you often run out of places to push it to. The snow thrower doesn't make tall snow banks that catch snow drifts and take forever to melt in Spring.

    That said, already having a snow thrower, I'd still like to have a GT with a blade for when there is not enough snow to warrant taking out the snow thrower. A GT would be nice for heavy pulling too, saving my YT for lawn mowing. The GT with a mower deck could do both.

    Now if I can dream, it would be a SCUT with FEL.
  6. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    One machine would be nice. Something like this that can blow, mow, load, rototill, hoe, rake, box blade and most importantly fit in an undersized garage with the wife's car in the winter.

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  7. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    If you were to dream.....would this do? Sorry, couldn't resist.

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  8. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Do they make a 20' belly mower?
  9. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I'm going to look at a JD 212 with blade, wheel weights, and chains on Sunday. It also has a 37" deck and comes with a tow behind leaf vac setup. I spoke to the owner last night. It has been repainted, recent tune up and some other new parts. He has had it for 15 years ad is selling it because he got a great deal on a zero turn mower and and doesn't need it anymore. Only problem is that it is about 100 miles away. Maybe I'm crazy to go so far, but it is what I am looking for and I can get it for $750. I think everything will fit in my LB pickup if I decide to take it home with me.
    http://images.craigslist.org/3p23ob3l85Tc5Pc5S6a2pfaeeb8f1cda71026.jpg

    I understand the argument for a blower, but my driveway is not that big and it is rare to get more than 6" of snow at a time where I live. I have plenty of paved space to push the snow to. My driveway also gets full sun all day, so melting is pretty quick. As I said, we have dome OK with snow shovels for 6 winters here, this will just make things easier on my wife when I am not around, and give me another toy to play with.
  10. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Thats about what I am running... not much to look for other than running it..
  11. aussiedog3

    aussiedog3 Feeling the Heat

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    What about putting a plow on the F350 or the F250?

    I plow my 1/4 mile driveway with an '86 Ford F250 that I paid $900 for 3 years ago. Works great, enclosed, heat, dry, lights, haul wood with it in the other 3 seasons.

    Good luck.
  12. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    I have a JD 175 16hp with plow and it works pretty good on a paved flat surface as long as you have 6" or less of snow. The major problem for me was only 50' nof my 300' drive is paved the rest is gravel and it slips alot on gravel. The chains will do a number on your concrete. To make the JD feasable need some ag or bar lug rear tires for winter.
    The JD is on it's last legs having been used for over 20 years so I got a 4 wheeler with a blade. The 4wheeler is 4wd and has a 48" plow and ag tires. The 4wheeler plows way way better than the JD ever did and can handle big drifts with relative ease in the last 3 years with several 12" plus snow fall I only got it stuck once and that was because I ran the blade up and over a frozen drift and could not pull the blade back over . I also use the heck out the 4wheeler hauling wood , you have to be really carefull with the ag tires and 4wd not to tear up the yard.
    The one thing you will need for the wife to run the thing is a winch for lifting and lowering the blade the manual lifts take quite a bit of strength to operate that might go with the tractor and hydro lift for the blade. This is something you will want to test before buying either unit. my wife can not operate the manual lift for the tractor or the 4wheeler and I am putting a winch on for about 150.00 in parts. The tractor would need to have hydrolics to operate the blade.
  13. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    With this setup, you won't even need a plow or a blower. Just park it in your driveway before the storm, after the storm pull it out into the street!

    [​IMG]
  14. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    Not crazy about the color.
  15. moosetrek

    moosetrek New Member

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    Ford 8n/9n would be a good, economic choice. 3pt will allow you to do other things than plow (mow, post holes, etc.) as you may need them. Plus it can move a smal amount of dirts, etc for minor home "projects".
  16. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    You must have missed the part of my first post where I mentioned that I have a 1/4 acre lot. Even a 12 hp Garden tractor is overkill!
  17. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Moosetrek probably has a back 40!
  18. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    Jeesh, a quarter acre? And you want a tractor?

    Look, here's my take. If you get a small garden tractor with a snowblower you'll be in good shape.

    If you get a small garden tractor with a push blade you'll get mad when it snows heavy and drifts....can't push it.

    And yep, you'll chew up and scratch up your blacktop when the tires w/chains start spinnin' ..... and they will, cuz you'll be tryin' to ram heavy snow with that blade and you'll get pizzed off....

    ask me how I know, haha!

    If it's a smaller snow sure, you can push that with a small lawn tractor, but if you get back to back snows or deep stuff you'll be in a fix.

    So, if you don't need a lawn tractor, get a snowblower.

    My simplicity 9.5 hp. blower will blow out anything. It'll chew into 30 inches of snow and throw it wherever I set it to go.

    It can also throw it 3 feet to the right or left if I put the deflector down all the way. (good for close quarters when you don't want to blow into the neighbors house/yard or onto his car/driveway)
  19. PJF1313

    PJF1313 Member

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    Flatbed -

    I had (PAST tense) about; hair under; 1/3 acre on L.I. for just under 10 years. After the second year, I got tired of cutting my yard, and both neighbors (about another 2 acres or so - oversized lots) with the 19" walk-behind. In sprint of '98 I bought a craftsman LT 1500 (Lawn Tractor) w/a 42" deck for about grand - new. Later in the same summer/fall time, I bought their 48" 2-stage blower attachment for another 1200 or so
    (come on, it's 12 years, and my recollection isn't recalling ;-) )

    In '01, we bought our current home; 1-1/2+ acres, longer and wider drive (old=~8' by 30 +-; new 15 to 30 wide x 60) New neighbors; bigger yards, longer driveways, still same ole "tractor" doin' the same ole helping out...

    The only other thing I did, besides the typical services, is to add an hour meter/tachometer; for servicing; and use "AX" and "BX" belts (they squeal a little when you engage the MANUAL clutch, but they don't slip with wet grass and snow/ice)

    So, for about $185/year; and getting lower; you get year-round use. 1 less engine to let sit 4-6 months. The down side is off-season storage; either the mower deck or the blower.
    Don't keep either outside WITHOUT cover - that's how I got a '07 LT for a hundred bucks...

    It is a PITA to change one for the other - summer to winter :

    Remove deck; scrape, clean, power-wash, re-sharpen + balance blades (2), Odd years=repaint under deck (rust control)
    Install Blower PTO
    Lift rear, install chains
    Install wheel weights
    Lower rear, install 70# tractor weight - optional
    Turn tractor around and hook up blower unit
    Get the @#$%$ belt from the bower to PTO on, and tension CORRECTLY - too loose, auger stalls; too tight, pulleys "chatter"
    Dry run
    Turn it around again - so you're ready to go on the first flake...
    Handfull of shier pins (don't know when that stray BRICK gets in the way...)


    It will blow rocks through a window (gravel driveway) and also ice. Even the plow spoils, when they plow the road, it'll get through. Granted, inches at a time, but 4' wide...

    O.K. - ENOUGH of my ramblin.....

    EDIT - One more minor thing -If ya'll goto Sears, get their "Craftsman Club" card - 10% off craftsman stuff - atleast it'll save ya on taxes...
  20. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I was wondering about the Craftsman stuff. It does seem to be affordable. My older, retired neighbor has a smaller Craftsman tractor that he mows about 1/2 acre with. I don't know how long he has had it, but it does seem to run every time he needs it to.
  21. PJF1313

    PJF1313 Member

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    The LT is only a single cycl. 17.5 hp B&S (Briggs & Scrap Iron) Uses less than a pint of oil through out the year. Figurin' it runs @ 3250 rpm most of the time, it uses less oil than my Drips Oil Drops Grease Everywhere (Dodge) ;-)

    Once you get up to the GT (Garden Tractors), they're usually a V-Twin B&S or Krapola (Kohler).
    If sears would build one w/ a rice burner (A TRUE Honda), I'll update, but until then, I'll stick with the "old" American cast iron.
  22. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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  23. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    That is a pretty cool setup. Not a bad price either. I'm gonna wait for something closer to home. I can wait a long time if I have to.
  24. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    I didn't want to start a whole new thread for this, and I don't really want to hijack your thread, but i just ordered some tires online and thought the deal is so good I needed to spread the news. I just ordered some 10x20-8 Super Lug tires (Carlisle Brand) for $108.86 shipped to my door. I'm seeing them in stores for 75+ (each) and pretty much the same online most places, so this is a pretty good deal. Hopefully these will give me some pretty improved traction over the turf saver type I have on there now. Seems like this might be the kind of tire you could use on your tractor, too, unless you would rather go for the studded type snow tires.

    SELLER: http://www.tiresunlimited.com

    DISCLAIMER: I ordered 5 minutes ago, so i don't know how quickly the tires will arrive, or if there will be problems working with this seller, but I'll be sure to report back if the sale goes down in any way other than I expect it to....

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  25. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

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    10 year old sabre with 20hp Briggs - with tune up handles 8" very wet snow no problem (on gravel driveway). I wouldn't consider a plow on a lawn tractor with the snow we get here.

    $800 from CL including a 42" deck.
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