Here is the issue: the blower adds a lot of weight to the front end. It tends to lift the rear, so you lose traction when the blower is off the ground. You will struggle even on a slight incline. When the blower is on the ground, the blower adds a lot of front resistance, so the back wheels tend to spin, unless you have weights AND chains. If it's the K46 or other light weight transmission, then you'll shorten the life of trans, especially if you get a lot of snow.
I found the combination of posi traction, weights, ice chains (ice chains have metal studs), and fish bone tires effective. Keep in mind most of the husqvrana/sears since 2005 are light weight frames, so i'm extra careful not to hit things or drive so fast that the blower bounces. I too have stone driveways - about 6000 sqft.
Much of what you mentioned is true, but, while I have serious reservations about the durability of the entry level hydros when it come to slopes while mowing grass, those reservations do not enter the picture when snow is involved. The usual complaint about K46 durability comes from overheating the hydro by climbing slopes in the summer when the air temperature is quite high in relation to winter conditions, and when hydro pressures are high from the extra workload caused by the slope.
A K46 equipped tractor will tow a 5000 lb truck on a level gravel driveway in the summer with no added ballast. In the winter on a snow covered driveway with a maximum load of ballast and ice chained tires, it is more likely to spin the tires without moving the truck. That does not indicate an extra workload on the hydro. What it does show is how little traction is available when snow is involved. If the tires are spinning, hydro pressures, and heat generation, are reduced.
Over a 30 year period, I used 2 GTs for snow removal, a MF12H equipped with a snow thrower or a FEL, complete with loaded tires, wheel weights, regular 2-link tire chains, and counterweight on the rear of the tractor (total ballast weight - 400 lb), and a MF1655 also equipped with a snow blower or FEL, loaded tires, wheel weights, 2-link chained tires, and counterweight on the rear of the tractor (total ballast weight - 650 lb).
Neither had positrac or diff lock, neither got stuck so bad that it couldn't be worked out with its own power, and the big one rarely spun a wheel. On the other hand, my heavier 4wd SCUT, with diff lock, has been stuck so bad in snow that it took a large truck to haul it out.
If done right, up to 400 lb of ballast can be added to a LT with a K46 for improved traction, and still be within the manufacturers weight restrictions. But an LT has a very limited base weigh as a starting point, and it will still spin the tires on snow when pushed hard enough.
The points on ice chains will wear off eventually. On my GT, that would be in the first year. The chains on that tractor were replaced every 8 years when the cross chains were worn so thin that they were starting to fail.
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Sometimes you get on a roll, sometimes the roll gets on you.
MF GC2310, Husqvarna YTH20B42T
Down for Repairs
MF1655 w/ FEL, MF1655, MF12H, MF8H, MF7H
Spending too much time on MTF to work on my toys.