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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Few observations:

1. Wet snow is annoying.
2. Snow blowing consumes way more gas than mowing does
3. Creases in your drive's concrete are quite an impact to the blower/tractor if you're not paying attention.
4. Locking diff is wonderful.

Once the temp started to rise for the day and the snow got heavier I spent too much time unclogging the shoot. Perhaps that's a good indication I'm trying to hard to find an excuse to use the blower.

Holy cow, I started with 1/2 tank of gas this morning, did three modest drives and I ran out of gas in my neighbor's drive. Big lesson learned there.

No matter how small a crease may be in the concrete, the blower will catch it and you'll know it! Slow down, raise your blower, whatever.

I love the lock diff. It's a necessity for snow blowing anything that isn't completely flat. I wonder how long before I come up with a excuse to get a 4x4?

Kind of a rough outing for the first time but man it was good to get some seat time. Though really I'm already over winter now and I'm ready to mow and haul mulch around.
 

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glad you got to try it at least, if it was your first time, you will get better too...

"No matter how small a crease may be in the concrete, the blower will catch it and you'll know it!" maybe some wider skid shoes can prevent that problem...

a locking differential is great, but when it gets icy only chains will get the job done, even 4WD fails when all four are on ice...


also, maybe the rubber flap addition to your 2nd stage would be beneficial.

The update makes the single stager UNCLOGGABLE! it can throw pure slush without a problem... :fing32::fing32:

An amazing and cheap upgrade!



.
 

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You might check your shoe height and position settings. I have sixteen or so pads in my driveway so there are lots of seams everywhere. Some pads heave more than others so I pay attention to which ones create steps and the direction I'm traveling. Overall though my shoes tend to ride up the step first and lift the blower up to the new level. I haven't looked at my shoes closely to see their setting - they are still wherever the dealer set them. If there is a forward offset setting you might want to use that so the shoes are far enough out in front of the blower. As was suggested, if nothing else, put on some longer shoes.

I've not noticed that my blower uses a ton more gas than the mower. But I have the winter grill cover. Maybe it is possible if you don't have the winter grill cover for the carb to run a bit rich to try to maintain the proper engine temperature. Is the grill cover recommended for liquid cooled engines? I know it's original purpose was to prevent carb ice-up with the older hood design.

I have a rear blade for my X500 to handle the slushy stuff. It just gets to big of a hassle cleaning out the two stage when it clogs up. I do have to watch the seams much more closely with the rear blade down because it does not have spring release. Maybe I can fab some shoes for the blade that will allow it to climb over heaves.
 

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Grill cover should NOT be used with liquid cooled, but the X530 is air cooled.
I'm guessing his shoes are set too low!
 

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Glad you got to use it and also check the skid shoe height. slkpk
 

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Glad you got to use the blower, even if the maiden voyage had its idiosyncrasies. An observation or two if I may:

It sounds like you're trying to scrape right down to the pavement. That's why you keep catching the blower on the seams. I don't know about others, but I never get the driveway "clean" when blowing, depending on the season and conditions I leave between 1/4" and an inch of snow when I'm done. So as others have said, lower those skid shoes some.

That must have been some pasty, heavy wet snow. Again, lowering the shoes in those conditions will leave the wettest, slushiest layer behind, and that could make blower performance better. Wait until you get that blower into 10" of nice powder, then you'll know why we all can't wait for snow! If the blower has trouble with dry, powdery snow something's wrong. Check your belt, belt tension and belt routing.

Yes, you used more gas, but think of it this way, how much mass does a cubic foot of grass clippings have vs. a cubic foot of wet snow? F=ma, you are going to have to apply a lot more force to accelerate more mass.

As mentioned above, if you don't have weights and chains, get them. Locking diff must be great, but the only reason I think you needed it so much was because you had the blower off the ground to compensate for the uneven driveway. That shifts the weight forward off of the rear drive wheels. Steering sould be better though!

Have fun with that rig, I'm jealous
 

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My 44 blower is set up to scrape down to bare concrete. The only thing left on my driveway is stuff that gets in the HDAP tread- just HDAP tracks everywhere. I'll take a pic of my setup later today and post it for reference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Good to see somebody got some snow to use their new blade and tractor in!!!!
It was all melted by the time the afternoon settled in. But yes, it was nice to at least get some seat time. I'm REALLY looking forward to spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Glad you got to use the blower, even if the maiden voyage had its idiosyncrasies. An observation or two if I may:

It sounds like you're trying to scrape right down to the pavement. That's why you keep catching the blower on the seams. I don't know about others, but I never get the driveway "clean" when blowing, depending on the season and conditions I leave between 1/4" and an inch of snow when I'm done. So as others have said, lower those skid shoes some.

That must have been some pasty, heavy wet snow. Again, lowering the shoes in those conditions will leave the wettest, slushiest layer behind, and that could make blower performance better. Wait until you get that blower into 10" of nice powder, then you'll know why we all can't wait for snow! If the blower has trouble with dry, powdery snow something's wrong. Check your belt, belt tension and belt routing.

Yes, you used more gas, but think of it this way, how much mass does a cubic foot of grass clippings have vs. a cubic foot of wet snow? F=ma, you are going to have to apply a lot more force to accelerate more mass.

As mentioned above, if you don't have weights and chains, get them. Locking diff must be great, but the only reason I think you needed it so much was because you had the blower off the ground to compensate for the uneven driveway. That shifts the weight forward off of the rear drive wheels. Steering sould be better though!

Have fun with that rig, I'm jealous
Yep, it is scrapping. I'm going to adjust the shoes to leave about a 1/8" gap for next time.

The snow was very heavy and wet. So much so that by the time the afternoon rolled in it was largely melted off of everybody's driveway. Me snow blowing was strictly for my own entertainment. =) I can only imagine what it'll be like to snow blow any kind of significant snow. After this past winter I'm pretty jaded on any possibility of any snow in the future but this past year has been quite the anomaly.

Currently I'm running with wheel weights and two suitcase. Really the only time I'd need the locking diff is, like how you said, when the blower was lifted off the ground because of a curb. Being that I was pushing more snow than blowing the rear end of the tractor would get squirrelly when pushing lots of snow up hill. The locking diff tempered the squirrelliness.

Man, I can't wait for spring.
 

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I was out doing community service today with my X500 and took these pics of my 44 on my driveway next to a seam.

This is what it looks like in the down position on a flat surface. The scraper bar is sitting flat on the concrete.



This is the shoe position relative to the housing.



This is as the shoe hits a raised seam of about 3/8 of an inch - high enough to catch the scraper bar.



Here is what the scraper bar looks like when the shoe is at the location shown in the above photo.



And another toward the center of the blower.



And another toward the opposite end of the blower.



And the opposite end of the blower with the shoe meeting the seam. Sorry for the lighting.



And this is something like the finished product. You can clearly see the concrete in most places. I was out blowing while it was still snowing so there's a light dusting on top of the concrete in some places.



Hope that helps. Seams do cause problems and I do have to pay attention to the direction I am traveling versus the direction of the seam, the height, and the angle I approach it from. It is certainly possible to catch the scraper bar on an edge the shoe didn't pass over. But the scraper bar should be able to ride on the concrete if you keep the forward speed down and pay attention to where the heaves are. I have twelve slabs on the driveway and another three or four off to the side.
 
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