:MTF_wel: and :sorry1: I can't help with your questions as I don't own a JD blower. Someone will be along shortly to help. slkpk
Bercomac only made the 42inch two stage Blower for the L100 & LT100 series tractors the Current two Stage Blowers meaning the 44, 47inch Belt driven and the 47inch & 54inch Shaft drive are Built In House By Deere Not Bercomac. Bercomac does still make the front Blade for the D100 series though:thThumbsUIIRC Bercomac makes the JD blowers so they are effectively the same. I don't recall that anyone has posted a direct comparison. You might have issues blowing ice though with the plastic chute. Several people have cracked theirs with rocks - a chunk of ice would do the same. That seems to be the weak point as reported here. I don't have enough blowing hours on mine to comment other than my 2002 Ariens 824 was a PoS for reliability and was poorly suited for my width of driveway. So far the 44 has been fine although I also have a rear blade. When blowing conditions are not ideal I tend to use the blade. It takes more time than the blower but it gets the job done. There are members here who live in Canada and blow huge amounts of snow with the 44 without reporting significant issues other than the occasional stuck newspaper. I think Stladrill blew his gearbox out last season when he hit a concrete stair. He can tell you about the inside of the gearbox. He also recently replaced a pulley bearing too due to water incursion. You can find lots of posts by him and others using the search function. Personally I like the build quality of the 47 blower better but it requires the hydraulic lift mechanism found on the x530/540. I suspect the 44 will be sufficient for my application. I can tell you that riding/steering beats turning a walk-behind any day of the week.
Pete, I'm over here in Herkimer County and for what it's worth, I've had the 44" blower on my LA165 since 2008 and have been very happy with it. I have never had any issues with the plastic chute (and I don't expect to - even the plastic chute on my old MTD walk-behind is in excellent condition). I have also never broken any shear pins. I did shred a belt the 1st year I had it - I can only figure a chunk of ice got caught in just the right place - it has been fine since then. The one thing I would change is the smooth auger blades. They are fine 95% of the time but when the snow is heavy and wet, my set up seems to do more plowing than blowing. With serrated blades, I would imagine the snow would break up easier.
My neighbor just went through his first year with the 44" on his X320 and is also happy.
Like you, all we need is some snow now...