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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to begin by posting a little about a past build of mine and go from there.

Around 2011 I purchased my first home. While i had big dreams of acreage, I was lucky to be able to afford a home at all at the time. (economy) I did alright though as I wound up with a place just outside of town with just under 3 acres in a pretty prime location.

What I quickly found out was how much blowing all of that driveway with a walk behind, sucked. After a good dump of snow, I would blow for a good 4-6 hours. Due to being on a hill side, some of the snow I would have to move a good 3-4 times.

One day, a co-worker showed me these new, self powered snowblower attachments for ATV's. While they were cool, the price was not.

So, I started scheming and picking up pieces and parts as they came along. This process, along with building the unit 3 times, took a good 2-3 years.

My uncle graciously donated a 46" Craftsmen blower attachment and an electric clutch that just happened to match the diameter of the pulley off of the bottom of the tractor it came from. (5")

I found a 16hp Briggs v-twin on craiglist for $150 and the build was on!

Like I say, I built the unit 3 times. Each time was just tacked or stitched together so I could test it, Getting the weight distribution right was key and I needed this to work with my 2000 Arctic Cat 400 4x4 ATV.

I installed a metal chute from another blower so I could motorize the chute up, down, left and right. There is a frame that passes under the wheeler and connects to the hitch on the back and chains on the front connected to the control arms in a triangular fashion. The blower itself has another tubular frame welded to the back side for the motor and battery to ride on. It is hinged so the blower and ride up and down on the skids and the winch can raise it off of the ground. The unit also has a built in battery maintainer and LED light bar.

I also wired a control box up to go on the wheeler. It has a joystick for chute functions, a clutch switch, light switches, a start or crank button and a kill button along with a set of leads to maintain both batteries and to share the load of the lights and winch.

Next up, some pictures..
 

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Nicely done. I also find it takes a number of revisions before everything gets right when attaching a new accessory to a power unit.
 

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Neat rig. :trink39:
 

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Very cool and nice work. :thThumbsU
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks all! Sorry I let this thread kinda fall off of the map.

In conclusion: this blower for my wheeler would be great if I had a flat, paved driveway and/or a bigger machine. I did add tire chains and a few sand bags to the wheeler to help, but it is a lot of weight to move. Uphill and down hill worked great, but any kind of slide slope would pull the front of the machine sideways.

I also found my self constantly shifting the wheeler from forward to reverse and back, making 3 or 4 point turns.

The blower, well, perhaps a Craftsmen housing wasn't the best choice either. 16HP directly is a lot for that housing, but I felt it was needed with such a wide path and to throw the snow a good distance. The trouble is the housing is built so thin and cheap compared to the older units by Ariens or Cub Cadet. If I were to do this again, I would use the Ariens 48".

I constantly went through sheer pins (1/4" bolts), even small rocks would bend an auger or break a sheer pin. The housing is slightly tweaked from the wheeler pushing it and catching ice or something else. (I always was moving slow but this was made for a 2wd garden tractor)

Otherwise, awesome. I can throw snow 50-60 feet which eliminates a lot of reblowing snow to get it where I want it. Power steering on the wheeler would be nice as well
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So now, the whole point of this thread. Last fall I came across a smoking deal on a skid steer. It's a 1984 Gehl with a 27 HP Ford industrial 4 cylinder gas engine. Has hydrostatic drive with chains to the four wheels.

The machine lived at a resort it's whole life and was being replaced because the insurance company wasn't happy that it didn't have a restraint bar. While it has higher hours, it is in great shape for it's age and great compression on all 4. There is some jerry rigging here and there that I have already addressed and a few worn parts that I am working on but for a $2500 investment, I do not think I can go backwards with it.

Again, I live on a hill side. This makes plowing a difficult task as I do not have a lot of run off with out going down a hill where I risk getting stuck. If I push it up hill, it all comes running back down in the spring.

Blowing snow is a great option for me and I actually prefer it. The next plan is to build a unit that is self powered and mounts to the skid steer in place of the bucket
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Ideally I would like a 54-60" unit with 1000-1200RPM at the impeller to keep the tip velocity up. This seems to be a pretty average RPM for most garden tractor blower attachments.

Last year I came across a deal on a 48" Ariens blower attachment. My initial thought was that I would use it to rebuild the blower for the wheeler, but this is even heavier than the unit I currently use. Good for strength, bad for my poor wheeler. I have started contemplating using this housing to make a self powered unit for the skid steer. While I know I will do it, I'm not sure if this is the housing to use.

I wish it had more width, (im not a fan of wings, if I am going to do this, I would like to do it better than that anyway) The skid steer has a 54" bucket and pretty much a 54" wide wheel base. I have considered widening it with the use of another housing and joining them together.

I'm also wondering about different blower designs. Ariens had a few different renditions of their 48" housings over the years. Earlier models have a 6 blade impeller while later models were 3 blade. They made changes to the shape of the chute outlet port and the last rendition even had a clutch for the augers instead of sheer pins. I spoke to a gentleman who had 2 Ariens units for sale, one the older style and one the newer. He claimed the 3 blade impeller and chute outlet changes made a tremendous improvement when he tried it in heavy, wet snow/slush. (keep in mind, he wanted to sell me the newer unit)

What I am wondering is, is there anyone out there who has dug this far into snowblower design? I would have thought more blades in the impeller would have been better than less but the more I look around at newer attachments, I see they all have a 3 blade.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Another option I have played with is using a 3 point blower attachment. This would be easier to find something in the width I'd like and these tend to be beefier. Only issue there is these are usually designed for the 540 RPM of a PTO. 540 RPM at the impeller doesn't give you much tip velocity which doesn't give you much distance. Maybe they can be sped up? Not sure how well balanced these tend to be.

I also assume I would need more horsepower, which, isn't the end of the world.
 

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Rebuilding my First JD GT
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Nice snow blower build. I recently saw a walk behind JD blower listed on CL for $75.00 and thought it might be worth the investment just to be able to fabricobble it to the front of a 54” 4 way blade and see how it’d work. I just don’t have any snow where I live and also don’t like the idea of having to run two gas powered engines to blow snow.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Nice snow blower build. I recently saw a walk behind JD blower listed on CL for $75.00 and thought it might be worth the investment just to be able to fabricobble it to the front of a 54” 4 way blade and see how it’d work. I just don’t have any snow where I live and also don’t like the idea of having to run two gas powered engines to blow snow.
That had crossed my mind also but I came to this conclusion: even if the blower was driven hydraulically off of the skid steer engine, horsepower is horsepower so I would think the fuel consumption would be about the same. The skid steer engine would just use more fuel running the whole works on it's own.
 

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Cool build. Sorry it didn’t work out as good as planned. I’ve had plenty of “great ideas” that looked better on paper than they did in the real world.

Some thoughts...

If you only plan on using the skid steer for snow removal, I’d say sell it and buy that Ariens snowblower and the tractor it was meant to attach to (any GT, S-series, or grand Sierra). Assuming you can get your $2500 back, you’ll be money ahead, as I see really nice Ariens tractors with the Mower and blower attachments in the $1500 range. You’d still have cash for a nice cab, chains, weights, and if traction is still an issue, you can throw a locker on the rear differential. If you go with the later model GT-20 or Grand Sierra, you’ll have power steering too. It seems like way less work than cobbling together things that weren’t meant to go together in the first place- although that can be fun too.

As far as 540 pto blowers. Just because the PTO spins at 540rpm doesn’t mean the auger and impeller spin at that rate. Different sized pullys and sprockets can achieve whatever rpm you want. Might take some tinkering, trial and error, or an advanced degree in engineering though.

Good luck!
 

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Boostman,

Why not use the skidders hydraulics to run the blower?

CCMoe
 

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Another option I have played with is using a 3 point blower attachment. This would be easier to find something in the width I'd like and these tend to be beefier. Only issue there is these are usually designed for the 540 RPM of a PTO. 540 RPM at the impeller doesn't give you much tip velocity which doesn't give you much distance. Maybe they can be sped up? Not sure how well balanced these tend to be.

I also assume I would need more horsepower, which, isn't the end of the world.
2440964


Meet Frankie Case 450 ish (446 on steroids ) 3 pt hitch with WET pto .
2440966

Converted 48" older heavy duty MTD blower to hydraulic drive.
 
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