My Tractor Forum banner

21 - 26 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Consider a blower as insurance and hope you don’t HAVE to use it on that much snow, but shoveling is the main cause of heart attacks in older people. If you aren’t there yet, you will be some day. I was just trying to point out the time saved using a blower in tough conditions as compared to a blade or FEL + back blade. Blowers may not be for everyone, but where I live, it’s the best choice, especially when space is limited for piling snow. A front blade is certainly the lowest cost, at least until you have to hire someone to plow you out, maybe even then once or twice, just not every day or even 2-3 times a week.

A few years back, I had to clear 1-1.5 ft off the roof three times in a week. It doesn’t happen often, but I prefer to be prepared if it does.
I've already had heart attack number 2 with a third scheduled and that is why no more shoveling. While probably not quite as bad as some areas in the country Iowa is capable of a few 10-12" snow storms thru an average winter. Never had to get on the roof and with a bad knee and bad back I'll steer clear of trying to climb the roof.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
Interesting. I just bought a used John Deere 425. Now you have me wondering if its big enough to do my driveway and sidewalk. Don't know the weight but I'm guessing its around 1000 lbs with the hard cab.
It's big enough - and you'll have fun doing it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
I've done three different versions on my Landlord DLX, no where near the weight of some of the other GT's. Depending on terrain of the driveway the single stage blower was the best. The two stage blower worked, but it was too slow.

My first house had a 50 foot wide concrete driveway and the single stage blower was king. I even cleared a 100 foot long path on the road in front of my house each time it snowed. When we built a new house I had a long sloping driveway and the single stage would've taken me 3 hours to clear. I bought a blade for the Landlord DLX and tried that, although quicker it still wasn't quick enough. Switched to an 825 Gator with a 72" blade and I can clear my 12 foot wide 850 foot long driveway in 45 minutes. Gator parks in the garage so it's always warm, actually all equipment always sat in a heated garage.

Landlord DLX was always set up the same with any configuration. Stock front tires with the air pressure cranked up and skinny ATV tires in the rear, no chains and no weight. For your stamped driveway you don't ever want to use chains, they'll chew up the driveway. ATV tires on a GT with a blower are perfectly fine, and the transaxle doesn't break from too much stress. If there's too much to push the ATV tires will slip just enough, never even used diff lock, never weighted them, and never filled them with fluid. I couldn't drive around the yard in 1/2" deep snow with them though.

What I've learned clearing snow in Wisconsin, on both a 300 foot driveway and an 850 foot driveway YMMV:
  • A cab is a must, just spend the money, you'll thank me later. Soft cab is perfectly fine unless you want to trick it out.
  • ATV tires on the rear with a snowblower in front are excellent for a flatter driveway, especially if you don't want to chew it up, but they'll work on hills too, you just have to be creative in how much snow you chew at once.
  • Power steering and hydro lift are definitely worth their upgraded cost, but not a complete necessity depending on driveway and how you approach clearing snow.
  • Snow plows are undoubtedly faster than snow blowers.
  • Snow blowers are slower, but at the end of the season you have less to deal with on the sides of your driveway. I have to widen the snowbanks on my driveway from plowing twice a year.
  • Plowing always makes your driveway narrower the longer you get into the season.
  • Heavier is always better. 1600 pound gator, 400 pounds of workout equipment weights in the bed, and a 72" snowplow and I've never gotten stuck, ever, no chains either. I even plow a path around the yard once a year in 12"+ deep snow leaving 2" on the ground so the kids can rip around on the ATV's.
  • Never take a full swath with the snowblower, only 3/4" max otherwise you'll get blowout on the sides and nothing is more irritating than getting done clearing the driveway and there's a small 1/2" tall strip running right down the driveway.
  • In terms of single stage blowers, narrower is better, they just throw the snow better so you can move faster and get the same amount of work done with less cleanup. Think of it this way, most single stage snowblowers have the same chute size, the only difference is the width.
  • Two stage blowers are the slowest of all. I tried one for a year and sold it for a loss to get rid of it.
  • Snowblowers will always leave a little bit of dust behind, my previous driveway was all concrete and I ran the wear bar on both snowblowers tight to the ground (no blower shoes) and I could never clean it all the way down. I had the occasional scratch on the concrete that disappeared by Spring.
  • With either setup you're constantly switching from forward to reverse, plowing more so than snow blowing, so a hydrostatic transmission will make life much easier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Years ago I had a MTD tractor and purchased a John Deere Sabre blade for it. I could plow about 1/2 a blade width with a heavy snow but after 1/2 the winter I ran out of space to put the snow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,597 Posts
In heavy snow areas, it doesn’t take 1/2 the winter. Just saying, the need in your area generally dictates what works best. Although I have a blade for the X738, it has never been used for snow. Only once last year would have made any sense. There was 3” of snow and it was raining. I pushed the total slush to the side with a shovel where some water drained out before it froze. A blade would have made it slightly quicker, the blower would have acted like a blade and probably plugged up more than it helped. In those conditions, which I’ve only seen once in 47 years here, you just have to work your way through it. I just know in heavy snow areas, a blower is a necessity.

As for single stage vs two, I will only have a two stage (after watching the neighbor use his Bolens with a single stage) and for speed, it must be the tractor blower combination or just the tractor didn’t have enough power. My X738 walked through 12” deep snow with a 2” crust on top from the rain that fell on top like it does with any snow, fast - as fast as you can walk, with a full 54” wide path. How fast you can go is dictated by how much overflow you are okay with. All the 15-16’ wide driveways only take 3 passes. It takes as much time to clear/turn around in front of the garage as it does to clear the rest of the drive. The widow down the street is just pleased her yard isn’t all torn up from the pickup plow pushing snow onto her front yard and along her garage. Plows tend to dig into the soft ground in early Winter until the ground gets frozen enough.
 
21 - 26 of 26 Posts
Top