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Tips for clearing driveway with blower/backblade combo?

4268 Views 15 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  oldboyscout
I have a new neighbor who just bought a BX series. He got a front blade and blower with it. He has one wicked driveway that has a 90 deg turn and a sweeping turn over a sloose pipe. 30' drop to creek below. And its all steep! You almost need 4 wheel drive when it's dry. A previous owner used old Ford N series to plow. He had no shoes on the blade so he could scrape it to dirt. He was out there after any flakes fell so it didn't ice up. This tractor has since been sold by another owner. I think the best setup for my current neighbor would be to get a backblade. Use it in tandom with his front blower. After clearing the bulk of snow using the blower he could scrape the driveway clear using the backblade. Would this setup be enough to get to dirt? The previous owner had a 18hp Boomer and his front blade would spring trip at any hint of hiting gravel. He could never scrape it clean like the Ford could. Would locking the front blade be recomended? Or would he tear things up. Would a backblade have enough weight to do a proper job. I don't see it practical to be swapping front implements. But then again, I beleaved he has 3pt salt spreader. IMO This would be swapped less than front blade / blower would be. He could also use the backblade in the summer to recrown his drive. We talked about spliting the backblade purchase because I have a diversion ditch that needs constant attention.
Has anyone have opinions on this model?


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All the driveways that I deal with are flat, so some of this is opinion only.

That rear blade with its offsetting capability has some serious advantages with snow removal on that steep driveway. Using the blower and the blade angled at the same time when going down hill should clear the snow down to dirt if some weight is added to the blade. Going uphill with the blade in carry position should give sufficient traction to use the blower, given enough horsepower to operate the blower with half a cut and climb the hill at the same time. Using the back blade while going up hill may be an option with enough weight in and on the rear tires. Successive down hill passes with the blade offset to scrape the previous uphill pass and angled to make the windrow towards the working side will mark the edge of the next blower pass.

Unfortunately, this means re-angling the blade on each pass, unless you start in the middle and work to the edges. Think seriously about adding hydraulic angling and offsetting to the list of add-ons for the rear blade.

With experimenting and experience, I think it would be a great combination! I've used the blower/backblade setup in a similar fashion and have used a FEL/back blade in a like manner for many years, but my back blade doesn't have the offset function.
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With a drop like that I would be thinking about some guard rail too.
CHAINS!! All 4 tires.
IMO the key to snow plowing/snow blowing is weight and traction.

Your post stated that your friend got a Front mount dirt/snow blade and a blower. Question is the blower a rear mount or front mount? That looks to be a very long driveway to be turned around and operating a blower.

I would suggest some rear weight and tire chains. There are a ton of threads with discussions on snow clearing.

Looks like a challenging driveway. A few times clearing it and he will be a pro. I would love a long driveway like that. My house sits very close to the road. GL to your friend and both Happy New Year.
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Front mount blower. My concern with bladeing and blowing at the same time would be plowing up gravel that the blower would pickup. It's only 1 1/2" max stones
Front mount blower. My concern with bladeing and blowing at the same time would be plowing up gravel that the blower would pickup. It's only 1 1/2" max stones
A valid concern until a snow packed base is established. I use my truck to pack the driveway with the first 6" of snow. Even then care must be used or I'll lift the base right off on the second or third snowfall.

Not sure if that's a great idea on a steep driveway.
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I float my blower until I get packed a base, that's what a do for my blower to. If mine melts and it's going to refreeze. I'll run my tire chains over it to get some texture into. Not a good option for him. I think his best option is to set his blower high and scrape it with a backblade the best he can. Will a backblade pull/push him side ways if it's a few inchs? Would an offset unit help keep a better center of gravity when pulling snow?
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I think that that depends on how much weight he can add to the rear tires. A max load of RimGuard, a set of heavy wheel weights, and 2 link chains will go a long way to firmly planting the rear tires.

Offsetting the rear blade will increase the side loading on the rear end compared to directly behind.
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You and he NEED a back blade. I can't imagine having a tractor and no back blade, they just work too well.

Also, CHAINS for that hill, and wheel weights or loaded tires!
or you could just hose it down and charge the neighborhood kids to ride their sleds on it....
or you could just hose it down and charge the neighborhood kids to ride their sleds on it....
That's what my yard in the foreground is for!
Two things:

Snowblowers and back blades don't play well together like you want on gravel drives. Blowers need a base of frozen snow underneath them so you're not spitting stones all the time (and slowing destroying your impeller) and the back blade wants to dig down through the hardpack and pick up stones. It will take skill setting the blade just right.

I've owned the exact blade you're looking at. It's built well and is plenty tough. The problem is using the max offset on smaller tractors - when you have it offset fully to the side and you hit or catch something, the rear end of the tractor jerks to the side. Think about that happening on the curve. Its OK if you're moving loose gravel, but it will jerk if you're cutting a ditch and hit a root, or if you're going over frozen gravel and catch a semi-exposed rock. If you want to cut ditches with that blade, you need a bigger tractor - not necessarily more hp, but at least 2000lbs of weight.
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That blade at Everything Attachments looks well made and has some nice features. I wonder if it's a bit on the large size for a BX, though? They say it's for tractors from 30-45 hp. I could see even the 5' giving a BX a pretty good challenge.
Skid shoes make a lot of difference on a blade. My Woods RB has them and I can leave a 1/4" of snow if I want. That should help with the snowblower. If the blade you're looking at doesn't have them, it should be easy to bolt or weld a set on.
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