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To plow or FEL...which is better?

4751 Views 37 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  TUDOR
As it was raining yesterday then hailing then snowing then raining..... I was wondering which would be better to have working first, the front plow or the FEL? We got about 5-6 inches of heavy wet snow yesterday. Without having the FEL or the front plow working or setup it was back to my back to clear the snow. 30' wide X 165' long driveway. I feel it this morning.

I used a GT (12 HP Bolens) with a plow a couple of times last winter. I didn't have weights in the back or on the wheels. It did OK going down the driveway it struggled for traction coming back up. Now I have a bigger tractor (Sears 18/6) with a FEL (still rebuilding see my other thread). I also have a front plow for it (I have not reviewed the setup). I think the plow is on a homemade frame. I have not gotten into the details of how to lift or rotate the blade.

We are looking at rain on Monday, Snow on Tuesday, cloudy until next Monday when we should have more snow. I have about a week to get something ready.

Here are the questions:
1 - Should I work on the plow or continue with the FEL?
2 - Which is better for moving snow? Typically here in Utah the snow is fluffy and not as heavy.
3 - What has others used and what do you prefer?

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I'd take a plow over a loader any day. Faster cleanup in snows with less than 6", by angling the blade, and only leaving a windrow of snow on one side.

IMO, the loader is only the best choice when you want a mound for the kids to play on.
Use the plow first. It will be easier to get ready with a deadline than the FEL. Once you have the plow up and going, you can go back to fixing the FEL at your own leisure.

When you have the FEL finished, make a frame for the snowplow to pin where the bucket pins, so effectively the plow becomes the bucket. This will allow you to stack the snowbanks higher and use the plow more effectively - it is very difficult to plow with a bucket. Some others on here may argue that its pretty easy, but I have tried before and you either dig in the ground to much or don't scrape enough snow.

Well, Ive never used a FEL before, but a factory plow setup looks like this.
The plow has a bracket that slides into the mule drive slot and two arms that bolt to the front axle on the bottom two holes. Plows work great but if I had a loader, I would probably use that. Although the plow may be the quickest thing to get ready?
Awesome scenery! I love the backdrop!
Well, Ive never used a FEL before, but a factory plow setup looks like this.
I like the idea of the plow attached to the loader. I started to dig the plow out of the snow a few minutes ago. It rained 2 1/2 inches before it started to snow so it may take a bit to get it out. What I did find was the bracket does look home made. I will try to find the model number and see what manuals I can find. The blade does rotate but I do not see how it lifts. I also did not see a way for it to pivot with any spring loaded feature. This could be interesting to work out.

Thanks for the input and ideas!
Do the Sears loaders typically have a "float" position on the bucket lift?

I have plowed with the loader on my backhoe - you can't scrape down to the dirt until the ground is completely frozen or you will end up with half the driveway in the bucket, yes. Once it is frozen, though, I found it works well to drop the bucket down and let it float, then curl forward to get the desired amount of scraping action.

Using a plow is quicker, but you end up with snowbanks that crowd in as the winter goes on.

If you have both, you can use the plow to quickly open the driveway up then use the loader to bucket back the banks every so often when you have more time to spend.

I've found that a 2-stage snow blower is the best of both worlds - fast, and throws the snow well out of the way. Only drawback is the rocks and dirt you stir up before the ground freezes. I usually try to let the first storm or two pack down if they aren't too deep and that helps as long as you don't get a weird winter like we've had so far.
The Sears dozer blades don't have a trip feature with springs. You have to be careful about how fast you go if there is the chance of hitting anything unmovable.
Some people plow the snow until it starts to really pile up. Then they use a loader to scoop up the big piles and stock pile the snow in a place where it is out of the way. I have also seen people use just the loader to move the snow.

A snow thower throws the snow a longer distance away from the tractor if the discharge snorkle is pointed just right.
I went out again and scrapped the snow and ice off the serial plate. The model number is 917.250552. Does this sound familiar? Is it the right plow for an 18/6? It looks like the angling mechanism is factory but the rest of the mounting is home made. I will take pics later today and post them in the hopes that someone can help figure out the mounting and lifting.
Hmm. A 917.250550 is for a Custom tractor. Does it look anything like this?


Must be why the mounts were homemade. PO bought the blade and adapted it to fit?
Here are some pics. The plow is 42" wide. I am not sure how he hooked the plow up or if he even did. It almost looks to me at least that he started to create a mounting but never finished. I may be back to the FEL.


Looks like maybe it was designed to pin into the front mower deck hangers? Does your 18/6 have front hangers?
If I had a loader, I would plow till there were too big snow banks, then use the loader to mush the banks back :D
I would just say that you should get the loader going, then you always mount the plow to the loader frame
Here are some pics of the underside of the tractor. Are these clear enough?

Thanks for the ideas. I will have to move the blade inside and see if I can figure out how it was mounted, if he mounted it.


Yup. Those tabs on the front deck hangers (clearly visible in photo 4) look like what he used to mount the plow frame. Looks like he just added them on.
Definitely will have to take a look at this option this week. Thanks for the ideas and thoughts. This will get me going until I get the loader rebuilt.
Not sure how much ooomph thase deck hangers are good for...

The Suburban mount plugs into the mule drive slot and attaches to the front axle. Remember, you don't have a spring trip blade.
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