Summer is over and it's time to start thinking about getting a blade to clear snow off the driveway this winter. I still have my trusty piece of plywood that served me well last year, but I think it's time to retire it and get a real snow plow. I was looking at the John Deere web site and had some question about the blade. Perhaps one someone can enlighten me. There is a lift assist kit for the snow blower, does anyone know if this is also required for the 44 inch blade? If not how do you raise and lower the blade? As for the rear weights, I was wondering if a double bucket holder (with 2 bucketed fill with salt) would be better rear weight than 2 metal weights.