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Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by slowinfastout, Jan 24, 2016.
I think my garden tractor has a 24hp Kohler enging. My driveway drifts really bad if we get much wind so I'm not sure a plow would be useful.
I've got a garden tractor with an 18hp and haven't even considered putting a blade on it. Between wheel weights, chains, and whatever else I'd need I just can't see it being worth the expense. I'm fine with my walk-behind snowblower. But if I ever come into some money I'll get a nice quad with a plow, no questions asked.
I've been watching used quads too. I may just wait and see if I can find a deal over the summer.
Is plowing better than blowing? It seems that most of the conversation and ideas here relate to blowing, whereas when I was a kid we had never heard of snowblowers.
I've found the auger attachment for riding mowers are way over-priced, compared to what you can find a used walk behind for. They both take the same amount of storage space as well. Using a blade can be about useless unless you have a very heavy mower and 4wd, imo. I would skip it altogether.
I love my tractor snowblower, I have a really long and wide driveway plus sidewalks I need to clear and I do my neighbors. It probably takes me an hour to do my driveway with a 48" wide blower. A walk behind would take a lot longer. Plus it mows in the summer and mulches leaves in fall.
Mine I custom fit to my tractor so I can't tell you what it's like changing out. I leave the wheel weights on year round. Adding the weight box takes 10 minutes, the blower usually an hour but that's going over it, greasing stuff adjusting pulleys, hooking up all the electric chute rotation & elevation stuff.
Sometimes I use it as a plow if the stuff is just slush, I would have a hard time pushing that much snow though on a regular basis. Once you get berms, you're limited on where to blow it.
If you don't "need" one, keep a craigslist search going and one will pop up in August for cheap.
You'll find as many opinions as there are people in snow country. But here's mine:
What's better depends on how much snow you get and what happens between snows. I live in Colorado, about an hour south of Denver. We get quite a bit of snow, but it often melts between snow storms. So where I live if one were to plow, the piles you've plowed would more often than not melt before you had to do it again. Makes plowing quick, easy and for lack of a better term "do-able." If you live somewhere, like I did growing up an hour north of Albany, NY in the 1970s, where the snow never melted until spring plowing could be a problem as you run out of places to put snow. A friend of mine who still lives there, who took up lawn maintenance and snow plowing to offset expenses in his semi-retirement, was telling me the other day that at one of the shopping centers he plows for they were scooping up the snow piles they'd plowed the snow into and placing it into trucks to take off site to let it sit until it melts in the spring as there was nowhere else to pile snow. Plowing can be great if you have a place to push the snow to, a problem if your space is restricted.
If you don't have a place to push the snow to, snowblowers are a great answer. They blow it away from your paved surfaces and spread it out on the lawn without creating large berms along the sides of your driveway and parking apron. I could plow at my place but I don't want the equipment enough to deny myself other expenditures, so I have a walk behind snow blower. $1,000 from Sears, does a great job. 30" with a 351cc engine. If I ever get around to putting on an impeller kit it'll probably be even better than it is now.
Forgot to mention, type of snow can come into play as well. Cold dry snow? A snowblower makes quick work of it, throwing it fast, far and easily. Wet heavy snow, like the mashed potatoes type snow I grew up with, can be a real hassle with a snowblower as they easily clog up with that type snow (at least mine does - I've been told that if you use paraffin way, like ski wax, on the auger, impeller, exhaust chute and inside the cowling it reduces the likelihood of packing up and clogging). Plows are, in my opinion, better for wet heavy snow.
Lastly, the better the machine the better the performance you get. Had a neighbor here who bought a Honda new for $2,700. Smaller cowling and smaller motor than mine. It threw more snow, threw it farther and never clogged up. A superior machine in every way except ease of turning, as his had tracks and mine has tires, than my larger Craftsman.
It takes me about two hours to switch my Cub tractor from blow to mow............chains and all. The first time it took an afternoon. My driveway is about the same as yours and I did it for years with a 24" walk behind.
I picked this up a couple hours ago for $125
Not quite a snowblower but hey, thank the DOH. Won't embed.....
That's pretty cool. Nice to drop the second plow and not berm your driveway.
I find that it depends, they each have their uses. My old '70s Cub Cadet tractor plows great up to about 4-5 inches of accumulation. Less than that isn't really enough to break out the snowblower and is faster to push out of the way. More than that and the snow comes over the top of the blade before I get across the drive and it begins to make more sense to use the blower. That said, the old Cub is about 700 lbs with a solid frame...I can't imagine a newer box store lawn tractor taking the same beating.
I'm finding it hard to justify either right now. We've only had one snow this year that required snow removal. That was only necessary because I don't have a 4x4 truck anymore. Seems our winter's aren't what they used to be? I did find a couple garden tractors on CL with blower's for less than I can buy a new walk behind or a new attachment for mine.
It's been a low snow year for most everyone that doesn't live in the northeast. Our winter (Front Range of Colorado) has been extremely mild . . . but I don't believe it's a forever trend. It's an El Nino, La Nina thing and we're getting an easy winter out of it. If others are having a mild winter they might sell good equipment inexpensively in hopes that they're done with it. Probably a good time to pounce if you have room to store it.
Nothing special in the Northeast. Boston STD is almost exactly average. We usually get our heaviest snows in the first half of February, and in Boston we seldom get appreciable snow after the first week of March, but you never know.....
It’s my fault, we bought a new snow thrower and two new sets of winter tires.....
I only bought one set of studded snow tires/wheels, if that is all it takes to reduce our snowfall I am willing to do it again next year. I appreciate your doing your part (and then some) to minimize winter this year!