We have missed all the big snow here. Just a bunch of 4" storms so I don't feel like I've really been able to test this setup. I have logged around 18-20 hrs running her. So not comfortable yet on a few levels. Feeling like I bit off a lot and my pile of gold is just sitting there. I have all flat rate seasonals but still.
The Normand has worked well with the wet snow we have gotten. I really would like to test it with 20" of dry stuff though.
The Metal pless has a lot larger learning curve. I have a few issues that I am trying to work out. First is the float mode. I have the control stick that is all electronic not the 4 button one where you direct flow via a remote lever and press a button at the same time for a response.
With mine, you engage the remote lever and let the fluid circulate and press the 10 button joystick to divert flow and engage an action. It works pretty good except when you press a side button to float it dissallows all other action. So if you have terrain that goes up and down and need the lift cal to float and decide to windrow in another direction you are out of luck. You first have to disengage the float which takes a few seconds and then deal with the terrain contours manually with the lift button if the grade is changing and also angle etc. There is a mechanical float build in via a slotted hole that the lift pin is captured in. It allows some minimal vertical float. I would probably like another inch of play which probably translates to another 3- 4 inches at the blade. So there is a potential remedy for my personal issue with the system. I would lose the same amount in lift height for stacking though.
I can stack about as high or a little higher than my fisher v plow. I have not run it off my loader arms so I can't comment on that. I would need to invest in a global hookup for that to happen. Not sure how the hydraulics would work for that either.
One issue is the blade feed hyd fitting releasing on my rear remote. Has happened at least once on every storm(4). Not sure if the lift arms are in contact or what. It does get hot as I'm using it like a power beyond and there is a 90 deg right off the remote. I will probably just change it out and see what happens. I have the deluxe triples in the rear with the first bank used per owners manual as a power beyond. Supposed to run cooler.
The build quality of the Blade is excellent and the engineering of the soft trip the box blade wing trip and side to side lateral float terrific. I have 90 units worth of Condo parking all broken up in pods and the only issue is that I have to be real careful not to peel up the blacktop and especially the paved curbs. I always expect a relief to give. Nope...oops..
I do like the compact nature and visibility of the frame mount lift with hydraulics. I am trying to figure out how to retain more weight on my front end so I don't lose steerage when pushing heavy wet snow. When the unit is in true float I still lose some steering so I really need some weights added to the front. There isn't much room left so perhaps the undermount frame could be used or front wheel weights. I just havent had enough seat time to determine exactly what is what.
Because blade down pressure is always looming with the above manual float scenario I realize I will loose steerage at that point no matter what. I really need a different kind of lot to maximize what this will do. Large flat lots are something I have not bid on yet. My current niche is small private 1/2 acre lots with lots of broken up parking. I do have one lot 1.5 acre that is flat and long but broken into rows where all snow goes to one end. I start this one Feb 1st -spring for the next 3 seasons but need to bid on more like it and get some help with the small strip mall type places.
I will work on getting some action vid. I may try it using my iPhone as that is all I have. I need to find a way to hold it in position in the cab though.
Trites, I'll measure the actual blade height and report back another time. It can be deceiving from the seat just how high it will go.
Oh ya, Black Irish, Every storm feels like Christmas when I first climb in that thing. New Tractor smell, shiny paint, onlookers. It can be hard to enjoy it with the time pressures but I soak it up when I can.
04' 2500HD XtraCab Sbed w/ 9.5' Fisher SS Xtreme-V
12' Fisher Polycaster 1.5yd
JD5115M H310 Loader/ 9-15 Metal Pless Blade/92' Normand Inv
JD1070 w/430 Loader
Last edited by DeereGuy; 01-18-2013 at 01:36 PM..