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  #1  
Old 02-08-2009, 11:32 AM
04superduty 04superduty is offline
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lawn tractor w/snowblower advice

this is my first year plowing my own drive and it just isnt working. the lawn is getting torn up with some pretty impressive ruts due to a limited places to put snow and the need to push the snow way back.
the previous 3 years i snowblowed it but just dont have the time, with a 22" blower it just takes way to long with alot of drive and sidewalks (3ft wide) to do. this year i started doing 3 neighbors drives as well.
anyway, i am thinking of getting a lawn tractor with a front blower but i have no experiece with the use and preformance of one. i just want to make sure that the blower would be able to handle the windrow left by the city plows. i live on a corner and have to deal with the 2-3ft pile while clearing the walks.
what has been everyones experiences and is thier any specific models to avoid?
so far i have been looked at john deere and kubota, used of course and a couple of years old. i dont need a mower deck since i already have a zero turn mower.
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  #2  
Old 02-08-2009, 03:41 PM
04sd 04sd is offline
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I have a Deere 445 with a 47" two stage blower. It'll move the piles from the city plows and put the snow exactly where you want it with the hydraulic chute control, all without tearing up your lawn. The down side is you're out in the cold and depending how long the drive is it'll take longer than plowing. I haven't used mine in two years but I will when we get a big snow again. The last two years we've gotten more 3" slush events than snow and a blade works better for that.
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Old 02-08-2009, 05:11 PM
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keitha keitha is offline
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Two good choices.
But Why??
You have a sweet set up to plow.
Hours spent blowing multiply times versus
a few hours lawn repair in nicer weather.
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Old 02-08-2009, 06:55 PM
06Sierra 06Sierra is online now
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My father bought a 24hp Cub Cadet last year with a blower, not sure how wide, and a soft cab. Works great and has no problems getting through what is left by the city plow. It will still take longer than plowing, just not as long as with what you had.
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Old 02-08-2009, 06:56 PM
04superduty 04superduty is offline
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unfortunately there is alot of plow damage, and at least 1 yd of dirt to fill ruts in and fix all the damage. we had a thaw a while back and i cringed when i saw the ruts, about 15 ft and 5" or so deep.
the other issue is the way my drive is set up i end up driving over the snow while back dragging and then am unable to plow it all up, eventually i end up with around 6' of hardpack on the one portion of drive that gets barely any sun. there also is a sharp 90 degree turn that always ends up packed with ice.
as it is i spend an hour clearing the walks, corner double lot and doing 3 other walks to the elementary school so the kids to walk in the road with the busses. if i get a lawn tractor with a blower i should end up spending around the same amount of time clearing everything.
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Old 02-08-2009, 08:59 PM
04sd 04sd is offline
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If you can get a 4' wide tractor down your sidewalks that might be the way to go. I've also got a power angle 54" blade for my 445, takes less than 5 minutes to switch between the blade and blower. FWIW, I think a 9' plow on a superduty is a little overkill to plow a few small driveways. Besides the 445, I have a 6.5' plow on a Bronco II to plow a few driveways, not because I need it but because I like plowing snow.
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:46 PM
kmclawn kmclawn is offline
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Here is what I use on most of my residential properties and it will handle almost anything the city will plow onto your driveway. I also have the 54" blade.

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Old 02-08-2009, 09:46 PM
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snowblowertruck snowblowertruck is offline
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My personal preference would be to back drag your snow until the ground freezes. You will most definately have to make more than one pass for a nice clean job but once the ground is froze there are few worrys left, as long as the ground is even and nothing to get snagged by the cutting edges. There have been quite a few people in my area that take a piece of 2" well pipe and cut it in half as to make a couple of troughs then weld some tabs on it to mount to the cutting edge bolts. This acts as kind of a ski and allows your cutting edges to slide over the yard rather than dig into it. Something you might consider doing while the warm spell is upon us is to try to fill in your ruts the best you can before the temps drop again. If you can keep the ground bare for a few days after the temps get below freezing, it will help preventing ruts in the future. Don't give up on the v plow yet, it WILL work for you.
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  #9  
Old 02-09-2009, 08:30 AM
04sd 04sd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowblowertruck View Post
Don't give up on the v plow yet, it WILL work for you.
Good luck getting that v-plow down the sidewalk
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  #10  
Old 02-09-2009, 08:39 AM
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snowblowertruck snowblowertruck is offline
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Nobody says he has to use the plow on the sidewalks, although it's more common that most people know. I was referring to plowing the driveways where he is having troubles making ruts in his yard. He can always use his snoblower for the sidewalks if HE so chooses.
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  #11  
Old 02-09-2009, 05:24 PM
04superduty 04superduty is offline
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lol, i use my 22" ariens on the walks now and it takes about 1hr, i have a different truck now, a 06 3500 megacab with a cummins, so the truck is just to big to plow my drive with. it takes me around 20 minutes to plow it correctly.
my drive is paved, but the area i push to is my lawn. i thought i had allowed to ground to freeze but ended up plowing the piles back further since we did get almost our seasonal average so far with 2 months to go of winter.
thanks for all the help so far, you have all helped out in a area that i dont know much about at all.
i do like the rear steer mower with a blower on the front, if i can find one thats what i want to get but i need to sell some stuff to be able to afford a used one.
what model john deere is that?
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Last edited by 04superduty; 02-09-2009 at 05:26 PM.
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  #12  
Old 02-09-2009, 09:42 PM
kmclawn kmclawn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04superduty View Post
i do like the rear steer mower with a blower on the front, if i can find one thats what i want to get but i need to sell some stuff to be able to afford a used one.
what model john deere is that?
It is a 1992 John Deere F932. It has a 28hp 3 cylinder gas in it. You should be able to find good ones for anywhere between 4-6 thousand set up like mine. Here is a pick of my other one. It is a 2006 1445. It has a 31 hp diesel. That one cost me $21,000.00. I use both for mowing in the summer so they stay busy.

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  #13  
Old 02-11-2009, 12:31 PM
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smiley39 smiley39 is offline
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Husqomac

This is my 1998 Husqvarna GTH220 with a 40" Bercomac Blower on it. They have a website where you can see all the tractors you can mount these on, and I've seen them for sale online, I think Jim's Tractor Repair sells them. I REALLY like this blower, it makes short work of the snow, and it happily chews though the crap the city leaves at the end of the lane. I find the only time that is a problem is if you have left it long enough that it has melted and frozen. Even then it will chew through it, you just have to go slower.

This combination has been used for over ten years now, first to do a 300 foot farm lane, now to do a 75 foot common lane at the back of my house, and occasionally a neighbors small parking lot. They have PTO driven ones for a few tractors, but this one is belt driven. I have replaced the belt three or four times over the ten years, about $80 dollars a belt, they just wear out. It is a really good idea to keep an extra on hand too. The gearbox is protected by two shears pins, so it is good to keep those on hand. I probably hit something hard enough to snap a shear pin twice a year, much better than wrecking the blower. It is usually when the city plow has pulled up a piece of the road and left it in the pile at the end of the lane.

The chute position is adjustable side to side from the seat and since this picture was taken I have gotten the remote deflector control that allows you to adjust the chute up and down from the seat as well. This makes putting the snow right where you want it really easy.

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Old 02-11-2009, 01:16 PM
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snowblowertruck snowblowertruck is offline
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Hey Smiley, that's a nice looking rig you're got there. Does that blower weigh enough to give you problems with traction?
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Old 02-11-2009, 02:25 PM
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smiley39 smiley39 is offline
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I haven't had trouble with traction, but there are a few reasons for that.

1. If you look at the back end of the tractor you can see a block of six weights hanging off the back, 150lbs

2. If you take a look at the rear wheels you can see there are weights mounted to the tires, I think these are 50lbs each

3. The chains really help with traction too. Another great thing about the chains is that they help break up any hard packed snow, when you are clearing an area that has been driven over before you get a chance to clear it.

I think you would likely have traction problems if you didn't go for the extra weights and chains. This thing is a blast to use. I would buy it again in a heartbeat.

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Old 02-15-2009, 10:08 AM
zuidema1 zuidema1 is offline
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Smiley's set up is pretty sweet. Right now if you bought a clearance Craftsman garden tractor on-line you would have $3900 in an all new setup similar to Smiley's including tax and shipping. (DGS 6500 tractor $2200, 42" snowblower $1200, wheel weights $126, tire chains $60) You could knock another $200 to $600 off if you purchased a yard tractor. Personally, I'd stick with the garden tractor because they have more uses down the road. If you are looking to save some money you can find used lawn and garden tractors on ebay for less, but you will most likely have to buy the blower new.

FYI: Husqvarna and Craftsman lawn/garden tractors are made by AYP and are nearly identical except for a few minor details and the color and shape of the hood. With the blower you will need tire chains and wheel weights. Craftsman includes a weight keg with their blower that mounts on the rear of the tractor and holds about 75 pounds of sand for additional weight.

If you want to see what spending a lot of money on two tractors and using them improperly will do watch this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnlAApp9dUw
This guy as a 250 - 300 pound blower on the front of his tractor with no weight on the back to offset it. Needless to say, it doesn't work well. Also, his plow would work a lot better if he was running it the length of the driveway instead trying to cross over the hard packed car tracks in his driveway (trips his plow).

Have you looked into buying a plow for your zero turn mower? I know that they are available for some models as I've read posts and seen pictures on other websites of people using them. With the weight over the rear tires they only need to add chains to make them go.

This is the first year that I've plowed snow with my lawn tractor. I have been pushing the snow off to one side of my driveway into the grass. After the snow melted I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I didn't mess up my yard with it. When plowing I noticed some grass and dirt on my blade, but it can't have been much as I can't tell where it came from.

The plow handles 5 - 6 inches of snow easily with wheel weights and tire chains. I've also had no problems pushing what the city plows up at the end of my drive. Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to try anything deeper. I've read posts from several users of other boards that have both plows and blowers for their tractors depending upon the snow.

If you'd like to find more information on plowing/blowing with a lawn tractor look at www.mytractorforum.com. You will find tons of information there.
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  #17  
Old 02-15-2009, 10:50 AM
zuidema1 zuidema1 is offline
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ZTR Plowing

Here's a link to a zero turn mower plowing snow. You may not be interested in doing it, but it is a lower cost option that makes further use of a machine you already have.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiWa2PTqY84

Here's the link to the company website. Pretty interesting and under $500.

http://www.countryztr.com/snowplow.htm

Last edited by zuidema1; 02-15-2009 at 11:34 AM. Reason: More info...
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  #18  
Old 02-20-2009, 08:06 PM
04superduty 04superduty is offline
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i have thought about a plow for the zero turn but then the issue of tearing up the grass and where to put the snow comes up. also, i have heard that some have issues with their zero turns and extreme cold, specifially the hydros just dont seem to like the cold much. otherwise i would go with a front mount blower from RAD technologies.
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  #19  
Old 02-26-2009, 07:35 PM
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I use a bercomac snow blower on my tractor. It has a 2000 rpm impeller that really throws the snow. They make berko's for a wide variety of tractors. Stay away from the smaller lawn tractors for snow removal find one with a differential lock on the rear wheels. many lawn and garden tractors have this feature. One of my drive ways is 700' long and takes me about a hour with a 18" snow fall. I only get called in when his small blower cant handle it
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