1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Anyone have success using Front Mount Blowers on Ag Tractors?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by hansenslawncare, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. hansenslawncare

    hansenslawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 300

    We are around 90% residential base for snow removal. Most of our driveways are 3 car that taper into a 1-2 at the end of the driveway; hardly any straight driveways. Most of the tapers are gradual; however they still exist.

    I know most of the Ag guys run inverted blowers on the back; but my thinking is that a front mount blower would provide better field of sight especially when considering the curved/tapered edges of the driveways; as opposed to a blower on the back.

    Also, considering a tractor in the 40-60 hp range. Most of our snowfalls are between 2-5 inches of light snow.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. Herm Witte

    Herm Witte Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    I have used both and prefer the inverted. The inverted allows you better overall vision and safety factor while moving forward which is important as you / if you are on the roadways. We clear numerous driveways as you described with the inverted blowers and they just follow you along with no issues and actually clear them easier and better than a front mounted blower or plow.
     
  3. hansenslawncare

    hansenslawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 300

    Thank you for the response. So even with the driveways narrowing/tapering in you haven't had problems? I understand pulling it with you would definitely follow in the direction you're turning; but I would think maneuvering a device from the front instead of the back would be easier.

    Also, this equipment would be operated by an employee, competent, but lets face it; not as cautious (typically) as the owner.
     
  4. TPCLandscaping

    TPCLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    i have a GC2610 Massey set up with a 51" rear mount blower. i like having the blower on the back because i get to leave the bucket on in case i have to knock something down or move a bank around (not that the GC will move a very big bank). Having to look backwards all the time kinda sucks though!
     
  5. hansenslawncare

    hansenslawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 300

    This is something that I'm looking into as well. For us, to pull up to a drive and move forward blowing the snow would be great, I think. Backing into side roads, etc. not a problem. But driving forward and blowing the snow would seem great.

    Also, this will be used 100% residential; as we use trucks on our commercial sites. In the case it would be needed for commercial; they're small lots, 3/4 acre and less. And if anything, would be used for push backs/blowing piles back; but that would be rate at best.

    So...with this machine in mind for 100% residential, would a 40-60 hp tractor with a front mount blower be productive enough? Our routes are tight already. Drive time between most homes are 30-60 seconds. A few are longer but at least 80% fall into the 30-60 second range.
     
  6. TPCLandscaping

    TPCLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    remember a tractor will only move 15-20mph so that could add drive time.
     
  7. hansenslawncare

    hansenslawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 300

    Very true I've been thinking about that. Most of my travel time (about 90%) is spent driving from house to house on neighborhood streets where our plow trucks are driving within that speed range. Occasionally we'll hop onto a busier thorough street; but like I stated earlier our routes are tight with little drive time.

    With this in mind, it would seem like a good option to go with the tractor.

    Any more thoughts or am I wrong on this???
     
  8. TPCLandscaping

    TPCLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    i have friends that lived in montreal canada, and thats all the companies up there used in the complexes were tractors with blowers…though they were mostly rear mount pull style blowers. I think if you want to be able to pull your trucks off to just do commercial and you have someone reliable to run around with the tractor during the storm, you should make out with using a tractor and blower setup
     
  9. hansenslawncare

    hansenslawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 300

    I'm thinking it would work good as well. Just wondering why more people choose inverted than front mount? I know that some tractors, the rear pto is more powerful so that could be a factor. But I've read on the Kubotas that the mid pto is the opposite of other brands???

    Anyone have information on this?
     
  10. Herm Witte

    Herm Witte Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    You don't maneuver, you just back up, drop, and drive. You maneuver with a front mount blower. As far as employees operating go, you're in business, make sure the employee is competent. Finally, in response to TPC's comment regarding looking backwards sucks, when plowing or blowing snow in residential 50% is going forward and 50% of the time is going backwards. So take it from there. I don't know about you, but when I don't look when going backwards I hit stuff. Just ask my employees. :)
     
  11. TPCLandscaping

    TPCLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    cheaper and easier to find used. a front mount for a 40-50hp tractor is going to be 5g's… a rear mount you can probably pick up lightly used for 3gs
     
  12. A front mount blower is usually made to fit only one brand and often one size / model tractor. A rear blower is universal fit. If you decide to change tractors or need a substitute for a breakdown - - -
    Just something to consider.
     
  13. mnlefty

    mnlefty Senior Member
    Messages: 970

    I used a Toolcat and blower for 3 years doing resi's... about 50 in a 6-7 hr route, and approx half were either bigger or longer than a standard 3 car. Sold my business last spring, but to this day I still regret not going with the tractor/inverted combo right out of the gate. I started with the Toolcat because it was an easy winter lease and the blower was cheaper/more readily available than an inverted... Always planned to grow it into a tractor setup but just never got to a position (mostly due to summer) where I was comfortable spending the money.

    Biggest problem for me with the blower on the front was pushing snow up to the garage door. Light fluffy stuff was no problem, heavy wet stuff that didn't "flow" through the blower as well sucked. If you didn't go slow enough and really let the blower clear out it made more work for the shovelers to clean across the garage. I did have a number of side-facing garages, horseshoe fronts, etc... that didn't have that problem, but an inverted works just as well in those situations.

    Front mount on an ag tractor is going to be a little tough to maneuver in tight spots. If you have any horseshoes tight inside corners are going to be tough. With the 4-wheel steer on the toolcat I had some drives where it was beneficial to turn across the front of the garage. I could do that and only leave about a 6 x 6 triangle in the corner... no chance of doing that with a front-mount on an ag tractor. No need with an inverted.

    Not as important, but still a factor is that way more drives slope up to house/down to street compared to sloping down to the house. In deeper snow or when it's slick it's easier to start at the top and blow down, rather than blow/push uphill. I had a couple steeper drives where I would really struggle 2-3 times per season. Would have been a piece of cake with an inverted.

    If/when I decide to get back into it an inverted will be first choice, toolcat would be next. After blowing drives with the toolcat I'd never go back to plowing resi's.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
  14. hansenslawncare

    hansenslawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 300

    Great post and thank you for the response. Okay, with the front mount, I've never considered pushing too much towards the garage door, thus creating more work for shovelers; great point to consider.

    What about a Provonost (spelling)? This way I'm still blowing the snow before I'm driving on it... Also, I do not have any horseshoe/circle driveways. Just straight and tapered drives.
     
  15. TPCLandscaping

    TPCLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    Provanost aka puma. I have a 64" and only used it once but it worked great
     
  16. Herm Witte

    Herm Witte Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    The Pronovost PXPl is quite pricey. Ask blowerman, he has used both. Read through the "Switching to blowing" thread in the Heavy Equipment section, many if not all of your questions and concerns have already been addressed by folk much more knowledgible than I am in that thread.
     
  17. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,402

    You would still have to back out of the driveway. I
     
  18. wislxer

    wislxer Member
    Messages: 89

    If your'e gonna use a front mount blower consider getting yourself a 12-14' pull plow like an Ebling or Short Iron and pull the snow in one or two passes out to the road, turn around, and then blow that concise pile into the yard. That seems much quicker than however many passes it would take to blow out the entire drive with the 5-6' front mount blower you would have on most 40-60hp tractors.

    I think a tractor that size should have little trouble pulling a plow of that size in a residential setting especially if equipped with loaded turf tires.

    Plus this might make the machine much more useable on your small to med-small commercial lots as well should you ever need it to fill in or help your trucks.

    Just an idea if you want to go with the front mount blower.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  19. hansenslawncare

    hansenslawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 300

    Thanks. I've read the thread before, good read. The only point it doesn't address for me (at least I think) is the tapered driveways. That's why I'm assuming a front mount would be better.
     
  20. hansenslawncare

    hansenslawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 300

    Very true...however the snow wouldn't be driven on first; unless I went with the Provonost.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014