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BIG Snowblowers

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Alan, Apr 1, 2000.

  1. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    Around here the current technology for dealing with acres of parking lot seems to be loaders with pusher boxes to pile and them more loaders and trucks to move the piles to a far corner of the site. It seems to me that a BIG snowblower working with a couple trucks to windrow would do much faster. Almost every place I look at has some space along the edge of the lot to stack snow. So why not blow it clear instead of trucking it? I see BIG blowers (airport style) that are available for under 20 grand, not really all that much money today. Is it just because the blower would sit idle for so much of the year? That's the only viable reason I can see, at least loaders get used year round. The BIG blowers could travel much faster between sites than a loader can, there is no limit to how high they can stack, cost is not all that prohibitive. What am I missing?
     
  2. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    If the parking lot has fields all around it, and no roads or other buildings. I think a blower would work great, however look at this. The damage risk is much bigger, rocks can be thrown with the blower, and what if a kid gets under the cloud of snow and a rock hit him? <p>Like i said in the opening of the post, i think a blower can just move snow too far, and too much of a risk of hitting something. Air ports have lots of fields around them, so the risk of hitting something is much lower.<p>Geoff
     
  3. steveair

    steveair Senior Member
    Messages: 176

    For under 20K?<p>Man, that will just about cover the parts just for a tuneup on our 67 Snowblast. <p>
     
  4. steveair

    steveair Senior Member
    Messages: 176

    Also, how far do they throw?<p>I've heard stories of guys sucking up runway lights and then finding them a quarter mile away when the snow melts. Even with the adjustable shoots, they have a TREMENOUS throw.
     
  5. Lazer

    Lazer Senior Member
    Messages: 399

    1.) It takes incredible horsepower to move that snow fast. I've seen what a 450hp blower will do. It would seem you'd need 5-6 times that much power to do what you speak of.<p>2.) Maintenance costs.<p>3.) Limited ground speed during operation.<p>4.) Only effective when there is 6&quot;-8&quot; snow or more.<p>Just my observations.
     
  6. steveair

    steveair Senior Member
    Messages: 176

    There is only one reason why airports have blowers. <p>That is to remove windrows. <p>Airports can't have snow piled up anywhere because aircraft wings would be scraping across them all the time. <p>The blowers are only used at the side of the runways. Trucks clear the runway and push it all to the sides. No airport uses a blower to actually clear the entire runway (at least in most cases). Just to clear the windrow after 6 20 ft plows pile it up on the side.<p>I've only seen blowers used in a few places. One is airports. The second is up in areas, like colorado, where roads that don't get plowed have like 8 ft of snow on them. The third is on trains, to clear infrequently used tracks that have like 10 ft of snow on them.<p>From what I know, any kind of serious blower will cost at least 100K. Brand new stewart stevensons, used on airfields, start at around 250K. I'm sure there are used ones (like our old monster) that can be picked up for a hot deal, but servicing can be almost impossible. These machines our custom made almost, and parts just don't exist. If something brakes, you either have to have it made or get rid of the machine. <p>For instance, the steering shaft, that goes from the steering wheel of our snow blast to the the front wheels has something like 16 universals in it. If it broke, we wouldn't know what to do. The machine must have about 3000 grease fittings! Takes the mechanic almost a day just to grease it!<p>Ok, on the positive side. I've seen snow blowers that go on the front of pickups in places like northern and what not. They have there own engine and I guess mount right on the plow frame. Maybe this is not a bad idea. It looks like it could be useful, especially for cutting back after the wind blows the snow onto the road. I have no knowlegde of them, but maybe assume this is what you were talking about initially. I thought they looked like a pretty good idea too. However, myself, with the experiences we have with our large machines and even with the 6 footer on our grounds master, I would have to say its kind of a novelty. Who know though. It may work. <p>steveair <p>
     
  7. steveair

    steveair Senior Member
    Messages: 176

    Ok, i love this topic so I'll say even more.<p>During the big blizzard of like 94-95 here in jersey (I can't remember exactly because I wasn't working at the airport and have only heard stories), the state highway dept approached our airport and asked to borrow the blower.<p>With that kind of snow, i think it was 30 inches or so, the state couldn't push snow any father off the edges of the 3-6 lane highways, like rt 80 and 287. They wanted the blower to do this.<p>Maybe this would be a good market to have one. To sub-contract to the state or whoever during events like that. I can't remember how much they offered per hour, but it was ALOT. Like enough money to retire on if you ran it for a week!<p>Problems here. The investment seems so great and the chances of getting a situation like that are just to far in between. Maybe if you found a used one, got it all tuned up and ready to go for a couple weeks work, ran it for those two weeks, and then sold it, you could make a killing. <p>To me though, that seems like a aweful big investment on something that may never happen.
     
  8. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    Well,, I'm tossing the idea around of bidding on one that is coming up for disposal shortly. Running condition and recently overhauled, something like 450 hp on the blower (8V92 Detroit) Virtually any lot around here has plenty of space to put stuff along the sides, also most of them are cut by green strips evey four or so parking lanes. No place to stack on the green strips, just too small. So, I'm looking at the ability to throw snow over the strips. Windrow with trucks and then toss it 100 feet into the next bay, then windrow and throw again. Also, some places you have to push off one direction, then cross push to get rid of it. The threat of rocks isn't too great, nor is the problem with pedestrians as most of the serious cleaning is at night. Usually you push what you can during the day to keep the place open for business and clean the lot at night. <p>I also do several Condos that have limited push space. If I had my way I'd push to the edge of the pavement during a storm and come back the next day and heave it all out into the middle of the lawn. No problem blowing it at 90 deg to the plowing direction and way quicker than trying to push piles off to the side<p>As far as cost, I found one machine in Canada that is running, not sure of condition, and is going for $22,500 CDN. That comes out to under 14 thou American.<p>So far it's just a pipe dream, but I would be the only kid in town to own one! :)
     
  9. Lazer

    Lazer Senior Member
    Messages: 399

    I've used the 20hp one in Northern. It's a toy.<p>The amount of hoursepower required to make a productive blower is incredible.
     
  10. steveair

    steveair Senior Member
    Messages: 176

    Alan, sounds like you have a pretty good plan. It just might work.<p>My only real problems with it would be this. <p>First, how old is the blower and who makes it? If it is a older model, specialty brand, or whatever, it may be incredibly hard to get parts. In fact, it may be impossible. We have a smaller blower (at least small to us) that is attahed to the front of a 72 chevy single axle with a carrier motor mounted in the back. Its a real neat set up, with the drive shaft for the blower comeing from the back of the truck, all the way underneath to the front. <br>One problem is this. If anything major breaks, it will have to be scrapped. No one in the country has parts for it..<p>Second, I'd be very scared of sucking something up with the blower, especially a parking lot. On the airfield, we have about a zero percent chance of hitting any debry. Public places just seem to be a junkyard. I'd be nervous to hell about hitting/picking up something. If it hits a curb, its toast most likely. Highway, gov't, airports, etc. have big checkbooks to fix these things. A big repair could mean scrapping the machine. <p>The idea, does sound interesting though. I guess no one uses them because of the cost and the unknown about them. Maybe you will be a pioneer in this field! Great ideas always start somewhere, and this could be it. Also, the fact of being the only one on the block with one is reason enough sometimes. <p>steveair<br>
     
  11. snow

    snow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 1,002

    Since I like big snow removal equipment, I might as well put my thoughts in. First, I've seen snowblowers that could go through dirt. They show in their ads people tossing concrete blocks and chains into the snowblowers. The company is &lt;a href=&quot;http://www.fairmfg.com&quot;&gt;Fair mfg&lt;/a&gt; , they have some videos and pictures of their snowblowers in action, they have a great site. Next, my town has a 1969 Snogo. This thing is HUGE. It's mounted on a Mack chassic and has only been used a few times. But, since our town has two 544G's and two 1 yard ford tractors, they don't need it any more. steveair- this one company in maine,&lt;a href=&quot;http://www.s-a-mclean.com&quot;&gt;S.a Mclean&lt;/a&gt; sells a lot of snow removal equipment. They are located in Maine. I saw an ad from them selling a&lt;a href=&quot;http://www.s-a-mclean.com/loadersnoblower.html&quot;&gt; big snowblower&lt;/a&gt; for a loader for $3500. You should check out their site. Steve, do you have pictures if your snowblower?<p>Bryan<p>----------<br>The Snowplow Homepage<br>http://www.snowplow.web.com<br>
     
  12. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Has anyone other than me been buy SA Mclean? They have some good products, but the time i went by they also had a lot of crap. Anyways the snowblower they had on their web page looks big, but i have sean some a lot bigger.<p>Geoff
     
  13. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    I was at Mcleans last winter. The man is a walking encyclopedia of plowing equipment. I'll be going back this summer to get a low speed highway plow shell to hang on my 5500. He had a stack of them and they are distincly different from the high speed plows in use now. Plus, his place is a haven for some serious snow equipment, so it's fun to window shop in no matter what. Last time I was there he had a Unimog with a blower that was kinda interesting.
     
  14. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    I have never stopped in, but i have looked at their stuff from the road. Plus they run adds all the time in local publications. They do have some good deals.<p>Geoff
     
  15. snow

    snow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 1,002

    McLean has a photo of the unimog on his site. Except it's sold. He does do a lot of advertising in publications. I buy the auto-hunter and he always puts a few ads in. Geoff- what other publications does he advertsie in? Are they maine only mags? Or new england mags?<p>Thanks<p>Bryan<p>----------<br>The Snowplow Homepage<br>http://www.snowplow.web.com
     
  16. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Well Uncle Henerys is one, but i think its only maine and nh. He has places adds in all kinds of local papers.<p>Geoff
     
  17. yortengel

    yortengel Senior Member
    Messages: 123

    Well I just checked out the web sight for s.a.mclean. Some pretty neet stuff. the airport that I fly out of has a snow blower that mounts on the fromt of there loader. Its pretty big, I don't thing the airport manager knows how to hook it up though. not many people can remember seeing it in operation. Just a little story, A friend of mine told me of the snow removal equipment that they used on the airforce base he was stationed on in Montana. &quot;Very Large”. Any way seems that somebody parked his or her new small import car on the tarmac. Well it snowed (blizzard) the guy running the snow blower didn’t know the car was out there. My friend says it made a lot of noise. No more import car. So I am told.
     
  18. steveair

    steveair Senior Member
    Messages: 176

    lol, i like that story<p>By the way, that unimog blower was interesting. We have a old mog sitting behind our shop. They are versatile machines, but very driver &quot;unfriendly&quot;. When designed them, people must of only been 4 ft tall. No room at all. We used it to plow the airfield a few years back, at least thats what i was told. Had a 12 ft monroe on the front. Broke down to much though. Not good when you have to tow a truck off the runway with a plane on final approach. Pilots don't like seeing that!<p>It looks like the mog had a carrier engine in back for the blower. I know our mog has a pto in the front off the engine, but not enough power to run that monster blower. Looks like something kids have nightmares about.<p>steveair<br>