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calling all garden tractor plowers

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by BushHogBoy, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    Hey guys its that time of year again! Just got done with my leaf cleanups, well have one more small one then i'm puttin the mowers up. Financial situation dictated that a truck and plow was not in the picture this year. My worktruck is a '89 F350 dually long wheelbase w/12' flatbed, 460 V8, a/t. Heck of a truck, yes it would plow with weight no problem but the places i have to do are residential driveways that thing is too big to fit into many of those.... so my plowing setup this winter is:
    1999 17hp V-twin Kawasaki hydro drive Exmark walk behind fitted with a 42" snowthrower

    1980 John Deere 314 garden tractor, 14hp Kohler, hydro drive with hydraulic lift. I have 26x12x12 bar tires on it. It will have a 48" front blade with hydraulic up and down, with down pressure and a means to angle it from the seat. Maybe even some sort of telescopic wings almost like a Blizzard, not sure yet depends how much time i have to get to it. And, a 42" blade on back with electric lift, just gravity down pressure with weight on it. This can be used for backdragging and wherever its faster/easier than turning the tractor around (pushing back piles or whatever). Plus i will add probably around 200 pounds of ballast to the back end of the tractor. It has brakes on each rear wheel but with one pedal for the two. If i have time i will add another pedal so it has turning brakes. This helps like when windrowing snow and you do not have steering traction on front tires, and the snow wants to push you away from the drift, the brakes keep you going straight and plowing the thick drifts over (i've used a JD 317 w/turning brakes and 4 way hydraulic plow, sweet setup so mine will be like that). Last night I built a light bar for it, which is 3/16" x 2" angle frame that just goes vertically up the back end of the tractor with a bar across the top to mount lights to it. It will have a amber rotating light, red marker light on back, two worklights on front and a worklight on back. Of course this will load the charger down pretty good, so they will have seperate switches so they don't all run at once. The factory headlights will be disconnected as they are useless anyway, this will save a little juice.

    I will probably build a ramp to load these machines into the back of my truck (flatbed). Last winter i pulled my little 6x12 trailer behind the 3/4 ton 2wd i had at the time, and it worked pretty well actually but i'd prefer a safer, smaller rig. This will add traction, braking performance, steering, maneuverability, etc.

    A buddy is going to sub out a few driveways to me plus i have several of my own to do so hopefully I can get some money this winter to help pay the bills. Now i just gotta find a kid to shovel for me :p

    Who all plows with garden tractors, either as primary plow vehicle or as supplement to a truck? how much do you try to make an hour with one? $35 range?

    Post some pics of your G/T plow rigs! I'll get mine up as i make progress on it.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2004
  2. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    Exmark snowblower

    I'm curious about your Exmark snowblower, how long have you had this setup? Is this a factory add-on? How long/hard is it to convert from mowing to snow blowing? Did you have to add chains to the tires?
  3. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    well... I have the mower and i have the snowthrower. I have not mated the two yet. its a Craftsman snowthrower attachment, like brand new my uncle got at auction for $40 and sold to me for 50. I have bar tires (tractor "V" tread) that will go on the w/b. if that isn't sufficient i will add chains. I try to avoid chains (although they do help on the garden tractors) as they can scratch or dig hard surfaces if they spin. Bar tires usually are good enough for me and you don't have to worry about any drive or walk damage.

    I'll get pics of the super snowthrower when i get it together.
  4. wfd44

    wfd44 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 369

    Well in addition to my plow truck I also have a 1963 (restoration continuing) Panzer T-70B Garden Tractor with the factory accessory plow blade. Just to play around with in the snow.
  5. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    Oh, don't tear up that Panzer whatever you do. They are rare and collectable.
    I've got an old baby, its a 1964 Bush Hog V3-6 with a 8hp Briggs and Stratton that i rebuilt. Originally it had a 6hp Tecumseh cast iron, but it had been replaced with a 7hp Briggs when we got the tractor back in '91, from my great grandmother after great grandpa died. He got it in '78 from a dealer who i guess took it in trade? The original motor was on it at that time but was locked up or something, so he put the 7hp on it. Anyway i have done a lot of work on this tractor... it taught me to mechanic on stuff. Seriously i started learning how to work on this myself when i was like 10 years old! i'm not kidding!!!
    I've had alot of different attachments on it... came with a 32" single blade left hand discharge mower deck. I've built many different snowplows/dozers for it. Added 23x8.50x12 Carlisle Power Trac bar tires to it, replaced front tires, all new belts, rebuilt the engine, replaced and rebuilt some steering components, etc. The transmission is worn pretty bad, i just need to find a JD 110 to get a donor tranny (used same tranny, also i have a early 70's Massey Ferguson 12hp cast Tecumseh with this tranny).
    here's a pic of the Bush Hog plowing with homemade cab and V-plow a couple of winters ago. Good old tractor, they don't build them that way anymore.... I won't be using it for plowing.. its straight pipe'd (could change that if i wanted though), but it turns really wide, the transmission situation is hard to use, the clutch is tight from when i used to take it to tractor pulls (yes i did that with it too LOL), its manual rope start, manual lift setup is not very good, etc. etc. it needs to stay in the shed.

    Oh back to the JD 314, I was thinking of adding a second battery to it, to help with all the lights. I got the idea from seeing and reading about where some guys add a second battery to their truck for plow trucks. Don't know if it will be necessary or not but sure can't hurt, and it does add another 15-20 pounds of weight... plenty of batteries laying around LOL.
    I thought about putting a cab on the 314, but i don't like the visibility restriction they add (major restriction usually), and I don't want it to get damaged when transported on the truck either (wind damage).
    I'm thinking of making those wings hinged so they fold back to stay out of the way, or fold out to form wings, or fold more forward like a Blizzard plow, or can even fold all the way forward like a pusher box blade! That would be nice....
  6. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    oops forgot the pic of the Bush Hog.

    This was an adjustable V-plow I built, worked pretty good. The cab was made of wooden 1x1's and plywood (3/8"?). It was alright just a little rickety but i only did my driveway and a couple of neighbors. This was all before my welding days. The plow was all bolted. I beleive i cut the metal with a metal blade on a little jig-saw!!! LOL.... well i have advanced a bit there (Dewalt grinders, sawzall, Lincoln mig welder, etc.) i could do a lot better now but that wasnt too bad for fact that i was like 14 or so at the time...
    I put the lights on then just hooked up a batter under the seat, a small car battery. Just recharged it when it got low but it would run the lights quite a while.

  7. PlowVA

    PlowVA Senior Member
    Messages: 210

    Got a plow on the truck for this year, but here was my setup from last year...

    2003 JD GT235 - 18hp Kawasaki, Hydro drive, 48" blade (manual lift unfortunately), weights and chains.

    Tractor 013.jpg
  8. yardfarm

    yardfarm Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Now use a John Deere 355 D with a 42" single stage blower on the front. Had a 453 Bobcat with a blade, but was too much of a hassle to get around residentials. Garden Tractor is the way to go.
  9. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    PlowVA, looks good. On real small residential driveways would you say you are much faster with the truck or not really?

    Here is my elderly neighbor's setup... He has a 48" mower deck, 48"? rear tiller, and this 54" 4 way hydraulic front blade. 23x10.50x12 Carlisle bar tires on back with 40#? wheel weights, one on each side. Its a 17hp Kohler, hydrostatic drive with turning brakes (like a big tractor). Has two hydraulic lines on it, and the blade has power angle and power up and down with down pressure, or set it to "float". This is a really sweet plowing tractor. The turning brakes are helpful when plowing windrows over, as you can steer the tractor if the front end slides, hydro drive is a must IMHO, the down pressure or float features are superb for backdragging, scraping ice, or whatever... the hydraulic angle is really sweet too. It has trip springs on the moldboard, or you can set a pin so that it is fixed, so it doesn't trip. Its an early 80's tractor I beleive, or late 70's, but this thing will plow as good or better than anything else out there.
    What i'm trying to do, with my 314, is replicate and improve the setup like this 317.

  10. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    Are your accounts all in one neighborhood or do you transport the tractor from job to job?

    I been thinking i guess i will just use my 6x12 trailer this winter rather than build a ramp for the truck bed. A ramp on the truck would have to be 10' long so its not too steep, then it has to fold so its not too tall when raised, then you have to make it sturdy when folded out, but all of that would get expensive and i'm trying to do all this as cheap as i can so that i can actually make money this winter LOL. Don't want to drag my 22' trailer around just to plow some drives. I would like to have the trailer brakes but its just too big for what i'm doing, the 6x12 will be perfect i beleive.
  11. yardfarm

    yardfarm Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Tractor goes from place to place on a 6x12 double axle trailer with a five foot air gate on the back. Need to extend the gate another foot - existing gate is a little too sharp an angle at the top. Tractor still loads, but sometimes blower scrapes the ground as the rig goes up the ramp.
    I am consistently amazed at how much easier it is to remove snow with this machine versus the Bobcat. All along I thought the small skid steer was the way to go. I had this set up for my dad - it never left his house. Then, decided to give it a whirl on the residentials. Beat the Bobcat time by an hour and did a neater job. Can't stack piles like I did with the Bobcat bucket, but find that there has to be an awful lot of heavy snows before that becomes and issue.
  12. PlowVA

    PlowVA Senior Member
    Messages: 210

    Well, I only did a few short drives in my neighborhood last year, just for fun. Not taking anyone's money away though, no one has their drives plowed around here anyway because they are all too short. Just two car driveways, one car behind the other. Maybe 10-20 feet from the back car to the curb. It was great for that stuff, easy to maneuver. Pushes a hell of a lot of snow!!! :gunsfiring:

    A little cold and wet at times though! It'll be nice to be in the truck this year.

    Looking to sell mine if anyone is interested. Don't need it now that I have the new plow. Comes with 42" mowing deck, 48" blade w/ trip springs, weights, chains and dump/push cart. In the DC area. $4800 obo.
  13. Young Pup

    Young Pup PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,475

    I am not sure if you know this but you can order an attachment snowblower for the exmark mowers through I believe it is through Rad something. Call your exmark dealer he can tell you. I just went to their website and they used to have information there but not any more.
  14. NJ Plowman

    NJ Plowman Senior Member
    Messages: 799

    I have a 1969 John Deere model 60 Lawn Tractor. I am looking for a John Deere Model 32 or Model 32A Snowblower and a John Deere model 40 Blade for it if any of you guys come across one. They are great tractors, I would like to put mine to work doing sidewalks in the winter instead of letting it just sit at the garage. I have been looking on Ebay but everything there has been beat to death and they still want phone number prices for the John Deere stuff. Any help would be appreciated... :help:
  15. j&j properties

    j&j properties Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    garden tractor brought me into this business

    i started when i was 10 with my grandads old Case 222. I costomized a quad plow and went to town with it. it was so much fun those first years that i started saving what i made and final got a plow on my truck this season. I love the tractor for residentials but i needed the truck for some bigger lots i took this year.

    Glad to see that I'm not the only one still using a garden tractor instead of a quad.
  16. wfd44

    wfd44 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 369

    Ok here is my 1963 Panzer T-70B with factory accessory 42" blade. When I bought it it had a 4.2 hp Wisconsin on it (a B should have a Briggs). This summer I repowered it with a more appropriate (still not quite correct) 8 hp Briggs off of a junked out Toro snowblower that I bought for $10.00. Last year it was kind of a pain to plow with because the Wisconsin was short on power and would stall under even a moderate load (and not recoil start). Hopefully it will do better now with the 8 hp and a recoil starter. My 1966 Chevy (also turquoise) hauls this around to truck and tractor show all summer. They make a cute team.

    Panzer plow.jpg
  17. bolensdriver

    bolensdriver Senior Member
    Messages: 603

    I love garden tractors with snowplows. :drinkup:
  18. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    NJ Plowman,
    I have a JD blade out back. I'm not sure but i think it might be a model 40... its 40 or 42" wide. I was going to use it to make a rear mount blade for my JD 314 plow tractor but i'll look and if its the right one for you then we can talk business.... I'll check it today and get back with ya.

    wfd44, good looking Panzer! :drinkup:
  19. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    NJ Plowman,
    I have a JD blade out back. I'm not sure but i think it might be a model 40... its 40 or 42" wide. I was going to use it to make a rear mount blade for my JD 314 plow tractor but i'll look and if its the right one for you then we can talk business.... I'll check it today and get back with ya.

    wfd44, good looking Panzer! :drinkup:
  20. Summerlawn

    Summerlawn Member
    Messages: 62

    RAD has made snowblower attachments for Exmark machines until last year when the two parted ways. I have the 55" two staged snowblower for my zero turn. It has worked well on residential driveways. I have upgraded to a Blizzard plow and now the snowblower is for sale.