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Front snowplow or snowblower

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by fruitcakesa, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. fruitcakesa

    fruitcakesa Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 37

    I just bought a used Kubota L4630 that I plan to use for plowing my wooded, twisty driveway and my parents short, steep one.
    I have plowed with a GMC p/u with an 8 ft Fisher MM plow for the past 25 years quite but it died and I needed a tractor for a lot of other work,
    I have never plowed with a tractor nor have I ever used a snowblower at all so I am looking for experienced opinions on both, pro's and con's to help me choose.
    Thanks
    Andrew
     
  2. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,598

    Does your machine have a loader? If so, just use that and put a blower on your 3 pt hitch.
     
  3. fruitcakesa

    fruitcakesa Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 37

    It does have a loader but I am not really interested in rear mounted snow tools for my particular plowing situation here. Tight steep woodsy etc.
    I prefer to be driving forward when working.
     
  4. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    If you don't have a cab on the tractor, you'll inevitably eat some sold, wet snow with a blower. I'm not a fan of plows on small to mid-size tractors though, as it's hard to get enough traction.

    I'd get a frontmount blower, but if no cab, invest in good googles and headgear now, you'll need it.
     
  5. fruitcakesa

    fruitcakesa Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 37

    It has a factory heated cab.
     
  6. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    Kubota L4630

    ===============================================================


    The problem with using the loader or any loader is capacity and your snow load and unless you can quickly dispose of the snow you will reversing and dumping constantly.


    The blower will remove the snow and get rid of it the first time.


    You would be better of with the snow blower on the rear of the L4630 as it will eliminate all the snow the first time and leave no shoulders of snow to freeze up later.


    Using a dual hydraulic set up on the snow blower will allow you to easily direct the snow where you want it all the time.


    You can easily blow the snow to the ground while advancing with no build ups and then blow it where you want to get rid of it easily as is done by many blower users.


    If the rear tires are loaded you will have no problems; but I would invest in a good set of tire chains as you should have them with dealing with your terrain.


    I am assuming the L 4630 has dual remotes- a snow blower with dual hydraulics will give you more years of service and will outlast the tractor and will easily transfer to an upgraded machine if desired.


    All you need to do is buy suicide knob and a wireless back up camera from Autozone if desired to make it easier to operate the tractor if you like.


    You will want add an HID light for the rear to aid in seeing your work for sure.


    Unless you remove the loader you will have zero options for a front blower if desired as you can buy a front mounting kit that will allow you to power a front blower from the flywheel unless the L

    4630 has a mid P.T.O.


    Saying that you could mount a plow on the bucket BUT the front loader is NOT designed to push snow it is simply ment to scoop and carry loose materials ONLY and you risk damaging the

    front end loader by by twisting and racking the boom arms by doing so.


    Pronovost-Hardy has a 3 point hitch kit for the front end of smaller tractors and a reverse gear box for snow blowers provided the tractor has mid P.T.O.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  7. fruitcakesa

    fruitcakesa Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 37

    I was considering a QA power angle blade that replaces the loader.
    I have been pushing the snowpiles down with my JD crawler when they got too big so that is not an issue
     
  8. BlizzardBeater

    BlizzardBeater Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 420

    The blower is really the way to go. Those kubota's can really throw some snow. I'll see if I can get a picture of it this winter, it really is impressive. I wouldnt screw around with the plow, especially with winding roads through the woods. This really limits the space to push snow. Do you really want to push it twice with the crawler? Just my two cents.
     
  9. fruitcakesa

    fruitcakesa Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 37

    Do you use a front or rear mount blower?
     
  10. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    kubota etc.

    Please visit "You Tube" to see a lot rear snowblowers working and you will see why they work so well.
     
  11. fruitcakesa

    fruitcakesa Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 37

    I checked out a few vids and I see some of your point but then I watched a snowblade vid and the difference in speed is noticeable as well as the cleanup needs with the blower vs the blade.
    I am still doing my homework and am really glad to get any and all feedback
     
  12. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    I know lots of people like rear-mounted snowblowers, but I hate them. We had one for a few years and it was the most uncomfrotable I've ever been in any piece of equipment. About 20 minutes in & I was sick of it, 10 hours later and I felt like I'd been in a car wreck- everytime. We sold it & took a beating, but I was so happy to see it go.

    Whether you go blade or blower, I'd STRONGLY recomend front-mount.
     
  13. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    kubota etc.



    To explain further again,


    If you are snow bound it will be more difficult to dispose of any amount of snow period.


    Let us say your path down the hill is 700 feet long;

    a. traveling at 2 miles an hour and blowing snow the tractor is traveling at 176 feet per
    minute in reverse.


    a1. the tractor is elevated and the field of view is much greater than in a plow truck( the only machine with a better field of view is a road grader.


    b the tractor is operating at its rated engine speed for the P.T.O.

    c the snow is 21 pounds per cubic foot on average and gains wieght from snow melt
    increasing its wieght per cubic foot.

    d. the snow blower is 60 inches wide and the path is 12 feet wide

    700 * 12* 1* 21= 176,400 pounds of snow 88 tons (rounded lower)

    The snow blower will remove the 88 tons of snow in 16 minutes (rounded lower)


    Every foot you advance with the snow blower removes 105 pounds of snow and disposes of it the first time with no rehandling of the snow (if it is one foot deep).


    In the event of a snow storm with massive drifts the snow blower will dispose of it all and remove it from the path and eliminate any frozen banks.

    A rear blower will also allow you to use the front end loader to stack snow scooped from in front of overhead doors and walk ways and then dispose of it with the snow blower.

    if the access/entry points to the home are flat and the walkways have no elevations the snow blower can easily remove all accumulations and leave no snow banks.


    With the steering wheel spinner and the rear view camera from advance auto( low cost in cost) or a better camera from ag supply "Cab Cam" brand you will not have stiff neck problem and

    it will be easy to drive in reverse with the suicide knob.


    the front end loader will be an asset you will not want to remove during the winter months.


    You have to remember andy massive accumulations will be compounded in weight simply because the snow is be pushed forward and packed into the snow ahead of it,

    please keep this fact in mind in you decision as well as the fact that the snow blower will out live your tractor.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2010
  14. fruitcakesa

    fruitcakesa Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 37

    I just checked my machine and it does not have a mid-PTO for a front mount blower so
    I am narrowing my choices.
     
  15. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    kubota

    The front plow mount or the front snow blower mount with a PTO adapter hitch driven from the crank shaft flywheel

    reduces the ground clearance considerably and it will increase the chances of becoming

    snow bound and stuck unfortunately.



    The rear mounted snow blower does not have these issues with regard to clearances.

    Tthe picture on the left is a typical cab cam system complete and ready to install.

    cabcam.jpg

    7457bc3a-5083-40a9-b96d-3250daaf9434.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2010
  16. BlizzardBeater

    BlizzardBeater Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 420

    My experience has been with the rear mounted PTO driven snowblower. I would not recommend it for a commercial application strictly because of the ergonomics but for your personal use, it is absolutley magical to have the loader still attached. Another thing to think about, if you go with a front mounted blower, you will need to purchase a rear mounted weight box or load your rear tires. It really wont take as long as you think with a snowblower, and it is clean looking.
     
  17. DaySpring Services

    DaySpring Services PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,065

    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
  18. treefarm

    treefarm Member
    Messages: 51

    There are quite a few options for your tractor, you're almost 40 hp at the PTO there are many models of snow blowers like Erskine Hydro power packs that run front blowers that connect to your loader, also they make front mounts that use your rear PTO to bring the power to the front with a frame that runs under your tractor, check out their website Erskine. Both of these options are quite expensive though, but they do save your neck a little bit. Backing up in a cab tractor is not that hard you do get used to it. If you have mirrors on your tractor, which I'm assuming you do, you can also add a backup camera. That's how I do it with my new Holland and 84 inch rear snowblower. This year, I just added a 14 inch LCD to my sun visor. It works fantastic, including night vision on the camera, about $300 investment in a good camera can save you $12,000, versus $5700 rear snowblower you decide, take care
     
  19. treefarm

    treefarm Member
    Messages: 51

    some quick pictures of my setup to combat old man winter in upstate New York

    snowblower front view.jpg.jpg

    snowblower rear.jpg.jpg

    snowblower first day.jpg.jpg

    IMG_0485.jpg.jpeg
     
  20. fruitcakesa

    fruitcakesa Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 37

    Thanks for all the input and I have decided to go with a front blade.
    My local dealer makes up a QA mounting plate and then modifies a standard Fisher plow and aframe to fit and voila' $2500 power angle QA plow for about $800!
    I already had my tires filled with rimguard and got a set of diamond chains so I am ready for old man winter
    .I post pics when the plow is completed and mounted.