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Front Wheel Loaders For Plowing

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by iowastorm, Sep 15, 2000.

  1. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    Just curious as to if any of you guys use wheel loaders for plowing and how your experiences have been. Just curious if a CAT 950 series with a 4 yd. bucket would be more efficient than a dumptruck w/ a 11' plow for plowing large, open parking lots at office complex and strip malls. FYI: We just nailed down our first significant seasonal monthly contract today! Thanks for the help on that guys!
  2. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    The loader combined with a snowpusher will out do a dump truck hands down. However if you have a dump truck, use what ya got. You really don't need a cat 950, with a 4 yard bucket, its a little bigger machine than ya need. Only again if ya have a cat 950, use what ya got. I have found the cat 938, is a very good loader, not one snow storm can stop it.

    I all my loaders and back hoes ( except for the smaller ones), have come from auctions. I have found state surplus auctions to be a good source for equipment. It is well maintained, and it's use is fairly low, VS a private contractor, and generally the stuff is only 3 or 4 years old.

    Only like i said in an old post. A loader is only good if you have enough work for it. If you have a lot of jobs spread out that require large blades. A heavy duty truck is the way to go.


    [Edited by GeoffDiamond on 09-16-2000 at 12:03 AM]
  3. SLC1

    SLC1 Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    I agree with Geoff, we plow with a loader with pusher and it is 100% more efficient than any truck or loader bucket. For the increase in production the cost of the pusher is very small compared to the savings in time. The only disadvantage to having one is that it can not be driven all over the place like a truck. We have tried to line up all of my accounts in 5 mile radius and since we are out with the pusher early in the morning or late at night we are able to drive it around. But if you have the loader for $3,000 or a little more you can get a Pro-Tech, and it should last for quite a while so it would be a good investment.
  4. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    Thanks for the info guys. I've been noticing that there are quite a few used loaders around going for as little as $7K. Now obviously, you'll get what you pay for, but it seems like those machines are made to run and last a long time. If we should purchase one, it's primary use will be to push snow in the winter and possibly to move concrete and aggregate materials in the warm months. What kind of things would you guys recommend to look for in a machine (hour maximums, rubber, engine condition, etc.)?
  5. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    I use a 938G w/ a 16' pusher it also has a quick tach bucket w/a hydro turn 11' snow plow.I also have a GMC topkick w/11' plow, the 938 will outperform the truck hands down.The one thing that make this possible is that it has a automatic transmission so it shifts thru the gear in forward and reverse plus it is far more manuverable. Now this statement is made upon the fact that I do three large commercials and an airport all within a mile of each other.As for the 950 its to big unless you are doing a huge lot and then in that case a 950 would shove a 16 to 20 ft plow all day long. For around here a 924 or 928 would be fine and best in the IT version because then they will accept 416it attachments which are plentyful and the coupler is not to expensive if you want to manufacture something yourself.If I wanted a cheap used machine I would look into a 544B or C or D,we used to have one it was a very durable machine. There is a web site http://www.machinerytrader.com that is the best Ive found it will show you equipment for sale as well as Auction price for equipment that has been sold at auction.Oh anything your going to even begin to want to plow with is going to cost 25 to 30.Iowastorm let me know if you would like to see how I have done the attachments for my loaders,it could be a cheaper alternative to buying a premanufactured set up.
  6. Lazer

    Lazer Senior Member
    Messages: 399

    You can lease a loader for 1/2 price during the off-season.

    Maybe $8,000 or so for the winter. New(er) machine with no maintenance or repairs.
  7. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358


    Yes, I'd like to know more about your attatchments to the machines. You can drop me a line at iowastorm@uswest.net if you want or just post it here. The Case dealership in Ankeny rents machines much cheaper than ZGL, so I may go that route this year. Have you ever used that Pro-Tech attatchment that some of the other guys were mentioning?
  8. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    Iowastorm make sure you check out RSC prices they were very reasonable last yea,I had one of theirs for three months.Also like I said their are some comanies like New Holland and Komatsu that are trying real hard to get into the loader market with new loaders they might do a rent.If you do rent from Case see what kind of deal the will give you on a protec they are the dealer.Once you find out how much all of this is going to cost evaluate the accounts you are going to use it on and see if the money adds up,I have found on a slow winter the rent can be really hard to swallow.
  9. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358


    As always, I appreciate the advice. The guy up at Case quoted me an hourly tach rate for each machine. Again, thank for the heads up about the Pro-tech, because that sure would be a great time saver. As you mentioned, we will evaluate the property sizes to see if the loader will be of a cost savings. At the current time, we're waiting for some bids to come back, so if they do the loader w/ Pro-tech will easily be justified.

    FYI; we just nailed down a very nice monthly contract. You know the old argument everyone uses here against paying monthly on a seasonal contract: "I don't want to pay for services that we won't receive" This manager actually told me that he doesn't like time and materials because as he put it "if you bill me for 6 hours on that truck, how do I know you actually used that truck for 6 hours" Good point! Alot of guys fudge on their actual hourly time. He liked the fact that he would pay one price each month and that's it. Just wanted to pass it along to you, because maybe over time we can convert the folks around here into buying more seasonal contracts.
  10. n y snow pros

    n y snow pros Senior Member
    Messages: 246


    We loaders with Pro-tec boxes we will have 16 loaders this year and all of them have a box anywhere from 12ft to 20 ft.We find them much quicker ande more versatile than trucks A 950 Cat can handle up to a 18 ft box but like previos posts have stated use what u got 1st.A 928 easily pushes a 16ft box so does a 544 john deere.Protec says u will increase your loader capacity to move snow by 500%. I dont know is its quite that much but its gotta be close
  11. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    Pro-Tech is doing a time study this season to determine exact production rates for their equipment. It will take three years to get what they want, but preliminary information should be ready next June. I have quite a few of them, and 500% is about right if you have a larger size (18 ft to 24 ft.).
  12. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    John: Can you give me a ballpark figure for what to pay for a 16'or 18' Pro-tech? Thanks.
  13. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    16 ft is around $5000
    18 ft is around $5300

    I'm in the office catching up on paperwork and don't have a current price list at my disposal. I found an old price list. The above is 1999 pricing with "alittle" added on asuming that the pricing has gone up some.