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Help Selecting Plow for 544J

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by DGODGR, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    Hey Gang!
    I haven't been on the site much lately (except for help in Western Plow Forum) and I'm back here now looking for some valuable Plowsite advice.

    For several years I have had an '04 544J (low hourThumbs Up) that I have not been using much for snow removal. I have installed a third valve, and have a JRB model 416 coupler but I have not installed the coupler yet and am still running the pin on bucket. For the first time in many years we are experiencing a winter with a significant amount of snow fall. I have about (7) subdivisions, +/- 35 rural driveways (some paved, most gravel, many have long, meandering narrow drives (+/-12' wide), and then typical turn around and wider areas at the house), and a couple of propane yards. I am currently using the loader to help with the driveways, once I'm done doing the main roads, as it takes the skid steer (my son in an A300 w/100" snow bucket) a few more hours to finish the driveways. We are already to the point of needing to push back as I must go 20-25 MPH to get the snow up over the windrows at the edge of the roads. While this is fun launching the snow, like I'm blowing it, it's not ideal for safety (blows and packs the snow onto the windshield, and possible hard impacts with proud rocks) and can take several passes to make a difference and get cleaned up.
    So that's the situation and here's the question at hand. I am trying to select a plow that will give me the most bang for the buck. As you probably know I am looking at sending upwards of $20k for a quality attachment. In my town, the Deere dealer sells Rylind MFG. attachments, and Worksite Pro (Deere) attachments. The Rylind is available almost immediately and the W/S Pro would take a while to order in. I am currently thinking about a 12' wide plow. The W/S is a trip edge design (I haven't seen them) and my salesman says that he has sold a few and that the customers are not happy because the trip edge design trips to frequently due the weight and forces of the loader. I have seen some Rylind products before and they are built very stout. I'm not sure which version he is offering at the moment (I'll know more tomorrow). They make a trip edge version (reverse trip w/ spring canisters at the top of the plow) and a non-trip edge version with an A style push frame and 3" diameter pivot. The trip version also has an oscillation feature. The non-trip version can be used for dirt as well (this would add some versatility and value as I am an excavation contractor as well). I would also consider a Kage pusher as I can see the box giving me the opportunity to do large lots but I am concerned about the tripping feature. I would like to have the security of a trip edge for pavement/curb locations (not currently plowing "in town" lots though) yet I don't want something that will trip too easily. I also like the "floating" type hitch design as well. I do not know anyone with this system and the only thing I can find on the 'net is the one Kage video with the Kawasaki Z50 loader. I would also consider an HLA or Metal Pless plow (with the rotational actuators) that converts to a box, reverse box, or just a wider plow. While this seems to offer the most versatility I also have some concerns with these as well. I have heard that the actuators can be a bit fragile, and that the wings are also susceptible to damage. This is particularly a concern for the winging back I will need to do the widen the roads. I would think that this would put a lot of stress on the wings. I believe that they both are also a trip edge design, and would also give me the ability to do lots if the opportunity arose. I have also seen the Henke plow and it even comes with a wing, and tower, mounted to the angle blade frame. It looks like a good road set up but it might be asking a lot of a 3 yard loader to push a 12' blade and use the wing at the same time. Maybe one would have to use one at a time (depending on conditions). I know that there are other manufacturers I have not mentioned. Please feel free to recommend any.
    Another thing to consider (though not really an issue now as the ground is frozen pretty hard) is that we often have snow and then sun and relatively warm temps. This makes the gravel road surfaces a bit soft and very easy to plow the gravel along with the snow. Think spring like plowing conditions. This winter we are mostly having highs in the low thirties and lows in the single digits. This is making for frozen ground conditions but we often see daytime highs in the 40s in winter.
    The Rylind blade will cost me about $17k I have been told. I was quoted a Kage several years ago and it was about $15k. The others I don't know what the cost would be. It would be nice to know what the others would cost. I've heard that Paul has now become a rep for Metal Pless so hopefully he will have some good advice as well. I have come to trust his experience and advice since considering the high volume resi-blower model that he has introduced to this forum.
    I would appreciate any advice on the selection of the attachment that will best fit my diverse needs.