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Ideal Sidewalk Machine?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by JohnRoscoe, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    I'm interested in ideas, opinions, options for a machine to blow 5' sidewalks. We've been doing apartments by hand shoveling and walk-behind snow blowers for several years, but the number of laborers it takes to get the job done is a clear weak point in our operation. Recently, we're using less help in the summer, so our pool of people to draw on in the winter is even smaller.

    I'm looking at the JD 1023E or 1025R right now. I'm not sure what we'd do with one the rest of the year, but I like that there is potential to use it for mowing or roto-tilling.

    What else should we be looking at? Don't have or want a skid steer. Really struggling with the idea of a machine that has so little utility the rest of the year at such a high cost- we could add more plows to trucks that don't plow for less than a sub compact tractor, but that wouldn't fix our sidewalk problem.
  2. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    What about a Ventrac (however you spell them). About the only useful thing you could add in the summer would be an aerator, maybe a mower deck. Im sure they have more attachments
  3. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,401

    How is a sub compact not useful in the summer? There's literally unlimited uses for it within the machines capabilities

    I wouldn't go with a ventrac. More expensive and less uses imo
  4. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    Sorry, should have elaborated, we mow with zero turns and have a larger tractor & implements. We couldn't replace either with a 1026, so it's kind of an oddball in our shop.
  5. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,401

    You'd be surprised what uses you can find for it. Lately I've been driving mine 500 ft up the driveway to get the mail lol
  6. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,547

  7. bliz&hinikerDLR

    bliz&hinikerDLR Senior Member
    Messages: 467

    We use a 1023 for snow removal in the winter. We have both a JD brush and a JD blower attachment for the front. On the rear we have a Snow-ex SD-600 drop spreader. It is very effective for 44" sidewalks. However, with 5 foot sidewalks, you might be able to use a simple 3-point mounted blower. The 3-point models are much less expensive and much cheaper to maintain & repair. Be sure you have a damn good operator if you get a 1023. Gear boxes and bearings are common and expensive replacements on the JD brooms and blowers.

    In summer we use our 1023 for a bit of stuff. The big one is tilling gardens in spring and summer. I would also think about other uses: a nice grass seeder, power box rake, front loader, broom for cleaning up after plow season, and a mower deck.
  8. TGS Inc.

    TGS Inc. Senior Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 568


    We have had just about everything. Kubota 3030 (now called something just a little bit different) with an Epoke 3pt. salt spreader. Did an amazing job!!

    Just bought a couple of S-70 Bobcats. I feel they are a great value.

    IMO best machine would be the Ventrac however price is a huge factor (for us too!).

    The integrated cab on the Kubota is really nice!!
  9. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    Do you ever use the brush? I would think you'd have to have a blower for wet snow, and if you had the blower it would clean well enough that the brush would be overkill.
  10. bliz&hinikerDLR

    bliz&hinikerDLR Senior Member
    Messages: 467

    Primary use was a hospital. They are very picky. Blow first, then brush, then salt.
  11. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    Gotcha. That makes sense.
  12. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

  13. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    Yeah... Got a price on the Toro Groundsmaster with PolarTrac kit. Looks like it would be perfect, except for the cost!
  14. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    I never shop around One dealer I ask was 25k for the setup

    My self I like to just have the Snow one But was I told have to buy the whole thing
  15. tbi

    tbi Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 91

    I have a ventrac and am very happy with it using the blade and or blower. In the winter season. I bought and 84" mower for also. I rent an areator for the bigger lawns so I would say it's quiet handy.
  16. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH PlowSite.com Addict
    from pa
    Messages: 1,132

    I would consider giving up my left nut for a Ventrac. LOL They are one of the best all around machines you can get. Expensive but you'll never need anything else.
  17. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,416

    I'll let you know on the 1025.

    Bought one to replace our 10+ YO RTV. Broom and blower.

    I would love to mount a drop spreader on it, but the funds are not there right now.
  18. hawkfan45

    hawkfan45 Junior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 16

    Ventrac has been the best mowing machine I have ever owned. Put dual wheels on it, and it will go anywhere. Seriously, this is more machine than meets the eye. Nothing better for sidewalk snow, imo.
  19. dycproperties

    dycproperties Member
    Messages: 37

    we are trying out a wacker wl30 this year with a 48" blower this year. A couple other guys in town have them and they seem to work really well so I'm pretty optimistic but we will see once the snow starts up.
  20. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    Thanks all, Ventrac looks interesting, but no stocking dealer nearby and fear of the unknown has me thinking it's not the right machine at this time.

    Going to go ahead and pursue a JD1025R right now. I suspect that it would be hand to have around in the summer as well.