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My SnowBear experience

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by lotsacars, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. lotsacars

    lotsacars Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    I thought I'd share my experience with the SnowBear plow. I bought it six years ago after trying to make it through a winter in my new house with a snowblower. I live on the top of a hill due east from an open 277 acre field, so 'drifting' doesn't begin to describe what we experience. Snowblower needed to be replaced with a plow (or plow service). Being a DIYer and an overall tight-wad I couldn't see paying someone to plow my driveway. The SnowBear seemed like the best bang/buck at the time. My father was so impressed with the value of the SnowBear he bought one the following season for his own driveway. We both have the chain-style winch.

    I've mounted it on three vehicles now ('88 Toyota P/U, '92 Isuzu Rodeo, and now my '98 Jeep Cherokee) and have made successive improvements to my installation with each. I'd welcome any tips/tricks you may have to share. I'll be redoing my light wiring for next season (already doing separate relays for highs/lows and trailer plug @ the plow/truck junction) and would like to do the lighter-duty-momentary-toggle-in-the-cab-to-get-rid-of-the-big-honkin'-switch-box mod I've read about recently here. I have the box wiring plumbed through the firewall, but that still leaves me with the aforementioned 'big honkin' switch box' to deal with.

    I forget everything I've done over the years, but they include welding the vehicle-specific mount to the unibody (had to do this on both the Jeep and the Rodeo as they didn't really want to stay on with my, umm, aggressive plowing style :D ), switch box in the cab, custom light stands w/trailer light plug, moving the winch to the other side of it's mount so the elec connex are closer to where they enter the truck and so that it's opposite the blade angling handle, and super-duper el-cheapo receptacle covers (my wife's invention!).

    I get a kick out of those that recommend someone 'get a real plow' and the like whenever the SnowBear is mentioned. True, it is NOT a commercial-grade plow. That is evident at first glance (and it isn't marketed as such so there really is no surprise there...) but it can still move snow and for the homeowner that can't get by with a shovel or snowblower the SnowBear is a perfectly viable option. I've had virtually no problems (I say 'virtually' because of my mount issues), I plow a minimum of three driveways (up to six), and it has put up with my spirited use for six years now. To say that it has paid for itself is an understatement.

    Anyway, a little winded, but what the heck - you're here to read about plowing right?!? We recently got a 21" storm so it got a little work-out this week. If all goes well, below you'll catch a glimpse into my SnowBear's portfolio:

    DSCN4053s.JPG

    DSCN4056s.JPG

    DSCN4050s.JPG

    DSCN4046s.JPG
     
  2. bdhunter

    bdhunter Senior Member
    Messages: 158

    Glad you're liking that SnowBear. As Baretta used to say "works for me", too.

    Nice pics too!
     
  3. minneplowguy

    minneplowguy Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    Glad you like your Snowbear and if your looking to get rid of that big box check out the wireless remote that superwinch sells. I purchased mine thru Summit racing and the box is like the military dry boxes and you can manually raise the winch from the side of the box or with one of the two remotes you get. when not in use there is a power shut off switch on the box also which gets mounted inside of the engine compartment. Its great to have for being outside of the truck when your hooking up and you don't want to keep running in the cab to raise or lower.

    Have had mine for about 3 years and just put on a wider cutting edge from the 2" to a 6" inch piece that works real well.

    Do you really need the extra lights ? mine sits low enough that i can see with my regular lights.
     
  4. lotsacars

    lotsacars Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    Thanks for the wireless remote tip - I'll look into that. Sounds like it may be simpler to set up.

    Any pics of the new blade edge? Did you wear the 2" one out, or was there some motivation towards adding additional height?

    The lights aren't needed if I drop the plow a little bit, but then it's just dangling and if there's any snow on the blade it will hang low to one side or the other. I didn't even have them hooked up the first year on this vehicle, but it got annoying having to clean off the blade every time I switched driveways. I already had the lights all wired up to the plow so I just spent the time to prep the truck for them. I'm going to redo them this fall and clean up the wiring a bit and add additional relays. I've even considered finding an OEM relay box in a junkyard to clean things up a bit and protect the connections from corrosion. We'll see how ambitious I get :jester:
     
  5. lotsacars

    lotsacars Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    Here's a couple more pics. This is where I've 'mounted' the box. It's not permanently attached, just hooked on the edge of the console. It stays there year 'round. The polarity is reversed so Up/Down are more intuitive and natural during use. All of the wiring is tucked away out of sight.

    DSCN4057s.JPG

    DSCN4062s.JPG
     
  6. minneplowguy

    minneplowguy Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    cutting edge

    I will try and post some picks of the bigger edge I put on. Didn't wear the old one out just wanted to have more if needed and after this storm we had, been plowing since 4pm this evening and just finished with my 20th driveway and had 4 warehouse lots me and the Mrs are beat. As soon as i can i will try and post some pics and let me tell you the wireless was great. All i can say is love my Snowbear and haven't had a problem with it yet and compared to $3000 and up rigs which i saw plenty sitting and waiting for repairs its great.

    Take care all and keep enjoying your snowbears.
     
  7. Jettix2

    Jettix2 Member
    Messages: 65

    I just picked up my SnowBear from Sam's Club last night.......on clearance, the last one they had. $982 + tax, I couldn't pass it up.

    The Sam's Club model is the WinterWolf WW1000, which is 84x22, should be a perfect mid-size plow for my Tundra.

    2 Questions:

    1) Are the optional lights sold by SnowBear worth the money, or not? Everyone seems to be using home-fabbed lights (I dont have a welder)....

    2) Is there a cheaper wireless controller than the $250.00 that SnowBear sells???

    Thx, Ben
     
  8. iviatticus

    iviatticus Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    I found a wireless controller on eBay for $30 +Shipping. It's not the SnowBear one, but it's a "universal" one. I haven't taken the plunge yet, since I'm still trying to get all the parts to mount mine LOL. But I'm pretty sure I will try that. The only other option there is, is to do a setup like bdhunter has.
     
  9. Jettix2

    Jettix2 Member
    Messages: 65

    I wasnt sure if a generic/universal wireless would work, I know the Superwinch one ($125-ish on Ebay) will work........

    They;re nice and simple, and I dont have to screw a bunch of relays into my engine compartment;)

    Ben
     
  10. minneplowguy

    minneplowguy Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    Get the wireless you will be glad you did. Got plenty of use this past weekend and with this next storm coming i need to findout how to post some pics.

    Just finished making a set of side wings for it out of old 1/4 inch industrial rubber which should help with leaving to much snow behind.

    I myself don't have the light tower and found out that it doesnt block out my lights when plowing or driving.
     
  11. Jettix2

    Jettix2 Member
    Messages: 65

    Cool, thanks for the info.

    What kind of truck are you running?
     
  12. groundbreakers

    groundbreakers Senior Member
    Messages: 824

    jettix2 - i made my own ..... i will take a few pics ... if you want me to i can make a set for your plow ... they look just like western's setup ... which club did you go to ?
     
  13. Jettix2

    Jettix2 Member
    Messages: 65

    groundbreakers;

    I went to Sam's in Traverse City. I appreciated your earlier offer, but I simply couldn't beat the deal on the brand new one;)

    I might be interested in your light setup, when you get a chance, snap a pic of it and post it up;)

    I told my wife I'm not going to roll around in the cold garage yet this winter to install it.......I figure on waiting until April or May, getting it on the truck, and seeing how my headlights clear the plow. At this point, there's not all that much winter left (flame suit on for you guys making a living at plowing) so I figure I'll make it easy on myself:)

    I think I'll DEFINITELY pick up a wireless controller for $50-ish off Ebay. :)

    Ben
     
  14. groundbreakers

    groundbreakers Senior Member
    Messages: 824

    jettix2 - actually im tempted to buy a new one myself .... how tall is yours? .. the plows are easy to put together .. its the harness install on your truck that takes precision and time .... but yah .. i will snap a pic and post tonight .... smart shopping .. but somehow im gonna wait till they put them on super clearance for around $600 .. they do that ....
     
  15. Jettix2

    Jettix2 Member
    Messages: 65

    Mine is a "WinterWolf" WW1000...measures 84x22 high, has the rubber snow deflector included. It is painted red.

    The Sam's in Traverse City was actually incorrect........that had TWO left, the one that I got was in a box, there is still a floor model there that is assembled, $982.00 plus tax.

    The Sam's in Grand Rapids/Muskegon/Holland either didn't have any, or they were still asking $1199 I think. There were 4 in Holland and I think one in Kentwood.

    Ben



     
  16. tsbbartholomew

    tsbbartholomew Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    Snowbear will do what it is made to do

    I purchased my Snowbear at a very discounted rate on ebay and my expectations wren't high but I am very pleased with the purchase. Even if I get 2-3 seasons out of the plow setup it will be worth it for me. I will probably be purchasing a new truck in a couple years and then purchase a fisher or meyer or something more substantial nut for now it is a great personal snowplow unit. Mounts seemed very well made as does the frame assembly and plow. Used it today to clean up from the recent 18" snow storm we had and it did a fine job.
     
  17. bdhunter

    bdhunter Senior Member
    Messages: 158

    This is the second year for me and my Ebay purchased SnowBear Flexblade. I started out in PA, on paved driveways and parking lots (non commercial - volunteer work only) and it did very well compared to the days of blowers and Kabota loaders (with no heated cab).

    Then we relocated to Maine, where most of the driveways and dooryards I now do are rough and unpaved, and it does equally well. With our last 'blizzard' dumping 15.5 on us, and the town plows piling up the ends of the driveways, it looked at first that it might be overwhelming for the smallish Flexblade, but by gently back dragging and chewing the first path thru, then taking smaller bites with the rest, it 'got er done'.

    Once the drives are cleared, then we have to 'wing it back' or get ready for the next one. Again by taking smaller portions with each push, it's able to get the job done.

    Bottom line... some around the forum may claim that the SnowBear is not a real plow, but there are quite a few enjoying it's results, and they probably would not agree as they look out and see their plowed driveways and dooryards, without them (or me) being out in it shoveling or blowing.
     
  18. Jettix2

    Jettix2 Member
    Messages: 65

    Bottom line seems to be that this is a lot more capable plow than a lot of people want to admit.

    No, it doesnt have full hydraulics......No, it isn't quite "fullsize".....

    But from what I've read, it is perfectly capable of plowing residential driveways, even some really big ones, as well as some private access roads....and that's not even mentioning the guys who use them commercially.

    I haven't read ONE single post of a structural failure of a SnowBear plow or frame/mount.........Sure, the electric winch isn't super-rugged, and will likely not last 20 years. The controller is clunky. The optional lights might be a bit hokey. But structurally, it seems to be pretty well built. And it only costs a GRAND (give or take).

    For the money, I dont see how anybody could go wrong, as long as they don't plan on plowing every driveway in their neighborhood with it.

    I'm going to unpack mine and install it on my truck once it warms up a bit.

    Personally, I can't justify spending $3,000 on a Suburbanite or Homesteader to plow my own driveway..........I got my SnowBear for about a grand........the $2,000 I saved can be better spent on something else, like landscaping for my yard, a new shed, etc etc.

    TU to SnowBear. :)

    Ben