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New to the country: Truck or tractor for plowing?

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by waterglider, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. waterglider

    waterglider Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Hi-
    New to country life. We are excited, but also a little nervous about snow removal. Winters can be harsh up here. Our new place has a rather steep driveway with a hairpin turn at the steepest section. It is almost a quarter mile in length. I need some advice and would appreciate anyone taking the time to share some of your expertise.

    I need to buy a tractor anyway for the property for some of the things I want to do in the back fields. But I was hoping to use the same tractor for snow removal. The recommendation I had received was for a snow blower mounted at the front of the tractor. I looked at a Kubota 3200 today and was impressed. Also, using the rear PTO with a salt spreader sounds very convenient.

    I spoke to a neighbor tonight and he thought a tractor would be too light on ice and I would be better off with a truck and a plow. Not to mention the benefit of having a warm cab. Now if I did this route, I could get by with a smaller tractor for the fields I guess.

    I am thoroughly confused and need some wisdom.

    Thank you in advance.

    Sean
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  2. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    Use the tractor. If you are worried about ice-then put a set of chains on it. No reason to beat up your truck if you have a tractor anyway. How many inches of snow do you get in a season there? You could probably get away with a blade for the driveway at significant cost savings compared to the blower.

    Welcome to plowsite.
     
  3. waterglider

    waterglider Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Thank you. Snow varies in this region. I think we only had 30 inches or so last year. But the two previous years were insane. We had 85 in 2008, and 94 inches in 2009. But these were record setting years.

    I would definitely prefer using a tractor, and if putting chains on the wheels will solve any traction issues I may have on ice, that will be the way I go. Guess my neighbor worried me when he said the tractor wouldn't be heavy enough for plowing on steep hills with ice. I don't want to invest in a tractor with all the attachments if I can't even plow my driveway safely.

    Thanks-
    Sean
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  4. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I live in the "country" and have both. My advice - get an old truck.
     
  5. cubplower

    cubplower Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    if you know you will be plowing only your driveway, you can get by with the tractor. If its more than your driveway use the truck.
     
  6. plowatnight

    plowatnight Senior Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 305

    truck and tractor

    Hey I have both, What size are you talking I have a New Holland Boomer tc34, loader on the front and 60" blower on the rear. My Dad had a kubota 3010 same setup only no blower. Both are 4wheel drive. I can do 80 townhome units 5" snow in 6hrs start to finish including garage doors clean and public sidewalk (about 10 running blocks) I could do your drive 15 to 30 min. tops. Good thing about the tractor, you can move dirt mow pasture, dig postholes clear brush and clean snow. I also have the soft cab with heater and you can work in shirt sleeves. The blower on the back is 1/3 the price of the frontblower and at 30" average, you can't justify the cost. Also you can spread salt/ ice melter with an electric unit, you don't need the PTO drive type
     
  7. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,045

    I personally don't like more vehicles to maintain so go with the tractor it will do a great job. If you already own a truck capable of plowing you could put a blade on that instead as the newer blades come on and off in minutes and that will also suit your needs. The chains as said above will take care of your ice.
     
  8. Cranky

    Cranky Junior Member
    from Calgary
    Messages: 10

    Well, if you've got other things to use the tractor for, I'd go with the tractor. Always believed in multi-tasking.

    By the way, is it wrong to think it's easier to maintain a tractor than a truck?
     
  9. linckeil

    linckeil PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,265

    my neighbor's got a very steep driveway and plows it with a little rear wheel drive john deere with weights and chains on the back. it takes him a while, but he's in no hurry. it does a great job. i'm always impressed to see him plow up the hill in the wetest, heavist of snows.

    if you don't foresee a need for having a pickup truck, then i say go with the tractor - especially if you're gonna need it for other projects.
     
  10. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    what to do etc.

    A tractor will be of more use and you can have a warm all weather cab too


    Kubota 2660 hydro with cruise control-handy when snow blowing as you can set the cruise in reverse and just relaxwhile blowing snow in reverse



    Pronovost puma snow blower 5 foot-the Pronovost Puma has a bigger fan drum than the Kubota/RAD blowers
    and gets rid of snow faster than the others at the same speed

    all weather cab with rear wipers and Kubota high output defroster





    High output alternator for front and rear work lights on tractor cab.

    rear chains

    rim guard liquid for rear tires

    dual rear remotes for the spout and rotation-worth every penny and it lets you stay dry in the cab.


    A Pronovost PUMA rear snow blower will be better because it is less work to install and a 540 rpm PTO unit is only what is required.




    a. A front blower requires the full mount under frame and and quick attach system.
    PIA and power is lost through transmission



    b. the Kubota RAD blower requires the use of the mid mount drive which is 1000 -1200 rpm or there abouts with a gear box or belt drive depending on what you buy.

    If you bought a Pronovost three point mounted blower all you need is the blower, a slip clutch PTO shaft and shear pins-wont hurt to have a replacement chain for the auger anyway.


    The Pronovost PUMA 5 foot snow blower has hydraulic rotation as standard ewquipment except for the spout angle control-which is a worthwhile option.

    The agrissupply folks have have an internet sale price special for the Caroni flail mower and shipping is included in the price and the flail mowers are safefr and hook up just like the rear snow blower with much less work PLUS you dont have to clean them like a belly mower either I love using our flail mower as it is easier to maintain and safe to use too.


    Belly mowers love to pick things up and throw them hundreds of feet, flail mowers do not throw objects and they also cut better with more mower knives and you can cut wet grass easily.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2010
  11. wsmm

    wsmm Member
    Messages: 80

    Things to consider

    I've done both types of plowing, with a tractor and an SUV. Just moved my plow over to a pickup as my suv is giving pu the ghost, a 79 Ramcharger. After many years of plowing a 1/2 mile drive in the country with a tractor, I'm glad I've had a four wheel drive for the last 8 yearts or so. It's no fun out in the open in below freezing temperatures if you have a long drive. Also the older you getv the more your body will rebell against the cold weather. I definetly would look for an older 4x4 with a plow and use it for removing snow. I'd also stick with an SUV, Ramcharger, Blazer or Bronco if you can find one reasonable with a plow.
     
  12. ppkgmsy

    ppkgmsy Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 73

    Waterglider,

    Just wanted to say hello and welcome to the forum. I've only been plowing for 3 years but the guys here have helped me with all kinds of questions about equipment, etc. There's bound to be differences of opinion, but you'll likely learn a bunch and make fewer, and less costly, mistakes.

    Being a newbie, the only advice I can offer is that if you have a kid, put him/her in the cab with you. You'll end up working 1/3 as fast but you'll have 10 times as much fun.

    Good luck.
     
  13. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    Not sure how steep "steep" is. Will you need a 4wd to drive in the country or are the roads well maintained. If roads are well maintained then go with the tractor
     
  14. Zigblazer

    Zigblazer Member
    Messages: 79

    Not sure if it helps, and I've never plowed with a tractor (just a front loader and trucks), but my next door neighbor uses his little 4x4 john deere to plow his 1/4 mile driveway. It has never bothered him except when it gets real cold. He uses the bucket in front and a scraper in back. Takes him a while because he can't push snow off to the side with it. But he loves his tractor and doesn't mind spending hours on his drive since he is retired. I have plowed him out twice when we got a lot of wet snow and it froze, then he finished scraping it down to gravel again.

    My advice is the tractor would work great for you and could save you money in purchase and maintenance of a vehicle, as long as you don't mind the cold, get a 4x4 tractor, get a blade to push snow sideways, and use chains. You don't need a blower unless you get more than 12 inches at a time and often, most tractors have plenty of weight with 4x4 and chains to push a lot of snow.

    But if you would prefer to take a little less time and be nice a comfortable while doing it, get a vehicle to plow with.

    I personally would go with a tractor if I had other needs for one, and maybe look at getting some sort of cab and heater.