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Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by SGRIMSHAW, Jun 21, 2001.

  1. SGRIMSHAW

    SGRIMSHAW Junior Member
    from CO
    Messages: 1

    THOUGHT I WOULD LET YOU PROS TAKE A CRACK AT THIS. I'M NOT IN YOUR LINE OF WORK BUT I LIVE IN COLORADO AND JUST BOUGHT A HOUSE IN NEED OF A SNOW REMOVAL SOLUTION. MY DRIVEWAY IS APPROX. 200' LONG, ONE LANE. HALF IS A 6% GRADE, THE REST 10%. I'M AT 7800' ELEVATION SO SNOW WILL BE FAIRLY FREQUENT AND HEAVY AT TIMES (IMPASSABLE IN ANYTHING SAY 1/2 DOZEN TIMES A YR.). DO I NEED A BLOWER OR VEHICLE WITH A PLOW? IF BLOWER, SINGLE STAGE OR DOUBLE? WHEELS OR TRACS? IF I BUY USED, HOW CAN I DETERMINE DEGREE OF WEAR? SNOWMOBILE OR SLED DOG? YOU GET THE PICTURE... I DONT KNOW MUCH.
     
  2. JCurtis

    JCurtis Banned
    Messages: 862

    Sgrimshaw,
    I was just in Denver a couple of weeks ago. Colorado is a beautiful state from what I saw of it.

    "7800 foot elevation and 200 foot long drive with a 6% to 10% grade."

    You can get some serious snow in them thar hills!!!!:D
    Gonna take a crack at this!

    Are you sure you want to tackle this on your own? I am sure we have some well equipped SIMA members in your area that could help you out. Are you near Denver? If so there is someone, I can put you in contact with. If you really want to tackle it on your own, it might behoove you to talk to one of our Colorado members anyway, since they will have a better knowledge of the terrain and annual snowfall accumulations.

    I would be hesitant to suggest a piece of equipment to you, since I am from the East Coast, what I might suggest may or may not work for you, plus the initial $$$$$ output might just scare you off. As far as determining the wear of a used piece of equipment you have a lot to consider. why is the person getting rid of it? is he/she updating his fleet, is he/she dumped a money pit that will need great outlays of cash to get and keep running? Think about all that before you decide which way to go. also thick about what you will do with this equipment during the non snow months?

    Hope this helps... even just a little bit.
     
  3. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    Don't believe him, it's not being from the East Coast that would make his input suspect, it's that he's what we call a (don't let the kids see this) "Flatlander". Now I'm from the East Coast also, sorta, about as far east but a lot further from the coast than Jeff is. But seein' as how I'm a Vuhmontuh, I know that snow is something that stays on the ground for months, Vuhmont having only two seasons, 9 months of winter and 3 months of poor sleddin', ayuh.

    Now,, all kidding aside, if I was in your shoes I'd be inclined to look for a small tractor with a snowblower. Either John Deere or Cub Cadet. From there it gets complicated, as there are a multitude of models to choose from. Age is less important than mechanical condition. Stay away from stuff billed as a "lawn tractor", they are usually the bottom end machines and are only marginal as a snow tool. Look for a machine with 12" rear wheels, that's usually a mark of the heavier "garden tractor" machines. Get rear weights and tire chains, preferably the reinforced type, they work better on packed snow or ice. Blowers are usually single stage types, which is not a problem. Stay away from Craftsman or WalMart/Home Depot machines, hell to find parts for when you're in a hurry.

    Write me off list if you want more specific information, and good luck.

    Oh yeah, I was in Denver with Jeff. For a Flatlander he's pretty good folks.
     
  4. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Following Alan's line of thought,(now thats an oxymoron- a Vermonter having a thought) perhaps a compact utility tractor with 4x4 and a blower, perhaps rear mounted and a front blade. Use the blade to move the snow off to the side and the blower to remove it.
    Dino
     
  5. JCurtis

    JCurtis Banned
    Messages: 862

    Geez Alan,

    For a minute there I was worried... Thought maybe I insulted you when I called you Ol'Butterfingers... LOL and you were miffed at me.

    Just Kidding! of course. Really, I may come from the shoreline, and I readily admit that we don't get AS MUCH SNOW as you get in Vermont, or SGrimshaw will get at 7800 feet in the Rockies, but I have plowed snow in Vermont (Warren/Rutland area) and I know what you get, I also know what a 6% and a 10% grade is.

    Almost 30 years of plowing (or should I say Snow managing) and I only got stuck once or twice and that was only because I was tired and in a hurry to finish up! Hey I never told you I was perfect:p

    Listen you Vuhmontuh... as a flatlanduh, from Connecticut Them thar Rockies are a sight taller then them thar Green and White Mountains up in your neck of the woods!!!! :D

    I might recommend a used skidsteer loader with a bucket, blade and a blower. This way Sgrimshaw may be able to use it for other things when it isn't snowing and in Colorado at 7800 feet elevation I think that mihgt be a period of 3 or 4 day in August. ;)
     
  6. guido

    guido PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 261

    LOL!

    I'm serving on Active Duty in the AF right now, so I've heard smack about being from CT from everyone! Usually myself and the vermontah's get along pretty good because we're closer to each other than to the texan thats making fun of us! :) I've heard everything from Damn Yankee (followed by a spit of chew by my boot) to "Connecticut is a state? I thought it was a city in New York" ;) But never have I heard flatlander! ;) Your mountains are a little bigger (okay a lot better) but I don't think that makes us "flatlanders". And no, I don't hate vermont, I used to ski there every chance I got on the weekends.

    Just thought I would be a hometown hero and bust the "Highlander" down some! :)

    Just messing with you Alan!
     
  7. JCurtis

    JCurtis Banned
    Messages: 862

    Guido,

    I don't dislike the Vuhmontuh's or as we call them here "the Hill People". What they call Mountains are small hills compared to the Rockies.

    Really now, I met Alan and his son Ray in Denver and for Hill people they are pretty nice folks!!!!:rolleyes: I mean it!!!!;)

    I kidded him about being a butterfingers when he deleted all his pics off his digital cam, so he was just returning the favor

    ;)


    Alan is ok in my book, even though he's from Vermont:p
     
  8. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    One lane driveway, 6% & 10% slope, I definitely agree with everyone saying "blower". A friend of mine has a similar driveway going into his farm, and it gets narrow real fast when trying to clear it with a pickup/blade. Just not that many places to PUT the white stuff. With a blower, you can toss it well out of your way.

    With regard to degree of wear, the tractor itself will be much like checking out any other used vehicle. The blade or blower, check for cracks and any previous repair work, condition of hydraulic hoses/fittings and any leaks, cutting edge wear, and just overall appearance - does it look like it's been sittin' out back of the barn rusting for a few years?

    Good luck with your search for a suitable piece of equipment - I'm staying outa the "Flatlanduh"/"Vuhmontuh"/"Highlander" debate 'cause I'm from Canada (eh!) ;)
     
  9. Bill c

    Bill c PlowSite.com Veteran
    from ny
    Messages: 85

    A 4x4 atv would also plow the driveway easily and you can use it year round for work or play.
     
  10. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    I like the idea of having a 4x4 atv as a year-round "fun toy" but I think it might be a little light for pushing snow off the driveway on a regular basis.

    Admittedly, the driveway itself is a big part of the equation too: SGRIMSHAW, does your driveway tend to drift in a lot and how is it for places to push the snow out of your way? The driveway at my parent's place is l-o-n-g and straight, but being out in the country it's also pretty much "self cleaning". The wind tends to keep it blown fairly clear, only down by the house/garage and out at the road do they usually have to use the blower.
     
  11. Bill c

    Bill c PlowSite.com Veteran
    from ny
    Messages: 85

    I have a 600cc yamaha grizzly with a 50 inch v blade and have
    pushed 18 inches up my 130 foot drive way with no problem.I did buy
    chains but never put them on,im sure it would push like a mini tank
    with them on.
     
  12. Tommy10plows

    Tommy10plows Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    Novice needs equipment

    Ok, this is what you need. Find yourself an older, late 1970's - 1980's Jeep CJ 5 with either a Myers or Western Plow and a belt driven pump set up, like a Monarch Hy-Lo unit. Make sure it is a manual transmission. remember that real Jeeps have leaf springs on all four wheels, not those silly coil highway types. Then get yourself a set of v-bar reinforced chains for all four wheels and some extra links in case you break one or two. Put the chains on before it snows! This entire set up should run you about the cost of a Honda snow blower.

    Then change all your hoses, heaters, upper and lower radiator hoses, buy an extra belt or two for the hydro unit, change the oil on the motor, add a trickle charger from Sears for $20 to the battery and keep it plugged in, make sure your u-joints are good, or better yet change them to new ones, heavy duty types so you won't drop a shaft when plowing. Check your brake system, replace any brake lines that show exterior surface rust, or brake hoses that show signs of swelling.

    Always plow in 4 wheel low range with this set up. Park the Jeep at the top of the hill on any night when snow is expected. On your first runs go down the hill first with the plow angled to the down side of the hill. First gear+low range, at idle speed so you do not lose control. The weight will push you to the up side of the hill. Take your time and build your confidence and skills level. Keep your eyes on what you are doing, and carry a come along and logging chain in case you bury yourself and nobody will be around to pull you out. On your return run up the hill, you can back up with a running start and the plow slightly elevated. Remember that unless you have a Vermont babe in the back all the weight is up front in this rig. Use the weight to your advantage and back up the hill until you get a few runs going down the hill where the driveway is opened up.
     
  13. Rooster

    Rooster Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 650

    SGRIMSHAW,

    First welcome to Plowsite.

    Having driven more miles than I care to admit over the road as an Owner Operator, I can honestly say I have a good idea what a 6% and 10% grade is (love the Rockies).

    Anyway, for a quick solution check with a few neighbors and see what they use. That would be the quickest.

    Tell me what city you live in. I will call my uncle who retired as a Supervisor of Highway Maintenance for the State of Colorado, and has lived in Colorado for over 30 years and ask him for your area what is the best equiptment to use.

    Good Luck, I'll wait to hear from ya!

    Rick
     
  14. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    SGRIMSHAW: Some different ideas posted here, all of them have their merits. Main thing to consider is which one will work best for your application.

    With any kind of plow, whether it be on a truck, ATV or tractor, you need a place to push the snow to. And keep pushing the snow to all winter, unless you can get access to a loader or backhoe to stack the snow. Any plow is going to be fairly limited in how high you can stack the snow up, so you'll find your driveway "shrinking" as the season wears on. If you don't have much room to begin with, you may run out of room pretty quick! Also, if your driveway is likely to get drifted in fairly deep you'll have to work at it to break through the drift with a plow.

    A blower lets you throw the snow farther away and "chew" through any drifts that form. More complicated than a plain 'ol snowplow, and probably more $ to buy up front.

    Like Rooster said, see what works for the neighbours too!

    Speaking of Rooster, I liked seeing the Rockies too when I was driving. :cool: Only problem was, company I drove for didn't like lettin' us loose west of the Mississippi (or south of the Mason/Dixon for that matter!) too often! :( But there's still lots of 6% and 10% grades in the East......................