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Plowing with a Tractor fitted with Front End Loader

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by tsafa, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. tsafa

    tsafa Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    Hi all,

    Looking for any feedback / advice on plowing a 100,000 sq-ft parking lot with a tractor. The tractor is 4x4 and fitted with a Front End Loader which has a 1,200 lb lift capacity. Tractor is 38 HP. Weighs about 4,500 lbs with loaded AG tires and the extra 500 lbs on the 3pt hitch. The Front End loader is set up for quick attach and can take any Skid Steer type attachments. Using a 66" bucket now. I can load up to 1,800 lbs on the 3 pt if I need to. I have 30 HP on the PTO.

    What do you guys think is the limit / capability of my current set up with regard to snow plowing?

    The tractor stays on site at the main job I am contracted for. I am planing to just do that work with the 66" bucket since this is my only job right now and I have plenty time to finish it. I am trying to get more commercial work in the area. I am planning on getting a 10,000 lb trailer to pull the tractor.

    I am open to getting a quick attach snow blade for the Front End Loader or a snow blower in the back if I land any more contracts. I have even thought of putting a 7' grading blade on the 3 pt and keeping the Front End Loader with the bucket. I am willing to invest if the return is there. I don't want to spend money on things that wont make much of a difference. Any advice is appreciated.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
  2. hammerstein

    hammerstein Senior Member
    Messages: 318

    I think that it is way to small. Is this the only thing you will have there? You will very quickly realize it is going to take a long time to plow that lot. Plowing with a bucket is not fun especially when you hit an obstruction in the pavemt. May want to find a small push box but your machine is still pretty small.
  3. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    That's a over grown lawn tractor.
    All depends what you going try plow with it
  4. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,395

    maybe it's the only toys He's got in the sandbox
  5. lfaulstick

    lfaulstick Member
    from PA
    Messages: 96

    i had a kubota L3540 with skid steer 8ft pusher box it worked ok...didnt scrape well here since all our lots are so heaved and warped. and the tractor would push a full box in most conditions unless really wet. but you wanted to be level on a side hill it would slide...just not enough weight. so i sold pusher and made a mount for a spare boss v and it is 100 times better. visabillity is awesome and its quick especially tight spots or heavy trafic areas.

    i have since traded to a L5240 i cant wait to push with that animal.
  6. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,719

    I'd be very careful using a small tractor with a loader and a bucket to push snow. The loaders aren't built overly tough and with the bucket having no give when it hits a crack, curb, man hole cover, etc the force has to go somewhere.
  7. SullivanSeptic

    SullivanSeptic PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,419

    Yeah, the force goes to the driver either eating the steering wheel or the pavement getting ripped out. Either way, its bad. And plowing with a bucket is almost useless. Its gonna take 10 times longer then a small 7ft plow on a Ford Ranger would.
  8. jasonv

    jasonv PlowSite.com Addict
    from kannada
    Messages: 1,114

    You can't do a big open space with a blower, or a small bucket. Blowers are good only when the space is small enough that you can shoot the snow past the side of the space. I have a tractor about that size with a blower, and what it is to me, is an emergency save-my-ass machine. I've got 3 km of a 1-lane gravel road, if I get a big dumping with a little breeze, that road can drift full 4 feet deep, which is beyond the capability of a truck. As a last resort, I can blow that road empty in a few hours of reversing slowly.
  9. skorum03

    skorum03 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,933

    I would say that if money isn't too big of an issue, get a V plow on your truck instead. Hire a helper to operate the tractor if you want to run two machines. You won't be able to take on more commercial accounts with only that tractor I'm sorry to say.

    YardBros Outdoors
  10. superdog1

    superdog1 Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    Besides what the others have said, does this unit have a cab? I don't know if you have ever spent 8 to 10 hrs on a tractor without a cab plowing snow? You will freeze your ass off to say the least, especially if you are trying to keep up with the lot in blowing or blizzard like conditions? I got stuck using a 55HP tractor one time with a bucket on a lot that we normally did with a truck. It took 3 times longer and when I was done, if you would have shoved a 2x4 up my @$$, I would have been an oversized popsicle!, Lol
  11. tsafa

    tsafa Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    Thanks for the feedback and advice everyone.