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Plowing with non-loader farm tractors

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by SDLandscapes VT, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. SDLandscapes VT

    SDLandscapes VT Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 299

    A high horsepower, non loader arm, 4x4 farm tractor with a HLA speedwing or Kage seems like a very efficient and mobile way to plow--does anyone have any experience with this type of setup pros and cons
  2. nixray

    nixray Senior Member
    Messages: 162

    I think there are a few Canadian based contractors that have a set up like this. There is a JD farm tractor (BIG but unsure of the model) for sale with a 10' blizzard for sale near me. Ill get info next time I'm over there.
  3. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,719

    JD Dave I think is the guy you want to talk to. I'm pretty sure he runs similar setups.
  4. buildinon

    buildinon Senior Member
    Messages: 583

    I run the 3200 series HLA's but on skids here. I don't have the need for them on what you are talking about but if you go to youtube and search them their demo video has one set up on what your are mentioning.
  5. buildinon

    buildinon Senior Member
    Messages: 583

  6. hatefulmechanic

    hatefulmechanic Senior Member
    Messages: 228

    They work great, and have the weight to push heavy snow.

    Main issue is stacking, if you are doing an HLA on a tractor you can only stack about 7-8' high, if its on a loader on the tractor you can do 10-15'.

    Some people are concerned about the load and force applied through the loader arms, which is why a lot of people do tractor mounted frames instead. That, and cost.
  7. bcbrouwer

    bcbrouwer Member
    Messages: 45

    We run 2 tractors with snow wings. Way quicker than trucks. they will each replace 3-4 pickups. for example, my f250 with boss v 8'2" will plow a yard in 2 hours. the smaller 10'/16' blade on a 100hp tractor can do the same yard in 30min. I also have a back blade on the tractor which makes it quicker too. saves a lot of time turning a big heavy tractor around and back dragging when there are obstacles and loading docks. the blades are pricy but if you consider for most yards one tractor, one operator can do what 4 trucks and 4 operators can do in the same time. of course, parking lot layout will have some factor on how much more efficent the tractor is. here is a pic of the gear we run.

  8. SDLandscapes VT

    SDLandscapes VT Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 299

    It seems even faster than a loader for clearing lots--I m thinking about this type of setup and then having one loader for post storm to stack and bail piles....thoughts?
  9. hatefulmechanic

    hatefulmechanic Senior Member
    Messages: 228

    Very good option. If you have heavy skid steers an HLA on one is an AMAZING machine.

    One tractor with a 10-16 HLA will clear an average large commercial lot QUICKLY. They also clean very well due to the weight, pulling up hardpack if that is an issue.
  10. potskie

    potskie Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 768

    I don't recommend stacking at all with the HLA undermounts. The main issue in my experience is once you start stacking with them you will start blowing hoses, rams, snapping front mount bolts and losing pins. I don't know why this is but it is. To the point I'm on a first name basis with the parts guy at the HLA factory lol. He even gave me a sweet jacket I was in there so much.

    But used properly that exact setup moves some serious snow. A good well versed operator can plow multiple acres per hr even if it's 12" deep.

    After managing a fleet of these units I can say this if you can find them in your area try a metal plessis or team storm unit. Same concept as an HLA blade but faster and lighter. Also way less moving parts and the parts are more common hence cheaper.

    Unless you have very high HP tractors or get a stupid amount of snow in your area stick to the 4000 series. The taller 5000 series is usually just more weight and not that much more useful.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  11. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 5,976

    Machinability IMO makes the best snowwing plows... Check them out before horst and metal plessis
  12. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    I will fully agree on the speed of tractors over trucks. We have one tractor that we put a 12' blade on the front, and a 8' on the back three point. Works really quick in town. Thats a JD 6420. The whole John deere 64 Series is what I would recommend. If you get the 20 series or above, you'll be MUCH happier with the visibility. They make really really good loader tractors too with the left hand reverser. Just get front wheel assist.
  13. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,034

    Hard to beat a Horst Snowing and tractor. We really have had virtually no problems with our over the 6 years we've owned them. Been running Horst pushers since 2000 and for the money you can't beat the product. All of their blades use global quick tach which is the same as most modern farm loader. Having the same QT makes it very easy to move blades from harness to loader or if you need to float blades or bring them into the shop for sevice work all your blades have the same QT. Horst also has a parellel lift harness which is by far the best harness on the market. We have only had minor problems with the QT on them in over 10 years of use. Maybe my guys aren't as rough as others on things. We own around 12 Horst blades and I will have to think long and hard about buying any other product. We are also only an hour away from the factory and that is very hard ot beat. My dad started plowing with farm tractors 40 years ago and when you take price/reliability and speed into the picture a properly equipped tractor is near impossible to beat. I just traded a JD 7220 that we bought new in 2004 for $74,700.00. This particular tractor was used on the farm and snow and had 2300 hrs on it. They gave me 48,000 for it and allowed me to use it for the rest of this snow season. It has done 9 complete snow seasons since new and we have spent roughly 5k on maintenance and repairs since new. You can do the math and see for yourself if I made any money on that deal. Thumbs Up
  14. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    I have a 7740 Ford with a 11' Coats plow with custom made 4x4 side wings That will still let plow full trip This was a good setup in 1993 I still run it
    Only wish it was a trip edge
    Them HLA looks like a plow to have
  15. StratfordPusher

    StratfordPusher Senior Member
    Messages: 948


    Have to totally agree with Dave, Horst is hard to beat, have owned 8 of them and they have all been 99% trouble free.
    I run my on loader arms and have not bent or broken anything. Trick is good operators
    and don't overload them... I did run a belly mount system for a couple of winters and went
    to loaders because of limited stacking abilities of belly mounts.

    JD, sounds like you did well on that JD trade... Thumbs Up Thumbs Up if you take care of your equipment you can't loose much on a tractor, my last Kubota M-100 which I paid 45.000 used sold 4 yrs later with 600 more hrs on it for 43.000... thought I did well as it cost me nothing to operator and own for 4 years Thumbs Up

    Goodluck with your decision.....
  16. blizzardsnow

    blizzardsnow Member
    Messages: 83

    I have been thinking of utilizing my farm tractors as well. I was concerned about the stress I would put on the loader arms, not to mention how long the whole setup would be... I would think one of my loaderless tractors would be a lot more nimble navigating islands and light poles. Or does it really matter much?
  17. dfd9

    dfd9 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,475


    (Listen to this guy, he knows what he's talking aboot, most of the time anyways)
  18. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    I'm no expert about them in a large town, but in the small town that we've plowed friends driveways and allies for years and one small gas station, we've never had an issue with lenth of the machines. Having a back blade really helps though, if it's to small of an area to drive forward in, most times we can back in and get it with the back blade.
  19. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    I have 2 frame mount Snowwings on a 130 Puma CVT, and a Maxxum 120.
    No real problems. On install we armour all the hoses with hose wrap, this solves the problem of hoses chaffing. We had zero problems with frame bolts, but have broken the tire saver arms on both. We did order a new replacement, for 1 we welded twice and Horse has upgraded then with thicker metal. The right operator, and a little sticky snow and you can build a ramp and stack almost as high as a loader.
    Love the CVT, can't go back to a power shift, plus my 145 I've clocked at 48 KPH, or for you southern folks, about 29 MPH!

    2013-01-05 11.52.25.jpg

    2013-01-05 11.51.03.jpg
  20. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,035

    Is that a snowex mounted on the back of your tractor ?