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Project Mini Utility Truck with Snow Blower

Discussion in 'ATV / UTV Snow Removal' started by Badgerland WI, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. Badgerland WI

    Badgerland WI Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    After evaluating many different options, we decided to move forward with our Mini Truck Snow Blower project. Many have asked me if we ever came up with a viable option and the progress so I thought I would post our progress here. To our knowledge, this has never been done in the U.S. and we only know of a Canadian group that has tried it otherwise.

    Project Mini Truck: 1995 Mitsubishi MiniCab 4x4 Utility Vehicle - Hi/Lo Range (54" wide)
    Blower Assembly: Berco 54" two stage with a 23hp Kohler pony motor

    Blower will be full remote control from in the comfy, heated cab (engine start/stop, auger direction and height)

    We've waited for a month to receive the blower unit as the Canadian manufacturer seems to think the winter season starts in late November... :angry: Isn't there snow on the ground there already?!?

    Otherwise, the fit and finish of the blower is top-notch. All of the components seem well engineered, although time and testing will ultimately tell. We went with a Kohler pony motor based upon the reputation (and being a local company to us). Kohler makes some of the best cold-weather operations small engines and I know of several small engine repair guys (not dealers) that have nothing but good things to say from their experience in maintaining them.

    We looked into just about every conceivable option for attaching a blower to our application. A PTO system ultimately would've been too costly/complicated to reproduce and would've varied greatly from different truck manufacturers. The main hurdle to overcome was designing a "quick-release" mount system that would be durable enough to withstand the abuse.
    The beauty of the Berco system is that it is completely self-contained and supports its own weight when in operation. One of the design challenges is assuring enough ground clearance when the blower is raised for loading/unloading on a trailer.

    We're in the mount fabrication stage at this time and will have alot more information in the next week's time period. Here are some early pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We're looking forward to getting the first truck completed as this should be an excellent alternative for snow removal guys that need to be able to place the snow more precisely than simply plowing.

    More to follow soon - stay tuned!
     
  2. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,361

    I bet that will work good. Is it small enough for side walks?
     
  3. IPLOWSNO

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,620

    you tease us with one pic wtf? come on dude you have to have atleast a couple, do you think alaska boss just posted one pic come on
     
  4. Badgerland WI

    Badgerland WI Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    We wanted to set-up a blower that would be a great, all-around size (width) for sidewalks and driveways. 54" is a little wide for some walks, but will get the job done. Going to a wider model will not be a problem once the mount is finished, but eliminates many walks.

    :D Heh... no teasing intended. Those were the best pics I could provide to this point until we get the blower attached to the truck. We're fabbing a push bar up front and initally planning to use a winch for up/down on the blower until we get the exact measurements. I eventually want to switch to an actuator once I know the stroke. I'll have more pics as soon as there's more to show.
     
  5. racingmodracer

    racingmodracer Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    I am very interested in your project and will be keeping one eye on the build :) I am interested in how the engine is coupled to the blower itself. I am building one with a eight foot two stage blower and am trying to use a snowmobile engine for a power plant. I have another thread going in regards to this and will be posting photos also. thanks and keep up the good work.
     
  6. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    looking good badgerland,

    will be awaiting Pics of the finished product.

    thnx
     
  7. rusty_keg_3

    rusty_keg_3 Senior Member
    Messages: 514

    sub'd, sounds like a sweet project...
     
  8. flatlander42

    flatlander42 Senior Member
    Messages: 421

    subscribed!
     
  9. SuperdutyShane

    SuperdutyShane PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,517

    Just subscribing. Looks good.
     
  10. Wallace

    Wallace Member
    Messages: 57


    What is going to power the blower?
    I had custom made a blower for one of my customers and you really have to pay attention to the rotation of the blower.
    Is that a Rad blower?
     
  11. flatlander42

    flatlander42 Senior Member
    Messages: 421

    ""23hp Kohler pony motor""


    that is right from his first post......:dizzy::dizzy:
     
  12. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,361

    This winter you take some video of it working.
     
  13. Wallace

    Wallace Member
    Messages: 57

    :drinkup: okay that one for me!
     
  14. Badgerland WI

    Badgerland WI Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    UPDATE - Small One

    Just a quick update on the project.
    Busy weekend left less time than expected but here's the progress:

    Front cut-out for custom-fabbed winch plate and receiver mount (we were able to fit the winch out of site on this application):

    [​IMG]

    Here is the mount assembly we fabricated - yet to be painted:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here is the mount welded-in with winch in place:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Badgerland WI

    Badgerland WI Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    Update continued...

    Here is the mount on the truck from the front (test fit and awaiting paint):

    [​IMG]

    We mounted the 23 hp Kohler on the blower assembly with the cold-weather package installed:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Getting some wiring sorted out - thought I would take a shot of the in-cab remote which controls all functions of the blower:

    [​IMG]

    We also installed the heavy duty coil springs up front with the lift kit, wheels and tires. We started on the push frame assembly and will be completing that in the next day or two.

    I'll have more updates in the next couple of days as we get back on schedule with the build.
     
  16. dellwas

    dellwas Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    Looking sweet, Dan!
     
  17. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 5,989

    Looking good! did that Kohler come with that egr set-up? thats the first time i've ever seen comething like that.... Keep us posted, you've got a vary cool idea going! Defentially need some vids
     
  18. Badgerland WI

    Badgerland WI Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    That was my reaction too. It was a special cold weather package allowing warm air to be returned to the carb/intake - slick set-up they developed. That engine should purr once at operating temperature, even in the coldest conditions.

    We will be taking lots of vids and pics once we get to the completion point with the project. I have a feeling Im going to be driving north for testing to catch some white stuff a little earlier than we'll see it in SE Wisconsin! :dizzy:
     
  19. Wallace

    Wallace Member
    Messages: 57

    Damn...... your hired!:nod:
     
  20. IPLOWSNO

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,620

    are you picking it up with the winch? maybe you should make a higher plow truck like mount up higher?

    i dk just typing out loud