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Serious drifting solutions?

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by GearheadGrrrl, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. GearheadGrrrl

    GearheadGrrrl Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    [​IMG]

    Hopefully the picture made it through, if so you can see I've got a 4 to 5 foot deep drift to punch through. This was the accumulation after spending january in Florida, and I've had it blow in 2 to 3 feet deep in just one storm. And this ain't the record- I came home to a 6 foot tall drift a few years ago. I've got snow fences deployed just about all around the property, but this is a windy area- they put hundreds of wind turbines here for a reason!

    My current arsenal is some shovels and my brother's 5 HP or so supposedly self propelled snowblower. Even when I was younger, took me all day to shovel a 6 foot wide cut through that 7 foot tall drift. I'm in my 60s now, and this shoveling is gettin' old! This year took me a day to open up a walkable path, another two days to widen that path so my 4 by 4 Ford Ranger could fit through, and a further 2 days to clean it out to the point where the 2 wheel drive cars could get through. Thankfully no more snow is forecast for awhile...

    My first thought was to get a plow for the Ranger, it's a '98 with only 92k miles and runs fine other than stuff rustin' out- replaced the rear brake lines and repainted the frame last summer. But the Ranger wouldn't be able to bust it's way out of the garage through a deep drift. "Spose I could park it outside, but it'd take forever to backdrag out a deep drift of plow it out from the side, bit by bit.

    So I'm thinking I need something tractor mounted, though my little bro' thinks I should get an ATV (probably so he can ride it!). My biggest trailer can handle 2200 pounds, so I'm thinking of the smallest Kubota, Deere, Yanmar, etc.. Debating whether a loader or snowblower would work the best, the loader at least gives some flexibility. But I hate to spend $10k plus on just the tractor- could I get by with an older small tractor?

    Any opinions? TIA, Diana
     
  2. GearheadGrrrl

    GearheadGrrrl Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Sorry, pix didn't make it...

    [​IMG]

    If that don't work, just surf over to my blog and read the whole sordid story of my snowdrift debacle: http://gearheadgrrrl.com
     
  3. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,410

    find a compact tractor with a loader and blower....the combination will get you thru just about anything....a Kubota 23hp with loader and weather cab is around 12,000 new.....
     
  4. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    Need install heated concrete in you drive and watch melt away

    I have one summer customer has tat her drive is always clear and dry
     
  5. cotter

    cotter Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 182

    I would start with checking to see if the snow fence could be deployed better, maybe even 2 rows high. As for getting thru the drift as is- tractor with a loader will work but slow (one bucket at a time), snowblower on the tractor would probably be faster and let you get rid of the snow better on the leeward side but add to the cost. Keeping up with the drift as it grows would be best but if you are gone for a month... Pushing or moving the snow up wind will just make the drift bigger next time it blows thru. LOTS of back dragging to get thru that.
     
  6. cotter

    cotter Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 182

    Need to add that you also need to look at your landscaping and how it effects where the wind swirls, slows and drops the snow. Letting the grass grow deeper can swallow some of that snow up wind and use natural wind breaks with evergreen trees. Placement is the key- too close and the snow dumps where you dont mant it, too far and the wind has picked up the snow again wanting to dump it where you dont want it. Think like Dale Earnheart and 'see the wind.'
     
  7. GearheadGrrrl

    GearheadGrrrl Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Good points on the snow fences- I've deployed 150 feet of fence on the upwind sides of this one acre lot, but I could probably still do better. There's already shrubs, etc. planted in a few spots, but I want to plant shrubs where I've got snow fence now to create more "living snow fence". As for double height snow fence, might be a good idea- the snow fence I've got is already half buried!
     
  8. GearheadGrrrl

    GearheadGrrrl Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Also, while the new 4 by 4 compact tractors do a great job, I like the style of the older tractors... So how would something like an IH Cub or Ford N series do with a 3 point mounted snowblower on the back?
     
  9. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,513

    Stay in Florida longer or pay someone to keep up when your gone.
     
  10. Sawboy

    Sawboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,591

    This....:nod:
     
  11. GearheadGrrrl

    GearheadGrrrl Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Will that Super Duty...

    Punch through a 7 foot deep drift? That's worst case, but I've seen this driveway drift over 3 feet deep overnight.
     
  12. cotter

    cotter Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 182

    You need raw HP to run a blower. The old Fords might run a 4 font blower which would be narrower than the tires. My buddy has a 7 foot blower on a 65 hp tractor and he is ok but it has 15 speeds (?) forward and reverse so he can keep his ground speed low and pto up. Not to mention a cab would be very nice. I think thag manufacturers recommend snow fence to be around 75 feet up wind for best effect. I will try to get a pic of some tomorrow that the county puts up that is full for that 75 feet. Also the wood fence seems to do better at stopping the snow than the plastic. But the wood is more expensive and bulkier and heavier for storage and installation.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  13. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Fixed it.Thumbs Up

    drift.jpg
     
  14. GearheadGrrrl

    GearheadGrrrl Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Cotter, agreed on the power- my brother's 5 HP snowblower has trouble pushing it's 2 foot width blades. An 8N would need a five foot wide blower, and 2 1/2 times that 5 HP. IIRC, the 8N had 20 HP at best, would be kinda marginal. I could do worse, my neighbor has an 8N with a 5 foot wide loader in front and giant concrete wheel weights in back... Handles like a pig!
     
  15. 98K3500

    98K3500 Member
    from WI
    Messages: 46

    The real problem with the 8n would be the high-speed they run in reverse. You will need a tractor that can run slow in reverse with the RPM's needed to run the blower. Even with a very rare Sherman under-drive, an 8n would move too fast.

    Look for an old Massey Ferguson 65 or similar. I believe the gearing and power would be sufficient to allow the use of a 3-point blower in the 5-6' range.

    My .02
     
  16. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    agree +Make sure it has live power with 8N you clutch it the PTO shuts off
    TO 35 will have live power with a 2 stage clutch TO 35 is pretty much same size as a 8N with little more HP
     
  17. IMAGE

    IMAGE Sponsor
    Messages: 1,741

    10k likely buys you 10+ years of someone else doing it for you... I'd hire it out and sell my shovel.
     
  18. bcramblit

    bcramblit Member
    Messages: 35

    Finally good advice. Find someone with real power. Skid steer or a real tractor with a real blower. They can use the snow as a snow fence? Anyone with real experience would need more technical information such as aerial pictures and elevation maps. This looks like a serious problem. You need a professional solution.wesport
     
  19. GearheadGrrrl

    GearheadGrrrl Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    I am a professional...

    Worked most of my life in trucking, facilities maintenance, etc.. I've moved snow before with a Case tractor with loader, plowed with a tandem dump. As for reducing the drifting, I can improve the snow fencing a bit, but the house is centered on a one acre lot so I can't get the snow fences back far enough to get optimum placement. Taller fences might help, but IIRC you need a 50:1 distance/height ratio and I can't get to 50:1 now due to limited space. As far as contracting out the work, most of the folks in town who used to do that are retired and getting out of it- One goes to AZ for the winter, another has stage 4 lung cancer, and the guy behind me has a Cat D4LGP, but he's drunk even in the morning so I wouldn't trust him. I've already got the Ranger so I could put a plow on it, though no way would it bust through the current 4 foot drift. I've also got uses for a compact tractor besides snow moving, so I can justify spending $10k on one.
     
  20. bcramblit

    bcramblit Member
    Messages: 35

    Professionals have solutions. They don't ask for them. Just sayin!