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Small wheel loader (244J) over a Truck?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Krimick77, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. Krimick77

    Krimick77 Member
    Messages: 50

    I'm looking for input from any of you guys who use the mini wheel loaders (around or under 12,000lbs) I've never used a wheel loader before and I am wondering how well they operate in parking lots around cars. I've always used trucks for plowing and I'm trying to find a way to improve my service. This is what I plow;

    -12 lots ranging in size from 30-80 parking spots
    -mostly tight areas, limited space to put the snow
    -lots of backblading
    -must plow between cars when room

    Right now I use 3 trucks (8' straight blades) to clear this as well as my residential route

    Mostly, I am curious if a small wheel loader can move more snow and faster than a truck? I've been looking at the 244J as well as smaller loaders like the Terex 800's.

    I would really appreaciate hearing from any of you guys who use these small loaders

  2. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,032

    The visibility is incredible, once you drive the loader you will not want to drive a truck again. They will turn around in such a small space and the articulation is really good, once you get the hang of it. What size of blade are you thinking?
  3. oldmankent

    oldmankent PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,317

    I don't have one, but if I was doing your route I'd like to have one for doing the lots. Will you be able to drive it between lots? A pusher would be best, but that is big for the road.
  4. SD-Dave

    SD-Dave Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 237

    I have a 244J...I have several photos posted just search...

    It kicks *** over a truck and plow by about 3 to 1

    I plow a 5 acres facility it cut my time down by 50%

    I have the following attachments for it for snow...

    10' Protech Pusher
    3 Yard Snow Bucket
    9' Sno-Way All Angle Plow

    All quick attach change from the cab no tools no B.S.

    turns in half the space of a truck...visibility is unreal...strong will push much more than any truck can...plus you can move snow and pile high!

    questions...just ask...I have answers
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2007
  5. Krimick77

    Krimick77 Member
    Messages: 50

    JD Dave - I was thinking either 9 or 10ft. I don't want to be forced to send a truck in to a lot first to backblade spots if the loader were to wide. I have some areas where the snow can just be windrowed off to one side so I was thinking a V-blade or simillar would be better for my situation than a pusher

    oldmankent- Yes I can drive to my lots. My entire route is within 4 km of each other, mostly all on the same street.
  6. Krimick77

    Krimick77 Member
    Messages: 50

    SD Dave- I saw the pics of your machine. After seeing a small Terex go through a local auction recently, I did a search and found the pics of your 244J.

    I have been worried about the HP and weight needed to push snow. Do you have any problems with spinning or sliding? How does it handle in the worst of situations. Really deep or really wet snow?
  7. SD-Dave

    SD-Dave Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 237

    In general it works great...not as good pushing big stuff as my 624J tool carrier...but it makes up for it in turning ability and versatility.

    last Valentines Day we got 34" of snow...largest storm in my area for over a decade and 3rd largest in last 100 years...I pushed twice on my lot with it...it was a work out for the unit but it got the job done...that was the only storm where I wished for more machine...but it never failed me...

    As for power the numbers seem low but the results are just fine...it lifts more than most can imagine...it has plenty of grunt...only thing I may do is change are the tires...they are Michelin 400/70-20 with a bar pattern...not really meant for ice and running on pavement. Nokian offers a loader tire in that size with a specific snow/ice tread...similar to a Bridgestone Blizzak....With that tire other than maybe the blizzard of the century I would have zero issues.

    bonus is you can run all skidsteer attachments on it so very versatile....I use it for a variety of other projects....also under 10' in hieght so it fits in more buildings and less issue in hitting stuff.

    hope this helps...very pleased with my investment...ask away.
  8. Duracutter

    Duracutter Senior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 200

    For one, I just don't understand how guys can do a parking lot that has compaction from cars running over and over the 2' of snow. You "need" a bobcat or a loader as trucks give minimal downward pressure.

    A loader or bobcat will run circles around a truck with blade in a small parking lot of say 50 stalls with compaction.:)
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2007
  9. gordyo

    gordyo Senior Member
    Messages: 527

    I use it's big brother a 344H w/ a JRB Quick Coupler (click on link) on a college campus doing parking lots. I have a 10' Henke power angle plow, a 4 yard snow bucket and a 12' Pro-Tec for it. Ditto to everything SD-Dave said. I don't know if SD-Dave has ac in his machine, but I will add that when I ordered the 344H I got it with Air Conditioning and it was not to use for the summer months. I got the A/C to use for the winter because there is alot of glass and the A/C will keep the windows clear.

    Last edited: Nov 1, 2007
  10. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,032

    Most of our blades are pushers with folding end plates, that way you can have a pusher and hydraulic angle blade all in one. Search BiG Red, the blades come in all sizes.
  11. SD-Dave

    SD-Dave Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 237


    Yeah mine has A/C great both winter and summer...yeah reciever/dryer gets rid of the wet window syndrome from snow melting off your boots...

    plus ride control, 4th remote with hydro power (rakes augers etc.) float control...pretty much everything my 624J had but in a tighter package....

    Visibility is the best thing...you can see over parked cars...

    my truck is mainly used now for salting/sanding

    less punshing on both driver and truck...try pushing back piles with a truck...down right ruins them!

    lot less seat time...much better job...money well spent.