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SNOW BOXES..........

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by FIREMAN, Dec 23, 2000.

  1. FIREMAN

    FIREMAN Member
    Messages: 50

    WE MAINTAIN A FAIRLY LARGE COMMERCIAL LOT FOR A LARGE CHAIN STORE IN JERSEY...MOST OF THE WORK IS DONE WITH THREE PLOWS WE DO HAVE SKIDSTEER THERE TO LOAD A SALTER AND AND TO HELP WITH MOVING SNOW AROUND AFTER PLOWING.....THE ? IS WOULD A SNOWBOX BE OF ANY VALUE ON A SKIDSTEER...MY CONCERNS ARE INSTALLATION AND REMOVAL...MEANING WOULD IT BE WORTH USING AND REMOVING EVERYTIME WE NEED TO LOAD A SALTER OR SHOULD I JUST USE THE CONTRACTED FRONT END LOADER WE HAVE NOT HAD ANY NEED FOR YET....HE HAS NO SNOW BOX BUT THE MACHINE IS HUGE!..AND LEAVE THE SKIDSTEER FOR LAODING THE SALTER....I WILL NOT LOSE BY USING THE CONTRACT MACHINE BUT I QUESTION THE NEED AT THIS POINT....
     
  2. SCL

    SCL Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the pushers for skidsteers just sit on the normal materials bukets? I would think, and I don't very often(ask my wife) that if its a matter of just picking it up and using it this would be great. Even if its direct mount we do this umpteen times a day in the landscape biz anyway. I'd rather change with a skidloader than a Michigan anyday. Snow pushers work great from what I've seen, no dribbles. How bout it Mr. Allin?
     
  3. OBRYANMAINT

    OBRYANMAINT PlowSite.com Veteran
    from ohio
    Messages: 534

    i would think you could buy the box pay the operator to plow the lot probably save the time of two of those trucks to gain other accts .....yes you have investment in more equip but you now will have two more units to plow not one more as with the skid w/ a box

    the price for the two trucks over the winter will be the same as one box for a loader
     
  4. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    I think it depends on how big the skidsteer is,and how much HP it has,most of them cant push as much as a 1 ton truck,but have much stronger drivetrains,if its not big enough itll just spin a lot or not be porductive.If ity was a 2-3 yd loader-now that would move some snow,definetrly put a pusher on that machine.
     
  5. Michael F

    Michael F Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    Skidsteer pushers come with mounting brackets for macine, from my understanding, you can purchase the quick mount adapter though. Thats my understanding from Protechs brohure
    , make sure its a heavy machine, our 753 would have problems with anything but a 6'pusher, not power problems, traction problems. Hope this helps.
     
  6. slplow

    slplow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 594

    Put a 8ft or 10ft box and you will longer have to pay a sub and you will cut your time in half.Thay are very fast to remove.
     
  7. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    Good thread, and one dear to my heart....

    BTW - a 753 can push a 10 footer, but if you break traction you're done pushing. We have several snopushers for skid steers and find that they are incredibly productive units. You can get them with the forks for just using the bucket to pick it up, and you can get them with the bobtach units aleady on them. Ours (for skid steers) are all bobtach arrangements.

    As for the larger ones..... we buy them and supply them to the subs (with loaders). We do this for specific reasons....

    IF the sub gets a bug up his butt and quits, the pusher is yours and all you have to do is get another sub (not as difficult as you might think and a subject for another thread, or threads). If the sub owns the pusher and splits, you have a big void to fill - and it's much more difficult to find subs in plow trucks than it is to find contractors with loaders.

    We had a sub want to purchase and supply his own pushers and I told him it meant a $10 per hour cut in his rate - for the above mentioned reason. Also, if you own the pusher you get the tax advantage from depreciation (and if your slick and have a few corporations you can move them back and forth and get some more tax advantages too - again, another thread topic).

    We just bought two more 14 ft. pushers last Tuesday (bringing our total to 39). We do have one sub with 4 loaders and his own pushers..... I'm abit ansy about that as this is his first year working for us and we gave him his own route. If he quits on me - I'm screwed as we cannot possibly cover that route with existing equipment.

    Back to the original question..... you change attachments during summer months with little effort. The same would go for winter. Get a pusher with a bobtach and you're all set. Then the skid steer works constantly. We find that the skid steers are GREAT for clearing out around doors and along the front of the store - especially if there are lots of islands along the front of the store (as most Home Depot's have). Especially in 3-4" of snow. Dynamite for efficiency. Probably will be more productive (in those tight areas) than the plow trucks.

    For skid steers there are several sizes. If you're abit concerned - go with the 8 footer.

    Also, bobtach arrangements are easy to fab if you some minor expertise in welding and cutting. And we find that Meyers plows make great snow pushers once you cut off the A frame and the rams, extend the mold board out to the desired width, weld side plates on with a reinforcement strut and then weld on a bobtach doohicky. Maybe even put a 4" channel piece along the back of the mold board. We have a half dozen of these that we made and they work great. Much less weight than a Pro-Tech too (although you can drive into the building with the Pro-Tech and not do any damage to the pusher - the Meyers... well, we all know about Meyers and buildings....)

    Hope this helps.

    Only bad thing... once you see what the pusher will do on the skid steer - you'll be hankering for a 3 yard loader and a 16 foot pusher next. (hint... don't use the meyers to build a 16 footer - won't work).

    [Edited by John Allin on 12-23-2000 at 05:14 PM]
     
  8. Skookum

    Skookum Member
    Messages: 59

    Just wondering, when speaking about traction problems on a small skidsteer, would tracks help or hinder with snow removal and a pusher. In otherwords, with tracks could you be able to use a bigger pusher?
     
  9. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    I don't know from experience.... but I would guess the answer is 'yes'. However, don't use steel tracks. Use the rubber ones. And, they are expensive and I would wonder if the added traction is worth the expense. If you were in an area that got snow in feet regularly, maybe it would be worth it. In my market, I wouldn't think the added expense would be worth the minor increase in traction.

    Just an opinion... not from actual experience.
     
  10. Michael F

    Michael F Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    Our problem with traction is I believe due to the nature of the sites the bobcat is on. I used machine last storm, my operator was at his full time job, at Protec, small isolated storm lake effect, only hit few sites with around 4-5 inches, so I had some time. I noticed on level areas it work awsome, but some of the drives(short) are on hills, machine didn't even want to go up hill to back blade it out, had my truck their with plow, I left those areas for truck. I completed site in 2.5 hrs, cutting at least .5 hr off my best time from last year and I'm not the most experienced operator, with only truck. From now on I'm going to use truck to back blade out those areas where bobca
    is having trouble. I believe its a combination of factors being hill, lack of weight, very short wheel base, power there so quickly. This should solve problems for me. Hope this helps anyone else.
     
  11. OBRYANMAINT

    OBRYANMAINT PlowSite.com Veteran
    from ohio
    Messages: 534

    do the small skid steers leave awfull looking marks on the sidewalks where they clear, such as in good weather?i guess the snow and water would lubricate a bit

    how is this problem combated if yes?
     
  12. SCL

    SCL Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    My Guess would be that rubber tracks would actually decrease traction. Bobcat makes a tracked machine, the 864 I believe, and one of the selling points is that it has a much lower lbs. per sq. in. than their wheeled machines for less ground damage and better flotation. Referring back to one of our highly mathematical posts, I think the formula was (Weight+Traction= Pushing Power). Chains on a Bobcat and really good tires are the ticket.
     
  13. Michael F

    Michael F Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    Really good if you want to repave all areas plowed with machine. Saw a drive that was plowed with a tractor with chains, no thanks.
     
  14. Skookum

    Skookum Member
    Messages: 59

    Ever since a kid, I have used tractors, garden size to medium ag size to clear snow using chains over the rubber. Never had one dig into pavement or concrete, but even on a small garden tractor, the chains really scuff up the surface. Looks bad next spring, specially on those nice residential blacktop drives. They will need a sealer coat to look good again. In fact, I just had my personal drive paved this summer, I took the chains off my little tractor for this reason. I miss them when doing those little tight spots I cannot get with truck. (Like around my parked cars! LOL)

    I have no experience with tracks on a bobcat, but they use them on those big arctic type snowcats for ski slope grooming. I just thought that would make a little loader give it the "Little engine that could" syndrome with a bigger pusher.

    John mentioned rubber tracks. I would think that would be a better choice also for same reason as chains. Metal can do alot of damage unseen at the time of removal. Rubber tracks would be safer bet, I am sure.

    This bobcat and pusher is a section of my future equipment list over next few years.
     
  15. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Mentor, Angel
    from Chicago
    Messages: 239

    Skookum

    Get a set of the bar type tires like a farm tractor for better traction on a small tractor. I have used a set of them for 10 years on my 430 JD with a cab and suit case weights for extra weight to give it extra traction. It has the ability to push deep snow up hill now. We use it for small areas on all the driveways we do.
     
  16. paul

    paul PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 151

    Rubber Tracks work. but.....
    pain in the @ss if they come off (and they do) they do give you more traction, may have less PSI but large foot print. they don't break traction as much as tries do.
    If I was going to use them for snow I would want the Case setup with dual tires at each hub they don't come off as much, chech your air pressure every day, if you get a leak they will come of in a heart beat.
     
  17. SCL

    SCL Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    The larger footprint argument makes sense. Anyone using an 864 track machine versus add on tracks? Yeah you all are right about chains scuffing pavement. Where I use my 753 is on 3 tight driveways and once in a while on railway accesses. I believe that good tires are the ticket. By the way, even with just a 5' bucket they do clean things up pretty quickly. The only thing I've found is you need some kind of cab. Not so much for the warmth, but to keep the snow from piling in around your feet.