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truck mounted snowblower (again)

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by lakesregionscap, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. lakesregionscap

    lakesregionscap Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Hi Guys,
    Did a search on the subject, but the most recent post was over a year old...
    Looking for anyone who has owned or used a truck-mounted snowblower, for their feedback, and insight on advantages, and disadvantages.
    We are currently running Honda 13 and 18hp, 38" walkbehind snowblowers to do 25 residential, rural driveways... That whole out at 3 AM, -15F in a stiff wind is getting old (like 5 years ago old) and in this area everyone and his cousin has a plow: too much wear on the trucks, not enough money in it. We have a niche market, and turn away accounts every year because those occasional 2.5ft storms of wet snow take 14+ hard hours to deal with... more than the current list is nuts.
    I'm hoping to find a comprimise between the relative comfort, and speed of plowing (along with the mess, and running out of places to put it) and the slow cold misery but neat and elegant results of commercial snowblowers.
    I understand the inherent nature of snowblowing vs. plowing (slow, and more potential for breakdowns) but it has it's place, and that place pays quite well around here (Central NH).

    Also looking at Bobcat skidsteer blower options (NOT a high-flow, unfortunately).

    Any and all input is most welcome.

  2. lawnboy11

    lawnboy11 Senior Member
    Messages: 263

    I'm in the exact same situation and feel the same way, but when I think about it it has many disadvantages:

    1. you'd still have to snowblow sidewalks and shovel stoops
    2. you'd have to store it
    3. If it breaks and you have lots of customers you're screwed ! I have 3 snowblowers for this reason and just me to use them
    4. they cost a lot
    5. around here I think it would be too hard to control where the snow goes because the property sizes are small
    6. Probably wouldn't clean to the pavement as well as a snowblower (BTW the toro snow commander is now my favorite) There aren't that many huge storms here. When there are I start the route during the storm and just keep going thru it.

    I think the best thing would be a Walker mower with a snowblower or something similar.

    I want something to ride on that cleans to the pavement and is 36" wide, that would be sweet!
  3. DaySpring Services

    DaySpring Services PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,065

  4. timm9

    timm9 Senior Member
    Messages: 168

    You might consider looking at the Toolcat with a blower. The width of the toolcat is not much wider than your large walk behind plus you get a cab, heat, two seats, and about 19 miles an hour with the 2 speed. Lastly you don't feel like you have been "beaten with a stick" after 16 or 17 hours in it.

  5. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    why not just buy a tractor?

    If you want to go big, the JCB fastrack goes 80km/h and can easily travel between sites.

    You can also go smaller and float it between sites. Pulling a trailer in a storm isn't as big as people make it out to be. We do it all the time.

    A small tractor can do driveways, wide sidewalks, etc...

    You also don't need much insurance on a tractor and anyone can drive it regardless of license class.
  6. lakesregionscap

    lakesregionscap Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Good points there: I have a couple counterpoints though..
    - I already have to shovel the walkways and stoops since the blowers are 38", and the walkways 18" , stepped up with ties on the sides....Someone should made the designers maintain their own creations!
    - we have 2 acres to store it on
    - if it breaks we are screwed for sure; but same applies to the trucks, and last winter both our big walkbehinds were dead one storm and we had to handshovel 5 driveways... that stunk!
    - we have enough space between neighbors to put it (semi-rural area)
    - the Walkers you mention cost a whole lot more: local dealer quoted us almost $10'000 plus $1000/yr in maintenance; we're sticking to our Ransomes-Bobcat mowers, and whatever we find for snow.

    Trying to get all the angles covered here...
  7. lakesregionscap

    lakesregionscap Junior Member
    Messages: 8

  8. lakesregionscap

    lakesregionscap Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    We haul our two Honda's on a trailer already; they don't both fit in a truck - pulling a trailer on our roads in a storm is not a treat, but we're doing it anyway (potholes, not or half-assed plowed, no salt until the very end of the storm, unplowed side roads, etc.). Yep, I'm the one usually driving.

    If we were going to spend tractor-size money we're getting the Bobcat version of a Dingo. The skidsteer already does all the other tractor type work, and I am also researching the snowblower for a low-flow hydraulics system.

    We do driveways 20-70 ft long, with parking pads up to 3 cars wide, no sidewalks around here to be had...

    Nothing we run requires a special licence, just a valid one ;-) With a suspended licence you cannot even legally run a riding mower in NH!
  9. Bmsnow

    Bmsnow Member
    Messages: 32

    I use an holder tractor a little spendy but w/90 contracts we can knock out 1 foot of heavy snow in 6 or 7hrs with about 2 miles of roading... my opinoin the next best thing would be a bob cat but in heavy storms i wouldnt want any more then 40 contracts maybe 50 if their close enough... but i live in tahoe we get tons of heavy snow and I have friends that run their biuss w/ bob cats butt the money is with the holder thats what all the big residential companys use.. were talkin fleets 20-30 tractors mostly holders then for the deep either a loader or a New holland its the articulating tractor....its only like 1 per square foot heaviernthen the holder..... If you wana know more let me know
  10. amars415

    amars415 Member
    Messages: 41

    all depends on what you do in the off snow season. I have a walker mower which gets used pretty heavy all year round. works really well. my blower route has 32 driveways and on a 2-3 light snow get done in 3.25 hours. That machine is making me over 300.00 per hour and when you compare that to a pay loader making 150/hr I make out pretty good. Check out stiener or ventrac, I also own a steiner and it is by far the best investment I have ever made in my business. Thought about this... japaniese mini truck with a blower on it (using a kicker motor to run the blower). Same advantages as a tool cat but a fraction of the cost. Only thing for me is, I'd never use one in the off season of snow removal. I like my equipment to run all the time. Good luck!
  11. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    snow blowers

    You should look at the Kubota orchard tractor
    Low profile,short height, narrow width, rubber tracks high traction high power in a small package multiple uses-mowing with very low ground pressure.
    Year round cab with heat, air conditioning, air filtration ,radio, turn signals, fold away mirrors, work lights- you can never have enough of them.
    The pronovost snow blower model PXPL-50 is what you need to solve your problem with dependabilty and speed as the scraper blade can do everything and the blower will get rid of it.


    In your case the scraper can do every thing and the blower can get rid of it.

    Kubota.com specialty tractors

    pronovost.net snow blowers
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  12. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,425

    You guys realize this thread is over 2 years old?
  13. Steve G.

    Steve G. Senior Member
    Messages: 155

    Honda makes a 18hp 38" walkbehind snowblower?
  14. Jerre Heyer

    Jerre Heyer Senior Member
    Messages: 948

  15. volcom_inc

    volcom_inc Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    There is a guy here in grand rapids that has made a truck with a snowblower that was a few years back and i hear hes making a new one he works for The lawn ranger in gr i think
  16. Badgerland WI

    Badgerland WI Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    I've also thought about this... would be the ideal removal tool if set-up properly. What do the Tool Cats equipped with blowers go for? I've done some pricing on a mini truck equipped with a 35hp motor just running the blower. Might have to re-visit this one.

    And just remember....you could use the mini truck for hunting or just having some fun off-road in the warm season! :cool:
  17. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    snow blower and mitsubishi farm truck

    The problem is the connections and weight.

    To get a substantial blower a Hanson truck mounted gas powered blower is an option but weight and balance is the issue as all the weight and I mean all the weight is up front unless you have a load of sand in the back with the gas cans for the blower.

    You will need to add a standard plow mount for a Western or Myers or any of the other brands etc. in order for it to work.

    With that much money invested already you would be money ahead buying a Kubota specialized ag model(orchard tractor) narrow width- 48 inches/ 8 foot high with cab, full cab, heat, air conditioning, pressurized filtered cabin air system, rear rubber tracks, low ground pressure.

    If you buy a Pronovost PXPL snow blower model 77 with the hydraulic scraper and chute rotator you will probably spend less money than buying a toolcat with a blower.
    The tractor will have more power than the tool cat and take less time cleaning ice and snow.

    And it is road legal as well.-the mini trucks are not; and the blower is designed for canadian winters, they are very solid machines.

    To see a video of the PXPL snowblowers working go here www.pronovost.net

    To see the Kubota orchard tractor www.kubota.com - specialized ag tractor section- orchard tractors.

    In order to use a blower for a mini truck you will need a power plant to run a hydraulic
    system to operate a blower with hydraulic drive. a self contained four cylinder ag engine used to pump water, a PTO clutch, and a hydraulic gear or vane pump with a two spool valve body to operate the blower in the cab of the truck.

    Or use a Hanson with a standard plow mount with the hydraulics mounted on the truck frame to operate plow-which raise and lower the blower.

    You still have the weight problem of the blower though.
  18. Badgerland WI

    Badgerland WI Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    Leon... your points are very valid here and present the biggest challenges.

    Not true. Here is a listing of states that mini trucks are currently able to be used on the road: http://www.iihs.org/laws/minitrucks.aspx
    This covers many but there are many more with legislation currently sitting on the table and it's a matter of time. Mini trucks are also legal for use on roads in Canada (proper year and equipment).

    I'm more looking at a solid UTV-style blower mount as a feasible option and to keep costs down for people that may want to go this option. The best I've seen so far is a package that a guy out of MN has put together for UTV's: http://www.jimsrepairjimstractors.com/utility-vehicle-snow-blower.htm
    While this would still need some fab work to be an ideal solution, its the closest I've found. When you add-up costs, this is still a very feasible and cost-effective solution thinking along the lines of a Utility Vehicle. I'm certainly not trying to compare to an Ag tractor...apples & oranges. It's also not going to cost you anywhere near $60K+. The market would be something that works well at moving snow, yet is easily removed in the off-season with full in-cab controls.