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Advice on equipment purchase for homeowner part deux..

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by marylandplow82, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. marylandplow82

    marylandplow82 Junior Member
    Messages: 13


    The pic above is only about 3/4 of my driveway, you can't see the other side. My 2wd atv is useless as well as my 0204 Toyota Tundra( I don't want to ruin it). Right now, I have an Ariens Deluxe 27 I bought AFTER the first snowstorm of Snowmageddon and being stuck for days. During the second storm, it did ok, but it was not easy due to the machine being too light and riding up on top of the snow. I would like to sell or keep the Ariens since it's paid for and has earned it's keep and get something heavier duty. I am considering a few different machines and would like your opinions.

    The first machine I'm considering is this one.. http://www.ariens.com/products_snow/s_professional_group/s_professional_36/Pages/default.aspx

    The Ariens Pro 36

    The second machine I'm considering is this one..

    The last machine I'm considering is the BCS 853 with the 13hp GX390 Honda motor or the diesel and the Berco 2 stage 33" snowblower...

    I am looking at the long term, realizing that I will make my money back eventually, and I will get to help my neighbor who is to the left of me and other people in my development if they ask as well as my mother in laws house.

    Which one is going to be fastest? Which one is going to last longest? Which one will be most reliable?
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011
  2. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    You're on the right track by going with a Honda. However, you absolutely don't need one that costs $8000 :dizzy:

    A HS928 will blow snow from one side of the street to the other and it costs around $2000. Trust me on this.

    Messages: 36

    Judging by the size of your driveway I would say that a snowblower isn't really what you should be looking for.. You could buy a SnowBear plow for less than a 1/4 of the price of that snowblower.. and not to mention... more fun.

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011
  4. MtnCowboy

    MtnCowboy Member
    Messages: 96

    I agree with Camdon - a HS928 should easily do the work. My neighbor had one and was able to clear his 500x20 ft drive of a foot of snow in less than an hour. We average 8 feet, usually the wet stuff, in my location.

    If you want "fast" then consider a garden tractor/w 2-stage 44" - 48" blower. I have a 1996 18 hp Craftsman tractor w/46" blower that runs circles around the neighbor's Honda and my 27" Husqvarna. I imagine a more powerful garden tractor equipped with a Bercomac would be even faster. You'd also need rear weights and, if you didn't want to run chains on the pavement, aggressive rear tires.

    Of course a plow is faster still.
  5. marylandplow82

    marylandplow82 Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    What would be the best garden tractor for say under 7K? Would a plow for the Tundra be better than both of the above options? I rather be walking behind the snowblower to stay warm than sitting on a chair freezing on a lawn tractor..which size Bercomac would be best for a lawn tractor? I also saw a 45" snowblower from Sears that is supposed to be faster than a lawn tractor..decisions, decisions..
  6. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    snow removal

    The BCS 853 is an all gear driven 2 wheel tractor,
    the Berta brand snow casters for the BCS two wheel tractor are
    also gear driven with absolutely no V belts and no loss of
    delivered power in use.

    No V-belts means no power loss from speed reduction.

    You will want the individual wheel brakes for the BCS
    as it will make your life so much easier in turning.

    The Honda and Kohler diesel engines will both work very well.
    The Kohler diesel is Noisy and you will need good ear plugs or
    ear muffs.

    The diesel will have a wider power band to use for snow removal
    and other jobs like mowing with flail mower.

    The Kohler diesel will last much longer as a power source for the
    two wheel BCS tractor and you need keep the fuel treated the
    year round as well as shutting off the fuel or emptying the
    fuel from the tank.

    T^he Kohler diesel will consume less fuel and your insurer
    will not give you grief about having a piece of gasoline engine
    power equipment in the garage.

    The BCS gear drive allows you great power to deal with packed
    wind driven snow and the weight of the BCS snow caster
    will keep it on the ground while digging in a low gear.
    with the engine as ballst for the two wheel drive to add much more

    You can also add windshield washer fluid and snow chains to the
    tires as well to add more ballast and traction.

    Snow removal is nothing but a physics and algebra problem using
    a smaller stronger mass ot overcome a larger one being a liquid in a
    frozen state.

    All you need is a little SeaFoam in the diesel tank and the diesel
    fuel can and you will have no issues with the fuel if the BCS is kept
    indoors, If you leave it outdoors with the starter battery on the tractor
    you will need to be sure you remove the battery if it is left out over
    long periods.

    One way to get around that is to plug in a couple of incandesant
    work lights to hang under the BCS with the cover/tarp to keep it warm,
    not a big deal in the scheme of things.

    If you have even a very small kerosene fired space heater/salamander
    all the better as you can melt all the ice and snow that is stuck to the BCS
    after you use it and the snow caster attachment of the BCS.

    I can and will tell you a warmed up engine heated up by a salamander prior
    to start up is very very happy engine. Lots of folks cover a tractor or what ever
    they are using in winter and directing the heat under the tarp you have a very
    happy engine and transmission. I use the salamander I have every day when
    it is cold and continue to use it all winter and spring long for my machinery.

    You have to be doubly sure you starve the carburator on the Honda if you buy
    the 13 horse unit for the BCS as any condensate water will be gone as fuel will be
    gone and the heat will attract any moisture in the fuel system past the tank and
    not affect the fuel as there is no fuel in the fuel system after you shut the valve off.

    Be sure to use more Sea Foam if you have the gas powered Honda
    engine as you will get a lot of varnish and gumming otherwise.

    I want you to succeed and not to fail. The BCS two wheel tractors have been
    farming in Europe for over fifty years on very steep slopes and the gear transmissions
    and wheel brakes are far and above the best way to manage turns and avoid pulling
    muscles when you are disposing of deep snow falls.

    Adding a riding sulky will allow you to just guide the BCS as you remove snow. You may have to detach the sulky after the first pass to turn abot but you can hook it back up and the second pass will give you more room to turn with less effort by simply using the individual to turn and letting the tractore spin on one wheel while you are on the sulky behind it.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011
  7. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    snow etc.

    An excess inventory crated 2010 John Deere LA115 with a 42 inch blower cost me just under $3,700.00 with a 20 horse Briggs,
    mower rear weights and chains, The dealer I purchased from sucks, I mean Hoovers, err creates a negative pressure gradient, but the tractor works well.

    The RAD snow blower it has uses a three vane plastic impeller with shear bolts and I will see how well it does this coming winter.

    I plan on buying a non John Deere soft cab for it shortly as the John Deere cabs dont appear to be very strong in ther construction

    Keep in mind that if you buy a plow you will have snow banks to contend with at all times and with a snow caster you will have zero snow banks other than at the absolute widesst point of the snow clearing edges and you will not ruin the lawn if you remove all the snow to the tree line.

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011
  8. MtnCowboy

    MtnCowboy Member
    Messages: 96

    "What would be the best garden tractor for say under 7K?'

    I'm no garden tractor expert. Years ago I bought a used 1996 Craftsman 18.5 horse w/blower, weights, chains, mower/bagger etc for $1100 on Craigslist and it's still throwing snow just fine. I use it on 700' of narrow gravel road (nowhere to push or stack snow) and then usually switch to a plow for the next 5100' (gravel, mountain-hugging private road). A plow is much faster, although after a heavy (3') overnight dump I will take the blower all the way down the road... takes at least an hour to get to the bottom.

    I've been told a number of times that I "must have the only garden tractor/snowblower in the county that's worth a s***." That makes me think that a number of garden tractor/blower combos are not very effective. I'd say you probably can't go wrong with a Bercomac blower, however I don't know what would be the best garden tractor. You might try a garden tractor forum or Jim's Repair.
  9. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    Yes it would. I didn't think you were open to installing a plow on your truck because you didn't want to "ruin" it. But if that's something you're willing to consider then that's definitely the route you want to go considering the size of your driveway. Your truck can easily handle a light duty plow from any of the major manufacturers. I think you should stop in and chat with a dealer in your area and discuss your options.
  10. quigleysiding

    quigleysiding PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    Yeah go with the plow. It's a lot warmer in the truck. If you just use it for your driveway and help out friends it shouldn't hurt your truck.
  11. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    I know exactly what you mean by the blower riding up and not digging in. I looked at the Ariens Pro 36 yesterday and its going to do the same thing. Nothing is going to do well with that amount of snow at one time, believe me, we were in it for a week down there removing and hauling snow, but whats the chance of seeing snow like that again in your lifetime. I agree with the other guys who suggested a garden tractor with a blower attachment. A tractor will get it done faster and some of the blower's have down pressure to scrape better. As far as price, the Ariens Pro 36 here was 3100.00 with cab, the Honda was the same price and I'm sure you can find a good size garden tractor and blower for half the price of the Honda.