Snow Plowing Forum banner
1 - 20 of 49 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wrong time of year to get a lot of responses, but I'm looking to get a jump on the best fit for my situation.

I currently use a John Deere 3046r (46 HP) utility tractor with a 7 foot rear blade to plow snow on a 1-mile well-crowned gravel road with huge borrow ditches. The rear blade doesn't have the height or the reach, so I'm forced to ride the ditch edge to try to get the windrows into the ditches. Still, over time, the windrows narrow the road and I'm forced to push them into the ditch with my loader bucket - position at an angle, push to the ditch, back up, repeat over and over. Steering is part of the problem. The back tires have LaClede V-bar tire chains, but chains on the front could tear up hydraulic hoses on sharp turns. I've tried filling my bucket with rock for added steering traction, but it's not much help. Bottom line, I've slid into and got stuck in those ditches more than I care to admit. I've not tipped yet, but man, it's been close.

Other things I do with the tractor - hauling/spreading piled materials, grapple hooking downed trees, rotary mowing, towing, rear blading, and landscaping. I'll use my rear mounted Lorenz snow blower only when necessary, because slowly driving backwards for hours and replacing shear pins is time consuming. So, other than the snow plowing/blowing issues, this tractor handles my tasks pretty nicely.

Here's what I'm debating for the optimum set-up. I won't say money is no object, but if there's real and significant improvement on snow removal, maybe I can rationalize the expense.

Option 1) Skid steer - I consider this overkill, and I'm not fond of how they tear up the ground. I do little digging, dozing, or loading trucks. My lighter duty tasks doesn't seem to warrant one, plus I'd have to replace my adequate PTO implements with more expensive, heavier duty ones.

Option 2) Current tractor - add a Boss HTX V-Plow attached to the frame (see 4x4Farmer's setup in photo below). It's 7-1/2 feet wide and lighter weight, under 500 lbs (made for 1/2 ton pickups). Boss's undercarriage for this tractor has to be removed (11 bolts) to mount the front-end loader, which I need every 2-3 weeks for horse manure and/or snow. Not convenient, but the plow does add some reach, it clears my tire path (as opposed to a rear blade), and the added front weight might improve steering. But, if I still go into the ditch, it could damage the lightweight plow and I wouldn't have my loader to inch my way out. The ability to chain front tires would be nice, but not sure how much it'd help those small tires.

Wheel Tire Vehicle Sky Tractor


Options 3) Upgrade tractor - trade for a 4 or 5 series tractor. Problem is, even my John Deere rep says the snow plowing improvement would be minimal. He say there's more weight but bigger tires, so minimal improvement in tractive effort. And, he says the blade could be wider but so is the tractor, resulting in little gain in reach. Maybe he's trying to sell me a skid steer.

Option 4) Bobcat ToolCat 5610 - never saw one, and can only judge by what I've read and watched on the web. It seems like a good fit between a compact tractor and a skid steer. I can keep my PTO implements, add a V-plow with more reach outside the wheel width, add a front-mounted snowblower if necessary, and rent hydraulic attachments for odd jobs. The extra weight (twice my tractor and more than my pickup) and chains all around should help traction and steering, maybe keep me out of the ditch more, or more able to crawl out if I get in. With more control, maybe I can plow faster and move snow further. The lower center of gravity means less ground clearance, but should also reduce the "pucker factor" of tipping a tractor.

Then again, my zeal for gadgetry and ignorance of the ToolCat may be clouding my logic. Any advice?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,995 Posts
Anything but a truck will still be slow.

If your main concern is getting into the ditch, your bes and cheapest bet would be to increase the rear blade width or add extensions to them do that the blade extends closer to the ditch. Basically offset the blade more to the ditch side. You’d want the extension to be flat or pitched backwards a bit to let the snow roll off and not build up.

A skidsteer with a hydraulic blower would eliminate the shear pin and driving backwards issue (warmer too with a cab); that’s what I did but that can be pricey. All depends on what you want to spend .
 

· Banned
Joined
·
13,098 Posts
Anything but a truck will still be slow.

If your main concern is getting into the ditch, your bes and cheapest bet would be to increase the rear blade width or add extensions to them do that the blade extends closer to the ditch. Basically offset the blade more to the ditch side. You'd want the extension to be flat or pitched backwards a bit to let the snow roll off and not build up.

A skidsteer with a hydraulic blower would eliminate the shear pin and driving backwards issue (warmer too with a cab); that's what I did but that can be pricey. All depends on what you want to spend .
I agree, you can make it a piece of cake if you spend enough money.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
58,697 Posts
Your dealer is a moron. A 4 Series won't be much different than a 3, but a 5 is a huge difference over a 3.

An inverted is still your best option.

Toolcats get very expensive to operate over time. And they're kind of a Jack of all trades .
 

· Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Seville009 & Philbilly2: Thanks, I’m now researching offsetting rear blades. I considered them in the past, along with wider ones. But again, my JD dealer turned me away from them. I’m seeing a pattern here – my dealer is conservative on the tractor’s capabilities, maybe for liability reasons, or maybe he’s not a dealer for these products.

Mr. Oomkes: A moron? Well, let’s just say, at a minimum, my dealer seems “motivated differently” than owners!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
58,697 Posts
Mr. Oomkes: A moron? Well, let's just say, at a minimum, my dealer seems "motivated differently" than owners!
Nope, if he's telling you a 5 Series is similar to a 3, he's a moron. And a liar.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
58,697 Posts
Thumbs Up I'll grill him on that.
I have a 3046 and 3 5 Series. There isn't a comparison.

A 5 Series will outplow a truck by at least 50% with an 8'6" Blizzard up front and a 16' Ebling. I only have a broom and blower for my 3046, but I am quite sure it wouldn't match the abilities of a truck with a 8'2" Boss V.

Then you get into hydro vs gear and that plays in even more. If he truly believes that, he has no bizness selling tractors.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have a 3046 and 3 5 Series. There isn't a comparison.

A 5 Series will outplow a truck by at least 50% with an 8'6" Blizzard up front and a 16' Ebling. I only have a broom and blower for my 3046, but I am quite sure it wouldn't match the abilities of a truck with a 8'2" Boss V.

Then you get into hydro vs gear and that plays in even more. If he truly believes that, he has no bizness selling tractors.
Great info on the 3046 abilities...
 

· Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Great info on the 3046 abilities...
I have a 3046 and 3 5 Series. There isn't a comparison.

A 5 Series will outplow a truck by at least 50% with an 8'6" Blizzard up front and a 16' Ebling. I only have a broom and blower for my 3046, but I am quite sure it wouldn't match the abilities of a truck with a 8'2" Boss V.

Then you get into hydro vs gear and that plays in even more. If he truly believes that, he has no bizness selling tractors.
My gravel road is all downhill from my shop, mostly a slight grade with two 100 yard stretches of steeper stuff. Lots of S turns. If I put a Boss V-plow on a truck and plowed only downhill (deadhead back to the top), leaving a skiff of snow to avoid disturbing the gravel (shoes or gravel guards) - think I need chains on the truck?

Quite a scenario to answer, lots of ifs - but the only reason I haven't put a plow on my truck is I don't want to leave chains on it. I've considered a Boss HTX on my 1/2 ton (7'6") because it's interchangeable with the 3046r, or a wider full size plow on my wife's 1 ton. Thaaaat's right, she has the bigger truck...
 

· Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,617 Posts
.[/QUOTE]
I have a 3046 and 3 5 Series. There isn't a comparison.

A 5 Series will outplow a truck by at least 50% with an 8'6" Blizzard up front and a 16' Ebling. I only have a broom and blower for my 3046, but I am quite sure it wouldn't match the abilities of a truck with a 8'2" Boss V.

Then you get into hydro vs gear and that plays in even more. If he truly believes that, he has no bizness selling tractors.
So should I buy a used machine pre emissions or new?

Yes or no?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
58,697 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
1,995 Posts
“think I need chains on the truck?”

All depends on how good your tires are, if the snow is light or heavy, if the road is frozen or muddy, if you have good weight in the bed, etc. Always good to have them with you in the truck at least. I carry emergency strap on chains in the truck; you wouldn’t use them in place of regular chains, but they work great if you get stuck
 

· Banned
Joined
·
13,098 Posts
Thumbs Up I'll grill him on that.
I know little to nothing about ag tractors, I do know I grew up In a New and used franchise. My first remembrance was Rambler than AMC jeep Renault for a little while. It is now Chrysler, Dodge and jeep.

Make a long story short as a kid I knew more about the product as the sales professionals. Actually to today they don't even teach you to sell, They want you to get them in your cubicle and then they put a closer or sales manager on you to make a deal. They know the #'s and the product if your ready to buy there selling it.

I'm pretty sure Mr Oomkes lol philbilly, seville and whoever else is responding know what there talking about. Not selling them real life experience from the job to farm whatever. Good Luck
 
1 - 20 of 49 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top