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Best Wheel loader for Snow Removal and accessory use

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by miniwarehousing, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. miniwarehousing

    miniwarehousing Member
    Messages: 37

    I know this is a loaded question and people will post their allegiance, but I'd like to know why you chose the loader and size of loader that you went with.
    We have a 40 + acre facility that we are looking at purchasing a machine for.
    We are in Mass where we get about 60" of snow per year.
    I'd like the ability to run an angle broom and/or snowblower.
    I've used Volvo's which are my prefferred machine so far.
    I've also used a John Deere and was not impressed.
    Ranked in my order of preference would be:

    Can anyone help me out with some of their experience? :confused:

  2. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    That is a loaded question. I run with Volvo s more because I keep getting great pricing on them and the dealer is 5 miles away. I do a 20 acre facility, and 1 loader would be truely at its limit for keeping up. I hope you will be looking for more than 1 loader for a 40+ acre account. I like the Cats, Deeres, New Hollands, and Komatsu, JCB makes a really nice loader also.
  3. snowbelt5

    snowbelt5 Member
    Messages: 51

    john deere 544 with a 20' box pusherThumbs Up

    SNOWLORD Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 610

    Cats are probably the best loader. That being said I dont think they are the best value. Volvo and Komatsu are both good machines but if you are buying new the arent far off from the cat price. Case are a little lighter built but for snow work they are pretty good and quite a bit cheaper than the cats. We tried a Hyndai (cant remember how to spell it now) and it wasnt bad but it felt light to me but it worked. If I were in your shoes I would stay with a 46,000# machine or larger 4 yard machine or larger, The key to a wheel loader is the tranny especially pushing alot of snow. Also I would buy a used machine with a dealer close that seems good to deal with. And a 20ft minnimum box for that site. Remember weight is what pushes snow.
  5. SD-Dave

    SD-Dave Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 237

    Questions.....40 acres but how much paved? How much roads vs parking lots? How wide and open or narrow and closed in? How many obstacles? Docks? Etc?

    Depending on those answers then some sort of machine plan can be suggested....definitely would be thinking about multiples in machines one isn't enough unless it's just one large parking lot or a runway.
  6. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    CATs definetly hold their value the best, although new they are expensive. I see a lot of Case loaders used around here, 621's (i believe delldoug uses them too). One thing to keep in mind is that pushing snow isn't that hard of work for a loader IMO
  7. miniwarehousing

    miniwarehousing Member
    Messages: 37


    So we have trailers to plow around, Main Access roads to plow and also parking lots, and loading docks. We're not just talking a rectangle lot that I can disperse snow everywhere.

    You're relectuance for one machine is troubling. We're thinking that an L70 with angle plow/pusher (Kage Industries or Snow Wolf) and 1 dump truck with a plow and a pick up with a plow is suffecient equipment.

    Thank you guys for honest opinions.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2011
  8. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    loader for snow work etc.,etc.


    It is not the loader or Branding you have to worry about its the attachment and its size.

    Thats much more important in the scheme of things and what you have to look at.

    You have a forty acre area that you are maintaining with current equipment;

    How much open area do you really have access to and ability to clean at all times?,

    This is more important the need to shop for brands of equipment.

    If you were a municipality you would be forced to accept the low bidders quote.

    You need to narrow down the basics:

    1. What is the widest area I can clean at one time?
    2. How much time to clean an area of the entire 40 acre area?
    3. what is the smallest area I have to clean and where am I able to remove the snow?


    An acre is 43,560 square feet;
    40 acres is 1,742,400 square feet,
    1/16 of a sqaure mile in area.

    The smallest motorised road grader from Caterpillar, Volvo, John Deere, among others with 6 loaded tires, chains, 2 wings and a single operator will cover a 20 foot width of cut with one wing blade and the belly plow at 1 mile per hour (88 feet per minute) or faster.

    If you have a 5,000 foot pass 20 foot wide thats one hundred thousand square feet,
    at one mile per hour it will require 56 minutes and of course will take less time at faster
    speeds using a curved dual directional plow in the nose of the grader.

    You could simply purchase the smallest late model road grader for plowing with a curved nose plow and buy an airport sized broom for any loader that has a hydraulic attachment option.

    You could simply mount a detachable self contained snogo brand motorised snow blower on the grader front end or a trackless backhoe with 5+ tons of bucket capacity for the $80,000 dollar price tag of the snogo and have more versatility and less issues with snow build ups and the inherent ability to cast snow away for great distances if available or load trucks with the extended chute option.

    The snow blower as a hydraulic powered attachment is limited to the available hydraulic fluid flow and pressure that the accessory spool can offer the attachment where the snogo self contained snow blower has none of these issues.
  9. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    snow etc.


    Now that I see what you have to maintain; The 5 ton plus capacity backhoe or the smallest road grader to carry the box blade and snow blower and or any box blade will help you for a lot less money.

    There are a lot of rental returns and job completion auctions that come around with good used equipment.

    The road grader will give you the greatest amount of visibility and lighting as well.
  10. blowerman

    blowerman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,275

    any solid wheel loader with a 14 ft. pusher for what you are showing...
  11. miniwarehousing

    miniwarehousing Member
    Messages: 37

    Thanks guys.
    I like the snogo blower, thanks for pointing out that model. We have considered snowblowing attachments, so that is a nice one. Just need to figure out size and price on one of those.
    I really like the Kage Industries, plow/snowpusher combo as well and think both would work great. The angle broom was another attachment that we can use to clean the facility as well, adding to the value.
    However, the Grader that you guys have suggested is a new suggestion I've never considered.
    My first questions would be is it as versatile as a loader regarding other functionality?
    I would think less maneuverable (sp?) as well. Would it be able to sweep and do other cleanups during the non snow months?
    So please correct me if I'm wrong on my assumptions.

    The volvo dealer recommended the L70 size machine and was pretty firm about not needing a larger capacity machine.
    Given that recommendation and my possible intention of snowblowing and angle plowing with a removable pusher (kage/snow wolf), would you say bigger loader or smaller loader than the L70?
  12. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    plow etc

    Since I am not reaching into your wallet pocket and trying to increase your debt load.

    The snowgo folks have 1 model and its $80,000.00 Canadian Loonies from 2010

    They have used ones come in on trade sometimes and a lot of municipal units come out and go to auction too.

    The BIg Zauggs are really to big for this site.

    You may want to invest in a pair of the smaller Zauggs-

    -being the Snow Beast and it smaller brother "the Bulldog" and have an operators platform added to save on walking for both of them They may be small but they will get into the tight placed to free up the trailers quickly if that is what is requied on a moments notice and the Duetz and Kubota engines sip fuel.

    The smallest Volvo road grader with a belly blade and the front attachment kit can handle a box blade as long as the front hitch is set up for it.

    An articulating loader is potentially deadly with a wide box blade unless you light the corners at all times.

    The box blade does not have to be any wider than the tires of the grader, and if you have the tires loaded with windishield washer fluid or rim guard, the traction will be tremendous with chains on all six wheels and the chains will not make a mess of the pavement because of the graders low stable speeds

    The grader has a narrow swing arc and the box blade only as wide as the tires foot print will be much less likely to cause clearance issues

    You could use the grader to push and pile shallow and simply use the 2 smaller Zauggs to get rid of it at the open areas.

    About the sweepers:

    Brushes are costly and time consuming to change; A BCS 2 wheel tractor with the brush kit uses gauge wheels to reduce excess wear.

    A large 2 wheel BCS tractor and the wide sweeper would run about $5,500+- and you could also add a mower.

    The BCS can have a sulky attached to allow the operator to ride behind it and not get tired from walking. The sulky can be detached to do smaller areas and keep them clean

    The smaller sweeper makes less dust too.

    The Zaugss and the BCS are nimble enough that they can be trailered and used elseware.

    You could use the grader to trailer them to the next job as well with a small beaver tail with a full width ramp.

    Adding a High Intensity Dicharge light kit to the Volvo grader will permit you to work at night with no shadows and blindspots. (but the lights cannot be used on the road)

    The ownership cost for a volvo grader and a small box blade for the front will be much less.

    The 2 smaller Zaugg snow throwers and the BCS sweeper will cost you less to own and operate. The 2 stage snow thrower for the BCS tractors are gear driven and are built for snow in the swiss alps and you can use it where the Zauggs cannot go-
    narrow sidewalks with shrubbery, between trailers, between cars, next to doors to remove heavy drifted snows in tight areas, switch gear yard entrances, fire escape doors and escape ladder way zones, that must be kept free of snow build up(if the Zauggs are busy with snow stock piles etc.).

    The snow beast has a chute extesion to load trucks I think.

    The tracked Fujii snow blowers are bit smaller but I dont believe that they have a dealer in the states where the Zaugg dealer is in Colorado and the beast and bulldog are a stock item for them.

    I am not trying tospend your money I just think the grader and the smallest pusher would be perfect for this and have no issues with clearances.and constantly having to raise the pusher to dump a full box and have to go back to clean up.

    You would be able to use the belly blade for the road access too assuming you are clearing the dirt road there also.

    The graders are much simpler to work on also.

    Adding a larger sweeper would simply amount to the mounting brackets for the attachment to the grader and the hosing if you want a wider sweeper but the brushes wil wear sooner unless they can be set up with gauge wheels.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
  13. getoffroad

    getoffroad Junior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 20

    Try a kawasaki loader, you will not be dissapointed!!
  14. miniwarehousing

    miniwarehousing Member
    Messages: 37

    That is too pricey for a snowblower for our needs.
    The zf110 and monoblock might just be the ticket. Do you know what those go for?

    I think these are much too small for our needs. We don't have many small areas like sidewalks or fire escapes to clear.

    I can't pile the snow with the grader, which is something we'll have to be able to do.

    Do you mean lighting with cab mounted lights or do you mean marker type lights on the edges of the box pusher?
    The first couple videos that came up for grader snow plowing is of a couple graders getting stuck.
    More and more, I don't feel a grader would be a good fit with its extra long wheel base and lack of lifting ability.

    Have you ever swept large areas with these? Being in a sealed cab is a necessity when you're sweeping for 8 hours at a time. Nevermind standing.

    We only have one site, so no added value here.

    I think this would be a valueable accessory on any machine we use.

    Much less? How much vs a wheel loader?

    Gauge wheels will be added to any of the sweepers we choose. But we want to get an angle style broom for spring cleanup.
  15. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    snow etc.

    The towed motorised brooms have gauge wheels as standard equipment and or screw adjustments using an air cooled engine and the Volvo brushes dont last very long from my past experience with the L70 I used.

    You can buy motorised towed sweepers for pick ups for this too, and they will work with wet pavement.

    As far as sweepers go there are a herd of small sweepers including pick up truck mounted sweeper units that would cost much less than a sweeper atachment.

    I will post the links for you here a bit later, just remember that I am not the one working for a commision from a sale or lease to you .............................................................
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  16. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    snow etc.



    video samples for the snow beast and Bulldog.

    On youtube look for the Volvo G900 road grader
    plowing snow in the Volvo sponsored video
    if you still dont believe a road grader cannot plow or stack snow.

    There is another nicely done video on plowsite here that one of the members added
    and I commented on how well it plows as well and it shows you how it can
    do a thorough job of plowing too in a very crowded neighborhood in either
    Sweden or Norway.


    You have lots of room to blow the snow into the tree line with either of the zauggs judging form the picture you have provided.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  17. miniwarehousing

    miniwarehousing Member
    Messages: 37

    Thanks for your information here. You have a lot of knowledge on this and it is VERY helpful. Thank you again.
    I'm still skeptical of the grader and the mini snowblowers. Finding operators to stand out in freezing temperatures to snowblow huge piles of snow doesn't seem realistic. When it's snowing for a day and you're operator is outside getting windblown snow all over, I don't see how anyone would be able to work that way for extended periods of time.
    I see the graders all pushing snow off the side of the machines and dispersing on the sides or leaving huge windrows for a loader or blower to pick up and remove. I need to push the snow 100% from one side to the otherside and I don't have dump trucks to blow into to move the snow the distances needed.
    Please don't take this as an argument but as a student asking a teacher. I just don't see graders clearing parking lots and malls online. I see them clearing streets and that is where I can see they make a lot of sense.

    In any case, we would purchase the machine and not lease. So the argument of depreciation over leasing is not valid. Either one will be a "good" purchase as the depreciation will be higher than the actual value of the machine.
    We're not looking to do snow removal as a business for other people. We would have enough on our plate here to keep the operation running.
    To get other customers, you have to have equipment at other sites running simultaneously. People around here, don't wait till you're all cleared out of one site to start the other.

    If a mini Zauggs goes down, you're S.O.L. until you get it up and running.
    With a loader and snow thrower attachment, you can at least hook up the bucket and move the snow still.
    The pull behind sweeps would be OK, but then what do you do with the large piles that you have created? A loader switches out to bucket and now you can get rid of the debris piles as well.

    Again Leon...I thank you for the advice.
  18. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    road grader et al.

    About the "Zaugg Bulldog" and "Zaugg Snow Beast"

    People use these things in all kinds of weather at the ski resorts to keep the walking paths open and the roads and parking lots, your job is NO DIFFERENT.

    The narrow chutes and spouts control the discharge completely and you have a solid stream of
    snow being discharged and GONE.

    The repairs for thses things are simple and the components are not SPECIAL.
    Most of the units on the market have open center hydraulic systems and have:
    one pump with one or more gear sections or a piston pump for a closed center system

    2 drive motors for the tracks

    chute control cylinder
    spout control cylinder
    auger lift and lower/tilt cylinder
    Mechanical reduction gear drive for the impeller
    safety presence control system to stop forward
    or rearward movement if the operator looses his or her grip.

    You have realise thar you never blow snow unless you can see
    or unless its daylight and there is NO wind.

    These machines were designed to move deep heavy snows with the open augers andhigh torque impellers for long distances in areas with heavy snow pack. The Duetz and Kubota engines are top notch as well as the track drive sytems.

    You have to understand that these things will throw everything in front of it GONE!!!!

    If you have ever seem snow blowers work on rail service or roads you will see them thow it ahead of the blowerr for thosands of feet and it continually removes it all until its
    at apoint where it can discharge the snow to the side of the rod and its gone ,GONE, the first time.

    There is still no reason you cannot use a small box blade on a grader with enough tractive wieght to move massive amounts of snow.

    I can sell you a near4 zero dust pick up sweeper that you can tow around with a lawn tractor and have no dust and simply dump it out using a boat winch then shovel it in a dumpster with zero issues if that would make easier.
  19. IMAGE

    IMAGE Sponsor
    Messages: 1,747

    There are a couple companies in my town using road graders to clean parking lots. One of which is cleaning a very large mall parking lot with the help of loaders. They are used with wheel loaders that stack the snow, or that are loading trucks to haul it away. The graders provide a VERY clean surface, scraping through all the hardpack snow and ice caused by vehicle traffic and daytime snows. They seem to work really fast for windrowing the few times I've watched them.
  20. miniwarehousing

    miniwarehousing Member
    Messages: 37

    Image...Thanks for the input. Our issue is moving the windrows from one end to the other. That is where we feel we have our issue.
    Can you let me know what the average cost of the Normand blowers go for?