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blade for skid loader or pusher ?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by capital, Oct 10, 2003.

  1. capital

    capital Senior Member
    Messages: 127

    I was hoping some one could give me some feed back on wether to get a blade for my skid loader or use a pusher. I have a 873 bob cat and have tried it with their snow plow (BobCats )which we have found to be worthless.
    I currently am planning on using the skid loader on a parking lot that is slightly over 5 acres with a chevy 3500 that has a 9 V blade. thanks for any insight
  2. slplow

    slplow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 594

    Capital, I am also debating what would be best for my skid steer. I think it depends on the circumstances. Will you be using it on walks or parking lot. Also, how much money you wanted to spend.

    The blizzard would be great. You could have the best of both worlds with that but are kinda pricey. If you are just going to use it for open spaces a pusher might be the best choice.

    Good luck
  3. capital

    capital Senior Member
    Messages: 127

    A blizzard is not an option in our market due to the dealer. IE no response or ability to deal with problems. They gave the dealer ship to a company that is a landscape company and is not know for anything but a hazzle to deal with. Also based on past threads with people who love um, or hate um, think will pass on a blizzard.
  4. Lawn Lad

    Lawn Lad Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    From what I've read... (haven't used either but will this winter) I would think that the tighter the lot an more intricate it is the more handy a blade would be on the skid steer. The more open it is the pusher might have advantages. However, I've read a number of posts where folks just don't like a small pusher on skidsteer no matter what. Long runs or heavier snow and you'll be more likely to break traction with the skid using the pusher rendering the machine useless. I'm sure a blade would be a less expensive option to get started if you could find an old truck plow and do a little fabbing on it for the skidsteer.
  5. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    In addition to backhoe and loader pushers, we used two (Single speed 773 and 873) Bobcats with pushers last year. I was quite disappointed, specifically with the Bobcat's lack of traction and production even in 2" snowfalls. Despite the fact we were charging hourly, I don't feel that they provided a good value for our customers and often found myself compensating slightly (in fairness to the customer) at each billing. That means that if I was doing per push accounts with those machines, they would not be a good value for our company, either. Needless to say, the Bobcats will be sitting this winter.

    I feel the Bobcats with pushers may be productive to have onsite under certain conditions (as a very specialized tool with little versatility), but I have not found a niche for them and won't spend much time trying to figure out a use for them in the future after our experience.

    From now on, the SMALLEST machine we will use with pushers will be a Deere 410 or Case 580 or equivalent 2 wheel drive backhoe with a 10 footer. Obviously, a 4 wheel drive machine is preferred since the additional traction will allow for a larger capacity pusher.

    Honestly, a straight plow with wings would probably be more appropriate for a Bobcat. You have the best of both worlds and a little more manageable load since the snow capacity would be less than that of an equivalent pusher. A two speed machine may be a more appropriate match for a pusher from what I have heard, but none of our subs own a two speed machine and I am unwilling to spend $30,000 (or even the rental fee, for that matter) to find out.
  6. bam

    bam Senior Member
    from .
    Messages: 201

    we own an 873 bobcat with two speed. we run an avalanche 10' pusher and an old 9' meyer blade with power angle.

    with the amount of snow we saw last year, had a good test ground for the machine. we ran it nonstop at a large commercial site during the blizzard. it did an excellent job. occ. there were traction concerns, however i think as an operator gains experience, you know the limits of your machine and plan accordingly. the plow helped with pushing back snow banks along curblines. you can run along the curb, or straddle it and adjust the angle and height of the blade and push back without problems. sidewalks were thin, so we used an atv. and in the tight lots, we could swap the pusher for the blade and clean up. it was alot faster than taking a crew cab 450 and trying to manuever.

    If the lot is fairly level or if you have a two speed 873 I would definately give an 8 or 10' pusher a try.
  7. SLC1

    SLC1 Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    I would think that it all depends on the situation and the operator, because last year we had a 8' pro tech on our skidsteer and I wasnt exactly happy with the production, so this year we bought a plow for it also, I think that both will be used in different circumstances, I would think that the best would be like said before, a Blizzard plow, or Daniels Plow or a blade with wings. Just my two cents.

  8. Plow Babe

    Plow Babe Senior Member
    Messages: 218

    We are planning on putting a 12-ft box on our skid steer for an 8-acre lot, along with a pickup with Blizzard 8.6-11. We have the same Bobcat as you.
  9. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    The words "complete waste of money" come to mind here.
  10. Plow Babe

    Plow Babe Senior Member
    Messages: 218

    As with many things discussed here, the particular location and application make a big difference.

    This was discussed previously in another thread, but we run snow tires on our Bobcat, have GREAT traction with it, and it spent all last season pushing snow with an 11-ft V-blade. It did fantastic and the efficiency and productivity were unbelievable. If we can efficiently and successfuly clear snow with a 12-ft box, why go with an 8 or 10-ft? When manufacturers give the specs for their equipment, they have to consider the worst-case scenario that the equipment will hold up to.

    Colorado snow is different from other areas. It is generally very light and fluffy. At 9000 to 10,000 feet in elevation, there is just not that much humidity. This makes a big difference in what size and types of equipment we can be successful with.

    Frankly, when I read about guys running a 7.5 straight blade on a one-ton truck, I wonder, "What are they thinking, and how can they possibly get anything done with that small of a blade - what a waste of truck!" But at the same time, I realize that if the snow you are pushing is so wet and heavy it is like pushing concrete, then that will have a huge affect on what will be successful and efficient in clearing it.

    So, maybe in your application this would be a complete waste of money, but I am going to be smiling all winter as I take our profits to the bank!
  11. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    The original question was asked by a member from Delaware, so, I felt it necessary not to let the guy think he can go out and buy a 12 footer and use it on his 873 successfully as your first post could possibly be interpreted to imply...especially when his post states the machine was worthless with a plow in his market.

    The majority of us would be screwed if we tried to use that setup (12 footer on 873) in our markets. The vast majority of us DON"T live on a mountain top. Also, in most of our markets, matching a Bobcat with pusher and pickup truck with blade to an 8 acre lot would be insufficient. I have a 5 acre lot where that particular setup of a truck and Bobcat with pusher were not sufficient.

    It does go to show that each market has unique factors to be considered. Now that you posted more details of your particular situation, I am sure he will have a better perspective to make his decision from.

    Here's to wishing all of our fellow plow(wo)men a successful season and many smiling trips to the bank! :waving:
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2003
  12. chtucker

    chtucker Senior Member
    Messages: 618

    Plow Babe doesn't live on a mountain top...she lives in the valley. :D

    Over the last year I have grown accustomed to that there wil be regional differences here on plowsite. Equipment, pricing. man power, insurance, methods, and results all vary from region to region.

  13. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    That's right. I forgot....they use 16 footers on skidsteers on the mountaintop. :D
  14. Plow Babe

    Plow Babe Senior Member
    Messages: 218

    LOL! :D I should remember to put a disclaimer on my posts: "Only applies if you are plowing champaigne powder." Tee-hee!
  15. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    I found some interesting information after doing a search for Champagne, Champaign, and Champaigne powder on Google.

    That type of snow can be upwards of 20:1 ratio, which is VERY RARE in our market! As long as you have a backup plan for those lower ratio snows like the one in March 2003, you probably won't have any problem with a 12 footer. It sounds like, as you stated, most snow in your area is quite light and powdery when compared to that in "flatlander" territory. :p

    In December of 2000, we had our first snowfall of the season...about 6" of snow that was as wet and nasty as snow can possibly be without being rain. When you approached the piles, you could actually see "waves" because the water content of the snow was so high. I'm also guessing that pavement temps were hovering pretty close to the freezing point.

    Although it seems a bit off topic, the information is very relevant, IMO.

    P.S. Glad to see you have a good sense of humor Plow Babe. ;)
  16. Husker1982

    Husker1982 Member
    Messages: 31

    Hey just wanted to throw this out and see what all you thought. I have a JD 4710 that I am gonna use a 10ft pusher on. I had asked around for anyone with experience on a similar set up. To let you all know the JD 4710 has 48hp and I am not sure on the weight I will have to check. Protech has a 10ft pusher for compacts with 50 or more horse. Well I figured what the H3ll I am going to try the 10ft pusher and see how it goes. Let me know everyone how bad I messed up or if I should be O.K. Thanks.
  17. Michael F

    Michael F Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    We run two Bobcats with blades (773 & 873). Blades are bobcat brand. Problem with Bobcat blades is they don't ociliate, or pitch side to side. If they did they would be 100 X better than they are. If you buy one that does (Boss, or Snowwolf I know do), basicly all the blades are not the same.
    When you put blade down, at angle one side is "grabing" or recieving more presure than other, other side may even be in the air, this make the machines very tough to control=lose traction.
    So when guys are saying Bobcats are worthless in the snow, IMHO they are wrong, it definitly takes some tecnique to get used to however. Bobcats just like each piece in our fleets have their place, they are more manuverable than a truck, & can stack much higher, so in tight areas is where we use them with blades. Put a snow bucket on & go nuts when it comes to stack small to medium lots. Good Luck, with your decision.
  18. Heron Cove PM

    Heron Cove PM Senior Member
    Messages: 202

    We use both.

    We have a lot that we use 2 skid loaders (SL) on. One with a plow and one with a box. This lot has a lot of those torpedo type islands at EVERY corner. We send the SL with the plow around first followed by a truck with a 9' plow. The second SL with the box goes around and does the clean up.

    We found that our productivity has gone up since making the change. We used to use 6 trucks to clean this lot. Now we can clear it faster with the 2 SL and 1 truck. we have knocked off 1/3 of the time it takes which is good because this lot pays by the push.

    The hardest thing in making the change was the learning curve with the box. With the pusher box you are MOVING VOLUMES of snow in a pass, NOT rolling or pushing snow to the side. It takes a while to get used to how the box works you need to almost re-teach yourself a new plowing technique. We also had a hard time getting the plow truck driver to change his habits as well. To be proficient the plows need to LEAVE the clean up for the box. When you have a plow truck driver with years of experience and the morals to clean a lot curb to curb SPOTLESS the way we do, it's a chore to reteach an new technique. It sounds simple but trust me I had to get on the plow truck guy A LOT to LEAVE the clean up for the box.

    There are going to be times you will break traction and times you think the machine doesn't have what it takes... ( this happens in a truck also) but keep in mind you are REMOVING VOLUMES of snow.

    Yes both a box and a plow have their places. The question you need to ask yourself is if you want to take the time and make the investment to get through the learning period to make it work for you. We did and IT IS payup.

    Good luck, Marshall

  19. cuttingedgeland

    cuttingedgeland Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2

    Just bought a boss 7.5" blade for our 873. I did some research and found better prices up in New Hampshire, not to mention that there was no sales tax buying it up in that state. Made a little road trip out of picking it up, it was a 4.5 hr ride each way from here in jersey but I dont mind it up north, I needed a little get a way from Bergen county anyway.When I hooked it up I wasa impressed. My only concerns were the auz. hoses. They were just hanging with too much slack. Nothing a few zip ties couldnt fix. I also switched the hoses on the plow since my Aux hydrl. switch was working reverse direction.
    I am wondering about the traction with this machine? Should I put new tires on this machine or will it run better with tires a little worn down so the ice doesnt build up in the treads?
  20. bluejaylawn

    bluejaylawn Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Sno-wolf plow/pusher combo

    We bought a couple of snow wolf skid steer snow plows and they work great. They have a trip edge which is much better for use on a skid steer. They also have de-tachable wings. They work like a box with the wings on and like a plow with them off. We will train our operators to windrow away from the curbs and then put the wings on and clean up.

    As far as the traction goes we have found that the Cat dedicated rubber track machines have the best traction and we can push "cement" like snow with a 10' pusher without loosing traction. As far as wheeled machines go the tires make all the difference. We put new tires on all our tire machines before snow season and it makes a huge difference.