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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I have a 1968 Ford 5000 tractor that I picked up from a local farmer to help maintain our 1/2 mile long shared gravel driveway. it does a great job relairing, dragging, and otherwise regrading the gravel.

This winter, the plow service has been horrible. I prefer to snowblow my personal driveway as it is long, winding and has very little area to push snow to. the other houses have used the plow or been blown. The real challe 've is when we get multiple storms and the idiots don't push back enough on storm 1, so by the time storm 3 comes, they can't push snow and I end up using the walk behind cutting back both sides of the 1/2 mile common driveway.

Was thinking that a 3ph mounted inverted blower on the Ford 5000 would be ideal. She has 60hp at the PTO and a Class 2 3ph. width at the rear wheels is 82". That would allow us to get rid of the plow service.

What I don't know is which blower would work best. the machine has a ROPS with a canopy, but not a full cab. I have 1 set of hydraulic lines to power chute rotation. Think that a manual chute deflector would suffice.

Thoughts?
 

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Is the tractor 4wd? I’ve never used an inverted blower, but I’ve always what you would do if the snow was too deep to drive into (piles or drifting) dragging the inverted behind you. Unless you have a loader to use too.

I have a 45hp MF that I have a five foot regular pto blower (no hydraulics in the back) hooked up to. Manual crank handle yo change the chute direction. Worked fine except for killing my back driving backwards when dealing with big nor’easters.

Regarding the brand, I assume you’re not looking for a new one since they cost alot. If that’s the case, just see what’s out there used in the best condition. They’re all basically the same otherwise- chew up snow and spit it out.
 

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look into a laurin cab, or at least a weather enclosure, that is a lot to do in subzero temp and blowing snow to do in an open cab.. if it is 4 wd will work well, if not you will have days that you will be frustrated at the least
 

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the idiots don't push back enough on storm 1, so by the time storm 3 comes, they can't push....Thoughts?[/QUOTE]

Easy on the idiots. There may be a reason why they do what they do. It's easy to be an arm chair snow professional. Yes an inverted will work well as long as you have front wheel assist and the tractor and blower are matched for size and hp needs. Even an arm chair snow professional would want an enclosed cab.
 

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This winter, the plow service has been horrible. The real challe 've is when we get multiple storms and the idiots don't push back enough on storm 1, so by the time storm 3 comes, they can't push snow and I end up using the walk behind cutting back both sides of the 1/2 mile common driveway
I'm with Herm. Easy on the "idiot". He's not an idiot. When road plowing (or long driveway plowing) even with your plow right on the edge (or in the gutter of the curb) some of the snow ridge you just created will fall back on to the road. Unless you are speeding and able to fling the discharge 20 feet off the road this is unavoidable. With each subsequent plowing the road will get narrower and narrower. You can't perform the first push with your plow 3-4' over the edge, so by the third or fourth push without the benefit of a meltdown your snow ridge doesn't impede somewhat on the surface you are clearing. You can't complain about this unless you don't care about being an ignorant whiner.
 

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The idiot as you say may be worried about sod damage, I would rather have you complain about not pushing the piles back then you complaining about damage that will cost me material, time and labor.

If your looking for a blower for your tractor there is probably more reasonable options than a inverted. Inverted are desirable to a guy that wants to take on hundreds of driveways in a huge development. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sorry about the "idiot" comment. Just that the guy who did the work up until like 5 years ago managed to keep the banks pushed back. Only once did I have to cut them back and it was the plow operator that suggested we dot it as he felt it getting tight long before it really was. And that year saw over 100 inches of snow. The four companies since have been a lot more money and have left us with a considerable mess to deal with most times.

Wish we could have the old guy back, but I think his wife would kill him if he went back to work again.

I'll look into some kind of shelter, but I also need to install some lights to see around the tractor

If my width is 82", should the blower be that wide, or can a narrower one work as well? doesn't seem like a good idea, but figured I'd ask.

Do the single stage blowers (throwers) work well? thinking a simpler design might be easier to keep.

Since the road is gravel, but the driveways are paved ( as is a common circle from which all driveways radiate from ) what do I need to think about? the walk behind has busted a sheer pin or two on the gravel over the years as I just leave it set for scraping the pavement. But there are no large rocks and the surface is more a packed mix with very small stones and stone dust. will a tractor blower handle that ok?

What time of year do you usually find used listings? what should be looked for in used units? last thing I need is spending a lot and then needing to weld or find parts.

What, if anything would buying new provide? I've yet to find a dealer near me that knows anything about these. my closest has to "do some research". not much help.

Thanks for the advice so far.
 

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You don't want your tractor wider than the blower. I dont know your tractors mechanical condition but it is 50 years old, it will be working in adverse conditions, will it be reliable and are parts readily available when the inevetible occurs. If someone were to contract to plow my driveway with a 50 year old piece of equipment I'd be cautious. But what do I know, we still fly B52's.
 

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Sorry about the "idiot" comment. Just that the guy who did the work up until like 5 years ago managed to keep the banks pushed back. Only once did I have to cut them back and it was the plow operator that suggested we dot it as he felt it getting tight long before it really was. And that year saw over 100 inches of snow. The four companies since have been a lot more money and have left us with a considerable mess to deal with most times.

Wish we could have the old guy back, but I think his wife would kill him if he went back to work again.

I'll look into some kind of shelter, but I also need to install some lights to see around the tractor

If my width is 82", should the blower be that wide, or can a narrower one work as well? doesn't seem like a good idea, but figured I'd ask.

Do the single stage blowers (throwers) work well? thinking a simpler design might be easier to keep.

Since the road is gravel, but the driveways are paved ( as is a common circle from which all driveways radiate from ) what do I need to think about? the walk behind has busted a sheer pin or two on the gravel over the years as I just leave it set for scraping the pavement. But there are no large rocks and the surface is more a packed mix with very small stones and stone dust. will a tractor blower handle that ok?

What time of year do you usually find used listings? what should be looked for in used units? last thing I need is spending a lot and then needing to weld or find parts.

What, if anything would buying new provide? I've yet to find a dealer near me that knows anything about these. my closest has to "do some research". not much help.

Thanks for the advice so far.
You definitely want a two stage for what you describe. I wouldn't think they even make single stage 3pt blowers.

You will break shear pins, even on blocks of ice. Just keep a bunch stored on the tractor.

I bought a used Lucknow blower for mine years sgo; can't recall where I found it. Think I paid $1,000. Not pretty, but stout. Done worry about basic rust; that can be sanded off and spray painted.

Try local craigslist and equipment dealers; usually many for sale year 'round. Nothing wrong with buying new if you want too; just more money. If you decide after a few winters to not do it anymore and sell the blower, you'll take more of a financial hit with new vs used.

Should also factor in chains for the rears, even if it's 4wd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You don't want your tractor wider than the blower. I dont know your tractors mechanical condition but it is 50 years old, it will be working in adverse conditions, will it be reliable and are parts readily available when the inevetible occurs. If someone were to contract to plow my driveway with a 50 year old piece of equipment I'd be cautious. But what do I know, we still fly B52's.
The plan is just for the shared property of 3 homes and the shared 1/2 mile driveway/ road that connects the three houses to the main road, not a business. Right now, a single storm is roughly $400 split amount the 3 homes. I have the tractor, just need to get a blower that is right for the machine and the job.

The tractor was built 50 years ago, but is in excellent condition. Parts are fairly easy to get. The best thing is that virtually everything is metal. There is a little plastic around the gauge pod, and the seat, but that's it. controls are are all old metal levers. With the locking diff, it has amazing traction. that said, she is running a modern ignition, charges with an alternator, and I've rebuilt the carb and replaced most rubber parts from hoses to tires. It is also a very simple machine, so there isn't much to go wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You definitely want a two stage for what you describe. I wouldn't think they even make single stage 3pt blowers.

You will break shear pins, even on blocks of ice. Just keep a bunch stored on the tractor.

I bought a used Lucknow blower for mine years sgo; can't recall where I found it. Think I paid $1,000. Not pretty, but stout. Done worry about basic rust; that can be sanded off and spray painted.

Try local craigslist and equipment dealers; usually many for sale year 'round. Nothing wrong with buying new if you want too; just more money. If you decide after a few winters to not do it anymore and sell the blower, you'll take more of a financial hit with new vs used.

Should also factor in chains for the rears, even if it's 4wd.
Been watching Craigslist for all of New England all season and only seen 2 inverted models. One was a demo Provonost that was gone in like 20 minutes at $4k wag up in Vermont and then other was too small for my machine.

Tractor is only 2WD, but has a diff lock. All the area to be cleared is pretty much flat, so no real terrain challenge. tread is new, front tires are skinny 3 rib.

Will make the point to keep new pins and a set of tools in the toolbox attached to the ROPS bar. But should gravel require lifting the cutting bar up or can I leave it at ground level? ie. can these machines take the occational tiny piece of gravel?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
MK Martin has a single stage. Used to be another company, but was bought out. large heavy rotor with spiral auger directing snow to the middle where it gets flung out the chute. the cutting edge is much further back and with no fan, there is less bulk and complexity to the design. just wondering if anyone knows if these work?

 

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You asked for advice. I suspect you had your mind made up whatever advice was given. With 2wd you will likely struggle pulling a blower. When you use chains you may loosen up some of the gravel base. You may be better off pushing a plow and hanging a bunch of weight on the back. Good luck. End of my comments.
 

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Been watching Craigslist for all of New England all season and only seen 2 inverted models. One was a demo Provonost that was gone in like 20 minutes at $4k wag up in Vermont and then other was too small for my machine.

Tractor is only 2WD, but has a diff lock. All the area to be cleared is pretty much flat, so no real terrain challenge. tread is new, front tires are skinny 3 rib.

Will make the point to keep new pins and a set of tools in the toolbox attached to the ROPS bar. But should gravel require lifting the cutting bar up or can I leave it at ground level? ie. can these machines take the occational tiny piece of gravel?
Gravel generally should pass through fine, but occasionally you might get one that gets lodged between the cutting blades and the housing and jams it.

The only potential problem with the differential lock is that you lose turning ability. May not be much if an issue. In my tractor, can only lock the diff by holding down a pedal with my foot, so it gets tiring after a few minutes.

Note you can adjust how much any cutting edge digs in by adjusting the top link instead of constantly lifting the whole blower up and down.
 

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I think you have single stage confused with single auger...

I have a Lucknow single auger 7ft blower on my 2013 kubuta. The blower is 30 plus years old and built solid.
It throws great.and I use it mostly to blow back icy banks between plowing.
It is horribly abused and holds up because the metal is a lot thicker than the tin they pass off now. If you can find an older locally sourced blower I would do that.
I see them all the time listed for sale up here, McKee is another, and they are generally under $1k used.
Don't know where you're at
Ie:
Product Screenshot Font Software Terrestrial plant
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think you have single stage confused with single auger...

I see them all the time listed for sale up here, McKee is another, and they are generally under $1k used.
Don't know where you're at
Ie:
No, the model I posted above is a single state. The only part that moves is the auger. There is no fan.

I see no inverted (pull style) models in the image you posted. I don't want to have to back up the whole length of the road and driveways. Also, I only have 2 reverse speeds. One is really slow and the other is likely too fast.

Those rear facing ones that you have to drive backwards are more common. Just don't think it's the right solution for what I need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You asked for advice. I suspect you had your mind made up whatever advice was given. With 2wd you will likely struggle pulling a blower. When you use chains you may loosen up some of the gravel base. You may be better off pushing a plow and hanging a bunch of weight on the back. Good luck. End of my comments.
I'll admit I am strongly leaning to a blower. Which is why I'm asking about it. I would not say my mind is up. Just that I have a good size tractor and it looks like an ideal solution. Now I'm trying to figure out if it is nor not and find the things I don't know or the issues that might make it unworkable.

I appreciate the confirmation that the blower needs to be wider than the tractor. I kind of figured that, but again, I need to be sure.

However, I was worried that I'd given a wrong impression when you questioned using an old tractor for commercial purposes. Which is why I tried to correct that. Sorry if I went off on that. I'm quite proud of all the upgrades I've made on the machine to make it start and run more consistently.

I'm sorry if I insulted. I'm trying to not make a huge error here as these attachments are not cheap.

Chains could be a problem due to the paved driveways. But, it is an option if I find that I get too many storms that the tractor can't handle.

I keep reading about all the commercial guys who rarely use the 4WD. That 130+ page thread mentioned it several times. Now I'm wondering - how much of a problem is it. I figure I'd need to do some removal several times during a big storm. I have to do that with the walk behind. Can't just go at a 5' snowfall in one shot. But I also figure the tractor should be quick enough that each pass should not take more than 15-20 minutes. Perhaps that too is a misjudgement. Hopefully someone that has some experience can chime in. Oh, and I don't know if it matters, but the tractor is nearly 7000lbs. Regrading the road with it is like the grader isn't even on the back.

Using a Plow is out. On my personal driveway, there is no place to push snow - has to be blown. Seems weird to setup a rig to remove snow on the shared road that I can't use on my own driveway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Is the tractor 4wd? I've never used an inverted blower, but I've always what you would do if the snow was too deep to drive into (piles or drifting) dragging the inverted behind you. Unless you have a loader to use too.
No, it's 2WD. There is a foot operated diff lock that holds itself locked until there is no pressure (i.e. no slippage) I've only tested it, never had to use it. Rear tires are an agricultural style size 18.4-30.8 and the front are skinny 3 rib 7.50-16. Driving it around in the snow is easy. Ive even pulled a car that got stuck. Seems like it will work, but that's why I'm asking. Here is a good photo of it when I brought her home:



I have a 45hp MF that I have a five foot regular pto blower (no hydraulics in the back) hooked up to. Manual crank handle yo change the chute direction. Worked fine except for killing my back driving backwards when dealing with big nor'easters.
Yea, with the way the clutch and brake are arranged, twisting around backwards does not seem like an ideal situation. That's why I'm looking for an inverted or pull-type blower that faces forward. I can back into a tight area and then just drive away. Only 3 garage areas I need to get close to. Most of the clearing is going to be on long winding driveway or shared road.

Regarding the brand, I assume you're not looking for a new one since they cost alot. If that's the case, just see what's out there used in the best condition. They're all basically the same otherwise- chew up snow and spit it out.
I'd prefer to avoid the price of a new one. Everything I've priced out that is larger than 82" wide is at least $8k. That's more than I bought the tractor for. Just not seeing inverted used ones much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Gravel generally should pass through fine, but occasionally you might get one that gets lodged between the cutting blades and the housing and jams it.
That's good to hear. With the walk-behind it's usually a branch under the snow or a rock that came from who knows where. Will be much easier to set the blower for one height and leave it. I might still set it 1/4" above the surface, but we'll see.

The only potential problem with the differential lock is that you lose turning ability. May not be much if an issue. In my tractor, can only lock the diff by holding down a pedal with my foot, so it gets tiring after a few minutes.
Mine works similarly. Basically you push down on the pedal and it locks. It will remain locked so long as there is some kind of pressure to hold it. Get both wheels with equal traction or touch the clutch and it releases. But when it is engaged, turning is nearly impossible. At least on dry ground where those big rear tires have traction.

Note you can adjust how much any cutting edge digs in by adjusting the top link instead of constantly lifting the whole blower up and down.
I was wondering about that. Between the adjustable top link and the skids on the sides, it looks like you can pretty much adjust whatever angle and height you want. I guess what I'd like to hear is what kind of height and angle seems to work best for those that do both paved and gravel surfaces.

Thanks fro the reply. More things to consider. (^_^)
 
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