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For those who have switched from truck/plow to tractor/blower for driveways...

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Joel B., Dec 13, 2010.

  1. Joel B.

    Joel B. Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 233

    …..are you glad you did? What tractors are you using? My biggest concern/problem with plows is the limited distance you can push snow to get it out of the way. We aren't even through December and are running out of places to put the snow.

    I was thinking about a 40-50 HP New Holland, Kubota, Deere with 4wd, hydrostatic trans and rear blower…….or an older farm tractor, something in the Farmall 806, 1066 size range. I know the 656 comes in a hydro (is that enough tractor?).

    Anyway, appreciate any advice.
  2. JohnDeere2320

    JohnDeere2320 Member
    Messages: 52

    Hey Joel.

    I run a John Deere 2320 with the 54" front mount blower. I would recommend a front mount over a rear mount for a few reasons. You will get really tired of having to continuosly look behind you and your neck will get sore in short order. Much better visibility with a front mount. If you are doing sidewalks when you get over into the lawn, it is much easier to correct yourself with the front mount compared to a rear mount. As far as productivity goes for residential driveways I like the tractor/blower better than a truck plow. No back dragging, no unsightly piles of snow, you don't have to worry about not having enough room to put the snow, and best of all, one pass down the sidewalk and your done. The only disadvantage of using a tractor that I have found is transporting. You need to factor in loading and unloading time into the total time/account, whereas with a truck you will pull up and are ready to go. For me it is not a very big deal because every time I unload the tractor, I can hit 3-10 accounts/stop because the accounts are a stones throw from each other. Hope this helps.
  3. blowerman

    blowerman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,275

    I'm not your number one go to guy for driveway blowers, (I have a few though) but the HP ratings you listed are way to weak for a blower. Secondly, forget about hydrostatic transmissions. While I have a hydrostatic set up on my New Holland, it's a 105HP tractor. You can search Plowsite and find lots of topics discussing rear pull blowers. Pictures, and Vids are also all over the site.
    Once you go to a blower, you'll never go back!
  4. Joel B.

    Joel B. Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 233

    Thanks for the info. Why no hydro transmission?
  5. BlackIrish

    BlackIrish Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    For tractor blowers route density is key. I use inverted rear mount blowers, VERY popular up here.
    Your HP is a little low, 65-115hp gives you a good driveway unit.
    Others have used anything from 30-200 hp.
    Anything is doable just not as fun.
    I personally would not replace my tractors with p/u's.
    Have started buying tractors for comm work.
    All my tractors stay in town, no floating.
  6. lawnproslawncar

    lawnproslawncar Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    I know if I can make it work I would love a blower mounted on the loader of our jd7430. Eating piles would be no problem than!
  7. RAZOR

    RAZOR Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    I'm using Kubota 5740 's with 80 inch inverted blowers, I'm happy with this combo. For me I'll give up some horsepower in order to have a hydro. I had a Kubota M9000 with a 92 inch blower and I feel I'm more productive with the smaller hydro unit even with the lower road speed.
  8. DaySpring Services

    DaySpring Services PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,065

    Shuttle shift tractors are nice and easy to operate! I also agree that you hp rating is a little low. It take big hp to efficiently operate a blower.
  9. RAZOR

    RAZOR Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    My M9000 had a hydraulic shuttle, I found shifting from high to low a major pain. It is a little scary going with a few inches of a gargage door with one. The novelty wore off after the first 50 driveways. It is like a standard transmission in a car, they are fun until you stuck in stop and go traffic and your left foot feels like it is going to fall off after a while. If you guys feel you need over 100 hp to blow snow 20 feet onto a lawn then you should stick with a larger tractor.
  10. jvm81

    jvm81 Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 387

    Man you guys with big HP - wow. I run a few 24-30hp New Hollands for all driveway work and sidewalks. Them little tractors are amazing. I am not stating number of accounts but we drive these units from house to house cuz everything is close for our snow acounts.

    I could see someday getting bigger cuz i have to much snow right now with these little units. I also have plow trucks but there no good on the driveways that we service. I also run skids, bucket and waiting on a new blower - which i hope is worth the $5300.
  11. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 6,078

    A deere 3720 or 4720 is the ticket IMO...

    3720 will fit down the sidewalks... 4720 has 66hp and hydrostat... IMO hydrostat is the only way to go doing driveways... which we do a few... When your 3" away from a garage door no one can tell me you can do a better or safer job with a clutched tractor... Its just as simple as that... Sure they're not as strong to a degree but it depends on what your doing with them...
  12. Toxic

    Toxic Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    I run a Kubota L4330 with a 72" normand blower. 43hp and a hydrostatic transmission. It's amazing how productive that little tractor is. You can see what your doing, it's easy to control in tight spaces. And even though most believe otherwise, It will throw heavy snow further than most peoples lots in town. Only downside as other people have mentioned is the travel speed. Mine does 18mph so it's not to bad but the 25mph of a larger tractor would be nice.
  13. Jelinek61

    Jelinek61 Senior Member
    Messages: 679

    Gotta agree. A 3720 or any 4020 series JD tractor with a blower would do great. The DPW i used to work for has a 3720 with a 60" front blower for sidewalks.....it works great.
  14. Jguck25

    Jguck25 Senior Member
    Messages: 594

    Check out Neiges setup on snowmag because he seems to have it down to a science. He does around 3400 residential driveways a storm :dizzy: he explains what he uses in the article