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Ford 555 tlb for plowing?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by ERICS LAWN CARE, Oct 19, 2009.


    Messages: 65

    Hello; I own a lawn care & plowing company in Michigan and this year I have a lot of larger accounts, one of which is a larger transportation terminal which needs 24 hour access. The building is surrounded by farmer fields and we expect a lot of drifting and windy conditions.

    We are in the middle of attempting to purchase a commercial property with cash which is a really good deal but it is taking a lot or close to all of our money. So a family member went and bought a Ford 555 Tractor Loader Backhoe 2wheel drive made in 1984. It does not have an enclosed cab but the family member, whom also works for us, is metal fabricator and very handy and claims he can make an enclosure and add heat. The back hoe runs great and has had a lot of work done including new connecting pins. He didnt check with us first and therefore no research was done on our end to determine if this would work for us.

    We were contemplating renting a new John Deere 4 wheel drive with cab heat--and that was a TLB for $1500 per month plus $500 14 ft box pusher. So this family member wants us to pay him the $1500 per month to rent his. It doesnt have a box pusher so if we wanted that we would have to rent it for $500 from the rental place. I ran into a guy that was using equipment just like the one i wanted to rent (4x4) and he was very adamant that the 2 whl drive will not work and that he tried it before and got stuck and he bought the 4 whll drive version and that one didnt work well either--it had trouble pushing large piles of snow. He only would recommend a pay loader. Please let me know your experience with this equipment.
  2. cfdeng7

    cfdeng7 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 376

    granted that there isnt a price difference why would u ever want to run an older 2 wheel drive tlb over a newer nicer 4wd tlb. if it was me i would rent the new one
  3. digit

    digit Member
    Messages: 94

    A backhoe with a 12' pusher works fairly well depending how far your pushes and amount of snow a wheel loader will defiantly push more really depends on your size lot. either way I would defiantly go with 4 WD.

    Messages: 65

    we measured the parking lots for the truck terminal business and it was 163,445 square feet, which part of it is a road or driveway going around the building--but consist of 3 parking lots and that driveway going around back of building. Limited sidewalk only 425 square feet of sidewalk. One parking lot has a very slight incline. We do not plan on paying him what he is asking per month. We want to get all our facts together before we discuss it with him. But already we would have several concerns. The rental company is an actual business that has mechanics that will come to where we are if we have a break down and either fix it or replace it with a new machine--which he can not do; and he is one of our plow drivers so we can not afford to have him be the one trying to fix it instead of plowing with a different truck (time constrants). I dont think he realizes that his machine doesnt compare to the one we were to rent. And we have concerns about the modifications to his machine--like making an enclosure and how safe that would be. Like how would he have window wipers? Basically we wanted to know if his machine would work at all so we can determine if it could be used at all and how much it is worth monthly. Not sure if we want to commit this year to a wheel pusher as it was quoted at $3500 per month and minimum 5 months instead of the other machine was $2000 (with box plow) and minimum 3 months rental. Michigan normally would have 3 months of sever storms--maybe we would get it Nov 15 thru Feb 27--but hopefully wouldnt need it longer than that.

    Messages: 65

    for example we dont want his 2 wheel drive machine to slide into a truck that is parking in the lot because it's slippery and doesnt have enough traction.
  6. digit

    digit Member
    Messages: 94

    Offer him something for having it sit there just in case you need a backup and go with the 4wd
  7. Mike S

    Mike S PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    My friend has 2 wheel loaders, skid steers, 2wd backhoes, and 4wd backhoes. His fav machine is a 2wd 455 ford backhoe. He loves it. He has a lot of different size pushers for different snows. Go for it he has good luck.
  8. snow game

    snow game Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 255

    Am I reading this right? You could either rent a late model Deere with heat, low hours and very reliable, or for almost the same price rent a machine from a family member (who will blame you when it breaks down) that is 16 years old and will have a half a$s enclosure with crappy heat & is 2wd. No Brainer! rent the machine and stay warm. We used to have a 755b 2wd which was a much heavier machine. It was great for moving and stacking snow but not very good for plowing, even without a pusher. We now run 14' pushers on our Deere's(310's and 410's) 4x4 no problems.
  9. RJ lindblom

    RJ lindblom Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    Spent some time years ago running a Ford 555... It was a 2 wheeled drive. Was spoiled, it had a cab... We were digging a basement when the cam shaft snapped.

    Then they traded for a Cat 416B with 4X4. I moved quite a bit of snow in two wheeled drive. We used the standard bucket no pushers. I rather run the backhoe than the 1 ton with a plow...

    If you are going to push snow, with pusher et. al. why not get a front end loader and not mess with TLB unless you intend to do any digging.
  10. charlefoxtrtot

    charlefoxtrtot Member
    from MD
    Messages: 62


    One of the pieces we use is a New Holland 4x4 TLB. We use a 10' box on it. Most TLB's are very light in the front end. I tried the ballast blah,blah blah. Now we just use it on straight runs and slightly lift the box on turns. It work just fine.

    Messages: 65

    right, we have no intention of paying him what he wanted; we just wanted to see if the machine would even work at all pushing snow--seems the general feedback is that it will on lite snow but will have trouble for sure with heavier snow--which is what we really wanted a piece of heavy equipment for.

    We originally checked on renting a TLB, and it was $2000 per month plus $400 for the box plow and that is where he got his idea from, thinking that his would save us $500. But I agree with you, there's too many issues; so we offered to pay an hourly fee if we use it. We didnt want to commit to a pay loader (wheel loader) because it was around $3000/month but the company did offer a smaller pay loader for the same price as the TLB and of course that would be better because of the capability of turning easier etc.

    Keep in mind too that the newer equipment can drive faster down the roads to get to a different plow site--compared to the 6 mile an hour deal he has.

    And it turns out his enclosure is quite secure, you might not even be able to tell that he made it--he made it heavy duty; he's a bit of a MacGyver.

    We are closing next week on our new commercial property which took alot of our cash funds (we put more than 1/2 down) and now that that is over we will check to see if a small payloader is still available. We also are waiting & checking to see if any excavating companies will be renting some out for the winter--those could be a lot cheaper.

    has anyone heard what to expect for snow this season--we are located in Midwest area.:yow!: