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Homeowner advice

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by ThreeM, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. ThreeM

    ThreeM Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I know this question gets asked over & over and I've already read some of the advice, but I'm just wondering if any of the "variables" in my specific situation would generate different advice.

    New house with 400 ft gravel driveway and another 900 sq ft in front of garage to clear *(may get that done over with concrete before winter). First time dealing with a snow removal effort of this magnitude. Bought a JD x540 lawn tractor for mowing the 3.5 acres and am wondering about whether putting a blower on that is better or would a homeowner's snowplow on our 2006 4x4 Pathfinder work better?

    Pertinent info: Just outside Binghamton, NY avg of 82 inches of snowfall a season. That can come in big storms or smaller daily snowfalls. I suspect the property will be subject to relatively significant blowing snow and drifting. Should have no problem with places to put the snow whether plowing or snowblowing.

    Specifically, what's the deal with the manual adjust plows like Snowbear (like the BB100 or 200)? Is there another brand/model of those to consider or are those not worth it and I should only consider something heavier-duty like Fisher homesteader or SD and others along those lines like Western? Or does the potential for a lot of snow drifting mean the tractor/blower option is better? If so is there anyone with advice on whether the JD snowblower product or the third-party Bercomac blower products are better?

    I'm weighing all this against cost approx $1500 to $2000 for the manual plow (or more?). Probably about $3500 for a Fisher Homesteader or similar SUV type plow, or roughly $2500 for the blower attachment, wheel weights, tire chains and soft cab to go on the tractor.

    Lastly, am considering keeping the Pathfinder but trading in the car on a pickup so if the plow is my better option, but the Pathfinder is not the optimal choice to put one on, there may be another option.

    Sorry for writing a short story, but I need the best advice I can get so I wanted to provide any potentially needed details up front. Thanks in advance for any advice.

  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Since you've already got the tractor and given how much snow you get in varying amounts AND given that you will only do YOUR OWN driveway, I'd advise getting the blower for the tractor. (However - if you think you might plow others', then I'd opt for a HYDRAULIC plow.) I've known people who were happy with their Snowbear, but it's a hassle and a lot of work. You'd want to plan your pushes very carefully.

    One advantage of the blower over the plow - blowing and drifting snow. A blower will get through deep, heavy snow that can stop a one-ton truck (been there, done that - was VERY PO'd).

    The blower will be slower, though.
  3. SuperdutyShane

    SuperdutyShane PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,517

    In your situation even though it may take some time to finish the blower would be the best choice it would seem. Atleast with the blower you dont have to worry about halfway through the season having piles that you cant move with your Pathfinder. Good luck with whatever you choose.

    Oh by the way, [​IMG]
  4. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    That's a sweet tractor. Put the blower on and use it all year. Your driveway is small enough so you won't be out there half the day. But you still might consider the softcab. Is that liquid cooled? You might be able to put a heater in the cab.
  5. ThreeM

    ThreeM Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Ya know it is liquid cooled and I hadn't considered the idea of putting in a heater....

    Hmmm, all it would take is a couple of T-valves in the radiator line to create a by-pass. Then I could run hoses to a small radiator or old heater core to get heat in the cab. Then I could remove the whole get up for summer.

    Actually I ended up finding a used Ford Ranger with a 6 ft Meyer plow already on it that I got for $2100. The truck is actually in decent enough shape to put the truck on the road, but for plowing the driveway it's good to go as is.

    Thanks all for your advice (I'll probably need it again as I get ready to use the Ranger since I've never run a plow before).

  6. ThreeM

    ThreeM Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Thanks for the tip Shane. I wouldn't want to work the Pathfinder too hard since it's our "family" vehicle. I got a used Ford Ranger with a 6' Meyer already on it that runs great (once it warms up a little). I just have to put a brush kit on the plow motor 'cause the post on the motor housing that the battery cable hooks to broke. If I beat the Ranger up plowing the driveway it's not a big deal, though your point about having piles so big I can't move 'em would apply to the Ranger just as much (if not more) than the Pathfinder.

    Thanks again for the advice (and for the "Welcome").

  7. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    There should be a bypass hose to water pump already. Just tee in that. Though it sounds like the project is off now. Good luck with the Ranger.
  8. Tahoe99

    Tahoe99 Member
    from NY
    Messages: 76

    TreeM -

    I am in Rockland, NY and we get less snow than you. I am using 06 Explorer v8 with a Fisher Homesteader and it does a job but it's not a HD and you have to watch not too overdo it. I had a 2006 Ram on 2500 chasis with Hemi with 7.5 steel Snoway, and that was a beast. I actualy ripped some blacktop of my neighbours driveway with it. Maybe you shoud get a used old 3/4 ton truck with HD steel blade, and just keep it in the backyard without even registering it? I'd not use the Nissan or Ranger for 400 ft driveway. Just my 2 cents. Good luck.