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Making a Bobcat Plow attachment?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by wvukidsdoc, Jul 15, 2009.

  1. wvukidsdoc

    wvukidsdoc Junior Member
    from AK
    Messages: 4

    I've had a look at past threads and google, and several YouTube videos and need an opinion. I'm in Alaska, fairly big drive to plow, but several tight turns. I have been using a homebrew setup of an old small Western plow on a Fisher A frame, running with a Haldex 4 way electric over hydraulic pump all mounted on an old Fisher mount I welded up for my '99 K2500 Suburban. Setup works well, the Suburban does not in this application but it is the 4wd I have available for the job (which I knew going in, I used to plow for a friends dad in Erie, doing parking lots in a Suburban.)

    Jump ahead, got a good deal for up here (equipment is pricey in AK) on a little ole 443B Bobcat (replaced by the 463 series) I needed for some landscaping and general yardwork anyway, the little 36" wide model. I've seen a lot of good video now of people plowing even with these little machines, and figured on taking the original Wester/Fisher setup perhaps even cutting it down to 44-50" or so and using it instead. Benefits are numerous from a logistics standpoint, including if I make it narrow enough of plowing some areas I've been shoveling. The thing I want to know involves opinions on the mounting, not on use actually as it seems like it works.

    I've seen plows attached pretty much mounting a regular plow mount onto the Bobcat flange, both a chain lift mechanism, or a Snowway style hydraulic system, but using the plow mount and assembly itself to do the lift. I've also seen video of simply using the bobcat lift arms to lift instead. This idea actually appeals to me as then I can use my aux hydraulic circuit for angle, and can drive using only the standard bobcat controls. I don't actually know how I could drive and plow using a standard sort of plow (chain lift etc) as both hands are tied up driving the skidsteer. If I use the aux hydraulics for lifting, I'd have to have a manifold/valve setup then to angle, which I probably have the valves for, but seems a bit of extra complexity. Anyway I'm trying to figure out the benefit of doing the lift conventially (which more people seem to do) instead of doing what seems simpler to me. This is just for personal use, but I want to do it smart the first time.

    Thanks for opinions.
  2. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    My advise would be don't rely on that little Bobcat to do your drive. We have had 3 started with a 753, now we have a 773 & 873. The 700 series are light (our 873 does much better) in my opion & tend to slide on un-treated surfaces (HOA's we use them on). The problem with bobcats is you have a short wheel base (un-stable for pushing) & you need to break traction to turn (skid-steer). These are my experiences with plows. With buckets, they work great for stacking, diging out doors, etc.
    If it was me I would keep he plow setup you have, use the Bobcat to do the detail work.
  3. wvukidsdoc

    wvukidsdoc Junior Member
    from AK
    Messages: 4

    RLM, I do appreciate the thoughts, and I understand the skidsteer limitations, particularly for the super light, super short wheelbase machine I have. That being said, I've watched pleny of Youtube video now of guys plowing with skidsteers, and even with little 443s and 463s. I do have a Snowway I bought for $250 to put on the burb as it is a bit wider (one of my problems with the present setup) and am not going to trash/sell it just yet. But the burb is a real PITA to turn particularly when I get close to the house. Your point of using both and the Bobcat for that detail work is a good one, could probably eek by with the current bucket. But I'm hoping for one drive, the Bobcat will do the job with a plow. With snow buckets the bigger machines are very popular up here, but I don't think this little 443 will have the nuts for much that way though, so I think I will cut the old Western/Fisher down and see how it goes. I've noted that the "real" Bobcat made plows all just use the lift arms for lift, and as making (yeah you can buy em cheap, but not in AK) an adapter plate and cutting off and welding the A-frame to it will be a joke, I think that is the way I'm going to go. I guess I'll know the down sides if there are any after the first big snow.