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need help selecting vehicle

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by gdellamonica, Dec 23, 2003.

  1. gdellamonica

    gdellamonica Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    I am moving to New Hampshire next month. I have two vehicles, a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 with a V-8 and a 1989 GMC 2wd 3500 with a new 454 engine. I will be moving to a country location, but on a well-travelled secondary road. I will have a 100+ foot driveway that is uphill (about a 5% grade) from the road to the garage, plus some side parking spaces. I am interested in getting a snowplow for my own driveway and a few neighbors' driveways (i'm retired, and have the time to help out a few of the older couples and others who need help). I would like to use the GMC 3500, but am not sure about it's ability to plow uphill with 2wd, even loaded with a quarter ton of ballast. Since I will have about 1.6 acres, with about a third of an acre in a garden, I am also considering a fairly good size tractor (20 or more hp).

    I would appreciate any and all suggestions. I just moved here from the snow-free East Bay Area of California, and recently experienced the joys of trying to plow my in-laws' 200 ft driveway in Mass. with a 30 year old single stage snow blower and a 17 hp Sears tractor with a small blade. My first snowstorm here was the 2 ft storm we got here in Boston a couple of weeks ago. Talk about jumping in with both feet!


    (I know many will ask "Why move to New Hampshire from California IN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER?!!?!!?" My stock answer is that my wife is from Maine, and she just couldn't take another one of them cold Maine winters, so we moved south to New Hampshire. The real reason is that she got into college at BC, and we needed to move somewhere within 40 miles of school.)

    Last edited: Dec 23, 2003
  2. Crumm

    Crumm Senior Member
    Messages: 529

    Putting a plow on the two wheel drive would be a waste of time and money especially since you live on a hill. Put a plow on the Jeep or buy a snow blower or buy an old 4X4 truck or trade the two wheel drive in on 4 wheel drive. You would be stuck in the two wheel drive most of the time especially in a two foot snowfall.
  3. tvpierce

    tvpierce Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 209

    Crumm is right. The 2WD will be useless on your driveway -- if you started at the top, you might get down once. Then you'd never get back up. About the only way you can get away with 2WD is if you're doing flat parking lots.

    I'd pick up a used plow truck. There's a couple in the Portland paper right now (3/4 ton w/ Fishers) for around $4k. Also checkk Uncle Henry's -- always a few good deals in there.

    Good luck, and welcome to the forum.

    Jeff Pierce
  4. gdellamonica

    gdellamonica Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    I'm going to be in Maine for New Years. I'll get a copy of Uncle Henry's before I go, and check out a few. The used route seems to be the best, as the total mileage I'll plow each year will just a couple of miles. A "beater" will do just fine, I guess.

    Thaks for the advice

  5. mattyd

    mattyd Junior Member
    from ct
    Messages: 16

    What about a compact tractor? John deere offers some good choices in your horsepower range of 20-25h.p. The base being an 18hp diesel. You can get more powerful ones from there, with 4x4, and a ton of attachments that may be benefficial to you not only during the winter months, but also during the summer months. (tiller, mower, loader, etc.) I think even the base 18 hp diesel would do the job very well. Their website has a whole bunch of options and pricing that will help you. www.deere.com
  6. gdellamonica

    gdellamonica Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Thanks. I have considered a tractor, posibly even a mid-size one to use out back, too. I have also considered a used skip loader.

    Nice to get an opinion that a 20 hp one could do the job.

  7. GSORK

    GSORK Senior Member
    Messages: 128

    I have a 4210 Deere its 28hp (23) at PTO hydro trans have a 60" bucket, 5ft brush hog ,5 ft scraper blade. I plow my driveway this year with the tractor 150ft cement and 400ft processed gravel behind house . Great for stacking , bucket fills up quickly . So I basically push the snow with the bucket and do a lot of the final clean up with the rear blade. Would like to get a blade for front. It takes a little longer the a plow but its also fun to play.Not the greatest during a storm.would also like a cab but @ $3,000.00 new i can wait. I feel with other attachments available it has many uses.
    Good luck I hope this may have answered a few questions in your mind. the reason i bought a Deere is I like the foot pedals over a Kobota and New Holland. I also felt a Deere had a better resale value.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2003
  8. rusty gmc

    rusty gmc Junior Member
    from maine
    Messages: 23

    welcome! ok,here is the best free advice you will ever get....if you are going to buy a plow truck,make sure the tailgate says. c-h-e-v-r-o-l-e-t...or ...g-m-c...you will not be sorry. oh yeah,expect them to be completely rotted out ,those are the best ones!! in case you didnt know,new hampshire loves to treat the roads with nothing but the finest vehicle-eating salts in the world!! ask me, i know!! my own truck came from n.h.!! low mileage with lots of rust,PERFECT!!payup
  9. gdellamonica

    gdellamonica Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    I have a GMC - it's a 3500, but pnly two-wheel drive. :<

    SNOWPIMP Member
    Messages: 89

    You could make that 2wd a 4wd if your that serious about it! I got a front axle and transfer case with all the suspension if you decide to go that way!
  11. gdellamonica

    gdellamonica Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Thanks. What are you asking for it? I don't know how much I'll have available, though. We are closing on a house this month, and that's where most of my current cash will be parked.
  12. If you feel that you are going to need a small tractor anyway, that is the best way to go. Keep in mind, I'm not suggesting a garden tractor, but an actual 20hp, 4wd compact tractor would do just fine. These things can get quite pricey though, have you checked to see what they go for? Good luck.

    SNOWPIMP Member
    Messages: 89

    Sorry I only have the trans and transfer case! One of my drivers traded it off for tires on my semi!
  14. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation Senior Member
    Messages: 413

    You could also hire a contractor, there is probably someone on this board close to you. After you settle in look for a plow in the spring . It may be cheaper in the long run. The best way to guarentee no snow is to buy a new snowplow.
  15. gpin

    gpin Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    I like the tractor route. You have to take care of your lawn anyway and if your not happy with the tractor, it's easier to sell, plus you're not beating your primary vehicle. Forget the 2wd, your looking at misery if you get stuck. I run a 2wd dually dump to push snow on parking lots and got stuck at the Wawa last year on a patch of ice.
  16. gdellamonica

    gdellamonica Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Thanks to all! I took the small tractor advice to heart, and just bought a Craftsman 25 HP garden tactor. It was on sale for $2499, and since I just joined the Craftsman Club, they sent me a coupon good for 30 days of 10% more, so I got it for $2250. It should do the job, and as mentioned above, I _do_ have a lawn to mow, too. (About 1.6 acres of lawn and garden, to be exact.) While not nearly as powerful as a real plow, it should do the trick on 100 feet of driveway and a few neigbors' too.

    I compared the Craftsman to my brother-in-law's Deere. The Kohler Twin V 25 HP in the Craftsman is over 5 HP more than his Deere, and it was about half the price.

    Next spring, I may shop around for a used snowplow rig when the prices drop off season.

    Thanks again for all your advice.
  17. gpin

    gpin Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    Good luck and, most importantly, have fun while you're out there.
  18. Think about this, if you put a plow on either of your vehicles you are tieing it up for plowing or you will spend a lot of time taking it on or off. If you may want a tractor any way that may be a better way to go. Front loaders are nice to have but putting a blade on the front is much better for plowing. You can easily mount a blade from and old, smaller truck directly into the bucket and then have the bucket available for stacking snow by just pulling two pins. With a tractor you can also get a 3pt mounted snow blower to handle the really big storms.
    I use 35 to 45 HP Ford tractors with front blades and rear blowers in the Lake Superior snow belt of Wisconsin. Ask if you have questions.
  19. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    Don't waste your time with a 2 wheel drive.:nono: You'll regret it in the long run. Second, if your thinking about converting it to 4 wheel drive, you asking for a headache.:nod:
  20. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    sell the 2wd gmc and buy a 4x4 with a plow