1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

New to snow blowing

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by nhsnowguy, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. nhsnowguy

    nhsnowguy Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Hey Guys,

    Did a search and found some old info and nothing updated and don't have the time to go through a bunch of threads so hoping someone can help me out.

    I am new to snow blowing but not new to the industry. Been plowing for the better part of the last 15 years. We have recently been asked by many new clients to add snow blowing. I have a few questions so please bare with me. Any info/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    1. I am looking for some suggestions for a commercial quality snowblower mostly for residential driveways and walkways. My requirements are as follows. 1. Needs to be reliable. 2. Needs to be fast. Time is money. 3. Needs to be able to handle wet/heavy snow with ease. 4. It should be "easy and fatigue free as possible" to operate for long periods of time. I am looking for suggestions on width, hp, and add on options that would make the job easier/safer. What are some of the options you can't live without? Are you running lights etc? 5. I prefer something that is not a maintenance nightmare if possible. I want the best. Willing to spend accordingly.

    If you were to snow blow a driveway vs plow the same driveway would you charge a different rate? Guessing its going to take longer to snow blow vs plow. (small residential driveway)

    Any tips, tricks, things I should keep on hand to make the job go easier.

    Thanks so much for your time.

  2. jonniesmooth

    jonniesmooth Senior Member
    Messages: 296

    1) Cub Cadet, Toro, Ariens. I've had good luck with Tecumseh engines, the blowers wear out but the engine is still good
    2)we are talking walk behind units correct? We call them sloblowers, they aren't fast, the faster you go the more run off there is and you have to shovel back into the windrow. The bigger the machine the worse it gets. I have a
    cub 1333 se 13 hp 33" cut. 1,2& 3 gear for blowing snow, 6th gear for transport, the rest of the gears have no purpose.
    3)heavy snow yes. Wet snow? Like springtime wet snow? with water in it? forget it.
    4)look for comfortable handles,heated grips. your hands and arms will get a work out and will cramp up.

    I've had 2 tracked blowers and really liked them

    I charge the same price / minute with the plow or blower. I have a $20 minimum
  3. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,722

    All those questions can be answered by doing a little more searching, but I asked the same things when I started. I'm not sure everyone will be as kind, it's not too fun typing the same thing all the time.

    I don't know how many people you plan on having do this, but I'd get a few different blowers. I'd get a couple of the bigger Toro or Honda single stage. They will be your fastest blowers. They will go as fast as you can run in up to about 6" a little slower up to 8ish". They are lighter and easy to get in and out of a truck.

    The you also want to get at least one 2 stage blower to handle large snow falls. Get as much HP as you can afford, I think my Ariens is maybe 8HP? (Not really sure). They are self propelled, but can still be wear you out. I would also get one with the feature that will lock one wheel to help turn.

    No blowers to too good in real wet stuff. To help the 2 stage from clogging up google impeller kit. On all my blowers that don't already have a light I get a bicycle head light that runs off batteries. They will attach somewhere on the handle, where ever you can make it work. Last thing, yes, I would charge more. Sell your clients like it's a premium service.
  4. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,722

    Also get some good shovels to have around too. There are many times it's faster with a shovel, or places a blower can't get.
  5. MSB1766

    MSB1766 Member
    Messages: 40

  6. JupstateNY

    JupstateNY Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    A few snowblowing/plowing questions for a new guy

    Hi I'm 16 and my names James from upstate NY and I don't have my license yet.. My road test is in the beginning of December but I found this site and thought I'd ask a few questions to the pros. I have a 2000 silverado 1500 I bought in really great shape (can attach pics) and I have been looking into plowing for awhile just for the interest in making alittle more money. I know you cannot just jump right in and become rich but maybe doing my driveway and a few neighbors and slowly gaining experience would work, I'm not sure that's why im on here. I've been told it's much different and a lot harder to drive with a plow and it's hard to plow. I found a full set up fisher 7.5 for sale if you'd like to see it i can add the link just ask. Im wondering how much insurance do I need to plow very little residentially and how much risk is there? Of course hitting a house or car or mailbox or lightpole is serious but how much insurance is legal I am wondering. I'm also wondering if this is just a total 100% bad idea to start plowing so young. I am NOT looking to make $1000s just gain experience and make alittle $. I know plowing with a 1/2 ton is not recommended but I read its the way you plow that matters and to be very cautious and not push more than I should. Thanks for reading
  7. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,722

    Gotta start your own thread bud, don't steal someone else's. Also do a search on here. You'll learn a lot, like that a 16 year old can't get plow insurance.
  8. JupstateNY

    JupstateNY Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    oops sorry I was alittle confused how to create a post, i got it now, and ok thanks
  9. squarewheel

    squarewheel Member
    Messages: 32

    If you mow in the summer, consider using your mowers as snow blowers.

    I have 5 mowers that get 48" snow blowers attached to them.

    They are hydrostatic drive, zero turn, heavy duty, powered by 23hp Kawasaki engine.

    They easily clear most side walks in one pass, have lots of power for deep snow, turn 90 degree corners easily.

    Then you only have one engine / machine to maintain all year. Its easier to store just the deck or blower attachment in the off season.



    photo (3).jpg
  10. JupstateNY

    JupstateNY Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    How hard is it to change from a mower to snowblower? Could anyone do it?
  11. artisanoutdoors

    artisanoutdoors Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    How many of them can you fit in the back of your truck?
  12. squarewheel

    squarewheel Member
    Messages: 32

    Some of our trucks have ramps on the back and get one blower. One guys shovels the stairs while the other runs the blower.

    Two fit on a trailer for bigger sites.

    Some get left at large sites and are used there exclusively.

    Depends how handy you are. Welding, fabrication, wiring etc.

    Exmark use to sell a Rad industries snow blower kit for their mowers but not anymore.
  13. rbljack

    rbljack Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 43

    squarewheel....can you please send me the info on how you convert that exmark walk behind to a snow blower? I have a Viking 36 that I could do that with possibly. I don't want to sidetrack this thread, so can you please post the info for us. Thanks in advance!
  14. squarewheel

    squarewheel Member
    Messages: 32

    every mower is different.

    I'm doing a John deere 14 hp 36" mower right now. Electric start is nice for those cold winter nights.

    The most important part is to find a snow blower that has a belt driven pulley at the same height as the pto pulley on your mower.

    In this case it is 10" from the ground. The john deere blower in the pic is a good match especially because it has a gearbox in the back that enables the belt to run in a flat plane.

    Next step is to fabricate a mount that holds the snow blower in the correct position and weld / bolt it all up. Add a spring tensioner for the belt.

    I also add:
    led lights, car size battery, winter weight oils, plastic cover over the engine to keep the snow out, shear bolt kit with wrenches and bolts, foam filled tires for weight and studs, rubber flaps on the impeller so it will throw most types of snow.

    Might add hand warmers if I get around to it.

    a new blower.jpg

    photo (2).jpg