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Newbie snow removal options

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by Ruger, May 5, 2015.

  1. Ruger

    Ruger Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    We just purchased a rural home with a 400 ft gravel driveway. I am trying to decide what to do for snow removal and lawn mowing duties-as cheap as possible. I am looking for pros and cons to my options and advice.

    1. Put a plow on my f150. I prefer not to do this.
    2. Buy a beater plow truck-I'm not the most mechanical so not sure that is a good option

    3. Lawn tractor with blower

    4. Atv with plow and a pull behind mower or separate mower.

    Thoughts or other suggestions? Thanks!
  2. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    It still depends on were the house is.
    Are you in the snow-belt or South beach FL?

    The cheapest, fastest, put a plow on that truck.
    For easy, hire it out.

    Use the lawn tractor, on the lawn.
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
  3. Ruger

    Ruger Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Sorry, I am in central mn, so generally 50+ inches of snow a year
  4. 1997chevy

    1997chevy Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    Atv can handle it "most" of the time. You will have to plow with the storm to not beat up your machine.

    My neighbor has a plow on his Atv and plows his driveway and half his yard with it and does fine most of the time.

    He calls if we get either wet heavy snow or a bunch overnight.
  5. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    If you have much grass to cut I'd look for a ride on lawn mower with a front mount blower. Or and atv with blade will work most of the time but I'd have a walk behind blower if you get a bigger storm you can at least blow the banks back.
  6. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    How much earlier do you want to get up on those snow days just to go outside and sit on a cold atv or lawn mower?

    A lawnmower/atv and a snow blower or your truck?

    Sitting in a warm truck for 10 -20 minutes.
    or sitting outside on a lawnmower in the cold & wind for 45-minutes to a hr every time it snows.
    Then another hr or 2 using the snow-blower to get the drifts and banks back.....

    Save the lawnmower for the lawn and the atv for the trails.

    ps you can drink your coffee while you plow much easier in a heated truck cab.
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  7. paid4

    paid4 Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    just pay someone itll be much easier and cheaper in the short term
  8. Ret_PurpleHeart

    Ret_PurpleHeart Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    new guy too, but i can say this, i am advid ATver, and own a snow blower and a pull behind mower and lawn tractor mower. i live in Maine down a mile dirt road... second year- so a real newbie, but this what i have learned:
    1- pull behind mower - good for straigh long swaths- can attch to riding mower or atv. corners and tight turns- very difficult- used they go about 500-1000$. New..1800+ again..good for long straight pushes..reverse can be a pain
    1- snow blower... shake rattle and roll .. and no coffee, keep inside, keep warm, have pins for replacemnet..u will throw stuff.. lol..trust me..and they never seam to go where you aim them.. hahaha
    3- if you put a blower on your riding mower- belts, still cold, more to maintain- if you put a thrower on your atv- bearings go, engine strains, more gas operating 2 engines- cold- no coffee
    4- have i mentioned hot coffee yet ?- you get a "yard truck" old plow, old truck, your not in it to hire out, drink coffee, mechanic checks its before and after every winter- hot coffee- and yes..there will be expenses..

    5- hire some one- hope he gets there, and does what you require- remember: they are professionals, busy, and know their job.. u will pay for what u buy, pay a good plow guy well..he will take care of u, pay a cheap guy .. its a crap shoot. I always had the wood stove going, a can of gas, and hot coffee every time he showed up.. to let him know, i was glad he was there..
    i paid out the ying-yang last winter.. had a great plow guy, now, i got a yard truck now..i have him on stand by, to bail me out..
    i wish you luck, and of course, i am nik the new guy here too.. but after 2 yrs of trying to learn, this is what i figured out..
  9. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,480

    I'd go with a set-up just like this. Don't have to worry about "losing space" due to plow piles, and mows the lawn in the Summer. And if you don't buy Deere or Kubota it can be relatively inexpensive. Of course you'll get more quality and longevity with either of the two I've mentioned. Make sure you get a two stage blower though.

  10. CatVert68

    CatVert68 Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    For years, I used a ride-on Toro Wheelhorse with a 2-stage snow blower attachment. During the summer the snow blower came off and the mower deck went on. But now I use a Jeep with a plow. It's a lot warmer and more enjoyable.

    Your question can't really be answered correctly without knowing more about your F-150. Newer F-150's with electric power steering assist or with the EcoBoost intercooler aren't plow-compatible. That could limit your options. I actually own a 2012 F-350, but it's a show truck and I don't want to put a plow on it. Plus, the Jeep is a fun vehicle for me.
  11. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,480

    This is incorrect. Snoway makes a plow compatible with the electronic steering F-150's, and now several others do as well.
  12. CatVert68

    CatVert68 Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    Actually, it's not incorrect. Ford does not support the use of plows on those F-150's. The EcoBoost intercooler needs the airflow the plow blocks and the 5.0 with the electric power steering assist isn't designed for that much weight on the front suspension.

    It doesn't really matter if someone is selling a plow for those applications; the truck wasn't designed to support it. Also note that I said "newer' F-150's. I don't remember which model year that started (I think it was 2014).

    Ford has eliminated that issue with the 2015 model year after all the complaints they got, but only for the 5.0 engine.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
  13. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    In most cases even on "newer" ram 1500 the owners manual states not to use a plow on these models,
    Warranty will be flagged.
  14. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,480

    And I'm not supposed to have the plow that I do on my truck. Most diesel owners on here have a plow that makes them exceed their FAWR. You stated that they're "not plow compatible". According to the plow manufacturer they are, according the auto manufacturer they may not be. Just like my (and many others on here) truck's "not compatible" with the blades that we have on them.
  15. CatVert68

    CatVert68 Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    That's your choice and I have no argument with it. But for someone contemplating doing it for the first time and looking for suggestions, they should be made aware of the manufacturer support policies.

    If the OP has a 2014 F-150 with the EcoBoost engine and puts a plow on it, Ford will have the legal right to refuse warranty support for any intercooler or intercooler-related engine failures. He should be made aware of that before proceeding.

    I own a business that installs plows (among many other things) and we make sure that the customer knows what their brand and model of truck will support. Sometimes we advise them to supplement the plow with a leveling kit when they don't already have a plow prep package.

    We also work with them to find solutions that aren't on the official supported list. I was actually doing that today for a 2015 GM WT 1500 owner and got the customer a combination that wasn't on the approved list but that will work for his truck and that the plow maker will support.

    For the record, BTW, I'm not here as a vendor or anything other than a homeowner who plows his own driveway. I intend to honor the policies here by not identifying my business or doing anything that could be construed as operating in these forums as a business. But I do have some knowledge and experience to contribute and I don't mind being challenged when someone thinks I'm wrong. I'm either going to prove my point or learn something, so it's all good. <grin>
  16. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,391

    Sorry CAT but you just contradicted yourself with that lost post.
  17. CatVert68

    CatVert68 Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    Not that I can see. What's the contradiction?
  18. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,391

    First you say that if any part of the intercooler fails b/c of plow....blah, blah blah.
    Then....that wasn't on the approved list but that will work for his truck and that the plow maker will support.....NOT THE AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURER
    So as far as I'm concerned, you just stated you put a plow on a truck that the truck wasn't designed to handle...hence KNOWINGLY VOIDING the warranty.
  19. CatVert68

    CatVert68 Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    No contradiction, but I should have elaborated more. His truck has a plow prep package but the approved applications list didn't include the model plow he wanted so we worked with his weight specs and the plow specs and came up with a way to get him what he wants supported by the plow manufacturer. His truck already supports a plow.

    The vehicle manufacturers can only void a warranty when they can show the owner added something that caused the problem. Suspension damage on a truck without a plow prep package but sporting a plow mount would probably qualify as would the Ford example in the previous post.
  20. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,391

    So again you KNOWINGLY VOIDED THE TRUCK warranty by adding a plow that was to heavy for his truck.
    Call it whatever you want, but it's still not the proper plow for his truck.

    Just b/c it has the plow prep does not mean a 1500 can handle a 10' plow.