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Optimum Pusher speed?

Discussion in 'Government Property Snow Removal' started by Aerospace Eng, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,174

    Question, how are you doing 5 acres an hour at 6-7 mph? Seems high.

    I like the rest of us will follow the build closely. Our shop is set up on a single lane airstrip. That were the first sectional snow plow was built and tested at.
     
  2. Aerospace Eng

    Aerospace Eng Senior Member
    Messages: 304

    5 Acres/hr only works up to 2", even with a 5'x7' sideplate. At that point I exceed the plow capacity in a single push and it begins to spill off the edges which then requires more passes. So for a 4" snow, I can only do about 2.5 acres per hour.

    Regardless of whether I can clear in a single pass...For efficiency, I basically don't back up more than I have to. Backing up is wasted time.

    At the moment, we have two 75' x 700' hangar lanes with a 20' road at the top and a 650'x200' ramp at the bottom. I plow up one lane, across the road and into a drainage pond. Back up 15-20 feet, use the road to get to the other lane, and plow down it, across the ramp, and into a grassy area between the ramp and the taxiway. Back up, turn and head back up the first hangar lane. I reverse the direction each storm because the piles are so big.

    On the ramp, (600x200) I do the same thing, sort of like a Zamboni on a hockey rink, just with a stop at each end. I push the long way so I don't pile snow in the same place as the pushes from the hangar lanes.

    If I didn't have to back up, and didn't spill, then 7 mph should get me 13 acres per hour with a 16' box. Thus, I am spending about half my time backing up, turning, or crossing space I have already plowed, or being slow at the end of a push.

    The total is 4 acres, and it takes me about 45 minutes (not counting snowblowing by hand to get a few feet clear from each building).

    I didn't think 5 acres per hour was that great, hence my original question, but maybe that just shows how inexperienced I am.
     
  3. Diesel Dan

    Diesel Dan Senior Member
    Messages: 219

    How did you get that contract????
     
  4. Aerospace Eng

    Aerospace Eng Senior Member
    Messages: 304

    I built the truck/pusher combination.

    There is no contract in the way you would think about it. The airport just rents the truck at an hourly rate. So far I have been the one operating it, but am trying to come up with an operational doctrine for the airport personnel since my day job frequently has me traveling.
     
  5. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,174

    Why not a bigger pusher? 16 seems small, we use a 924K and 16's only because of the maneuverability in parking lots.
     
  6. Aerospace Eng

    Aerospace Eng Senior Member
    Messages: 304

    See "Selection of Box Plow" in the "Mounting a box plow on an articulated truck" thread I started in the heavy equipment forum.

    I'll have more build details there in a day or so.
     
  7. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,174

    I read it and don't want to pollute the thread with side debate. The end result with a rubber push or a non-floating cutting edge will leave snow behind. I've seen a few of these optimist plows around and the results are as well as expected. Look at the sectional or the live edge.
     
  8. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,980

    speed depends on conditions, i run a sicard truck and 16 ft pusher, the result governs the speed, seems like the type of snow and how it scrapes tell me how fast...i use light down pressure
     
  9. Protech Inc.

    Protech Inc. Senior Member
    Messages: 214

    Aerospace Eng,

    Thanks for using Pro-Tech! We appreciate your business. If you have concerns related to damaging the actual Sno Pusher itself, no need to worry. There are no speed restrictions with a Pro-Tech Sno Pusher.
     
  10. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,256

    :laughing::laughing::laughing:

    Best advertisement yet.
     
  11. Aerospace Eng

    Aerospace Eng Senior Member
    Messages: 304

    I wasn't worried about breaking it, I was wondering about the speed for best clearing. At some speed the rubber edge might start chattering/hopping. Any guidance on that would be appreciated.
     
  12. Protech Inc.

    Protech Inc. Senior Member
    Messages: 214

    Aerospace Eng,

    I've personally seen many customers run large model Sno Pushers between 15-20 mph. Chattering/hopping is rarely an issue unless the rubber edge is not positioned correctly. We recommend that the back edge of the rubber be set at 1/4" below the bottom of the wear shoe. Please feel free to call us if you would like to speak with a Pro-Tech representative about your question.
     
  13. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Please don't take this as a bash, it's an honest question as I own 3 of your pushers, but how can you go that fast with a box pusher? Only way I can see is if you put way more machine behind it then necessary, seems my loaders get a workout at 8 mph.
     
  14. Protech Inc.

    Protech Inc. Senior Member
    Messages: 214

    beanz27,

    Machine HP, application, and weight of the unit is always a factor. And of course the weight and amount of snow you are pushing. We provide a specifications chart on our website to help guide customers to what model Sno Pusher is the best fit for their needs. What size Sno Pushers do you use? Depending on the machine and conditions, I've seen customers speed around a property with a 30' Sno Pusher and others struggle to push with a 12' model.
     
  15. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984


    New cat 928 16', that occasionally has issues, otherwise I've got a 950k that pushes the same.
     
  16. Aerospace Eng

    Aerospace Eng Senior Member
    Messages: 304

    I thought Protech might answer, but here is my very limited experience.

    My forklift is 26K lb, and has a 115 hp Perkins, so comparable to the 928? The pusher on it is only 12' wide, and is the "backhoe" size, with 3x3 sideplates. I can push with that through 12" of drifted snow without any bogging at about 12 mph. I haven't tried to go faster. Obviously, it is a smaller plow than yours.

    At the other end, I have my truck, with the super duty at 16'. It is 260hp, and I have it loaded to about 45K lb, so a bit bigger than the 950K. As you know, I am only going 5-7 mph. However, I had a problem with the right side bogie pinion gear. I had to pull the right driveshaft (which eliminated drive to the left bogie as well) engage the interaxle diff lock, and run with just the fronts powered. I didn't have a traction problem in about 4" wet snow, and never needed to engage the rear diff lock to power the left side bogie.

    I am surprised that you are bogging down with both, using the same size pusher given the hp and weight difference between the 928 and 950. Are you putting any downforce on the pusher? I found with my forklift that if I put downforce on the pusher the machine worked much harder without much improvement in scraping (rubber edge). I now operate it by keeping the forks so that the box floats without up or down pressure.

    Are you losing traction or running out of power?
     
  17. kah68

    kah68 Senior Member
    Messages: 238

    Do you have pics of the box on the telehandler? Looks like fork pockets are built into it?
     
  18. Aerospace Eng

    Aerospace Eng Senior Member
    Messages: 304

    Yes. I have attached some pictures that I took today, when I moved the pushers into a hangar to adjust the cutting edges, as we may get snow in a week or so.

    There are two pockets.

    I wish they fit tighter on the forks. When the forks are at their maximum width, they are close to the outside of the pockets. However, because the pockets are much wider than the forks, and the forks on my telehandler just slide on shafts the pusher can still slide around. I have to chain it to keep it from moving side to side instead of just keeping it from coming off. If you had locking forks, or if the pockets were the same width as the forks, you wouldn't have that problem.

    On the other hand, unlike some other telehandlers, the shaft floats up and down by a few inches in its pockets, so I just lower the boom until the shaft is in the middle and push (no down pressure). As the boom doesn't have a float position, this ensures that I'm not constantly having to readjust the height. That is part of the reason I didn't opt for a coupler and pull off the carriage.

    I also wish I had gotten a bigger box for the telehandler. The forklift weighs 26,000lb and has 110 hp, so it doesn't even notice a 12' box with backhoe sized moldboard and endplates. I don't know if I would go wider, as that would affect how well it cleans, but I would definitely have go with a loader sized moldboard and endplates if I were to do it over.

    Both of my boxes are rubber edged. They work very well at the airport, but generally when the airport is being plowed, the snow is completely virgin, without vehicle (or even people) tracks, so you don't have hardpack.

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