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Side Walk Snow Removal

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by dan6399, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. dan6399

    dan6399 Member
    Messages: 87

    I have a lot this season with about 750' of side walk. 500' of that is about 8' wide with the other 250' is about 4' wide. We cant use trucks or bobcats on any of it which I understand but can use lawn tractors or quads. I sold my quad a few years back but still have a lawn tractor. My questions is would a lawn tractor: A) Do a good job pushing 2-4" of snow on a flat/level surface? and B) Would it look and be professional using a lawn tractor with a plow.

    I want to buy a quad with a plow but I dont want to spend the 2-3k for a used one just yet.

    My thinking behind this is that it will be a heck of a lot easier to get someone who would sit on a tractor and plow the walks opposed to shoveling. Also Id only need 1-2 people instead of 2-3. Heck I wouldnt mind getting out of the truck every couple hours to use it.

    Any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions?

  2. 04tundra

    04tundra Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    if you do get a lawn tractor, i would go with a john deere 318. they have 54'' hydro plows (up down left right) with down pressure and power steering. also they were built back in the day when everything was metal..still need ballast but it has enough A$$ behind it to actually move a great deal of snow.
  3. 2brothersyc

    2brothersyc Member
    Messages: 95

    use the truck and say f it

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230

    I would go with the quad. Faster and will have more power than an lawn tractor. Also is easier to unload/load. Then in summer you also have a new play toy.
  5. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    Is all this at one location or is this total sidewalks with all your accounts. Do you have a dedicated sidewalk crew. Whatever is the most reasonable and most efficient equipment wise vs cost to buy. Also easy to get from location to location if this is multiple sites.If you had a blizzardyou will need something to be able to work as well. The truck would work on the 8' wide walk but not the 4' wide ones. I would go with the ATV based on your given choices. If you have this account signed for multiple years the ATV seems to make the most sense. I snowblower would work but isn't the most efficient for that.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
  6. M.McDaniel

    M.McDaniel Member
    Messages: 49

    Get a Grasshopper outfitted with the cab, heat, blower, chains and counter weights. These machines are the most efficient, economical sidewalk machines available. You can expect to spend $18,000 fully outfitted.
  7. Joe D

    Joe D Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    Snow blower would be better than a lawn tractor with a blade i think. 4 wheeler would be best but $$$
  8. iceman1

    iceman1 Sponsor
    Messages: 186

    A zero turn would be better than anything if you have one. Do not spend money you do not have to. Buy a bade for your zero turn. I have a sub that works for us and last year he used a zero turn and I have officially fired all four wheeler and we are only using zero turns this year. Unless your side walks are lond and striaght a zero turn is the way to go. Now dont get me wrong a $85000 Holder or a $18000 grass hopper would be great but we are talking a investment at that price. I just ordered 10 Mibars plows and can get you a great deal on one if you need it. thanks, chad 513-678-1597
  9. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    For the love of GOD never buy a Grasshopper for snow removal! Please don't make the same mistake I did! We have a 2010 Grasshopper 721D. It was purchased new in November 2009 to be used as a snow removal machine in winter and a lawn mowing machine the rest of the year.

    The first winter season (all under 100 hours), it went out for 14 storms and made it through 9 of them without breaking. Problems while brand new included, pto belts breaking (they were not designed to handle the load of snow removal), LOTS of electrical problems including PTO switch getting replaced twice and saftey senors freezing up not allowing the machine to move.

    The second year was an even bigger nightmare! It went out for 12 storms and made it through TWO without braking. I AM NOT KIDDING. Similar problems. TONS of PTO belts snapping, belt tensioner wheel replaced twice, tons of electrical and safety problems, starter replaced twice, it eats sheer pins like crazy and they are a b**** to replace under those conditions because they are under a plate that has to be removed (The pto belts are by far even a bigger b**** to replace though), the chain on the snow blower attachment also brakes CONSTANTLY, the chains made for the tires ware fast and can't even make it through a season. The hydraulic lines and placed really stupidly because every time a chain snaps off it cuts the hydrolic lines.

    We literally have a massive tool box that goes around in winter with our grasshopper with tons of replacement parts. We try to keep ourselves as prepared as we can as we are starting to get very familiar with what is most likely to break. Sadly, one man can no longer carry this tool box alone (it has gotten to heavy).

    Need I go on? All this, and there is only 380 hours on this piece of crap. The first 2 years it was under warranty. This year it is not.. I am strongly considering leaving it sit. :realmad:

    If you want thousands of wasted dollars in repairs and downtime (beyond what you wasted on the machine itself), and a ton of extra headaches in winter... then yes... buy a grasshopper for snow removal.

    All this..and I have a picture of a grasshopper blowing snow next to my name.... gotta change that.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
  10. wisco-revi

    wisco-revi Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    i wouldnt recommend an atv for long term. we had three and got rid of all of them. ended up being more hassle due to break downs/durability issues and efficiency. i would recommend either a toolcat or a ventrac for sidewalks
  11. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    I think I would leave this thing parked this winter
  12. mjstef

    mjstef Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    lawnlandscape, With all due respect i think you or your operators nickname should be "ANVIL" as it looks like you guys can break anything. I have NEVER heard of this many issues with ANY brand machine. I own a 2004 721D and if anyone should be breaking belts it would be me as i used my 60" deck as a Bush Hog even stalling the motor numerous times and have NEVER broke a belt or tensioning pulley. Sounds like your "RAMMING" hard piles of snow which also would explain the shear pins breaking. Snapping the PTO in at WOT is also hard on the belts. As far as the starters go, this is a Kubota item, not Grasshopper. None of the small Kubotas start well when it's below about 40* so it would be advised to install a $25 block heater on your 721 for the winter months. It will start click of the key and you won't have to buy another $200 Kubota starter again. While the chains breaking and pulling a HYD. line off COULD be a design flaw, why not make your own chains out of heavy truck chains? They will last forever then. my dad has a 1999 928D with 3500 hours on it toting a 72" mower deck and collection system its whole life. 1 set of belts, a couple pulleys and 1 hydro motor (at 2900 hrs) is the only thing that has been touched. Mine was purchased used this spring and had a hard life. 700 hrs on it and i picked it up for $4500. I put $1500 in it and have not touched it since in 200 hrs this summer. My motto is treat your equipment like it put food on your table because it does! If i still lived in Hayward i would buy it off you but Montana is a long ways away.......
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011
  13. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    this isn't my machine, I only quoted original posters post. sounds like he got a lemon
  14. mjstef

    mjstef Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    Ooops!! Sorry! Working on a tiny netbook screwed me up again!
  15. docjones

    docjones Junior Member
    from WV
    Messages: 5

    Ventrac or Steiner. You are really wasting time and money with most anything else. Go to Youtube and check out some of the videos of their snow removal equiment/attachments.
  16. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    1) We also have the 60" deck... but we NEVER had a pro belt break when mowing just SNOW REMOVAL.
    2) This grasshopper worked on my condo association crew, which I also personally work on, and it is never used carelessly and all regular maintence is always done on it.
    3) no one is 'ramming' Anything with it
    4) a local competitor of mine also gave up on his grasshopper snow removal stuff years ago for the same reasons and was mocking me when I bought one for it 2 seasons ago.
    5) 2004 721D? Is there such a thing? Have they been making this model that long?
    6) We have a block heater for it, otherwise we would not be using it. (Cuz like you said... it would not start)
    7) are you really given me a lecture about the way my company treats our equipment without knowing anything about us?
  17. mjstef

    mjstef Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    Not trying to lecture you. Just read your post and put my 25 yrs of Equipment operating and business owning experience to work. I grew up on a small dairy just south of the Cheddar Curtain so i know your conditions. Just makes no sense that everything is causing problems for you. Shear pins don't break unless you hit something. A normal load WILL not break a shear pin and that is why i suggested you or your crew was hitting hard burms or such. Have you contacted Moundridge about any of this????
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  18. M.McDaniel

    M.McDaniel Member
    Messages: 49

    I operate six grasshoppers during the winter and have no such problems. Like any machine of their nature they do require additional maintenance. If you decide to get one I would be willing to share my knowledge on the topic.
  19. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374


    2 Years ago you had 3 grasshoppers. Did you really buy 3 more in the past 2 years?

    Also, I know I spelled equipment wrong every time I typed it in that thread.. .that's embarrassing.. lol

    You must be contracted by the city or something to do walks because a 'friendly competitor' of mine does about a million in snow removal sales each year and even he would never have a use for 6 large snow blowers.

    Anyway.. Right after that thread is when I bought it... and all I can speak of is my experience with the grasshopper, and it has not been a pleasant one AT ALL. (For snow removal-for lawn care I have nothing but good things to say)

    My company has a maintenance guy that works on site. Everything is maintained by the book. This is the only piece of equipment that comes back mind storm to be fixed almost every single snow storm.
  20. Cooter24

    Cooter24 Senior Member
    from NE Iowa
    Messages: 268

    We have had no problems with our Deere X595. With 4x4 and hdap tires there is ne need for chains. Snowblower is ok for commercial use. Tractor is very stout. Ventracs are also very nice but very expensive. I do not like that you can only get a 48" blower on their smaller tractor.