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Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by JohnRoscoe, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    What's everyone doing for jobs with LOTS of sidewalks?

    One of the apartment complexes I do has 2.8 miles of 48" walk that has to be cleaned.

    Currently using an army of high school/college guys (8-12), 1- 28" snowthrower, and the rest with shovels. Put mildly, it's awful!
  2. erkoehler

    erkoehler PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,279

    ATV with plow.
  3. erkoehler

    erkoehler PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,279

    Or a small tractor with blade or blower.
  4. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    Been kind of thinking about a JD 2305 or 2210 with a blower.

    Nervous about an ATV/blade tearing up stuff, especially since the operator probably will be part-time, and rotate through the season.
  5. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    I'd go with the quad. You'll have damage no matter what you do using any kind of equipment on sidewalks. A little topsoil and some seed in the spring will be small potatoes compared to the time savings in the winter operation. Maybe rig a way to keep the quad out of high gear to eliminate cowboys playing games.
  6. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    Why an ATV? Seems like it would be hard to backup & turn around as compared to a small tractor. Same with a blade, seems like a blower would give you more flexibility.

    Just asking, don't have enough experience with either.
  7. bhmjwp

    bhmjwp Senior Member
    from kcmo
    Messages: 309

    Every situations different. We do a ton of walks and 24" and 32" snow blowers with shovels attached are our most productive. Our problem with pushing walks is always where to put it, pushing back into areas already plowed, ect. Same with handicaped ramps, today there are 10 to 20 per complex!
  8. 496 BB

    496 BB Senior Member
    Messages: 789

    I used to run a sidewalk crew for a few years and trust me a blower is the most efficient means of doing it. An ATV is nice for straight level walks such as a mall like we used it for but for apts its not practical as concrete is always uneven and steps and backing up and all that. Blower is easier to maneuver and less setup time. Plus you know they are gonna be riding the hell outta it when noones watching and your stuck paying them to play. Just my opinion though. We used some nice Honda blowers and was pleased...even in wet snow.
  9. JpLawn

    JpLawn Senior Member
    Messages: 208

    It really depends on the configuration of the walks. Are they short walks from the parking lot to the doors, Is there a lot of stairs, or is there one really long walk? If they are just straight from the parking lot to the door then snow blowers are the way to go. If they are just really long walks that connect to other areas then maybe a small tractor or bobcat with a 48" blower. What works for us is 36" snow blowers and shovels. Good luck
  10. mikegooseman

    mikegooseman Senior Member
    Messages: 123

    We have always used Honda ATVs.... 500 cc. Now I use a 2010 Yamaha Grizzly 700cc, with a 60 inch moose plow on a 3000 pound wench cable and a salter on the back ( we put that on after our deer season...lol.) It saves a whole bunch of time, and lots of cash in paying a sidewalk crew of 4 plus.... It may not be the best system, ( compact tractor is King...) but it always shows up and never says no !.......Just my opinion bud.
  11. csi.northcoast

    csi.northcoast Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    depending on the configuration of walks my bombardiere is the way to go...48 v blade with rubber cutting edge...goes through anything ...nice heated cab too
  12. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    We don't have many steps to handle, but not a lot of straight shots either, more like a spider web with lots of dead ends. The more I think about it, the more I think a small tractor with a snowblower is the way to go.

    I'm sure that an experienced operator on an ATV would get better production, but with our young bucks, there's also more potential for property damage. There's a lot of outside parking, and I can just see an ATV getting too close to a car, or a streetlight, or just grass. We do the landscaping in the summer too, so not interested in fixing my mistakes next Spring if they could have been avoided.
  13. JayD2

    JayD2 Senior Member
    Messages: 309

    Snow blowers with shovels attached? Got pix of this?
  14. Pinky Demon

    Pinky Demon PlowSite.com Addict
    from Ohio
    Messages: 1,121

    A blower would probably work best.
  15. bhmjwp

    bhmjwp Senior Member
    from kcmo
    Messages: 309

    Sorry-no pics on hand, but all we use are the same clamps you would put on a garage wall to hang brooms, ect. Easy to adjust for the right grip. We just find 2 points on the blower to attach to and try to keep the shovel out of the way, but quick to grab. All the blowers are packed in the whse for another 30 days.
  16. JayD2

    JayD2 Senior Member
    Messages: 309

    OK, I see, well i don't really LOL...but understand what your talking about now..
  17. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    We tried the same thing on our walk-behind, but the clips kept snapping. If you ever do get a pic, I'm interested as well.
  18. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    any compact tractor costs about $30/hour to run
    a quad/ATV costs about $5/hour to run

    If you have a lot of long relatively wide walks where a quad rules (and you don't get hammered with a TON of snowfall where it could get buried.), a Quad is the cheapest quickest way to go.
  19. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    How on earth did you come up with that? Both are small engines that will take the same regular maintenance- fluid & filter changes, ec.

    Fuel consumption would be similar, if not favor a diesel tractor.

    Repairs for the tractor would likely be cheaper, as parts are more standard and easily available.

    Neither is a licensed vehicle, both would be insured as equipment.

    What operating costs are 6x higher for a compact tractor?
  20. jomama45

    jomama45 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,190

    Just to give you an idea, my 650 cc quad has gotten 25+ MPG with 2 people on it riding trails. Obviously the fuel consumption will elevate alot when pushing snow, but no where near what the tractor will use.

    I actually think you may be better off with a tractor and blower with your situation though.