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Snow Blower or Blade?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Chris Wagner, Jan 5, 2004.

  1. Chris Wagner

    Chris Wagner Junior Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 5

    Snow's here! Time for us to look at some possible new toys for improvement.

    First, a little about my situation. I am the new director of grounds for our church. It's a new position that I was kind of thrown into.

    We do most of our snow removal "in house" with two JD tractors, both with blades. One a 42 inch, the other 60. Past that, it's salt spreaders and some shoveling in those hard areas. We do hire a company to do driveways and parking lot.

    The pastor is interested in additional equipment, especially a commercial snow blower. He wants something that can ride in or on.

    What kind of recommendations should I present? Our tractors with blades seem to do a real good job after digging out Sunday from our snow. What areas could you see benefiting from a snow blower? How often in your commercial applications do you use one?

    We do have a ton of sidewalks around the parish campus... but as mentioned, the tractors seem to have these under control.

    Looking for advice.

  2. gt_racer50

    gt_racer50 Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 484

    I do 2 Churches, one is pretty big, the Worship Center holds about 2500 people. All we use there is snowblowers on the sidewalks. If the tractors are doing the job for you and all you have are a few trouble areas, I would suggest a good snow blower that you can walk behind. If you have areas that are a problem with a tractor, they will be a problem with anything that you ride on that has a snow blower attatched to it. I don't know how many people that you have to help you, but if you have that many sidewalks, get 2 snowblowers. It doesn't sound like money is a problem. You can clear alot of area in a short time with 2 snow blowers. Get a Honda or a Toro, one that is a 4 cycle, so that in case you have help, they won't forget to use mixed gas. I've had a MTD for about 4 years, and I haven't had the first problem with it, it's a 2 cycle though. Our Church has a 4 cycle.
  3. Chris Wagner

    Chris Wagner Junior Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 5

    Thanks for the honest advice!

    I understand we used to have a snowblower before my time... but then, before this pastor a lot of things were done differently.

    Yes, the pastor received a nice donation. :) He'd like to put it back into something useful.

    He's not against getting another tractor or something similar if necessary. What do you think about something with a rotary brush? I see those used in Chicago often.

    Where possible, I'd like to see whatever we get have multiple uses... obviously with a snow blower, that's not really possible... but if we get another tractor or something, we can use it for grass.

    There is a crew of 4 right now that work during the days. There is a rotating schedule of 1 or 2 people to cover weekends and other "off times".

    Keep the ideas rolling!
  4. gt_racer50

    gt_racer50 Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 484

    Well, being a Commercial Mower, I'm not big on mowing with tractors, I have seen some Zero Turn Mowers that have some attatchments that you can put on the front of them. I can't remember if a snowbolower is one of the attatchments, if it was, you would be better off buying this type of mower, than another tractor, they are much more efficient and do a better job of finish mowing. Aside from that, buy a couple of inexpensive snowblowers and spend the leftover money on a piece of equipement that you can use the rest of the year.
  5. cantoo

    cantoo PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 66

    Depending on the type of lawn you have I would consider a Grasshopper or a Walker with the snow blower attachment and a blade. A brush is also available for either machine. The dollars spent would be worth it if you also needed a machine for cutting. You would likely be able to do the whole job with one person running it.
  6. gt_racer50

    gt_racer50 Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 484

    I would stay away from the Walker, there is only 1 outfit in the Cols area that uses them. The Grasshoper is a fine machine. As in snowplows, the most important part is Dealer support in your area.
  7. ttyR2

    ttyR2 Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    If you need something that can get into tighter spots, might have a look at http://www.power-trac.com/hclass.htm#422

    The local McDonald's had one sitting in their parking lot, and it looked like it did a good job of clearing out the snow, just using a regular blade. There is some sort of snow blower attachment for it as well on that web site. It's articulated, so would be a lot more manuverable.
  8. Toby

    Toby Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 132

  9. HLS Wholesale

    HLS Wholesale Senior Member
    Messages: 111

    Chris -

    Take a look at Kubota's equipment. we have one with a cab/heat, rotary brush (great for cleaning down to the pavement in small snows), snowblower (for heavier snows), and of course the 72" mower. They have a blade for it but we don't have it.

    We have the F3060. Can't say enough good things about it. Only negative is the cost of replacement parts, but breakdowns don't happen very often.

    What church is it?

  10. westernmdlawn

    westernmdlawn Member
    Messages: 39

    In my opinion, I think I would consider purchasing a snowblower attachment for the existing JD tractor(s) that you have. I have used these personally and they are quite impressive. You will have a machine that you can ride on too. I think you should be able to pick one up for around $1500 - 2500 range, depending on what size JD's you have. Of course, if you do that, the blade that was previously on the JD would not be used anymore, but you could always ebay it or keep it around for a spare. Snow blowers are especially usefull in the really heavy deep snows where a plow can get bogged down and not be able to push it. For sidewalks, a blower is ideal. I will mention though, that whatever you can do with the plow, do with the plow since it is much faster and efficient than a blower (as long as you can push the snow). Good luck, I will let you know if I think of anything else.
    If you have leftover money you could invest it for the church in the stock market. I got a tip for you, take a look into some shares of Sirius Satellite Radio stock (ticker symbol = "siri") This is a small cap growth stock in the technology sector. My returns have been great so far. payup
    Also, another idea is maybe a front end loader tractor with a belly mower attachment (Kubota, Deere, etc. all are fine products). Then when you are not using it you could lease it out to construction companies, or landscapers, who knows, just an idea! Good Luck
  11. 04superduty

    04superduty PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,354

    i like the idea of getting a snow blower for your existing tractors also. You could then get a small walk behind blower to get into the tight areas.