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A Deere 5100e can go up to aboot 8K #. A whopping 1,500 more than the Toolcat. I suppose you have to add the blower weight. Same as a ToolCat though.

But it has larger tires so weight is more spread out.

Then again, I have no idea what he's talking about. Weight during freeze/thaw? What difference could that make?

And from experience, 17 MPH travel speed is pushing it. Any amount of snow on the road, or small hill and you lose speed.

None of his post really makes sense.
I am looking for a Normand dealer because I want to order two 92" inverted blowers. Anybody got someone I can call or email?
Shipping would be to Rochester Michigan. Or if they're close enough, I could pick them up (maybe).
Thank you!
 

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Hi, has anybody mounted a brine tank and spray bar to a tractor and blower? I want to put the bar on the back of an inverted blower. If so, got recommendations on best way to do it? I might get a VSI bar that has a center mount to fit a 2" hitch receiver.
I'm wondering where might be the best spot on the tractor to put a 60-100 gal tank. It's an L6060 so more weight on the back seems not the best idea. Maybe mount it low but aside the cab somewhere? I don't know. I don't want to make the tractor much wider.

For the spray bar Im thinking of maybe having someone weld a receiver to the back of the blower, high/ forward enough so the bar isn't sticking out off the back more than a couple inches. Then on the last 1-2 passes, hit the driveway with the brine.

But maybe thats not the best mount if it will be bouncing a lot. I'd prefer to be able to detach the bar so it can go on a truck hitch receiver for lighter snows. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

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I'd mount the tank up front for counterweight. Although I don't recall if you were going to mount a plow, so maybe that won't work.

And I don't dare quote because BUZZ will ***** me out for quoting the wrong person.
Thanks! Yeah we aren't getting any other pushing attachments for the tractors yet. Just the inverted blowers on back. And hopefully some way of doing salt or brine. At least for this season.
 

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I graduated. I read this entire thread and got to the current page today. I got a lot of great advice from it. Thank you, guys.
Update: After adding new ones and cutting 25 of last year's clients because of drive time, we are at about 55 resi clients right now in an 11-square mile area. Two tractors to cover it, so they'll each move around in 5-6 square miles of neighborhood streets, connected with short sections of open road. There are about 15-20 new estimates out right now, which will probably get approved. And between Angie's list and our site and Nextdoor I am doing 3-5 estimates per day. 2 of those are usually ready to sign up before I get to the price. Ads this week should take that to 7+ per day for a week or two. So I'll raise rates before thanksgiving. I'm hoping to hit a goal of 110 or more clients for this first season. 200 is my pipe dream goal but I'm keeping prices high, so there's no rush. Over 110 would put us safely in the black for snow for the year, and allow me to not have to drive unless I wanted to. Goal is to have each tractor doing 100+ drives in 2022-2023.
 

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What blowers did you end up with?
Found 2 tractors that were paired with pronovost blowers already. One is a cyclone 80" and the other is a regular inverted 80. The blowers and tractors each have 3-4 seasons on them, 650-700hrs

If I had more options I'd probably have gone normand 82s. But this was the path of least resistance. And I'm happy about the cyclone and how close it can get backing up.
 

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Yes we use Follosoft. It is an incredible help. Hands free, the driver just needs to follow the path you've set. And you can watch their progress in real time on your own computer as they do the route. If you're in a truck you can login and monitor it with any tablet or laptop. This is my first year using it. We have 2 tractors and 2 shoveling trucks running it on tablets. Makes routing very easy. And you can put notes about each property for the crew or driver to see as they drive up to it.
 

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I haven't looked closely at it yet...does it use GPS trackers? Smart phones? Cost?

Sorry a bit behind and will take a look but looking for some quick answers.
To use it you need android tablets that have cellular and GPS. We got the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 "lite".
The GPS geocoding is very accurate. It shows the operator and the owner/office the percentage of the route that is finished at all times.
I think it saves a ton of time early in the season, and saves a couple minutes before/after each property.

You can make notes show in bright red when the vehicle pulls up, if you want the operator to look out for something. If it's a shovel truck, the shoveling notes will pop up, to help them remember to shovel the side door path or to only shovel the public sidewalk. Helps get the details right and helps eliminate return trips in my opinion.
It can send robo calls or texts when your vehicle is 5-10 stops ahead, giving clients a chance to move their cars from the driveway if they want to. It can send your contracts out and handle payment records too I guess.

It's expensive, but I think the system is great if you have a whole lot of stops to make, especially in neighborhoods where houses are very close together.
 

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Jato, how are you using the Samsung Galaxy Tab lite if it doesn't have a slot for a SIM card? Or am I missing something?
Hmm. I'm not sure where the info was, but I confirmed they could have GPS and a SIM card before we ordered them. We paid about $200 each direct from Verizon thru our business acct (this is technically paid in installments at about $7 per month per tablet). Verizon sent them to me with sims already installed and ready to go. They booted up first time and had the unlimited data plan already set up. Downloading the follotrack app and logging in takes about 30 seconds. Then the tablet ready to roll.

Add another 2 mins to put a good case on it. We ordered suction RAM mounts that are super strong. They are great for tractors but maybe a CD player or cup holder mount would be better for trucks to keep them out of sightline. The screen on ours are only about 8" so it's not too annoying.

Now making the actual turn by turn route on the Follosoft web portal is a time consuming thing. But you only have to do that once, from scratch, before the snow season starts. After that it's a matter of clicking and dragging to add or remove a few turns and stops each week as the season goes on. That's on the web portal, not on the tablet. All the tablet does is guide drivers and report where they are back to the office. I hate the clicking and dragging on those routes. Took me 2-3 hours to map the first 30 accounts the first time. But at this point it's easy. I removed a few stops and added a few stops yesterday. Each change takes 2-3 mins. I think you can actually change the stops and add contracts while someone is out running a route too. If you want. Tho I haven't tried that yet.

My two drivers each missed one driveway on their first run, out of 50 stops each. Idk how those happened but I honestly didn't care. I called that a win. The snow was slushy and it was a sh^*show anyway.
 

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Thanks for the info.

Still curious what "expensive" means.
Oh sorry. As of right now there is a one time setup fee of I think CAD 1500. Then it's CAD 80 / month from November thru April, per device you run. They require 5 devices minimum monthly billing. Even if you're running 3 tablets you'll pay for 5. So basically I think we pay $320 (USD) per month. In the end the routes will get denser with time and that monthly cost will be less than 2% of total tractor revenue. When we finally have all 5 in their busy tractors it would be much more affordable as a portion of overall revenue.

But until now I was used to using a GPS and Google maps. So the sticker shock of all this is still fresh in my brain and it still seems expensive to me.
Our drivers had a great day today. Didn't miss any drives. Scrape quality with the blowers was great. I'll attach some pics. What you see here was at about 8am and most of that thin stuff burned off when the sun finally came out.
 

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It's supposed to be a 2" trigger so that will be the plan
Our trigger is 2" but we are residential only, so it's not as important for us to stay ahead of the storm. We are waiting until tomorrow afternoon when snow hits at least 3-5" to go out the first time. Hopefully while we are out between 4-10pm the bulk of the snow will have fallen. Then our drivers are gonna go home and rest, planning to do the routes again about 24hrs later, Thursday evening. It looks like less snow will fall Thurs (12am-2pm) than on Wed morn/afternoon. Possibly a lot less on Thursday, like only 2" more accumulating for us. But who knows.
If the city plows are slow as heck, we will probably do a short run on Friday afternoon to clear the ridge.

Last storm, it was 3 full days before side streets in neighborhoods got plowed. By that time the 4" snowfall had gotten packed down by cars and burned off to the point where the plows weren't even pushing much to the side at all.
It's incredible what people put up with from the city, like 6" of snow on their street just sitting there for a full day... but they call us to complain about a dusting on their driveway.
 

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Anyone using slip clutches on the driveshafts for the blowers?

Is there a reason they won't work on these blowers?

It would be nice to eliminate one shear bolt.
I think someone posted something like this on the united snow pros facebook group recently. I can't remember the exact replies. I think the reason someone wanted it, was to avoid breaking shear bolts. Wouldn't taking out a shear bolt risk the engine if you got something stuck in the blower?
 

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Is there a Normand dealer in the US midwest? I'm trying to price up 1-2 new 74 or 82 inverted blowers.

And have any of you decided to use 74" instead of 80" or 82" inverted blowers? A 2-car driveway can't be cleared in 2 passes with an 80" anyway. So I'm thinking why not go 74"? It would save weight and money and would be more maneuverable. And the tractor would have power to spare. Am I looking at this wrong?
 

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The Normands are much heavier duty. The hybrids are even better with fewer problems than the originals.

@jato
My reccomendation is to try a Pronovost PXPL Pro. Best of both worlds.
I like the idea of having the blower in front. We get complaints about tractor tires packing down the snow. But I can't tell if a PXPL would be easier or harder to train a new operator on. That would free up the back of the tractor for a tank and spray boom...

Is there less bouncing with a blower on the front instead of the back?

I talked to TNA today and they mentioned Bilodeau.
Anybody like Bilodeau for inverted or bidirectional blowers?
 
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