The right machine for alpine snow removal

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by RavensNest, Sep 29, 2019.

  1. RavensNest

    RavensNest Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Hi guys, working on retirement land at over 10,000' in Colorado. I find choosing the right machine to remove snow tortuous. When I had a construction business I could try different machines, and if one was better buy another down the road. Not so much when its just one for a residential property. Can't afford to get stuck with the wrong equipment or headache like John Deer. Given the 350-500" of snow a year, a snow blower is obviously required once winter gets under way and it starts piling up. Skid Steer seems to be the way to go with 90-100hp and the biggest blower I can use. Of course a great cab and high flow is important. But CTL vs wheeled skid steer is my biggest debate. I will have at least 850' of dirt road to plow. Could be thousands if others build. It also has some VERY steep sections. So I have been leaning CTL with winter tracks. I see a lot of "wheeled is better", but mostly that seems to be due to use on pavement, of which I will have none. I have to imagine in deep stuff, off-road, up steep hills CTL will be better? Then theres brand...
     
  2. seville009

    seville009 PlowSite.com Addict
    from CNY
    Messages: 1,821

    Last edited: Sep 29, 2019
    512high and m_ice like this.
  3. m_ice

    m_ice 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,304

    If you're set on a skid go tracks because of the steep grades. I've been on some steep grades that make your butt pucker but couldn't imagine not being able to see the bottom if you did fall. What kind of grade are we talking about?
     
  4. OP
    OP
    RavensNest

    RavensNest Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Maybe 12%-15% at worse. Not butt pucker, could not drive that in winter. But steep enough.
     
  5. redfeathercat

    redfeathercat Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I use a Cat 420D IT. I live at 9,000 in Colorado. Good friend of mine uses a Kabota with an angle blade on it. Both work very well. Each machine has the taller skinnier tires on them with chains on the front only. I make money with my Cat all year long. It doesn't sit unless it is getting maintained.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    RavensNest

    RavensNest Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I really need a snow blower for those monster snows, and build up in the trees. Plowing when nothing melts at all for months on end, and Also I think a backhoe is less maneuverable. Really concerned about maneuverability.
     
  7. redfeathercat

    redfeathercat Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I hear ya. I was more concerned about the weight, 18,000 pounds. It does pretty good. I have to drive it right. I trust it in the biggest storms we get with my life. I plow a lot of driveways up here in the mountains. The machine isn't really much longer than my plow trucks. It gets around pretty good on the narrow roads we have and it doesn't get me stranded or stuck in the snow. I rescue people with it, very remote area I live in. Caterpillar does make snow blower attachments for these. Anyways just a thought. Good luck on your search.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    RavensNest

    RavensNest Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Weight is an issue as well, as I cannot tow it to get serviced 50 miles away.
     
  9. Aerospace Eng

    Aerospace Eng PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,864

    Not advocating for or against this particular machine, but something like this unimog might be the ticket. 4x4 with lockers. Chains up the wheels, and you should be as good as you are ever going to get with traction.

    https://www.plowsite.com/threads/northern-wisconsin-1985-mercedes-unimog-with-snowblower.178118/

    As pointed out in the thread, it doesn't have a Cummins, but I'd take a Mercedes diesel without hesitation. No pictures of the chassis engine, but the blower is a turbo V-8.

    If you are going to get a snowblower, something powered by a separate 200-300 hp engine will outperform a skidsteer, even a high flow skidsteer, by an order of magnitude or so.

    Out where you are, from what I can tell from the web, there is decent unimog support. And you don't need to tow it to get it serviced, as unimogs are road legal.
     
  10. tpendagast

    tpendagast Senior Member
    Messages: 736

    We used new holland skid steers with Schultze blowers in Vale, Aspen and Tamarack Ski resort areas all of which have those horribly designed roads and areas with no snow storage to speak of.
    But I cant for the life of me recall what those elevations were but 10,000 ASL sounds really high... I dont think we were quite that high on any of them, but that probably doesnt make a difference.

    We found using the tracked machines we did not have enough traction for packed snow and ice, even when we studded the tracked.
    Wheeled and chains is what we used.
     
  11. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 25,774

    You beat me to it.....
     
  12. rodbuilder1947

    rodbuilder1947 Junior Member
    Messages: 13


    Buy a Holder!! They make them with plows or blowers and they are beasts.

    Look on Machinery Trader.
     
  13. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 25,774

    You can buy the Mog and a good used 1t pickup to put a V plow on when the MOG isn't needed for lighter snows close to the same cost as a good used Holder and not have to deal with the maintenance and lack of dealer support in Colo.
     
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  14. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,826

    They are awesome machines, not a lot of cab room. One of the first things I got to drive for the contractor I worked for as a kid...

    unimog.jpg
     
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  15. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 25,774

    Did it have 100% traction?
     
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  16. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,826

    101%...
     
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  17. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 25,774

    Sweet....
     
  18. hairycowdude

    hairycowdude Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    Good morning, not sure if you have already made a choice, Im at 9000ft and plow residential neighborhoods. I run Bobcat S300, 8ft blade, have a blower and snow bucket for cleanups and making storage space. Tracked machines are no good in the winter on any incline, get yourself a good set of siped snow tires and you will be set
     
  19. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 34,203

    @UpNorthMowing ????

    Any input on this?
     
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  20. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 34,203