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Tracks or Wheels Skid Steer

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by 69RAGTOP, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. 69RAGTOP

    69RAGTOP Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Morning All,
    New to the site and I'm certain this is a repeat question.
    I live up in the woods with a 1600ft driveway and MOST of the year, it's a pleasure. Lately, the amount of snow has become a serious problem to deal with. Been using an ATV, and it handles most jobs quite well but when the amount reaches 10 inches or more of heavy snow. I just can't push it or put it anywhere. A good portion of the driveway is cut into the hill side and the snow simply piles up on both sides to the point that I am unable to push it out and away. Last, sections of this driveway are very steep and one steep section makes a 90 degree turn.
    I'm at the point of looking at Skid Steers as a possible solution. Can't continue to spend 6-7 hours clearing snow when it reaches more than 8 inches. Getting down isn't an issue. It's going back up that worries me.
    Should I look into a Tracked model or Wheeled? Looking to spend between 15-25K on a good used model.
    Any advise is appreciated.
    Thanks Marc

    The photos were from me just having a little fun with the local Transportation Dept. Poor guy ran off the road and was stuck fast.



  2. contractor078

    contractor078 Senior Member
    Messages: 232

    if you search the heavy equipment forum you will see that there is a ton of discussions on this matter. i think that a lot of it will come down to personal preference what your going to do with the machine the rest of the year. i personally have a wheeled machine i use a cat 236B love it its great in the snow tons of power! search that form and see what it says i think that it will give you a lot of info.
  3. havenlax18

    havenlax18 Senior Member
    Messages: 285

    Hey Marc, Considering you live in a wooded area I would have to go with a bobcat t-190. They are powerful all around machines. Do you know what brand you are looking into.
  4. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    For 15-25k your going to find alot nicer wheel machines. A wheel machine would suit you much better anyway. Faster travel speeds(if equip w/2speed), less maintenance, and a lower cost of ownership....and you could buy dedicated studded snow tires for it. Track machines have there place, but for a homeowner a wheel machine makes more sense imo.

    SMLCAT Member
    Messages: 85

    I have to agree w/ Snocrete...

    Is your driveway paved or gravel?

    If you can put a set of chains on a wheeled machine you'll have plenty of traction. (Which is what that plow driver should have had on his dumptruck...Thumbs Up )
  6. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    ya i would go wheeled, plus if you had trouble going up the hill becasue of packed down snow, throw some chains on the roof, back down and throw them on the wheels.
  7. blizzardsnow

    blizzardsnow Member
    Messages: 83

    For your app: wheeled. U could prolly get a pretty decent used wheel for 12-15k. We fabbed up an old western plow to a skid steer plate and hooked hydraulic lines to move blade back and forth. Best 300 bucks I ever spent.

    SNOWLORD Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 610

    I would go with a wheeled skid if it were me, also 2 speed will roll the snow alot better. I prefer bobcats.
  9. Rod (NH)

    Rod (NH) Member
    Messages: 32

    You're in a similar situation to me. My road (driveway) is about 2600 ft long through woods for the most part:


    It is partly nestled in a narrow valley and after a buildup of plowed bankings, there is no place left to go. My normal plow vehicle is a one ton dump truck with 8ft Fisher snowplow blade. In the past, when that plow gets maxed out because of high bankings, I have pushed the banks back as much as I could using a v-plow on my tractor like this:


    My drive also goes through about 100 yards of fields where heavy drifting has always been a problem:


    This year I decided to go with a skidloader and snowblower:


    So far so good. I would not give up the plow however since that is more efficient for the smaller storms. If I get less than about 6 inches, I wind up plowing down and back once to result in a windrow that is not far off to the side. I then take the skid and blower and blow it way out of the way. No more buildup of snowbanks, even where drifting is a problem.

    When I bought my skid, I was advised by many that a track version was NOT the way to go if my primary use was snow removal, especially with ice, which I also have to deal with. A wheeled skid with chains was advised and that is what I decided to go with. I'm using an aggressive set of v-bar chains on the rear and regular ladder chains on the front.

    A blower is not the best choice for snow removal around the yard. The plow and bucket is best for that. So plow, blower and bucket are all used when they are best for the job at hand. I have also adapted my truck plow to my skid as described here:


    The skid's excellent front visibility and maneuverability just can't be beat, no matter if the blower, plow or bucket is used.
  10. 69RAGTOP

    69RAGTOP Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Thanks for all the replies. It would appear that a Wheeled version is the way to go.

    Your situation is nearly identical to mine. "When that plow gets maxed out because of high bankings, I have pushed the banks back as much as I could using a v-plow on my tractor like this:" I don't have a V-Plow to use.

    The driveway is paved and as for what brand. Don't really have a clue which one to look into.
  11. SMLCAT

    SMLCAT Member
    Messages: 85

    We all have our favorite brand but find one that has good dealer support near you...
  12. bighornjd

    bighornjd Senior Member
    Messages: 249

    Welcome to the site. I live about 10 minutes from you just across the Mason-Dixon. My dad works for Harford county highways driving a truck like inj your pic, but it wasn't him that was stuck, lol.

    I would say a wheeled machine would be better. Will be cheaper than a track machine and you could run studded tires or chains like mentioned and have plenty of traction.

    For dealer support around you, I'd say John Deere will be at the top (Atlantic Tractor in Whiteford) followed by New Holland (Walter G. Coale in Churchville) any other brands and you are gonna have to travel past the 30 minute mark for parts or service. Unless you decide to go with a compact tractor or new tracked machine then there's always Kubota at Hickory International.

    I'm kinda partial to JD stuff, have been around it my whole life more than the other brands, and Atlantic is the closest of any dealers around. I know several of the guys out there from doing business there over the years and I actually worked there part time in high school for a couple years. They have always treated me pretty good and I actually just bought a skid from them back in May.

    If your serious about it, stop out there and talk to Jamie or Josh, I've noticed they have several used machines out there that look like maybe rental trade-ins or lease returns. Looks like several 320 wheel machines with enclosed cabs. Probably higher hour units, but if you are just using for your own snow removal and odds-n-ends around home, you may be able to pick-up a decent machine at a good price that will serve you well sinceyou won't be putting a lot of hours on it.

    Hope all this helps!
  13. sven1277

    sven1277 Senior Member
    Messages: 498

    Another option would be a blower attachment for your atv.
  14. sven1277

    sven1277 Senior Member
    Messages: 498

    Another option would be a blower attachment for your atv. Not as funl, but a lot cheaper
  15. 69RAGTOP

    69RAGTOP Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Thought long and hard about going that route but my concern is getting back UP my driveway. Those units are quite heavy and without being able to TEST one out first.
    I'm not willing to gamble 3K to learn I can't push it back up the hill. There are 2 very steep sections I have to deal with and I just don't know if it's possible push that heavy unit back up to the top again.
  16. mcdevi90

    mcdevi90 Junior Member
    from nj
    Messages: 15

    lol nice pics
  17. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    snow road etc.

    A lot depends on your budget,

    I dont know if you would or could
    consider a smaller Kubota sub
    compact or compact utility tractor.
    with a rear mounted snow blower.

    If I had it to do I would do it this way;

    Kubota 2660-hydrostatic drive, three cylinder, water cooled engine.
    or a Kubota Grand L with a cab heat and air.

    Front end loader.
    Curtis cab with hard sided doors and glass windows which can be removed for the summer.
    Kubota high output heater-defroster that mounts on the left side of the cab.
    high output alternator
    an all weather farm tractor radio-best sound and less expensive- 2 major brands
    www.HIDlighting.com kit
    radio optional
    loaded R4 rear tires.
    V bar 2 link spacing tire chains from www.tirechains.com

    for snow removal

    A Pronovost brand Group One snow blower:
    manual operation or hydraulic control of the snow
    blower functions from the cabin where you stay warm

    For the grand L model
    V bar snow chains 2 link cross chains
    loaded tires
    front end loader
    P-720-TRC model with the rotating impeller drum
    which allows fast snow throwing as it simply ejects the
    snow directly out the impeller discharge opening.
    This eliminates the need to use the chute and spout
    when snow is thrown to the left or right.
    The snow thrower operates at 540 R.P.M.
    The snow throwers cutting width is 72 inches
    The snow throwers cutting hieght is 30 inches
    The open auger diameter is 19 inches

    The impeller diameter is 24 inches in diameter
    The Impeller housing depth is ten and one half inches deep

    machine wieght 808 pounds

    The impeller will cast 2.75 cubic foot per revolution and
    using 21 pounds per cubic foot of snow wieght-

    540 rotations per minute times 58 pounds
    (which is the wieght of the snow in a filled impeller drum)
    equals 15 and 2/3 tons per minute,
    940 tons per hour in a six foot width

    For the BX2660
    P-540 model
    22 inch diameter impeller
    impeller drum depth-9 inches
    540 RPM
    550 pounds
    chute rotation and spout control can be either
    manual or hydraulic

    The snow thrower will cast 2 cubic feet(rounded higher) per rotation of the impeller
    540 times 2 cubic feet is 1,080 cubic feet per minute times 21 pound per cubic feet equals
    22,680 pounds-11 and one half tons per minute rounded higher.
    660 tons per hour at 21 pounds per cubic foot.

    Just a thought anyway as the BX and the grand L will have higher ground clearance and
    better visibility with or without a cab cam kit for the rear allowing you to simply twist a little tot eh right and use your right foot to control the reverse speed and as the blower is on the ground it will stop quickly if needed.

    You could always add a set of twin caster wheels from www.cyclonerake.com to make the snowblower(s) easier to turn and avoid gouging if the snow blower is still on the ground when turning.

    A thought anyway
  18. bighornjd

    bighornjd Senior Member
    Messages: 249

    Yeah I'd say. A whole lot of it.

    You sure do seem to get pretty specific in your suggestions when posting in a thread, lol.
  19. Chiputz

    Chiputz Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    When I was working consruction we had a Bobcat skidsteer with wheels. It worked great until you got into something soft and then would get stuck. The boss got some removable rubber tracks for it. They were simple to install and remove. You simply laid them out and drove onto them, pinned them, and you were golden. The only thing with a blower attachment is you have to make sure the skidsteer has a high volume hydraulic pump to run the blower without cavitating the drive motors. A lot of folks up here use them for snow removal without any issues. A Skidsteer would seem to be a viable option for you. You can get different attachments for them to make them usable year round.
  20. jjklongisland

    jjklongisland Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    I personally think a Kubota or used backhoe would be better and more useful than a skid steer. You should be able to find a used hoe with that budget. If you have a big property the hoe will allow you to do more...