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Tractor for sidewalks

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Brant'sLawnCare, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    I am thinking about buying a Kubota BX2660 with a blower on the front. Anybody else use a tractor for sidewalks? If so, how do they work? If anybody has any other ideas for sidewalk crews, please chime in. I will most likely be using it to do some driveways as well.


  2. ajslands

    ajslands 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,033

    We use a quad and it has a small spreader on the back.

    My buddy has a jeep and I alwasy bug him and tell him he can come plow side walks while I'm plowing the lot...
  3. salopez

    salopez Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    we use CUT's, ATV's, and small skids to plow walks with. they are all great and have a pros and cons.
  4. fdei10

    fdei10 Junior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 2

    Tracotr for Sidewalks and...

    I have a Kubota L2900. I took the 5' box scraper that was on the back and made it 8'. For the last 5 years I have used it for sidewalks, Parking lots, driveways. If you want to use a box scraper - They work great! I've never tried a blower, though.
  5. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    tractors for sidewalks


    Like all small compact utility tractors they build the tractor around the engine and transmission.

    The three cylinder Kubota engines have an excellent placement history as they ae sold all over

    the world and installed in lots of small machinery as the prime mover for irrigation pumps,

    generators, etc.

    1. the front and rear snow blowers offered in Kubota colors are made by RAD of Canada.

    a. They are too light in my opinion especially for sidewalks with compacted snow which will
    wiegh much more than 21 pounds per cubic foot; and ice and slush will be an issue with
    power loss-been there done that.

    b. both of the blowers have no base steel under the auger from what I remember, and it
    creates issues with creating weakness in steel welds and the cross auger bearings.

    c. The cross auger is an open auger which will flood the impeller which is how it is designed.
    for powder snow fall at 21 pounds per cubic foot.

    c1. This issue becomes paramount when dealing with frozen compacted ice and snow due to
    power losses through the gear box and mid point PTO.

    c2. they should offer a solid drum auger with the 4 blade impeller as it would work 500 percent better and throw snow
    further as the snow delivered to the impeller would be more regulated in volume versus the open auger which is simply conveying
    it to the impeller.

    c3. saying that; operating at a slower forward speed will reduce the impact loading on the blowers as the snow has to be removed.
    Setting the cruise control at 1 mile per hour will allow you to move at 88 feet per minute which is 1.5 feet per second and at that speed
    using the snow load of 21 pounds per cubic foot will with a one foot depth COULD POSSIBLY remove almost 10.000 pounds per minute if if the snow
    is fresh only-remember that it will be heavier with temperature variations as well as added snow fall. (60 inch blower)

    c4. stuffing it accomplishes nothing as the snow blower depends totally on the impeller and the impeller speed.

    c5. the smaller impeller creates heat from the friction of the rotation of the impeller paddles and adds to the slush at the bottom of the impeller.

    c6. adding the snow blower impeller kit from clarences small engines will sweep the impeller housing clear at every revolution and throw throw the snow
    and slush further.

    2. The front PTO snow blower will run through the mid point PTO with a propeller shaft to the
    blower gearbox to reduce the mid point PTO rpm to the snow blower. The inevitable compacted snow melt will
    consume a lot of power and time with the front blower and it may leave a sheet of thick snow as the blower
    may have a tendency to ride the harder crust and not break it up

    a. The motorised berco snowblower is an option but it loses efficiency as it is underpowered-BUT:
    running the engine wide open will remove the snow quickly if and only if the impeller is not clogged or flooded by traveling
    at a slow forward speed and adding clarences impeller kit will increase the Bercos ability to throw snow too.

    a1. the 2660 engine will simply be acting as a tool carrier and can operate a very low power setting and speed.

    a2. the Berco snow blower requires gasoline to run the blower and has its own plastic tank mounted on the blower unit that
    can be removed and refilled.

    a3. the limitations are same as the RAD blower for front or rear service.

    a4. the Berco snow blower could be modified for rear use with a bit of work.

    a5. the Berco snow blower is heavier and may clean better, and you can put a set of pnuematic caster wheels on it to allow easier turning and less
    drag while under way.

    3. You will be unable to use a front loader to stack snow with a front blower if you buy a front blower-I dont think you can
    leave the quick attach hitch on the front if you want leave the loader frame mounted -I will have to refresh my memory about that issue.

    4. you need decide if you want a front end loader with dual remotes,
    or have an electric powered chute control and electric spout control,
    or manual control for chute rotation and spout angllng.

    5 some folks buy two blowers for front and rear which is a blessing,
    due to the utility of having two blowers-no stacking of snow.

    6. loaded rear tires are a must have as well as chains for traction using
    windshied washer fluid in bulk for the wheel ballast.
    eliminates freezing and corrosion-a lot of folks use winshiled washer fluid and
    it is less costly than calcium chloride.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  6. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 6,078

    My sidewalk unit :drinkup:

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  7. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    snow blowers continued


    The Kubota BX2660 should have a Racor 1000 model diesel fuel filter with a fuel heating element that is controlled by an independent thermostat and it will filter to 2-5 microns and have a residue and water bowl that automatically removes dirt and debris as the fuel is pulled through the filter and spins the debris and water out of the fuel and allows it to settle out and you can see how much water and dirt you have and you can drain the water and dirt out of it without worries.

    You can install it in the line which exits the tank prior to the fuel filter on th engine.

    This saves hours of work removing the original filters and those issues and allows you piece of mind. Using Seafoam in the fuel will help tremendously as well.

    I would purchase a Pronovost Puma 620 snow blower for the following reasons:

    a. the rear blower is 540 RPM.
    b. the cutting hieght is 28 inches which gives you 12 square feet of intake area for snow removal
    c. this is slightly more than one cubic foot per inch in volume in a one inch slice so this creates

    Assuming a 62 inch width of snow 28 inches deep and 1 mile long at 21 pounds per cubic foot this gives you:

    64000 cubic feet of snow-rounded
    1344000 pounds est
    672 tons of snow estimated

    if the tractor is traveling in cruise control in reverse at one mile per hour it is moving at 88 feet per minute and will require
    60 minutes or less to remove the 672 tons of snow if it is fresh accumulation.

    c. the impeller is 22 inches in diameter and the depth of the impeller drum is nine inches which allows you to remove
    572 cubic inches of snow per revolution which translates to 179 cubic feet per minute which is 3800 pounds per minute(rounded)
    using 21 pounds per cubic foot" as the example" with 120 tons per hour rounded using the PUMA 620 and the rear PTO.

    d. lower snow falls could be removed at a faster rate speed of course.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  8. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    snow blower

    part c above is wrong i could not edit it to correct it, I apologise for this in advance

    I was unable to edit for some reason


    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  9. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    Here's what I use (I also have a blower for it in case I run out of room to push):

  10. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    BTW - I checked out Kubota's before I bought the JD and for the price of one Kubota you can have 2 of the machines I've got. Just something you might want to consider before you buy.
  11. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    What did that setup cost you if you don't mind? I am open to different options.... I was quoted just under $15k for a Kubota BX 2660 with a front blower... I thought that seemed like a decent deal.
  12. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    Thanks for all the help! I am looking to get a front blower. I didn't really like how the rear blower looked. The front one looks pretty nice though... I was quoted less than $15k for the tractor and 50" front blower...
  13. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    Nice dude! But I don't have that much money! :D
  14. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    My whole setup was less than half the cost of what you were quoted for a Kubota. Of course, I bought my machine used and the price you're stating is for a new machine.

    Does your price include a cab?
  15. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    snow blower

    I would buy the Pronovost long before I bought the Kubota/RAD blower.

    fpr one reason and its the biggest one- If you pay for one at the time of purchase
    from a Pronovost dealer You will have it at your door in a couple of weeks or less, where as you may be waiting 4-5 months for a snow blower and you will not be able to get one late in the fall or during the winter because they build for many tractor brands.

    The other thing is if you have a major failure like gearbox with the RAD blower you will be waiting for parts especially when a dealer may not stock them where with the Pronovost its only shear pins and roller chain if it goes bad.

    The steel in the side walls is too thin on the RAD and it flexes and it affects the auger bearings as they will bind as there is no bottom plate.for the snow blower to add strength.

    please send me an e-mail and I will send you more information if you would like
    to see more about the Pronovost Puma models.

    I am always very impressed with the quality of assembly and ther design as I have looked at them up close.They build all thier farm equipment in Quebec and the snow blowers are built to handle Canadian winiters.

    The welding in the snow blowers is full length and is superb and the steel they use is thick in all the blowers and thats why I always recommend them.

    The thing is the rear blower has four points to attach it, the top link and the tow lower links and the PTO shaft/plus the hydraulics if you have dual remotes for the spout and chute.

    Just as a heads up; the front mounted snow blower can be ordered with hydraulics and requires you to buy and have a loader control valve mounted to use hydraulics for the blower.

    the blowers have an electric rotation and spout control option also.

    If you get a grill guard for the 2660 you can add suitcase wieghts and gain huge amounts of traction too.

    The Puma will out last the tractor and you will be able to use a larger tractor with the same blower with no issues.

    If you pass on the blower you could take that $3000.00 and put it toward the 62 inch Puma with dual hydraulics.

    Another issue is the ability to scrape the pavement or sidewalk by adjusting the rear top link so it is a bit longer the Puma will scrape the pavement better with its wear edge.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
  16. plowatnight

    plowatnight Senior Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 305

    sidewalk tractor

    That will be a great choice for sidewalks, Are you transporting it or does it stay in one place? The only prob. i see with the front blower is ground clearance. I like my 60" rear blower 1) lots of clearance 2) I run the loader boom w/ blade/bucket on the front 3) the snow dust doesn't stick to my windshield 4) the rear blower is much more durable 5) the rear blower makes great ballast so you don't need to add weight to the tires 6) the rear blower is about 1/3 the cost of the front blower , which REALLY makes me not the want the front blower more. Good Luck Man!
  17. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    I use the simplicity 4x4 legacy diesel tractor and the 48" bucket... works good most times, but this last winter was brutal with 3-4' tall drifts and plow mounds from the roads

    We'll be adding a 48-50" rear mount PTO blower on the thing from now on and probably putting the 60" dozer blade plow on instead of the bucket, since any heavy heavy snow will get eaten by the blower anyway.
  18. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    I am also thinking about getting a John Deere 317 (or similar) skid steer with a blower. Would this be good for sidewalks?
  19. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    snow etc.

    The issues with a skid steer in my opinion are:

    1. hydraulic drive for the blower
    a. limits to its snow removal speed and tonnage per hour

    2. low ground clearance
    a. if you get hung up some where how will you get out?
    b. working in snow with a wheeled or tracked skid loader is a worthless pursuit-
    the tracked bobcat and bucket I rented was worthless as I had to clear verything just to be able to travel.
    because it sank like a stone in shallow snow depths-minus 8 inches

    b1. you will not be able to back into a place to clear it out driving out if you have the room to do that.

    3. line of sight visibility unless you have a camera
    a. you still have blind spots at the rear corners reducing you vision
    b. the blower is in front of you with a skid steer loader and limits your ability
    to see directly in front of it, where with the BX2660 you are sitting above the rear blower with a good field
    of vision and a work light or two.

    4. more possible breakdowns with the hydraulic motors.
    a. blowns seals
    b. heat- excess heat kills hydraulic systems, seals o-rings
    If the hydraulic motors do not have case drains the oil pressure
    at the seal will be the system pressure and should only be 15 psi-
    with the case drain.

    Dont let anyone or some one trying to sell you a skid loader tell you any different.
    they are not doing you any favors.

    Also if the main pump does not have a case drain dont buy it if you insist on having one of
    these things.

    (The rear pto snow blowers have been a around for a long time and work well,
    buying a 48 inch Puma will not tax the tractor and you will have plenty of power and the ability
    to have chute extensions-which you can buy later of course also)

    PS having the pressure plate spring style limited slip PTO shaft will save you time and shear pins when you need to get rid of heavy piles

    5. getting stuck and poor traction-you cannot put a lot of weight on these blowers
    and they must be left on the ground with no down pressure.
    a. you will have to take several bites to remove a tall drift as the snow will be harder to remove due to the poor ground clearance.

    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  20. salopez

    salopez Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    I must say that my skids and my toolcat will run circles around my tractor in the snow. I have a kubota 2910 which is 2 frame sizes above the bx. the snow blower is nice, but is nothing compared to a bobcat blower, from strength, power or use stand point. i can adjust everything from the cab in the machines but only left to right on the tractor.

    if you are overheating hydrolics in sub-zero temps you need to go to your dealer because they didnt match the blower to the machine. put over 300 hours on blowers this winter and didnt have a single problem. oh wait the sheer pins on the tractor blower...when throught 50 of them....