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What do you use to clear pathways?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by cjasonbr, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. cjasonbr

    cjasonbr Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 635

    A condominium complex asked me to submit a bid for this upcoming season. There are 3 or 4 approx 30 car lots to give you an idea of the size - not too big at all. Anyways they have a bunch of those condominium type walkways - more of a big round about pathway that goes everywhere opposed to lots of little paths going to their respective condo's. I'd say around 1000 ft or so of 4' or 5' wide path (paved). I was planning on just using one of those Toro 2 stroke snowblowers people seem to all have around here to clear it off - but my buddy says the people that were doing it last year used a 4-wheeler.

    What do you guys use? Maybe a heavier duty 4-stroke snowblower would work better than a Toro 2-stroke?
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2007
  2. bltp203

    bltp203 Senior Member
    Messages: 484

    I think you would really thank yourself if you followed in the prior companies footsteps and invested in a 4-wheeler with a plow. I bet you could knock out that job in half the time, if not better.
  3. ABES

    ABES PlowSite.com Addict
    from MN
    Messages: 1,322

    kubota F series with a blower on the front will be able to do way more than a 4 wheeler in deep snow.

    SNOWLORD Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 610

    4WHEElers work very well for the first few snows then as the snow gets deeper on the sides it works less and less well and eventually not at all we have gone to a toolcat with a blower at the end of the winter some of our long walkways look like tunnels plus you can use a broom or bucket on it also and a spreader in the backr
  5. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    I would base my purchase on what will be the best return on my investment.
    If your not in a snow belt (pushing 25 plus times) area, a toolcat/Kobota is a huge expense. If you can use it off season (many Landscapers have a hard time "cost effectively" utilizing a ToolCat ) it may be justifiable. The 4 wheeler on the other hand may be enough and if you have a larger 2 stroke blower you can blow back piles when needed. Even the purchase of a 4 wheeler and a larger blower might be a better route. I have the Toro 3650 and it cuts threw just about any thing I might throw at it. I don't use it for moving mountains but it sure can make short work of heavy drifts. A larger 4 stroke blower would easily cut back enough windrow to get you threw the season. The other option would be to just rent or sub out blowing when needed.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2007
  6. heather lawn spray

    heather lawn spray PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,206

    If you can find enough summer work to feed it a baby Bobcat 463 coupled with a SB 150 snowblower works well. We have one that's been going out with our 1 ton truck since 1994. (our first Bobcat was just a 443 with the bucket) The blower attachment moves about twice as much snow per hour as the bucket, but WOW the diesel consumption!!
  7. cjasonbr

    cjasonbr Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 635

    Thanks for all the replies guys! The more i think about it, the lighter i think the equipment should be. It seems to me like if there is enough snow that the job requires a toolcat/bobcat/4-wheeler w/plow then i am going to have many, many unhappy custumers who have been trudging through a butt load of snow to get to their front door.

    But on the other hand - if the storm is in the middle of the night - there might not be a need to keep the walkway clear for traffic, in which case we could let it accumulate more. But then we make less money if it's not a seasonal acct. :rolleyes:
  8. Quad

    A quad is perfect for that. Plow at 15mph and done in no time. Just make sure you push edge to edge and keep the speed up so the banks are back as far as possible. As someone had mentioned, if you get alot of deep snows without a thaw, eventually the quad will not be worth much. That is when your stuck with a big 4 stroke blower. That scenario won't play itself out too often though.

    Another consideration beyond the time (10 mins max to plow, hours to blow), is the noise. If you are out at 3am clearing snow, they may not like hearing snow blowers running for a couple hours. We use a quad, then shovel all the small walkways. They still have to listen to a quad and some blades, but it's not nearly as noisy or time consuming as blowers.

    The quad is a fun off-season toy as well.
  9. cjasonbr

    cjasonbr Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 635

    Would a John Deere Gator be good for pathways? Would it be too wide? Doesn't look to much wider than an ATV.... anyone use one before?
  10. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Used a 4 wheel gator before and they work well on sidewalks that are long and straight but not very good around tight places. The 4-wheeler is cheaper and better IMO unless you get a cab on the gator.
  11. cjasonbr

    cjasonbr Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 635

    Maybe i'm pushing it, but it seems like a Gator HPX Diesel w/ a curtis hard cab would be a sweet ticket.

    Does anyone make a decent plow for larger atv vehicles like these?
  12. 4x4Farmer

    4x4Farmer Senior Member
    Messages: 953

    Id just use the 924 Cat myself, but thats if i owned the property, lol Id say the best thing that you could use would be a small compact tractor.Such as a BX size kubota. There smalll enough for the sidewalks and yet you can get a good warm cab on them. The best of both worlds would be to have a broom and blower for it. Oh and by the way, if anyone is intrested my brother does have a BX kubota for sale! Lots of attachments included, let me know if anyone is intreseted.