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Old 12-24-2008, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Emmett Idaho
996 posts, read 1,934,490 times
Reputation: 380
Ok now my next dumb question???
When trying to move snow with a tractor can I assume you never really get rid of it you just push it all to the end of your driveway and leave it there till it melts ?
So I ask then a tractor with a bucket loader on the front is what a person needs who is trying to clear his driveway ??

What's the most affordable way to do this ?

Sage Misty ????

Planning for the future
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Old 12-24-2008, 04:41 PM
 
2,801 posts, read 3,077,250 times
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I think the best way to remove snow up here is a combination of either snowblower and blade/bucket. The biggest problem with snow is finding a place to put it after a few snowstorms. A bucket can move it around but a bucket to plow with is virtually impossible because a bucket doesn't angle. The snowblower eliminates the problem of where to store snow since it never builds up. The blade allows you to scrape closely on gravel driveways. Snowblowers and rocks don't get along.

I usually start out with a snowblower then use a blade to touch things up. If it really gets heavy, I have a dump trailer I can haul 10 yards of snow at a time with that I can load and haul off somewhere (like my neighbors driveway)

-- Misty's husband
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Old 12-24-2008, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Sandpoint, ID
2,740 posts, read 5,752,517 times
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One thing we have done (our private road is about 1700' long but only about 15' wide) is to use my ATV snowplow to keep it clear most of the time, and then as the road narrows down to 7-8' (after about 6-8 weeks of snow) where it becomes nothing more than pushing snow to the sides but just making it worse...we hire a tracked skidsteer. It has a front bucket. Takes the guy about 8 hours. He runs down the road about 50% into the berm, and about every 50' he angles it off the road into a big pile. See, he can push the snow back into the tree line and it doesn't really hurt anything (tamarack and cedar are awfully sturdy). So basically we spend $80/hr to have the road done some time in mid-late January, and by the time it's building up bad again it's early march and getting some melt.

A neighbor has another option that works well. He has a 4wd New Holland 80hp ag tractor with front bucket and PTO rear (back blade mounted). So he pushes into the berm about 30% as he heads down the road, and what spills over the left side, the back blade cleans up. So that's a nice option. I'd love his setup, but it's about $35K-plus new I think...he paid $25K for a used one.

But MRR's husband does what some of my neighbors also do...that works well too...and they (Mr & Mrs MRR) have some awfully nice equipment.
__________________
Regards,

Sage

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Old 01-10-2009, 12:05 AM
 
Location: Jewel Lake (Sagle) Idaho
12,524 posts, read 5,937,878 times
Reputation: 5471
Quote:
Originally Posted by DESERTRYDER View Post
Ok now my next dumb question???
When trying to move snow with a tractor can I assume you never really get rid of it you just push it all to the end of your driveway and leave it there till it melts ?
So I ask then a tractor with a bucket loader on the front is what a person needs who is trying to clear his driveway ??

What's the most affordable way to do this ?

Sage Misty ????

Planning for the future
Sage and Misty said summed it up real well I think, an ATV is faster than a tractor...right up till the time that the road narrows too much to give you a place to put the stuff. Unfortunately, this year it happened quickly, the berms just get too tall for the quad. When your road cuts across a hillside it's worse, you can't plow wide to start with since you run off the side of the road. With a quad you can punch some ramps into the sides of your berms every 50-100ft and push snow out over them when it gets deep. It's slow that way, but better than nothing.

I have a tractor with FEL, and a rear blade with hydraulic angle and offset. The hydraulic offset is really nice, you can swing the blade out past the rear tires by 2-3 feet and sweep snow off the side of the road. Also, most ATV blades are only 5' wide, by the time you allow for overlap and angle of the blade you probably only move 2' at a time. A 7' blade is common on a tractor, so while it doesn't go as fast as a quad (5 mph vs 15 or so) you make up for some of that with the extra width. With the offset blade on the tractor I can also "wing" back the tops of berms when they get tall. And when all else fails there is always the front bucket, it always works, just not that quickly. I will say that I like the FEL (front end loader) and tractor better than the quad for wide areas, such as a parking area; you can push a lot more with the bucket and pile it a lot higher than a quad blade will, plus you don't have as much snow spill off the edges of the blade. I'm still learning how to use my rig most effectivly.

A front mount snowblower would really be nice, but they are way expensive ($6-8K) and are a single season attachment, I figure I can use the blade for road grading in the summer. I know some guys with rear snow blowers for their tractors, they work well but are a pain to use since you have to back up and look over your shoulder all the time. Plus, unless you have a cab, you are covered in snow "dust".

I've got about 1/2 mile of road, I felt it was just a bit much for the quad. For shorter driveways, and especially tight spots, they are great! Plus you have a great workhorse and toy for the summer, for a lot less money than a tractor. Sage's approach, using the quad most of the time, then hiring out "berm bashing" probably makes the most sense. Last year I went that way, but had trouble finding someone that would move the berms when I needed it.

One thing I've noticed is that no one makes the perfect piece of equipment for the rural landowner. A Cat (dozer) is too slow and single purpose, and a tractor doesn't have the traction to push a lot of dirt and is too tall and tippy for significant sidehills. I'd really like to find something like a small log skidder but with a 3 point hitch, pto and front end loader, no one seems to make such an animal. Some of the European tractors are cool, you can turn the entire operator panel (steering wheel, controls and seat) around and run them backwards, so you can see what you're doing when running pto driven attachments, say a snowblower, mower or whatever. Unfortunately, they are expensive, not that heavy duty and not commonly available in the US.

Misty, how do you like that tracked skidsteer? You really have all the cool toys! Do they handle hills, especially sidehills, better than a tractor? I'd really like one with a flail mower or forestry mulcher for cleaning up my forest. I'm planning on a flail mower for my tractor for clearing brush, that will keep me out of trouble this summer, I need to pick up some outside work with it to help pay for the tractor.

Last edited by Toyman at Jewel Lake; 01-10-2009 at 12:15 AM..
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Old 01-10-2009, 12:12 AM
 
Location: Jewel Lake (Sagle) Idaho
12,524 posts, read 5,937,878 times
Reputation: 5471
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistyriverranch View Post
I think the best way to remove snow up here is a combination of either snowblower and blade/bucket. The biggest problem with snow is finding a place to put it after a few snowstorms. A bucket can move it around but a bucket to plow with is virtually impossible because a bucket doesn't angle. The snowblower eliminates the problem of where to store snow since it never builds up. The blade allows you to scrape closely on gravel driveways. Snowblowers and rocks don't get along.

I usually start out with a snowblower then use a blade to touch things up. If it really gets heavy, I have a dump trailer I can haul 10 yards of snow at a time with that I can load and haul off somewhere (like my neighbors driveway)

-- Misty's husband
I agree with everything you said....and I'm glad I'm not your neighbor!
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Emmett Idaho
996 posts, read 1,934,490 times
Reputation: 380
Thanks TOYMAN.

I like the quad idea and if it get too deep hire a neighbor with a real tractor or wait for it to melt. That will give me a reason to get a quad and convince the wife that we "need" this.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Jewel Lake (Sagle) Idaho
12,524 posts, read 5,937,878 times
Reputation: 5471
Quote:
Originally Posted by DESERTRYDER View Post
Thanks TOYMAN.

I like the quad idea and if it get too deep hire a neighbor with a real tractor or wait for it to melt. That will give me a reason to get a quad and convince the wife that we "need" this.

Now you're getting to the real reason to go with an ATV-plow system! Hint-go for the ATV approach first, if it doesn't work out well you can work on justifying the tractor as well. If you go with the tractor first, the ATV is a tougher sell. Once you get out on a quad or bike in the backcounrty around here I'm betting your wife will want one too.

I'm sure you'll get a lot of input as to which quad to go with when the time comes-kind of like the Chevy-Ford pickup thing.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Emmett Idaho
996 posts, read 1,934,490 times
Reputation: 380
I am just guessing but a Big Heavy 4x4 quad is what I want for snow management??
I have dirt bikes for going fast in the forrest.
The Mrs will probably ride the quad most of the time.
Now if I can get her to plow the driveway I can just sit around in my shorts watching ESPN.
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Old 01-11-2009, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Jewel Lake (Sagle) Idaho
12,524 posts, read 5,937,878 times
Reputation: 5471
Quote:
Originally Posted by DESERTRYDER View Post
I am just guessing but a Big Heavy 4x4 quad is what I want for snow management??
I have dirt bikes for going fast in the forrest.
The Mrs will probably ride the quad most of the time.
Now if I can get her to plow the driveway I can just sit around in my shorts watching ESPN.
Definately go with a 4x4 utility quad that offers low range and a locking front differential. All the manufacturers make some good machines, I'm partial to the Yamaha Grizzys. For your wife, you might want to look at the power steering models, Yammie was first, others have it now too. It takes a lot of the kickback out of the handlebars when you hit a rock or stump. The Grizzlys are a bit lighter that some, but work very well, both for work and on the trail.

The one I'd stay away from is Polaris, I don't like the 4x4 system, 4x4 won't engage until a rear wheel spins. They get exciting on a slippery, steep downhills, you don't have engine braking helping on the front wheels. Having said that, lots of people love them.

Does your wife ride pretty aggressively? The Grizzly does everything well, but doesn't have the power of the Outlander 800, the new Polaris 850, the Brute Force or the T-Cat.
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Old 01-11-2009, 05:24 PM
 
Location: FINALLY in N. Idaho
1,043 posts, read 2,118,434 times
Reputation: 281
Heres a pic of my Arctic Cat DR.. Its a few years old but only has about 150 miles on it.. Its not one of the BIG engine ATV's but it will pull like a mule, and sips gas which is nice on long trails. Its got the winch which is cool for plows, and its OD and Black my two favorite colors.. Im even building a matching rifle.. Im going to get another one like it but maybe a 5-600cc and give this one to the wife since she likes riding it so much.
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First sub-zero forecast of the year...-ashop12.jpg   First sub-zero forecast of the year...-ashop11.jpg   First sub-zero forecast of the year...-arbuild7.jpg   First sub-zero forecast of the year...-arbuild3.jpg  
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