Anyone using a hydraulic front blade in areas with 120 or more of snow

   / Anyone using a hydraulic front blade in areas with 120 or more of snow #1  

shooterdon

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Near Johannesburg MI but in the middle of nowhere
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2019 LS XR4140 HST Cab; 2020 Kawasaki Mule SX; 2021 Bad Boy 54" ZT Elite
I Visited the New Holland dealer on a whim. He is a bit far away but wanted to check out a Boomer.

Told him I need to clear snow but I cannot drive backward and the front blowers have issues with ground clearance if I leave the sub frame on.

He suggested using a SSQA hydraulic blade. Easy on and off...not expensive...and snow banks can be pushed up and pushed back.

I have about 300 yards of driveway, and 1/4 acre of open area to clear.

Anyone in high snow ares tried this?

Any thoughts?

PS: 120 inches or more of snow
 
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   / Anyone using a hydraulic front blade in areas with 120 or more of snow #2  
I have a front hydraulic blade that is SSQA. The amount of snow isn’t the issue(see below)- it’s depends on if your ground freezes solid or not. When my ground is frozen it works great- and mine is most of the time. If your ground doesn’t stay frozen you will need something that doesn’t add much weight to the front end. A lot of folks have made front blades that hinge and hang off a chain. Stand by they will flood this thread in no time.

If you have a place or places to push the snow a blade is fast. If you are in an area that doesn’t have a place to push the snow (like a canyon or bowl) the blower is the way to go.
I live up the side of a hill. I have plenty of room to push snow off the side.
 
   / Anyone using a hydraulic front blade in areas with 120 or more of snow #3  
You need to clear a full acre of open ground? With 120" of snow?

I think a blade will be fast, but clearing a full acre with a blade? Not fast. Easy enough to throw snow to the side of a driveway, because most driveways aren't very wide, and the blade can push the snow off to the side with the angle and speed of the tractor. But clearing an acre? That's going to be slow, and require a bunch of trips back and forth. And if you start in the middle, and push snow to each side, as you get closer to the sides you're going to be pushing a lot more snow (120"?) with each pass.

Snow blower?
 
   / Anyone using a hydraulic front blade in areas with 120 or more of snow
  • Thread Starter
#4  
I guess I assumed too much...100-150" of annual snow fall. Normally less than 6" per event but we can get 12" in 24 hrs.

I use a plow truck currently. It gets the job done but due to the low ground clearance of the mounting frame, I have gotten it stuck when trying to push up on a bank of snow. Plus the truck is 18 years old and I am looking at a long term solution.

I screwed up on the open area...only 1/4 acre.
 
   / Anyone using a hydraulic front blade in areas with 120 or more of snow #5  
Many of us have snow plows on tractors,mine is FEL mounted(had a sub-frame mounted) and they work great.
Mine is a converted truck plow;8' with hydraulic angle off the third function.Have the SSQA so putting the bucket back on if needed is minutes work.Used for ten years and get similar amounts of snow.
 
   / Anyone using a hydraulic front blade in areas with 120 or more of snow #6  
While I don't get any wheres near 120" most winters just a bit more then half that, depending on your tractor and you, you can push snow quite high.
I routinely push up a pile 6-8' high and some years it gets up over 10' high.
When I push the banks back on the driveway it is no problem shoving them back several feet.
When I push mine back most places I have to be aware that my front tires are actually running on snow pack as the driveway has a considerable drop off on the low side.
Good tire chains and taking your time are the most important things.
Where I push straight out and pile, I have had the tractor front tires driving on 3' of packed snow.

The second picture shows how far out in front of you a SSQA plow will hang.
 

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   / Anyone using a hydraulic front blade in areas with 120 or more of snow #7  
I have a power angle 60" plow on the FEL arms of my little PT425. I love it! I only have 5' of lift on my little machine, but I can push the snow up and over 6' high banks no problem. The dump/curl of the loader works great with the plow for that. It's exponentially times better than a bucket. :thumbsup:

Since you already have a plow truck, and your only negative is the plow truck sometimes gets hung up when trying to stack the snow higher, then the plow on the tractor's FEL arms will more than make you happy.

The only suggestion I have, as it pertains to my experience with my setup, is that I have gauge wheels behind my plow blade. I can dump the plow forward to scrape right against the asphalt if I want, or I can curl the plow back a bit, so it rides on the wheels and doesn't touch the ground in areas with gravel, grass, dirt, etc... and not dig up the ground. It makes a world of difference, as I don't have to constantly raise/lower the FEL arms as I move over uneven areas, such as the lawn behind the garage going out to the woodpile, or our crushed limestone parking areas.

If I were you, I'd keep the plow truck for the fast, long runs up and down the drive and the majority of the 1/4 acre area, then use the tractor plow on the FEL arms to push it up and over, or knock back the piles without worry of getting hung up in the piles like the truck does. See how that goes, then determine if you want to get rid of the plow truck in the future.

Good luck in your search. :)
 
   / Anyone using a hydraulic front blade in areas with 120 or more of snow
  • Thread Starter
#8  
Great information guys. It is really appreciated.

I was all set to invest in a front blower. They are expensive, and they are a pain. PTO hook up laying on my back...low clearance if I leave the sub frame on....remove sub frame and need space to store in the summer...require removing FEL and putting back on if I need it...shear pins. The blade will be so much easier.

MossRoad, excellent idea with the gage wheels. Makes sense.
 
   / Anyone using a hydraulic front blade in areas with 120 or more of snow #9  
It wasn't my idea. It came standard from the factory that way. Today, it's an option from the factory.

When I had a ruck-type plow on our Toyota Landcruiser, it had skid feet. They were OK, but they still dug in on gravel and dirt, and if the ground wasn't frozen or had an ice buildup on it, they'd dig into the mud. The wheels roll over everything and I just keep the FEL arms in float. Mine's small enough that it doesn't have a trip mechanism. I'd highly recommend a plow with a trip mechanism if you go the plow route. It will save bent/broken plow components and maybe even FEL components. ;)
 
   / Anyone using a hydraulic front blade in areas with 120 or more of snow #10  
I guess I assumed too much...100-150" of annual snow fall. Normally less than 6" per event but we can get 12" in 24 hrs.

I use a plow truck currently. It gets the job done but due to the low ground clearance of the mounting frame, I have gotten it stuck when trying to push up on a bank of snow. Plus the truck is 18 years old and I am looking at a long term solution.

I screwed up on the open area...only 1/4 acre.

A SSQA blade isnt that different than a truck plow in most respects. So if a truck currently gets the job done a SSQA probably will as well.

Most SSQA plows dont have float. I'm about to rebuild my SSQA plow frame to put float on it. Float on the loader arms doesnt work as it puts to much weight on the plow. No different than digging with a bucket in float. Plowing mud & gravel is as big issue for me, but was an issue with my old L3200 with a home built plow that had float as well. I was somewhat expecting to have to build float into my new plow when I got it.

Tractors have a lot less power & speed than a truck. Snow doesnt curl off to the side as far. My L4060 does fine in a foot of snow or up to 2' of light snow. Things melt off fast in Colorado so berms on the side arent an issue.

With a SSQA plow you can grab drifts & back drag a few feet at a time. Probably about as efficient as using a bucket. The photos below show progress I made using this technique on heavy packed drifts from the bomb cyclone in Colorado last week. That light bar belongs to a F350 with over a 12" lift & matching tires.

20190314_123839.jpeg20190314_133919.jpeg20190314_133856.jpeg
 
 
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