Pros and cons of snow removal options

BX23S-1

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May 29, 2017
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I`ve tried all kinds of equipment thru the years. I end up every time right back where i started, FEL & rear 3pt blade, loaded tires. I can clear our driveway far faster than a snow blower can. And repairing shear pins all day was a headache, for me. It got old real fast. Stone driveways don`t like snow blowers all that much. (neither does your neighbors when you launch a rock at them, house & cars) For me, i found, that snow blowers are more of a pain than they are worth, not to mention, cost way to much, they take up way to much storage in my garage. Those snow blowers are probably ok for the suburbanighty type folk, with their nice paved driveways, but not for us old folks like my wife & i out in the good ole country.

I don`t know how many times i`ve read where people that use a FEL for snow, are always claiming that you have to dump the bucket all the time. I do not dump my bucket. I just drop that bucket and use it just like a snow pusher. I leave the snow right in the bucket and never dump it unless i have to remove very large snow drifts to punch out the driveway, and that is not very often either. So doing it like i do it, i can still do it faster than a snow blower can, in my size of a tractor. Lets say to the tune of 4 to 5hrs with a blower, vs 1hr with my FEL & blade. I like winter, its fun to play, but i don`t wanna be out there in it all day working.

Pretty good thread regardless. Everybody has a method to their snow madness. Work smarter, not harder.
 
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GreX

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BX2380
Jan 8, 2023
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Maine
Great write up and thread!

Since moving to Maine, I've tried several different methods of removing snow. I started with a shovel, sure it works, but it takes FOREVER. Then I added a snow blade to my Ryobi riding mower, and that thing works great with wet slushy or just a few inches of normal snow, but it's a major pain to do either volume (the tractor only weighs ~600 lbs) or when things get frozen/heavy, where I have had to do small overlapping runs just to clear the driveway. I then bought an electric, walk behind, snowblower - 24" self propelled 2-stage blower (EGO brand), and it was a great added tool to help where the Ryobi fell short. But this year, we had a fairly large storm, and yes it was doable with the tools at hand, it took over 5.5 hours of clearing every couple of hours, and I realized my time is worth more... Fast forward to now, and I have just got the BX with a reverse snow blower, which I've yet to use... I"m hoping we still get some snow in Maine, as I'd like to see how it works, but for the small storms we've had the last couple of weeks, the snow blade on the riding mower is great. As stated by others, every tool has advantages and disadvantages, I'm looking forward to finding the limit on the Kubota :)
 
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gssixgun

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L3600, FEL, SnoBlower, Box Blade, Rear Blade, Forks, Cultivator, Plow
Jan 5, 2013
251
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Sandpoint ID
www.gemstarcustoms.com
I have 1 mile to the highway so I have to have a blower
Rear facing blower and the FEL Bucket do it all for me

The only thing I could add to your detailed summery is that a when the blower tosses the snow well away from the road it REALLY help for Springtime on the Gravel Road .. There are no huge berms melting into the roadbed so upkeep is way less
 
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ve9aa

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TG1860, BX2380 -backblade, bx2830 snowblower, fel, weight box,pallet forks,etc
Apr 11, 2021
1,202
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NB, Canada
"GreX, post: 604908, member: 55886"]
Great write up and thread!

Since moving to Maine, I've tried several different methods of removing snow. I started with a shovel, sure it works, but it takes FOREVER. Then I added a snow blade to my Ryobi riding mower, and that thing works great with wet slushy or just a few inches of normal snow, but it's a major pain to do either volume (the tractor only weighs ~600 lbs) or when things get frozen/heavy, where I have had to do small overlapping runs just to clear the driveway. I then bought an electric, walk behind, snowblower - 24" self propelled 2-stage blower (EGO brand), and it was a great added tool to help where the Ryobi fell short. But this year, we had a fairly large storm, and yes it was doable with the tools at hand, it took over 5.5 hours of clearing every couple of hours, and I realized my time is worth more... Fast forward to now, and I have just got the BX with a reverse snow blower, which I've yet to use... I"m hoping we still get some snow in Maine, as I'd like to see how it works, but for the small storms we've had the last couple of weeks, the snow blade on the riding mower is great. As stated by others, every tool has advantages and disadvantages, I'm looking forward to finding the limit on the Kubota :)
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Welcome to the neighbourhood from next door and up a little, New Brunswick. Careful what you wish for.....the winter is just barely getting going. The sun will set in the West tonight and sometime this winter, it will snow again...HARD....and more than once. I guarantee it !

Be curious how the rear PTO blower works out for you. 95% of the blowers I've seen on the BX's have been front mounted. (I am sure there are lots of rear ones and I've just not paid attention.)

Please post some action shots in a separate thread the next time you're out and using it. (tnx in advance!)
 
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GreX

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BX2380
Jan 8, 2023
178
125
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Maine
Welcome to the neighbourhood from next door and up a little, New Brunswick. Careful what you wish for.....the winter is just barely getting going. The sun will set in the West tonight and sometime this winter, it will snow again...HARD....and more than once. I guarantee it !

Be curious how the rear PTO blower works out for you. 95% of the blowers I've seen on the BX's have been front mounted. (I am sure there are lots of rear ones and I've just not paid attention.)

Please post some action shots in a separate thread the next time you're out and using it. (tnx in advance!)
Thanks, Maine is very different than the snow I've been used to, having spent 37 years in the Rockies (Colorado and Montana) - I know we got a few storms last year, its just been odd that it seems to be all rain this year, and I feel like its a bit of mother nature laughing at me for buying a tractor to tackle snow, and there being a lack of it.
 
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ve9aa

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TG1860, BX2380 -backblade, bx2830 snowblower, fel, weight box,pallet forks,etc
Apr 11, 2021
1,202
980
113
NB, Canada
Thanks, Maine is very different than the snow I've been used to, having spent 37 years in the Rockies (Colorado and Montana) - I know we got a few storms last year, its just been odd that it seems to be all rain this year, and I feel like its a bit of mother nature laughing at me for buying a tractor to tackle snow, and there being a lack of it.
One year, about 15-17 yrs ago, it snowed something like 4.5 feet in 4 or 5 days. It was so bad, I couldn't get out past the end of my driveway. Wheel loaders, then the snow plow, had to come down my road. About every 10-12yrs we (NB) get snows approaching situations like that. Most winters we get 1 or 2 what I'll call "bad" snowstorms at minimum.

I did the driveway back then with a small to medium sized walk-behind snowblower.

You'll be very thankful when one of those comes along and you have your BX+Blower!
 
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cmorningstar01

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B7500HST LA302 FEL 5'Finish Mower B5100E 46" Snow Plow 22 ton splitter
Mar 27, 2011
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Pemberton NJ USA
I like options, I have my B7500HST with Loader bucket on front, I have a B5100E with 42" plow on front and I have a self propelled snow blower and most times when we get any significant amount of snow I wind up using all 3 of them, When snow is in the forecast the B7500 is parked closest to the barn door, I simply open the barn door drop/float the bucket and push forward, If I start to bog down I will angle off to the side and dump the snow and back up a little and start over, generally I just push all the way to the road(350 ft. from barn door to road) and push the snow up in a pile on the shoulder opposite my driveway, I have no neighbors so no problem there, I used the B5100 with plow for light snow and for tighter areas the B7500 can't get into well and then I'll use the snow blower for smaller areas and yes I will even use a snow shovel.
 
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flyidaho

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L 3301 HST
Feb 28, 2017
425
248
43
IDAHO
A blower on the rear of the L3301 all winter, a 6' hydraulic angle blade for the front. But just the other day, I pulled the front blade and put the FEL bucket on, as I had gotten to the point where I needed to pick UP some snow rather than blow or plow it. It's nice having options!

With an unusual snow buildup on my shop roof this winter, and with the eaves just 2' above ground level on one side, I had the idle thought (not acted upon....) to make up a 3 or 4' wide snow lariat/rake of sorts, working off the FEL arms. The idea being I could pull up to the roof, reach out 15 or 20' (no weight lifting so doable with some strutted thin wall rectangular tubing) and then rake some snow off while I backed up. Just a thought, in my case I'd be out of the way of any snow sliding, the key would be the length of the apparatus.
 
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flyidaho

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L 3301 HST
Feb 28, 2017
425
248
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IDAHO
A blower on the rear of the L3301 all winter, a 6' hydraulic angle blade for the front. But just the other day, I pulled the front blade and put the FEL bucket on, as I had gotten to the point where I needed to pick UP some snow rather than blow or plow it. It's nice having options!

With an unusual snow buildup on my shop roof this winter, and with the eaves just 2' above ground level on one side, I had the idle thought (not acted upon....) to make up a 3 or 4' wide snow lariat/rake of sorts, working off the FEL arms. The idea being I could pull up to the roof, reach out 15 or 20' (no weight lifting so doable with some strutted thin wall rectangular tubing) and then rake some snow off while I backed up. Just a thought, in my case I'd be out of the way of any snow sliding, the key would be the length of the apparatus.
My biggest late in the winter (not yet...) problem, this stretch going down to my hangar, crossways to the storm winds. If I don't keep it clear, I can't get the tractor down there to move the snow in front of the hangar door, which means no ski flying! If I blow it up and out to the left, where all the wind comes from, the higher the berm gets the more it drifts in the trench. So, I CAREFULLY blow it to the right, with the chute angled down, so I don't throw ice or a rock thru my tempered glass hot water solar array. As the trench walls get higher, I have to angle the chute higher, endangering the panels more. At some point I will have to knock down the right side bank and haul it off with the FEL bucket. On a epic winter, like one we had about 5 years ago, the walls get above head height.
IMG_20230122_162937466.jpg
 
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GreX

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BX2380
Jan 8, 2023
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Maine
I have to say, after using the rear mounted blower with the FEL still on, has been amazing. We got somewhere between 16-18" of snow yesterday, and the ability to move snow with the blower, then dig big banks out has been so nice. I thought I'd want to get a front mount blower, but the flexibility of having both, has been huge. The heavy plows that hit the roads here, buried out neighborhood fire hydrant, and I was able to dig it out, then blow around it, as well as hit neighbor's driveways, which I wouldn't have been able to do with a front only snowblower. I know the previous owner likely did the rear mount based off the higher cost, but I'm super pumped to have the versatile nature of the little tractor. Also there is no reason for me to get chains on this tractor, it was like a tank, never really skipped a beat unless I was trying to push too much snow too far with the FEL. This could be one of the best snow setups out there (I also have loaded tires) - SOOO glad I picked up a sub-compact tractor and not a larger lawn tractor.
 
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ve9aa

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TG1860, BX2380 -backblade, bx2830 snowblower, fel, weight box,pallet forks,etc
Apr 11, 2021
1,202
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113
NB, Canada
...and you thought it wouldn't snow !

Wonder if you're getting that Wed/Thurs storm like us (in NB) ?
 

GreX

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BX2380
Jan 8, 2023
178
125
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Maine
...and you thought it wouldn't snow !

Wonder if you're getting that Wed/Thurs storm like us (in NB) ?
lol, yeah, its been good practice - went out three times yesterday, still getting used to it, but feel a bit more comfortable around structures.

And yeah, we're supposed to get snow starting tomorrow afternoon, but turns to rain on Thursday.
 
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DustyRusty

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2020 BX23S, BX2822 Snowblower, Curtis Deluxe Cab,
Nov 8, 2015
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North East CT
I sure hope that we don't get any snow for another month or so. I still am homebound and all I can do is look out the window. Today a neighbor came by with his Doge and plow and attempted to plow the driveway. He got stuck and was off the driveway. He finally got back on the pavement, but I was unable to help him. Tonight I got a text from him that he sold the truck in disgust today because it was such a money pit. Sure wish that I had gotten my old plow truck operational before I had my surgery. I told my wife that if she shovels a path to the tractor I can get to the tractor with my walker and clean up the snow. I just got that staring look of disapproval. I get to see the surgeon tomorrow, and I hope that he will say it is OK.
 

torch

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B7100HSD, B2789, B2550, B4672, 48" cultivator, homemade FEL and Cab
Jun 10, 2016
2,599
846
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Muskoka, Ont.
Given that this is now a sticky, can we stick to the topic at hand (Pros and Cons of various snow removal options) with posts that will be educational in future years and avoid wandering off on transitory discussions like today's weather forecast? Thanks all.
 

johnjk

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Lifetime Member

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B3200 w/loader, Woods RC5 brush hog, 4' box blade, tooth bar, B1700 MMM,
Apr 13, 2017
1,354
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West Mansfield, OH
Ahh to get enough snow to actually need to debate and decide. We’re getting 4-6” today a large snow for Central Ohio. Rear blade should do the job with some cleanup using the FEL. I’ll probably spend around 2 hrs this storm cleaning up. Drive is a bit over 1100’ through open fields. If the snow is dry and any wind, I sit back and watch Mother Nature do the removal. If no wind and wet, I’m up.
My biggest challenge is after I blade it a few times I build walls along the drive and then that cut fills with drifting snow but that means more seat time.
I had walk behind blowers when I lived in town but I can’t justify the cost of a blower for what we get out here.
 

chim

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Equipment
L4240HSTC with FEL, Ford 1210
Jan 19, 2013
1,921
1,019
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Near Lancaster, PA, USA
Different locations and applications make quite a difference in what's "best". Prior to building here in '89 we had a short driveway with a turning area and no responsibilities beyond that. The Power Wagon, then K5 Blazer with plows could have been seen by some as overkill:)

The first equipment we had here was an old Cub 154 LoBoy with a dozer blade. Worked well IF the rears were chained (wouldn't even move otherwise). This was before paving the driveway.

Next came the Ford 1210 and rear blade. For small snows driving forward was great. Larger snows required pushing it in reverse. Trying to push back the accumulated snow banks was difficult. The MO was to sweep the snow way off the driveway and create what looked more like a runway.

Then the B7500. The FEL and rear blade were a good combo. It was bothersome to be out in the weather without a cab, so..........

Along came the L3200 that was bought with the intent of building a cab. Accomplished that, and used it for several Winters. The FEL/rear blade combo worked well at home (and on a few nearby neighbors' driveways. But about this time I started doing the parking lots a our church. Found and re-furbed a Pronovost rear blower. It was a lot of fun, but only worked on the driveways. It was disappointing on the parking lots because the size of the lots made it impossible to remove the snow without reblowing. Each time the snow was blown, it became denser and didn't go as far.

Then the L4240 came and I modified an 8' Fisher plow and used the third function to swing it. So far this is my favorite for all-around use. I have a concrete-filled barrel that I used for ballast, but this year I've attached one of the rear blades for ballast and it'll be handy for some high speed cleanup.

Any of the above would be able to handle our 100 yard driveway (and they have). Our Winters consist of anywhere between little or no snow to several small snowfalls and an occasional blizzard. If it weren't for the parking lots and cost wasn't an issue, I'd have a front blower.
 
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flyidaho

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L 3301 HST
Feb 28, 2017
425
248
43
IDAHO
I put this snow fence up 15 years ago, best thing I ever did due to the winter winds and the agnle of the driveway. Totally acceptable in my rural area, though some may consider it unsightly, it saves me a ton of work and is beautiful!
IMG_20230126_101804544~2.jpg
 
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BozenBota

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LX2610; RCR1542, FDR1260, BSS54P, PFL1242, STB1072, MacKissick TPH123, SCG0660
Jan 9, 2022
14
9
3
Capital Region, NY
Very helpful summary and discussion. One setup not included is a broom for light snowfalls. If I had a paved driveway I’d look into one to keep ice at bay.

One minor FEL blade detail to add when digging thru spec sheets is that some blades pivot laterally about a center pin in addition to angle. The bigger LP blades do this but the smaller ones don’t.

Another FEL blade choice is how to have the hydraulics set up: none/bent pin, single cylinder, or dual cylinder. Also cushion valve. I had single and now have dual and I like the slower, smoother operation with the “on/off” third function.

And yet another FEL blade alternative I’d include — mentioned here, i think, by chim — is a modified truck plow, with some additional (or fewer?) modifications: You can affix the plow and frame (and its hydraulics) to a SSQA frame. I used this setup on an M7040. Unlike my loader mount plow this would ride over the ground without digging in or unweighting the front axle. Also a plus is you can run the control box back to the cab so technically you wouldn’t need a third function. And the plow can be removed from the SSQA frame for mounting on a truck. One issue is that the loader leaks down so you’d need to raise the boom every so often.