Snowblowing w/ turf tires - chains needed?

ve9aa

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tg1860, bx2380
Apr 11, 2021
148
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NB, Canada
Been living in Atlantic Canada, on a ridgetop for many years and have always snowblowed my 220' gravel driveway w/ a small turnabout near the house by hand, walk-behind snowblowers.

Have 2 walk-behinds. A "normal" Sears 32" cut single wheel snowblower and also a LARGE 13hp/45" cut Bolens dual-wheeled beast. Both are pretty good, but this year I am growing weary of fighting the push behinds in the worst snowfalls. Pushing 60, I thought it was time to spoil myself, so I bought a BX2380 with a BX2830(not a typo) front mount, K-connect snowblower. 48" commercial. I went with only 48" because I'd like to sneak between 2 cars, plus a small path I snowblow.

I've only owned it a couple months, thus NO experience snowblowing with it yet.

I have Turfs on the BX2380....I also have a 250lb rear blade which I'll put on for the winter.

My property is on a ridgetop (ie: wind) and I am really only concerned (I think?) about those times we get super high winds and the drifted snow is piled up 3'-4' high here and there about getting through the (rock hard) snowdrifts. (also I guess those times too, when it snows all day then we get rain, so we have thick slush)

Older Experienced Sales guy told me he'd be surprised if I ever needed chains. (I had asked)

Assuming he'd like to make $$ from me by selling me chains and he never pushed it, I presume he's correct-is he?

My driveway is pretty flat with a small uptick in elevation during the last 30' by the road. My snowbanks often reach 4' on the sides of the driveway (snow/melt/settling)

So for a variety of types of snow, do I need chains on my Turf Tires, or will I eventually be able to chip away at whatevers out there with 4WD and patience?

Tnx fellas
 
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jimh406

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Kubota L2501 with R4 tires
Jan 29, 2021
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If you have hard pack or ice, you’ll probably need chains.
 

shelkol

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bx-2200, Woods BH6000 backhoe, Tach-N-Go quick attach bucket, snow blower
Nov 12, 2015
101
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Westford, Massachusetts
I have a BX2200. I hardly ever use the snow. blower as I have a 6' plow mounted on my loader arms. Live in Massachusetts where we usually get rain at then end of a snow storm. If we are supposed to get 6-8" I may go out during the storm to clear a path. Had the tractor since 2001, never had chains for it. I do have a weight box on the back with about 500# of lead

If you are going to be snow blowing might I suggest a tool box to keep on the tractor. In the tool box have 2 - 1/2" wrenches, a drift punch, small hammer, and several shear bolts. It will save trips back to the garage to put in new shear bolts. Part of my drive goes through a wooded section and there are branches down
 
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RCW

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BX2360, FEL, MMM, BX2750D snowblower. 1953 Minneapolis Moline ZAU
Apr 28, 2013
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I’ve used a tractor mounted blower for 20 years.

4’ hard drifts can be a challenge.

Even with 4WD, I can’t function without chains. We can get 3’ of snow occasionally.

I have R-4’s and some slope. Turfs are better in snow, but I’m not sure 4’ drifts good…. ;)

Tughill Tom and others in the lake effect region’s get more.

I think better to have and not need than the opposite …..especially if you’re staring at something like this…. I had done 4-5” the night before.


5B6EE889-CF3C-42D8-97A8-64F334110EEE.jpeg
 
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torch

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B7100HSD, B2789, B2550, B4672, RC54-71B, 48" cultivator, homemade FEL and Cab
Jun 10, 2016
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Muskoka, Ont.
So for a variety of types of snow, do I need chains on my Turf Tires, or will I eventually be able to chip away at whatevers out there with 4WD and patience?
Turf tires work great on snow and ice when blowing. Better than deep lug tires. All those little blocks act like the siped blocks of snow tires. R1s or R4s might be better driving through snow, but remember that when you are blowing snow, the tractor is driving on the cleared path with very little depth of cover.
 

Dave_eng

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Oct 6, 2012
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It is when you slip off the flat surface into a slight ditch that you will wish you had chains. With rear mounted blowers you can raise the blower and lock the diff and have much improved traction backing out.

With the front blowers, if you get the front end down in a depression, you can have a hard time getting back up as there is little weight on the rear tires and the front Diff is open meaning the wheel with the least traction is trying to move you..

Screw in studs are a compromise to full chains..

Dave
 

GreensvilleJay

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BX23-S
Apr 2, 2019
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Greensville,Ontario,Canada
I've run a 22HP rider/ BERCO 44" blower for a decade+, it is USELESS without chains !!! Even with weight in back, you NEED chains. OK, here in southern Ontario we don't get the volume of snow you do, but it's usually wet/heavy 'lake effect' that's 'fun' to deal with.
 

torch

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B7100HSD, B2789, B2550, B4672, RC54-71B, 48" cultivator, homemade FEL and Cab
Jun 10, 2016
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Muskoka, Ont.
I've run a 22HP rider/ BERCO 44" blower for a decade+, it is USELESS without chains !!!
4wd or 2wd? My old green 2wd needed chains. But the 4wd Kubota is fine without.
 

PaulR

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BX 23S -- 60 hours seat time so far
Aug 3, 2020
343
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Hadley, MA
Op: I have a similar set up to yours: BX 23S, K-connect, 48 front blower., turf tires, New England Winter. First year last winter with this thing, it did great, but I only have a 150 straight paved driveway, no hills, and I also blew out a big chunk of my field for the trailers, no problems. I would guess if you are flat to slight grade you'll be totally fine, if you have hills or side-hills, you may consider chains.
 

orange crusher

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BX 2680
Sep 30, 2017
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ontario canada
I have a BX2680 with the 54" commercial front blower for the last 3 winters here in Ontario. 98% of the time my turf tires work with no problems. The last few years we are getting more and more storms involving freezing rain episodes which lead to some icy conditions. That is where the chains and 4 wd allow you to go anywhere. My driveway is large and slopes downhill to the twp. road. My rear tires are loaded and I have about 200lbs. of weight on the 3ph. Haven't found anywhere I have not been able to go with that set up. My vote is go for the chains. I think mine were about a $140 from my dealer.
 
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Toyboy

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BX2230D - RCK60-22BX - BX5450
May 18, 2010
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Hayward Wi
I'm in Northern Wisconsin and have never needed chains using the blower. 4WD is all I've ever needed.
I have a lot of blacktop and would never want chains anyway. It would look like crap in the spring with all the scratching from chains.
 

DustyRusty

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BX23S
Nov 8, 2015
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If the driveway is paved, you shouldn't need chains. If it is dirt or gravel, then possibly you will need chains, but using chains on a paved driveway makes for a very bumpy ride. I have 600+ pounds in the weight box on my old BX22, and never had a problem. If the snow is extremely heavy, I blow about 2 or 3 inches off the pavement for my first pass. It is better to snow blow / plow with the storm, then to try to get through heavy drifts after it stops snowing. I learned this over 50 years ago when I used to plow driveways and streets. Once the snow is higher than the snow blower can handle, it starts to go over the top of the blower, and then you are in trouble, because the snow is building up between the blower and the front wheels. Make sure that you mark your driveway every 20 feet, so you know where the driveway ends, and your grass, etc. start. If the snow is heavy, go down the center of the driveway blowing it far to the side, and when you get to the end, turn around and go back taking a smaller bite of the snow. You don't want to overwhelm the machine.
Also, always check your gear box oil before the season starts, and at least once in the middle of the season. I have learned from experience, that the gear box when it gets hot, and then cools, will draw in the moist air, and the moisture will collect inside of the gear box. I drained and refilled my gear box every season. Also make sure that you lube the chain on the snow blower. I use chain bar oil, because it is sticky, and works well. Also check the tightness of the chain periodically, because a loose chain can jump the sprockets. If you hit something like a rock, you also may break the chain, so having repair links is important. The link is a #40. I just searched for a video that will give you some guidance. If the video the person is using an impact wrench to install the top vent, and I don't agree with that, because of the possibility of cross threading or over tightening. On mine, I had difficulty removing the Allen screws the first time, and I used a propane torch to put some heat on the case. I think that the manufacturer used a mild Loctite on them originally.
 
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ve9aa

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tg1860, bx2380
Apr 11, 2021
148
46
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NB, Canada
Tnx for all the reports. Gravel driveway and no chain in the snowblower I have (I believe).

Appreciate all the great info. Even though I've been (walk behind) snowblowing for the past 40+ yrs I hadn't really thought about the fact that the blowers wheels are/is usually travelling in a "cleaned out" path. With the tractor and how long it is, I presume I won't ALWAYS be in a clean path.
 

torch

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Equipment
B7100HSD, B2789, B2550, B4672, RC54-71B, 48" cultivator, homemade FEL and Cab
Jun 10, 2016
1,810
228
63
Muskoka, Ont.
You will find -- particularly with a front mount blower -- that the tractor will want to go straight, as the blower acts somewhat like a rudder. But as DustyRusty said, taking the first pass down the middle then cleaning the edges and blowing during the storm before things get real deep will help a lot. Yes, at least one wheel may want to turn inside or outside of the cleared path, but the beauty of 4wd is the other 3 will keep things moving.
 
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jimh406

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Kubota L2501 with R4 tires
Jan 29, 2021
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Western MT
My pavement is much slicker than my gravel. I thought that was obvious. After all, they do require chains on paved roads right?

Ladder chains are specifically made for asphalt. Btw, I don’t find them that bumpy. YMMV. Some people only put chains on fronts and some only on rear and some on both. Front chains are relatively inexpensive and easy to put on, also.
 

BAP

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2012 Kubota 2920, 60MMM, FEL, BH65 48" Bush Hog, 60"Backblade, B2782B Snowblower
Dec 31, 2012
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New Hampshire
Plain ladder chains, 2 links not 4 links, work best for traction and smooth ride. They aren’t overly expensive, and having a set on the rear will allow you to go and not have to worry about getting hung up.
 
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orange crusher

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BX 2680
Sep 30, 2017
231
211
43
ontario canada
Tnx for all the reports. Gravel driveway and no chain in the snowblower I have (I believe).

Appreciate all the great info. Even though I've been (walk behind) snowblowing for the past 40+ yrs I hadn't really thought about the fact that the blowers wheels are/is usually travelling in a "cleaned out" path. With the tractor and how long it is, I presume I won't ALWAYS be in a clean path.
That is why I went with the 54" width blower. Also the commercial blower is a lot heavier duty compared to the 48" "residential" version. Mine has a hefty gear driven box on the rear of the blower where the chain drive would be on the 48".
 

orange crusher

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Equipment
BX 2680
Sep 30, 2017
231
211
43
ontario canada
You will find -- particularly with a front mount blower -- that the tractor will want to go straight, as the blower acts somewhat like a rudder.

I run mine in the "float" position on the lift and have never experienced what you are describing.
 
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