The truth about 3-point PTO rear push versus rear pull snow blowers?

mcmxi

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I recently bought a used 3-point PTO push behind Land Pride snow blower that I found on Craigslist. Land Pride only offers the push type as far as I can tell. Earlier in the week a friend and his wife stopped by the house to pick me up and head out for dinner and I showed him the snow blower. He was impressed and wants something similar for his L4760 and found an Erskine 3-point PTO pull behind snow blower for a great price and he's asked me what I think about it.

It appears to be a great deal, but other than the obvious difference that to use the push behind you either have to look over your shoulder or use your mirrors (not ideal in a snowstorm) and don't compact the snow under the wheels before trying to blow it away, are there other less obvious differences that makes a pull behind better or worse than a push behind? He has a long and winding gravel driveway.

Thanks.
 

hedgerow

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Jan 2, 2015
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I think different parts of the country are different but in my area a pull behind normally doesn't work well. When we use blowers around here you may have a drift that is two to five feet deep and several hundred of feet long. Pull behinds don't shine then. You want a front mount or a push into three point mount for that. I had a buddy years ago that bought a pull behind cheap on a consignment auction and the first bad winter found out why it so cheap. It went back to the consignment auction as no one wanted it privately.
 
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mcmxi

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@hedgerow, thanks for the response and good point re snow drifts and such. My friend dropped by an hour ago to pick up my utility trailer so that he can get the Erksine this afternoon. Asking price is under $4k and it's in very good condition and has hydraulic chute rotation but manual deflector angle. He'll need to add a rear remote since he doesn't have any at the moment.

The 725RP he's getting retails for a bit over $8k and it's heavy at over 1,000lb. He has a snow blade of some kind for his F250 Super Duty and will be pushing most of the snow out of the way but he mentioned having an issue with it building up during bad winters and he'd like to blow it out of the way to make room for fresh snow. I mentioned that the biggest risk for him is large rocks that will break free of the banks along his driveway and end up in his blower. That said, hopefully the Erksine will work for him. If it doesn't I'm sure he can sell it on for a profit. Frankly I think the asking price is low giving the condition, the cost new and the lack of availability.

 

airbiscuit

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I have had both - Both MK Martin Meteors. Both function well. If you regularly have snowfalls over 24" or have 4' snow drifts, then a push snowblower is the way to go. You can push into the drifts, but it is cumbersome to do all your blowing in reverse.

The rear pull works great for anything under 24". If you have the occasional drift, you still have your front end loader to knock it down. Driving over the snow first does not compact the snow - it still scrapes clean. My snowblowing time is half of what it used to be now that I have a rear pull snowblower. Your friend will love it for his long curvy road.


 
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airbiscuit

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I haven't found that to be a problem.
 
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hope to float

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The biggest problem I can see with it is that if you are driving forward blowing with the blower behind you it would be easy to forget yourself for a moment and blow towards a car or window.
 

airbiscuit

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It sounds like the OPs friend might be in the country. A lot of snow removal contractors use rear pull snowblowers because they are a quick in and out, and they are in suburban settings. It does require some operator awareness.
 
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mikester

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I like the idea of the pull behind blower but driving through 3 foot snow drifts is a no go for me.

If I wanted a new little estate tractor Id get one of these front mount setups:
 

mcmxi

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I haven't found that to be a problem.
I found it to be an issue with the BX25 and front snow blower so I tried to avoid driving over any snow. But snow varies a lot around the country so what might be an issue on certain surfaces up here might not be an issue in other places. Also, I suppose it depends on the finish that one is looking for.
 

mcmxi

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It sounds like the OPs friend might be in the country. A lot of snow removal contractors use rear pull snowblowers because they are a quick in and out, and they are in suburban settings. It does require some operator awareness.
Yes, he's definitely in the country being on 20 acres on the side of a mountain, and gets a fair amount of snow being a 1000 ft or more higher than me. I didn't hear from him yesterday and didn't get my trailer back yet so I assume that he bought the Erskine. I told him that he can hang onto the trailer over the weekend if it's easier for him.

His main use will be cleaning up snow on the side of the driveway when it builds up so much that he can't easily push fresh snow out of the way with his Ford. He has a nice, fairly new F250 Super Duty 6.7L but I don't know how good it is at moving snow. They own a local business about 15 miles from their home and he uses the Ford to plow the parking lot which is why he didn't go all out with snow removal implements for his L4760.
 

airbiscuit

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You will have to give us your assessment once winter comes. You will have the perfect opportunity to see push vs pull in action.
 

twomany

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Pull behinds work very well with large (high) tractors.

There are not many tractors that won't drive through a "normal"
snowfall here in the N.E. But we don't get much wind drifting that would be "drive OVER" hard.

With the 2 ton Fordson tractor, the pull behind is effective for the long drive. (no looking over the shoulder constantly,) It sure sends a stream of white over the bank and into the woods, (A side wing is a nice feature to keep any plowed up banks back !)
Around the house and buildings, I use the little tractor (B7200) with a front blower. Easy to "get up close" etc.
 

bmblank

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Mar 4, 2015
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Cadillac, MI
The pull behind is great because you don't have to crane your neck, like you said, but you also still get the use of your loader and/or forks - something that sets it apart from a front mounted (forward facing) blower.
The downsides of course are driving over the snow, but also, unless the blower is considerably wider than the tractor is, it's hard to actually WIDEN a plowed or otherwise preestablished path. Driving with the wheels right on the edge of the snow gets surprisingly difficult. I wish I got mine a bit wider, namely for this purpose, though it does pretty dang good as is.
 

boakley

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Dec 2, 2019
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I',m a simple type of guy and finding sticking with what is commonly used serves me well. Commonly used is commonly used for reasons.

Pull snowblowers are not new, they have been around for a real long time. Yes they do cost a little more. However not overly popular. I asked myself why??

I used to work in Quebec Canada and work had me travelling around Canada and the US full time and really only see a lot of these pull behind units with some frequency in Quebec. It is not uncommon to get 7+ meters (20+ feet of snow per year) annually and these pull behinds handle big heavy snow easily and quickly.

HOWEVER, I only see them on large tractors (Grand L's and bigger). I asked a dealer once about this once as I wanted one badly!! and he said only the Grand L's and bigger seem to make them work well as tractor weight is very important to keep in a straight line. He said don't expect to clean areas that were not cleaned (untouched before) because he said once the edges of the roadway sets up (or windrows are at an angle) it will tend to twist the tractor as one side digs into the harder snow and wheels slip on opposite side and you can find yourself nose into the deeper snow or worse the ditch. He warned me that you need the tractor weight and if I did buy take care on snow that was not evenly set up, curbs and other stuff that will slow down the lighter tractors on one side and twist your path of direction. He told me bad things happen quickly especially when guys speed it up too much on the smaller L's.
 

bmblank

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Cadillac, MI
once the edges of the roadway sets up (or windrows are at an angle) it will tend to twist the tractor as one side digs into the harder snow and wheels slip on opposite side and you can find yourself nose into the deeper snow or worse the ditch.
This... It's hard to drive that tight rope between not really cutting much of anything and being sucked into the deep.

Additionally - something I just thought of - the pushers are a lot easier to clean out. When you're blowing the wet and sticky snow, it's really easy to get full access to the auger and secondary on a pusher. A pull type has a big ol tractor in the way.

Still like my puller, though. I've got a quarter mile of private road, plus a couple hundred feet of driveway to do. That's a lot of back and neck twisting for a pusher.
 

BobInSD

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L5740
Jun 23, 2020
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The biggest problem I can see with it is that if you are driving forward blowing with the blower behind you it would be easy to forget yourself for a moment and blow towards a car or window.
Here to assure you that I can do that with the "push in reverse" kind also. Normally just coat a pre-shoveled sidewalk or to but I have sprayed the house.
 

Newaterman

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Feb 14, 2021
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You will have to give us your assessment once winter comes. You will have the perfect opportunity to see push vs pull in action.
I’ll be interested to get that assessment as well. I’ve only got about a 250’ driveway and am going with just the bucket this year as it isn’t that wide. Strongly considering the pull behind Martin meteor though.
 

airbiscuit

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BMBlank, If you would like your blower to be a bit wider, you could fab up some wings. I did that for my push type one and they were rugged and performed well.
Snowblower wing 1.jpg

Snowblower wing 2.jpg

Snowblower wing 3.jpg
 

bmblank

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2020 L3901HST, LA525 Loader, 66" Q/A Bucket, PFL2042 Forks, Meteor SB68PT Blower
Mar 4, 2015
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Cadillac, MI
I've seriously considered it. Realistically, it does everything I need it to do already. Being able to widen the road a little bit more at a time would just be icing on the cake.
I need to put an electric chute rotation on it before I worry about making it any wider.