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Forum topic by chrisstef posted 561 days ago 1265 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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chrisstef

10694 posts in 1638 days


561 days ago

Well after a 6 hour battle with my driveway post blizzard here in CT im in the market for a new snow blower. Ive got a driveway with some serious pitch to it and around 150’ long. I gave my 8hp 24” snow blower the beatin of its life time and after falling on my face one too many times humping that pig up the driveway im in the market for a new machine. Im thinking about going with a tracked machine. Any one out there have any experience with tracked machines or clearing steep driveways?

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty


27 replies so far

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superstretch

1500 posts in 1325 days


#1 posted 561 days ago

My neighbor plows with a mini bulldozer.. its loud as heck, but the track noise is awesome. I run an old Ariens 7hp 26” that feels like it was made of 1/4” plate steel and ate the 18” I had with ease.. then again, I wasn’t facing the 30” you guys had.

What about a 4 wheeler or attachment for a truck?

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

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JR_Dog

526 posts in 951 days


#2 posted 561 days ago

Depending on what your better half let’s you get away with… and I assume you mow your lawn in the summer so that helps for justification considering it comes with a 54” Mower deck too “Less time on the mower in the summer and snow blowing in the winter – more time with the family” ... when I lived in VT I got away with ordering a John Deere X520 lawn and garden tractor with a 44” snow blower, wheel chains and 4 – 75lb weights that connected to the back. I had an approx 800 – 1000 foot driveway and I was able to clear that within an hour or so; certainly able to clear a center swath for a car to drive through with two passes – 10 to 15 minutes. I know that extra cash would probably be better spent on a new woodworking device but for the sake of staying true to this forum topic I can’t tell you how nice it was to see the snow pile up and not have to worry about it. I hesitate to say it but at the time, around 2009 – 2010, it ran me around 8 to 9k; like I said probably tough to not channel that kind of funding approval from “the boss” towards woodworking devices. But ya never know…. Stay warm my brutha….

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Mosquito

4626 posts in 924 days


#3 posted 561 days ago

We just had a snow thrower, when we lived in WI for 11 years, and still only have a snow thrower since we’ve been living in MN for 15 years. When we are supposed to get heavy snow with large accumulations, we would just go out and snowblow after we got about 6” or so (did I mention that it’s a snow thrower?). Yes you look a little off when you’re out there snowblowing in the middle of a snowstorm, but hey, sure beats shoveling the 18” the snowthrower can’t deal with.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

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chrisstef

10694 posts in 1638 days


#4 posted 561 days ago

As much as i would love a plow on the jeep wrangler i dont suspect that vehicle will be around long enough to get good use out of it. It’ll probably get sold to help off set daycare for babystef. :(

Ive beat around the idea of a quad with a plow but with the steep driveway im not sure it will get up it all the time but it would serve me well in a ton of other tasks around the yard like hauling firewood and brush. Pricy option though.

The tractor with a plow or snow thrower is also a tough one to sell to the wife. The mowable area of the lawn is rather small, enough that it only takes me about an hour with a self propelled walk behind. The majority of our “yard” is in fact trees and uncleared.

I know that this storm was kind of freak in nature but even with a little 2” dusting i have to clear the driveway to make sure the wifes mazda 3 can get out … and back down in one piece too. Ive gone 4 tires off the end of the driveway and it sucks.

I think im really looking for almost a commercial snow thrower (Mos). Im thinking tracks because when i lose footing toward the top of the driveway and slide all the way back down with the snow blower i get kinda cranky.

I dont mind making a few passes like Mos suggests during big storms just didnt have that chance with this latest blizzard and it dumping 18” in 5 hours overnight.

Here’s a pic of the driveway:

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View superstretch's profile

superstretch

1500 posts in 1325 days


#5 posted 561 days ago

A very well-reasoned argument. I grew up with a driveway very similar to yours and used a 98 Polaris 500 ATV to plow.. I usually ran without chains, but an incline was no problem for it.

Best of luck!

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

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PurpLev

8476 posts in 2280 days


#6 posted 561 days ago

chrisstef, I have a similar sized driveway/parking lot like you have only it’s downhill into the street.

I have a 24” Poulan Pro. nothing extreme, but it’s a workhorse. it just blew snow twice it’s height in the last storm without a hiccup and it’s a 3 years old or so. As long as the chute was above snow level ,it could keep on going (not ideal as the motor is covered in snow – but as a test run it was performing very well).

I always toyed with the idea of a Quad with a plow attachment, but we’re renting, and well… other than joy rides, I can’t really justify it at this point. but for snow as deep as we just got, I wonder if a quad could handle the amount of snow (plowing power as well as it’s own traction)

what I like about the snow blower is that it’s narrow enough to get into tight corners and it doesn’t push the snow towards the house, but throws it away to where you want it.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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chrisstef

10694 posts in 1638 days


#7 posted 561 days ago

Purp – thats about the same size im running now, yours might ahave a little more height to it. It went through it (30” of snow) but it didnt like it. Ill tell ya going down the hill its a champ but going up the hill its a pig. There’s no weight in the front and it wants to roll back on me (which it did, and i fell on my face, a few times). Mines a MTD that came with the house 4 years ago when we bought it. Plastic chute, bad muffler placement, and lame tires. It has served me well up until now but im feeling the need for something a bit stronger.

Im thinkin somethin like this :

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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PurpLev

8476 posts in 2280 days


#8 posted 561 days ago

oh wow – tipping over – YIKES, definitely nothing I’ve experienced with mine – unless I’m intentionally tipping it backwards to make a sharp u-turn.

I’m liking this one (remote chute height control as opposed to playing around with the plastic knob):

I wonder if those wide traction belts with the larger surface on which the weight is distributed would cause the blower to go over snow as opposed to burying it in (which lowers the snow intake to the ground)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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Sodabowski

2002 posts in 1464 days


#9 posted 561 days ago

.oO(Am I the only one around here thinking in terms of “napalm”? )

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

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chrisstef

10694 posts in 1638 days


#10 posted 561 days ago

Purp – thats a good observation with the tracks. I would guess that if the auger is still chewing away at the snow and not clogged it shouldnt ride up but there are some pics of it climbing a pile. Leaving a 1/2” of snow on the driveway is more dangerous than leaving it all there IMO. The weight of this beast is around 250 lbs though which should keep it grounded. That JD is pretty good looking and im a green kinda guy. Im gonna look into those.

EDIT – Looks like thats the 1028E model Purp. Heated handgrips too. Boss. Not bad at MSRP of $1299. I bet if i hold out until the spring i can catch it on sale.

Soda – ohh i thought about it. 15 gallons of gas and a match might have alerted the fire dept. all though.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Don W's profile

Don W

14874 posts in 1199 days


#11 posted 561 days ago

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

10694 posts in 1638 days


#12 posted 561 days ago

Whats the running cost on a rig like that Don? Grandbaby taking it for a rip or what?

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 880 days


#13 posted 561 days ago

Tracks require a lot of maintenance. My POS snow blower finally ate it last weekend too. My replacement will be paying the guy down the street who owns a landscaping/snow removal company to do the work for me while I sip coffee and play with the kids

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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chrisstef

10694 posts in 1638 days


#14 posted 561 days ago

I know that a new track will run your around $100 but if theyre anything like the ones on a mini excavator they should just need a bit of grease every now and then to keep proper tension. Let the grease out to suck the wheels in, fill em back up to expand. For somethin that runs maybe 10-12 times a year im not terribly concerned about throwing one or maintaining them but certainly something to weigh in grand scheme of things Joe. Good thought.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View ShaneA's profile (online now)

ShaneA

5289 posts in 1230 days


#15 posted 561 days ago

Oh my goodness, this sounds expensive. Get the neighbor kid to do for a Ten spot : ) Gotta toughen up the next generation, teach them about values and hard work…

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