I love snow and I love my tractor time. This week brought me both.
My area has had a roughly 10 year snow drought that ended this week. On Monday the temperature really dropped and we got a total of about 8” of snow starting off early in the morning after my wife had headed off to work. My 400’ driveway obviously needed clearing and when I got to the end it was equally obvious that our road was completely untouched by plows, cars, human tracks or even deer. It was completely virgin snow but it had to go so my wife could get back home. I cleared about 1000’ to the stop sign when I found the intersecting road was almost as bad so I cleared a couple hundred feet of that road. I got done shortly before my wife got home.
But neighbors had driveways that needed clearing so another neighbor and I spent a good morning clearing out several neighbors driveways that were impassable. Overall it was nice to get out to clear the snow and help the neighbors at the same time.
Just for reference, my main way to clear snow is with an angled 7’ rear grader blade with the loader and bucket as a backup.
Actually, even though I cleared the driveway for my wife to get home, continued snowfall plus wind meant that by the next morning I had to clear the driveway again. Not that I really minded as the snowplows finally came and finished what I began.
At the moment my driveway still looks a bit snowed in, but that’s because it is a long gravel driveway and I cannot remove all the snow without also removing a lot of gravel so I try to leave at least an inch of snow. This inch is easy to drive over (my wife had all wheel drive), but it still looks very white. Personally I think it looks pretty.
You must have one of those helpful neighbor types. Out of curiosity, what implement were you going to use to clear the snow? Grader blade? Box blade? Use the bucket alone?
My favorite is the grader blade and bucket combo. I like the grader blade because I can do long runs and angle off to the side. My current blade is a 7’ blade that cuts a 6’ path when angled. This will cut out my tires which are about 5’ on the outside. Even more fun, I can offset the blade so I can really clear to the side or wing off snow that piled up. I splurged on this blade as it will also be my last one.
Eric, your blade sounds nice! I've kept an eye out for one of those over the years, since I got my tractor(s) and only seen a few come up on Craigslist in my area and usually at twice the price of the "cheap" ones. Without a lot of open space, I've got limited need for one, and never justified the expense... so instead we got a whole other tractor!
For me this is year three with a Kubota BX with a front snowblower. I can get our three driveways and 400 feet of sidewalk dug out in the same time as one driveway would take with the walk-behind blower. The BX can maneuver in our tight lots, where there isn't really any good place to plow snow to... the snowblower can put it anywhere!!! It does have it's limitations such as being too wide to sneak past the cars, or get through the gates to do the front walks, but by doing the all the rest from a seat, I've saved my back to handle shoveling those bits which always need some shoveling anyhow.
I have also done a few favors for neighbors, clearing the snow bank left by the town plows after a heavy storm, or driveways while a neighbor was away. Feels good.
A whole tractor just for snow blowing! Whoo hoo! I wish I was in an area that could actually justify a snow blower, but the reality is that snow is kinda scarce by me. I bet that little BX does a great job though. I owned a JD 2305 for 13 years, very similar to your BX, and it never let me down. I traded up to a much larger frame 37 hp JD 2038r, but I sold the old tractor to my neighbor and that has worked out great for the both of us. I really can’t store another tractor, he gets a tractor, but we work together all the time.
Regarding the blade, I did buy it new from Everything Attachments. I am not trying to sound like a commercial but they make a solid product. My blade was in their lightest category but I would call it a medium weight blade—very solidly built. Actually EA tried to sell me the 6’ blade, saying the 7’ blade was too big for my tractor. This might be true if I am mostly moving gravel or certainly if I am trying to actually dig into earth (it has a tilt function also but I have never used it). As I am basically only using it for snow I think it is appropriately sized—it clears a good path without hanging up the tractor.
Again, I would love to need a blower but we just had 8”, the heaviest snowfall in years (though it was on top of 1” of ice/sleet). The heaviest snowfall I have seen is 12” and I am pretty certain that this blade will make short work of that sized snowfall.
Now, can someone please explain to me how come every where but OUR driveway is snow free? The old "cobblers kids have no shoes" scenario, me thinks.
Lorinne, I'm pretty sure you are missing the point. Hubby likely anticipated that since he has so much fun removing snow, he didn't want to steal all the fun for himself.....and *generously* left some for YOU! ;-)
Maybe not??.... lol
Normally, I don't mind a little blowing and bucketing of snow in the winter, but we are emerging from the deep freeze outside of Fargo. All of the wind from the past 1.5 weeks has compacted the drifting at the top of the driveway into a solid chunk of concrete, .....but it's finally warmed into the 20's F so I've no choice but to get out and chisel away at it with the front loader. Still, it beats the old grain scoop any day!
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I was wondering if you were going with a grader blade or a box blade. I love the grader blade because I can angle, divert and clear a long driveway. But a lot of people around us like to use a box blade— I guess because the box blade can gather snow well, and because the box blade can be used to push (in reverse) large piles of snow. The guy who sold me the first tractor actually tried to sell me on the benefits of a box blade over a grader blade, even when I told him about the long driveway.
That’s funny John, because I think I had the very same blade. Mine was a red 5’ blade. I paid about $150 for it and I got $50 when selling. It rusted badly but it did move snow very nicely. I could just barely spread gravel with it turned around backwards and 80 pounds of weight added. Mine was nothing special but it was functional.
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