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  1. #1

    Default Mechanical VS Hydraulic Snowblower

    Hey Guys, I'm looking to get a front mount blower for a kubota tractor. I know they both are expensive, buuuuut my question is,is one better than the other. I know that you need either a mid pto or rear pto apparatus to run a mechanical and also some type of hydraulics for the other. Any thoughts? Thanks,

  2. #2
    Elite Member Ductape's Avatar
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    Central New Hampshire
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    Kubota B3030HSDC

    Default Re: Mechanical VS Hydraulic Snowblower

    How many HP and what type of hydraulic flow does your kubota have? What model is it?

    For most tractors, some type of hydraulic pump , tank , etc. will be required. Hydraulic is the way to go with skidsteers since a) they have the hydraulic capacity, and b) a PTO is not an option.

    I would asses your wants and needs as to what you want to accomplish. Do you want your loader on during the winter? Are you OK with being spun around looking backwards while doing your snow clearing? Would you rather have a front mount so you can drive / look forward while snow blowing? Are you looking for new , or used?

    My personal recommendation is a front mounted blower, but many have different feeling on the matter

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mechanical VS Hydraulic Snowblower

    I would like to use a l3400 kubota and want a front mounted unit.

  4. #4
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Mechanical VS Hydraulic Snowblower

    Quote Originally Posted by Rustaferr View Post
    Hey Guys, I'm looking to get a front mount blower for a kubota tractor. I know they both are expensive, buuuuut my question is,is one better than the other. I know that you need either a mid pto or rear pto apparatus to run a mechanical and also some type of hydraulics for the other. Any thoughts? Thanks,
    About a week ago I started what I thought was going to become the acquisition of a front mounted Loftness blower.
    Not sure what happened, a spouse may have trodden on the deal, anyway it seems to have gone cold - maybe the threat of the next storm, maybe they managed to pay their December bills anyway, though they said that it is too big for their current tractor(s).

    One outcome was that I scoured the Loftness site for info;
    They don't currently have a 67 inch wide blower or ANY front mount ones, so my guess is that it is an adaptation of a rear mount unit with a dropped gear box, shaft under, etc., e.g. it could be a real hack-up.

    I have browsed skid steer mounted units and will keep looking - well into May and June, maybe July and August (-:
    I think a rear PTO pump to a skid steer unit on the front would be quite practical, of course I would need to figure out a hydraulic tank - maybe 20 gallons - and I would probably want to keep the rear blade on, so where/how to mount a 20 gallon tank could be problematic (-:
    OTOH, a 20 gallon hydraulic tank and high volume pump... could find other uses - other skid steer attachments - the continuation of the never ending toys acquisition journey.

  5. #5
    Elite Member Ductape's Avatar
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    Central New Hampshire
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    Kubota B3030HSDC

    Default Re: Mechanical VS Hydraulic Snowblower

    Unfortunately, the L3400 does not have a mid PTO to power a factory kubota blower. You would either have to step down into a B series, or up into a Grand L for a mid PTO. You could go with a front mounted blower such as the Erskine, which uses the rear PTO to run a front blower. The problem with wanting to run a hydraulic blower with a compact tractor is that the hydraulics require a much higher flow that the tractor is capable of, and they are naturally inefficient compared to a PTO blower so they make more heat than the tractors system will want. There certainly are hydraulic blower set-ups that will run an external hydraulic pump off the rear PTO , but you will find them a bit spendy. I'm guessing in the ten to fifteen thousand dollar range.

  6. #6
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    JD LA115, WH 244, WH 525 hydro-pops,Original Troy Built Horse 8 HP

    Default Re: Mechanical VS Hydraulic Snowblower

    It depends on how deep your pocket is primarily;

    For the front mounts you need the underframe and or the quick hitch mount for the mid P.T.O.

    The loader mounted front mounts and the front mounts that are hydraulic drive will enter into the very low 5 figure cost for you.

    The Mid P.T.O. drive front mounts are less costly BUT you will need a lot more as far as, the underframe, and reversing chain drive or gearbox and you would not be able to use the loader if you have the quick hitch parts mounted on the front for most models.


    AND you will lose ground clearance in the process because of the underframe
    which is non issue with a rear mounted snow blower.






    A rear mount "Pronovost PUMA group 1 snow blower" which is the best snowblower in "my opinion" is less money and more bang for the buck as it has no sheet metal in the units construction.

    A rear mount snowblower and an open station hydro drive tractor fit well together as all you need is a suicide knob for the steering wheel and a pillow for the seat reduce stress on your lower back while you twist in the seat slightly usiing your left foot to depress the reverse portion of the directional pedal to watch over your shoulder OR use a big truck mirror to watch while you use the blower while looking forward-this is why the steering knobs are so nice as the tractor will go where you steer it much more easily and there will be less stress on your forarms and hands.



    You have to keep in mind the following:

    1. fresh snow fall and packed snow from freeze thaw cycles wieghs 21 pounds per cubic foot or more.


    2. the open auger design of the two stage snow blowers floods the impeller drum all the time it is operating as the delivery volume is not constant as

    THE AUGER IS OPEN and does not have a ribbon suirrounding a tube like a grain auger or "single stage snow blower auger"

    using the 21 pound per cubic foot example:


    if you are traveling at 2 miles per hour you are advancing at 176 feet per minute AND if you have a 4 foot blower:

    176 feet by 4 feet by 21 pounds per cubic foot you will be dealing with-

    7.4 tons of snow per 176 feet of distance with the four foot width with a 1 foot snow load.

    The slower you travel the faster the snow is "cast" aside not "blown" and

    you will not flood the impeller drum and plug from the heat of friction created by the rotation of the impeller.



    I would contact Ken Sweet who is a proud sponsor of the forum in good standing and ask about his line of rear mounted snowblowers.

    You can find suicide knobs/steering knobs at the local TSC.com or agsupplyonline.com and other places


    The only real option you have if you want a front mount blower for this tractor is a Bercomac motorised snowblower for an ATV or RTV
    and a front hitch mount winch kit from Bercomac for it.




    WE have a lot of Kubota Owners with rear mounted blowers here on the forum, and they are very happy with them.

    Candidly the first thing you should do is make a decision tree and go from there.
    Last edited by leonz; 01-17-2011 at 12:23 PM. Reason: whoopsie

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Mechanical VS Hydraulic Snowblower

    Some sizes, prices and hydraulic flow requirements for skid steer models are here;
    Skid Steer Snow Blowers

    A general rule of thumb for hydraulics that do WORK (not just position things occasionally) is that you need a gallon of reservoir capacity for each gallon per minute of pump output.
    A 20 gallon tank for round numbers, a PTO pump, mounting brackets, paint, etc.

    I will probably only go this route if/when something like this shows up locally, is cheap and in fair/good condition.
    There are two chances of that happening; fat and slim.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Mechanical VS Hydraulic Snowblower

    Another site that may be of interest if you want to price the pieces;
    Beaver Valley Supply Company - Schulte Snow Blowers

  9. #9
    Platinum Member jgrreed's Avatar
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    Regina, Saskatchewan
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    JD 4720

    Default Re: Mechanical VS Hydraulic Snowblower

    Lots and lots of things to consider in planning a PTO driven power-pak system to run a front mount blower, broom, post hole auger, etc...

    - How much HP do you need to drive the implement? (~5hp per foot of snowblower, no idea for broom)
    - What hydraulic motor will provide the HP you need at either 540 or 1000rpm?
    - What pressure and flow do you need to run that hydraulic motor?
    - What diameter pipes/hoses do you need to get that fluid from the front to the back?
    - What hydraulic pump will you need to provide the pressure and flow you need? Will this pump be "PTO ready" - like a Prince or Cross - or will you adapt it?
    - What reservoir size do you need? (1 Gallon per 1GPM flow is bang on) Check out these guys - Hydraulic reservoirs
    - Where will you have a filter? Pressure release valve? Control valve? Mechanical valve or electrohydraulic? Do you want it to be reversible?

    It's very do-able, and all the answers you need are somewhere here on TBN. Cross Manufacturing has great charts (nomograms) for how flow and pressure relate to HP, and diameter of hose needed to allow fluid to flow. Surplus supply has some too.

    Some rear blades have a nice long 'arm' on them that'd make a nice spot to mount a reservoir - that's my plan - that way you'll still have the blade to row up snow before blowing it away.

    It's not a cheap project, but it can sure be done a lot cheaper than what Frontier or Schulte or Puma want for theirs.

    Have fun, there's lots of learning to be done with a project like this!!!

    -Jer.
    ________
    2005 JD 4720, 400x loader with bucket, bale spear, pallet forks, Markham LD grapple, Markham snow blade, Schulte BX 74 snowblower, Caroni 1900 flail, 8' Aerway, 3rd SCV at rear, hydraulic toplink from CCM, LED lights front and back, added EH hydro circuits, big pile of 3pt implements.
    Wish List:
    PTO hydraulic pump to run custom fab'd hydraulic snowblower, broom, weed wacker, or PHD. Side link from MtnView Ranch....

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Mechanical VS Hydraulic Snowblower

    I don't do snowblowers.

    But if you went hydraulic, you'd gain a hydraulic power pack sorta.

    I say that cause hydraulic would mean a PTO pump, tank, filters and maybe a valve of some sort.

    The initial up cost would be high, but usage beyond a snowblower,,,,
    ::Sent from a standard desktop keyboard::

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