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  1. #1
    Veteran Member smfcpacfp's Avatar
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    Sands Township, Marquette Co, Michigan
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    Kubota B3030HSDC

    Default Snowblowing rules of thumb

    I have developed some snow blowing "rules of thumb" over the years that some of you newbies to snow blowing may want to consider. I figure that I have moved about 5400 inches of snow with my three snow blowing rigs. Feel free to add to my list, I am always looking for new techniques:

    RULE 1. This is an obvious one - don't put your hand in the moving augers.

    RULE 2. Always clean all of the snow off of your equipment. I learned this the hard way the second time that I snow blowed. The snow blower was making a **** of a racket when I started, and then I noticed smoke coming from the drive belts in the back. So I shut it down and called the dealer. "Didn't you clean out the augers after you finished. When the snow melts it freezes on the bottom of the impeller assembly such that the impeller won't turn."

    Now I clean off everything, but especially anything which if frozen could make it difficult to start the machine. With my new rig, I wipe all of the water off of the cab, clean off the wipers and pull them away from the wind shield. Of course, it helps if you have a garage.

    RULE 3. Never put the blower on the ground on a gravel driveway the first time you use it, unless you enjoy changing sheer bolts. This way the ground will freeze better for future use. As a matter of fact I generally run my SUV up-and-down the driveway a few times in the snow to pack it into the gravel before I snow blow for the first time.

    RULE 4. When the snow is deep, take smaller cuts of snow. My first run in the snow is very very slow, usually painfully slow. For a guy who used to race motorcycles professionally, this is very hard to do. My next cut might be a third of the width of the blower or less. I would rather make more runs and use a little more fuel, then be replacing belts as I did with my old snowblower. The guy who wrote the kubota snowblower manual obviously has never snow blown before. It says in deep snow take the top layer off and work your way down. To me this is nonsensical. You're going to be driving a tractor in the deep snow and making a general mess. How about just taking a narrower cut of the snowblower potential? Anyway I have been doing this and it has saved many a belt on my old snowblower.

  2. #2
    Elite Member hazmat's Avatar
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    West Newbury, MA & Harrison, ME
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    Kubota B3030 loaded!

    Default Re: Snowblowing rules of thumb

    Actually I sometimes use the lift it up method for the pile at the end of the drive from the road plow. Especially breaking thru the first time after a big storm (so far I've had a 1/2 dozen storms with 18"+). I wouldn't do it for the whole drive though..

    If schedule allows, I like to hit the drive before it becomes overwhelming - ie if expecting 12"+ make a pass 1/2 way thru the storm. Not that I'm going to wake up in the middle of the night or anything, but if it has been snowing all day, I might hit it in the evening & again the next morning. It's nice to keep the drive passable in case of emergency (health, fire, run out of beer ).
    Hazmat

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    Jun 2004
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    1,436
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    Byron New York
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    2004 BX2230

    Default Re: Snowblowing rules of thumb

    Your post talks about a belt. I'm guessing this is a lawn tractor set up?

    How about if you have a 3pt RMSB? I would think it might be able to take more aggressive conditions.

    Could you clarify this for me? Thanks

    Bob

  4. #4
    Veteran Member ccsial's Avatar
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    NorthWest Illinois
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    (Kuboto L3400) (Ford 1910 4WD w/FEL) (Deere X748SE) All bought new

    Default Re: Snowblowing rules of thumb

    I thought you were going to say "don't get your thumb caught in the blower"

    I always turn the garage heat on for a bit and melt the snow to prevent ice.

    Have some shear bolts in stock just in case.

    Keep the lubrication and maintenance current.
    Kubota L3400-HST, Ford 1910-Gear FEL, John Deere X748SE

  5. #5
    Elite Member WayneB's Avatar
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    New Hampshire
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    Kubota B-7500

    Default Re: Snowblowing rules of thumb

    Quote Originally Posted by smfcpacfp
    I have developed some snow blowing "rules of thumb" over the years that some of you newbies to snow blowing may want to consider. I figure that I have moved about 5400 inches of snow with my three snow blowing rigs. Feel free to add to my list, I am always looking for new techniques:

    RULE 1. This is an obvious one - don't put your hand in the moving augers.

    You know people will do this without thinking. I saw my neighbor use a sitck to clean out the chute with the PTO running. I immediately told him to shut it off, but he told me not to worry the stick will brake if it hits something!

    RULE 2. Always clean all of the snow off of your equipment. I learned this the hard way the second time that I snow blowed. The snow blower was making a **** of a racket when I started, and then I noticed smoke coming from the drive belts in the back. So I shut it down and called the dealer. "Didn't you clean out the augers after you finished. When the snow melts it freezes on the bottom of the impeller assembly such that the impeller won't turn."

    I don't think you will have that problem with your new rig, although it is a good idea to clean off the snow. Guess I will have to start doing that!

    Now I clean off everything, but especially anything which if frozen could make it difficult to start the machine. With my new rig, I wipe all of the water off of the cab, clean off the wipers and pull them away from the wind shield. Of course, it helps if you have a garage.

    RULE 3. Never put the blower on the ground on a gravel driveway the first time you use it, unless you enjoy changing sheer bolts. This way the ground will freeze better for future use. As a matter of fact I generally run my SUV up-and-down the driveway a few times in the snow to pack it into the gravel before I snow blow for the first time.

    Darn it is always so much fun to hear rocks going up the chute! Have to wonder which way it is directed?

    RULE 4. When the snow is deep, take smaller cuts of snow. My first run in the snow is very very slow, usually painfully slow.

    Again I am pretty sure you won't have too much to worry about with your new rig. It will be interesting to read your posting after that first major snow fall.

    For a guy who used to race motorcycles professionally, this is very hard to do. My next cut might be a third of the width of the blower or less. I would rather make more runs and use a little more fuel, then be replacing belts as I did with my old snowblower. The guy who wrote the kubota snowblower manual obviously has never snow blown before. It says in deep snow take the top layer off and work your way down. To me this is nonsensical. You're going to be driving a tractor in the deep snow and making a general mess. How about just taking a narrower cut of the snowblower potential? Anyway I have been doing this and it has saved many a belt on my old snowblower.
    I find with my snowblower it works so much better when there is more than a foot of snow. You can just hear the difference as it is blowing it away. Not sure you will get the same sounds sitting in that heated cab.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member davitk's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
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    South Central Wisconsin

    Default Re: Snowblowing rules of thumb

    RULE 5. If you don't have a heated cab, always aim the shoot into the wind. Chicks dig the icicle beard.


  7. #7
    Super Member
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    Feb 2006
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    8,100
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    VA
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    JD2010, Kubota3450,2550, Mahindra 7520 w FEL w Skid Steer QC w/Tilt Tatch, & BH, BX1500

    Default Re: Snowblowing rules of thumb

    Quote Originally Posted by smfcpacfp
    I have developed some snow blowing "rules of thumb" over the years that some of you newbies to snow blowing may want to consider. I figure that I have moved about 5400 inches of snow with my three snow blowing rigs. Feel free to add to my list, I am always looking for new techniques:

    RULE 4. When the snow is deep, take smaller cuts of snow. My first run in the snow is very very slow, usually painfully slow. For a guy who used to race motorcycles professionally, this is very hard to do. My next cut might be a third of the width of the blower or less. I would rather make more runs and use a little more fuel, then be replacing belts as I did with my old snowblower. The guy who wrote the kubota snowblower manual obviously has never snow blown before. It says in deep snow take the top layer off and work your way down. To me this is nonsensical. You're going to be driving a tractor in the deep snow and making a general mess. How about just taking a narrower cut of the snowblower potential? Anyway I have been doing this and it has saved many a belt on my old snowblower.
    Are you saying you dont have enuf HP? I find when you bull the snow it throws much better. I have a lot of experience with a 2' walk behind with 8HP. It will do 16" full width at 4MPH - as fast as you can walk. I do 4passes on my .9mi drive in an hour with regas at 1/2 way. If you slow down it doesnt throw the snow as far. I bought a front mount for my BX 1500 and from the one time I used it I know Im underpowered. If we start getting some regular snow I will mount an auxiliary 5HP engine on it to aid the tractor PTO. From knowing how they should work I wont settle for an underpowered setup. Robs you of satisfaction.
    larry

  8. #8
    Elite Member hazmat's Avatar
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    West Newbury, MA & Harrison, ME
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    Kubota B3030 loaded!

    Default Re: Snowblowing rules of thumb

    Quote Originally Posted by SPYDERLK
    Are you saying you dont have enuf HP? I find when you bull the snow it throws much better. I have a lot of experience with a 2' walk behind with 8HP. It will do 16" full width at 4MPH - as fast as you can walk. I do 4passes on my .9mi drive in an hour with regas at 1/2 way. If you slow down it doesnt throw the snow as far. I bought a front mount for my BX 1500 and from the one time I used it I know Im underpowered. If we start getting some regular snow I will mount an auxiliary 5HP engine on it to aid the tractor PTO. From knowing how they should work I wont settle for an underpowered setup. Robs you of satisfaction.
    larry
    Snowblowing sure is a power hog. I would often bog down my TC18. Even with only 4" of snow, my B3030 was pulling hard clearing the sidewalk (where all the snow from the road was pilled up).
    Hazmat

  9. #9
    Veteran Member canoetrpr's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
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    2,381
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Tractor
    Kubota M7040 cab/hyd shuttle - current, Kubota L3400 - traded

    Default Re: Snowblowing rules of thumb

    Hmm.. I really ought to be cleaning off the snow after I'm done. Never thought about this. I really also ought to keep some shear bolts handy for both the blower and the bush hog.

    Haven't sheared a bolt yet but it is bound to happen.
    Current: Kubota M7040 cab, hydraulic shuttle, Kubota M20 loader (made by ALO), LandPride RCR1872 rotary cutter, Horst bale spears & forks, Woods HB72 box blade, Kodiak 7' rake, Walco cultivator, chain harrow, Meteor 74" pull style blower

    Traded: Kubota L3400, LA473 HST (300 hrs), and various attachments

  10. #10
    Veteran Member smfcpacfp's Avatar
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    Sands Township, Marquette Co, Michigan
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    Kubota B3030HSDC

    Default Re: Snowblowing rules of thumb

    Quote Originally Posted by ByronBob
    Your post talks about a belt. I'm guessing this is a lawn tractor set up?

    How about if you have a 3pt RMSB? I would think it might be able to take more aggressive conditions.

    Could you clarify this for me? Thanks

    Bob

    Quote Originally Posted by SPYDERLK
    Are you saying you dont have enuf HP? I find when you bull the snow it throws much better. I have a lot of experience with a 2' walk behind with 8HP. It will do 16" full width at 4MPH - as fast as you can walk. I do 4passes on my .9mi drive in an hour with regas at 1/2 way. If you slow down it doesnt throw the snow as far. I bought a front mount for my BX 1500 and from the one time I used it I know Im underpowered. If we start getting some regular snow I will mount an auxiliary 5HP engine on it to aid the tractor PTO. From knowing how they should work I wont settle for an underpowered setup. Robs you of satisfaction.
    larry
    For the 29 years that I have lived in my current house (and only house) with the 400 foot driveway and a parking area, I had someone plow for me the first 4 years and I have been using belt driven snowblowers which fit on ATV 4 wheeler for the last 25. The picture below is my last one that I used thru last winter.

    What people who don't face 20+ feet of snow each year don't realize is that snow removal is very hard on equipment. If I pushed the blower hard, the belts will slip and fail, and other parts will fail. The more cautious, patient you are, the fewer failures. Failures take time, cost money and leave your driveway impassible for some.

    Now that I have a more powerful non belt driven machine (B3030), am I going to push it until I find its break point - no. I will err on the side of caution. That is all I was saying.


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