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  1. #1
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    1,057
    Location
    Minnesota
    Tractor
    JD 4100 HST

    Default Snow Removal: Blade vs Blower vs FEL

    I used my new FEL to remove the snow today because it was already on the tractor. Also I wanted to play with it and learn how to use it. Normally, I would use my 54" front blade and I also have a 47" front-mount snowblower and a 54" rotary broom.

    I offer this comparison of the four implements:

    Snowblower - Pros: Best for really deep snow or drifts. Can easily remove any amount of snow I will ever get here in MN. Snow can be placed fairly far away from the driveway and is spread out so that there are really no piles. Less likely to damage turf along edge of driveway.

    Snowblower - Cons: Snow always blows in my face and covers my body. I get a lot colder using the snowblower. A cab or weather enclosure might make a huge difference on this. Sometimes not as good at scraping all the way to the pavement. Slower than the blade on light snowfalls

    FEL - Pros: Is more likely to already be on my tractor. Best choice when back-dragging is required.

    FEL - Cons: Limited visibility of working edge. Not really useful to move snow to the side - can only push it to the end. Can only get piles a few feet from the driveway (but maybe this is just my whimpy, worn-out front turf tires not being able to claw their way up the pile any further). Slower than the blade at the end of each pass due to lift & dump cycle required.

    Blade - Pros: Fastest way to remove our typical 5-8 inch snowfall. Can push the snow into big piles or side-cast it along the edges of the drive. Most manuverable. Easiest implement to mount (lightest to man-handle).

    Blade - Cons: Sometimes I wish I had a wider blade. I wish my blade had more down-travel when trying to scrape clean uneven parts of the driveway like where it dips down into the gutter at the end.

    Broom - Pros: Gets the pavement totally clean. Sometimes I use this if I want some more seat time after clearing the snow with the blade.

    Broom - Cons: Worthless if there is more than 1/2" of snow to be removed.


    Bottom line:

    I will try to keep the blade on the tractor more in the winter for convenience.

    The FEL can always be used to remove anything too deep for the blade to handle.

    I think I will be selling the snowblower - maybe next fall to get a better price.

    - Rick

  2. #2
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    175
    Location
    rural illinois
    Tractor
    jd 4100

    Default Re: Snow Removal: Blade vs Blower vs FEL

    thanks for the insight!

    we only get snow in 1/4 increments down here, so that broom info is nice to know.

    we have some drifting where the fel was very useful [nothing like having the fields completely bare and all of the snow filling the road so you can't get out].

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Snow Removal: Blade vs Blower vs FEL

    Keeney, you missed one combination... A snowplow in place of the bucket on a FEL. You have not lived until you have cleared snow this way...Best of luck.

  4. #4
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    300
    Location
    Adirondacks, NY, USA
    Tractor
    John Deere 4520 cab... formerly Yanmar 336D

    Default Re: Snow Removal: Blade vs Blower vs FEL

    I'm thinking of adapting an old dozer blade to fit where the bucket does on my FEL (it's abandoned back in the woods). I'm assuming for mounting to the loader arms a straight blade is best, but what other options are out there? Also, what's the maximum "reasonable"size blade? (I've got a 33hp (engine) Yanmar 336D-FEL (snow) bucket is 6' I think...old dozer blade is more like 9 or 10'...).

    Thank you in advance,
    Couchsachraga

  5. #5
    Platinum Member hwp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    643
    Location
    St. Catharines, Ontario, CANADA
    Tractor
    Kubota F2400

    Default Re: Snow Removal: Blade vs Blower vs FEL

    I much prefer to use my snowblower as I sit in my heated cab. I don't bother changing to the dozer blade even when there isn't enough snow to blow or it is too wet to blow. In those situations I use the snowplow as a blade and push the snow. When I am done moving snow, I load up the salt spreader if needed.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    1,162
    Location
    Upstate NY, USA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3710 HST and a Kubota ZD21 60Pro

    Default Re: Snow Removal: Blade vs Blower vs FEL

    If it's truly a dozer blade, it's overkill for snow.

    Even cut down you might not have enough hydraulics to pick it up.

  7. #7
    Super Member
    Rest in Peace
    frank_f15's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    6,033
    Location
    BUFFALO ,NEW YORK AREA
    Tractor
    kubota b2400- R4 tires

    Default Re: Snow Removal: Blade vs Blower vs FEL

    my personal choice is the fel with rear blade on for lighter stuff, blowers are nice, but i don't like giving up my fel, and i am not partial to driving backwards. MHO

  8. #8
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    0

    Default Re: Snow Removal: Blade vs Blower vs FEL

    Murf,

    I was looking at blades that fit on where the loader bucket goes, but the ones I could find all had manual angle control.

    What setup do you use?

    I agree it would be nice to have the ability to lift the blade up higher to push the snow into taller piles or push back the tops of piles that block visibility at the end of the drive.

    - Rick

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Snow Removal: Blade vs Blower vs FEL

    In no particular order, I use an old snowplow from a pickup truck. I made mounts on the pallet fork subframe, it only takes a couple minutes and two pins to swap plow for forks, since I use the forks to unload palletized salt all winter this is a handy setup indeed.

    As for the dozer blade, don't even try it, first I doubt the FEL will lift it, if it does work you won't like the result. It will not have the spring-trip safety feature which means if you hit anything without any give to it, the first thig to give is probably going to be your FEL frame & arms, NOT a good thing. Further, with the weight of the dozer blade it will wreak havoc on any grass or loose material it goes over.

    Best of luck.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    35
    Location
    Central MD
    Tractor
    None at present.

    Default Re: Snow Removal: Blade vs Blower vs FEL

    Rick
    Saw your reply on the snow blower on the other tread (Improved angle control mod. for JD 47 front blower), thanks.
    I was also concidering a boom mounted plow and found out Curtis http://www.curtiscabs.com/tractor_loader.html makes 5' and 6' blades with hydraulic angle and they sell JD quick attach brackets. My dealer had recomended the boom mounted blade over the blower. At the time I thought he didn't understand how much snow I would be working with.
    After reading this post and considering the cost savings of the plow vs. the blower plus dealer input it looks like I should go with a plow. Just wasn't sure if a plow on a 4100 or 4110 would handle that much packed snow and there was the question of where to push it to. The blower could be angled to throw it over on the lawn area on top of what the county plows have already pushed there. Sounds like I could pile it there with a boom mounted blade but I don't think I could do it with the regular 54" JD front blade or a RM blade.

    From my other post under the "Improved angle control mod. for JD 47 front blower" tread.
    "I live on a four lane county road that is extra wide due to a center turn lane and extra wide shoulders so after the plows go by I have a LOT of deep (24-36") packed snow dumped between 6 to 8 feet into my driveway enterences. Makes it kinda hard to get in and out even with a 6" snowfall. To top it off one entrence is wide enough for two cars plus if we don't clear the area around the mail box the mailman won't deliver!"

    Dealer also recomended wheel wieghts and chains if using something as light as the 4100/4110.
    Tractor shopping is sooo much fun!
    Keith

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