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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    22
    Location
    Southern Vermont
    Tractor
    Kubota L3010HST

    Default Compact tractor for snow removal

    After much research, shopping and reading posts, I recently bought my first tractor, an L3010 kubota. Couldn't be happier. The issue of how to use said machine for snow removal has been much discussed among friends here in Vermont and EVERYONE has a different opinion. Front blower, rear blower, rear blade, front blade, bucket, etc.

    The terrain to be plowed is several hundred yards of narrow, hilly, dirt road. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Grande

    Also to the group, thanks for all the pre-buying advice. Very helpful in making my decision.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    199
    Location
    Kalispell, Montana
    Tractor
    Kubota 2910

    Default Re: Compact tractor for snow removal

    Grande

    I am sure you will get many answers. I have a K- B2910 and maintain about a mile of private, hilly, one lane dirt and gravel road. I use a front mount snowblower. Early in the season, before a compacted base builds up, I wish I had a front blade. I do have a FEL but it is quite useless on the rough, uneven road surface.

    kubota sells a quick attach system for either a snowblower, a blade or a power broom. I plan on getting the blade for early season work to go along with front mount blower. Depending on the amount of snow you get, you may not even need the blower.

    With that much drive do not depend on a rear mount blower for your primary snow remover. You neck will thank you.

    If you use a snow blower without an established base on a hilly gravel drive, you will become very good at replacing shear bolts. I have.

    Good luck!

    Rick

  3. #3
    Elite Member hazmat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    4,028
    Location
    West Newbury, MA & Harrison, ME
    Tractor
    Kubota L5460HSTC

    Default Re: Compact tractor for snow removal

    Grande,

    Do a search, there are many opinions here. Since I am in Northern Mass, not northern VT & have a small (compared to you country folks) driveway. I opted for the cheap way out. $400 for a Landpride Rear Blade with skid shoes. Don't know how it plows snow yet, but people here on TBN have had good luck.

    For massive amounts of snow, the snowblower can't be beat. Fronts are 2X + as expensive as rear mounts.

    A front end Loader mounted blade would be choice 2.

    followed by front mounted blade (hydraulic angle is your friend)

    Next is rear blade.

    I would imagine that the FEL bucket only works well on hard surfaces (blacktop & concrete).

    You can buy a rear snowblower & rear blade & have options depending on snow depth & conditions.

  4. #4
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    13,736
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
    Tractor
    JD_4x2_Gator, JD_4300, JD_X485, JD_425, JD_455, JD_110

    Default Re: Compact tractor for snow removal

    For additional information and ideas, look up "western plow" in the search mode. Some discussion there as well as the rig I use, which is a 7' western plow on a Deere 4300 (it should look just as good on orange too). This is a quicktach system that will let me use the FEL when I need it, but I've not needed it since it was built in '99. I would only go for a plow or a blower ON THE FRONT, as nothing else compares or stacks up when handling snow on a long drive. Get a blade that will have a wide track when angled, as getting the snow away from the front and rear wheels is important.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    932
    Location
    QC, Canada
    Tractor
    B7500HSD

    Default Re: Compact tractor for snow removal

    The usual set-up up here is a rear mounted blower and FEL. If you've got the dough, you can't beat a cab. There's nothing quite like a shower of stinging shards of ice crystals resulting from a badly calculated upwind chute position to bring home that point.

    Contrary to what the last two posters said, I'll offer that the FEL works great on all surfaces as long as the ground is frozen (a given up here). The snow is typically pushed or pulled to the end of the drive with the FEL. The resulting mound is taken care of with the blower. The FEL is used later on in the year to push back the tops of banks that have gotten too large.

    Having said that, I only have the blower, but my drive is only 40 feet long (FEL is on the wish list).

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    542
    Location
    Campbellville, Ontario
    Tractor
    Kubota L3010, BX2200

    Default Re: Compact tractor for snow removal

    In you've got a fair bit of snow, as you will have in Vermont, you will want a blower rather than some type of blow because the piles get mighty high mighty quick. My brother, in Brome, Quebec, was spending hours cleaning his 100 foot drive with an FEL, once the pile got a few feet high.
    There are front blowers, which cost a fortune (my kubota dealer said 'don't ask) and rear blowers which are around C$1,800 for a 72 incher. I have one, and you get used to driving in reverse. Gravel is a bit of a pain, but you learn eventually.
    I clear about 800' with my 3010 with no problem. I live near Toronto, which doesn't get as much snow as Vermont.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    106
    Location
    Way North Idaho Base/US and Canada Territory
    Tractor
    Use from inventory-varies

    Default Re: Compact tractor for snow removal

    Greetings from north North Idaho near the Canadian Rockies.
    We plow snow in the forest on a narrow winding road a mile long with many turns and elevations and which rises 800' in the mile.

    The question is what you have and how much you want to spend. Your L3010 is capable of any approach you want. Blowers are great for clean dry snow. If the snow isn't so clean and has rocks and debris they have problems as pointed out. Also, when the snow is wet the blower doesn't do as well, and it goes without saying you need a two stage.

    Front angling hydraulic is great but float on the control valve is a must. If your FEL isn't set up for front blade, adaptations are not that expensive and of course hydraulics are necessary (for angling).

    Then there is the good old backing back blade; not as much fun or comfortable but much easier on the pocket book.

    Of course there is the shrinking road width no matter what approach. It is extremely difficult to stay wide on a dirt road as each plowing seems to narrow the road a few more inches on each side, particularly as the temp drops and remains down and there are hills on the side (s) of the road.

    All of it is invigorating though.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    87
    Location
    Thornton, NH
    Tractor
    NH TC29D

    Default Re: Compact tractor for snow removal

    Here in the White Mts of New Hampshire, I use a FEL, but my driveways aren't real long and are wide. I have plenty of room to back up and turn around to push or lift snow any way I want. My neighbor has a skinny/twisty/steep 600 ft driveway that he uses an 8 way plow on his Kabota. Wouldn't dream of tackling his drive with my FEL. Tractor seat time is fun, but not THAT much fun ...

    Brad in NH

  9. #9
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    3,803
    Location
    Craftsbury Common, Vermont
    Tractor
    Deere 4044R cab, Kubota KX-121-3S

    Default Re: Compact tractor for snow removal

    Jon -- I live in Stowe, right next to the Trapp Family Lodge. We get a lot of snow, but nothing the combination of a rear blade and FEL can't handle. The problem with blowers, IMO, is that around here we only get a couple of storms each year where there's enough snowfall in a short period of time to make them worthwhile. Usually it's 2-4 inches a day, day after day after day. The rear blade does a fine (and fast!) job on that sort of stuff. In fact, unless the snow is greater than 9 inches deep, I simply drive forward over it with the rear blade angled behind me. None of that driving backwards stuff for me!

    I had a blower, briefly. But it didn't like rocks very much. Not even the small ones. And blowing was SLOW work! In the past five years I've wished I had it back exactly once...and then I changed my mind.

    Pete

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    874
    Location
    Monroe,Washington
    Tractor
    New holland TC29-9x3 Woods 1012 FEL, Woods, 7500 Backhoe / Kubota L345DT 4WD, Kub FEL, Kub Backhoe

    Default Re: Compact tractor for snow removal

    Brad:

    You said your neighbor uses an 8 way plow on his kubota. Is that similar to the Boss V plows made for pickups? If not could you evplain the operations, and what brand is it?

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