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  1. #1
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    Nov 2011
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    Dixmont, ME

    Default FEL Plow blade or rear snow blower?

    After weeks of weighing the pros and cons of a tractor, I finally bit the bullet and bought a MF 1529 . But now, I find myself weighing the pros and cons of FEL plow blades vs rear snow blowers---and I need to decide quick!

    First of all, my driveway is about 1/4 mile long, is steep (although I'd be going with gravity), curves a couple of times and opens up pretty wide at the top by the garage. The tires are weighted and we will have chains.

    A front snow blower is not even an option at this point mostly due to cost, but partly because it seems like a good idea to keep the bucket on the front: is this true? The obvious con to the rear mounted snowblower is having to turn around the entire time, will having a hydrostatic transmission make that any easier? I haven't had a chance yet to look at cost, I'm hoping they are comparable to plow blades.

    I've heard that plowing is quicker, but the downfall is the piles of snow that accumulate... which I can deal with. Will plowing with the FEL damage the arms at all? Also, how does weight of the plow factor in? Do I need to consider the lift capacity? (i.e. my lift capacity is 1300 lbs, is a 600 lb plow too heavy?). As far as cost, I think I'll be in the ballpark of $3K.

    I would appreciate any input!! Thanks

  2. #2
    Gold Member brokenknee's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    Not far from Bemidji, MN

    Default Re: FEL Plow blade or rear snow blower?

    Quote Originally Posted by UpOnAHill View Post
    After weeks of weighing the pros and cons of a tractor, I finally bit the bullet and bought a MF 1529 . But now, I find myself weighing the pros and cons of FEL plow blades vs rear snow blowers---and I need to decide quick!

    First of all, my driveway is about 1/4 mile long, is steep (although I'd be going with gravity), curves a couple of times and opens up pretty wide at the top by the garage. The tires are weighted and we will have chains.

    A front snow blower is not even an option at this point mostly due to cost, but partly because it seems like a good idea to keep the bucket on the front: is this true? The obvious con to the rear mounted snow blower is having to turn around the entire time, will having a hydrostatic transmission make that any easier? I haven't had a chance yet to look at cost, I'm hoping they are comparable to plow blades.

    I've heard that plowing is quicker, but the downfall is the piles of snow that accumulate... which I can deal with. Will plowing with the FEL damage the arms at all? Also, how does weight of the plow factor in? Do I need to consider the lift capacity? (i.e. my lift capacity is 1300 lbs, is a 600 lb plow too heavy?). As far as cost, I think I'll be in the ballpark of $3K.

    I would appreciate any input!! Thanks
    Yep, plowing is quicker to clear your drive. That being said you have to make sure you move the snow far away from the driveway as it will pile up quickly over the course of the winter. I plowed for awhile with my bucket and toward the end of the winter the piles would get pretty high and you had to move it if you didn't start your pile far enough back from the drive. Another consideration is repair of your yard from pushing the snow on it. Getting gravel off the grass can be a real pain and you will most likely damage some of your sod.

    A couple of years ago picked up a used five foot blower off craigslist for $500 bucks, it is slower but once you move the snow you don't have to worry about it.

    So my vote is for a blower, but again that would depend on how much snow you get and how much room you have to push it if you plow. My current drive is 3 tenths of a mile long with a large parking area up by the house. My drive is lined with trees and I really have no were to push it, so a blower works the best for me.
    "Clarity to Agreement" Dennis Prager

  3. #3
    Gold Member brokenknee's Avatar
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    Default Re: FEL Plow blade or rear snow blower?

    Here is a picture of my drive. This was taken before the recent snow we had.


    -drive-jpg

    I have a cub 7305 rated 30 hp and I believe 24 hp at the PTO, I have a five foot rear mount blower, I do have hydrostatic and I do not have a problem blowing snow. If it starts to bog down, I just slow down. I would look for a used blower on craigslist. There seams to be a lot of them posted, if your patient you should find one that fits your needs and I would think for a lot less than 3K/
    "Clarity to Agreement" Dennis Prager

  4. #4
    Veteran Member escavader's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
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    2,071
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    western maine
    Tractor
    bx-23 ,

    Default Re: FEL Plow blade or rear snow blower?

    If you can make yourself comfortable,and operate sitting side ways on he seat,so your neck aint cranked around ,a blower is the way to go.You can pretty much wait til the storms done and go blow afterwards.I mount a cheap plow blade in my front bucket on light storms and sometimes do both .Ill plow down both sides of the road[which windrows it all to the center ]and then back through it all with the blower and im done.
    ALAN
    KUBOTA BX-23,Block heater, AG TIRES[rears filled],MECHANICAL THUMB,SALSCO CHIPPER,WOODS LRC60 LANDSCAPE RAKE WITH GAUGE WHEELS,,HOMEMADE BUCKET FORKS,QUICK HITCH FOR 3 POINT HITCH,HOMEMADE FRONT BUCKET MOUNTED QUICK HITCH[for 3 point implements], FARM FORCE 6 FT 3 POINT BLADE,MARKHAM TOOTHBAR,HOMEMADE TRAILER HITCH FOR BACKHOE, HOMEMADE HEATED STEEL AND FIBERGLASS CAB,54 INCH PRONOVOST PUMA 3 POINT SNOW BLOWER,WITH HYDRAULIC CHUTE CONTROL,REAR TIRE CHAINS,UPGRADED 40 AMP ALTERNATOR,4-55W LIGHTS

  5. #5
    Platinum Member bubbacuse77's Avatar
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    Wisconsin
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    John Deere 3520, John Deere X749

    Default Re: FEL Plow blade or rear snow blower?

    Quote Originally Posted by UpOnAHill View Post
    After weeks of weighing the pros and cons of a tractor, I finally bit the bullet and bought a MF 1529 . But now, I find myself weighing the pros and cons of FEL plow blades vs rear snow blowers---and I need to decide quick!

    First of all, my driveway is about 1/4 mile long, is steep (although I'd be going with gravity), curves a couple of times and opens up pretty wide at the top by the garage. The tires are weighted and we will have chains.

    A front snow blower is not even an option at this point mostly due to cost, but partly because it seems like a good idea to keep the bucket on the front: is this true? The obvious con to the rear mounted snowblower is having to turn around the entire time, will having a hydrostatic transmission make that any easier? I haven't had a chance yet to look at cost, I'm hoping they are comparable to plow blades.

    I've heard that plowing is quicker, but the downfall is the piles of snow that accumulate... which I can deal with. Will plowing with the FEL damage the arms at all? Also, how does weight of the plow factor in? Do I need to consider the lift capacity? (i.e. my lift capacity is 1300 lbs, is a 600 lb plow too heavy?). As far as cost, I think I'll be in the ballpark of $3K.

    I would appreciate any input!! Thanks
    I have your exact situation or I did three years ago. I have a long steep gravel driveway. I used the bucket the first year and it sucked. You have little control to turn while pushing the load and you end up grabing alot of gravel. Also since the you are on a hill you pretty much have to push it all the way down. If try to push it to the side you may end up stuck on the side?

    the second year I got a used pto blower- It is the answer. You don't have windrows and everything looks so much better. Plus it only takes one pass up and down. The only problem is that you cant set it down to the ground or you will blow gravel through your blower and all over the country. So you will have a small amount of snow to scrape of with the bucket/plow.

    This year I finally made my Plow for the FEL because the bucket edge does not articulate to follow the ground and is at an angle that is very agressive if you hit something or are just working on softer ground. I also wanted the ability to push the snow to one side of the drive way on those days you only get an inch or two so that I could make one pass with the blower.

    Next year I am hoping to afford the blacktop for the driveway and will put a poly cutting edge on the blower so that I can work right down to the blacktop with the blower then use the plow to do as mentioned above and squeegee the driveway clean after the blower.

    So to anwer your question- both, but if you can just afford one this year, go with the blower.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member bubbacuse77's Avatar
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    Wisconsin
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    John Deere 3520, John Deere X749

    Default Re: FEL Plow blade or rear snow blower?

    here is a pic of the snow removal with the blower. I only run chains on the front. I go slow and don't ram rod my equipment. the front chains provide stability and turning control side to side for the plow and push when going up hill in reverse with the blower.

    BTW- you get use to looking backward, I even thought about a mirror on the FEL arm. One other note. if you can spring for a hydraulic chute rotator you won't regret getting it. It is awsome to be able to turn your chute as you are manuvering.................you can avoid snow in the face alot of times if you get caught of guard with the wind.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -img_5066-jpg   -img_5068-jpg  

  7. #7
    New Member
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    Default Re: FEL Plow blade or rear snow blower?

    Thanks for the input - very helpful info and pics!

    There is definite potential for getting stuck on the side of the driveway, it slopes down away from the driveway. In fact, every year since we've owned this house a plow truck has gotten stuck and needed to be pulled out... another reason to go with the blower.

    Both plow and blower are not in the budget this year, so I guess I'm going to start looking at blowers. Hopefully the snow will hold out until we get one! Or maybe since I'll be prepared this year to remove my own snow, it won't snow at all??? I won't hold my breath!

  8. #8
    Veteran Member nybirdman's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    2,306
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    north of upstate ny
    Tractor
    Kubota L4240 HSTC,L3000DT

    Default Re: FEL Plow blade or rear snow blower?

    First congrats on the new MF.Just checked the specs on your machine.Even tho I have a FEL mounted plow/rear blade combo...I think a rear blower for your machine and location is the best bet at this time.I wouldn't want to do it without a cab......

  9. #9
    Gold Member
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    Mar 2007
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    398
    Location
    WNY
    Tractor
    NH T1510 Hydro

    Default Re: FEL Plow blade or rear snow blower?

    For what it's worth, when you blow snow, you only handle it ONCE. 2' snowfall??? No problem. Yes, a front mount blower is nice, but a rear is much cheaper. I know that's why I bought mine...

  10. #10
    Gold Member dmay's Avatar
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    Winnipeg, MB
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    2010 JD2320

    Default Re: FEL Plow blade or rear snow blower?

    I think driving backwards down a steep windy 1/4 mile driveway would be a pain.
    .
    Darrell

    JD2320, 200CX, 53" Bucket, 54" QH SnowBlower, iMatch, Ballast Box, LR1072, RC2048, GM3060, 647 Tiller, SS1023B

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