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  1. #1
    Veteran Member smfcpacfp's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    1,313
    Location
    Sands Township, Marquette Co, Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota B3030HSDC

    Default Snowblowing rules of thumb

    As I contemplate the possible need to get the snowblower out tomorrow, 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 5,700 inches of snow with my three snow blowing rigs over the last 29 years. Snowblowing is my favorite winter activity, now that IO have a heated cab. Feel free to add to my list, I am always looking for new techniques:

    RULE 1. Don't put your hand in the moving augers. This is an obvious one. I have occassionaly stuck a broom handle down the chute in the spring with the blower running, but that is about as dumb as I get. I have develped a fondness for my appendages over the years.

    RULE 2. Make sure all of the crap that can break your blower and shear pins are out of the way, before the first snow.. When I have broken shear pins, it was always at the beginning of the season when a stray piece of firewood got in the way.

    RULE 3. When you are going to have a major storm, if you can, clean driveway in increments. Why stress the equipment and yourself? Anyway snowblowing with my rig is fun. If the snow I just blew drifts back into the driveway, I just do it again - twice as much fun with the same snow.

    RULE 4. Always clean all of the snow off of your equipment when you are done. 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 it, and then I noticed black 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 and impeller after you finished? When the snow melts it freezes on the bottom of the impeller assembly such that the impeller won't turn." Duh, nobody told me to do that.

    Now I clean off everything, but especially anything that if frozen could make it difficult to start the machine. With my current rig, I wipe all of the water off of the cab that I can get to, clean off the wiper blades and pull them away from the wind shield. Of course, it helps if you have a garage. I also put a piece of wood below the blower so it doesn't freeze to the floor.

    RULE 5. Make sure nothing critical is frozen when you start blowing. This is a continuation of what I said in 4. If you have a rig like mine (which shuts off the tractor if no one is in the seat when a PTO device is engaged) put a mirror where you can see that the impeller and augers are spinning freely and the chute rotation is working freely before you have at it.

    RULE 6. Never put the blower on the ground on a gravel driveway the first time you use it, unless you enjoy changing sheer bolts. This rule is just for those of us who don't have a paved driveway. I have a gravel driveway, so a good first season snowblowing is a key to no problem for the rest of the winter.

    Like everyone else we get a few snow falls early where you know it is going to melt, so this next step is the one I take when we get our first real snowfall. First I run my SUV up-and-down the driveway until the snow is packed down into the gravel before I snow blow for the first time. Then I run the blower but keep it off the ground about an inch. This way the ground will freeze better for future efforts. The next time I run the blower on the ground with the skid plates as low as they go. We don't get much thawing once the snow starts in earnest.


    RULE 7. When the snow is deep, take smaller cuts of snow. My first run in the snow is very very slow if it deep, usually painfully slow. My next cut might be a half 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, or stressing the drive mechanism on my current tractor.

    The guy who wrote the kubota snowblower manual obviously has never used a snow blower 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.

    A couple of HD movies on my current rig in action:

    Kubota B3030 HSDC snowblowing Jan 2012 (HD) - YouTube

    Kubota B3030 Snowblowing on 1/02/2012 - YouTube

    Old Kimpex Snowblower on Yamaha Big Bear ATV


    Current rig:




  2. #2
    Elite Member Baby Grand's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    3,676
    Location
    Windsor, CT.
    Tractor
    Kubotas: L3240GST B2320HST B5100D & G5200H

    Default Re: Snowblowing rules of thumb

    How about Stay on good terms with the paperboy?
    That's the problem with trouble.
    It always starts out as such fun."
    - Randall Brown

  3. #3
    Elite Member
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    Sep 2003
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    4,144
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Tractor
    Kubota L5030 HSTC, MF 5455

    Default Re: Snowblowing rules of thumb

    Sound good except the multiple cuts / #3 rule. Just get an HST or more hp so you can do it in one swipe!

  4. #4
    Bronze Member koopster's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
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    69
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Tractor
    2008 McCormick CT55U, 1949 Cub, 1966 Farmall 504, Ford 550 baqckhoe,

    Default

    Make sure the neighbors cat is in! Shot snow over the bank and low and behold a grey streak came up over the bank as it was being pelted by the blown snow. Guess the cat was hiding behind the bank from the tractor!

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
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    Mar 2010
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    1,821
    Location
    Ontario
    Tractor
    CT235

    Default Re: Snowblowing rules of thumb

    Quote Originally Posted by koopster View Post
    Make sure the neighbors cat is in! Shot snow over the bank and low and behold a grey streak came up over the bank as it was being pelted by the blown snow. Guess the cat was hiding behind the bank from the tractor!
    neighbour put one of his barn cats through the blower as he approached the cat door on his shop...
    Tim.

  6. #6
    Super Member crazyal's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    5,888
    Location
    Northern Vermont

    Default Re: Snowblowing rules of thumb

    I have a couple of pieces of scrap 2x4 that I put under the skids when it's parked in the garage. As the snow melts off the blower and tractor I can sweep it towards the drain much easier.
    Kubota L4240,Case 580K backhoe, Case 450 Dozer

  7. #7
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    3,690
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    GC2310,

    Default Re: Snowblowing rules of thumb

    My personal snow blowing rule: No cab, no snow blower.

    I believe God created snow plows just for that reason.

  8. #8
    Elite Member
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    Sep 2003
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    4,144
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Tractor
    Kubota L5030 HSTC, MF 5455

    Default Re: Snowblowing rules of thumb

    We just leave it outside as it stays below freezing for months at a time here. Sometimes the heat from the gearbox will melt the skim in the drum and let it freeze in the bottom sticking the fan. I have a big bar to pound that ice out.

    Quote Originally Posted by crazyal View Post
    I have a couple of pieces of scrap 2x4 that I put under the skids when it's parked in the garage. As the snow melts off the blower and tractor I can sweep it towards the drain much easier.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    595
    Location
    under the elephant\'s tail [ ontario can.]
    Tractor
    john deere 3130, universal

    Default Re: Snowblowing rules of thumb

    Watch out for stored energy. My b-i-l 's walk behind plugged up so being wise he completely shut off the motor to clear it out. He didn't realize that the blower fan had a spring in it and when the blockage let go so did the end of his finger.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    618
    Location
    west central, iowa

    Default Re: Snowblowing rules of thumb

    Even tho I am in town on a corner lot. I use a small air compressor and try to blow all the loose snow off of my two stage toro and my craftsman trac drive. I use the craftsman and son uses the toro. Put both off of the garage floor,on a small platform with swivel wheels.
    Move them over close to the drain and blow off. Sweep the snow on the drain. Fill gas and check oil, look for loose bolts, belts. In general look them over for anything out of the ordinary.
    Even tho I am in the beautiful city of Wellton, Arizona. There is a chance I might have to have a little fun "AHEM" work blowing snow when I get home on the night of the 17 or early morning of the 18.
    Have to travel trucks and a machine to Yermo California, then travel to Las Vegas for safety rules classes on the 14,15 and a foremans meeting the 16, then travel home thru FIVE states.
    Bring on the snow!!!!!!

    T.J.

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