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  1. #1
    Silver Member bam747's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    200
    Location
    Palmer Divide in El Paso County, Colorado
    Tractor
    John Deere 4720 (2007)

    Default Capabilities for serious snow removal with SUB-CUT or small frame CUT?

    I am trying to decide if a SUB-CUT or small frame CUT with a FEL and 3-PH snow blower will handle the kind of worst case snow I have to deal with on occasion.

    I live along the Palmer Divide at 7500 between Denver and Colorado Springs. Our snow can vary from light dry powder to super wet and heavy Sierra Cement. Storms can be anywhere from a few inches to a few feet with blizzard class winds. And, being the front range of Colorado, we are back to nothing but blue sky within 24-48 hours!

    To be fair, I should divulge that I currently have a JD 4720 (50 PTO HP) with 400CX FEL (2400 lb lift capacity) and a Land Pride RBT3596 rear blade with all hydraulic adjustments. Frankly, there has been no amount or type of snow I cannot eventually deal with using this tractor, including pushing out through the biggest drift piles from inside the garage. Even so, the bigger and heavier snow storms can shove this tractor sideways when trying to use my angled rear blade, in which case I just revert to pushing and shoving with the FEL, which gets the job done.

    Unfortunately, I may need to economize my snow removal setup...

    My biggest concern with moving way down the CUT class scale is that with the way my house and driveway are laid out with respect to the prevailing winds, I can get HUGE drifts of snow in front of my garage doors and along my drive. You will get an idea of just how huge my drifts can get from the attached pictures. They are from various big storms over the years and show the snow cleared with various equipment from a walk behind snow blower (ugh!) to my current tractor setup.

    Given that in the past I have handled my snow removal needs with a 11 HP Toro snow blower (definitely in my younger years!), I am reasonably sure a SUB-CUT or small frame CUT with a 3PH snow blower and HST transmission will handle most of my snow removal needs, excluding dealing with the enormous drifts directly in front of my garage doors, where the tractor must be stored.

    So...

    I am very concerned about being able push out through the giant drifts in front of the garage doors and then having to move the drifts away from those doors using a SUB-CUT or small frame CUT and its lower capacity FEL. This is NOT an issue with my JD 4720.

    I also foresee significant issues trying to remove these giant drifts using just the snow blower, especially if the snow is wet and heavy. I am specifically worried about the 35 to 40 feet I need to throw the wet heavy snow, which is where I would then use the FEL to literally bucket the snow away from the garage and house to deposit it off the side of my drive way and parking areas (where there is plenty of room for snow).

    I'd be very appreciative of getting opinions and real experiences from SUB-CUT and small frame CUT owners out there that have successfully used their rigs for snow removal tasks similar to mine. I would REALLY hate to find out that a SUB-CUT or small frame CUT could not even get out of the garage without having to manually shovel through the drift first!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Capabilities for serious snow removal with SUB-CUT or small frame CUT?-img_0296.jpg   Capabilities for serious snow removal with SUB-CUT or small frame CUT?-img_0294.jpg   Capabilities for serious snow removal with SUB-CUT or small frame CUT?-img_0885.jpg   Capabilities for serious snow removal with SUB-CUT or small frame CUT?-dscn0819.jpg   Capabilities for serious snow removal with SUB-CUT or small frame CUT?-dscn0827.jpg  

    Capabilities for serious snow removal with SUB-CUT or small frame CUT?-img_0894.jpg   Capabilities for serious snow removal with SUB-CUT or small frame CUT?-img_0913.jpg   Capabilities for serious snow removal with SUB-CUT or small frame CUT?-img_0916.jpg  
    Embrace The Technology!

    John Deere 4720 (2007), 400cx FEL, LandPride RBT3596 rear
    blade with 3-way hydraulic adjust.

  2. #2
    Gold Member mpham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    329
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Tractor
    Kioti ck20

    Default Re: Capabilities for serious snow removal with SUB-CUT or small frame CUT?

    My Kioti CK20 with Blizzard 54 inch snow blower would go through that. Might have to take a few low and high bites though. When we have that much coming I go out a couple times a storm to make it easier. Definitely a job for HST trans and a heated cab.
    Phil. from Mass.
    2008 Kioti ck20 with 380 hours
    New to me 2011 K120 loader

  3. #3
    Elite Member rekees4300's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    2,796
    Location
    Indiana
    Tractor
    JD4300 HST 4WD

    Default Re: Capabilities for serious snow removal with SUB-CUT or small frame CUT?

    You need a blower. I'd keep the 4720 with back blade and put a blower on the front. That combo would handle the drifts in your pictures.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    2,406
    Location
    St. Cloud MN
    Tractor
    Deere 4100

    Default

    I guess most of us would be seeking advice from you, not the other way around.

    I have deere 4100 which is a 1500 lb CUT. Having under 20 HP means my front mount 47" blower has to work hard with a foot of wet snow. Mine will throw that type of snow perhaps fifteen feet. But with its shaft drive it will handle the wettest snow. It would take a few minutes but it would blow through those drifts to get out of the garage. However I would have to take a shovel to drag down the pile because it has only three foot drift cutters.

    My age pretty much dictates a front mount blower so I can't speak to a rear mount. But most any CUT will clear the snow you describe as long as you have the time.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    25
    Location
    ne Wi
    Tractor
    jd 1026r

    Default Re: Capabilities for serious snow removal with SUB-CUT or small frame CUT?

    I dont think you would be happy with a smaller tractor. With that said my JD 1026r with the front 54" blower could handle the snow in your pics, it would be slow going.

  6. #6
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    104
    Location
    Jefferson Colorado
    Tractor
    MF 2300

    Default Re: Capabilities for serious snow removal with SUB-CUT or small frame CUT?

    I am familiar with the Palmer Divide, snow drifts and trees--Try South Park for snow and wind and trees.
    I clear my drives with a MF 2300 and front mount snowblower with drifts as high as 5 feet.
    I used a FEL the first year, there is no place to put the snow after a while, after Park county purchased a few snowblowers to open the county roads, I was sold.

    Suggest a pto front mount blower for your tractor and a cab(need not be heated) just to keep snow off you,(blow downwind!!!)

    Just takes some time, and a tractor your size can handle it better than a SUB-CUT and blower, why get another tractor??
    The early bird may get the worm but---
    The second mouse gets the cheese!

  7. #7
    Silver Member bam747's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    200
    Location
    Palmer Divide in El Paso County, Colorado
    Tractor
    John Deere 4720 (2007)

    Default Re: Capabilities for serious snow removal with SUB-CUT or small frame CUT?

    My 4720 and rear blade take care of what you see in the photos quite well with just the FEL and rear blade. I do admit a snow blower would be nice, but it is not essential for my situation.
    Embrace The Technology!

    John Deere 4720 (2007), 400cx FEL, LandPride RBT3596 rear
    blade with 3-way hydraulic adjust.

  8. #8
    Silver Member bam747's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    200
    Location
    Palmer Divide in El Paso County, Colorado
    Tractor
    John Deere 4720 (2007)

    Default Re: Capabilities for serious snow removal with SUB-CUT or small frame CUT?

    Unfortunately, I may need to sell the 4720 to extract its equity. This would not be my first choice, especially since it has been paid off for a couple years.
    Embrace The Technology!

    John Deere 4720 (2007), 400cx FEL, LandPride RBT3596 rear
    blade with 3-way hydraulic adjust.

  9. #9
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    118
    Location
    northwestern connecticut
    Tractor
    1989 Cub Cadet hydro 13/20, 2004, Kioti CK20HST TLB

    Default Re: Capabilities for serious snow removal with SUB-CUT or small frame CUT?

    I have a Kioti CK20HST TLB and live in northwest Connecticut at about 1,200 feet - I guess that would be a valley in Colorado but it is high in Connecticut. We do not get as much snow as you do. The October 29, 2011 snow storm dumped 20" of wet and thus very heavy snow on us. That was pretty much the first storm since 2004 that I could not push snow with my loader. The piles got to heavy to push more than about 30 feet, the tractor just could not do it. The tractor did fine piling snow 7-8 feet up in the 2010-2011 winter, just took a long time to push it and pile it.This tractor has a strong loader for 21 hp and it can pick up about 1,000 lbs., and the bucket in my year and model is 54" wide. My drive is short about 80 feet. The loader can handle almost everything, provided speed is not important! I do not have a cab and as I have gotten older (and lazyer perhaps) speed is getting more important. So sure you can get though most storms with a smaller tractor - it just might take you twice as long. FRankly, it sees that your winters might dictate a tractor of at least 35 hp IMHO. Tractor on!

  10. #10
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    175
    Location
    Central NH
    Tractor
    Kubota B7610HSD

    Thumbs up Re: Capabilities for serious snow removal with SUB-CUT or small frame CUT?

    While I live in NH, and we do not get the amount of snow you get, there is't a snow storm that I ever worry about with my setup. I have a kubota B7610HST with a Curtis 6' hydraulic front plow and a 60" JRW rear blower. The engine is 24hp, and PTO is 18hp.

    In the biggest storms, I may have to go out 2-3 times, but the blower moves the snow once, and then I do not have to deal with it again! I use the plow for small storms, or to cut down drifts so the blower can eat it up. The limiting factor on the blower is how tall a "Bite" it can take. My bower has a 27" bite.

    Even in the wettest, heaviest snow, the blower throws the snow far enough that I do not touch it again. My driveway is just about 1900 feet long, so I do get a few good sized drifts.

    I have to say, in all the years I have had this set up, only once did I run the RPM high enough to hit the 540 RPM level. I generally run the engine at 1600 - 1900 rpm which is more than enough power for the blower.

    To put it another way, I would not hesitate to run my setup where you live.

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