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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    18
    Location
    New England, USA
    Tractor
    John Deere 4100 Hydro

    Default BCS snow blower and BCS lawnmower performance??

    Hi All,

    This is my first post to TBN...

    I am thinking of buying a BCS 852 tractor, with the 26" tiller, 38" mower and 24" snow blower.
    I am looking for folks who have used the mower and snow blower to get some feedback on how well they work. I live in coastal New England, and we tend to get lots of heavy snow. If there is someone who has used the blower in "lead" snow, I'd love to hear from you. Also, I have not seen the mower, my dealer does not have any in stock for me to look at.

    For what it's worth, I am planning to sell my three current machines and get the BCS setup. I am looking to simplify my maintenance situation.
    My current machines are:
    John Deere 4100 Hydro with loader, belly mower, bagger, landscape rake etc.
    TroyBilt Horse Tiller (new last year)
    Ariens 1028 snowblower (10 HP, 28" wide, 16" auger, 14" impeller).

    Thanks,
    Mike


  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1,679
    Location
    Northeast MA
    Tractor
    Kubota B3200 with BH77 backhoe, Kubota B50 SSQA w/ 54" & 60" buckets, LandPride FDR1660

    Default Re: BCS snow blower and BCS lawnmower performance??

    I never heard of a BCS before - took a quick look on Google and found some info that looks like it is a walk behind tractor? You said you wanted to simplify your maintainence problems - why not get rid of the separate snowblower and tiller and just get a snowblower and tiller for the JD 4100? If you don't need the loader on the tractor plus the bigger mower on the tractor the BCS makes some sense I guess. Sometimes having separate equipment makes sense - but I guess it depends on how you use it. Looks like getting the BCS unit would save you a significant amount of floor space over having the JD, the tiller and the snowblower - plus you would probably put some money back in your pocket by selling the other 3 and buying the BCS.


  3. #3
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: BCS snow blower and BCS lawnmower performance??

    there is a pic somewhere of the 1 stage blower (search on TBN).... pretty impressive. the 38" deck doesnt move... only the spindles so the vacuum for the bagger isnt lost... looks like a nice machine... ive been looking at them for a while... who is your dealer? good luck

  4. #4
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    3,743
    Location
    Stowe, Vermont
    Tractor
    Kubota L3240HST, KX-121-3S

    Default Re: BCS snow blower and BCS lawnmower performance??

    Mike -- I tried the BCS route before making the switch to a kubota. Can't remember the model, but it was one of the bigger units with a 16hp Vanguard engine. The unit was awesome, but with some limitations. The tiller was the best part of all. I have never seen a tiller -- stand alone or 3ph-- that could equal the BCS unit. Simply fantastic!

    I didn't have the finish mower; mine was the 24" bushhog unit. It cut like a son of a gun in brush, but there were two problems. First was the fixed blade. Essentially a beefy mower blade. Unfortunately, it was not beefy enough to handle rocks or stumps, so I ended up replacing several blades (no sheer bolts) at $110 a pop. Also, the tractor really labored in high grass.

    The snowblower was a mixed bag. Again, no sheer bolts came with it so the augers were twisted up like spaghetti when the unit uncountered a rock the size of a computer mouse! I simply couldn't believe the damage, nor the engineering that didn't use sheer bolts. When it worked, it was a piece of art. Single stage, but the power off that PTO threw the snow clear into the next county! But what eventually drove me to sell the BCS was the fact that nothing I did to the unit (changing tires, tried three different styles of chain) would give it enough traction to snowblow up even the gentlest slope. It just sat at the base of the driveway with the auger and tires spinning in unison...going nowhere fast.

    So if you have flat ground and stay on top of the grass, go for it. If you live on a hill or tend to let the grass go a bit, see if your dealer would let you try it out first. Oh, another problem I had was there were no rubber grommets on the end of the cable guides, so if the tractor got wet the control cables would freeze inside the cable guides every winter. Nothing a coating of grease won't prevent, but one they freeze it was very difficult to thaw out and repair in the cold.

    Pete

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    1,055
    Location
    WVa
    Tractor
    Kubota L3710, Ford 5600, Case MB4/94, Kubota B6200

    Default Re: BCS snow blower and BCS lawnmower performance??

    I suspect your problem was weight. Years ago my father had a 10 hp Bolens tractor that he rolled. I took the rear tires off and had them filled with lead oxide. Each tire weighed 150 lbs. after that. That extra 300 lbs made an amazing difference in the performance of that tractor and that was with turf tires.

    I have a diesel Goldoni two wheel tractor and although I've never used it with a snowblower, the unit probably has enough weight to get traction on slopes. The tires seem to be about the same diameter as the old Bolens.

    Do you recall how much your BCS weighed?

  6. #6
    Elite Member RalphVa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    3,791
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA, USA
    Tractor
    JD 1025, previously Gravely 5650 & JD 4010

    Default Re: BCS snow blower and BCS lawnmower performance??

    I second the motion to get a snow blower and tiller for your JD 4100. I have a Gravely with snow blower, snow plow, sulky, cart, MacKissic shredder and rotary plow. I'm gradually replacing it with stuff on my JD 4010. The FEL has replaced the Gravely for snow work. A soil ripper, and I'm hoping, a couple of disc hillers will replace the rotary plow. I'll keep the cart, but the FEL serves for a lot of the cart work and more. I just moved 19.5 tons of gravel with just the FEL. Could have never done it with the Gravely cart without expiring first. Doing stuff with the JD is a whole lot easier on the body. The Gravely does the work but will beat you up doing it.

    Only used the Gravely snow blower (an old square chuter in perfect condition) once, in about 7" of sleet. The plow wouldn't touch it. The snow blower just dug in and threw it away, a LONG way. Used chains on turf tires to push that heavy blower.

    Haven't heard anything about BCS's snow thrower. A friend of mine uses a tiller and a furrow plow on his. He is in organica gardening to make a living at it. Only tills about 2 acres. So much of the stuff on a BCS appears to be a lot less heavy duty than the Gravely: the wheels themselves, the controls (all simple cables).

    Ralph

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    18
    Location
    New England, USA
    Tractor
    John Deere 4100 Hydro

    Default Re: BCS snow blower and BCS lawnmower performance??

    Hi Ralph,

    I've thought about adding a tiller/blower to the Deere, but truth be told, the whole unit is more machine than I need. I bought the Deere in anticipation of buying several acres and building a house on it. Well, we never did that. We are here to stay on our 3/4 acre. The machine has earned its keep reconfiguring my yard, digging out 60 yards of rocky NE clay/dirt/rock to level a site for my pool etc. I am pretty well done with reconfiguring my yard, so going forward I see myself with a 1 ton lawnmower and a FEL I won't be needing much. The TroyBilt Horse is a Piece of *****. I believe the old models are as good as they say, but the new ones weigh about 120 lbs less than the old ones. That sucker just gets up and walks away on its tines, when I am tilling up compacted loam. The Ariens is a great snow mover, but is a brute.

    So, I thought, why have 1-2 machines sitting each season when I can have one quality (similar quality to the Deere) machine that I run year round.

    I figure I can sell the 3, get the BCS and all the attachments I could desire and still put a good chunk of change in the bank.

    Mike

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    18
    Location
    New England, USA
    Tractor
    John Deere 4100 Hydro

    Default Re: BCS snow blower and BCS lawnmower performance??

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( Mike -- ... The tiller was the best part of all. I have never seen a tiller -- stand alone or 3ph-- that could equal the BCS unit. Simply fantastic!
    )</font>
    Yes, I believe the BCS is probably one of the best tillers on the market. I don't have any concerns on that front.

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">(
    The snowblower was a mixed bag. Again, no sheer bolts came with it so the augers were twisted up like spaghetti when the unit uncountered a rock the size of a computer mouse! I simply couldn't believe the damage, nor the engineering that didn't use sheer bolts.
    )</font>
    Ouch! I've heard of people driving out the roll-pins and replacing them with brass bolts. I may have to look into this.

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">(
    When it worked, it was a piece of art. Single stage, but the power off that PTO threw the snow clear into the next county!)</font>
    How'd it do in wet snow (lots of wet snow like 18")? That is my single biggest concern. I fear the machine moves too fast to handle heavy wet snow at full bore (18" high x 24" wide).

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( But what eventually drove me to sell the BCS was the fact that nothing I did to the unit (changing tires, tried three different styles of chain) would give it enough traction to snowblow up even the gentlest slope. It just sat at the base of the driveway with the auger and tires spinning in unison...going nowhere fast.)</font>
    This is interesting. My dealer drove up to my house in a snowstorm this past Monday so that I could try it out in the snow. Unfortunately for me, the snow was really light (cottonball snow) so I could not evaluate its ability to deal with heavy wet snow. However, my driveway is uphill. I did not notice a traction problem. I didn't even engage the differential lock. It was a model 852 with the bar tread AG tires, no chains. My driveway rises about 3-4' in 60'.

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( Oh, another problem I had was there were no rubber grommets on the end of the cable guides, so if the tractor got wet the control cables would freeze inside the cable guides every winter.)</font>
    This could really $uck. I had an old Ariens that would freeze up its throttle cable under the right conditions. You would have to turn off the fuel valve to stop it [img]/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img]

    Thanks for all your insights Pete, I really appreciate it.

    Mike Berube

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    18
    Location
    New England, USA
    Tractor
    John Deere 4100 Hydro

    Default Re: BCS snow blower and BCS lawnmower performance??

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( I never heard of a BCS before - took a quick look on Google and found some info that looks like it is a walk behind tractor? You said you wanted to simplify your maintainence problems - why not get rid of the separate snowblower and tiller and just get a snowblower and tiller for the JD 4100?)</font>
    Hi Jim, see my response above for the rationale here Response in this thread

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( Looks like getting the BCS unit would save you a significant amount of floor space over having the JD, the tiller and the snowblower - plus you would probably put some money back in your pocket by selling the other 3 and buying the BCS.)</font>
    Bingo on that one [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Thanks for taking the time to pitch in here,
    Mike

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    18
    Location
    New England, USA
    Tractor
    John Deere 4100 Hydro

    Default Re: BCS snow blower and BCS lawnmower performance??

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( there is a pic somewhere of the 1 stage blower (search on TBN).... pretty impressive. )</font>
    Is it the pic posted by Dave__in__CT? If it is then yeah, pretty impressive. I am concerned about heavy wet snow (which we get a lot of around here). My Ariens will handle anything but can make me work as hard as it is working sometimes [img]/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]
    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( who is your dealer?)</font>
    BCS Shop in Harvard, MA (John Wilhelm)
    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( good luck )</font>
    Thanks,

    Mike

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