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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    41
    Location
    PA

    Default Snow removal with Rear blade or Front blade?

    Hello all,

    I am looking just for some opinions on what all people prefer with a slight eye toward money savings as well!

    I am currently struggling with a decision to purchase either a rear blade (woods RB72 with angle and tilt) or purchase a Front blade for my JD855. its a model 380A. It attaches to the hydro controls and is angled and raised and lowered from the seat. I do not have a front loader.

    I need something for snow removal. My driveway is about 300'. Not terrible. About 7' wide or so and spreads wider at the garage.

    The price on the rear blade is about $550 and the price on the front blade is about $750 + about $100 in gas to drive to get it. So we are looking at about $300 difference. So thats some savings on both my vehicle and my pocket.

    The rear blade could be more useful since I could probably use it for more items around the place and also maybe cleaning ditches with the angle. Other than that I feel they are pretty equal. I just don't know If I can bring myself to spend the extra cash right now. longterm goal is to get a loader on this tractor or buy a new one all together but that won't be for a few years.

    We usually get about 6 to 10 plowable snowfalls a year. Latetly its been less than that. I am wondering if I can take using and turning my neck to plow this winter!

    Thanks for any opinions!

  2. #2
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    103
    Location
    Woodland Park,Co
    Tractor
    B2410

    Default Re: Snow removal with Rear blade or Front blade?

    I just spent the last couple of days removing snow (2+ feet) from my driveway and the neighbor's driveways. I have a FEL and a 5 ft rear blade on a B2410. I had been considering a snow blade, but after this past storm I am going to stick with what I have. There was so much snow and it was so heavy, in addition to the ice, that the rear blade was moving the rear of the tractor sideways (with loaded tires) when I plowed using the blade at an angle. In addition, after pushing the snow around, I ran out of places to push the stuff so I needed the FEL to lift and move it. I was plowing on dirt driveways with drainage gulleys on either side in addition to thick forest. There were places to push the snow down the hill, but other places were narrow tree lined areas and just had to be dug out as there was no place to push the snow.

    I would suspect that, with a front snow blade, the front of the tractor would be deflected very easily.

    I also suspect that what implements work best depends on the your working environment.

  3. #3
    Gold Member jdgreg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    392
    Location
    Warrenton, Va

    Default Re: Snow removal with Rear blade or Front blade?

    I have about 1500' of driveway, and help clear my 4 neighbors driveways, total around 2k' of driveway. For the past 20 yrs, I've used the FEL to move the big drifts, and a back blade. The last couple of years I've developed lower back problems, which makes turning to use the back blade uncomfortable. At the end of last winter, I bought a FEL mounted front blade. I havent used it yet, but from all I've read here, those that have the front blade really like the results. A lot depends on how much snow you get, the type, how heavy your setup is, etc. Also remember, going backwards with a BB is not the intended use of it, and will put a lot of strain on your equipment.
    JD 4210 eHydro, Millonzi grapple, Fasse valve kit, Curtis soft-side cab, Land Pride 6' blade & york rake, and a few other toys.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    41
    Location
    PA

    Default Re: Snow removal with Rear blade or Front blade?

    Hi guys

    I was planning on plowing forward with it. running over the snow etc. although it doesn't sound like this way would work to well just yet!

    I'm just trying to think of the big picture too... Why buy something I can only use for snow etc.

    But I am sure turning your head all day gets old...

    Keep any more opinions coming!

    Thanks.

  5. #5
    Super Member Bob_Skurka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    7,503

    Default Re: Snow removal with Rear blade or Front blade?

    Quote Originally Posted by rox5488
    I was planning on plowing forward with it. running over the snow etc. although it doesn't sound like this way would work to well just yet!
    I think you will find that method does not work well with a rear blade. With a rear blade the best method I have found is to spin the blade around and push in reverse.

    Trying to pull the blade while driving forward will cause the tractor to slip and slide and, especially on heavy/wet/slush will simply deflect the tractor to the opposite direction of the angle of the blade. At least that is what I found.




    Snow Trac, the Swedish Snow Tractor, at Wikipedia
    Never insult a man with a bag of dog poop in one hand and a tennis racket in the other hand!

  6. #6
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    3,798
    Location
    Craftsbury Common, Vermont
    Tractor
    Deere 4044R cab, Kubota KX-121-3S

    Default Re: Snow removal with Rear blade or Front blade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_Skurka
    I think you will find that method does not work well with a rear blade. With a rear blade the best method I have found is to spin the blade around and push in reverse.

    Trying to pull the blade while driving forward will cause the tractor to slip and slide and, especially on heavy/wet/slush will simply deflect the tractor to the opposite direction of the angle of the blade. At least that is what I found.
    Bob -- I've found exactly the opposite over the years...but of course I use those gnarly Norse ice chains. Except for the wettest, heaviest snow I simple drive forward with the rear blade angled. In most cases, with a bit of counterweight in the FEL, the tractor handles it just fine and my neck thanks me. Early in the season I reverse the blade and drive forward with the convex edge leading so it doesn't cut into the mud or gravel. Later, when the ground is frozen solid, I spin the blade around and use the concave edge to plow. I've not had much luck pushing substantial snowbanks back this way, though, and must resort to using the FEL for that.

    Pete
    John Deere 4044R cab, H180 loader, Farmi 531 winch, Woods 72" Brush Bull, 84" rear blade with hydraulic angle
    Kubota KX121-3S, angle blade w/ float, hydraulic thumb
    2012 BMW R1200GSA for solo adventures
    2010 BMW R1200GSA w/ sidecar for adventures with my dog - www.TravelsWithBarley.com

  7. #7
    Super Member Bob_Skurka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    7,503

    Default Re: Snow removal with Rear blade or Front blade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boondox
    I use those gnarly Norse ice chains
    Well that would make a big difference! I actually switched to a snow blower and find it much faster, and there are no snowbank issues with a blower. But without chains, the tractor simply slipped across my driveway.

    BTW, do you have gravel or asphalt for your drive. I noticed my tractor slipping a lot more on my asphalt driveway than it did on my neighbor's gravel drive. So that may be a difference too???




    Snow Trac, the Swedish Snow Tractor, at Wikipedia
    Never insult a man with a bag of dog poop in one hand and a tennis racket in the other hand!

  8. #8
    Gold Member kentrodngun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    422
    Location
    New York (Southern Tier)
    Tractor
    Kioti LK3054 & DitchWitch R40 Trencher/Backhoe

    Default Re: Snow removal with Rear blade or Front blade?

    I use my back blade while driving forward too. I keep the FEL down to scoop / push the higher stuff and let the angled back blade handle the rest. Works for me (so far). When I start slipping badly, I move the drifts / piles with the FEL and start over again. Haven't gotten stuck yet and, fortunately, haven't run out of room to move the piles.

  9. #9
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    3,798
    Location
    Craftsbury Common, Vermont
    Tractor
    Deere 4044R cab, Kubota KX-121-3S

    Default Re: Snow removal with Rear blade or Front blade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_Skurka
    BTW, do you have gravel or asphalt for your drive. I noticed my tractor slipping a lot more on my asphalt driveway than it did on my neighbor's gravel drive. So that may be a difference too???
    My driveway is gravel, but I also plow half a mile of dirt road. The nearest asphalt is about 3/4 mile downhill.
    John Deere 4044R cab, H180 loader, Farmi 531 winch, Woods 72" Brush Bull, 84" rear blade with hydraulic angle
    Kubota KX121-3S, angle blade w/ float, hydraulic thumb
    2012 BMW R1200GSA for solo adventures
    2010 BMW R1200GSA w/ sidecar for adventures with my dog - www.TravelsWithBarley.com

  10. #10
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    17
    Location
    Helena, MT
    Tractor
    Yanmar 1610D

    Default Re: Snow removal with Rear blade or Front blade?

    Quote Originally Posted by rox5488
    Hi guys

    I was planning on plowing forward with it. running over the snow etc. although it doesn't sound like this way would work to well just yet!

    I'm just trying to think of the big picture too... Why buy something I can only use for snow etc.

    But I am sure turning your head all day gets old...

    Keep any more opinions coming!

    Thanks.
    I drove forward with the back blade facing back this causes it to float somewhat and doesn't scrape all the gravel off your driveway.

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