Anyone Bent Their FEL Using a Snow Plow

  
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#31  
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Hilbilly

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Deerherd,

I went in to the big city today to look at the HLA 2000 and get a set of chains. I really wanted to take the HLA2000 home but with my driveway being as rough and undulating as it is, I don't think that system will work well for me. If my driveway was even close to being slow rolling humps or reasonably smooth, that plow would be great. I noted the heavy duty lateral tilt system they use and the construction looked to be top notch but I couldn't see how I could alter it to add a chain for up and down float without butchering it. The dealer thinks he may be able to get me one special ordered but it wouldn't arrive for 6 to 8 weeks. I'll be done with plowing by then. Maybe next year, if I don't come up with something before that.

After I got home I figured I would try running down part of the driveway with the loader bucket to see if I could adjust the height to just skim some of the snow off. It was a loosing battle. The only way it worked (sort of) was to use the FEL in float and fiddle with the tilt but then I couldn't steer and it would dig sometimes. Back to the drawing board.
 
   #32  

swampy6

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We have one on our Mahindra 4540, this is our second winter with it and I really like it.

I haven't bent anything yet but I don't go hard into the banks already there. I use it on our gravel driveway and on some trails in the woods.

We can change the angle of the plow from the seat, we almost went with the plow you have to get off the tractor and change but spent the extra cash.....glad we did.

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   #33  

RNeumann

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Deerherd,

I went in to the big city today to look at the HLA 2000 and get a set of chains. I really wanted to take the HLA2000 home but with my driveway being as rough and undulating as it is, I don't think that system will work well for me. If my driveway was even close to being slow rolling humps or reasonably smooth, that plow would be great. I noted the heavy duty lateral tilt system they use and the construction looked to be top notch but I couldn't see how I could alter it to add a chain for up and down float without butchering it. The dealer thinks he may be able to get me one special ordered but it wouldn't arrive for 6 to 8 weeks. I'll be done with plowing by then. Maybe next year, if I don't come up with something before that.

After I got home I figured I would try running down part of the driveway with the loader bucket to see if I could adjust the height to just skim some of the snow off. It was a loosing battle. The only way it worked (sort of) was to use the FEL in float and fiddle with the tilt but then I couldn't steer and it would dig sometimes. Back to the drawing board.

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   #35  

Coyote machine

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'10 Kioti DK 40se/hst KL-401 FEL, loaded tires, KB-2485 bhoe, Tuffline TB160 boxblade, Woods QA forks, MIE Hydraulic bhoe thumb & ripper tooth, Igland 4001 winch, & GR-20 Log Grapple. Woods BBX72" Brush Mower. Diamondplate aluminum canop
I have the HLA 2000 snowplow on my Kioti DK-40 HP Kioti. No Cab, open station. I have either a 1000#+ hoe on rear as ballast, or my BB with two filled with sand 55 gallon plastic barrels.
I use Aquiline rear chains only. I let the first few storms lay down a compacted base on my 2 gravel drives and gravel areas around my barn and other out buildings.
My main drive is over 400'. I have other large areas that need plowing to allow entry to 11 garage bays between my main house and barn, and flip house next door.
Most of the drive areas are sloped, curved and ditched on one side.
At 1400' above sea level we get lots of wind driven drifts, etc.
I plow quickly as possible, often at dusk or thereabout, and it gets real cold when the sun starts dropping like a rock from the sky.
I really like my HLA 2000 plow and see no need to add anything like a chain to lift it like a truck plow. I can push snow into very high piles over my main ditch and let it melt in springtime through the ditch stone - done!

Yes, if angled sharply the plow can push the tractor sideways, mostly if plowing down the drive. This is easily mitigated by slowing down or by decreasing angle of attack.
If you look at what HLA designs and produces for plows, they go from small to monster road plows.

In my opinion truck retrofit plows are NOT designed for tractor loader use. They serve a specific purpose well- being attached to the frame of a truck. Most truck plows I've seen have SSQA plates and then a lengthy arm and dual piston truck plow arm, then the blade. The extra distance of the blade being far out in front of the mounting plate makes the loader arms more vulnerable to twisting and racking damage from forces exerted on the blade. Those forces are transferred back to the loader arms, which are far more likely to sustain damage than the same plow mounted to a truck's frame, where the forces are diminished by the truck's ladder frame design.
Think about it. The tractor loader has two main supports, where the arms attach to the upright near the dash of the tractor. There is also a torsion tube between the loader arms fairly close to where the SSQA plate attaches. That's it. Tractor loaders are essentially designed to push a bucket or blade straight ahead, with no blade angling or lateral forces being exerted during pushing of dirt, manure or sand, etc. Tractor loaders are NOT dozers with angle blade functions built in.
The forces the loader is designed to handle are meant to push back evenly or close to even at the SSQA plate surface of the loader bucket or blade. Extending that exertion point out several feet by attaching a truck plow changes the exertion point and consequently can and often will damage the loader arms.

The lateral float built into the HLA plows allows the blade to pivot to driveway contours, and the crossover valve allows shock to be reduced to tractor loader arms; probably the most critical safety mechanism for one's loader arms not getting racked by the forces that would otherwise damage them. And there are 4 trip springs that drop the blade to allow for contact with immovable objects, for obvious reasons. These combined features with a single 3" diameter hydraulic cylinder do an excellent job of protecting the loader in all situations encountered when plowing.
As others have stated, allow the plow feet to rest on the surface and adjust loader arms to optimal position and plow away. No need to duplicate the float of the plow with loader float.
I've used my HLA 2000 for a number of years and it is the best plow I've ever used. It has the ability to push snow high into banks that the tractor, with loader arm assistance, can do with ease. No truck with a frame mounted plow could come close to what the tractor can do. A truck plow mounted on a FEL could do high banking, but again it had better approach it straight on to reduce the chance of FEL damage....
JMHO from nearly 40 years of plowing with trucks and tractors.....
 
  
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#36  
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Hilbilly

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RNeuman, how wide is your plow?

Coyote, thanks for the thorough write up. My tractor is open cab too and 47hp so we pretty much have the same machine sizes.

I think I may not have explained my goals well enough. The main thing I am trying to achieve is to blast the snow well off the driveway and that only occurs if I travel fast enough. With the setup I have now, I run in the highest gear with the rear blade down and angled as far as it will go. That will throw the snow quite a ways. However if I travel one gear slower it doesn't throw very far and 2 gears down the snow only rolls off the end of the blade. A couple of passes like this and the driveway gets narrow fast. I thought about a wing but most of the driveway has a very steep bank on one side and I use brightly painted markers to identify the edge. If I use a wing it will destroy the markers and if I go off that side it will end very badly.

I start the season doing these fast passes, making sure I plow as wide as possible and continue with the fast passes during the season. I'm trying to get the snow as far off the driveway as possible. But as soon as the snow starts to build up, I can't go fast enough to get the snow over the top of the bank and then the driveway just starts getting narrower. What I am trying to avoid is having to use the blower because it is rear mounted and driving backwards for 2 hours is a killer. I tried a mirror but it gets covered with mist and then I can't see. If my driveway was only a few hundred feet long I would just use the skidsteer with the snow bucket to push the banks back. However my driveway is over 5000 feet long and that method would take way too long.

I'm starting to think my desire to go fast with a loader mounted plow is a bad idea. I want the speed but that is more likely to cause damage. If I go slower then I will end up using the blower more often.

There some other issues using my current method too. One being that driving over the snow first and then using the rear blade to plow ends up packing the snow. Then when I need to use the blower the snow is packed down and sometimes the blower just rides up on the outside edge and ends up spreading the snow back onto the driveway instead of blowing it. So when I finish blowing I need to take the blower off, mount the rear blade and go over the driveway again to push the snow back to the edges.

I also thought about using the skidsteer to plow because it is more suited for heavy pushing and I don't think racking would be an issue. But the SS I have is only a single speed and its pretty slow. Not fast enough to throw snow.

Maybe I need a blower for the SS, at least that way I would be looking forward not over my shoulder.

For the last 3 days I have been moving snow. 2 days ago it was a 6 hour job involving the tractor with rear blade and then the blower and then the blade again, as explained above. Then the SS was used around the house and other buildings to push and pile away from the buildings. Yesterday was only 3 hours, involving the blower again. Now we have another 8" of snow and the forecast is for up to 18" by the end of tomorrow. I measured the snow on top of my fuel shed roof and its 30" deep. That's even after the warm spell we had a week or so ago that produced a bunch of rain and packed the previous snow pack down. I need to get out and plow again. Looks like I have a new career ....... moving snow.
 
   #37  

DK35vince

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I have the HLA 2000 snowplow on my Kioti DK-40 HP Kioti. No Cab, open station. I have either a 1000#+ hoe on rear as ballast, or my BB with two filled with sand 55 gallon plastic barrels.
I use Aquiline rear chains only. I let the first few storms lay down a compacted base on my 2 gravel drives and gravel areas around my barn and other out buildings.
My main drive is over 400'. I have other large areas that need plowing to allow entry to 11 garage bays between my main house and barn, and flip house next door.
Most of the drive areas are sloped, curved and ditched on one side.
At 1400' above sea level we get lots of wind driven drifts, etc.
I plow quickly as possible, often at dusk or thereabout, and it gets real cold when the sun starts dropping like a rock from the sky.
I really like my HLA 2000 plow and see no need to add anything like a chain to lift it like a truck plow. I can push snow into very high piles over my main ditch and let it melt in springtime through the ditch stone - done!

Yes, if angled sharply the plow can push the tractor sideways, mostly if plowing down the drive. This is easily mitigated by slowing down or by decreasing angle of attack.
If you look at what HLA designs and produces for plows, they go from small to monster road plows.

In my opinion truck retrofit plows are NOT designed for tractor loader use. They serve a specific purpose well- being attached to the frame of a truck. Most truck plows I've seen have SSQA plates and then a lengthy arm and dual piston truck plow arm, then the blade. The extra distance of the blade being far out in front of the mounting plate makes the loader arms more vulnerable to twisting and racking damage from forces exerted on the blade. Those forces are transferred back to the loader arms, which are far more likely to sustain damage than the same plow mounted to a truck's frame, where the forces are diminished by the truck's ladder frame design.
Think about it. The tractor loader has two main supports, where the arms attach to the upright near the dash of the tractor. There is also a torsion tube between the loader arms fairly close to where the SSQA plate attaches. That's it. Tractor loaders are essentially designed to push a bucket or blade straight ahead, with no blade angling or lateral forces being exerted during pushing of dirt, manure or sand, etc. Tractor loaders are NOT dozers with angle blade functions built in.
The forces the loader is designed to handle are meant to push back evenly or close to even at the SSQA plate surface of the loader bucket or blade. Extending that exertion point out several feet by attaching a truck plow changes the exertion point and consequently can and often will damage the loader arms.

The lateral float built into the HLA plows allows the blade to pivot to driveway contours, and the crossover valve allows shock to be reduced to tractor loader arms; probably the most critical safety mechanism for one's loader arms not getting racked by the forces that would otherwise damage them. And there are 4 trip springs that drop the blade to allow for contact with immovable objects, for obvious reasons. These combined features with a single 3" diameter hydraulic cylinder do an excellent job of protecting the loader in all situations encountered when plowing.
As others have stated, allow the plow feet to rest on the surface and adjust loader arms to optimal position and plow away. No need to duplicate the float of the plow with loader float.
I've used my HLA 2000 for a number of years and it is the best plow I've ever used. It has the ability to push snow high into banks that the tractor, with loader arm assistance, can do with ease. No truck with a frame mounted plow could come close to what the tractor can do. A truck plow mounted on a FEL could do high banking, but again it had better approach it straight on to reduce the chance of FEL damage....
JMHO from nearly 40 years of plowing with trucks and tractors.....
My truck plow with SSQA I simply put the QA plate clear up near the pivot point of the plow and angle cylinders run under my loader arms. This makes it so my truck plow sticks out no far from the front of my loader arms (possibly closer) than your HLA blade.
(QA plate is maybe 6" or so behind the plow blade.)
My truck plow also has plenty of lateral float. Follows the contours of the roads fine.
 

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   #38  

DK35vince

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After I got home I figured I would try running down part of the driveway with the loader bucket to see if I could adjust the height to just skim some of the snow off. It was a loosing battle. The only way it worked (sort of) was to use the FEL in float and fiddle with the tilt but then I couldn't steer and it would dig sometimes. Back to the drawing board.
I've never liked trying to plow snow with the bucket on a gravel driveway.
Tilt the bucket down even slightly it digs up the gravel, tilt it back slightly so it doesn't dig and steering becomes an issue on uneven gravel drives. (my opinion).
My SSQA truck plow works FAR better/easier/faster for me on a gravel drive vs the bucket.
 
   #39  

TSO

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Just going to throw this out there, but for the amount of snow that you need to push, you would probably be better served just buying an old plow truck. You can usually get them pretty cheap, not really much more expensive than a nice front tractor plow. I found one two years ago that I bought for about 1200 bucks with the plow. Did my own tune up on it but it ran fine as is. When I was done, I sold it for 1500 bucks the next season. A plow truck would solve your issue of throwing the snow far enough to the sides, as you can travel a lot faster and you'll have better momentum to push the snow.
 
  
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Hilbilly

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Just going to throw this out there, but for the amount of snow that you need to push, you would probably be better served just buying an old plow truck. You can usually get them pretty cheap, not really much more expensive than a nice front tractor plow. I found one two years ago that I bought for about 1200 bucks with the plow. Did my own tune up on it but it ran fine as is. When I was done, I sold it for 1500 bucks the next season. A plow truck would solve your issue of throwing the snow far enough to the sides, as you can travel a lot faster and you'll have better momentum to push the snow.

I've thought about that too. Or just put one on the truck. Around here a cheap plow truck goes for over $5000 and then I have an old truck that might need work done to it or will down the road. Maybe I should just put one on my truck. It weighs a lot more than the tractor and it has a nice heated cab. I'm going to keep my eyes open for a used plow.

Wish I had a plow today. I just spent over 5 hours moving snow and the driveway needs one more pass with a plow because once again the snow blower rode up in some places and spread the snow.

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