Snow Equipment Owning/Operating bucket vs. front mounted 3-position blade

   #1  

hartmacw

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Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Messages
32
Location
VA
Tractor
2003 Deere 4710
I live in VA and winter is coming fast upon us. I have a JD 4710 MFWD with a 460 FEL and Hydro trans. This is my first tractor I bought this summer and have not had it through a winter yet. I've been on tractors all my life for doing general farm work but not for snow removal. My machine came with an additional front mounted blade that is currently sitting in a barn. It's a basic blade with a manual 3-position setting, no angle hydraulics. I haven't measured it but it does look to be at least as wide as the tractor, I'm guessing about 6-7'.

So, the million $$ question, when they call for that first snow, leave on the bucket or use the blade? We usually get 6-10" on average but we do occasionally get the 18-24+". I hate those, and most of our snows are pretty heavy. I have a rather long paved driveway, no gravel, and some firm level ground to clear around barns. The driveway is mostly level with a slight slope right at the house. I have *plenty* of room on one side of the lane to put the snow. The tires have fluid and I could attach a rear implement for ballast if I needed to. I do not have chains but I do have AG tires in great condition.

I was somewhat concerned that the front mounted blade might put too much pressure on one side of the lift arms and cylinders if I used it in an angled position, which seems like would make the most sense to do. I know not to take a big bite at a time, I'm patient that way, but the first bite is a big bite :). I figure with the bucket I can lift the big stuff and carry it out of the way and it might take a little time to do it that way. And no, I will not be affording a blower or box blade any time soon. I'll need to use what I have at least for this winter.

Which is the implement of choice? Have them both handy and see which one works best? :)
 
   #2  

k0ua

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Jun 28, 2009
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Branson, Mo.
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Kioti DK35se Hydrostat
I live in VA and winter is coming fast upon us. I have a JD 4710 MFWD with a 460 FEL and Hydro trans. This is my first tractor I bought this summer and have not had it through a winter yet. I've been on tractors all my life for doing general farm work but not for snow removal. My machine came with an additional front mounted blade that is currently sitting in a barn. It's a basic blade with a manual 3-position setting, no angle hydraulics. I haven't measured it but it does look to be at least as wide as the tractor, I'm guessing about 6-7'.

So, the million $$ question, when they call for that first snow, leave on the bucket or use the blade? We usually get 6-10" on average but we do occasionally get the 18-24+". I hate those, and most of our snows are pretty heavy. I have a rather long paved driveway, no gravel, and some firm level ground to clear around barns. The driveway is mostly level with a slight slope right at the house. I have *plenty* of room on one side of the lane to put the snow. The tires have fluid and I could attach a rear implement for ballast if I needed to. I do not have chains but I do have AG tires in great condition.

I was somewhat concerned that the front mounted blade might put too much pressure on one side of the lift arms and cylinders if I used it in an angled position, which seems like would make the most sense to do. I know not to take a big bite at a time, I'm patient that way, but the first bite is a big bite :). I figure with the bucket I can lift the big stuff and carry it out of the way and it might take a little time to do it that way. And no, I will not be affording a blower or box blade any time soon. I'll need to use what I have at least for this winter.

Which is the implement of choice? Have them both handy and see which one works best? :)
The angle blade will push the snow out of the way without destroying your lift arms. I hope it has a spring trip mechanism. If not, then don't hit anything:eek: It will be about 10 times faster than the bucket.. maybe 20 times.:) put the heaviest implement you have on the 3pt, if you don't have a weight box. It may still push you sideways a bit, depending on how thick the snow is. You can use your steering brakes a little too to keep you on course. Give 'er a little port rudder if your blade is angled to the right, and starboard rudder if she is angled to the left. Use your brakes "lightly" just a tad of pressure to get back on course. If there is ice under the snow, you will likely need chains anyway depending on how hilly your ground is. The bucket is great for stacking snow, but it is very slow going in clearing snow from a driveway.
 
   #3  

nybirdman

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Feb 1, 2009
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north of upstate ny
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Kubota L4240 HSTC,L3000DT
As stated your snow plow is the proper tool for snow removal.Does it have skid plates?If not you may want to think about adding them.It may be a little tough until the ground freezes.You may also want to look for a rear blade;doesn't have to be super heavy duty for snow removal, a seven footer would be about right for your tractor.
 
  
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#4  
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hartmacw

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Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Messages
32
Location
VA
Tractor
2003 Deere 4710
As stated your snow plow is the proper tool for snow removal.Does it have skid plates?If not you may want to think about adding them.It may be a little tough until the ground freezes.You may also want to look for a rear blade;doesn't have to be super heavy duty for snow removal, a seven footer would be about right for your tractor.

The front plow does have skid plates and, to answer question above, it also has a heavy spring trip mechanism although I'm not really anticipating going too fast or hitting any objects - but you never know :) I was considering picking up a rear blade, they come up pretty often at auctions around here for not too much in decent condition. Thanks for your comments.
 
   #5  

kennyd

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Westminster, MD
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John Deere 3720 CAB/TLB, JD455
Can you post pics of the blade? If it's the one I think it is (#74 or #84) then you can add angle hydraulics to it to make it more user friendly.


Edit: I just read your post again, is this the loader mounted blade?
 
  
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#6  
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hartmacw

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Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Messages
32
Location
VA
Tractor
2003 Deere 4710
Can you post pics of the blade? If it's the one I think it is (#74 or #84) then you can add angle hydraulics to it to make it more user friendly.


Edit: I just read your post again, is this the loader mounted blade?

Yes it mounts on the JD 460 quick attach loader in place of the bucket. I don't have a pic handy. It's black, not the typical JD green, but it has a JD sticker on it.
 
   #7  

kennyd

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Westminster, MD
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John Deere 3720 CAB/TLB, JD455
Yes, I know the one know. You can add angle hydraulics if you choose, and diverter or rear remote to control it. I think your loader and tractor can handle it well, since it's so easy to swap just just it a try.
 
   #8  

MossRoad

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Aug 31, 2001
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South Bend, Indiana (near)
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Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year
The plow is the way to go. If you don't have power angle, just set it to push to the right. Drive down your driveway, turn around and come back.... you're basically done! Just that simple.

OK, not quite done, but pretty good, eh? You may want to make another pass or two and push the stuff as far off to the sides of your drive as possible. The reason is, if you get repetative snowfalls, you may run out of places to push the stuff is you let if stack up right along the edge of your drive. For example, last year was brutal here. I had a pile of snow 5' high running down the entire length of my and my neighbor's drives (they are parallal and about 15' apart. Towards the end of winter, I was running out of places to put the stuff. Not to worry, though, if you have a quick attach bucket. Just switch to the bucket and carry the snow someplace else on a nice day between snowfalls. :thumbsup:
 
   #9  

GPintheMitten

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Flushing, Michigan
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Kubota B2620 with BH65 backhoe, Ford 2N
You don't need hydraulic angle blade
For your own driveway there is nothing wrong with manually moving the blade left or right. But typically you just set it to angle right and leave it that way.
 

Steve_in_SEMich

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Jul 23, 2002
Messages
64
Location
Ortonville, MI
Tractor
Deere 3320 w/eHydro
Until the snow piles, rows, & ridges set up hard, the front blade and rear blade in tandem make quick work of a lot of snow. I have the JD3320 which weighs a lot less than your 4710 and even through our record setting snow last year, my tractor with turf tires wasn't pushed around a lot. I mostly used the rear blade with skid shoes, about 5 miles per hour, and snow rolled off better than expected. Front blade was used to push side banks back after the rear wouldn't push the snow up and over. An unexpected use for the loader-mounted front blade was the reach and height for pushing piles further back at the end of our cul-de-sac.

Once the snow got hard, I replaced the front blade with the bucket and muscled the snow out of the way.

Have fun this winter.
 

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