That's very interesting. I just found the same statistics as well. So, it appears that the manufacturer's minimum HP rating is actually 40 HP. The dealer that I am using has it listed at 60 HP minimum and that is the statistic that I has based much of this thread upon.
With that being said, sd455dan has convinced me to go with the 84" blower, and I am going pick up the 84" pusher as well. I do realize that the blower may not perform optimally in deep, heavy snow conditions, but I have enough alternative options for snow removal that I'm not worried about it.
I guess a few more details are in order, my road cuts across the side of a mountain for it's entire length, with an uphill slope on one side and a downhill slope on the other. I don't wing snow towards the uphill side as it would eventually build up into the road and I'd have no place to put it besides bucketing it out and over the bank on the downhill side. This means I have to wing all of the snow towards the downhill side of the road, which creates a large heavy bank since it's quite a lot of snow.
The drop off the downhill side is very steep, so I don't get near enough with my 8' FEL plow to wing all of the snow over the bank. This leaves the large heavy bank. If I don't get the snow over the edge, the bank just crowds back into the road with each storm. Consequently, my current procedure is to wing everything to the downhill side with the FEL plow, then pretty much every other storm I swap the bucket on and work diagonally across the road using the bucket to push the banks over the edge. 1 mile of that takes half the day.
If using a snow blower allows me to blow snow over the edge of the downhill side, the process will eliminate my need to push the banks back every other storm, even if it takes longer to initially clear the road compared to plowing. That's the goal that I'm trying to achieve by using a snow blower. If we get a storm too big for the blower to handle, I can go back to doing it the old way without much hassle. Just looking for a more efficient way to handle our typical weekly storm of +/-6". Based on what I've read here, I think the 84" would fit this niche well enough.
Good info, I hope this Blower really works well for you as it is doing for me.
Looked up my gear speeds for my tractor and as I posted- light, fresh snow up to around 4" to a bit more was tackled in 4th gear.
Heavier, wetter, and or deeper required the lower gears.
In fourth with that amount of snow input is all the tractor wanted. Basically "full power" to use that high of gear.
What I found amazing about the WIFO is it was able to stay ahead of the snow loading.
I could not over stuff it.
Never really went around the sides or over the 35" tall back panel.
Obviously you can hit a point where the forward speed needs to be reduced because the PTO load exceeds the engines ability to maintain RPM.
Did look up the torque curve and extrapolating it, virtually dead flat at ~150 lb ft from 950 to 1600 RPM on my 495 A
I really think this is why it is able to run this blower without a problem.
Here are the gearing speeds on my machine
1st @2000RPM 2.13km/h~ 1.32 MPH
2nd " 3.52km/h~ 2.19 MPH
3rd " 6.67km/h~ 4.14MPH
4th " 8.54km/h~ 5.3 MPH
A bit slower since I run it closer to 1600 RPM
One other thing I tried with my set up that it did not like was using the bucket to plane more than a 1/3 of the depth off of the 20 inches +.
My tractor /blower did Not work great this way, it would pile up "to much" snow in front of the bucket and slow to a stop. Works if doing say 20-30 foot runs and blowing to the ground in sections but not to just keep going and not stop and bucket.
But lifting the bucket completely out of the 20 + inches of snow and just gearing down it would just keep going all be it slowly. The Tall front and rear AG R1 Tires are also key. Which your tractor has from the pics. Never got it stuck or used the dif lock. Another feature of the WIFO pull behind is the lower mounting of the 3 point pin points. On my tractor I can lift the blower WAY up in the air so IF you need to drive through 2 feet or more and then bucket it you can without the blower bottom even touching the deep snow.
The 1250 + lbs of weight hanging off of the 3 point does Give Excellent tire loading traction for pushing snow with the FEL.