snow plowing

   / snow plowing #1  

Anonymous Poster

New member
Sep 27, 2005
I know it's early, but I like to be ready. I'm going to be plowing snow with a 332 JD garden tractor this year, and am looking for any hints on how to get the best traction. My tires are loaded, and am going to put on wheel weights and chains. Any other ideas? I have a moderate hill, and have a gravel driveway.
   / snow plowing #2  
When you say loaded, do you mean fluid? Don't know much about the 332, but check the owner's manual or with a dealer. Some models explicitly warn against using both liquid ballast and wheel weights concurrently. There are limits to the amount of weight that can be added, w/o damage to the tractor. Besides added ballast, correct PSI and chains, can't think of anything else.

There was a discussion quite a while back on another L&G forum about plowing on gravel. Some owners found that they got better traction without chains. Don't think it was ever resolved if it was related to the compactness/looseness of the gravel base, or to the type of tractor. Best thing to do is give it a shot both ways, may find that the chains hinder the operation.
   / snow plowing #3  
This isn't a traction comment, but be aware that gravel doesn't plow well until it's frozen. A floated blade of any weight just digs into the gravel. A blade held in position also digs in when starting up a hill. Skid shoes on a blade mostly dig in and don't help much. Gauge wheels may work better, and I'll probably try a set on my box scraper this winter.
   / snow plowing #4  
I've used a JD 425 w/ a 48" front blade for the past 7 years to clear snow. In my location we get a medium amount of snow. Chains were a necessity. I keep the wheel weights on year round (they're not that much -mayber 50 lb). It's done OK. It's done great relative to shoveling and hopefully poorly relative to the compact tractor I'll use for the first winter this year. It cleared most snowfalls of less than 6" pretty easily whether the ground was frozen or not. With lots of heavy snow, or up hills, 48" of frontal area is far more than the light garden tractor can push - i.e. it's very easy to slip. So, just take whatever size bites at a time that it will manage. Go into the winter not expecting it to clear everything instantly, and it will work fine.
   / snow plowing #5  
Before I got my compact, I plowed with an Allis Chalmers 16 hp garden tractor with a 47" dozer blade with skids on it, I used wheel weights and chains on a gravel driveway in south-central Michigan. Without the chains, it went about nowhere, my driveway is flat and about 140' long. It did better with chains and without weights than the other way around but was best with both. The skids allowing it to not dig into the lawn when I piled up the snow. One winter with heavier snows, we had a heavy wet snow and with the blade on full angle, I couldn't bust through the middle so I had to use a little snowthrower to cut a path through the middle, then the tractor would peel it side to side.

Last winter (not much snow here) my NH TC18 did a better job than the garden tractor did with only front weights, no chains but 4x4. I used my back blade in the reverse position and it cleared fine but I would still like to attach some skids or wheels to it in case we get real snow this winter.

The only other thing to do is gain some weight to help traction, eat a big breakfast before you go plow! /w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif


We boys and our toys!
   / snow plowing #6  
I guess the early bird gets the worm,and by the sounds you know something I don' when is winter going to arrive./w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif

Since you have a hill can you plow down the the,for the force of the tractor might help better also traction.

I found out plowing up hill even w/ tire chain once I'm ice I lose traction.

The speed of plowing does make a differents also the type of snow,so trial and error I guess but at least your having fun./w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif

Stay safe and/w3tcompact/icons/cool.gif

   / snow plowing #7  
I am hoping to be able to drive up the hill, and plow down.
I plow snow for the highway for a living, and believe me, we are waiting for the snow to start (overtime city).
As for the plowing of gravel, I think I'm going to try to either put some 6" casters on in place of skid shoes, or fabricate some skid shoes that are a lot wider so as not to dig into the unfrozen gravel.