Snow Equipment Owning/Operating Snowblowing up steep grade issues

   / Snowblowing up steep grade issues #1  


Super Member
Oct 16, 2010
By the lake in NH & FL
2011 MF 2410 TLB
If you look at the photos below, you will see that I have 400' of pure fun, especially in the winter!

So, going downhill with my scut tlb and front mounted blower works real well, but coming back uphill sure is tough. I have also loaded the rears.
My issue:
I have BH mounted to give me more weight over rears, but it seems like too much weight. I cannot steer easily due to the uphill grade (24% by some estimates) and all the rear weight. I've tried turning the BH to the side and of course I could reverse back up and snowblow just coming down, but that's a waste of time and fuel.

Should I try another rear weight like a 3pt block?
Load the fronts? Not much added, I hear.
Add front weights?



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   / Snowblowing up steep grade issues #2  
You don't mention if you have chains on the rear- if not, I would certainly run 2-link chains.

I think the weight of the backhoe may be overdoing it a bit, but I wouldn't doubt that you might need 4wd plus the rear diff locker in some cases.
   / Snowblowing up steep grade issues #3  
I can't tell from the you have tire chains on?

The backhoe is probably too much weight on the 3PH. Do you have a ballast box or other (lighter) implement you could try?
Even before dropping the backhoe...try going up the drive with the blower raised...this is just an experiment to determine if you need to balance out your ballasting. If it doesn't help, try adding some type of front weight...not permanently, but also as an experiment. If it helps, you know you need to balance out the tractor.
   / Snowblowing up steep grade issues #4  
I have a 60% incline on both ends of my driveway (coming and going). Why they did that, I can't imagine, but it has given real problems in the winter. I have my 4WD engaged and plow with my back blade. It works well until things get icy or real deep. Then I put chains on my front wheels (only ones I have) and that helps tremendously. My tires are not filled either. When all else fails, I turn my blade around and go backwards but my cruise doesn't work that way and it tends to really hurt my knee by the time I get the 1/2 mile drive plowed. Sometimes I have to lock the differential too, which seems to help. I plan on buying chains for the rear tires this winter.
   / Snowblowing up steep grade issues #5  
Chains will help but I think you'll find that with the grade you have its best to go downhill then go back up through the path you just made, turn around and go downhill again. Its going to take twice as long but sometimes that's what you have to do.

I have a similar driveway on another piece of property I own have the same problem. I cannot use a blower, plow, or bucket going uphill. I used chains and added 800 lbs. of rear ballast to no avail. Plow trucks cannot plow my driveway since they can't even get up it with 6"-8" or more of snow but the tractor can drive up through the snow to the top then turn around and plow downhill.
   / Snowblowing up steep grade issues #6  
I have 2 similar driveways on my route. One is a drive through with 2 entrances, I go down the steeper one first and loop as I often can't get back up when its wet snow.

The other driveway is straight down. No options, I've been stuck in it before on wet snow and have to drive up in the old snow bank. Chains would solve it but I have to drive a few miles on pavement.
   / Snowblowing up steep grade issues
  • Thread Starter
Sorry, I should have mentioned that I did add 2 link chains on the rears and that does help with traction, but the weight must be checked and I will try what Roy mentioned.

I do have a 5' rake but I didn't think that would be heavy enough. I may have to look into a rear weight that is lighter than the BH.
   / Snowblowing up steep grade issues #8  
Do you have split brakes?
   / Snowblowing up steep grade issues #10  
I don't believe so cuz I've never heard of them. :eek:

Look at your brake pedal...if it's actually two pedals tied together by a movable latch of some sort, you have split brakes (I call them Steering Brakes). Your operator's manual may have a section on them and their use.
The idea behind them is to slow or stop one of the rear wheels to steer the tractor. Someone who knows what they're doing can turn the tractor 180 degrees is it's own length (pretty close, anyway).

I use mine when I'm plowing snow. Sometimes when you push a full bucket (in my case) or an angled plow, the tractor moves to the opposite direction. The split (steering) brakes can keep it on the straight path.
Split brakes probably aren't as necessary on a 4WD tractor as they are on a 4WD, but they can be handy.