Snowblower and rear plow
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    Ashokan1's Avatar
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    Snowblower and rear plow

    With winter quickly approaching I was curious if anyone ever uses a front snowblower with a rear plow. We had some awfully wet snows last year with temps hovering right around 32-33 degrees. These made for nasty snowplowing as the chute often got clogged even with vast amounts of lubricant applied. I take of two gravel driveways each about 500' long. So my thought was maybe I lose the rear ballast and install a rear plow and use that for when conditions are wet. Any thoughts?

    I'm considering making the modification to the snowblower by adding rubber truck mud flap material to the impeller. This supposedly helps this problem a lot. Any thoughts on that?

    Many thanks in advance.
    ColonyPark and SulleyBear like this.
    2012 1026R, H120 FEL, 54D MMM w/auto-connect, JD 47" snowblower, 52" Ratchet Rake, 60" York Rake basic w/wheels

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    Corndog Hater ColonyPark's Avatar
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    I have used the front blower/rear blade combo for years. And despite my 47” front blower’s ability to tackle wet snow, the rear blade works great too. I also like the rear blade for the areas near the road so that I’m not pulling the road salt through the blower.
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    Jamie

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    Ashokan1's Avatar
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    Yes salted road snow is the worst offender in causing the chute to clog. Maybe a new impeller would help as well.
    SulleyBear likes this.
    2012 1026R, H120 FEL, 54D MMM w/auto-connect, JD 47" snowblower, 52" Ratchet Rake, 60" York Rake basic w/wheels

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    Be real careful you keep the impeller balanced as the rotational mass out of balance will wreck stuff in a hurry. I once bent one of the impeller blades and it caused havoc. I heated it red hot and straightened it and problem solved. But that is some tough material.

    How will you attach the material to the impeller?

    I also worry that the additional material on the impeller will have negative consequences. The clearance necessary to carry the volume of snow seems important.

    Where did you hear or see adding material to the impellers was the solution for the wet stuff?

    Frankly, I would go with the blade on the front in such conditions. Its easy to switch from blade to blower with the front quick hitch. I really hate plowing backwards, or doing anything in reverse, even with my rear view monitor in the cab....
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    Firemark's Avatar
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    I use a front blower with a rear blade too. To me, it’s a great combo for addressing all needs in the snow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashokan1 View Post
    We had some awfully wet snows last year with temps hovering right around 32-33 degrees.... I take of two gravel driveways each about 500' long. So my thought was maybe I lose the rear ballast and install a rear plow and use that for when conditions are wet.
    Hi Ashokan! I live very close to you on Panther Mountain in Phoenicia. Last winter was a real pain because the ground never froze. Most gravel drives were torn up and required a lot of repair in the Spring.

    I do not use a blower so I cannot help you there but I would recommend against a rear blade unless you can find one with shoes. Plowing unfrozen ground with a rear blade really tears up a gravel drive.

    For most of last year I used a 66" loader mounted bucket with three 4-inch Edge Tamers. It's almost as fast as a plow and it does a good job on soft driveways with virtually no damage to the ground. It took care of the wet heavy slush with ease.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I agree with Sulleybear. Plowing/blowing snow with a 3 point mounted attachment will get really old quickly.
    People tend to recommend what they have, despite it may not be the best, just saying!!

    Before you buy a rear blade, take you tractor out to your driveway and back-up like you are removing snow. See if you can deal with having your neck turned for the amount of time it takes to plow your entire driveway.

    I did this years ago, when I was younger, with my other tractors and quickly realized, there was no way I was going to use a 3 point mounted anything to be my primary snow removal attachment.

    If the front mount snowblower isn't workable, get a front mount blade. It takes minutes to swap them and you are looking forward with it. If you have a stone driveway, you can get larger diameter shoes for the blade.

    I know you are in NYS, so you get more snow than I do in the southern susquehanna valley of PA, but wet snow and snowblowers do not go together. I know some have said if you swap the plastic impeller with the older style steel one, this improves the snow throwing performance. I have a hard time understand what material the impeller is made of has anything to do with the momentum of the snow coming out the chute. Speed of the impeller is speed of the impeller. The snow doesn't stick to the plastic impeller, it sticks to the chute because of the low volume of wet snow flying out the chute.
    With slushy/wet snow that isn't very deep, it is hard to keep the snowblower full of snow so the snow tends to dribble out of the chute which causes it to block.

    I have found a snowblower works best in deep snow where you can keep it full of snow. Then it doesn't block up.
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    Ashokan1's Avatar
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    Here's a pic of the impeller mods floating around the interweb. I have a plastic impeller so to may be more difficult because of the plastic.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Snowblower Mod EM.JPG  
    Last edited by Ashokan1; 10-28-2018 at 07:53 AM.
    2012 1026R, H120 FEL, 54D MMM w/auto-connect, JD 47" snowblower, 52" Ratchet Rake, 60" York Rake basic w/wheels

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    Ashokan1's Avatar
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    You guys already convinced me not to do the rear blade. I'm too old and my neck too creaky for all that head turning!

    I don't enjoy installing the front snowblower every season and am reluctant to remove it mid-season. But I probably don't understand how it's easy to change to a front plow and back from storm to storm. Does the front drive shaft assembly stay on with the front plow?

    And Fishbait - Howdy neighbor, thanks for the recommendation! I'll look into that option as well. My preference is to keep the snowblower intact all season but I'm open to the easiest and quickest option do a mid-season change. I have a front loader but that seems like it might be a long and laborious process to remove snow on a long narrow driveway.

    Thanks for all the responses!
    ColonyPark and PJR832 like this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray_PA View Post
    I agree with Sulleybear. Plowing/blowing snow with a 3 point mounted attachment will get really old quickly.
    People tend to recommend what they have, despite it may not be the best, just saying!!

    Before you buy a rear blade, take you tractor out to your driveway and back-up like you are removing snow. See if you can deal with having your neck turned for the amount of time it takes to plow your entire driveway.

    I did this years ago, when I was younger, with my other tractors and quickly realized, there was no way I was going to use a 3 point mounted anything to be my primary snow removal attachment.

    If the front mount snowblower isn't workable, get a front mount blade. It takes minutes to swap them and you are looking forward with it. If you have a stone driveway, you can get larger diameter shoes for the blade.

    I know you are in NYS, so you get more snow than I do in the southern susquehanna valley of PA, but wet snow and snowblowers do not go together. I know some have said if you swap the plastic impeller with the older style steel one, this improves the snow throwing performance. I have a hard time understand what material the impeller is made of has anything to do with the momentum of the snow coming out the chute. Speed of the impeller is speed of the impeller. The snow doesn't stick to the plastic impeller, it sticks to the chute because of the low volume of wet snow flying out the chute.
    With slushy/wet snow that isn't very deep, it is hard to keep the snowblower full of snow so the snow tends to dribble out of the chute which causes it to block.

    I have found a snowblower works best in deep snow where you can keep it full of snow. Then it doesn't block up.
    The good news is the front blades are very universal for the smaller Deere machines because the majority of them use the front Quick Hitch mounting method. So they are frequently available on the used market. Even if you are buying new, the 54" blade is about $500 and since you have the snow blower, you already have the front mounting required for the blade.

    Regardless of the plow, I would also put a rubber edge on the plow for making contact with the surface, even with a gravel driveway. In the spring, you can use the rubber edge to back drag the gravel back into the driveway and when using the rubber edge, it's far less damaging to the lawn than the steel edge. The rubber will flex and avoid tearing up the yard. The steel plow edge will not.

    I would DEFINITELY add the angling cylinder to your quick hitch if you don't already have it (many who order the snow blower and don't have a blade or broom do not add the angle cylinder to the front quick attach hitch). Being able to angle plow the snow is really helpful. While you can manually pin the plow into the angled position, being able to change the plowing angle is well worth the roughly $200 that the angle cylinder costs. The lines which drive your snowblower chute angle are the same which run the snow plow angle cylinder when switching from the blower to the front blade.

    With a rear blade, unless you have the 3rd hydraulic connection, you won't be able to angle it without getting on and off the tractor.

    It's handy to be able to change the angle as well as squaring the plow up when back dragging from overhead doors, etc. Here is a door I pulled up to plow and look at the snow piled against it....I pull up to the door, drop the plow and back drag from it at a distance of less than 3". I am also able to back drag from the service door and the sidewalk in front of it. I would never want to attempt to get that close with the rear blade, looking over my shoulder. Plus, you would have to get off the tractor and straighten the blade to get close to the door. The snow was about 15" deep and drifted higher against the door.



    Once I pulled back all the snow away from the door, I angle the plow and push the snow towards the end of the driveway, to the left in the first picture, shown in the next.



    Not only do you have to go slower when working with plowing backwards, because of being turned around, etc., it's harder to judge plowing around critical items because of looking over your shoulder, one side and then the other. I agree with Ray, if you are going to plow, plow going forward. I also feel its safer because you are focused on one direction for the majority of your efforts, looking ahead. Plus when you are turned around or sideways on the seat, you can't wear your seat belt properly.

    I found when plowing the sloppy wet stuff, with the front blade angled fully to one side, it tends to really "slide the material" out of the way very easily. It's actually entertaining (for a few minutes, anyways....) to watch the sliding mush and it accumulates other sliding mush and becomes like a landslide of wet sloppy mush snow. You have to be careful as there is a lot of mass behind the sliding mush pile and I have seen it knock overhead garage doors off their tracks and also take out landscaping items just sliding it across the ground.

    If you are using the blade squared to the tractor or a non angling snow pusher, it tends to PACK the slop together and you end up pushing wet heavy piles or stacking the same, which can then freeze into a solid brick. It doesn't take long for the wet snow to get very heavy, very quickly when pushing it straight ahead. That's why I like plowing with the blade angled. Also, when pushing the wet heavy packed piles, you are likely spinning the tires which means you are tearing up your hard pack base on the driveway, which puts gravel into the slush level on the hard pack, so if you do switch back to the blower, you will have stones in the hard pack base next time you use the blower.

    Once you get any momentum when pushing the wet mush, it slides right out of the way. The only time I actually lift or stack any of the snow or slush is when absolutely necessary. Also, with a rubber edge on the plow, you can push into the grass and lawn and not damage the lawn or tear up the sod as long as you are using reasonable down force on the plow.

    Just like any type of snow removal, it's important to plan ahead when placing snow. Just push the piles back far enough and give yourself options for the next snow fall and the next and the next. Here is a picture when I was plowing in a snowfall of about 18"......Each of those piles are about 4 to 5 feet high.




    I would go with the Front mounted snow blower, front mounted plow and switch between them. The process is easy and straight forward.

    1. - Slide the collar on the PTO shaft back and collapse the PTO shaft and set the tractor end of the PTO shaft on the support spring on the blower.

    2. - Pull the two spring pins the base of the quick hitch and turn and lock them in the out position.

    3. - Disconnect the two hydraulic lines for the chute rotation and attach the two lines for the hitch angle cylinder. Lower the hitch till the top pins clear and Back away from the blower.

    4. - Pick up the front plow with the hitch and the two spring pins usually snap into place (always double check) and away you go.

    Reverse the process to go back to the blower. In the winter, even with gloves, etc. it takes just a couple of minutes.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_20180106_071510101.jpg   IMG_20180108_143851706_HDR.jpg   IMG_20180211_100548317.jpg   IMG_20180211_100553282.jpg  
    ColonyPark and JBacon like this.

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