So, this isnt a huge snowblower, just a 46" model 49 on my 318, but after yesterdays snow, and some of the drifts, I want to get it going again.
I used it all the time until we moved out of town and now have 400' of gravel drive. I also clear my neighbors 600'.
Ive been using my 54 blade with extra wide rubber edge, so it folds under when pushing or pulling and doesnt pull up gravel, and that works fine, except this last snow was wet and heavy, and while the 318 will push a ton when weighted down well, there is a lot of extra time pushing piles around to keep them where they wont be in the way later on.
The blower eliminates this issue, and it doesnt matter much how heavy it is either.
Anyway, Ive kicked around a few ideas, and looking for the best option to keep from picking up gravel.
The drives are pretty darn flat. We are pretty good at keeping them in good shape and level.
My current "best" idea is to use the old scraper blade and add skid shoes to it.
They are leftorvers from some I used to make years ago. They are 2" wide, and about 3" long on the flat, then tapered at each end.
Id have 3-4 of these evenly spaced across the width, and then the two skids on the thrower itself.
My thought is that while they are somewhat narrow, the number of them should keep it up well enough.
The question is how high? The skids are 3/8" thick, and Id likely add a small spacer in there to give 1/2" clearance.
The housing itself, or rather the lower portion where the scraper mounts, is not meant to take the load of the thrower. It can, but too much and it will flex.
Due to this, I had also thought of keeping the add ons away from the center, but making them wider.
Its fairly simple to add a 3-4" wide piece of flat stock to the bottom of them and bevel it to match the forward/backward taper.
I wish I could find a large diameter steel pipe so I could just cut pieces of that and use, but Ive been looking for something like that over the last year or two and have found nothing cost effective.
I should add too that I know several guys just lower the skids to raise the housing, but its been my experience, and several others, that they need to be lowered all the way, and more often than not, they will still sink into the gravel.
Thats not the factory 1" wide jobs, but both my 2" and 3" wide skids do too.
Id guess if I lengthened them from 4" or so to 6-8" and widened them a further inch, that would help, but not sure the multiple skids along the scraper wouldnt be a better solution.
Overthinking it like normal I guess...