Adapting a snow blade...
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Thread: Adapting a snow blade...

  1. Top | #1

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    Adapting a snow blade...

    There have been a couple of threads on here and some other tractor forum about taking an old truck snow plow blade and adapting it to the FEL. Several people have successfully done it while others have warned that a truck blade might be heavier than ideal for the front of a tractor.

    I have a 3520 with a 300CX FEL. I also have Artillian forks and the heavy duty frame.

    I came across a couple of "candidates" locally for a snow plow project. One is an old 6' Western plow. It has the frame, but is missing the hydraulics. From the pictures, it looks like it might also have a "rust issue" along the cutting edge. The guy is asking $300 for it, but I'd have to sink some money into it for a hydraulic cylinder, etc. Also, from what I can find, I think it weighs somewhere around 650 lbs.

    I also came across a 69" blade that was designed for a Deere F935 and/or F1145. Here are a few pics...
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    I'm not sure of the weight of this thing but I'm guessing it's probably less than the old Western blade. But, will it be heavy enough to push snow on the front of my 3520? (I would not be using it for dirt/gravel/etc.)

    I don't mind the manual angle adjustment. This one also includes the skids and the old Western blade didn't. They're asking $200 for this one, but it's about 45 minutes further away.

    I'm trying to keep costs to a minimum on this. In all honesty, we never got enough snow last year to even get the tractor out and clear anything with the bucket. I cleared everything necessary with my single stage Toro. This year I haven't even gotten the Toro out!

    I'm also considering just buying a snow blower attachment for my Gravely walk behind. There's a couple around here on CL for $3-400.

    I have a concrete apron that's about 30x70. My gravel driveway is about 375 feet long. When we have heavy snow, I clear the apron with the bucket and a piece of ABS on the cutting edge. I think in the 4 years that I've owned the tractor, we've only gotten enough snow that I felt compelled to do something to the driveway maybe 4 times. I used the FEL and my rear blade for that. (I might just buy some EdgeTamers for the FEL). I didn't like using the rear blade due to it picking up gravel in spite of the ABS pipe that I tried to mount to it. So, you can see, a front blade would be not used all that much.

    If I buy a blower for the Gravely, I'd adjust the skids up high enough to avoid picking up gravel.

    Ideas? Thoughts?

    THANKS!
    BigJim55 likes this.
    '05 JD 3520 Open Station w/ 300CX FEL
    Grandpa's '52 Farmall Cub
    A couple of old Gravelys
    Help a Vet and his dog

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  3. Top | #2

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    I think for you,, like me,, a front blade is overkill,,
    The rear blade does wonders,, and can be used for other purposes,,,

    My wife keeps trying to talk me into getting a snow blower for the Gravely walk behind.
    It would only be used to clear a path to the chicken coop.

    For now,, I just use the tractor and rear blade,,
    I can not get as close to the house as she would like,,
    so she has to walk an extra 10 feet,,,



    Keep practicing with the rear blade,, I can move my snow,
    and leave virtually all the gravel.

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    JustChris's Avatar
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    Sounds like a big risk for something not likely to get used much. Even my 400 lb plow feels heavy on the 300 series loader. 650 lbs will very likely start to kill front wheel traction.

    If you're hellbent on a loader plow (the only snow tool I'll use), maybe look for one already built instead of getting into a science project.

    Sorry for the pessimism. Think of it as saving you the trouble.
    3720 Cab | 300CX FEL | 375 BH | Frontier AF11E-72 | and lots of Artillian Attachments

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    jdmich's Avatar
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    Have one that I built from a 7' western. Would've preferred 6' but couldn't beat the deal so went ahead and build it. Works good for me and love it. I have some long pushes so bucket and rear blade wasn't cutting it. 790 with 419 FEL and handles fine and all 4 chained up when needed, and rear wheel weights and can put on ballast box if real wet and heavy. Use your head and Tractor handles it fine. Down the road looking at a bigger cab tractor so glad I ended up with a 7'.
    BigJim55, mark02tj and Drifterbike like this.
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    Fire trucks are Red/Tractors are Green

    2005 JD 790. 419 FEL, Frontier Forks, 6' brush Hog, back blade,7'FEL Snowplow.
    1963 JD 4010. 7' Lucknow 3pt Snowblower
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    2013 JD 825i-Cab,winch,led lights 6' Snowplow.
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  7. Top | #5

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    Good advice from all three of you!

    For now, I think I'm just going to do the following:
    * Get a blower for the Gravely. That will let me get to places that I can't get to the with rear blade or the FEL. Not to mention that it's not that big so I can store it in the shed instead of somewhere outside (like a front blade would be) where Sweetie sees it every day. It will also let me makes some paths in the yard for the dog if we get a really deep snow. I can't forget about my buddy that sleeps under my desk all day!

    * Order a set of EdgeTamers. That will let me easily clear the gravel driveway until I'm more comfortable with my rear blade to do the job. CADPlans - you're right that I should work on that more.


    This was a GREAT comment!
    Quote Originally Posted by JustChris View Post
    If you're hellbent on a loader plow (the only snow tool I'll use), maybe look for one already built instead of getting into a science project.

    Sorry for the pessimism. Think of it as saving you the trouble.
    It would be a science project and most likely one that I'd need help with due to my poor welding skills. And, I already have waaaaaay too many projects around here - not to mention my full time job, my part time job and tending to my parents. I already knew that this would be one of those "this would be cool to build and have" projects, but also knew that I really don't have the time available to devote to making this happen. Chris' comment really makes this clear - and he doesn't even know me!!

    If I come across a nice, used Frontier AF11E at a good price within a reasonable travel distance, I might pick one up. The year I bought my tractor there was a guy about 5 miles from here that had one, with hydraulics, for $750. I didn't have the "toy money" cash at the time to get it. Plus I didn't have my diverter installed then either. Last year I saw one similar, about 3 hours from here, for $1500. Not a great price, but still not too bad. I've only seen one listed on CL lately and it's $1400, 6 hours away and no hydraulics. That ain't gonna happen!

    THANKS for your input, guys!
    Gizmo2, BigJim55 and Drifterbike like this.
    '05 JD 3520 Open Station w/ 300CX FEL
    Grandpa's '52 Farmall Cub
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    JustChris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark02tj View Post
    If I come across a nice, used Frontier AF11E at a good price within a reasonable travel distance, I might pick one up.
    Now you're stinkin!

    Here's my 72". I *myself* have no desire to screw around with tire chains or extra weights or cobbling rusty junk. The AF11E is a great match for the 3 or 4 series. Early/late in the season, you can find them used for around half the cost of new. I got this one shipped over from a great Deere dealer in Indiana (Hey Sara at Castognia!!). In real nice condition, it had apparently only been used to push around some stable straw for about an hour or two. Pretty much plug and "play"!

    So far, front and rear traction has been great but I still wouldn't recommend anything heavier on this tractor. I'd actually like it to be a little lighter. At it's ~400 lb weight, the plow comes down fast in float. You need to set it down or get it low, then float it. Anyone trying to move quickly and smoothly understands this extra attention can be a distraction and tends to slow down your rhythm. But it's tolerable once you factor it into your method.

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    pcabe5, BigJim55, mark02tj and 3 others like this.
    3720 Cab | 300CX FEL | 375 BH | Frontier AF11E-72 | and lots of Artillian Attachments

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    That's a NICE setup Chris!!
    BigJim55 likes this.
    '05 JD 3520 Open Station w/ 300CX FEL
    Grandpa's '52 Farmall Cub
    A couple of old Gravelys
    Help a Vet and his dog

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    John Deere snow plow
    you may get lucky in craigslist
    Gizmo2 likes this.

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    If it were only 12 hours closer to here!

    In all seriousness, that would be something I'd look at if it were fairly local. It looks like they did a pretty good job fabbing that thing up to go on the JDQH. THANKS for posting!
    '05 JD 3520 Open Station w/ 300CX FEL
    Grandpa's '52 Farmall Cub
    A couple of old Gravelys
    Help a Vet and his dog

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark02tj View Post
    If it were only 12 hours closer to here!

    In all seriousness, that would be something I'd look at if it were fairly local. It looks like they did a pretty good job fabbing that thing up to go on the JDQH. THANKS for posting!
    It is an older deere plow nothing fabbing-there are still there I bought one last year that has 4 way hydraulic snow plow/ the one in pic is manual 2 way
    Gizmo2 and mark02tj like this.

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