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Had the tractor since fall of 2011; finally got a real snowstorm here in New England. (OK, there was one wet 6" snowfall last year, which showed that the blower could handle slush - a big relief.) Two feet of moderately heavy snow, drifting to four feet in places.

Performance was good. With wind high and moving around, the price of adding hydraulic chute rotation seemed like a bargain.

It's not a miracle machine. Up against my Ariens 9526DLE, it moved snow about as well as 2X the horsepower would suggest. In other words, very slow forward speed was needed. Much easier to handle, of course, and also better able to deal with the deep, plow-packed piles at the street end of the driveway. Only major lack was the heated handgrips of the Ariens - will the accessory outlet power a pair of motorcycle gloves? Oh, and rain pants next time: not only did my upper legs get cold from melting blown snow, but the jeans then froze solid.

Overall, I'd say that with this kind of snow, it cleared about twice as quickly as the Ariens, with about 1/10 the effort. With slush, much faster and no stopping to clear the chute. I still have a lot of narrow paths to do, so the Ariens stays. Good to have backup anyway.

One part of the job is a path over mowed meadow (rougher than lawn) to clear access to an oil tank. I can now confirm that while the 47" blower clears (just) wide enough to clear a way for the R4 tires, even a moderate turn puts them into snow. And tighter turns take a few passes to clean up - not much work, fortunately. But I did find that a path I had carefully measured, staked and test-driven on dry ground doesn't work at all when there's a lot of snow and the ground is slippery. (Dry snow over dry grass is not much better than ice.) Just couldn't follow the tight turns while pushing the blower.

While backing and forthing on that part, I suddenly heard a loud clatter. Throttle down and PTO slapped in as fast as I could move. Turned out the whole snowblower with its mount had detached from the front hitch. Fortunately, other than a little scraped paint, I don't think there was any damage - could have been pretty serious, but I shut down before busting a hose or jamming a shaft. (The shaft was pulled partway out, but never came loose to whiplash around.) It took about half an hour of back-straining work to take it apart, drag pieces into correct orientation and reattach. Worked fine afterward, but I'll re-grease everything whenever the crusted snow melts clear just for luck. Good news is that I was able to fix it solo.

I still don't know how both locking pins came out. Best guess: drag from the packed snow rolled them (one forward, one back) into the detents, and the thing just fell off. Anyone else ever have this happen? Maybe I'll wire down the two pins for luck.

A few other observations:

- The second drift-cutter blade I bought was quite important. They really ought to include both; couldn't be more than $5 OEM cost.

- My hands kept doing what they'd do if it were a loader up front instead of the blower. As a result, I kept swinging the chute without meaning to, and got several blasts of wind-driven snow in the face.

- I left off the ballast box completely this year. Handling was much better with that weight distribution. But traction was really not adequate in some cases, even in 4WD. I'm trying to decide between chains and just using the Ariens on the grassy sections. Don't want to add weight to the machine to minimize ground damage, and it would need to be a lot heavier to make a difference.

- The Ariens ate a buried entry mat that wind must have moved around before the snow started. Had to replace both shear pins on the auger. While doing that, I compared with the JD 47" pins, which are spindly by comparison. Harder metal, more conservative fail point, or different design with lower torque on the shaft?

Another question: in 4WD, at full throttle and with the PTO engaged, engine speed was right on the PTO mark, dipping slightly under load. In 2WD, I had to throttle back slightly. Would it be safe to run at full throttle, with blower RPM going a little above standard shaft speed? I don't want to blow anything up or cause excessive wear, but every bit of power helps in that deep snow.

Thanks, and I hope this is useful to other 1026R newbies.
 

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Good post.
I think you'll find chains provide superior traction. I choose not to install chains on front tires, but others do, and that will also really aid maneuverability.
Handwarmers, that's a good idea! That would have cost me much less than the cab i bought my last tractor! Snowblowing, if more than a couple times per winter, is where a cab is king.
Is it possible to incorporate some sort of stop into your chute rotation? Hate to have you get assaulted unnecessarily!
 

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I think you will find the max torque is at 2300 RPM on 1026R according to Yanmar spec (2600 RPM on the 1023E). I run my 1023E at 2900 - 3000 RPM most of the time when snow blowing. That seems to be a good power band. My travel speed is very slow to avoid snow spill over (the 54" full cut pass) and still allow snow to be thrown farther when drifts are deeper than 2 feet.
 

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Good information.

Chains are going to make a big difference. I cant blow snow without a ballast box as it just doesn't cut it. With the blower down is fair but as soon as I have to raise the blower I have no rear tractor.

When blowing I am full throttle.

Do you have a chute cap adjuster? Sorry if I missed that. I would hate blowing with out one. Most the time I don't have to blow far and if you can keep the cap choked down low it sure keeps a lot of the snow out of your face.

What you found with turning and the 47" blower is why I always try to talk people into the larger blower. It still does it on sharp turns but for most normal turns is OK.

That is strange about the pins coming out. I have to say my pins don't drop all the way in as easily as I would like them and I have actually got one in before and took off waiting for the other one to pop in. Guess I better not do that anymore.
 

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I too have one of the early 1026R's, and a Ariens snow blower. My Ariens 1336 pro will toss snow farther than JD's 54" blower. Travel speed is only a bit faster with the tractor, but it walks right through hard packed drifts that would leave the Ariens just spining its wheels. :laugh:

I have chains for all 4 wheels. I havnt been useing them on the front this year. If we get a big storm I may put them on.I have found I dont need to use 4x4 very often. I have 2 sets of wheel weights, which seem to help. I also have 8 suit case weights on the 3pt that I may not really need.:unknown: I woud rather have the weights and chains and not need them, than find my self just spining the wheels or stuck.

One or more of the pins may not have been fully in. I have had trouble getting the pins for the blower to fully engauge. Takes a bit of wiggling to get them to slide in all the way.

I dont see the need for a cab. I quickly learned to blow WITH the wind.:lol::laugh: A face full of snow isnt fun.:nunu: I only seem to use my tractor for short periods of time. If I was on the tractor for more than a hour or two at a time I would have a cab.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think you'll find chains provide superior traction. I choose not to install chains on front tires, but others do, and that will also really aid maneuverability.
Handwarmers, that's a good idea! That would have cost me much less than the cab i bought my last tractor! Snowblowing, if more than a couple times per winter, is where a cab is king.
Is it possible to incorporate some sort of stop into your chute rotation? Hate to have you get assaulted unnecessarily!
Thanks for various comments here. Guess I'd better pick up a set of chains, just in case. Although the little Ariens does do a neater job (like small lawnmower vs. tractor), I'm just getting too old to fight the single-wheel slip, ice-packed plow banks etc.

Looks like the cheapest 12V motorcycle gloves run around $70 on sale. Maybe I'll wait until spring, or just wear doubled mittens. Issue is the same as with chute pointing: the winds here are FIERCE and shifty. So I need to be able to move the chute as far around both ways as possible. No problem with the equipment, just my loader reflexes, curling the bucket with lift and dumping with drop. Need to break that habit!

I think you will find the max torque is at 2300 RPM on 1026R according to Yanmar spec (2600 RPM on the 1023E). I run my 1023E at 2900 - 3000 RPM most of the time when snow blowing. That seems to be a good power band. My travel speed is very slow to avoid snow spill over (the 54" full cut pass) and still allow snow to be thrown farther when drifts are deeper than 2 feet.
Good info. Reason I'd like to keep RPM up isn't for either travel speed or throw distance, but to avoid throat jams when it's slushy. Max speed (and a lot of PAM) seem to help.

Chains are going to make a big difference. I cant blow snow without a ballast box as it just doesn't cut it. With the blower down is fair but as soon as I have to raise the blower I have no rear tractor.

... Do you have a chute cap adjuster? Sorry if I missed that. I would hate blowing with out one. Most the time I don't have to blow far and if you can keep the cap choked down low it sure keeps a lot of the snow out of your face.

What you found with turning and the 47" blower is why I always try to talk people into the larger blower. It still does it on sharp turns but for most normal turns is OK.
All good points. I thought about leaving the BB on and hanging a lump of iron off the front grille-guard. Anybody here ever cobble up a front weight that fits with snowblower mounted?

I spent out the budget on chute pointing, and didn't spring for the cap adjuster. Throw height seems much more sensitive to this than with the Ariens, so I'm up and down a lot tilting it. I have a pair of intersecting driveways, so in some places I need to throw far, others right down beside the paving. Maybe I'll add the adjuster at some point. I would now recommend that to new buyers!

I wouldn't have been able to use the larger blower. In fact, the availability of the 47" was my main reason for trading down from a larger Kioti, which I really liked. With the 47", I can do a bunch of paths and walkways that I would otherwise have to do with the Ariens (or a shovel), and it's getting to be too much. I would recommend the 53" for most people; for me, the little one was a deal-maker.

One or more of the pins may not have been fully in. I have had trouble getting the pins for the blower to fully engauge. Takes a bit of wiggling to get them to slide in all the way.

I dont see the need for a cab. I quickly learned to blow WITH the wind.:lol::laugh: A face full of snow isnt fun.:nunu: I only seem to use my tractor for short periods of time. If I was on the tractor for more than a hour or two at a time I would have a cab.
I'm still new enough with the 1026R that I check everything before leaving the garage. (Used to fly a light aircraft, and walk-arounds are pretty well ingrained.) So I'm sure the pins were solid when I went out. I think dragging them back and forth through packed snow could have been enough leverage to twist them out, where they'd stay locked by the detents.

With you on the cab; I can take a fair bit of chill to save that kind of money. But I also wear a balaclava and snow goggles. You guys with heated cabs must really enjoy them!
 

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On the sheer pins..
The 47 Blower has been around for at least a decade.. Its a well designed, and wow ,the applications it has been used for is a long list.
The sheer pin design is "perfect" for those who really have a lot of time with a blower. Having pins on the counterbalance weight is IDEAL, and makes the whole greasing shaft issue , and frozen pins, or rusting in the shaft a thing of the past. I wouldnt trade the sheer pin set up for any other ( have owned a few Big Ariens, and loved them) . I do prefer to stay dry and currently use a Loader as I don't need the "snow manicured" look either hehe
Youll end up loving that set up for what you do. Cabs are expensive 4200 for one with all the toys and heat...
 

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On the sheer pins..
The 47 Blower has been around for at least a decade.. Its a well designed, and wow ,the applications it has been used for is a long list.
The sheer pin design is "perfect" for those who really have a lot of time with a blower. Having pins on the counterbalance weight is IDEAL, and makes the whole greasing shaft issue , and frozen pins, or rusting in the shaft a thing of the past. I wouldn't trade the sheer pin set up for any other ( have owned a few Big Ariens, and loved them) . I do prefer to stay dry and currently use a Loader as I don't need the "snow manicured" look either hehe
You'll end up loving that set up for what you do. Cabs are expensive 4200 for one with all the toys and heat...
The 47" has been around at least since 1994, I wore out the original on my 445 after 16 years of blowing Gravel from my driveway onto my lawn.
The only major problem I had was the Fan being to delicate for my driveway, I kept bending the blades back and then they would hit the blower case in front. On my original blower I had a welder reinforce the fan and had no more problems. My new 47" is only 2 years old and already the fan blades are bent and hitting. This spring when I put it away for the season, I will remove the new blower fan and install my old fan. Another area to keep an eye on is the drive chain. I have broken a few of them and found that the genuine JD chain lasts the longest, though it is a pain to change. I do keep a spare chain on the peg board in the barn. I tried the master link types and they would always part at the master link. Keeping the chain well lubricated helps a lot.
I would highly recommend the chute deflection kit, expensive but well worth it. I see some one here has used an electric linear actuator to operate the deflection option. It looks cheaper than buying the mechanical cable from JD. They do break after a few years and have to be replaced. I do not know how long the electric would last but I will consider it the next time my cable needs replacing.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Useful spares for snowblower?

... Another area to keep an eye on is the drive chain. I have broken a few of them and found that the genuine JD chain lasts the longest, though it is a pain to change. I do keep a spare chain on the peg board in the barn. I tried the master link types and they would always part at the master link. Keeping the chain well lubricated helps a lot. ...
Thanks for this, Sundancer. You raise an interesting point. For my regular snowblower, I keep a bunch of shear pins and a spare spark plug. Haven't ever lost a belt in use - they have always failed slowly enough to get through the next storm. So that's it.

With the 47" JD, I have only shear pins on hand. If the blower fails in a big storm, I'd survive - either with the Ariens, or by swapping in the loader. No fun in a blizzard! I'll price a spare chain - probably the master-link type, since I'd probably have to change it in the cold and perhaps at night. What other spares could be critical?

Oh, and I got a pair of snow pants. Makes a huge difference when it's windy. Not quite a cab, but with balaclava and goggles, pretty good protection.
 

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Shear Pins

My original 47" came with 1/4"x20x1-1/2" Grade 5 Bolts with Ny-lock Nuts. That is all I have ever used. My JD walk behind came with some fancy pins. When I went to the dealer, he handed me 1/4" grade 5 Bolts to replace the pins as he was out of the pins. At JD even the bolts were over priced. I now go to a farm store and buy my bolts in bulk by the pound. Still have to buy the Nuts in a box of 100 to get the best price. I will probably have enough nuts and bolts to make it through this winter and probably next. I go through a dozen or so a year. Some years more & some less.
I just sheared the right auger today while blowing some very wet heavy snow. The Gas Tank is low so I quit. Kid can fill it up tomorrow and finish the drive be fore he goes to work in the afternoon. I just bought a new chain from JD and I believe it was around $14 + change. The master link chain I had to purchase a box of it, I believe 10 or 20 feet. Get a dozen or so master links as you will go through them if you use it a lot.
 
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