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Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #3
Yes salted road snow is the worst offender in causing the chute to clog. Maybe a new impeller would help as well.
 

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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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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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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.

P1000841.JPG

P1000833.JPG
 

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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!! :good2:

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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Discussion Starter #9
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!
 

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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!! :good2:

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.
 

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................

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.

I’ve seen u-tubes with rubber added to walk behind units. The gap between the auger and chute is much closer on 54” & 47” tractor blowers than most walk behinds. The efficiency, true is better with this running gap tighter. But you might be asking for trouble if some foriegn object could wedge in. IMHO when running the chute lines it’s self with heavy snow performing the same thing a close rubber would. Plus the added issue if the added pieces “break loose”. I would advise against it.

Just go slower and “feeds” smaller when the s*$# is heavy.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oh Sully Bear you've made a very convincing sales pitch.

What are the options available on the quick hitch front plow with an angling cylinder? All JD or are there good aftermarket? If I can get that setup with my existing snowblower quick hitch for around $700, I'm in.
 

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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!
To answer your question.....you will need the angle cylinder for the front quick hitch and a 54" front blade.
The mid PTO shaft that drives the snowblower stays on when installing the front blade.
You simply disconnect the short PTO shaft on the snowblower, disconnect the chute rotation hydraulic hoses, pull the snowblower spring attaching pins, back away from the snowblower.
You then connect that angle cylinder hydraulic hoses on the QC's where the chute rotation were, pull the quick hitch angle lock pin, and install the blade on the quick hitch.
 

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Looks like it's going to be a bit more than $700 but maybe still worth it. I'm gong to check with my local dealer to see what options they may have. From Mutton it looks like the blade is $835 and the angle kit is $189 although it doesn't specify 1026R but does 1025R. And shipping is $250.

Any ideas where these can be found used? I've seen prices for used more than new on a quick search.
 

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Looks like it's going to be a bit more than $700 but maybe still worth it. I'm gong to check with my local dealer to see what options they may have. From Mutton it looks like the blade is $835 and the angle kit is $189 although it doesn't specify 1026R but does 1025R. And shipping is $250.

Any ideas where these can be found used? I've seen prices for used more than new on a quick search.
That $835 price has to be for the 60" blade. The 54" blade normally runs right at $450.

Craigslist is usually littered with used 54" blades. The 60" is brand new so I doubt you'll find them anywhere other than a dealer.

Also, if you do go looking, the angling cylinder and lift cylinder are the same part. So if you run across a quicktach hitch dirt cheap, you can steal the cylinder off of it and use that.



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've used a rear blade (in addition to a front blade) the last 4 winters and never once turned the blade around and driven backwards. I can't even imagine why anyone would want to try using it that way. It works fine dragging it while going forwards - even better if you have a wide, offset blade.
 

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Have run a front blower/rear blade for several years; blade is usually positioned to work going forwards with the blade turned backwards. I’d love a TnT to change the blade’s orientation on the fly but I’ve found this is my ultimate setup. My blade is adjustable tilt/offset, so by keeping it a little loose it helps to keep contact with the ground.
I don’t miss the FEL in front. I use a Boss plow on my truck for the longer runs following a big snow dump.
 

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Have run a front blower/rear blade for several years; blade is usually positioned to work going forwards with the blade turned backwards. I’d love a TnT to change the blade’s orientation on the fly but I’ve found this is my ultimate setup. My blade is adjustable tilt/offset, so by keeping it a little loose it helps to keep contact with the ground.
I don’t miss the FEL in front. I use a Boss plow on my truck for the longer runs following a big snow dump.
I run a front blower / rear blade as well. I'm not quite sure how a TnT would allow you to change the blade orientation. I mean, a tilt cylinder would allow you make the blade unlevel (not sure why you would ever want to do that) and a top-link cylinder would allow you to alter the angle of the cutting edge but in both cases the blade would still be oriented the same.
 

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I've used a rear blade (in addition to a front blade) the last 4 winters and never once turned the blade around and driven backwards. I can't even imagine why anyone would want to try using it that way. It works fine dragging it while going forwards - even better if you have a wide, offset blade.
The problem with driving forward is you have to continually drive the tractor through the deep snow. Even worse, with the blade straight you will quickly get a huge pile of snow between the blade and the tractor.

When I had a rear blade on my old Ford 9N I pushed backwards with the blade reversed 90% of the time. Other than the first 20 feet of travel it kept the tractor out of the deep snow and it allowed you to push HUGE (and I mean HUGE) piles of snow. Once you got as far as you want to plow you could raise the 3PH and push the snow up into a mound. I had 10-foot mounds during big snow falls.

That old 9N may have only been 2WD but with loaded rear tires, 800lb wheel weights and tire chains there was almost nothing it couldn't push. Fast forward to my lightweight plastic and aluminum 2720 and with 4WD, chains on all four tires, and loaded rears it spins 3 tires pushing a 5-foot blade. :-(
 

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Been a while since Ive posted, but I noticed this question. I have a 2520 and plow/blow about 1/2 mile in the lake mi snow belt. I use my back blade a lot. I back up to the garage doors and pull the snow out then back over it and blow it away. I also use the back blade first few snows until the gravel freezes enough not get stones in the chute. I have a nice 72" poly plow that came off a bronco. I had a plate made and welded pins on it for the front quick attach. You end up with a 6ft front blade with hydro turn. Works pretty good. I would like to sell that if anyone near west mi is interested.
 

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I run a front blower / rear blade as well. I'm not quite sure how a TnT would allow you to change the blade orientation. I mean, a tilt cylinder would allow you make the blade unlevel (not sure why you would ever want to do that) and a top-link cylinder would allow you to alter the angle of the cutting edge but in both cases the blade would still be oriented the same.
I run on gravel for driveway and 2mi road, so at times it is a bit unlevel and one edge or the other is digging in, would like to adjust it but I just leave one of the adjusting nuts a bit loose so that side can go up/down with terrain. Even so, like that setup better than others I've tried.
 
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