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What purpose do rubber squeegee blades provide? Benefits?

Thanks, Steve.
 

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They don't scratch the glass as they sweep back and forth. :laugh:
 

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I assume you mean on a blade for use in snow.

In that case, there are a couple, depending on how you set it up.
Blades dont mark up asphalt or fancy concrete with the rubber edge. This is the reason most guys use them.

In my case, when I had concrete, I ran a UHMW edge. It was easy on the concrete, and could scrape up harder packed snow and a bit of ice. The rubber wouldnt do it.

Since that changed a few years ago, and I now have gravel, I went back to the rubber edge, with one change.
Now, I have it overhang the bottom of the blade by about 3". This gives it enough flex to "fold" under the blade while pushing or dragging and not pick up gravel.
Ive got roughly 350' of gravel drive, plus my neighbors 500+, and there was no pile of extra gravel at the end of the season last year.
 

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What purpose do rubber squeegee blades provide? Benefits?

Thanks, Steve.
When using the rubber squeegee especially On Pavement it allows You to completely clear down to the Pavement. With the standard Blade edge is does tend to leave a film of snow as it is Plowed the rubber squeegee eliminates that film. I have used One for 15 years +. Only had to replace it at 10 years of Use. The Other nice thing when Going off Your driveway Into Grass You will no scrape the sod up either. I can Plow Paths for My dogs In the Back Yard. I actually have 3 Front Blades set up with a rubber squeegee. On My old IH Cub Cadet I usually leave it on year round so I can Push the remaining Mulch into My Loader Buckets On either My X748 or 2025R. The Other Blades I have the rubber squeegee I remove it In the spring so I can use them as Dozer Blades for spreading material :bigthumb:
 

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Sergeant, Did you buy your Squeegee from John Deere or somewhere else. I am thinking about getting one for my X370 but I have read about the homemade ones but I am not sure which one. Thanks!
 

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Sergeant, Did you buy your Squeegee from John Deere or somewhere else. I am thinking about getting one for my X370 but I have read about the homemade ones but I am not sure which one. Thanks!
For Both My 48inch & 54inch Deere Blades I Bought them from My Deere dealer. Now I have a CTA 60inch Blade coming and I will go aftermarket for that. On My 54inch Blade In almost 16 years of Ownership I have Only replaced the OEM Rubber squeegee Once and I think That was at the 12 or 13 year Mark and since Last year I have been Using the 54inch Blade On the JD 2025R The Rubber is still in Great condition. I prefer to go OEM if I Can :bigthumb:
 

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Is 3” the typical amount to have it below the blade? Seems like a lot. How thick is the material?
 

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Is 3” the typical amount to have it below the blade? Seems like a lot. How thick is the material?
I have about a inch Below the Blade with the Rubber squeegee:bigthumb:
 

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Is 3” the typical amount to have it below the blade? Seems like a lot. How thick is the material?
I am wondering how thick the rubber is also. I have looked on the John Deere website along with GreenParts website and I can't seem to find the answer. I did read somewhere that 3/4" is the best width. Like Sergeant, I like to buy JD products. You may pay a little more but the quality is good. Maybe I will make a few phone calls today.
 

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Please make sure to check out this thread where this topic is also extensively covered.

Rubber Squeegee Plow Edge Material Sourcing

If you have a local hose, belt reseller, check with them for the squeegee material. I can buy a 50' roll of the rubber material online or I can buy 25' of the same from the local company for what the Deere dealer gets for the 54" rubber edge. I have used both the Deere edge and the local material extensively and can't honestly see any difference in the long term wear or performance.

The one advantage is the Deere rubber squeegee is drilled for the mounting holes, but you can use the metal strap from the plow as a drilling and mounting template, so the issue of layout or mounting is easily remedied using the strap to mark the new rubber and drilling the mounting holes.

Deere Sourced verses Other
I bought a new 54" plow from Deere with my new tractor just in case my custom plow wouldn't work on the new 1 series due to it's lower carrying position on the quick hitch compared to garden tractors. I bought the rubber squeegee from Deere and also the end markers and they were installed on the plow when it was delivered to me. Having used both, there is no difference in the function or wear with the Deere edge or the ones I make myself from material bought in bulk.

Horse Mat Material verses Mop Board Material
I do have to say that I personally am not a fan of the "Horse Mat" approach for the rubber edge. I tried a horse mat material edge and just didn't care for the way it plowed and flexed compared to the material I use. I don't like the strings on the edges of the material as it wears and I found cutting the horse mat and storing the remainder of the material more of a hassle than a benefit.

The cost of the material I use and its wear aren't a concern so I don't see the need for taking this approach. That's my personal choice. If those of you who use the horse mat material are happy and like that approach, by all means continue. I personally like the "mop board" or "base board" material approach and will continue using that material.

Material Size, Mounting and Use Suggestions
I like to have the material 1/2" thick and the material I use is 4" in height. It wears extremely well and it also has a host of benefits over using the "steel strap" which is factory OEM on the 54" plow. I use the strap to retain the squeegee.

I wouldn't mount more than 2" beneath the blade for my use. Otherwise, the material will flex and could tear or break. Same with mounting the rubber edge extended past the end of the plow face. You can extend the rubber unsupported a couple of inches past the end of the plow blade to help with back dragging, but putting too much off the end of the plows will cause it to fail prematurely.

Also, you don't want to make it a habit of back dragging with the tractors front wheels in the air with all the tractors weight and down pressure on the blade edge or its not going to last as long. Mounted correctly and with the right material, its amazing how long these edges will last.

I have gotten as many as 1,100 driveway plows out of a single edge, so for those plowing their own driveways, the edge should last for many years following the mounting and use guidelines.

Plow Shoes and their use with the Squeegee Edge
I want to mention that I have removed the plow shoes off my large plow to keep them from being an issue when the blade is fully angled. For me, the only downside is the shoes can't help stand the blade up when its not mounted on the tractor. Without the plow shoes, you have to put the plow on the front quick hitch when mounting on the tractor, verses simply driving up and picking the plow up off the surface with the front hitch. I would suggest leaving the plow shoes on the plow and making sure they aren't dragging the surface when you are using the plow.

Benefits of the Rubber Squeegee Edge
The squeegee edge has the following benefits over using steel or even composite;

- It absorbs the surface height differences and cuts down on the blade "tripping". The blade will trip in severe cases, otherwise, the edge permits the blade to contour just enough.

- It cleans the surface extremely well, which leaves it safer to walk and drive on.

- It will work on any surface including gravel, cement, asphalt and even decorative cement which is colored or imprinted with patterns.

- No more blade "skipping" or "bouncing" on the surface.

- It won't damage surface repairs such as hot crack filling or patches, even including silicone crack filling on concrete.

- No more banging when you lower the blade which is important when plowing for others in early AM hours.

- It allows you to push snow piles on the lawn and not tear the grass up. Its best to lift just a little when you reach the grass, but even if you don't, it doesn't peel the sod the way the other edges will and do.

- I use it to push stones out of the grass and back into landscape beds, etc in the spring.

- It back drags exceptionally well.

Long Term Impact on the Asphalt Road Surface I have noticed
I don't have an "scientific evidence" to support this but I have noticed one dramatic difference as a result of plowing with the rubber squeegee edge verses the pick up trucks plowing with a metal edge and plow shoes. I have been plowing the roads for over 20 years. Four years ago, we had the entire road structure replaced with new surface after the old road surface was ground up and the road bed rebuilt.

We have 4,700+ feet of private roads, which are 35' wide and with cul-de sac's that are between 98' and 108' in diameter. I plow the 98' cul-de-sac in front of my house and then the 940 feet of private road from the end of my driveway to the county road. I have done this every time since the new road surface was installed. A contractor that we hire with pick up trucks and western plows plows the rest of the road surface and cul de sacs.

This fall, I undertook road maintenance on the entire road, including hot crack filling. The section of the road which I plow had the fewest cracks of the entire private road. While the section I plow wasn't "free of surface cracks", it did have nearly 60% less in linear feet than did the rest of the road. The cracks it did have were smaller in width and less deep than the other sections.

I attribute this in part to a difference in how the roads are plowed. The sections which I plow are cleaned to the pavement and usually, the road is DRY after the sun hits it. The rest of the roads develop a packed "base" of snow because of the use of the steel edge and running with the plow shoes down. This packed base ends up freezing and thawing and frequently requires the use of rock salt to deal with the ice build up.

A combination of the use of rock salt on the rest of the roads plus having the hard packed layer on the road preventing it from drying out in the sun, is the only real difference between how the roads are used and maintained. There are sections of the road, as much as 70 yards, where there wasn't a single surface crack which required filling, where that doesn't exist anywhere on the else of the neighborhood. The same school buses, garbage trucks drive on all of the road, so that isn't an issue.

U.V. Rays, weight and traffic are asphalt roads biggest challenges. Of course, its important that the road base be prepared correctly and that any areas with sub surface moisture (springs, drains, creeks, etc.) be tiled and drained correctly. Keeping the cracks filled is very important and filling them correctly is also critical. Surface sealing the asphalt will help restore moisture into the road surface and also protect it against drying out from the sun. It's important to not let asphalt start to de-laminate or have surface deflection or the pavement failure will happen very quickly.
 

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SulleyBear Reading over Your Posts these Year's I have come to One conclusion. You really need to right a Book On Sub Compact & Compact tractors and I am Not being smart Here. Your really do Need to write a Book On the Subject. I have been working On a Book for the Last 8 years Or More. But I keep adding Garden & compact tractor Brands to it so at this rate Might Take me the rest of My Life to write. The Publisher will Publish it when It's done Because of the Nature of the Book I have no deadline. But You sir should really think about it:bigthumb:
 

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SulleyBear Reading over Your Posts these Year's I have come to One conclusion. You really need to right a Book On Sub Compact & Compact tractors and I am Not being smart Here. Your really do Need to write a Book On the Subject. I have been working On a Book for the Last 8 years Or More. But I keep adding Garden & compact tractor Brands to it so at this rate Might Take me the rest of My Life to write. The Publisher will Publish it when It's done Because of the Nature of the Book I have no deadline. But You sir should really think about it:bigthumb:
Agreed!

And he seems to be the first in the response line for plowing questions from so many of us newbies.
 

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Agreed!

And he seems to be the first in the response line for plowing questions from so many of us newbies.
I agree also! SulleyBear has given me plenty of reading to do on this subject. I have a local Tractor Supply Store and a Farm & Home to go look at what they carry that would work. I did see a website yesterday, "Rubber Wear Strips" that had squeegees made from used conveyor belts. 1" X 4" cut to length with the nuts and bolts and drilled for $52.00. It had some kind of green cord in the middle of it, which I am not sure would cause any problems. I am just glad the weather doesn't look to bad for the next week or so, gives me time to make up my mind. Thanks SulleyBear!
 

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Sully does have well thought out, thorough, almost bullet pointed responses, usually based on his actual use.
Maybe instead of a book as suggested, a power point? :laugh:

Ill disagree on a point or two maybe with my response, but thats based on my use, which differs from his, so maybe not a disagreement so much as a whats best for what situation type thing.

I like the horse mat. In my use, its been outstanding.
That use is on gravel though. So Im not really using it as a squeegee.
Prior to living here, we had concrete. On that, horse mat stunk. Or the really old piece I tried out did. Likely a newer piece would have worked much better. For that surface, I much prefer a UHMW edge. No marking, but a bit more power to break up ice. On harder surfaces, ice was more a problem for me than a light dusting of snow left behind, so I needed to be able to scrape it up. This is hard on the surface, more so if its asphalt vs concrete, and nearly an impossible task for a rubber edge.
UHMW helps, and doesnt harm the surface, but it wont flex at all and get into any dips. If you have some melting, it wont get all the water off the surface either, which can lead to freezing if it cant evaporate before temps drop again.
In many discussions over on WFM over the years, the best material was conveyor belting, and it wasnt close. The cost, as mentioned, is cheaper, and it seems to work as well as anything else. I dont think thickness was ever discussed much. You would NOT want it to fold under the plow when using it on hard surfaces. so thicker is likely better, to a point.

Anyway, mostly what I wanted to mention here was horse mat use.
Its cheap, and you can make a LOT of edges out of one.
Its easy to cut, once you know how, and easy to drill holes in too.
To cut, use a good utility knife and a sharp blade. Lay the mat along a 2x4 or something that will raise it up. That should be along the non-cut side. As you cut, the piece will naturally bend down, and out of the way. 5-6 passes should have it cut through. I used a long piece of osb for the straight edge on top.
Drilling was easier still. Chuck up a 3/8" spade bit, and drill away. Easy peasy.

I believe I spent maybe 30 minutes cutting my 4x6 mat into strips. I didnt want to store a big chunk, so it all got cut into 8-9" strips.
I use that width because on gravel, you want it to fold under. That keeps the gravel where its supposed to be, but pushes snow off the top, leaving a thin, smooth layer of snow on the gravel.

This obviously isnt for everyone, as you have to be able to move the mat, and cut it, and I know some of our members may have trouble doing those things.

Ive got several strips left, and no clue what Im going to use them for, but if I could figure out how to ship them, Id let people have them for the shipping. Trouble is, they are wide, and not exactly light, so shipping might be near the cost of a whole mat, which is why I never offered!
 

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CF928E17-26E9-44DD-A9B2-987619785880.jpeg

Strip of horse stall mat works great with blower
 

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What is a UHMW edge?
Ultra High Molecular Weight polyethylene.
It wears very hard, but wont harm surfaces.

I was first introduced to it when I was drawing/designing conveyor systems (not the roller type you see for packages and such, large overhead systems, and a few other versions too). The company I worked for would sometimes use it in turns with heavier items to eliminate wear on the hard outer edges of the conveyor. The UHMW would wear instead of the steel.
The thing was, before they used it, they would replace that outer piece annually with maintenance on one particular conveyor, and after adding the UHMW strips, they would go several years between changes. In the right circumstances, it wears better than hardened steel.
It was also used for runners on elevation changes for certain parts.
The difference between use there and as a cutting edge is that you were using the widest surface as the wear edge, vs on a plow, you are using the narrowest, so you need a thicker piece to do the job. I have a piece of 3/8 (on second thought, maybe its 3/16", its not very thick), scrap from my old employer, that I used for a time. Seemed to do ok, but Id want one at least twice as thick as I have for constant use on rough surfaces (my old concrete drive was ROUGH), unless you can find it cheap, or free like I did!

They actually use it on big plows too. I believe most guys get a full season of plowing out of them, but its been a long time since I looked, so that might not be accurate. They might get more, or less. It depends, obviously, on just how much plowing one does, and on what surfaces. Smooth asphalt like most driveways wont wear it too much, but rough concrete will, as would the rougher finished asphalt surface on roads these days. It also depends on how thick the piece is. Ive seen 1" thick and thicker used for larger plows.

Im not sure its a cost effective solution for smaller plows though, as its never been what Id call cheap.


Interstate Plastics Highlights UHMW Snow Plows and Scraper Edge Applications
 

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Thanks IndianaJim, I just went to the website for Interstate Plastic. Just for to see how much it would be I put in 1" thick, 46" long and 4" wide and with shipping the cost was $85.00. Not sure I am going that way though. At the bottom of my concrete driveway when the city put in new asphalt they didn't remove any of the old asphalt so the street is a little above the gutter. I am not sure how the hard plastic would ride over the "hump" where as the rubber might ride over it better. I guess if I went at an angle it might be alright.
 
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