Snow Removal Choices for $2,000?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by pcwerk, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. pcwerk

    pcwerk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi all,
    Well looks like I have finally sold my van and now I have enough money
    to make the move to the farm. (Will be good to see the wife!) I will
    have about $2,000 left to buy some sort of snow removal equipment,
    and I am wondering about options? Our place is in SE Minnesota so I
    expect to use it quite a bit! Preferably something easy to use, so even
    the DW can use it (and yes, I plan on letting her use it quite a bit--it
    was her idea to go so far up North to begin with ;-)
    I WISH I could find a good used tractor for that amount, but I will settle
    for anything. What about those walk behind snow blowers? Maybe a
    riding lawnmower w/ attachment? Any suggestions will be much appreciated.
    james
     
  2. bill not in oh

    bill not in oh Well-Known Member

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    Depends on how much area you're going to be clearing of snow. I clear my 100 foot drive and my small parking area (all paved) with a Gravely walk-behind with a snow blade. Takes about 30-90 minutes depending on how much snow and how wet/dry it is. I wouldn't want my wife using it though...

    You should be able to find a small [Ford 8N or equivilent] tractor for that kind of $$. Probably could find one with a FE loader if you look long and hard enough. That would be a more versitile solution, and you could definitely teach your wife to drive it!

    I think in MN that you would be frustrated trying to clear it with a lawn tractor...
     

  3. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You might find a small compact, 8n, etc tractor with a back blade in the $2k range. You can find some nice walkbehind snow blowers in the price class.
    A might find an older riding tractor with a snow blower for that price. You can also find a riding tractor with a front blade.
     
  4. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    What your driveway condition is will make a difference.

    mikell
     
  5. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    For 2000 bucks you could get a real decent used snowplow for your pick-up.

    I've always lusted after one of these snow throwers:
    [​IMG]

    It has doolies (four tires) and it clears a 45" width. I figure one round-trip on our 500 ft. driveway and the job would be done! But for no,w I'll stick with my Western snowplow on the ol' 1978 Chevy 4x4.
     
  6. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi again. :) In the SE part of MN, you will have drifting winds unless you have a lot of trees to the NW of you. Don't try to push the snow off to the side of the road, the next wind will drift it higher. Push it higher, & the wind will drift it higher... And so on. Snow never goes away until late February once it falls here, so you need to not make banks. That typically means a blower of some kind.

    Describe the type of area you are clearing - long gravel driveway, short tared turnaround yard, etc.

    The walk behinds are fine for small areas. I would not want to do 500 feet of driveway with one, but they work for sidewalks, around the house & garage, short driveway. You want 2 stage, 8 hp or bigger. Don't bother with smaller, don't throw the snow far enough. They run $800 give or take.

    A tractor 3pt unit is nice, do NOT get an 8N for one, you _NEED_ a live pto to run a tractor snow blower. (In big drifts, you need to back in, sit & wait while the blower throws the snow away. You can't stop moving the tractor without stopping the pto on an 8N, or other non-live pto tractors.)

    If in a rural area, you can often talk a neighbor into blowing out your driveway for you. They get a few bucks to help pay for the big 8 foot snow blower they have, and you get the snow cleared. Depends on your hours, if someone _needs_ to be out on the roads at 5:00am or what you can work out with the neighbor... In this case, getting the walk-behind is a good deal, you can do clean-up, get you out if need be.

    Be happy to suggest more if you tell us more. You do not get heavy heavy snows in SE MN unless you hit one of 'those' years, but you get lots & lots of drifting winds. Last 3 years have been _very_ low snowfall around here, don't know if that means trend will continue or it will try to balance out all in one year. :)

    --->Paul
     
  7. vicky

    vicky Well-Known Member

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    I don't reccommend a plow on a lawn mower it beats it up too much and I'm sure with the kind of snow you'll be getting it won't last long. As for snow blowers look into the kind that have the tracks on them instead of wheels.
    Otherwise see if you can find a used truck plow if you have a truck to put it onto
     
  8. ibcnya

    ibcnya Well-Known Member

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    I have a 300 yd driveway and bought an old 73 chevy 4x4 with lockouts for 600 bucks. It's rusty and the floor is going bad (had to put plywood on the floor) and found a Myers power angle snow plow for 400 bucks. I've had it for 3 years and used it once. But when I need it I have it.
     
  9. pcwerk

    pcwerk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, I'm sure. Our driveway is gravel (coming off of a gravel road that
    they keep plowed for the school bus to go down) and winds downhill for
    about 150'. I'm concerned about making it up the hill during icy conditions,
    but a neighbor suggested we park our cars on top of the hill during bad
    conditions. At least we have a power outlet that we can plug a block
    heater into (two). [btw, I assume you will definitely need a block heater?]
    Then we will just need to keep from sliding off the highway for the 38 mile
    commute to Lacrosse, WI for our jobs! This will definitely be a new
    experience for me...
    james
    ps
    Thanks for everyones responses!
     
  10. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ok, got my east & west confused - and I know where Houston is, sheez!

    Anyhow, you have more trees, less wind over there. So the snowplow on an old pickup can work.

    Plugins - I've never plugged in my gas vehicles in over a decade, but I don't go anywhere if it's below 20 below.... Have deicer in the gas tank, have a good strong battery, & have a lighter oil (whatever your manual calls for in extreme cold) in the crankcase. Putting them in a shed, unheated, makes a big difference.

    Now, having the _option_ to plug them in is great, can't hurt. :)

    --->Paul
     
  11. pcwerk

    pcwerk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    "Plugins - I've never plugged in my gas vehicles in over a decade, but I don't go anywhere if it's below 20 below.... Have deicer in the gas tank, have a good strong battery, & have a lighter oil (whatever your manual calls for in extreme cold) in the crankcase. Putting them in a shed, unheated, makes a big difference.

    Now, having the _option_ to plug them in is great, can't hurt. :)

    --->Paul[/QUOTE]"

    Paul,
    So you saying that if I have them in a garage I don't need a block
    heater? I thought everyone had a block heater up there? Would
    10-30w be a light enough oil? I currently use 20-50w on my Toyota
    Camry, but I could change if need be. Thanks for the info.

    james
     
  12. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    20-50????? Don't even see that here in summer!

    In the old days, straight 30 in summer, 10 in winter.

    Now, lots do 10-30 all year around, many go 5-30 for winter. But check the manual, I follow those esp if there is warrenty left.

    --->Paul
     
  13. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge Well-Known Member

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    Troy-bilt, a once good name, is now owned by the King of Junk, MTD.
     
  14. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge Well-Known Member

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    Well, if you are reasonably close to Prior Lake, MN, you might consider this older John Deere 8 horse walk behind. I'd go for it myself, but shipping would kill me!
     
  15. pcwerk

    pcwerk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think Prior Lake is way in the north part of the state (at least their aint
    many lakes in the south). Thanks for the link though, I hadn't thought
    about looking on Ebay! duhh....
    james
     
  16. pcwerk

    pcwerk Well-Known Member Supporter

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  17. Abe R Crombie

    Abe R Crombie Well-Known Member

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    I recommend a walk behind as far as price and amount of snow you can move/throw.You can place the snow where you want it/out of the way.We get a fair amount here in Nova Scotia with drifting and my 12hp. 33" wide cut blower has taken care of it for 8 years on a 300+ ft. driveway.I also have a tractor with bucket,but the blower will do the job in less than half of the time of the tractor,and make a cleaner job.The ultimate best in my mind would be a tractor with blower on the back.Good luck,
    Abe
     
  18. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've used plows, blades, shovels and snow blowers. Hands down, the snow blower wins. A truck with a front blade would come next. A tractor with a rear blade is a pain at best. We won't even talk about hand shovels.

    A good two stage snow blower, like the one in the picture in this thread, will clear with ease and speed. Because it blows up and over, you can clear many feet of snow successfully. It's also easy to do since the machine does the work. Modern snow blowers plug into the house for the electric start, so there's no effort in firing it up. It's fast, easy, and gets into all those awkward areas.

    Blades and plows both shove to the side. Once the side gets built up, you cannot move any more snow. That becomes real important if you get several feet. The rear blade on a tractor is even worse because of the way they pack up snow. And, there's the matter of looking over your shoulder all the time. It works ok in light snows on straight driveways. But boy is it lousy when there's turns and parking areas and such.
     
  19. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Whatever you do, don't use 20W-50 in the winter! Yes, 10W-30 or 5W-30 is a much better choice.

    I don;t plug in my vehicles either...of course, they are kept in a (unheated) garage which does make a difference. If I kept them outside, I might be tempted to plug the heaters in if the temps were gonna fall below zero overnight.

    As far as deicer goes, I never use it. The way I understand it is it's no longer needed since (regular) gasoline sold in Minnesota has 5 or 10% ethanol in it already.
     
  20. Old John

    Old John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, We have a DR BrushMower.
    I love it. It does everything I need & more.
    It's a 15 Hp setup.

    We have thought about adding a Snowblower.
    It is a 36 inch Single stage.
    We thought it might be adequate to handle our
    85 yard asphalt, sloping, curving driveway's Snow removal.
    SW Central Indiana doesn't get all that much snow.
    Couplea times a year.

    Plenty o' power in the 15 hp, I think.
    They sell for about $600.
    I might do that.

    We both have 4x4 Ranger trucks tho
    Just mostly run over the snow.........