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SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1

1 edit

Wheel-drive vs Track-drive vs Tractor-mounted Snow Blowers

I'm still debating my winter snow battle strategy, and I'm narrowing down my possibilities. I did some measuring of my asphalt driveway, and it's about 4200ish square feet total. Most is relatively flat, but one section leading up to the road is about 70' long and 15' wide (about 1100 sq. ft.) with a consistent 16.5ish percent incline grade (about 9 degree incline to road). That's the part that is the challenge to remove snow.

Option 1:
I'm getting really interested in Track-drive snow blowers. Husqvarna makes 2 models currently: 1827EXLT and 1830EXLT. It seems the main differences are the cutting widths and auger diameters of the units:
»www.husqvarna.com/us/products/sn···2,551530

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiRP_HP6ZWg

Amazon has the 1827EXLT for $1999 and free shipping, no taxes collected. Seems to be a good price on that model... not sure if local dealers will match it.
********************
Option 2:
Snow thrower attachment for my AWD Swedish Rider:
»www.husqvarna.com/ca/en/accessor···thrower/

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlM8ILZst1A

Not sure of exact price, but I think it's in the $1300-$1400 range. My concern is that the 9 degree incline will not be possible to climb as the AWD Riders are not supposed to used with wheel weights nor tire chains. That will severely limit traction. They are amazing in the snow on flat ground... but I have yet to see steep slope performance- good or bad. And this setup can't do walkways... a walk-behind blower can do driveways and walkways.
*******************
Option 3:
Traditional Wheeled snow blower with chains.

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpYhX-Kw···ure=plcp

I've read that the tracked models are somewhat harder to handle than these wheeled models, but I have no experience with that. Wheeled models have been around for a long time. How would a chained wheel blower compare to the track model? And without chains, I would think it would be in the same boat as my AWD Rider with blower mounted.

********************

What's my best plan of attack? Any experiences I can draw from in making my selection? I've very open to thoughts and opinions as I ponder my options before the white stuff appears.. Thanks!

garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·callwithus

Wow, my driveway is 13% grade and I thought that was a lot! You have a steep bit of pavement there, sir.

I'd go with either tracked or chained wheels on that. If your Swedish Ride can't handle tire chains I'd go with one of the walk behinds. I GUESS the tracks would have more grip but I've never done a comparison, my experience is with an Ariens blower with chains. It was hard to stop but that was on a pretty level driveway.

BTW, I pay to have my current driveway plowed.


iknow
Premium
join:2012-03-25
reply to SwedishRider

the track drive will have a lot more rubber on the ground, so better traction. that's why snowmobiles use a track instead of wheels.



SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1

said by iknow:

the track drive will have a lot more rubber on the ground, so better traction. that's why snowmobiles use a track instead of wheels.

That's what I've been thinking too. I am tempted by the snow blower for the AWD rider, but without chains, I just don't know if a 16.5% slope will be too much when trying to throw snow while going uphill. The track-drive standalone snow blower is probably the best guaranteed traction of the choices on the table.

In comparing the 1827EXLT vs 1830EXLT, the 1830 has 3 more inches of width, but also the 1830 has a 12" diameter auger, and the 1827 has a 4.7" diameter auger. Here is the direct comparison:
»www.husqvarna.com/us/products/sn···2,551530

Why the massive difference in auger size? What implications does that have for each machine's performance?

iknow
Premium
join:2012-03-25

said by SwedishRider:

said by iknow:

the track drive will have a lot more rubber on the ground, so better traction. that's why snowmobiles use a track instead of wheels.

That's what I've been thinking too. I am tempted by the snow blower for the AWD rider, but without chains, I just don't know if a 16.5% slope will be too much when trying to throw snow while going uphill. The track-drive standalone snow blower is probably the best guaranteed traction of the choices on the table.

In comparing the 1827EXLT vs 1830EXLT, the 1830 has 3 more inches of width, but also the 1830 has a 12" diameter auger, and the 1827 has a 4.7" diameter auger. Here is the direct comparison:
»www.husqvarna.com/us/products/sn···2,551530

Why the massive difference in auger size? What implications does that have for each machine's performance?

the larger auger will enable you to move deeper snow faster. btw, the AWD rider is not meant for snow(no weights or chains). now if you had a tractor with a hard cab, wheel weights, and chains, that would be worth getting the snow blower for. you'd stay warm and dry too.


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
reply to iknow

said by iknow:

the track drive will have a lot more rubber on the ground, so better traction. that's why snowmobiles use a track instead of wheels.

You cannot compare the two. Snowmobiles and snow blowers have tracks intended for different purposes. Snowmobiles use a large track because they want to stay on top of the snow. With a snow blower you don't want to float, you want to get the weight of the machine down to firm ground where you can get good traction. This is why the tracked snow blowers use relatively narrow track systems, compared to a snowmobile that has a track covering a very large percentage of the machine's underside.


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to iknow

said by iknow:

btw, the AWD rider is not meant for snow(no weights or chains).

I would have to beg to differ on that:
Snow Thrower:

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=psS0yl3dbQ0


Snow Thrower:

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCJz1_525Os


Snow Blade:

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=mG8NvGeZtEk


Snow Blade:

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WFAC76bsfc


Broom:

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K_M6lPMOo0


I think the dual transmissions in AWD models don't need chains or weights for snow removal but are available/needed for the 2wd Riders. Question is... could AWD do as well moving snow on sloped surfaces as it does on flat surfaces?


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to Lurch77

said by Lurch77:

You cannot compare the two. Snowmobiles and snow blowers have tracks intended for different purposes. Snowmobiles use a large track because they want to stay on top of the snow. With a snow blower you don't want to float, you want to get the weight of the machine down to firm ground where you can get good traction. This is why the tracked snow blowers use relatively narrow track systems, compared to a snowmobile that has a track covering a very large percentage of the machine's underside.

I am sure you've moved some deep snow in your day Lurch... what do you think is the best way to go for a steep driveway?


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4

While I have cleared (and shoveled) a lot of snow, the only place I ever lived that had anything more than a very gentle slope, my dad cleared with an old Farmall and rear blade. I would assume a tracked machine would get you up the hills better. But it won't do it for the same reason a snowmobile will. You may need to device a weight setup for extra traction if the hill is really that steep.

What have you done up to this point to clear the snow?



SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1

said by Lurch77:

What have you done up to this point to clear the snow?

For the really bad winter two seasons ago, I called a plow truck (who was reluctant to plow me out at all) for every snow fall, and it cost a boatload of money. That was before I had a paved driveway. I still had to do hand shoveling that year as well, and the freeze/thaw cycle and ruts created from daily car traffic made for a tough season. Truthfully, it was a painful nightmare every morning that I needed to get to work.

Last winter my driveway was paved, but there really wasn't a winter. We got close to zero snow, and I was rejoicing as all was right with the world.

I don't expect to catch lightning in a bottle two years in a row. This will be my first year with a steep paved driveway... so I really have no comparison as to what I'm up against.... and that's part of the problem..

iknow
Premium
join:2012-03-25

3 edits
reply to Lurch77

said by Lurch77:

said by iknow:

the track drive will have a lot more rubber on the ground, so better traction. that's why snowmobiles use a track instead of wheels.

You cannot compare the two. Snowmobiles and snow blowers have tracks intended for different purposes. Snowmobiles use a large track because they want to stay on top of the snow. With a snow blower you don't want to float, you want to get the weight of the machine down to firm ground where you can get good traction. This is why the tracked snow blowers use relatively narrow track systems, compared to a snowmobile that has a track covering a very large percentage of the machine's underside.

it's the same principle as why a track loader uses tracks instead of wheels. if you press all those treads(many lugs) hard enough into the ground, you'll get great traction when those lugs make the impression in the snow, they work like a gear. much better than wheels. OP, just because it's 4WD don't mean it won't have problems in snow. those videos you posted were in ideal snow conditions, not heavy, not iced up. without the weight and chains, there will be many times the wheels will just slip. you wouldn't want a 45" wide track on each side of a snowthrower, so they made them narrow.


SnowyHill

@teksavvy.com
reply to SwedishRider

Tracked - good for loose surface, gravel driveway where you're also not removing all the snow. i.e. tracks are riding on snow/gravel.

Wheels - perfectly fine for pavement. You want to scrape down to the bare pavement - leave no ice or snow to build up.

Chains - helpful on ice, hindrance on bare pavement. Just don't let ice buildup.

Weight - Doesn't matter where it is, doesn't need to be wheel weights. And you're riding the thing - how much do you weigh!

Steep slope - You only need to clear the path up once - then do all the rest of the hard work coming down.


iknow
Premium
join:2012-03-25

said by SnowyHill :

Tracked - good for loose surface, gravel driveway where you're also not removing all the snow. i.e. tracks are riding on snow/gravel.

Wheels - perfectly fine for pavement. You want to scrape down to the bare pavement - leave no ice or snow to build up.

Chains - helpful on ice, hindrance on bare pavement. Just don't let ice buildup.

Weight - Doesn't matter where it is, doesn't need to be wheel weights. And you're riding the thing - how much do you weigh!

Steep slope - You only need to clear the path up once - then do all the rest of the hard work coming down.

Wheels - perfectly fine for pavement. You want to scrape down to the bare pavement - leave no ice or snow to build up.most people wouldn't want to take the time waiting for the tires to scrape down below the ice to the bare pavement to get traction though, it's probably very cold out with snow on the ground.


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4

He's saying make sure you clear it to the pavement so you do not leave snow and ice that will be harder to remove next time around. Make sure the scraper and shoes are adjusted properly and you don't have to worry about it.


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·callwithus
reply to SwedishRider

With a slope like that you'd be very lucky to be able to clear snow while going uphill with any of these. I'd expect to clear the snow on the downhill run and return back up the cleared path, then hit it with an overlapped bite back down again. Just hauling its own weight, or its and yours, up the slope would be good enough, you'll have plenty of bite and won't slide going down.



Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to iknow

said by iknow:

Wheels - perfectly fine for pavement. You want to scrape down to the bare pavement - leave no ice or snow to build up.most people wouldn't want to take the time waiting for the tires to scrape down below the ice to the bare pavement to get traction though, it's probably very cold out with snow on the ground.

It's obvious he's never lived in an area that gets much snow! You don't ever want snow and ice to stay on the pavement. Once it starts it's very difficult to get rid of, that's why you need to take it to bare pavement every time you clean the snow off. If everything is adjusted correctly it's very easy.


Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to SwedishRider

Looking at the videos of the snow blower mouth of the tractor I see that the blower attachment is only a single stage blower. If you're talking about an area that gets any significance snow you definitely want one with two stages. The first stage runs slower and is the auger that breaks down list though and pulls it in. The second stage were as much faster to throw the snow. If you watch the video you can see the snow being thrown forward, this is snow that didn't go out the chute and is just recycling to be thrown out again!



Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
reply to SwedishRider

Trade in your Husky for this, problem solved.

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhcvwGYTDzE


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to SwedishRider

Also, preparation matters. If you salt before the snow falls you'll have a much easier time getting down to bare pavement.


iknow
Premium
join:2012-03-25
reply to Msradell

said by Msradell:

said by iknow:

Wheels - perfectly fine for pavement. You want to scrape down to the bare pavement - leave no ice or snow to build up.most people wouldn't want to take the time waiting for the tires to scrape down below the ice to the bare pavement to get traction though, it's probably very cold out with snow on the ground.

It's obvious he's never lived in an area that gets much snow! You don't ever want snow and ice to stay on the pavement. Once it starts it's very difficult to get rid of, that's why you need to take it to bare pavement every time you clean the snow off. If everything is adjusted correctly it's very easy.

it can rain before you go to bed, then you can wake up to ice with snow on top though. i've had that plenty of times. you'd have to stay awake 24 hours to keep it clean.


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to Msradell

said by Msradell:

Looking at the videos of the snow blower mouth of the tractor I see that the blower attachment is only a single stage blower. If you're talking about an area that gets any significance snow you definitely want one with two stages. The first stage runs slower and is the auger that breaks down list though and pulls it in. The second stage were as much faster to throw the snow. If you watch the video you can see the snow being thrown forward, this is snow that didn't go out the chute and is just recycling to be thrown out again!

Nah... it's a two-stage snow thrower (at least the one I might buy is). Here's the link: »www.husqvarna.com/ca/en/accessor···thrower/


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to Lurch77

said by Lurch77:

Trade in your Husky for this, problem solved.

(youtube clip)

That thing is just ridiculous!! I want one.


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4

My 10yo son said the same thing when he watched the video. He asked if I wanted it. I said yes. I wouldn't be able to use it, but I still want it.



dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
Premium
join:2002-11-19
Parsippany, NJ
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 edit
reply to SwedishRider

Now you know why I recommended the Steiner tractor back when you were evaluating the mower. Throw on the snow cab, hook up the thrower to the PTO, and you're off to the races. The Steiner even uses engine heat in the snow cab.

Awesome piece of machinery
»www.steinerturf.com/attachments.asp



stev32k
Premium
join:2000-04-27
Mobile, AL
kudos:1
reply to SwedishRider

Wow, am I glad I don't have to worry about snow removal. Just mowing the grass is bad enough.



Robert
Premium
join:2002-03-11
St John'S, NL
reply to SwedishRider

Husqvarna says it is good for up to 10 degrees. That should answer your question.



SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1

said by Robert:

Husqvarna says it is good for up to 10 degrees. That should answer your question.

That is Husqvarna's claim... but actual use in heavy snow may be another story. If the dealer would let me try the blower out and return it if it didn't work out, I'd bite for it... but if I own it after first use, I'll be pretty upset that I wasted money on something that can't do the job.

I'd like to believe the 10-degrees claim... but logical reasoning about the realities of snow and hills is making that a tough sell for me.


Pacrat
Old and Cranky
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-10
Cortland, OH
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to SwedishRider

Y'know... if you take your good ol' time and let the tractor move at a reasonable pace, traction will not be an issue. Give the blower time to do its job instead of trying to horse it through the heavy stuff and you'll have no problem at all. It's when you try to hurry that everything bogs down and things start to slip. My Cub has some traction issues every once in awhile if I'm in a hurry. I have 168#of suitcase weights on a mounting bracket hanging off the rear end and it still slips occasionally. But if I don't try to crowd it, it rolls along just fine. I have a set of wheel chains for it, but the last couple of years I haven't bothered to put them on. If you take your time and let it do its job, you wont have any problems.

The best thing you can do for yourself to get the drive cleared down to bare pavement is get ti done before it's driven on at all. The skid shoes will ride up on hard-packed snow, keeping the scraper blade from getting all the way down to the pavement if you don't.
--
Keep your eye on the ball, your shoulder to the wheel, your nose to the grindstone, and your ear to the ground. Now, try to work in that position!!!



Daarken
Rara Avises
Premium
join:2005-01-12
Southwest LA
kudos:3
reply to SwedishRider

Here is your unit, or a simillar unit to it with a plow attachment, snow chains and wheel waits doing a driveway.

»youtu.be/DBiIoV6o7gw

--
Getting it Done.

iknow
Premium
join:2012-03-25
reply to SwedishRider

here's a video of the track drive snowblower, this is more impressive.

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiRP_HP6···=related