How much HP do I need for my PTO to snow blow

Discussion in 'Tractors' started by Locke Lamora, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. Locke Lamora

    Locke Lamora LawnSite Member
    Male, from MA
    Messages: 79

    Hey there,
    So I have been asking some folks I know who own multiple tractors and some others who actually run heavy machinery and no one really knew, told me to call a local dealer. I figure I'd ask on here as well.

    I have two parking lots (probably 150x100) and then about 1/4 mile of driveways that I need to keep clear all winter. Traditionally it has been plowed, but there isn't a lot of space in some areas to push the snow, and it leaves a ton of stone all over that takes hours to clean up every spring.

    I want to use a tractor to snowblow the whole thing and keep it neat looking as well as have more control over where I put the snow. But how big of a tractor I need is the sticking point. I want to be able to run a 5-6 foot wide snowblower, and it needs to be able to toss snow that's 2-3 feet deep on occasion.

    So how strong of a PTO would you think I'd need?

    Thanks in advance for any replies.
     
  2. lawn king

    lawn king LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,533

    The blower unit will have a hp requirement rating on it. 2-3 feet of snow through a 5-6 foot blower will need monster power!
     
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  3. ztman

    ztman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,237

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  4. Locke Lamora

    Locke Lamora LawnSite Member
    Male, from MA
    Messages: 79

    That is sort of what I have been fearing!! I had a link sent to me today that showed some that will attach on the front of a skid-steer/ fork type set up. Need to look more into that option, keep my head forward while doing it would be nice.

    Thanks! I'll look around over there and do some searching. I agree, there is no simple answer it seems like, just wish there was.
     
  5. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,693

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  6. nch209

    nch209 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    I am just a home owner, but maintain a private lane and neighbors drives, so this is the setup I use. I run a John Deere ehydro 3520 that's 37hp at the motor and probably 34 or 35 at the PTO. I run a 72" loader mounted blade that I love, albeit it requires a deft hand at the controls to be most useful (far from "set it and forget it") On the rear I run a Frontier SB1164 blower with drift cutters/wings that add an additional 6" taking me to just under 6' of cutting. The tractor handles it fine, and you can take smaller bites if needed- or slow the tractor down in the tough stuff.... BUT its definitely slower than plowing, but does make things nice and neat.

    All comes down to your budget. This setup is far from cheap, but I use the tractor for many other tasks so it works for me. That said, if your pockets are deeper, without a doubt, check out a wheeled skid steer--- like a Cat 262d to really wollup the snow--- and you can swap between plows, pushers, blowers and have some real HP to move the snow. A skid steer and a plow truck are the way to go... if you have the need and the cash.

    More of my setup, and pics of it, can be seen on greentractortalk under the same username.

    Let me know if I can help further--- been only asking questions on this forum, and happy to ANSWER some for a change!
     
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  7. Locke Lamora

    Locke Lamora LawnSite Member
    Male, from MA
    Messages: 79

    Now you got me looking at skid steers. And what's a budget when money is free with 0-10% down and 0% financing at CAT and Kubota. I like the size, attachment options and ease of the skid-steer. I can also probably use it for a lot of the tasks I would have used a tractor. I need to talk to some guys who use skid-steers a lot (my brother runs a landscaping company and has a few, along with a few other guys I know) and see what people think. Then I'll have to get out and test a few machines.

    Thanks for the input! My use will be "commercial" but I live where I work so if I didn't have a parking lot to do it would be a similar situation as you have.
     
  8. nch209

    nch209 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    ^ Research a bunch and test alot, and buy once. :)

    Make sure you are honest with what you want/need and buy what SUITS YOU! For instance, when you enter the skid steer world the big debate is wheels VS tracks. Tracks rule for most, but me for example-- a wheeled machine would work best for both usage and also for what my wallet could handle.

    Basically we are in a pro-sumer status, which can make purchases a bit difficult because of the lack of revenue coming back from the machines. I have people that love my setup of house, land, and helping neighbors---- but no clue of the upfront cost of everything to keep things going.

    All the best with your decision!
     
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  9. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Male
    Messages: 13,813

    Walker and ventrac as well as grasshopper all make snow blowers that are 4-5 feet wide and chew through feet of snow tossing it amazing distances with only hp requirements in the 20s

    With that as a guide I’d say 35-40 hp and your good
    But the gearing/transmission matters more than anything plus how much the tractor robs/uses to operate.

    Skid steers run schultze snow blowers with 50-75 hp

    I’m literally amazed how few people are using walker and grasshopper snow blowers
    Considering how much the things cost and to only use them part of the year and how well I’ve seen the snow blowers work
    I never understand why I have such a hard time convincing people to go that route.
    EVEN when they already own walkers
     
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  10. Locke Lamora

    Locke Lamora LawnSite Member
    Male, from MA
    Messages: 79

    I think if I went skid, I'd have to go wheeled, it just makes sense for what I want, and I dont think the tracks would make things 20k better for my limited use. I am going to talk to some dealers this week and maybe try out a few of the tractors soon. You are right though, and I want to have a set up like you do...but it's pricey getting there.

    I honestly haven't looked at either of those brands for snow removal equipment. But I will be now! Thanks.
     

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