For clearing snow, a snow blower installed on a tractor can be quite useful. A tractor-mounted snow blower can make the job of digging out after a winter storm simpler and faster up here in northern Wisconsin, where annual snowfall is measured in feet.
However, using a snow blower attachment is more difficult than it appears. Here are four suggestions to bear in mind if you want to maximize safety, stay away from dangers, and clear snow effectively.
1. Snow blowers that are wider aren't necessarily better.
You might believe a broad snow blower, such one that is seven feet wide, is preferable to a small one (2 feet or 4 feet). A 7-foot snow blower can undoubtedly remove a lot more snow per pass.
However, using a snow blower that is that wide has drawbacks. A wide snow blower may have trouble removing all the snow when running on uneven terrain. The other end, which is incapable of falling much lower, floats above low ground when the bottom end touches high ground.
A narrow snow blower can navigate these dips and climbs more easily, clearing more snow and creating a cleaner trail in its wake.
2. Steer clear of snowbanks.
You've made a route all the way to the barn doors as snow blowing outside. Great! It's time to go back and return home at this point.
That can be more difficult stated than done, depending on how deep the snow is. Making a three-point turn is alluring. But if you do that, you'll undoubtedly back into some unaltered snow. And becoming stuck could result from this.
Depending on how well-equipped your tractor is with tire chains and weights, it could be able to maneuver the tractor through the snow. But why take a chance?
Instead, try reversing your direction along the cleared path until you have enough space to continue moving forward in a different direction. This enables the snow blower to make room for a turnabout.
3. Height adjustments may need to be made frequently.
The snow blower attachment on my tractor is situated well in front of the front wheels. This indicates that the snow blower responds slowly to variations in ground elevation.
The snow blower does not descend to follow until the front wheels enter a dip in the ground if there is one. The snow blower will collide head-on with any rises in the ground because the wheels haven't yet ascended them.
You must pay particular attention to the snow blower's height if you're attempting to clear a sloped or uneven surface. The tractor's hydraulics can lift and lower my snow blower attachment. I maintain one hand on the hydraulic controls while I drive slowly so that I can raise and lower the blower as necessary to account for elevation changes.
4. Take care not to grab rocks.
My experience has shown that a self-powered snow blower with a single axle travels over the terrain fairly smoothly. The single axle allows for smooth pivoting up and down of the auger portion. Additionally, it doesn't have a strong tendency to pick up rocks when removing snow from my gravel driveway.
With my tractor-mounted snow blower, that is not the case. The snow blower can raise and lower itself independently of the four load-bearing tractor wheels because it is positioned in front of the tractor. Additionally, the blower can be aggressively lowered so that it scratches the ground and launches tiny rocks out of the discharge funnel.
When removing snow from gravel or rocky terrain, it's crucial to raise the snow blower high enough so that it removes snow without scooping up rocks from the ground below. Failing to do so is unsafe (and could cause damage to the blower).
You'll be well on your way to using your tractor-mounted snow blower to clear snow safely and effectively if you keep these four pointers in mind.