I'm thinking about getting a lawn/garden tractor. My requirements are that it
be able to hook up to a snow plow blade, and be decent quality while cheap.
My yard & driveway are quite small, but I have health issues so am looking for
I can drive around. Any recommendations on brands/models would be appreciated.
A push plow is not a good idea. I have used a much larger farm tractor with
a push blade. The first problem is that once you have pushed the snow over
to the edge of where you want to clean, the snow is there and you cannot
just keep pushing, either the engine will not have enough power or traction.
Once it freezes in place then you find the next snow starts to build up in
the area you want to clear. Without a bucket that can lift and dump the
snow, you will find it frustrating to clear with just a push blade. I see
everything that is happening here in Canada with pick-up truck plows that
clear store parking, eventually most of the parking is taken up with stored
snow that they cannot move. Doesn't matter if you do little bits or a large
drift that forms overnight, the result is the same.
Don't waste your money get a snow blower. Or a tractor with a blower.
Cheap means cheap and disposable, prone to parts failing, no local service
available, poorly engineered. Pushing snow is very hard on equipment, keep
that in mind. Do you want to spend $1000.00 and have it fail in 3 years, or
spend more and have it last 20 years. Don't buy a lawn tractor from a big
box store, go to a garden specialty store, where you can touch, operate and
test it out, and where they have service facilities, they are often cheaper
than the big box stores.
For example, I once sold a 22 year old John Deere lawn tractor for more
money than I got for a 12 year old Oldsmobile Station Wagon, the start-up
costs were considerably different for the two.
Push blades are ok but you eventually run out of place to push the snow.
A snowblower is much better. As for cheap and quality, get a good high
quality machine used. There are plenty of people with good used machines
for sale that are just looking to upgrade. A used Ingersoll, John Deere,
Kubota or New Holland would serve you well. I have an old Ingersoll with
a snowblower and lawn mower attachment and it will run forever. It was
20 years old when I got it.
Quality and cheap are contradictions, an oxymoron if you will. If you
don't want to bust the budget, find a good used Wheel Horse garden
tractor (PRE TORO) and both a snow thrower attachment and the dozer
blade attachment. It takes about 20 minutes to go from one to the other,
and you will have the best of both worlds, a blade for light snows, and
the thrower for the heavy stuff. Don't sweat the fact that a Wheel Horse
snow thrower attachment is single stage instead of a two stage blower.
The huge diameter chute, and the narrow center "paddle" of the auger
make the Wheel Horse single stage thrower very efficient and very hard
to plug. Also, those old cast-iron Kohler engines used in the vast
majority of those tractors are almost impossible to kill if you keep
them full of oil.
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