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Grand L vs M

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windyhollow
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 6 Durango, CO
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2008-12-30          158929


I'm new to the forum and it looks like y'all give good advice, which I need. We just moved to 115 acres at 9000 ft elevation with a mile long driveway. Currently, we're using an old toyota 4x4 to plow, but with these huge snows, we have to call in a D4 a few times a year to clear us out. My sweet husband is out plowing at 2am to try to keep us clear, and I'm insisting that we get a tractor with a snowblower. He likes the Grand L series with the hydrostatic transmission, which is easy for both of us to use, but I think we need more horsepower for our place - the last thing we need is to be underpowered! The M series is my preference, but he is concerned about the ease of use - he has used tractors most of his life, I haven't, but am a quick study. We'll be using it on rolling hills with drifts up to 6 feet, some even 10 feet, for snow plowing/blowing. We also have a beautiful 60 acre field that I'd like to cultivate but needs significant brush clearing, mowing, etc. We'll have some larger livestock (Tibetan yaks) in a few years, we hope.

Any advice on which to choose? We've also looked at the comparable JD models. In this crazy mixed-up world, I need help convincing my husband to buy a tractor and to get more horsepower! Thanks . . .

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Grand L vs M

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Art White
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 6898 Waterville New York
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2008-12-30          158931



I feel you should be buying an M-series for some reasons and a L for others. The grand L has a nice front snow blower from the factory. You could still use a M-series with a Erskine front mount but beware of the rear PTO drive and fear of damage to it from the contours of the property.

A rear mount blower could still leave the loader on but could be hard on the operator's neck and back, to blow the snow away means you don't have to move it again!

The M-series will handle anything you have for field work with ease. ....

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2008-12-31          158952


-You have specific and demanding needs. -The previous reply shows how helpful a dealer can be. -Once an owner, you will be somewhat dependent on a dealer, presumably the selling dealer.

Accordingly, my advice is to talk to local dealers, both for locally-relevant recommendations, and a feeling on how you would feel to depend on each one (for service, attachments, advice). ....

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Grand L vs M

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windyhollow
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 6 Durango, CO
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2008-12-31          158953


Thanks for the advice - we spent lots of time with the Kubota dealer and drove a few. Our salesperson is someone we had spoken to a few times before, very knowledgable and kind. We ended up with the M6040 turbo and we're both very happy. I felt we needed the bigger frame/chassis more than a big jump in hp, and the 85 just seemed too big for what we need. We also got an 8 ft blade, rear blade and heavy duty brushhog. It's quite a crash course in tractor ownership, so I may be back frequently for advice! Thanks ....

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Grand L vs M

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Art White
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 6898 Waterville New York
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2008-12-31          158955



No snow blower? ....

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Grand L vs M

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Lwayne
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 95
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2008-12-31          158975


I don't know if you've considered it yet but with 6' - 10' snow drifts you might want to look into a hydraulically powered loader mounted snow blower. They're on the pricey side, but you'll reach the top easier and save time not having to drag that snow down to blow it away. ....

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ejkessler
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 95 Northern CT
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2008-12-31          158977


I just went to the Kubota site, and that is one nice tractor. One thought related to the snow blower consideration is considering buying the 3pt for now and reevaluating whenever necessary. I doubt you would lose much on selling it used if you chose to go a different route and the investment is only a fraction of the other options. Not that those other options don't make good sense in and of themselves. With that much snow, as well as being able to haul wood, sand and other material, it would be nice not having to lose the loader for the season. I blow a considerable with a 3pt and it is an inconvenience driving in reverse while doing it but I still find the need for the loader from time to time exceeds the inconvenience. ....

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Grand L vs M

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Lwayne
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 95
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2009-01-01          158982


EJ: I, too, use the rear mount snow blower and agree about the pain in the neck. On the front, though, I rotate between a snowplow and the bucket. With the quick-tach it only takes a few minutes, even with the extra hydraulic on the plow. Actually I use the box blade on the back a lot more than the blower, but then I don't have those huge drifts to deal with very often. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-01-01          158983


EJ; I've always considered the Cadillac of snow machines, both on a cost wise and a get it done basis to be a cab tractor with a loader on the front and a blower on the three point. A friend has had a 4020 Deere with a front monted blower for years for their mile long lane. He bought the blower probably in the early seventys when it likely didn't cost as much as a rear mount does now, they would be a high dollar item now. For many years I had a front loader, rear blower on the farm, a 1070 Case tractor with a WL42 Westendorf loader and an eight foot IHC #80 two stage blower on the three point, there never was a drift I couldn't conquer. We sold all that on our farm auction in 04 and now have a 4310 Deere with a 430 loader. I've always wanted a blower for the three point of the baby Deere but we just don't have enough driveway since we moved from the farm to justify one. It usually takes me less than an hour with the loader only, if the drive were any longer I would have another rear blower pronto. Frank. ....

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candoarms
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1932 North Dakota
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2009-01-01          158984


Frank,

I couldn't agree more.

The loader comes is very handy for dragging snow away from the buildings and doors. The loader is also necessary for breaking up hard and / or tall drifts.

It might be just me, but I tend to like the raw power that's available from the rear PTO. Since it runs at 540 rpm, rather than the 2500 rpm of the mid PTO, it just seems to me that the rear PTO offers the grunt needed to get the tough work done.

Sure, the mid-mount PTO works just fine for powering a snowblower, but at revolutions turning 4.5 times faster, it also reduces the available power by the same factor.

Now I know that the front blower is geared to make up for this, but I still wonder about the size of the gears in the mid-PTO. Are they really designed to handle the power needed to move snow on a year to year basis? I don't think so. Those little gears (and they are LITTLE) are made to speed up the blades on a mower deck, but I don't believe they're up to the task of moving snow for a living.

The rear PTO is designed for powering implements that demand a whole lot of power, such as post-hole augers, snowblowers, water pumps, and tillers.

Does any of this make sense?

Joel ....

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Grand L vs M

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ejkessler
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 95 Northern CT
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2009-01-01          158985


A lot of good points being made here and I agree. If I had the money the Loader mounted hydraulic unit sounds like a great way to go. The hydraulics give you the torque mentioned above yet leaves changeability with the QA bucket. I have an L3540 and even though I plow a lot in reverse my own personal difficulty is the cost of either a front mount or front loader/hydraulic unit at this point in time. But I am not plowing or blowing a mile of driveway either. I priced the front mount blower for my rig and it was going to be 6500.00 plus. My Blizzard 64" 3pt was 2200.00 and I am going to invest in the hydraulic rotation as we speak for an additional 400.00 or so (hoses included). I believe that if I chose to upgrade I could easily get 1600.00 or so for my 3pt rig after 2-3 full seasons of blowing. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-01-01          158987


Joel; It's been a while since I've been around my neighbor's front mount blower on his 4020, so I don't remember for sure, but I think it drives off the 4020 mid PTO. The mid PTO on them ran at 1000 RPM and was meant to transfer full power. The mid PTO on my 4310 spins at 2100 RPM, and I have no idea if it is meant to be used at full engine power on a day in day out basis. I too have looked at the tiny gears they use in the compact tractors and mowers, they don't look to an old farmer like me that they would last an hour, but I really don't remember hearing of anyone actually wearing them out. About the mile long lanes, I think it would be very rare that the entire mile would be blocked to the point of having to blow it foot by foot for the whole mile, so turning around to blow in reverse for the bad spots would hardly be worth the expense of a front mount. Like Joel said there is always a need for the loader bucket to do things a blower can't. Frank. ....

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ejkessler
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 95 Northern CT
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2009-01-01          158989


Your point of having a front plow is well taken. I have the QA and am very compelled and I am seriously considering that as well. How much do they approximately run? I was just blowing about 3 to 4 inches of light snow (powdery) yesterday on a very windy day and would have much rather preferred to plow it instead of blowing it in the air and all over myself. ....

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candoarms
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1932 North Dakota
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2009-01-01          158990


Ejkessler,

You might want to take a look at the Scoop Dogg, made by Buyers.

The Scoop Dog is built to handle snow. It moves about 5 times more snow, per pass, than a standard loader bucket. It has large side wings to hold the snow in place. It also comes with skid shoes, preventing a person from digging into the finished lawn. I also like the heavy rubber moldboard, designed to slip over obstacles, such as broken concrete, manhole covers, etc..... rather than ripping things up, or causing the tractor to come to a sudden halt.

It's built for compact tractors with the QD loader option, but isn't rated for tractors under 30 horsepower.

Northern Tool sells the Scoop Dog.

See the link below.

Joel ....


Link:   Scoop Dog loader attachment

 
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Lwayne
Join Date: Sep 2007
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2009-01-01          158991


Just as a follow up; my original post/reply concerning the hydraulic powered loader mounted blower (as used on skid steer loaders) was taking into consideration the original post implying frequent and heavy snowfall. At $6500+ it certainly isn't for everyone. But I think it's also worthwhile to point out here that a lot of people buy rear 3ph blowers not recognizing the need to size it correctly to their tractor. Most of the posts ask - do I need 60" or 72", etc. without recognizing how much increased pto shaft angle, for example, exponentially robs tractor power. The original post is unclear whether it's a cat. I or II hitch, but that also enters into it. I'm not saying anything most of you don't already know except IMHO 1,000 people have 1,000 different circumstances to deal with. ....

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Grand L vs M

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ejkessler
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 95 Northern CT
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2009-01-02          159003


Thanks for the tip on the scoop dog. I am fairly certain the 6040 is a category 2. You are right, everyone's circumstances are different. It is great to have this forum for being able to exchange ideas and opinions. I have found it to be very valuable. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2009-01-02          159004


Around here we use push boxes like the Sccop Dogg. But they're designed for sraight-line pushing like parking lots. And are always seen on large skid steers and front loaders. I have my doubts that they will work on a CUT. I had an 8'-6" V plow on my Ram and it took an awful lot of power and traction to push snow. I have an 8' truck sraight plow on my bobcat with tracks--not even a push box. It weighs 8,000 lb. 78 hp. and still has it's limitations the biggest being there isn't enough weight on the front wheels to make contact/traction. ....

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2009-01-02          159005


Quote:
Originally Posted by earthwrks | view 159004
Around here we use push boxes like the Sccop Dogg. But they're designed for sraight-line pushing like parking lots. And are always seen on large skid steers and front loaders. I have my doubts that they will work on a CUT. I had an 8'-6" V plow on my Ram and it took an awful lot of power and traction to push snow. I have an 8' truck sraight plow on my bobcat with tracks--not even a push box. It weighs 8,000 lb. 78 hp. and still has it's limitations the biggest being there isn't enough weight on the front wheels to make contact/traction.


I have no experience with the Scoop Dogg, but my 32hp JD is traction limited pushing with a 5 foot bucket. I don't see how putting a bigger scoop on the front would help any. ....

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ejkessler
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 95 Northern CT
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2009-01-02          159006


I just spent the day calling around. Called a couple of different dealers on the scoop dogg and found out once again how much difference it can make shopping around. The place here in Ct. locally wants 2000.00 for a slightly used 6' Compact tractor model with QA. I found another dealer with several locations and he has one an hour drive away in Mass. for 1375.00 new. I also asked a good friend of mine who has been in the excavating, materials handling, snow removal business for over 20 years and he told me that for my stone and millings based driveway I should stay away from the scoop dogg because of their skid shoe setup. Not ideal for my application. He highly recommended Protech and there is a model you attach to the existing bucket for 6' 1500.00 and for 7' 1600.00 at a dealer locally. But after reading the the specs and taking into consideration the above mentioned issues, and my own experience, I don't see much practicality in the sense that I also don't feel the weight, HP and traction ability is there either for pushing that much snow. I am going to go with the long talked about and well discussed Murf option of fitting a slotted pipe with adjustable pressure bolts for the front edge of my existing bucket. Sometimes simplicity is the answer. ....

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windyhollow
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 6 Durango, CO
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2009-01-03          159029


Thanks for all the info - this is a great site! We didn't get the snowblower yet, mainly because we were hoping that the blade and loader will do the job for the rest of the winter. We got an 8' blade on the front and a rear blade for tight spaces. I don't think I mentioned that we also plow for our only neighbor in the area (10 lots of 35+ acres and our larger plot) and the main road, so it's about 3 miles every snow plus clearing out a front entrance with gate and keypad. The dozer was just here and cleared us out quite a bit, but it sure does tear things up! Last year it completely tore out the key pad because it was covered in 4 ft of snow, and this time it tore up the kids' new sandbox despite specific instruction about where not to plow. I think we'll save money on all the repairs, in addition to the cost of the dozer!

What is the Murf solution for the front loader with the pipe and bolts? I'm always happy to try homemade solutions rather than spending more money - SJ ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-01-04          159045


Windy; What the heck is a keypad? ....

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ejkessler
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 95 Northern CT
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2009-01-04          159046


If you go to the search bar on this site and type in 'snow removal pipe bucket' a thread will come up 'plowing snow with a front end loader'. There are other threads and many references to this point that can be searched on this site. You can also use this technique for the rear blade as well. You basically take a pipe and slot it with a 4' grinder and weld nuts on to the pipe at intervals for placing bolts through to pressure hold the pipe in place to edge of the bucket edge or blade edge. It allows you to float with minimal reaction to the surface below. May be Murf will see this post and respond more in depth and accurately than I can. ....

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windyhollow
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 6 Durango, CO
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2009-01-04          159076


Embarassing to admit, but it's where you enter a code to get into the solar electric-powered gate for property access. I didn't want it but was outvoted by others. Seems too uppity for me . . . ....

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