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plowing snow with FEL

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kubotaguy
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 360 Shepherdstown, WV
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2003-12-09          70642


We just had our first snow this past weekend. I am using my 7800 and the FEL to plow the snow, but I seem to keep digging into the gravel driveway. I am using the float position on the FEL and I am trying to have the bucket tilted back just a little to not dig up driveway. I either get it too low or not low enough. Any suggestions anyone, besides practice or paving the drive!!!

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jarndt
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 351 Northern Virginia
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2003-12-09          70645


Try setting the bucket down and pulling it backwards. I just bought a rear grader blade to do my driveway with and I was having the same problem. I set the blade so that the biting edge is facing the tractor as if I am going to pull with it, but instead I go backwards and push using the back of the blade. Works great. It uses the weight of the blade to stay down. When the snow gets too heavy, the blade has a tendancy to ride up and over. In that case I just turn the blade around and scoop off the top of the pile. ....

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kubotaguy
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 360 Shepherdstown, WV
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2003-12-09          70646


I used a rear blade to plow with for years with my old B-7200 and it never did do the job. I did the same thing you are talking about using the back of the blade to push the snow. That is one of the reasons I increased the size of the machine and went with the FEL. I also didn't like to keep turned around. Maybe I just need to re-grade my driveway this spring. After I build the garage, I'll probably have it paved. ....

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PI
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2003-12-09          70647


It'll get better once the ground freezes - hang in there! ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2003-12-09          70648


Shhhh, old Canadian secret, don't tell anyone.....

LOL, cut a piece of thick steel pipe (soft, not cast iron), 2" diameter is good, the same length as your bucket is wide, all the way along it's length. Next drill a couple of 1/2" holes, one each end and one in the middle works well, then weld a 3/8" nut over each hole. Slip the pipe over the cutting edge of your bucket with the nuts on the top, then thread a bolt long enough to contact the bucket bottom into each nut and tighten it in place.

Ta-da!! No more gouging the driveway.

Best of luck. ....

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Art White
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 6877 Waterville New York
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2003-12-09          70658


Murf you've taken my breath away again! ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2003-12-09          70662


Art, I don't know about you but breathless is a pretty normal thing for me, even AFTER the angioplasty...

ROFLMAO.

Even my good lady say I'm full of it....good ideas that is.


Best of luck. ....

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Glenn-D
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 54 Westmont, Illinois, summer home in Mountain Home Ar.
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2003-12-09          70664


Thanks Murph,
I'm heading to Home Depot after dinner for a chunk 'o pipe.
Glenn ....

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Chief
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4284 Southwest MiddleTennessee
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2003-12-09          70667


That is a pretty slick idea Murf! I like it! ;-) ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2003-12-09          70683


I don't have too much trouble but I do dig a few divots until freeze-up. I just keep the bucket rolled back far enough so it seldom digs in. I have to remind myself that I actually want snow on the gravel rather than trying to take most of it off. Just had a thought: If it digs in mostly when going in one direction, try going in the other. When you first start up a hill or over a bump the blade angle increases which can cause it to dig in.

We're expecting two days with some periods of freezing rain. If it happens I'll be glad for my 2" - 4" of snow pack. I'll be able to cut ice off the top of it and will have traction on the rough frozen slush to do the cutting. ....

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drcjv.
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 334 southeastern pa
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2003-12-10          70709


Murph this may be a dumb question, but is the pipe mounted on the edge inside the bucket or the outside. My interpretation is on the outside. Also would'nt holes need to be drilled in the bucket with the bolts going down thru the bucket first then the pipe and lastly into the nuts on the bottom of the pipe. Thanks for the clarification. Also any ideas to keep my plow from digging in trying to get a nice pack built up is hard because the weather does not cooperate. We had 8in on the weekend and tomorrow it is going to be 50 and rainy. ....

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kubotaguy
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 360 Shepherdstown, WV
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2003-12-10          70713


Thanks for the help Murf. I'll have to try that.
As far as the waiting until it freezes, that won't work where I live as the temperature varies too much. It will freeze at night and thaw during the day. On Monday night it was 22 degrees at night and today the high is up to 50 degrees. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2003-12-10          70716


drcjv, you learn things by asking questions, there is no such thing as a dumb question, some questions just teach you more than others.

Let's see how my keyboard drafting skills are this morning, the pipe should be exactly centered in front of the cutting edge, in profile (side view) it should look like this;

pipe ---> C-------- <---- bucket bottom

As for the logic of the bolt arrangement, if you put the bolt all the way through it will be ground away by the constant dragging on the ground since it will be the first part to make contact. The bolt should just exert pressure on the face of the bucket in a pinching manner to keep it from falling off. In some cases there are already holes in the bucket, but usually too far in to be of much help.

You can also vary the diameter of the pipe to suit your conditions, smaller pipes pick up more snow, larger pipes pack a little more down to help with the freeze up. If you use a pipe much bigger than the bare minimum you may need to devise something to keep the pipe from twisting as you tighten it up.

Best of luck.
....

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5111 Northern Nevada
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2003-12-10          70721


It's like a big steel condom.... for safe ......Um... plowing. Amazing Murf. ....

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StephenR
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 230 New Tripoli, Pa.
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2003-12-10          70724


Murf,
By your drawing, you're saying that you have to a cut a slice along the pipe to fit over the edge of the loader blade. Actually making the pipe look like a "C". Is that correct? ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2003-12-10          70726


I actually came up with it as a poor man's material spreader not for snow work at all.

We needed a way to easily touchup gravel (limestone screenings) pathways before tournaments, etc., so we put the pipe across the face of the cutting edge and used the bucket side extension plates that we have for snow removal. Scoop the bucket full of screenings, tip it down a little in front and drive, the screenings pour out in front of the pipe and a very thin layer gets deposited by the curvature of the pipe, potholes get filled, and tire spin marks are gone.

It was easier than trying to manipulate a box-blade and clean up the spillage from raising the lead edge, and a whole lot easier on the neck facing forwards.

Best of luck.
....

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drcjv.
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 334 southeastern pa
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2003-12-10          70728


Murph now I have the same question as StevenR is the pipe split down the middle(to make a C shape) if so whats the easiest way to cut it? Thanks for the follow up. ....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2644 NorthWest NJ
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2003-12-10          70730


Another possibility is to get a hard rubber replaceable edge for the bucket.

Murf how about an axle on the pipe so it could roll and never develop a flat spot? ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2003-12-10          70731


StephenR, drcjv, yes the pipe is slit along it's length.

The easiest way to do it is with a metal cutting wheel on an angle grinder, it's like a grinding wheel but very thin. You can also mount it on the arbour of a table saw and then just slide the pipe through. The trick is to find a cutting blade with the right size arbour hole.

If you use an angle grinder I find if you take a magic marker and make a line the length of the pipe then just follow the line back & forth scoring it deeper each time it goes faster than plunge and push does.

Dennis, you could use an axle but without support along the entire length it would bend on the first thing it hit.

The rubber would probably work, but then you would lose the ability to put any weight on it.

Best of luck. ....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2644 NorthWest NJ
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2003-12-10          70732


Ok yup if you used the bar on the full length hmmmmm.

How about doing the same thing as on grader blades with wheels.

You could put some training like wheels on the side of the bucket to prevent the edge from biting......

Have to be some very strong wheels for skis to keep from getting knocked off though ;-) ....

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kubotaguy
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 360 Shepherdstown, WV
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2003-12-10          70733


Once you have the setup completed, would you use the loader in float or put some down pressure on it? It seems like without any pressure it would ride up on the snow. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2003-12-10          70734


It's a toss up, in some cases a little down-pressure is required but the trick is to have the bucket angled down about 25 degrees, the weight of the loader itself, combined with the weight of the snow in the bucket seems to keep it down pretty well.

Best of luck. ....

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Glenn-D
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 54 Westmont, Illinois, summer home in Mountain Home Ar.
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2003-12-11          70790


Well, I screwed it up. Took a 4' length of 2" pipe and ran it down the band saw. welded 4 nuts into the u of one half and drilled 4 matching holes in the bucket lip. ran threaded rod into the nuts, slapped it up under the bucket and tightened 4 nuts on top, and cut off the excess threaded rod. Looks like it will work anyway. ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2003-12-11          70791


The 'C' idea was my interpretation and I thought at the time that it might be a little tricky to scribe a straight line. I'd probably do it with v-blocks and something that would set a constant depth for a scribe. It'd be good if the grinder also had something to set depth. I have visions of a meandering or slightly spiraled cut so the pipe wouldn't go on the blade or one so sloppy that it won't tighten. Tight would be good because it might be useful to back-grade.

Over all I think the pipe is the best solution I've heard of for using a loader on unfrozen gravel. Some combination of pipe diameter and bucket angle should work pretty well for most loaders and gravel surfaces, except maybe those where a bunch of larger aggregate and no finings were used (they never compact).

I think the pipe may not dig in but it still would pick up some loose material. If the drives don't stay frozen and there's a lot of loose material it could be a problem and deserves some more thought. I think a rear blade that can be flatted into a more of a drag than a cutter also works. The blade can be angled so snow is pushed off one end but it would pick up loose material too. I wonder what other people in the area use. Down-pressure requires riding the loader controls if there are bumps of hills in the drive.
....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2003-12-11          70802


Glen, if it doesn't work out don't worry, Version 2.0 always works better than Ver. 1.0 did, LOL.

If you decide to redo it you can still use the bandsaw, in fact you may have hit on something here, just move it over so that you just barely cut through, instead of down the middle. This way have a straight cut as Tom mentioned without all the fuss of a hand-held operation.

Tom, you werre also right about having to tailor it to your particluar situation and conditions.

I also can see this done with the bottom cutting edge of a rear blade so that it skims over the top unable to actually cut it.

Best of luck. ....

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kubotaguy
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 360 Shepherdstown, WV
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2003-12-11          70805


Hey Murf, would a chain link corner fence post work? Would that be a heavy enough pipe? I'm going to try and cut my C with a grinder. I figure my bucket is around 54" wide so if I get a 10 foot post, I'll get two cracks at it!!!! ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
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2003-12-11          70807


Actually now that I think about it I thin k it was fence post material that I used myself, it worked fine, just be carefull when you cut or weld galvanized steel, the fumes are nasty stuff.

All the usual disclaimers and fine print apply.

Best of luck. ....

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kubotaguy
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 360 Shepherdstown, WV
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2003-12-11          70831


Since a lot of people seem interested in these FEL additions, I think Murf should fabricate a couple thousand and give them away for Christmas presents complete with door to door shipping to everyone on this site. The line starts to the left. Please give the width of your bucket. I'll start, my bucket is 54". Just kidding!!!
Thanks for the tips Murf. Maybe this will save me from raking the crusher run out of the yard!!!! ....

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Glenn-D
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 54 Westmont, Illinois, summer home in Mountain Home Ar.
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2003-12-12          70907


kubotaguy,
Murph holds the patent to this operation and you will recive a bill for the royalties. Merry Christmas.
BTW any of you guys decide to put sheet metal screws into your tire treads for traction when it get icy out, I know the guy that has that patent too. LOL Good night.
Glenn.
V 2.00 Hmmmmm ....

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Art White
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 6877 Waterville New York
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2003-12-12          70916


Boy, it's xmas time and poor Murf is getting beat up! There are a lot of things that have been done that are quite economical and work fine for some people, others destroy them. Each situation needs to be evaluated on it's own merits. ....

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dedeye
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 41 Central Maine
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2003-12-12          70920


Here is my fix for the gouging problem.
I went to a local concrete plant and got an old concrete shute used on the mixer trucks they had discarded and placed it in the bucket. It fit perfectly and has a rolled edge on the front so that it sits about 1/2 inch above the ground with the bucket down and level. They have enough curve in them to push the snow a good ways out in front of the bucket and using a little down pressure can scrape bare. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2003-12-12          70921


Glenn-D, it's NOT sheet metal screws, they give you flat tires. It's carbide studs for ice racing, they use them for motorcycles and rally cars. They use them on the road (gravel only) in Scandanavia all winter. They are so popular that Nokia tires are all designed with little dimples to show you where to put them even.

We've used them for years on turf's and never had a single flat yet, they aren't as long and the tip is not as pointy but they have VERY deep threads to help them stay in place, on ice chains don't even come close to the traction these give you.

Best of luck.
....

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Garycorn
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 17 eastern Nebraska
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2003-12-14          71121


Several years ago I had a local welding shop make a blade for my FEL. He took a piece of 36" diam. pipe and cut about 10" out of it, this gives the blade a nice curve. Put a piece of 3"X3/8" flat bar on the bottom for a wear bar. Then put on mounts to match my loader. I later found that I needed to have shoes mounted to raise it up an inch or so to prevent picking up gravel. So now I use the front blade to remove and pile snow and rear blade to clean up that last inch if I want to. This has really been a good set up for me and I've kept the blade for three different tractors. ....

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Blueman
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 243 Washington, PA
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2003-12-16          71361


I feel the need to add my 2 cents worth to this post...since we got 8" of snow this weekend. I took my (new to me) TC45D with R4's out to play...and it was more work than I had planned...I don't have a loader yet...so not enough weight on the front end to make the front tires be much better than worthless...I used a 7' Woods rear blade to clean the driveway....and it worked better going backwards, with the cutting edge facing the tractor. Still didn't get as much snow of the stone driveway as my old Cub super garden tractor did with a front blade....my guess is...not enough weight, and R4 tires suck in snow.... ....

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F350Lawman
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 411 Goshen, NY
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2003-12-16          71427


I have R-4s and find them to be very good in the snow. I think your problem is the lack of weight in the front without a FEL and a blade on the back. I have a 500+ lb. rear weight and the FEL on my tractor and the R-4s give plenty of foward push. Wirh no weight on the front of your tractor it is probably like being in 2 WD. Are your fron tires spinning often??? ....

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drcjv.
Join Date: Jul 2003
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2003-12-17          71434


Well I just finished my new anti-gouge device for my bucket. I used a piece of 2" galvanized pipe that I cut a 1" slot in with a circular saw and a metal cut off blade. An easy way to get a straight line is to use a piece of angle-iron. I welded the nuts on to the pipe and put T handles on the bolts so I did not have to use a wrench to tighten and untighten the bolts. A little blue and gray NH paint and it looks great. As far as R4's in the snow I have had no problem with traction moving up to 20" of snow. Not sure how the pipe will work since all the snow is gone here but, as soon as it snows I will update. ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
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2003-12-17          71441


Clever! Guess I'm too locked into thinking of circular saws as wood working tools even if I have cut a bunch of AL with them. Off the top of my head, I wonder if a piece of angle iron were tacked along the length if a table saw with a fence would make for an easy job--probably lots of sparks and heat though. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
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2003-12-17          71443


I think the Lawman has it pegged down, without enough weight you're just spinning your tires, REALLY.

I plow commercially with R4's and have no problem with grip at all, provided theres proper ballast.

drcjv, sounds like a first class job, keep us updated with how it works once winter comes back, somehow I don't think you're going to have to wait long. I hadn't thought of using the T handle idea, my thought was to keep it as low profile as possible so as not to have anything for the snow to hang up on, but it's good idea, dealing with hand tools in cold weather isn't a lot of fun.

Best of luck. ....

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DRankin
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2003-12-17          71446


Blueman..... let some air out of those tires and the traction will improve.

Another thing that would be fun to experiment with: The new siping machines that are showing up at larger tire dealers. An R-4 tire with several hundred, shallow, razor thin cuts across the tread should work very well on ice and snow. ....

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drcjv.
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2003-12-17          71457


Tom there sure were lots of sparks and heat it took two blades to get the job done. I thought about using the lighter gauge fence post, but opted for the heavier pipe instead. It was harder to cut but I thought it would hold up better.

//tractorpoint.com/ctb/memberPhotos/drcjv.5.jpg ....

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Glenn-D
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 54 Westmont, Illinois, summer home in Mountain Home Ar.
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2003-12-17          71539


I got some pictures back of my rendition of FEL modification for snow removal. The finsihed product in action is on the next roll of film still in the camera so I'll add them later.
http://f1.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/nuked3d/my_photos
You can see construction photos under FEL snowplow
We have had an inch of snow here so far and it seems to work well. By rolling the bucket out it still scrapes concrete clean.
Picture link below.... ....

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drcjv.
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 334 southeastern pa
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2004-01-01          72837


Murph got some pictures up of my version of the anti gouge device you described let me know what you think. ....

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drcjv.
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 334 southeastern pa
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2004-01-29          75411


I finally got to try my "murf" pipe out today. We got 6" of snow last night. I have 300' of gravel drive and a parking area about 200' x 100' also gravel. The pipe worked pretty well, much better than the bucket alone. Without the pipe when the the bucket hits a high spot it tilts foward and digs in gouging the stone. With the pipe the bucket just stays level and flatens out the high spot. I just put down 105 tons of stone this summer and was trying to move as little stone as possible. I am glad that I welded the handles on to the bolts holding the pipe on, it seems to loosen and needs to be tightened periodically. I don't have to bother with wrenches. I think I am going to start marketing and selling the new improved "Dr-Murph" pipe. LOL ....

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JParker
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 152 Richmond, VA
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2004-01-29          75436


Glad to hear the Murf pipe idea works so well.

Hopefully this spring I will have a new gravel drive to keep under control as well. I guess I'll be trying my hand at making one too.

On the loosening issue, is it possible the snow is working those handles a little? While filling, the handles would seem to try turning with long end to back of bucket. When dumping, the long end may follow the snow out of the bucket. You would hope that would only be a 1/2 turn in then back out on each cycle, but according to the other Murf's law, you know what probably happens.

I wonder if there is an easy way to lock your handles to each other of something else?

jm2cw

- JP ....

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drcjv.
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 334 southeastern pa
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2004-01-30          75443


JP the handles did not seem to move with the snow and after several tightenings they did not come loose again. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2004-01-30          75451


On the original version 1.0 we used T shaped bolts to tighten the pipe in place. It didn't work too bad, it was certainly easier to turn with gloves on than fiddling with a wrench.

On version 3.0, that a friend made for his place, he welded a short length of bar straight out off several all-steel lock-nuts the right size and uses them as jamb nuts to prevent the bolts from backing off from vibration or snow hitting them. He says the trick is to get it really snug in the first place then lock them in place.

Glad it was of some help.

Best of luck. ....

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jjfinn
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 46 Northern Virginia
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2004-11-24          100894


This is the thread that JParker mentioned and DRankin identified that covers the "Dr.Murf" innovation -- a split pipe on the front of the FEL for snow work. It addresses the "shoe" question that JOEHONDA had for his new BX23. So much good discussion that it deserves to be re-introduced.

Wondering if Glenn-D or drcjv have any more comments or pics of the final work on the bucket lip... ....

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plowing snow with FEL

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drcjv.
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 334 southeastern pa
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2004-11-24          100950


jjfinn I used the Murf pipe all last year I thought it worked very well. I still have several photos in my album. It was very easy to make. ....

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botamac
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 71 MI
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2004-11-24          100972


I just removed the cutting edge off my 5’rear blade and bought a piece of rubber 6’’ by 5’ 3/4 inch thick and sandwiched it between and piece of 2” x 3/8 flat stock and replaced the bolts that I took out for the cutting edge, it works well on asphalt,gravel and cement drive ways leave no scape marks. It acts like a squeegee. ....

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unit5alive
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 250 Latrobe Pa
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2004-11-25          100996


Also you could weld two flat pieces of steel on each end of the pipe and bolt it to the insides of the bucket ,the same way a tooth bar bolts on. ....

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drcjv.
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 334 southeastern pa
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2004-11-26          101062


5alive I was going to mount it that way to start but the handles are much easier and I don't have to worry about wrenches or nuts and bolts just tighten and go . ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2004-11-26          101066


Believe me when I say folks, the "Murphy Pipe" was the result of MANY hours of R & D time plowing snow. LOL.

It's entirely possible that someone will come up with a better idea, but I doubt it will be as quick and easy.

Best of luck. ....

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denwood
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 542 Quarryville PA
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2004-12-07          101775


Well I built my "Murf pipe" this week. Got 10' of 2" pipe for $2 at the scrap yard and in an hour done. My cutting edge is 3/4" thick so the bolt from the top would have ended up on the bevel, not a good place. I will mount it to the tooth bar holes once I have a tooth bar but for now I welded spring catches that hook over the back edge of the ends of the cutting edge. To remove I have to pry out the catch with a something and hammer the pipe off. Hammer because the pipe is straight and the bucket has a tiny curve to the bottom so the pipe has to comform to the bucket when I put it on and will not simply lift off.
Thanks Murf, several people by me thought it was a great idea. I have a feeling several more will take up residence in my area this winter. ....

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5111 Northern Nevada
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2019-12-18          198891


Hey Murf, been meaning to ask for about 15 years (maybe longer now that I look at the calendar).

Just how do you cut a straight slot in a round pipe with common garage tools?

And then do you weld it in place? Or is there some sort of secret Canadian attachment protocol? And no hurry.... its not going to snow 'till Saturday.

And how ya been?

Mar ....

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