Hello Jlawrence; All!
I've been away from the site for awhile, but I still have my trusty Bob-caTs.
They can muscle through quite a lot. Very little stops 'em... short of a mechanical failure, or a very large obstruction, like a piece of firewood, large edging stone, the neighbor's pitbull... etc. Bob-caT's were designed to be very durable for heavy commercial use & most originally started life as such, but by the late 60's/early 70's, "Bob-caT" was a common machine for homeowners w/a few bucks & an eye for durability. A lot of machines were "built-to-last" back then, but most have a bunch proprietary components. Bob-caTs were built-to-last with widely-available industrial-spec bearings and components. ****, the Briggs & Stratton engines were not built to last anywhere near as long as the machine.
Both my 5hp and 7hp Bob-caT's take longer than a newer machine to do the same job, but the trade offs = lower initial cost, capability, and most importantly, overall durability. Your typical new snowblower has a big motor, eats shear pins for breakfast, costs waaaaay too much, and grenade apart when faced with Old Man Winter's worst... Cost Reduction Engineering SUCKS!!!!.
...A Bob-caT/Bear-caT is a solid machine and anyone that has ever owned one in good working order will tell you that they are beasts. That said, a Bob-caT, in good working order, should be able to throw snow anywhere from 10 to 60 feet away or more, and roostertail it about as high, (depending on the engine size and snow type)... Its not out of the ballpark for the larger versions to fire powdery fluff up to 80 feet. The monster tractor-mounted units were essentially two scaled-up versions welded together (two 2nd stage impellers)... incredible pieces of equipment, but god help anyone/thing caught in their way. All Bob-caTs/Bear-Cat/Bear-Paws will consume snow, ice, rocks, and small animals with the 1st stage, then it pulverizes and launches them at high speed with the 2nd. People get mangled by typical snowblowers, but this thing will really maim a person....like "neighbors will be finding chunks of your body parts in the spring" kind of bad. Bone and flesh are no match for that cast iron 2nd stage impeller... think rock crusher. It will take more than a finger off.
When dealing with heavy-wet snow, ye olde Bob-caT will bang right on through it, without clogging....wet snow, frozen/packed snowbanks, & shrubbery are no match, but you do need to give the impellers time to chew their food... otherwise the forward drive will over-run the machine's ability to throw snow, causing it to plow &/or climb the snow. Sometimes that plowing effect can be handy because it aids in quicker area clearing,... then you can chuck the snowpiles out into the yard... (depends on how familiar you are with the machine, it can be a good tactic). The 2nd stage thrower's chute throat can clog, but only if its really, really sloppy... you'd have to be cleaning big melt/slushy puddles from the side of the road or trying to removing snow in the rain.
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