Putting weight on the front to prevent riding up - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 17 Old 03-04-2017, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Putting weight on the front to prevent riding up

I have a Gravely Convertible, 12 hp cast iron engine, the bulk of the machine is mostly cast iron weighing with the snowblower attachment, 600 lbs. This machine will burrow a tunnel in a 12' high packed by the State plows along a Federal Highway at the end of a T and a turn around. One thing I remember, it never rode up.

I have several snowblowers and always had a problem with my lightweight 5hp 20" Ariens ST522 riding up on the EOD from the town plows especially overnight. I've also had a problem with others too riding up on the EOD, the ST522 at times even rode up on my sidewalk on the right conditions.

I have a 8 hp 26" Dynamark which is heavy on the front making it a little bulky to turn, also a real John Deere 1032 which is extremely heavy on the front, so much I had to weld support in the handlebars to prevent further cracking/breaking. Both work well on the EOD pile left overnight by the town plows that's been sitting and freezing for 8 hours or so and more so when it's in a creeper mode.

I have a Murray Craftsman 10 hp 29", very well balanced at the handlebars, a dream to move aroound but because it is so well balanced the front is very light. Though it's powerful because of the front being light, it rides up on the EOD. To solve this, I could slow it down, put it in a creeper gear, and feather the clutch as I've done with so many others.

If you have a problem with your blower riding up, I have a solution.

For the right snows, I love all my machines but love the Murray Craftsman because of the power and balance. Also the adjustable chute lid from the handlebars! Going to make that on my John Deere this summer, maybe! Another project.

The Murray Craftsman is very light in the front and easily rides up on the EOD plow piles. What I did, I built a wooden box and bolted it to the top of the housing, at the front and in the middle. The wooden box holds a friend's loaner of a rectangular lead bar which weighs about 50 lbs. If that's not enough, he has a second weight! And being lead, it does not rust. Now for those heavy snows where the town plows, I do the sidewalks and driveways, then when I feel I'm going to have a problem with the EOD, I get the weight out and put it in the empty wooden box. With the extra weight on the front, no more riding up, though it does throw off the balance, and it's heavier and bulkier, extra weight causing wear and tear on the scraper bar and skids, is the reason I don't use it for the driveway and sidewalk, keeping it only for the EOD overnight plow piles.

If you can't get a weight, maybe a railroad rail? Visit a neighborhood scrap metal yard asking for something that is compact, dense, and heavy.

1986 Ariens ST522, 5hp, 22"
1995 Murray Craftsman 10hp, 29" w. 12" impeller
A 1983 Real John Deere 10hp, 32" w. 12" impeller, 16" auger, 20" high front, cast iron gear box, chains
Noma 9hp, 27" w. 12" impeller
Noma 5hp, 24" w. 12" impeller, 20" high front
Gravely Convertible, 12hp Kohler cast iron, 26" width, 600 lbs of cast iron & steel, 2 speed impeller, 4 ground speeds
Dynamark 8hp, 26", 12" impeller, for sale
Several other 5hp, 8hp, several 2 cycle, all for sale
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post #2 of 17 Old 03-04-2017, 03:23 PM
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That is the thing I like about the Toro Powershifts.....balanced until you hit the EDP....shift to powershift, and the wheels move about a foot or more to the rear, giving you more weight on the front. It really works slick!
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post #3 of 17 Old 03-04-2017, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cranman View Post
That is the thing I like about the Toro Powershifts.....balanced until you hit the EDP....shift to powershift, and the wheels move about a foot or more to the rear, giving you more weight on the front. It really works slick!
So you can easily understand what I'm saying as you have experienced both sides.

1986 Ariens ST522, 5hp, 22"
1995 Murray Craftsman 10hp, 29" w. 12" impeller
A 1983 Real John Deere 10hp, 32" w. 12" impeller, 16" auger, 20" high front, cast iron gear box, chains
Noma 9hp, 27" w. 12" impeller
Noma 5hp, 24" w. 12" impeller, 20" high front
Gravely Convertible, 12hp Kohler cast iron, 26" width, 600 lbs of cast iron & steel, 2 speed impeller, 4 ground speeds
Dynamark 8hp, 26", 12" impeller, for sale
Several other 5hp, 8hp, several 2 cycle, all for sale
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post #4 of 17 Old 03-04-2017, 06:20 PM
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Or the Craftsman weight transfer system. Thing is slick and seems to be reliable with little parts to fail. Thing works pretty good too, paired with peerless trans it just borrows into snow. I don't like weight depending on the machine it can be hard to handle and cause excessive handle bar stress.
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post #5 of 17 Old 03-04-2017, 08:16 PM
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I've seen people use plastic coated exercise weights. Toro and others make a weight for the top of the auger housing. I think it's for when you add a cab but it can be used without it for added down force. Problem is you'd have it all the time.

33lb weight kit for around $100

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Make sure the windows are up before the snow plow goes by !!

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post #6 of 17 Old 03-04-2017, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kiss4aFrog View Post
I've seen people use plastic coated exercise weights. Toro and others make a weight for the top of the auger housing. I think it's for when you add a cab but it can be used without it for added down force. Problem is you'd have it all the time.

33lb weight kit for around $100
Plastic coated weights are generally concrete inside and not heavy enough.

I didn't want to spend the money on store made.

I did the box thing so the weight can be removed. The wooden box was temporary to see how it would work. I will be welding a metal box with a mesh bottom for drainage.

1986 Ariens ST522, 5hp, 22"
1995 Murray Craftsman 10hp, 29" w. 12" impeller
A 1983 Real John Deere 10hp, 32" w. 12" impeller, 16" auger, 20" high front, cast iron gear box, chains
Noma 9hp, 27" w. 12" impeller
Noma 5hp, 24" w. 12" impeller, 20" high front
Gravely Convertible, 12hp Kohler cast iron, 26" width, 600 lbs of cast iron & steel, 2 speed impeller, 4 ground speeds
Dynamark 8hp, 26", 12" impeller, for sale
Several other 5hp, 8hp, several 2 cycle, all for sale
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post #7 of 17 Old 03-04-2017, 09:59 PM
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I'm not going to say weigh isn't an issue but as mentioned it is a challenge to things like handle structures when you add extra. 2 things I have observed can help manage the tendency to ride up.

1) Slow down. It's one thing to say the impeller and engine can handle what you give it. There can be an in between state where the augers are challenged by volume or density. The front of the augers are rotating downward to pull snow back into the impeller (2 stage example). If they can't effectively process the snow downward then it will try to climb up.

2) Sharpen your cutter (scraper) bar. A sharp bar will make a big difference in your machine's ability to get under heavy snow pack. Once it cuts under that snow pack the snow will help it stay down as it moves forward.

Pete

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post #8 of 17 Old 03-05-2017, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectrum View Post
I'm not going to say weigh isn't an issue but as mentioned it is a challenge to things like handle structures when you add extra. 2 tings I have observed can help manage the tendency to ride up.

1) Slow down. It's one thing to say the impeller and engine can handle what you give it. There can be an in between state where the augers are challenged by volume or density. The front of the augers are rotating downward to pull snow back into the impeller (2 stage example). If they can't effectively process the snow downward then it will try to climb up.

2) Sharpen your cutter (scraper) bar. A sharp bar will make a big difference in your machine's ability to get under heavy snow pack. Once it cuts under that snow pack the snow will help it stay down as it moves forward.

Pete
I'm with ya on this one Pete, never had a problem, just slowed down and enjoyed the blow!
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post #9 of 17 Old 03-06-2017, 01:54 PM
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Interesting discussion. My current machine (10hp 24" Ariens) is the first time I've tried added weight on the front end. Before buying this one, I was tempted by a PowerShift, for several reasons, but their gearbox complexity scared me off a bit.

My machine had a cab when I bought it used, as well as the ~20 lb iron plate on the bucket, to balance it. I sold the cab, but kept the plate installed. It definitely helps to hold the front end down.

Some of this discussion (slow down, etc) seems that it may assume level ground? My driveway has a sloped section, and while going up it, the machine would naturally lean back, and wouldn't clear down to pavement as well. If I pulled up on the handles to help that aspect, it would be more likely to spin a wheel. Still not a great solution.

But the weight plate helps a lot. 2 seasons ago I installed the Ariens poly (plastic) skids, they appear to be doing very well so far, with very little apparent wear, despite the extra weight. Last season I tried adding another 5 lbs by clamping it to the current plate. I liked that even better, it's stayed on the machine.

I recently used my in-laws blower, they have the same model I do, but without the weight. And yes, theirs is much less cumbersome to maneuver. But their driveway is also flat

I like the idea of a removable weight, especially if it's not always needed for what you're clearing.

You got me thinking about a pivoting weight. Mount the weight to a bar that bolts through the side of the auger housing, for instance (one on each side). Pivot that bar forward against a stop to add weight to the bucket, to hold it down. And pivot the weight backwards against another stop, to just add weight to the wheels (easier for the operator, less stress on the handlebars when raising the bucket, etc). In essence, similar to moving the wheels forward/back, you're just redistributing the weight.

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post #10 of 17 Old 03-06-2017, 02:14 PM
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rethink the Powershift....I've torn down and rebuilt three that got rusty and seized from sitting long time. First one was indimidating because of inexperience...but I watched a video on Youtube that was helpful and bought the service manual. I had one that was in storage since 97 with the 10 hp Briggs and it was truly impressive...almost new. Once I rebuilt the tranny it was perfect. I tried out the Powershift on the blowers I rebuilt....but it is unnecessary on my driveway and I've never thought I needed weight. Pete's suggestion about sharpening the scraper makes sense....but I've never seen a dull scraper.
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