Looking for the best blower for deep packed snow - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 14 Old 11-22-2019, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Looking for the best blower for deep packed snow

Hello, I’m looking for some advice on a new snowblower purchase. I live in far northeastern Minnesota and we get a lot of snow. I have 800’ of gravel driveway. My biggest issue and reason for needing something new is I have put up a couple of high tunnel greenhouses for our small farm operation and the snow slips off and builds up along the walls. I need to keep this clear so it doesn’t build up onto the roof. This snow is deep and packed. Currently I have a 1966 gravely walk behind with a 26” blower and a 9 hp snapper. The gravely used to chew through anything no problem, recently it hasn’t run as well and tends to bog down in deep snow. The snapper does ok on the driveway though it doesn’t throw it far enough, but in the deep pack it just wants to climb up and won’t chew into the bank. I’ve been looking into three stage which maybe would auger into the packed pile??? Or maybe there is another blower out there particularly suited to this task. My other consideration is buying a small tractor and blower. This option is obviously way more expensive but this point I want something that will get the job done. Currently I’m spending more than a day removing 12” of snow. Any advice appreciated. Thank you!
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post #2 of 14 Old 11-22-2019, 09:59 AM
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800 feet of gravel driveway, I would go with the tractor.
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post #3 of 14 Old 11-22-2019, 05:04 PM
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Sounds like the Gravely needs a rebuild.
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-22-2019, 05:19 PM
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800 feet of gravel driveway, I would go with the tractor.
Great advise, please post pics of your new setup!

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post #5 of 14 Old 11-22-2019, 05:39 PM
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Garage
To significantly reduce your snowblowing time you need much more capable equipment. A wider bucket of about 32" or 36" and a lot of torque or hp to drive it. Since you have a lot of gravel the Ariens 32 Rapidtrack is going to have the speed and thickness of metal for the bucket and impeller housing and chute to stand up to the job. But you still need about 4 passes (out to the road and back, twice) which takes time.

A good tractor with a front mounted 44" blower will be faster and more expensive. My son's John Deere 140 with 44" 2 stage blower does a good job on a slight grade with chains. The hydrostatic drive allows much higher ground speed than a snowblower, and the 44" width means only 2 passes (out to the road and back) for an adequate road width.

Your choices will be budget limited.

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post #6 of 14 Old 11-22-2019, 07:39 PM
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With that size driveway get yourself a nice garden tractor. I have a X720 and just grin when it snows.
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post #7 of 14 Old 11-22-2019, 07:55 PM
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If you don’t want a tractor the Honda HSM1336i is as big and heavy as it gets on this side of the planet as far as walk behind blowers go they are around 565lbs and very large tracks, as far as price all that power and the technology it has doesn’t come cheap.

Take a look on YouTube for some videos, lots of them are in Japan and such where it’s a 1390.

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post #8 of 14 Old 11-23-2019, 12:40 AM
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if you don't want a tractor go with an Ariens Rapid Trak or Pro32
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post #9 of 14 Old 11-23-2019, 01:30 AM
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I would have the Gravely rebuilt or repaired before I would even think about a new snowblower. Those old Gravely's would out do any new machine out there today.
Stay away from those Three Stage, you will be disappointed with them, they are nothing but problems,"junk" to say it nicely.
You have to find someone who is familiar with the old "L" model who knows what they are doing with them, and they should be able to take care of it for you.
A 1966 model is a "Newer" model and should have another good 50 plus years out of it still.
You can find a lot of people and help for the old Gravely's on the internet, there are a lot of collectors and people out there who can help you with it. Many Fan Clubs for Gravely.
If you take care of that Gravely, you will get three times the life and performance out of it than you would with the best, latest and greatest machines made today.
The old "L" model engine ran around 1800 RPM,s full speed with a ton of torque and they were a direct drive to the snowblower so the blower spun at the engine speed, it wasn't geared down like all other snow blowers whose impeller speeds were a little over 1000 RPM's. The Gravely blower had a huge heavy impeller on them.
You probably have one of the "M" series blowers if it is an old model, the "Dog Eater", and those things can eat a lot more things than just snow. I have seen people cut notches or teeth into the auger ribbons so they would chew into ice chunks a little bit better, but those old heavy iron machines with all the weight and power they had didn't need much help bull-dozing there way through snow and ice.
Those old iron Gravely's with the "Dog Eater" bolted fast to them weighed in around 600 plus pounds and they were built solid. You sometimes had to "Man Handle" them, but nothing could beat them, they were one tough walk behind machine.

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post #10 of 14 Old 11-23-2019, 01:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creakingtree View Post
Hello, Iím looking for some advice on a new snowblower purchase. I live in far northeastern Minnesota and we get a lot of snow. I have 800í of gravel driveway. My biggest issue and reason for needing something new is I have put up a couple of high tunnel greenhouses for our small farm operation and the snow slips off and builds up along the walls. I need to keep this clear so it doesnít build up onto the roof. This snow is deep and packed. Currently I have a 1966 gravely walk behind with a 26Ē blower and a 9 hp snapper. The gravely used to chew through anything no problem, recently it hasnít run as well and tends to bog down in deep snow. The snapper does ok on the driveway though it doesnít throw it far enough, but in the deep pack it just wants to climb up and wonít chew into the bank. Iíve been looking into three stage which maybe would auger into the packed pile??? Or maybe there is another blower out there particularly suited to this task. My other consideration is buying a small tractor and blower. This option is obviously way more expensive but this point I want something that will get the job done. Currently Iím spending more than a day removing 12Ē of snow. Any advice appreciated. Thank you!
Check with Richards Gravely in Spencer,W.V. 304-927-4550 if you need help with that "L" model Gravely, he is good with them and getting parts for them.
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