Suggestions making my Real JD 32" lighter to maneuver
I have a real John Deere, 1983, it's a heavy machine because of the thickness of the steel throughout, the larger 12" impeller rather than a 9" makes it heavier, then add the weight of the impeller because of the thickness of the steel, the auger rakes are thicker than the machines today and they are 16" rather than 12", again more steel, it has a cast iron gear box, steel chute and gears, add the weight of a 10hp Tecumseh, add the chains because the tyres are lawn tires and not the knobby snow tires.
However it has a design fault, it's two fold, the handlebars are way too light metal, thin, rather flimsy because they are not braced well, making this snowblower way too front heavy thus the handling and maneuverability stinks. The other design flaw, the chute is too short and really needs to be extended to get it to throw further.
It's a bear to steer and maneuver thus I have no fun using it. I use it only as a backup (though it's hesitantly maybe for sale).
I have 5 thoughts making it more maneuverable.
1) Extend the skid bottoms with longer ones such as ArmourSkids. Easy for me to do because I have the steel and welder.
2) Make my own poly skids as I have the white poly from a commercial cutting board. I would bolt the poly to the sides of another skid or a piece of steel grooved for adjustment to compensate for wear on the bottom.
3) Using an old skid shoe, or a grooved piece of steel, bolt a roller blade wheel to the bottom, or a skate board wheel.
4) Buy two swivel caster wheels, make an adjustable plate and mount, fasten it to the rear of the snowblower auger housing. I have another snowblower that uses swivel caster wheels and the swivel caster wheels work out well, though it's heavy is an understatement at 500 lbs, a 12hp Kohler cast iron engine on a cast iron Gravely Convertible.
5) My last thought though it would make the snowblower heavier, it may make it more maneuverable sideways, a 5" or 6" steel disk again fastened to the rear of the auger housing. I have several of these from my snowplowing days. These are the skid shoes used on pickup truck snowplows.
Comments? Suggestions? Positives? Negatives?
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