Snowblower Forum banner

1 - 20 of 58 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,995 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Is it worthwhile and a benefit to replace the skid plates with rollers or wheels other than no wear on the skids anymore!

I have a stick arc welder and a MIG welder so I don't care about the wear on the skid plates as I just weld another piece of metal on.

And with my welders and cutting torch, I can weld, cut, and bend metal and fabricate a set of roller skid plates but is it worth the time and effort for the benefit?

I'm in NJ, it may snow enough to use my snowblower 0-5 times a year expecting 1"-5" a few times and on occasion 7"-10" with every few years 25". I have a short 4 car driveway, sidewalk around the house, street sidewalk, plus I do several neighbors sidewalks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,079 Posts
I know Coby7 uses and likes them.

I say go for it.
 

·
Retired Moderator
Joined
·
3,875 Posts
I've said it before, I'll say it again:

For 90% of snowblowers, and owners, skids are MUCH better than wheels..skids glide easily over paved surfaces, while wheels can freeze up, stop spinning, and then grind down a flat spot.

For special surfaces wheels can maybe be better..but that's an exception...for a typical asphalt or concrete driveway, skids are much better.

Scot
I have never used roller skids, so maybe my logic is faulty...but I dont see how roller skids can offer any advantage over "regular" skids..

1. on a snowy driveway, there is very little friction anyway, so regular skids just glide with very little friction.

2. wheels in place of skids could easily be jammed with snow and ice..making them jam up and not turn, which would wear flat spots on the wheels.

3. snowblowers are self-propelled! you dont have to push them anyway! :wink: so why would anyone even need rollers in the first place? the power of the machine is WAY more than enough to overcome the miniscule friction of skids on snow..from the operators point of view, I dont even see how you would notice, or need, the difference..

So..I just dont see the point of doing the conversion, I dont see what you would gain, and I dont see any advantage over traditional skids..(and there is one disadvantage..the potential for the wheels to lock up)

Skids have been used for 50 years, there is nothing wrong with them..I think its the best way to go! "if it aint broke, dont fix it!" :wink:

Scot
We have talked about wheels vs. skids several times here over the past few years..
my opinion on these wheel mods: completely useless and pointless.

The wheels give you no benefits over skids, and the wheels have a major drawback in that they can freeze up and lock,
then you wear a flat spot on the wheel, then you have a "clunk clunk clunk" when the wheel thaws, and the wheel wont turn as easily.

So, no benefits, plus some drawbacks, equals no reason to do it.
and you dont need the wheels to move the machine on dry pavement because all you have to do is press down
on the handlebars, and the bucket is off the pavement anyway.

Skids have been working perfectly fine for over half a century, they are really the best solution, wheels are *worse* than skids IMO..

Scot
 

·
Retired Moderator
Joined
·
3,875 Posts
In all the years we have discussed this idea, I have only seen one real logical use for wheels..a guy needed to wheel his snowblower from the shed, across a good amount of grass lawn, whenever he used it. In that case, he installed wheels to get the machine over the grass.

For any other "regular" use, wheels are a bad idea..skids are so much better..
which is why snowblowers have had skids for over 60 years, and not wheels.

Scot
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,995 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Well my next question would have been fixed wheels or wheels rhat turn but after the SScotman's post, well ......... not worth the effort. I feel I even need to apologize for the post. Thanks. Lot of good feedback on this site but are snowblowers a passion or an obsession?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
508 Posts
I was having issues with shoes grabbing my uneven hot top, i made up these shoes with sealed roller bearings. My 36" machine now rolls effortlessly over my bumpy driveway.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
....... but after the SScotman's post, well ......... not worth the effort. I feel I even need to apologize for the post.....QUOTE]

There's certainly no need to apologize.You asked an honest question and you received several people's opinions on the idea which you are free to accept or not because they ARE just opinions.

If you want to try the roller skids-go for it,what will it hurt?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,042 Posts
I use my blower on gravel, asphalt, grass and concrete. I've never seen the need to change from skids. I've used the same Ariens 8-24 with a Harbor Freight Greyhound engine for a dozen years now and the skids are still in great shape, and they were old when I got the machine. A new set of reversible skids at my local Ariens dealer ( generic) is ten bucks ( granted he treats me right) so why fix a nonexistant problem?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,532 Posts
I had the roller skids for a brief period. They didn't last long. They freeze up and then get sanded flat, exactly as reported above. Nifty idea, but not ready for prime time.


I really like the poly skids.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jrom

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,079 Posts
...after the SScotman's post, well ......... not worth the effort. I feel I even need to apologize for the post. Thanks. Lot of good feedback on this site but are snowblowers a passion or an obsession?
Ha! and I feel bad for being the first one to back your idea up. I'm a pure skid guy myself. Never had a need for wheels.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JLawrence08648

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
508 Posts
If shoes are preferred and you like making your own things, I've made my own heavy duty ones for years. Hardest part is bending the stock. I cut off the old runner, grind backing plate to match profile angles, weld up, sandblast & paint. The stock i buy is 1/2" X 1" hot roll steel bar stock.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,995 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
They are nice, after a coat of paint you wouldn't know the difference between a store bought one other than they are heavier and thicker and will last longer.

You can't bend that stock without a oxy acetylene torch. Look at the welds, besides nice welds, he went nuts and welded every part of that. Not going no where.

I just take some 3/4" wide 1/8"-1/4" thick or so flat steel, whatever I have lying around, cut it a flat piece a few inches long with a reciprocating saw, not worth getting my torch out sometimes, then arc stick weld it on the existing skid plate hoping to get the plate before the bottom wears away, if not, it still can be welded.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,995 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I saw on YouTube someone using sealed bearings. I don't know if I like this idea. The sealed bearings aren't really sealed well, water will definitely get in and rust. I'm thinking of wheels and not sure then of the size.

I was having issues with shoes grabbing my uneven hot top, i made up these shoes with sealed roller bearings. My 36" machine now rolls effortlessly over my bumpy driveway.



 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
508 Posts
Hey guys, Afternoon....
Great place to show / share ideas, as a picture says so much more.
I bend my shoes in a 10 ton arbor press, but heat would absolutely make it easier. If I couldn't bend them I would cut into three pieces and weld it up that way. You can buy heavy duty shoes but I enjoy making my own parts rather than buying them as it gives me opportunity to play in the shop.

Ill keep you guys updated on the evaluation of roller skids. I had the issue of both regular & my heavy duty skids digging into uneven driveway, which caused me to fight the machine to go straight. Now it easily drives straight with little effort. Still making modifications to my Franken Blower as they arise, but have only used it TWICE this YEAR !! So not much testing to be done without any snow in New England.
 
1 - 20 of 58 Posts
Top