Our local Bar owner/snow removal contractor has 6 of the big Highway Dept Rotary Plows. He got a deal at an auction. He doesn't use all of them, since he has 3 or 4 skid steers and several front end loaders. If you are interested, PM me and I'll see if he wants to move any of them.Sorry I guess I should have been clear. By "plow quit" I meant the commercial plow service. Was a customer for many years and they just dropped everyone without warning. They cite the record increased occupancy from second home owners and lack of people willing to work. So they all can cherry pick. That's business rn. No one will take new customers. I've begged. Offered more $. People are weird here. Work, especially plowing, is a side hustle. Everyone wants to ski and smoke pot. People don't need work rn. I had a friend do plowing with a bobcat toolcat last year. Getting up at 3am, no sleep, missing all the good ski days... Never again. He looked so aweful. He'd fall asleep anytime he sat down in a chair. I get why they can't find anyone.
My Honda 828 is doing it rn. I have a friend with a 1332 who has offered to help if I need it. Cost him $6.5k apparently. To me that's 1/3 the cost of something that will make life easy.
But what I get ultimately is likely going to be a product of what comes available. I wish I had known this was going to be a thing this year. No notice at all.
I'll def take the name of your heavy equipment guy in Tahoe city. I'm pretty good with heavy equipment but if I need one I'm really gonna need one. I own a large excavator, track loader and dozer. I keep them all going without problems. Have a full machine shop 3h away and capability to weld/ plasma cut/ make hoses or do most things off the truck. I'm not really afraid of buying used heavy equipment or having to work on it. The looming spectare of a hose that could blow will keep me from overhead lifting but not owning. Service manuals and YouTube videos abound as the equipment so common. Parts are plentiful and cheap.
When I was buying my first piece of equipment I spent a year traveling to equipment auctions trying hundreds of items.
I learned everything at the auction... Was being sold that way for a reason. It was my job to figure out why. I got pretty good at that game.
I used to see so many commeral snow blowers dirt cheap. I wish I had bought one, brought it to the shop and restored it. Would have been fun to have. Placer county water district had some neat toys they got rid of a few years ago in the auction. They sold for scrap value. There was no market at the time.
Wheeled tractors for me are another story. I have never liked them. First thing I did was get rid of the tractor. They are scary on steep terrain, easy to roll and the ROPS is mediocre. In a skid you are locked into the center of a full strength metal cube. I feel safe. With joysticks even with injuries they are a breeze to run. They are designed to be flipped, rolled upright, go back to work and often do. I let my workers, friends use them. With tracks they are very stable and go places tractors can't.
I would never let anyone operate a tractor I owned. I see them as a death trap. If I lived in the flat lands I think they would be fantastic. My neighbor was killed when his Kubota wheeled tractor w rops flipped in a ditch along his driveway. He survived but slowly suffocated with the wheel pushing on his chest before anyone found him. If it rolls someone is for sure getting hurt and things are getting damaged. Now I know people will point out any piece of equipment can roll or kill. Cue the "Shake hand with danger" music. But I'd rather slide off the side of my icy driveway and roll down down the embankment in a skid than just about anything else.
I get you can't beat the performance of the PTO. I'm just inexperienced with them and afraid of them. This is not flat country. If it's icy you could easily slip off the side until you get a good berm. I'm amazed we haven't lost a car yet.
I've been seeking the advice of everyone, not just here. There are a lot of things that will work. It's just a matter of finding one of them. The conensus was a mini skid with high flow, cab, blower would be great and that inprob could get away even without high flow. A Rammy might work because my neighbor said they'd do my driveway if I'm away for a storm if I let them use it occasionally too. Then there's an infinite number of boutique options that show up from the old commercial market.
All have pro's and cons I'm still trying to understand. I appreciate hearing everyones experience and getting local beta from others who have shared that live in the area.
There is no question a ful sized tractor with a swivel seat and PTO blower/ box scraper on the front would do the neighborhood in no time... But I want something compact to live off my driveway I can move with a trailer.
If I got something that worked very well I might consider trying to offset the cost offering to do people's driveways will call on next door since there's quite a bit of desperation out there at the moment. But that's just a fantasy. I need to get my own situation sorted first.
In our area we have to have options. I have back ups for back ups.
This Honda was a beast before I sold it. 1132 with an impeller kit. It was throwing snow over 100 feet ( measured )
I should have kept it.
I have 6 Honda's just in case. HS624,HS520,HS621,HS80,HS80.HS55
==========================================================================================Our local Bar owner/snow removal contractor has 6 of the big Highway Dept Rotary Plows. He got a deal at an auction. He doesn't use all of them, since he has 3 or 4 skid steers and several front end loaders. If you are interested, PM me and I'll see if he wants to move any of them.