Snow Clearing

For the past three weeks I feel I have spent most my days splitting wood, running water to the animals or clearing snow; mostly clearing snow. On a heavy snow fall day, 12 inches or more, I can easily spend 5-6 hours clearing snow.

We are just off the highway so there is no need to clear a whole lot of road for access but we do have a few rentals, driveways and passages to the barn. The barn is 100m away, having a clear path to walk on and paths for riding the horse is pretty awesome.

We started with a garden tractor and snow blower attachment to our ride on lawn mower, John Deere. These have not been reliable.

The garden tractor does well with chains but it does not start below -10 degree Celsius. Hopefully, it will serve as a reliable alternative or back up with the application of a block heater

The snow blower on the John Deere is pretty awesome as it disperses the snow and reduces pile ups that get in the way. This is a good machine for the flats, our 100ft x 100ft black top between our house and work shop. Unfortunately it is very light and does not have good traction even with chains. This year I did not have time to attach the blower to the John Deere and it has been sitting idle. I need to find a way to improve its traction and until then, I don’t feel any urgency to get it running.

My primary go to for snow clearing is my Kubota SSV 75 on wheels. Last season I ran it with chains and experienced lots of trouble in deep snow. It spun out and dug itself into holes several time. This year I added a pair of rubber tracks to the wheels. This allows it to float like a boat as it plows the paths around our barn. But the tracks do not function well on ice. It slips around like Bambi and is awfully dangerous on our graded driveway. Fortunately we start our plowing from the top of the hill so I am able to clear the driveway down to the highway with gravity assist. To get back up the hill, I have to salt the drive way to get the machine back up for a second pass. I have arranged for cleats to be added to the tracks in hopes that will improve mobility.

Aside from the pathways, we have 3 RVs, 2 decks and several sheds that need regular clearing. Having lost our greenhouse to snow load last year, I don’t want to take unnecessary chances. I decided I shouldn’t let more than 10 inches of snow sit on the RV’s and the decks. For the decks I don’t want wet snow to damage the surface. One day I will have them all covered.

To help clear the RV’s and decks I have been using my leaf blower, this has proven useful and fast clearing of light snow fall and loose left overs.

Another investment I would like to make is adding a gas, push along snow blower. Until then I will keep my back in good shape digging with shovels.

December 2022

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