Sunday, January 24, 2016

Tried a different way of doing things . . .

I have always plowed my driveway with my compact tractor. That has meant removing the loader before the first snowfall and installing the plow. That's not too hard, but getting the loader back on in the spring is a hassle and meanwhile I don't have the use of the loader. Even worse is that the tractor-plow setup just can't handle a very deep snowfall, and we had a lot of those the past two winters.

Last winter I ended up having to hire a neighbor to clear out the driveway once the snowbanks on either side got too high for my little tractor to break. He has a tracked skid loader, and he wound up giving me a boulevard as wide as the Champs Elysee in about 90 minutes of work. So I figured, what the heck, maybe I can clear the driveway with the loader.

Here we didn't get the world historic gotterdamerung experienced by our federal capital. The six inches or so we did get seemed ideal for trying my experiment.

The answer is, you can do it, but it's tedious. You have to keep going back and forth, scooping up snow and dumping it. And the result is kind of uneven. It's hard to get the loader positioned correctly to pick up the snow close to the ground, without digging into the surface, so I ended up with patchy areas of remaining snow and skinned ground. Deeper snow would be much more tedious, of course, because I'd have to dump the bucket much more often.

So, I'm calling this a failure. A kid loader would work better because it automatically aligns the bucket to horizontal, which I have to do by hand. Maybe with practice I'd get better. My neighbor's machine has tracks, which would help a lot in deep snow, and a larger capacity. So, I think I'll invest in a plow truck.

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