View Full Version : Lawn tractor as Snowplow?

Dec. 18, 2008, 05:08 PM
I have a 17HP lawn tractor that I am using the snot out of as a tractor substitute.
Does anyone here have a snowblade for their similar-powered machine?
If so:
How simple is it to attach/detach & operate?
How much snow could I safely expect to move?
Would 5" be doable? More?

Can the snowblade sub for a light-duty FEL in warm weather?
I am picturing spreading the piles of composted manure that I truck to my fields in a dumpcart (towed by the lawn tractor)

Would anyone like to buy me a real subcompact tractor? :winkgrin:

Dec. 18, 2008, 05:12 PM
Be nice and speak to Santa !

Dec. 18, 2008, 05:25 PM
My Xmas stocking is embroidered:
"Santa, I can explain..." ;)

Maybe I can have a Bake Sale...

Dec. 18, 2008, 05:30 PM
Ploughing snow is really hard on the pusher vehicle. I think 5" might be overdoing it.

My neighbor has a snowblower attachment that goes on his lawn tractor. They have a shortish tarmac driveway. It seems up to the task, as long as you aren't in a hurry. (God knows why he's got a lawn tractor--no lawn.)

We have a mighty, double auger blower that goes on our real tractor, though--it's much quicker and bites through the deep stuff .

Dec. 18, 2008, 06:33 PM
I figured 5" might be the final straw :(

All I'm looking for is the ability to clear my driveway - maybe 50' - and a path down to the barn (250').
A snowblower might be the better way to go for my "tractor", I just figured a non-powered blade might be the cheaper option.

Dec. 18, 2008, 08:05 PM
My Xmas stocking is embroidered:
"Santa, I can explain..." ;)


Where do I get one of those??? :D

Dec. 18, 2008, 08:07 PM
Blades are cheaper...but you may fry your lawnmower. At best it will just not move and/or spin tires.
If you check CL or the newspaper classifieds or even if you have those free Trucks or Tractors magazines you can find in convenience stores or grocery stores up front (marked Free, Take One) check in those for used ones. Much cheaper than new.
Manure pile shoving...ain't gonna happen with a lawnmower, sorry. :no: A truck and plow can barely budge piled manure...you need the low gears of a larger tractor to shove it. And those low gears will NOT keep you from getting stuck in it...ask my husband about that, LOL!
But I do hear ya on wanting to do more with what you have on the cheap...all the equipment we can use on a farm adds up like crazy over time. Believe me...we all find new and creative uses for lawnmowers and everyday driving vehicles. Heck, I mow all my leaves now instead of leafblowing them. Even all the leaves on my driveway...I mow the rock driveways. All 700+ feet of it. Mow, mulch and bag those leaves...I'd rather sit on something and shift instead of wearing a backpack blower and walk back and forth endlessly.
And my older Jeep...that was our barn tractor for 18 months after we moved here. I used it for *everything* almost. Have to say it did an awesome job then and still does even though we have a tractor. Because I still use the Jeep like a Gator or ATV. Feed store trips are driven right into the paddock and up to the barn door...we built our stall fronts in the house and then I used the Jeep to drag each 300 lb door 300 feet to the barn. (with a tow rope and resting it on a thick piece of cardboard no less!) The Jeep is what drags the tractor out of the manure pile with a screaming-mad Italian husband hopping up and down on the stuck tractor swearing it wasn't his fault, LOL!
So go ahead and use what you got...but I don't think plowing more than 3-4 inches of very dry/light snow will work. I guess you could always try the plow blade on the mower and then just plow a few times during the snowfall so you're never plowing more than a couple inches at a time.

2Dogs...I want one of those stockings too! :D

Dec. 18, 2008, 09:06 PM
Before we bought the farm we had 1.5 acres with a long driveway. We inherited a lawn tractor with blade and chains. We tried to plow without the chains (we had a hill driveway) and it was useless up any incline. With the chains it could move small snowfalls, but any serious or wet snow forget it. We still have the tractor, but I have no clue if SO even bothered moving the blade.

Dec. 18, 2008, 11:26 PM
If you ran the mower would the snow come out where the clippings do ?

Frank B
Dec. 19, 2008, 12:43 PM
If you ran the mower would the snow come out where the clippings do ?
Any significant amount of snow will pile up in front of the mower deck.

Dec. 19, 2008, 03:06 PM
OK - I gotta admit I stole the stocking line from a Macy's ad :o
But I used to have a red & green button that read:
"He sees you when you're eating"

Sigh, looks like I'll have to fuggedabout plowing snow with my tractor unless I invest in chains along with a blade. :(

MistyBlue: I wasn't talking about moving manure per se, just flattening the small (300# tops) piles I make with my dumpcart. Now I spread them by hand with a rake and I'd rather use machinery, even if it means using gas too.

Guess I'll go back to making cookies for the neighbors who plow for me unasked.:D

Dec. 19, 2008, 03:30 PM
Nah, probably won't flatten it out either. Lawnmowers aren't made with the world's best traction and narrow small diameter tires...with lumpy loose and slightly damp stuff like manure you'll probably just slide around or sink your tires and need to be hauled out. More trouble than it's worth.
But that does have to stink constantly raking the pile by hand.
I wonder if an ATV with a blade or rake might work...rake being pulled behind might be easier than pushing a blade in front. ATVs do have wider larger tires and can get through mud so how much different is crap?

Dec. 19, 2008, 06:46 PM
Turf tires + snow = really, really bad idea. I made the huge mistake of trying to pull our stupid Newer Spreader (see any thread re: Newer Spreader to see my rantings about this horrible device) with the lawn tractor in the 3" of snow we had earlier this week and got horribly stuck. Turf tires just don't work well in the snow, especially if you're trying to do something like push snow or pull stuff through it.

Dec. 20, 2008, 12:51 PM
I will speak in favor of the garden tractor snowplow. Now, I actually went into the purchase knowing it was going to need to be a 4 season vehicle and bought a 23 hp Craftsman garden tractor (not lawn tractor). In the summer, it mows my pasture and harrows the arena (with a drag). In the fall, I take off the mowing deck and put on the snow blade, wheel weights and tire chains. It pushes my manure pile together for the winter and then becomes my snowplow. This week, we got record snowfall in 24 hours. About 20" here. I had to do two plowings of about 9". It doesn't LIKE 9". 4" or less is where it does best. BUT, it did do it. There was some swearing from its operator (me), but the driveway was cleared twice. At the end of the snowfall, I had another couple inches to do and it screamed through that in 15 minutes flat. It is SO much better than shoveling snow on my large, long driveway.


Dec. 22, 2008, 07:02 PM
I wouldn't do it with a 17HP unless it's a 2-cylinder engine.

You need a 2-cylinder engine. I have a 20 year old Craftsman 18 HP that I have a dozer blade for. I have plowed many driveways with it, with chains and NO wheel weights .. but it's the biggest pain to drop the mower deck off and then attach the blade to it. The blade angles both ways too. 3 years ago I bought a monster snow blower that plugs in to start. It has 5 forward speeds and 2 reverse speeds. it's 22" wide. WAY better than all the hassle of removing the mower deck and installing the plow blade.

I use the snow blower to make my paths to the barn, to clear the crushed limestone drive where my trailer is parked, and my concrete driveway. I make paths to the bird feeder. I set the runners on the bottom of the blower to run a little above the ground. I tip it up a tiny bit when necessary to go over bumps in the ground (mole tunnels). It churns out frozen horse turds when I run over them under 12" of buried snow.

Now there are lawn tractors that are easy on/off with mower decks and plow blades, but you still need to add the chains to the tires. My 20 year old Craftsman is still running on its original tires. It mowed 1 acre and plowed a 175' driveway for 16 years and then it moved to the farm. It's now my pasture mower/ feeder spreader / roller tower / etc, tractor. I bought a Cub Cadet with the same 2 cylinder Kohler engine... I've had more trouble with that tractor, than the 20 year old Craftsman. grrr...

Oh... the dozer blade is probably a little bit less costly than a monster snow blower - but the ease of use balances out the difference in cost.