View Full Version : snowblowing & shear pins...

Dec. 22, 2008, 08:03 PM
sorry if I seem a bit obessive with the topics. We have snow. I think we got around a foot or two. Hard to tell, because I have 8.5 acres on top of a mountain. Some drifts are up over my waist. Driveway was about 2'.

So it's costing me $5-10 bucks each storm in shear pins.

I know I have a small snowblower, but that's on purpose. I *had* a huge one, but it got bogged down and that was the end of that. It was too big to move, and basically sat where it was until spring. So I got a little one, 20" deck. Takes 5 passes to do the driveway instead of 2. But if it gets stuck, I can manhandle it around, and actually lift it if needed. (around 200lbs--I can't LIFT it lift it, but you know what I mean! )

Last year she started eating shear pins, 2-4 every freaking storm. Previously didn't have an issue. Dunno what's changed. Snow amounts, maybe. Last year most storms were at least a foot. Thsi is the first storm this year, and I broke 3. Have to get more tomorrow.

So... if I put a bolt in there instead of a shear pin, would I completely wreck the machine?

It's really expensive. :uhoh: :( (the pins, not the machine--though the machine is $500 I couldn't replace right now to save my life... I'll be shovelling if I kill it. :no: )

Dec. 22, 2008, 08:17 PM
don't replace shear pins with anything but shear pins. I am guessing you are getting the shear pins from a dealer, so they are going to be more pricey than jobbers; take an original to a hardware store and see if they have the same type.

Things that break shear pins: forcing the machine, snow too hard, taking too much of a bite - go half widths in heaver show. go slow through wet snow as that is really hard on machines.

Dec. 22, 2008, 08:26 PM
Nah... they are from Ace hardware. About $2.50 apiece. (and you're right--from Sears were almost $5 EACH!) If I could find them somewhere else, I would. Ace is the only place I've found them. I haven't tried Lowes--they are new to the area.

Even offered to by them buy the dozen or the box last year to get a cheaper price...

Dec. 22, 2008, 08:36 PM
Funny you should mention shear pins. They are on my shopping list tomorrow. I'm headed to our local hardware store. When I bought my snowblower last yr the dealer gave me about 8 and I'm down to my last 3. I've gone thru 2 this winter already and I'm sure I'll bust a few more before winter is over. :(

ASB Stars
Dec. 22, 2008, 08:44 PM
Many years ago, I had a landlord who was required (by our lease) to put in an outdoor ring. He decided, as he was patently a genius, to purchase his very own brand new very shiny John Deere tractor, and yes, he bought himself a post hole digger with it.

One November morning, he decided to dig all of the fence post holes for the ring that he had not leveled yet. But, as he was patently a genius, we decided it was best to spectate, and not mention any of the particulars to him.

He dug himself several holes, not particularly straight, but as he was patently a genius, we specators determined that perhaps our eye(s) were a bit off.

He finished off the shear pins he had on about the fourth hole. He decided that, being as he was patently a genius, cut nails would serve the same purpose.

I can still hear the pto ripping apart today, if I think about it, 20 odd years later.

Buy the shear pins.

Dec. 22, 2008, 09:22 PM
$2.50 for a shear pin (ok, say $10 per storm). $500 for a snowblower. $1000 for someone to plow for you.

Yes, using a hard pin will kill your machine. Even if it snows every weekend, that's less than a new blower.

Although something is off if you are going through pins that fast -can you get it tuned?

Dec. 22, 2008, 09:32 PM
I feel your pain. I don't have a snow blower (yet) so "scoop" the driveway with a John Deere 4430 tractor with an 8 foot bucket. Our driveway is 3/4 of a mile long and darn near all of it was 3 feet deep in wind packed snow during our BIG November Blizzard. It took me about 10 HOURS to scoop, back up, dump snow, scoop, back up, dump, you get the picture. Oh my aching legs and feet from operating the pedals :(.

So now I have dreams of aquiring a snowblower for the tractor. Can't you just see it. A snowblower on a 125 horse power tractor :eek:! Wowza, gets my blood presure up just thinking about it :lol:. I'm checking out every farm auction!!

As for shear pins, yes, use the recommended ones. The ones for our JD small baler are about $3.30 each so I cry every time I shear one. But they are cheap "insurance".


Dec. 22, 2008, 10:18 PM
Shear pins are designed to break when other parts of your motor are about to be in danger. If you use a pin that doesn't shear, those other (more expensive!) parts will suffer.

If I had a piece of equipment that was suddenly eating shear pins, though, I would consider whether I was using it differently than before (more snow? wetter snow? gotten stronger, so you're manhandling it more?) and if I didn't think I was, I would take it in to have it checked out, as perhaps something somewhere else has gotten sticky, and so is putting more pressure on the shear pin.

(This is from someone who has no snowblower, but is responsible for several outboard motors in the summer. ;))

Dec. 22, 2008, 11:02 PM
Nah... they are from Ace hardware. About $2.50 apiece. (and you're right--from Sears were almost $5 EACH!) If I could find them somewhere else, I would. Ace is the only place I've found them. I haven't tried Lowes--they are new to the area.

Even offered to by them buy the dozen or the box last year to get a cheaper price...

Exalted ovine feces!!!!!!!!!!!! for the 3 pt hitch blower, shear pins afe 19 cents, mind they are soft 5/16X2" bolts but jeez that is a lot of dough for a shear pin We went through a whack of shear pins a couple of years ago, but the snow was like concrete and there were 'rocks' of ice in it...if you sucked up one of those chunks of ice, it would stop the beater bars right quick and boom, another shear pin. We gave up, and pushed the crap out of the yards with the bucket and that wasn't fun either, most drifts required beating with the bucket and back blading to loosen it a bit.

Dec. 23, 2008, 03:49 PM
Good Grief PP... you are surely having your difficulties with the snow. I hear ya about drifts - but I'm SO glad mine are not nearly what your's are.

I find it difficult to imagine having to replace shear pins so frequently. I would suspect that you are going through rocks or ice chunks? Or, perhaps your auger has become bent somehow? Try smaller amounts of snow. For BIG, deep snow, I put mine in a very low "gear" and go up against the pile and stand still. When there is no more snow shooting out, then I take another step forward. Wait until all the snow has blown out, and take another step forward, etc. If necessary, I tip the front of the blower up and go after the top and then the bottom of the pile.

I agree that $2.50 and $5 are WAY too expensive. You might want to google around and see if you can buy them by the dozen someplace cheaper.

Dec. 23, 2008, 04:04 PM
Hey PP, send me a couple dozen of your $2.50 shear pins. I just picked some up from the local hardware store at $#3.16 apiece! :eek: I called the dealer I bought the tractor and snowblower from and asked him their price and he said what I paid is about right. Next stop will be Home Depot. BTW, the original ones from the dealer were 5/16" X 2.5" and the hardware store only had 5/16" X 2". I hope they work. Since I still have a few originals left, the next one I break, I'll use one of the shorter ones and hope it works.

Dec. 23, 2008, 04:21 PM

$3.19 for 4 pins.

THey might have other sizes available...

Dec. 23, 2008, 05:40 PM
gabz, thanks for the info on the shear pins. :) I'll look later for a True Value near me so I can check the length. My snowblower is a Massey Fergeson product and I want to make sure they are the right length.

Dec. 23, 2008, 07:19 PM

The True Value pins are longer than the Sears pins.

That might be the culprit. They were the right diameter--in the only length. :uhoh:

Gabz, that's exactly what I do with deeeep drifts or trying to get through snowbanks. I think the frozen buns (or dog buns) might be part of the issue...

But now that I read this whole thing again... they are longer than the originals.