2007 - Volume #31, Issue #6, Page #30[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Hydraulic-Powered Loader-Mounted Snowblower
The 84-in. wide snowblower quick-taches to the loader on Webster's 1995 Massey Ferguson 375 4-WD tractor. Originally the blower was powered by an underslung driveshaft that led from the tractor's rear pto to the snowblower in front.
"The driveshaft was low to the ground and would get hung up on uneven ground," says the Terra Alta, W. Va., farmer. "Another problem was that the blower head could only be raised about six inches. If a snowdrift was higher than the blower, snow would ride back over the top of the blower and get between the blower and tractor, causing more problems. One time it took us more than three hours to free up the tractor after it got hung up on snow. Now the blower lifts as high as the loader will go."
The blower is driven by a 30 gpm hydraulic motor mounted on a steel bracket that attaches to the back side of the blower. The motor is driven by hydraulics from a pto-driven pump at the back of the tractor.
To get enough hydraulic capacity, Webster converted a 40-gal. truck fuel tank into a 3-pt. mounted hydraulic reservoir. He mounted the 3,500 psi hydraulic pump under the tank. Hydraulic hoses lead from the tank to the motor on the blower.
"It solved all my problems and really works nice," says Webster. "My friend Kevin Luckel helped me make the conversion. To operate the snowblower I drop the blower head to the level I want to blow, adjust the chute, engage the pto and begin to blow snow. The motor never Špulls down' and there's almost no vibration in the machine - it feels like it'll run forever. The blower can handle snowdrifts up to 10 ft. high with no problem. I just raise the loader, tilt the blower head so that it's square, and wipe out a chunk of snow. Then I back up and repeat the process until all the snow is gone. I think the same kind of conversion could also be used on rear-mount snowblowers."
To set up the hydraulic system, Webster called a hydraulic company and explained what he needed. They recommended a double pump turning 1,000 rpm's off the pto, and a hydraulic motor with a maximum of 540 rpm's (this is the original speed of the blower on the pto-driven system). "It's important to maintain the correct speed on the blower head or else parts could fly off," says Webster. "This unit isn't a toy as the hydraulic system operates at 3,000 to 3,500 psi and has a volume of 35 gpm."
Before mounting the fuel tank hydraulic reservoir on back of the tractor, they designed a cage to mount the pump in under the tank. They installed two 3-pt. pins on the cage, secured the tank to the cage, and mounted a top link bracket, allowing Webster to raise and lower the tank assembly. They also added plumbing, a gauge, filter and relief unit.
"It takes less than five minutes to detach the blower head and tank unit," says Webster. "The chute rotates hydraulically from the cab and uses two remote outlets on back of the tractor.
"It didn't cost too much to build. I paid $100 for the fuel tank, $300 for the hydraulic motor, and about $500 for the hydraulic hoses and quick tach fittings. My total cost was less than $1,000."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Doug Webster, Jr., P. O. Box 9, Terra Alta, W. Va. 26764 (ph 304 789-2488 or 304 698-8777; fax 304 789-3133; dougwebster @verizon. net).
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