Old Combines Make Good Snowblowers

"I wanted a bi-directional tractor but I couldn't justify the cost, so I decided to build my own self-propelled snowblower out of an old 700 Case combine," says Milo Buchholz, Fingal, N. Dak., who used to blow snow with an IH 400 tractor. "It worked fine but the snow always seemed to get blown into my face. The older I get, the harder it is to look behind and work the controls of the tractor."

Buchholz first stripped the combine down to the frame, discarding all grain cleaning components. He equipped the combine with the gearbox from an old Case silage chopper to pto-drive the snowblower. The 3-pt. was built out of the original Case header lift but Buchholz added a hydraulic cylinder that lets him tilt the blower to either scrape or skid over the ground. "That's important on gravel roads," he says.

In order to slow down the speed of the combine snowblower, Buchholz fitted the machine with smaller dia. tires and rims from a 123 IH tractor. "They give it a nice slow speed for blowing but road gear speed is reduced to about half. You wouldn't want to drive too far with it but it's fine for around the farm and nearby township roads."

All controls on the blower are hydraulic giving Buchholz complete control of the directional spout. The cab was remounted on the stripped-down frame. "I made a heater out of the air conditioner and mounted it on the floor behind my feet. It's a problem now because it works better than I expected. It gets too hot. I wish I'd incorporated a temperature control."