Snow removal is typically only thought about a few times a year – when the white stuff is dumping, flying, and blowing around. However, it’s important for snow and ice management professionals and homeowners alike to think about this crucial task before it’s an immediate need, and be ready with the proper equipment to get the job done.
Here are five top snow attachments offered by RDO Equipment Co.
Most brooms are capable of clearing snow up to 2 inches, cleanly and down to the pavement, and can be used as soon as snow hits the ground. This makes them an ideal tool for “zero tolerance” contractors that maintain busy, high-pedestrian properties. These customers, for example, hospitals and retail establishments, have the highest expectations of preventing slip-and-falls.
While great for professional snow management, brooms aren’t often used by homeowners. One reason for this is homeowners typically wait until snow has accumulated to clear it, so they need more than the general 2-inch limitation a broom can handle. Also, snow can’t be “thrown” strategically with a broom in the way a snowblower allows, limiting the ability to place in a designated area.
RDO Equipment Co. offers brooms from a variety of manufacturers, including John Deere and M-B Company, all compatible with John Deere riding mowers and compact utility tractors up to the 3-Series. One thing to keep in mind when selecting – brooms are designed to clear a typical sidewalk, 52-inches wide. The width of tires running the unit must also fit within that footprint to avoid driving over and compacting unremoved snow, or disrupting lawn and landscapes on either side of the pavement.
Simple pushing blades are a staple in the snow removal industry, come in all shapes and sizes, and fit almost any machine or application. Smaller blades work well on sidewalks and residential driveways, while large blades can be outfitted on a wheel loader for larger parking lots or roads.
Straight blades are typically used in conjunction with other pieces of snow management equipment that move the snow with more precision. For example, blades may windrow or back-drag snow from hard-to-reach areas that then gets pushed into piles by a containment pusher or blown away with a snowblower. Blades are great for homeowners, too with options available that attach to the front of a tractor or the back 3-point arms.
Common brands of blades sold at RDO Equipment Co. stores are John Deere and Frontier, with other manufacturers like HLA and Metal Pless also available.
3. Rear PTO Snowblowers
There are two common types of rear PTO snowblowers, each operating on a slightly different method for snow removal.
Rear-facing snowblowers are similar to common walk-behind snowblowers and typically used for residential driveways. When used on a tractor and combined with a front blade, the operator can push snow, windrow, or back-drag, then also use the rear-facing snowblower to move the same snow pile with the same machine. A skid steer, for example, only permits one function at a time while the tractor allows this versatility. Rear-facing blowers are appropriate for homeowners or professional contractors.
Inverted or “drag” style snowblowers operate in a unique way. Featuring an auger that faces the tractor, the operator backs into a driveway, about 12-inches from the garage, then blows snow as the tractor drives away. This style of clearing driveways has been popular in Canada for years and U.S. contractors are beginning to follow suit. The process, intended for professional use, is especially effective for contractors with very densely populated accounts or several within a neighborhood, as the operator can travel to and from each property on a tractor vs. needing to transport a unit with a truck or trailer.
Frontier offers and Normand are two examples of rear PTO snowblowers offered by RDO Equipment Co.
4. Hydraulic Wing Pushers
The hydraulic wing pusher can operate in three unique ways, making it one of the most versatile and popular options for snow management, and appropriate for both commercial properties and residential driveways.
The unit acts as a straight blade when wings face out, a containment plow when wings face forward, or a back-drag plow when wings face back. An operator can windrow large areas, contain plow into piles, or back-drag from close areas, entryways, parking stalls, or residential driveways. Similar to a blade, versatility is enhanced when used on a tractor and combined with a rear PTO blower. The operator can essentially move snow anywhere and in any fashion.
RDO Equipment Co. offers hydraulic-wing pushers from Metal Pless, HLA, and Virnig, and they’re compatible with tractors, skid steers, and wheel loaders.
5. Box Pushers
As the name implies, box pushers are just that – boxes that push snow. Because of their design, they also contain the snow while pushing.
Especially effective are box pushers with floating cutting edges. Rather than one, long section of cutting edge, these small spring-loaded sections break up the pusher’s cutting edge into smaller sections that adjust to changes in terrain. This accommodating design results in better scraping down the pavement for cleaner results, faster, and requiring fewer resources like salt and sand. These pushers are ideal for contractors servicing large commercial properties.
A unique box pusher offered by RDO Equipment Co. is the Kage system, a pusher with a box that can be removed while operating. This allows it to quickly transition to a straight-blade pusher that can angle, windrow, or back-drag. RDO Equipment Co. offers additional pushers from brands like HLA and Metal Pless.
Whether the middle of summer or the first day of winter, it’s never a bad time to start thinking about snow removal. Taking the time to outfit your equipment with the right attachments is the first step in preventing accidents when the flakes begin to fly.
To learn more about snow attachment offerings or how to choose the right snow attachments, visit your local RDO Equipment Co. store.