Utilizing the Grading & Leveling Blade for Snow Removal

Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:50 pm

Cub leveling and grader blades were designed and intended to level and grade loose dirt and perform light dozer jobs as noted in the 54A-L-54 manual.

When equipped with the flexible clevis coil spring unit on the lift arm, snow plowing is made possible by helping to prevent dozing action as the front wheels cover uneven terrain.

The flexible clevis basically provides limited relief from continuous full weight of tractor down pressure when the blade must follow the contour of the ground.

The intended function of the lower adjustable shock spring unit is to absorb or take out the shock caused by striking fixed objects then skip over the object struck.

The shock spring unit's adjustable position can also vary the blade from scooping to leveling by changing the angle of attack of the scraper edge. The shock spring does little when the tractor is traveling fast or when the blade hits a taller fixed object.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, whether you are dozing, leveling, or plowing snow, the tractor must be operated in the same manner as grading and leveling, ...slow..., unless you seek to destroy your equipment from striking fixed objects that bring the tractor to a sudden dead stop.

The manual also notes the blade must wear skid shoes when plowing snow. The shoes and shock spring provide no protection against curbing, landscaping timbers, frozen piles, or other fixed objects exceeding the height the shoes are set at.

Starting in 3rd gear will wear the clutch faster than 1st gear start ups' as the clutch must be feathered to prevent spinning or stalling. If you use tire chains on concrete, the chains will wear out a lot faster by tire spinning.

First and second gear starts require no clutch feathering if the engine has ample power with little if any tire spin if you are not hung up. Having to back up and ram a pile the tractor stopped pushing indicates the tractor has met its match set up the way it is. (Lack of weight or chains, too much down pressure, or too much snow)

In regards to rolling snow off the side of the angled blade at high speeds, you are taking your chances. Remember you are operating a dozer blade with little adaptation for snow removal. If you really need to cast snow, a commercial plow on a truck is better suited for your needs. Instead of casting, I stack it along the sides. This of course takes longer but is much easier on the equipment.

In my situation, I plow both concrete and asphalt. The concrete can throw you a curve from day to day as the individual concrete slabs rise and fall at the expansion joints. A crack glided over yesterday may catch the blade today. Only slow speeds can help prevent equipment damage to the plow from catching fixed objects.

My driveways are very hilly with multiple ups' and downs so if lifting bars or a clevis were used, constant adjustment of the blade is necessary to prevent dozing in one direction or incomplete snow removal in the other.

To solve this problem, during the snow season, I remove the lifting bars replacing them with a chain. This works exceptionally well to float the blade at all times letting it ride over bumps, cracks, and fall into depressions just like a commercial snow plow operates.

The blade weighs enough especially after a couple of back drags collecting snow on the plow frame that it works just as well as a down pressured blade 9 out of 10 times. The more snow that sticks to the front of the blade the better for additional weight.

The only thing down pressure does for me is to doze packed snow exceeding an inch in depth but does nothing for packed ice which is prevalent 9 out of those 10 times mentioned above. Five minutes or less restores the blade to its original configuration in the spring or if down pressure is necessary for snow removal.

Without down pressure the tractor plows deeper snow without tire chains. Down pressure has a drastic impact on traction in my plowing environment. This past snowfall I did have to chain up because of depth and the snow being very wet. For most snow falls chains are unnecessary, even on the hills.

I also seldom angle the blade. Stacking or piling is easier accomplished with a straight blade. The cutting edge also remains square when operated in the straight position. Extended use in the angled position wears the scraper edge on the ends.

I don't use shoes because I prefer a clean scrape. The fully floating plow will bounce over a raised expansion joint with the help of the shock spring assembly, especially at slower speeds.

Lastly, check all your fasteners holding the blade together and all fasteners at the attachment mounting points. A loose fastener attaching the plow to an implement mounting hole is disaster waiting to happen. The fore and aft movement creates shock to the casting every time you push and a bolt loosened to any appreciable length acts as a lever to break out the casting.

Keep it tight and go slow to preserve your tractor. As the years click by, less and less parts will be available for repairs, especially the big ticket items broken from abuse. I would really like to see my Cub go another 2 generations instead if being scrapped by the following generations because parts are no longer available or beyond affordable.

Happy New Year
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Re: Utilizing the Grading & Leveling Blade for Snow Removal

Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:26 pm

If you have a long driveway it will work much better with the blade angled, you make 2 passes throw the snow to the right and push the right side just like you are going down the highway, do the same coming back and the snow is on each side,not piling up in front of you. 2nd gear works best for this. I have used 3rd in light snow. But we get only one or 2 snows a year and snow pile up is not a problem.
I do not use the flexible clevis as it limits the raising height. I use a 54A and never use a chain in place of the lifting spring assy.
Boss

Re: Utilizing the Grading & Leveling Blade for Snow Removal

Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:41 pm

Thanks for the post. It's that time of year that the plows will ge getting a workout. I tried a similar arrangement for lifting my plow a few years ago.

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My problem is I don't get to plow my drive until after I get off of work in the evenings. By that time I've driven over the snow going and coming from work, my wife has been out several times and the snow is packed down on my concrete drive by the time I get a chance to plow it. When I used the chains, the packed snow kept getting thicker and thicker on my drive. I ended up going back to the OEM arms on my 54A so I could scrape the drive down to the concrete.

To keep from doing damage to my tractor or blade, I modified it to trip like any snowplow you would find for any other vehicle, posted here: http://farmallcub.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=48334

By doing this modification, I am able to plow in 3rd gear without fear of doing damage to my equipment. This is my third year plowing with this modification and I can't be happier. If I need to use the blade as a grader blade, all I have to do is reinstall the shock spring assembly ( a 5 minute job) and I'm ready to go.

Most of my plowing is in 2nd gear especially when the snow is deep. But regardless how deep the snow, the old girl still gets-r-done.

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Everything you mention in your post should be considered by anyone attempting to plow snow with the grader blade. Thanks for posting.

Re: Utilizing the Grading & Leveling Blade for Snow Removal

Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:14 pm

ricky racer wrote: My problem is I don't get to plow my drive until after I get off of work...

I can appreciate the amount of snow you deal with in your region. Milwaukee, South Bend, and Buffalo have to be the leading areas for annual snow fall where I have traveled. I use the pile height around the shopping center light poles to gauge city to city accumulation.

Your grader blade fully converted to a snow plow allows for faster travel with less fear of damage from striking fixed objects or expansion joints. Well done. That modification would definitely spare a tractor from abuse and shock a grader blade places on a tractor if operated improperly.

Even in the "secondary snow belt" where I live, I only plow when 3 inches or more fall. With the exception of last winter, I seldom exceed 5 or 10 plows per season, the reason my latest truck is not snow plow equipped. For the minimum amount of use my truck mounted snow plows were getting, I chose to rough it with the cub last truck purchase.

If it gets packed down, not a big deal, our daily drivers pull right through, even up the hill. Plowing for the most part is for the benefit of our two wheel drive guests.

One thing I neglected to mention in the original post is I have the lower shock spring in the front hole so the blade has minimum bite or purchase by the cutting edge. The moldboard leans as far forward as possible as the pictures below depict.

This position allows it to "skip" over obstacles like expansion joints easier. It still scrapes down to the bare concrete or asphalt in this position. Even though the moldboard is tilted forward, little snow capacity loss is realized.

Off topic, if you find yourself replacing a concrete driveway you intend on plowing with any type of scraper edge, instead of running the expansion joints perpendicular to the sides, run them at an angle > or < the angle of your plow, like most modern interstate bridge decks are now poured.

This prevents the blade from smacking each joint all the way across chipping the concrete no matter if your plow is straight or angled.
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Re: Utilizing the Grading & Leveling Blade for Snow Removal

Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:10 pm

lazyuniondriver wrote:Cub leveling and grader blades were designed and intended to level and grade loose dirt and perform light dozer jobs as noted in the 54A-L-54 manual.

When equipped with the flexible clevis coil spring unit on the lift arm, snow plowing is made possible by helping to prevent dozing action as the front wheels cover uneven terrain.

The flexible clevis basically provides limited relief from continuous full weight of tractor down pressure when the blade must follow the contour of the ground.

The intended function of the lower adjustable shock spring unit is to absorb or take out the shock caused by striking fixed objects then skip over the object struck.

The shock spring unit's adjustable position can also vary the blade from scooping to leveling by changing the angle of attack of the scraper edge. The shock spring does little when the tractor is traveling fast or when the blade hits a taller fixed object.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, whether you are dozing, leveling, or plowing snow, the tractor must be operated in the same manner as grading and leveling, ...slow..., unless you seek to destroy your equipment from striking fixed objects that bring the tractor to a sudden dead stop.

The manual also notes the blade must wear skid shoes when plowing snow. The shoes and shock spring provide no protection against curbing, landscaping timbers, frozen piles, or other fixed objects exceeding the height the shoes are set at.

Starting in 3rd gear will wear the clutch faster than 1st gear start ups' as the clutch must be feathered to prevent spinning or stalling. If you use tire chains on concrete, the chains will wear out a lot faster by tire spinning.

First and second gear starts require no clutch feathering if the engine has ample power with little if any tire spin if you are not hung up. Having to back up and ram a pile the tractor stopped pushing indicates the tractor has met its match set up the way it is. (Lack of weight or chains, too much down pressure, or too much snow)

In regards to rolling snow off the side of the angled blade at high speeds, you are taking your chances. Remember you are operating a dozer blade with little adaptation for snow removal. If you really need to cast snow, a commercial plow on a truck is better suited for your needs. Instead of casting, I stack it along the sides. This of course takes longer but is much easier on the equipment.

In my situation, I plow both concrete and asphalt. The concrete can throw you a curve from day to day as the individual concrete slabs rise and fall at the expansion joints. A crack glided over yesterday may catch the blade today. Only slow speeds can help prevent equipment damage to the plow from catching fixed objects.

My driveways are very hilly with multiple ups' and downs so if lifting bars or a clevis were used, constant adjustment of the blade is necessary to prevent dozing in one direction or incomplete snow removal in the other.

To solve this problem, during the snow season, I remove the lifting bars replacing them with a chain. This works exceptionally well to float the blade at all times letting it ride over bumps, cracks, and fall into depressions just like a commercial snow plow operates.

The blade weighs enough especially after a couple of back drags collecting snow on the plow frame that it works just as well as a down pressured blade 9 out of 10 times. The more snow that sticks to the front of the blade the better for additional weight.

The only thing down pressure does for me is to doze packed snow exceeding an inch in depth but does nothing for packed ice which is prevalent 9 out of those 10 times mentioned above. Five minutes or less restores the blade to its original configuration in the spring or if down pressure is necessary for snow removal.

Without down pressure the tractor plows deeper snow without tire chains. Down pressure has a drastic impact on traction in my plowing environment. This past snowfall I did have to chain up because of depth and the snow being very wet. For most snow falls chains are unnecessary, even on the hills.

I also seldom angle the blade. Stacking or piling is easier accomplished with a straight blade. The cutting edge also remains square when operated in the straight position. Extended use in the angled position wears the scraper edge on the ends.

I don't use shoes because I prefer a clean scrape. The fully floating plow will bounce over a raised expansion joint with the help of the shock spring assembly, especially at slower speeds.

Lastly, check all your fasteners holding the blade together and all fasteners at the attachment mounting points. A loose fastener attaching the plow to an implement mounting hole is disaster waiting to happen. The fore and aft movement creates shock to the casting every time you push and a bolt loosened to any appreciable length acts as a lever to break out the casting.

Keep it tight and go slow to preserve your tractor. As the years click by, less and less parts will be available for repairs, especially the big ticket items broken from abuse. I would really like to see my Cub go another 2 generations instead if being scrapped by the following generations because parts are no longer available or beyond affordable.

Happy New Year




I applaud ya, Let these old boys take a steering wheel to the chest or face a time or two from trying to when some sort of "snow race", They will learn.