Using a snow plow on garden tractor????

sueohbFebruary 4, 2008


we recently moved into a house on a steep gravel driveway.. we need a snow blower.. but was wondering if we got a lawn tractor with a snow plow - would that work?? and ultimately be cheaper - as we could use the sit down mowe in summer and save about $75/month in grass cutting fees..

I rarely see snow plow blades promoted for use on a lawn tractor - and wonder if there is a reason why???

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tjeffers(Virginia, IL)

Hi sueohb,
Mainly the transmission and frame are beefier in the GT compared to the LT. Weight and chains will be required. Also with a steep drive, you may only be able to plow in the downhill direction.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 10:35AM
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Best stay away from lawn tractors. They aren't heavy enough to use for snow plowing, especially on the driveway you say you have. And, as Terry said, plowing up hill will probably not be an option. I'm also not too keen on using a Hydro tranny for that heavy work, but thats my opinion.
Check with the folks who sell the bigger machines. A Craftsman or some other light duty lawn tractor won't last long.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 10:57AM
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And be sure you understand the difference between "Lawn Tractor" and "Garden Tractor". A Lawn Tractor's primary function is for mowing chores (including mulching or bagging) and some "light towing" of maybe a wheeled cart or other light weight towed accessory. A Garden Tractor does all of the above PLUS is capable of handling "ground engaging" equipment and accessories such as tillers, plows, discs, and grading/snow blades. Or to put it another way.....A Garden Tractor can also be a Lawn Tractor but a Lawn Tractor cannot be a Garden Tractor.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 11:18AM
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Thanks all for your quick response.. makes a lot of sense! and also thanks for clarifying difference in lawn vs. garden tractor!!!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 11:28AM
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I have a lawn tractor for mowing and a snow blower for removing snow and have both for the price of a Garden tractor.I also have a long gravel drive way.

The problem with a blade is in gravel no matter what you do your going to have gravel in your grass come spring.Gravel sticks to the snow and makes a mess.Second problem you push the snow to the side and unless you push it way away from your drive way.Then it drifts or snows again before it melts.Where do you put it?You have a piled up mound of snow that gets frozen and then no place to add the next batch of new snow.Third problem you mound the snow up it melts and runs on your drive way and you have a lake because there is no place for the water to go because the pile of melting snow holds it back.

With a snow blower it throws the snow away from your drive way and there is no pile.You do not have to switch the tractor over from mowing to snow removal duties.You do not have to mess around adding wheel weights and chains to the tractor.

If you use the tractor just for mowing there is no need for a Garden tractor.The Lawn tractor is cheaper and does everything a Garden tractor can do when mowing grass or pulling a lawn cart or lawn sweeper and things like that.Also the Lawn tractor turns shorter and is a bit more manuverable then a Garden tractor.

You can buy a quality lawn tracor and a quality snow blower for the same money as a Garden tractor with a snow blade and weights and chains.

I have a John Deere LX277 lawn tractor with a 48C mower deck and a Simplicity Pro commercial use rated 32'' 10hp snow blower.I have $3700.00 in the Lawn tractor and $1700.00 in the snow blower.But this was top of the line for a Lawn tractor and Snowblower at that time.If I had bought a GT235 John Deere Garden tractor and a snow blade and weights and chains I would have the same amount or more invested and would have more hours and ware and tare on the Garden tractor with the same exact 48C mower deck.

You may not need or want top of the line but if you did I would recomend a John Deere X320 and a Simplicity or Ariens snow blower.Same or less money then a X500 series and snow removal accesories.

However you may decide to go less I do not know your exact needs or budget.But I will give an example.Sears Craftsman Lawn tractor for mowing depending on the model say $1500.00 and a Craftsman snow blower around $1000.00

If you went with a Craftsman Garden tractor around $2000.00 and a snow blade $300.00 and weights and chains $200.00 you just spent the same for having both and not counting Paying $75.00 per month for lawn service.I also dought the snow blade could be had for only $300.00 for a Craftsman GT.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 3:24PM
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Here is a good primer on Lawn vs Garden tractors and various types of each.

Here is a link that might be useful: LSU Ag Center L&G Guide

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 5:54PM
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grburke(z5 Me)

I have a 2004 Craftsman DLT3000 lawn tractor with the 16.5hp Honda motor.It's past winter configuration consisted of Sears plow,wheel weights,chains. Traction was fair and I could push 3" of snow up my steep paved driveway.
I upgraded last fall to a Johnny Bucket system.I now raise and lower,and angle the blade with 2 toggle switches.
To improve traction,I replaced the tires with ags,and loaded the rears with Rimguard,chains,left the wheel weights off. Front tires are reversed for better steering. I also added a suitcase weight bracket in the rear,and use 4 25 pounders,I have 2 more if needed.
Traction is now a lot better,and I can plow about 5"of wet snow downhill,and about 3" uphill. Blade angled in both situations.
I'm very happy with this setup and look forward to plowing! I also bought the JBjr bucket at the same time,and it's great,beats the shovel and wheelbarrow. Both implements use the same mounting bracket,and come on and off easily.
I know I'm going way beyond the limits of a typical lawn tractor,I'll use this untill it craps out then step up to a bigger toy!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 5:36AM
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Johndeere, didn't you also have a Cub 2166?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 5:45AM
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Yes I do but thought that might make it confusing.If I said I have two.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 8:57AM
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bunkers(z5 CO)

My LX277 does an awesome job plowing in snow 10" or less. Chains on the rear tires are a must. Now I'm plowing on concrete or blacktop. I wouldn't plow on a gravel driveway for reasons already mentioned. My dad has the deer snowblower and its amazingly powerful ... as powerful as any walk behind snowblower I've ever seen ... but it can throw rocks through windows at great distances ... so again, not good on a gravel driveway or street.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 10:10AM
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A stone driveway and a hill are not ideal for either set up (plow or snowthrow). Try working downhill and its possible to get stuck If (or more likely WHEN) you need to back up. Wheel weights or weight racks do not begin to provide adequate traction when the FRONT of your tractor is heavier than the rear (engine, axle plus the snowthrower or plow).

If the driveway is graded well (even and level) a snowthrower works "better" but not quite perfect. By dropping the skid plates all the way down, you can "skate" above the loose stones and avoid throwing most of them off the driveway. This will leave a coating of snow on the driveway which (can) get icy with use. By dropping the skip plates, you also lessen the chances of breaking shear pins when you catch a rock in the auger or impeller. But be prepared to break a bunch of them anyhow (I'd recommend getting at least an extra dozen).

I, myself, do have the downhill stone-covered driveway. I grade carefully before the ground freezes. My tractor is a liquid cooled 4WD Mitsubishi Diesel with a loader bucket on the front and a grader blade on the rear. With chains and the bucket (which can help me push myself out of trouble), I can usually avoid getting hopelessly stuck. Some things I've learned: 1)Wet snow sucks. 2) No matter how heavy the tractor, when the weight of the snow = the weight of the tractor (more-or-less), the tires break free. 3) Big storms mean I stay out through the storm as it is MUCH easier to keep the driveway open than it is to plow 2' of snow all at once. 4) heavy, wet snow often needs pushed sideways (in short little bites) off of the driveway rather than trying to angle the grader blade and push it off gradually in long downhill passes. Powder will allow you to do this type of quick convenient cleaning. Note: we NEVER get powder in central PA! 5) There is NO way to plow uphill. 6) I cannot imagine plowing MY driveway with a LT much less a GT (my tractor is about the (overall) size of a volkswagon beetle) and it is too small and too light for the job even with belly weights and liquid-filled tires.

Overall, I'd recommend resisting the urge to buy one machine to do both tasks (if possible). If you have railroad spikes to drive and only have a kitchen hammer available to you, it will be the tool you have to use. That does not make it work like a sledge hammer. I do not like buying and expensive add-on snowthrower ($1500-$2000 ballpark with chains, weights) that will quite likely outlast MOST LTs and GTs discussed here. You will have to use different motor oil in most engines for winter temperatures (oil changes twice a year). When the tractor does get may be forced to fix it so that you get to have BOTH a mower and a snowthrower, even IF buying a new tractor is an option. I'd also (personally) hate having to unhook a deck and then install the snowthrower every Fall. ( I can see me out in the garage, AS the snow is falling, trying to remember how the belt routing goes...)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 11:14AM
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Personally, the wheels will slip on the snow and ice, especially uphill. Once you encounter ane resistance, your finished. You won't move. Lastly, in a short time, your new tractor will be one pile of rust. The plow attachement was meant to sell more tractors. There is no way a small tractor can push thousands of pounds of snow. Have your diveway plowed by one of those 'pickup truck' guys or buy a snow thrower. Personally, I use a snow thrower--lots of fun. No big piles of snow to deal with.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 5:27PM
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You can get snow plows and snowblowers on garden tractors. As for the traction its easy. You can get tire chains with it and it works just fine. No problem with uphill. Go to Bercomac web site. There is a link to find a near by dealer.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bercomac

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 3:45PM
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I have a '71 (yes, 1971) Cub Cadet 108. It is a couple years older than me, but been in the family the whole time. It has been rebuilt, and about 14hp. I run a 48" mower deck, and then the plow. It pushes like a tank. It has a real geared transmission, no belts. The new Cadets 2000 series are shaft driven, but expensive. I've got weights on it, but haven't put the chains on for some time. Even pushed 18" without the chains.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 10:44AM
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