The Pros and Cons of Skid Steer Snow Blades, Snow Pushers, and Snow Buckets
There would be considerable agreement among construction contractors that skid steer machines are very versatile and highly reliable pieces of equipment; these multi-purpose loaders can perform jobs of varying scope due to their rugged nature and the capability to connect a wide range of labour-saving tools and attachments.
In order to maximize their returns on these capital investments, contractors will look for opportunities to use their skid steers on a year-round basis. Much like airplanes that do not make money when they are on the ground, compact machinery is more of a financial liability than an asset if sitting idle; and one of the challenges to companies/contractors looking to keep their skid steers in motion, so to speak, is finding a sufficient amount of work during the winter season.
Consequently, many look to secure snow removal opportunities/contracts to fill the void; to do this work effectively they will need to have the right snow removal equipment for the job, which in this case means the right attachments for their skid steers. Essentially, the choices consist of:
- Snow Blades
- Snow Pushers
- Snow Buckets
So which one is the best option? The answer is an unequivocal … it depends. The ideal choice will be influenced by various dynamics relative to snow clearing jobs, such as:
- Lot size
- Lot Configuration
- Average Annual Snowfall
- Snow Removal vs Stacking
- Residential vs Commercial vs Industrial
Pros and Cons of Snow Blades
- Best results in wide-open spaces where plowing can be multi-directional
- Provide cleaner scrapes of surfaces and permit a higher stacking of snow
- Offer the capability to back-drag snow, if needed, when driven in reverse
- Highly efficient – cutting/leading edge stays on surface almost all the time
- Steel edge and blade angle reduce number of passes; more time-efficient
- Not as effective in situations/spaces where snow containment is important
- More complex in terms of their design – generally need more maintenance
- Plowing uneven surfaces may cause damage to skid steers and snow blades
Pros and Cons of Snow Pushers
- Ideally suited for areas where the snow cannot be moved to the sides
- Sidewalls on vertical edges keep snow contained for straight-line plowing
- Fewer moving parts – lower probability of mechanical or hydraulic failure
- Rubber guard along cutting edge protects surface from scratches/damage
- Can only plow in one direction – adds time and reduces onsite efficiencies
- Limited capability relative to stacking or piling significant amounts of snow
- Rubber-edged blade hinders ability for clean and even scrapes on one pass
Pros and Cons of Snow Buckets
- Viable option for sites where snow must be loaded on trucks/hauled away
- Allow for more precise positioning of snow stacks/piles on or around a lot
- Can also be used to pre-load salt-spreading or sand-spreading equipment
- Less time-efficient than other options – limited amount of snow per bucket
- Overfilling may cause skid steer to tip – operator injuries; machine damage
- May be less effective for heavy/dense snow – can stress skid steer’s engine
The choice of snow clearing attachment for a skid steer needs to take several factors into consideration; contractors and operators must assess the pros and cons of snow blades and snow pushers against the types of areas they clear, how much snow they clear, and what they do with that snow.
For more insight, especially on the comparison between snow blades and snow pushers, go to A Wide Range of Skid Steers, Snow Blades, and Snow Pushers for All Job Needs
Although the winter snowstorms are still a few months away, contractors are likely in the planning stages for the upcoming season, confirming agreements, staffing requirements, and, of course, any/all equipment needs; for the latter, this can include both skid steers and snow removal attachments.
The compact equipment specialists at Tag Equipment in Stouffville, Ontario can provide the knowledge and experience contractors may need to marry the right type of snow removal equipment with the types of work those contractors are planning/have planned for the winter season. Tag Equipment offers a wide range of skid steers for sale, from all the major compact equipment manufacturers including John Deere, CAT, Bobcat, CASE, Kubota, and more, along with high-quality attachments (snow blades and snow pushers) to transform these durable machines into cost-effective snow removal tools.
For more information or a professional consultation on the purchase of skid steers and/or high-quality skid steer attachments, including snow blades and snow pushers, call the compact equipment experts at Tag Equipment at 647-559-3703 today.