Snowblowers likely to come in handy on the farm

Alice Elison / for Farm & Ranch
Cole Hansen, a sales representative for Bingham County Implement in Blackfoot, shows a 72-inch John Deere tractor-mounted snowblowers. Given the forecast, Hansen says they're likely to come in handy on the farm this year.

The front-mounted snowblower that can transform a tractor into a snow-removal machine is one item that expected to again be popular on the Christmas wish lists of area farmers and ranchers.

“Last year, they were very popular,” said Cole Hansen, equipment salesman for Bingham County Implement in Blackfoot, a John Deere Dealership. “We sold out what we had and tried to get more in.”

The Old Farmers Almanac forecast is “much colder than last year, but just like last winter, not colder than usual. Precipitation will be at above-normal levels throughout the country.”

“Snowblowers throw snow a long ways,” Hansen said. “With the volume of snow we dealt with last year, they are more efficient than a blade, box or bucket especially when there is no more room to push or pull snow.”

Tractor horsepower helps determine the model of snowblower.

“Most tractors we mount them on are 25 to 75 horsepower,” he said. “You want the Snowblower to be as wide as the tractor tire width, with 5 to 7 feet being the most common.”

Models range from 4 feet to 9 feet wide. Tractors with up to 200-plus horsepower can be used.

Another consideration is manual or hydraulic adjustment to control where the snow is blown.

“With an open station, a manual adjustment works just fine,” Hansen said. “A tractor with an enclosed cab means opening a window to use the manual adjustment.”

Quick-hitch compatibility is a consideration as well as skid shoe options. The taller the snowblower the higher it can dispense snow. The auger breaks up even compacted snow, and a strong impeller blows it up and out the adjustable chute. Shear bolts protect the fan and cross auger.

John Deere prices range from $2,500 to about $16,000.

“The heavy-duty models seem to be the ones they want the most even though they also come in standard, medium and commercial grades.”

“This winter is predicted to be about as bad as last year,” Hansen said. “It’s a good idea to be thinking about snowblowers sooner than later.”