If you live on a large parcel of land, the prospect of removing snow from a long, possibly curvy driveway, is enough to make anyone shudder. It would be practically impossible with just a shovel, and a long and monotonous task with a standard snow blower.
That’s where the tractor snow blower combination comes in. With the combination of a high-volume snow blower and the mobility of a tractor, it’s possible to clear off a long driveway in minutes that otherwise might take hours.
Finding the right one can be intimidating. Considering their expense and the level of knowledge you need to get the right one, it’s a complicated one-and-done experience. We wrote these reviews to help you simply it. After we take a look at a few specific models, we tacked on a guide to help you understand how to make the most of your purchase.
|Husqvarna ||2 Years||4.25/5|
If you own a farm, chances are that you won’t just have a driveway to clear of snow. You’ve got barns that you need to access, silos, livestock pens, and even access roads to your fields. What you want is a tractor snow blower combination that is versatile enough to do anything.
The Husqvarna ST42E is the most versatile unit available. Its two-stage action is perfect for unpaved driveways and roads. It’s also got an electric switch so you can easily segue from clearing the access to your livestock feed to removing snow on your home driveway. What more, when the snow melts and you remove the blower attachment, the winch that you need to lift and lower it remains fastened for your use.
The ST42E isn’t the most expensive unit we looked at, but it is in the upper echelon. If you’ve got the money, we suggest spending it, because this sort of thing is hopefully a once-in-a-lifetime investment.
When we talked about Hasqvarna’s ST42E being close to the ceiling in price, the MTD mower attachment is at the bottom. It’s a no-frills snow thrower that is easy to connect to a wide range of tractors and mowers (we advise double checking if you own a Cub Cadet). Its chute pivots along with a wide range, which is ideal for depositing snow in one central location.
When connected, it’s pretty long compared to other snow blower attachments, so if you have a narrow space to clear you might be better off with a traditional snow blower. It also requires a manual raising and lowering of the blades, so it’ll take a little longer if you’ve got a variety of driveway types.
If you’re looking for one phrase to describe Husqvarna’s 967343901 lawn tractor snow blower attachment, it would be, “It’s a goer.” That is, it will do its job and keep doing its job despite whatever punishment you dish out. It’s one of the best riding snow blower combos available.
Given the price range of this equipment, you want something that is going to last, and this Husqvarna is built to last. It’ll take a few minutes to get the mounting brackets installed, but once you do, attaching and reattaching this snow blower attachment takes just a couple of minutes. It’s also got one of the best throwing distances in its class.
All that aside, for what it costs you can get a few extra features like an electric adjustment switch for just a few bucks more. So it doesn’t have the value of competing models. It’s also heavy enough that you’ll want to figure out if you need to add weight to the back of your tractor and how much.
At the top end of tractor snow blower combinations is Husqvarna’s 581 34 57-01, a snow removal machine with one of the widest mouths you’ll find and a handful of features that make it worth the price. We like it all the more because it comes with accessories in case you have specialized clearing needs.
When it comes to these gizmos, we are big fans of electric lifts, which makes it easy to clear off a variety of surfaces. If you live in the country and have a lot of property, chances are pretty decent that kind of versatility will come in handy.
There is no subtlety to this Husqvarna. It’s big, heavy and it costs a lot of money. It’s also bulky enough that if you need a tight space cleared off, you’ll want to either have a standard snow blower available or a set of hand-held shovels.
Buying a tractor snow blower combination isn’t as simple as asking the sales clerk which model you should buy. It’s a complicated purchase for which you’ll want to be armed with as much information as possible. You are making a major purchase that involves your driveway, which is an important component of your home.
We put together this buyers’ guide to give you some ideas on how to shop for a tractor snow blower combination.
The first question is what one is. Even if you’re shopping for one and can answer that, it’s always a good idea to start by asking just what it is that you’re buying.
A tractor snow blower combination is an attachment that you will place on the front of your tractor that is designed to remove snow. They can move a lot of snow in a hurry, but they are also big, heavy, and will cost you a lot of money.
When buying a snow blower combination, the first piece of information is to know what tractor you’ll mount it to. If the snow blower in question isn’t compatible with your tractor, there’s no point in buying it. You might also find a snow blower that you want to make work properly with your tractor will require some extra parts, different tires, or additional weight in the back to make sure it isn’t too forward heavy.
While most tractors are designed to handle this kind of extra weight, it could cause a problem where there is too much weight in the front and you need to counterbalance it with additional weight in the back.
A tractor snow blower combination is intended to throw a lot of snow in a short time. They are ideal for people who live in the country on big pieces of property who already own tractors. Those kinds of houses often come with long driveways, which are often unpaved because it’s expensive to install and maintain.
One vital piece of information to know before shopping for one is how big a space you’re clearing. It’s not just in square feet, either. You want to know its general shape; is it long and thin or does it have curves in it? And where will you throw your snow? If you have a central deposit spot, you’ll need to find a snow blower capable of depositing it there.
When you start looking at specific models of tractor snow blower combinations, one of the first questions you’ll want answered is how much each one weighs. This is important for a couple of reasons.
First off, these pieces of equipment weigh anywhere between 180 and 280 pounds. It’s not always the case that lighter will be better, but lighter will probably mean easier installation. A heavier unit might also mean that you’ll need special equipment to hook it on.
Beyond weight, you’ll want to know just how easy it’s going to be to put it on and take it off. While this process will be a once-a-season thing for most people, some people might need to remove their tractor snow blower combination unit once or twice during the winter and use the tractor for other things on their property. When they do that, it’s going to be pretty cold, so finding a snow blower unit that is easy to remove and hook back up will spare time that you have to spend in the cold.
While we’re at it, it’s important to remember than once the unit is off, you’ll want to put it somewhere convenient but safe from the elements. That means taking into account your storage space availability. If you don’t have much room, you might be pretty limited in which unit you purchase.
The models we looked at are all two-stage snow blowers, which means they use one auger to chew the snow up and feed it into an impeller, which then throws the snow to where you want it. Those are designed to handle hard jobs. Not all of them are created the same. If you have a couple of storms a season that dump a foot or so of snow, you’ll want a snow blower designed for it. If you get lots more snow, you’ll need something that can handle more work.
We normally think that a particular model should be allowed to speak for itself. If something works well, it doesn’t make any difference if the company otherwise puts out a poor product. Similarly, don’t assume a company that is successful in making one thing will be successful in making everything else.
When it comes to an investment of this magnitude, however, reputation can be helpful. Everything we looked at is either a Husqvarna or an Arnold. Both of those are generally held in high esteem. Cub Cadet is another respected brand. If you’re adventurous, there is always the thrill of finding a rare gem. If you’re very aware of the amount of money you’re spending, you can play it safe by going with models other people say are great.
A final consideration is the price. It won’t be your biggest consideration. If your choice is to save a couple hundred dollars on a tractor snow blower combination that is incompatible and spend more on one that is, your choice is very easy.
Still, it’s possible through canny shopping and comparison pricing to find one that will save you a few dollars—maybe a hundred or two hundred. A few minutes shopping based on price probably just starting looking a whole lot more attractive.
See the top: Gas snow blowers of the year
Tractor snow blower combinations are a big investment that you’re probably going to only make once. It’s important to get it right from the start. You want to go into it armed with as much knowledge as possible so you can make as well informed a choice as possible.
Husqvarna makes great tractor snow blower combinations. Three of the four in our reviews were “Husqvarna” models, including our pick for Best Overall, the ST42E. It offers the best combination of performance, features, and value. But we didn’t find a bad apple in the entire lot.
If you’re looking to buy a tractor snow blower combination, we hope you found something of value in our reviews and buyers’ guide. This can be a daunting piece of equipment to purchase. We wish you the best of luck in finding the right one that provides performance and value, and that is compatible with your tractor.
Featured image credit: ECHO_D , Pixabay
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!