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Snow Blower vs. Snow Plow

Posted on 29th Sep 2014 @ 12:11 PM

Snow Blower vs. Snow Plow


Snow blower or skid steer snow plows...what should you use? It is a question often asked by skid steer loader owners before every winter season. The answer depends on the kind of work the operator wants to do, and what his customers want him to do with the snow. Can the snow be piled up or does it need to be spread around? Will the skid steer snow blower suit their needs, or will the snow plow?

Anyone who grew up in in the northern part of the US remembers the giant mountains of snow in the grocery store and mall parking lots when they were kids. Sometimes these mountains seemed almost as tall as the store itself. A lot of kids climbed the giant snow piles, playing king of the mountain, and heaving snow balls at each other. Some of these piles were so big, they would last well into May.

Two problems, from an adult's point of view, is that 1) these piles take up valuable parking spaces, which if a retail store already has limited space, it can be made even worse if the piles are larger than normal; and, 2) if the snow melts, the water can refreeze creating dangerously icy conditions for people walking in the area. This is especially a problem in smaller parking lots , like at an office building or school. Even today, regular plow operators do not have much choice. They need a place to pile the snow.

Skid loader owners do have a choice. They can attach a traditional snow plow to their skid steer loader, or they can use a skid steer snow blower. A skid steer snow blower is a much larger version of the walk-behind type. A skid steer snow blower can blow the snow into grassy areas, far from the parking lot. This keeps most of the snow off the parking lot, which saves parking spaces. It also means the water drains away from melting snow, and keeps it off the lots, so it will not freeze over.

Snow removal can be a good source of income for skid steer loader owners. The powerful skid loader and skid steer snow blower or snow plow is a better tool for the job than a pickup truck and plow. But should you buy a skid steer snow blower or plow?

Despite the piles, the snow plow is still a useful skid steer loader attachment. If it were not a useful snow removal tool, it would not be so widely used. A snow plow can push a tremendous amount of snow off a surface in a short amount of time. It is good for snow removal on streets and in neighborhoods.

But the skid steer snow blower can go where no snow plow can. Nearly every neighborhood, street, and parking lot bears the marks of winter, a series of plow cars — deep cuts in the asphalt or lawn, caused by the sharp edge of the plow blade. To be fair, snow plow pros have a difficult job, avoiding curbs, lawns, and other obstacles when they are all covered up with the white stuff, but a skid steer snow blower can avoid most of that.

A skid steer snowblower can be driven right up onto sidewalks and pathways. It can be driven into tight spaces and driveways without damaging the underlying surface. And, thanks to the adjustable snow chute, the snow is removed, blown, and evenly distributed where you aim the skid steer snow blower chute. This means you can blow snow farther away from the parking lot and avoid making the space-wasting piles.

Skid steer snow plows are great high-volume snow removers. But when it comes to precise removal, a high quality skid steer snow blower is ideal. Still, there is something nostalgic about the snow piles.