Compact Equipment

OCT 2018

Compact Equipment is a magazine dedicated to equipment owners and operators of small, nimble, tool-carrying construction, landscape and ag equipment — such as skid steers, mini excavators, compact tractors, generators compressors and beyond.

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Meyer is a good source for snowplow history since the company more-or-less invented the market segment 92 years ago. Though the transition from truck-mounted plows to skid steer and track loader plowing was smooth, the process was not without engineering challenges. "The moldboard remains the same," says Blankenheim of the basic plow design, "but from there on back, all that black iron that you marry up with the blade is indeed different. For skid steers, we had to change the attack level." The spin-turn capability of skid steers and track load- ers is an advantage at the end of snow-pushing runs, of course. A quick pivot and the skid steer blade is ready to send snow flying again. The machine's compactness part- nered with a 30- to 50-hp engine proves up to the chal- lenge of snow-buried parking lots because larger blades need horsepower behind them: The blade and framework can weigh 900 lbs. When skid steers and track loaders became popular snow-removers, plow manufacturers responded with box, scoop and straight blades optimized for the market. That marketing push continues. Example: Meyer's Super V-2 plow for skid steers. It comes in carbon steel or stainless steel. A standard trip-edge on the bottom of the mold- board deflects the full impact of striking a hidden obstruc- tion at speed. However, the most popular Meyer blade is more con- ventional — an 8-ft-wide Lot Pro straight blade. Fitted with optional angled extensions — wings on each end — the blade becomes an efficient windrower or box pusher. The winged extensions are either fixed at 45-degrees or have nine moveable positions. Meyer blades are coated in "Dura-Slick Paint with a Teflon coating," which wet snow surely finds slippery. "Business-minded contractors buy the wings," Blan- kenheim says. "If the buyer is more of a homeowner, it's pretty rare he spends money on wings. A contractor understands it can increase efficiency by 30 percent." Wings are the second most common add-on, manu- facturers say. Most popular are deflectors at the top of blades, which help keep flying snow from fouling a loader's front window. Land Pride snow blades are either marketed under that name or are Kubota branded. In 2016, Kubota bought Land Pride's parent company, Great Plains Mfg., to con- summate an ongoing relationship with the Kansas com- pany. A snowblower series is a popular seller, but the latest Land Pride product is the Kubota branded TE35 trip edge blade that comes in either 8- or 9-ft widths. It was designed specifically for the skid steer market, ac- cording to Dan Base, Land Pride product manager. "There are just so many ways to build a widget, but our inhouse design group gives us an edge," Base says. "What sets us apart is that we try to build everything a little bit heavier. This is a growing line for Kubota and Land Pride." Boss Snowplow has a new rubber-edged blade this sea- son. Available in 8- and 10-ft widths, the rubber model complements the company's two most popular blades — 8- and 10-ft steel trip edge blades. Last year, Boss intro- duced a 12-ft blade for heavier skid steers, but it remains a niche product, according to product manager Jen Strel- check. On the other hand, loaders this year have the op- tion of being fitted with a 6-ft blade. The company's trip-edge plows have adjustable trip- return springs so tension can be set for a particular job. For example, an operator expecting to encounter numerous small protruding obstacles in his path can set the springs loosely so that multiple impacts are shrugged off by the machine. Strelcheck notes that Boss blades are not as high as the industry standard, averaging 30 to 31 in. in height. Competing products can run 3 or 4 in. higher. "Our blades are actually a bit shorter, but we have a tighter curl. We have seen snow roll real nicely off them. When you have too high a moldboard, you can run out of power when too much snow piles up." The latest Land Pride product is the Kubota branded trip edge blade that comes in either 8- or 9-ft widths.

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