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View Full Version : I might not get the snowblower attached to my riding mower until summer!



Brian Elfert
12-26-2015, 11:58 PM
I bought a used Toro Groundmaster 223D riding mower this past fall. I also separately bought a used snowblower attachment for it. For various reasons I didn't start putting the snowblower on until after Thanksgiving. I should have done it as soon as I mowed the lawn for the last time when it was still warm outside. I worked on it as much as I could today because it is only going to hit 18 degrees tomorrow.

Installing the snowblower has been a huge pain in the rear. I've now had to remove the front wheels, the seat assembly, the frame the seat sits on, and the fuel tank to get at some bolts to remove them. The brackets the deck and the snowblower attach to seem to be slightly out of alignment and I couldn't attach the snowblower. I loosened up the bolts on the brackets and was able to get the snowblower. Now that the fuel tank is out I decided it was a good time to remove the leaking hydraulic cylinders while I could easily get to the bolts. I will take them to the hydraulic shop on Monday to get them looked at. At least next year the snowblower should go on a lot easier.

At the rate it is going it will be summer before I have the snowblower attached. Every time I take a piece off I find something else that should be fixed or replaced. I decided I should shorten the hydraulic cylinders after I removed them and ended up with oil all over the floor. I forgot about them being full of oil.

Brian Tymchak
12-27-2015, 9:43 AM
From the looks of the weather map this morning, you'd better accelerate your time table....;)

...why would you shorten hydraulic cylinders?

Brian Elfert
12-27-2015, 10:51 AM
After I removed the cylinders the pistons were sticking out. I manually pushed the pistons back into the cylinder which pushed out a bunch of oil onto the floor. My mower uses oil instead of hydraulic fluid.

I have a walk behind snowblower still and I used that yesterday as it snowed about 3" overnight.

Myk Rian
12-27-2015, 11:55 AM
Separate mower and snow thrower is the way I go.
Heck of a lot less problems. Everyone I know that has a snow thrower attachment, swears at them every year.

Brian Elfert
12-27-2015, 12:23 PM
I couldn't afford to have two riding mowers with mower on one and snowblower on the other. Also not enough room to store both. The typical homeowner riding mower with a belt driver snowblower doesn't work well according to people I have talked with.

This is not your typical home riding mower. It has a 23 HP three cylinder diesel mower. It has four wheel drive. The deck and snow blower are both shaft driven. The mowing deck is 62" wide. I don't believe I will be disappointed by the snow blower. Changing from mower to snow blower and back should be a about a two hour operation after this first time. I have attached a picture of one like mine except mine doesn't have the roll bar. I sure as heck couldn't afford a new one as they go for over $20,000 new for a similar model.

Randy Rose
12-27-2015, 3:29 PM
Nice rig! ^ and very capable once you get the bugs worked out.

If it`s any consolation, I switched my Kubota over to snow removal configuration after leaf season and it`s been 50 degrees all December !

Myk Rian
12-27-2015, 3:53 PM
I couldn't afford to have two riding mowers with mower on one and snowblower on the other.
Did I write that? Umm. Nope.

Brian Elfert
12-27-2015, 4:12 PM
Did I write that? Umm. Nope.

No, you wrote to have a separate blower and mower. I already have a walk behind snow blower, but it takes longer than I would like to clear my large driveway area. If I had separate units I would need to have a second riding mower or tractor with a snow blower or other snow removal device to clear snow faster than my walk behind.

My employer requires us to show up in person on snow days even though 95% of our work can be done from home. I try to get up at 5 am if it is supposed to snow and I don't really like spending 45 minutes with my walk behind at that time. I would rather have the chore done in 15 or 20 minutes so I can be ready to leave by 6 am to beat at least some of the traffic. I already had one three hour commute this year and that isn't much fun.

Brian Elfert
12-27-2015, 4:21 PM
Nice rig! ^ and very capable once you get the bugs worked out.

If it`s any consolation, I switched my Kubota over to snow removal configuration after leaf season and it`s been 50 degrees all December !

It is a nice rig although it needs a fair number of minor repairs. It has 5,500 hours on it, but it has a rebuilt engine, gear box, and transmission. I spent $2,000 for the unit with deck, $1,000 for the snow blower attachment, and I'll probably spend another $1,000 or so on parts and repairs. $4,000 may seem like a lot to cut grass, but this thing is a beast and is a lot easier to mow with than a traditional riding mower. I don't like zero turn mowers even though $4,000 could have bought me a pretty decent new residential mower.

Even though it need some minor repairs I was able to cut my grass several times this fall with it. My old mower would bog down and even stall if the grass was thick, but this mower doesn't slow down at all in the same grass. The diesel has a lot more torque.

Randy Rose
12-27-2015, 5:41 PM
[QUOTE=Brian Elfert;
I try to get up at 5 am if it is supposed to snow and I don't really like spending 45 minutes with my walk behind at that time. I would rather have the chore done in 15 or 20 minutes [/QUOTE]

I`m 100% with you on this Brian, I like to leave home everyday at 4:30AM. Saving time is part of that.
( Yes, I have a walk behind as nuclear back up, its just too slow, 24" cut creeping vs. 60" cut at 6-7mph.)

Brian Elfert
12-27-2015, 6:50 PM
Leaving home at 4:30 am would be a little extreme for me. That would mean getting up at 3:30 am if it snowed overnight. My boss used to have a requirement that you must be be at work between 9 am and 3 pm. If you got to work at 5:30 am you still had to stay until 3 pm. The traffic is bad here, but not that bad that I have to leave at 4:30 am. I am taking the bus starting Jan 1 and the earliest bus is 5:20 am so that would mean leaving home at about 5 am.

Kent Adams
12-28-2015, 10:17 PM
I couldn't afford to have two riding mowers with mower on one and snowblower on the other. Also not enough room to store both. The typical homeowner riding mower with a belt driver snowblower doesn't work well according to people I have talked with.

This is not your typical home riding mower. It has a 23 HP three cylinder diesel mower. It has four wheel drive. The deck and snow blower are both shaft driven. The mowing deck is 62" wide. I don't believe I will be disappointed by the snow blower. Changing from mower to snow blower and back should be a about a two hour operation after this first time. I have attached a picture of one like mine except mine doesn't have the roll bar. I sure as heck couldn't afford a new one as they go for over $20,000 new for a similar model.

Those are as expensive as a compact tractor. Why is that?

Brian Elfert
12-29-2015, 8:09 AM
Those are as expensive as a compact tractor. Why is that?

I don't know for sure. These are commercial units are designed to be used 40+ hours a week for the entire mowing season. They have similar components to compact tractors. Everything is heavy duty and everything is designed to be greased unlike a cheap riding mower. I drove a Toro Groundsmaster for five summers that were one step above the one I have. My employer bought a new one in 1992 for $22,000! I probably averaged about 30 hours a week on the Groundsmaster. The unit had to have the oil changed usually every other week every 50 hours.

John Deere, Kubota, and Toro all still make one or more models of this style of mower and they all cost about the same amount. The city I live in just budgeted $40,000 to replace the John Deere version of this mower that they own. I have contacted my insurance company and since I have replacement value insurance they say they will pay for a new replacement if it is destroyed or stolen. I made it very clear to the insurance company that it costs $20,000+ for a new one.