Today let’s compare the different methods and attachments for doing snow removal with a skid steer. Skid-steers are becoming a very popular replacement for trucks in retail, condominium, and municipal sites for snow removal. Much of the time they are replacing more than one truck because of their speed, agility, and horsepower. To Help you understand the nearly limitless role a skid steer can play in your snow plowing fleet, watch this 1 minute testimonial.
KAGE® System | Removable Box Plow Attachment
The KAGE System is a patented, heavy duty commercial snow plow box. This snow plow box system combines the snow pusher, straight blade snow plow, and makes them separable, yet seamlessly combined. The KAGE System starts with a straight blade angle plow, which is the simplest hydraulic plow out there. The plow utilizes a steel (or poly as an option) trip edge mechanism to protect obstacles and equipment from damage, as well as the operator. The next part will blow you away! The straight blade angle plow then attaches to a stand-alone pusher box frame with side plates. Once the plow attaches to the box frame, the unit becomes one slick box plow system. It can push straight, angle – push around turns, and stack tons of snow! Then, just release the box frame to go back to a regular straight blade plow for back dragging or windrowing. Each transition from box to plow is done in 5 seconds or less! Fast and seamless operation of your two in one snow plow and snow pusher combination! If you want to know about the other options for skid steer snow plow attachments, read on! Otherwise, give us a call 1 844 314 KAGE, or email us at email@example.com.
Buckets – More Common Than A Snow Plow
Most snow contractors have used a snow bucket at some point in their life. Typically that is what a company will start out with. They have a light material handling bucket attachment laying around, and why not? It’s just sitting there otherwise. Buckets are very hard to break, and they will get a very clean scrape. The downfalls to the skid steer bucket technology, at least in relation to snow plowing are the following:
- No Trip Edge Like Snow Plows: Buckets use a solid edge that is extremely hard steel, and will not trip or release if you hit some immovable object. This puts the obstacle, equipment, and even the operator at risk. Be very careful if you intend to plow snow with your bucket, especially if you are new to the site. If you want to protect your operator, equipment, and reduce damage to your job sites, read on!
- No Angle Ability Like Skid Steer Plows: A skid steer bucket is not meant to angle snow out of the way, or turn the load of snow to one direction. This limits the ability of the machine and operator to pushing snow forward, and the entire time there will be dribbles from both sides after the bucket fills up. This can double, triple, or quadruple the time that it takes to plow a parking lot.
Box Snow Pusher – Big Brute Tool
Next in order of popularity is the box snow pusher. This tool has many other names, such as sno pusher, containment box, fixed pusher, box plow, or just straight ‘pusher’. This tool was originally made very popular about 20 years ago. It is able to hog massive amounts of snow in a straight direction of travel. However, once the pusher inevitably fills up, it will dribble on either side just like a bucket. These are just a couple of the disadvantages of using a common snow pusher attachment for plowing snow.
Trip Edge Mechanism – Don’t Wreck Things
Most standard snow pushers do not have a trip mechanism. Similar to a bucket, they either have a rigid cutting edge that offers no breakaway mechanism, or they are equipped with a rubber cutting edge to provide some cushion. It they don’t trip, you are likely to damage things or get hurt. If they use a rubber edge, they don’t scrape as well. It’s just as simple, and straight forward as that.
Dribbles – Snow Fighters’ Worst Enemy
Dribbles are a snow-fighters’ worst enemy. You are trying to take just enough of the windrow so that you get the maximum amount of snow moved, but not too much so that you start to dribble out the upstream side. It’s so frustrating when you misjudge your pass width and you end up with dribbles. And who leaves dribbles in the parking lot? It looks unprofessional and messy! If you want to know about a better attachment tool for snow removal, then read on!
V-Plow OR Straight Plow Attachment – Much More Productive Than A Bucket
Straight plows, and v plow attachments for skid steers are growing in popularity because commercial snow plowing is getting more demanding, and contractors need to rise to the occasion. Buckets and snow pushers are outdated technology, and snow plows and v plows are starting to get more traction. Straight plows are easy to use. They have just one hydraulic circuit, so they don’t require any additional electronics. V plows are a little more complex because they require multiple hydraulic functions to operate the wings individually. The efficiency gained by a V plow is much greater because you can turn the plow into a scoop to carry snow. Both of these plows can utilize a trip mechanism for safety. They both scrape snow very well when equipped with a polyurethane or steel cutting edge. Furthermore, they can both windrow snow to one side, eliminating the messy dribbles that plague buckets and snow pushers. However they are not perfect, and a few of the drawbacks of straight plows and v plows are the following:
Straight Blade Plows Can’t Contain
Just a simple straight blade plow cannot scoop or contain much snow at all. They will windrow the snow to one side very efficiently, but if you need to push the snow in a forward direction, and angle plow is less than efficient.
V Plows Are Weak
By design, v plows are weaker than straight blade plows. There is a huge hinge in the middle that causes a ‘weak link’. No matter how beefy the hinge is, it can never be as strong as a solid straight blade. The V mechanism also requires multiple hydraulic circuits (or more complex circuits) to operate. This makes the operator less likely to use the plow to it’s maximum efficiency all the time. Because of the complexities, inherent weaknesses, and operator skill required, V plows are not likely to be our first choice.
Wing Plows – The Maximum In Efficiency?
Wing plows are a version of a straight blade plow that has mechanically movable end plates like the snow pusher. In other words, it’s a snow pusher, that can plow snow. These have become more popular as technology for them has continued to improve, designs for the movable wings have become more robust, and electric over hydraulic systems have become more reliable. Some of these designs (there are about 6 different brands) have some significant advantages over the snow bucket, snow pusher, and v plow methods. Being able to switch from an angle plow (windrowing snow) to a snow pusher (containing massive amounts of snow) is a snow-fighters dream! However, if you think that this apparatus sounds complicated, you are correct. Not only do they have at least 2 more pivot points, but they also require the complicated hydraulic circuit and feed that a V plow would. Not only that, but the wings (side plates) never leave the plow. They are always in the way when you are trying to angle around obstacles, backdrag, or windrow away or against a curb. Speaking of curbs, think of the damage those could cause to your flexible wings (endplates)! Here are a few of the general disadvantages to this technology.
Complication Does Not Make Snow Removal Easier
Complicated is not better. That is why the saying goes “simpler is better”. Age – old truth is quickly forgotten, until you have problems. Not only are the wing plows expensive, but they are complicated to operate and maintain. Snow removal services need simple tools that are unstoppable when you need them. This is probably why guys are still using buckets or pushers. They are the oldest and the simplest!
Wings Aren’t Always A Benefit
Have you run a wing plow? Have you ever thought “can’t I just take them off or get them out of the way for a second?” Sounds like a sound idea, until you realize that would be too much work, and you don’t have time to get out of the cab and remove them, just to replace them when they become handy again! Perfect examples of this are when you want to angle plow, and your wing keeps hitting your front tire, or you want to ram snow up over the curb, and your wing(s) keep getting damaged. Someone needs to invent a better solution! If you want more information about the best snow removal attachment for skid steers the SnowFire by KAGE , or give us a call! 1 (844) 314-KAGE