Snowplow Forums banner

1 - 20 of 62 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,398 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Who here is an expert besides Bill?

After considering my options/business for next season I am leaning towards concentrating on driveways only. Can be done before and after I head to work for the "man"

I have been shopping skid steers/compact tractors/building a driveway rig/buying a new truck.

Truck requires insurance and registration year round (about $2200 a year), tractor can be driven on street here, no registration or tags needed.

Compact tractors in my Hp range and with a cab are over 30k, as are skid steers, both with a low transport speed.

I will not be doing any ice melt.

Building something would sure be fund, but, when I contemplate what I would need, what I would want, a Trackless with its small diesel/Dana 60s and the capability to run a blower up front make sense.

I have seen a few searching on the web, but nothing too close yet. I don't want to spend 2-3k to ship a machine that only costs 15-20k, sight unseen.

What are the differences between the MT3/MT4/MT5?

I know some of the differences are the hp of the Cummins at some point it went from 79hp to 110hp?

Did the all use the same hydro stat transmission? Eaton 33?

How expensive is a rebuild?

Did the transmission drive a mechanical transfer-case? Is the low gear transfer case neccessary for running a snowblower?

Are the body panels exchangable year to year. Alot of the machines look to have boogered fenders from tire chains.

Looks like easy to take care of? What kind of limited slips came with them? Is it worth rebuilding the diffs or sticking in a locker?

Anybody direct me to a under 20k machine that is diesel, lower hours, no rust?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,296 Posts
Howard,
this makes for some interesting pondering over lunch...:popcorn2 I have long thought about building a driveway rig. Here is what I would do:
Start with a 2002 Dodge 1500 short box w/ 360 V8 and Auto.
Pull the axles & springs out and replace with 2500 parts.
Then get a Boss 8'2" V plow for the front and a Snowman pull plow for the back. Set it up with tall mud type tires but sipe them so they are not scary on packed snow. Add a good set of rear facing flood lights and a simple light bar and there ya go. Short box 3/4 T snow pushing monster.
The beauty is that you can back up to the garage and drag out better than back-dragging. Back into your clear spot. Then go forward out. The mud tire would help in the deep snow. With weight on both the front & back you should be able to go thru really deep stuff without too much problem. No turn around needed to slow you down. The "art" would be backing into some of the drivewways you and I have to do. :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
new company making sidewalk machines

There is also a mining equipment company called Maclean Engineering in Ontario, Canada who have began production of a new sidewalk machine. It is bascially a copy of a Holder machine but looks meaner and comes with CAT power. I seen one sweeping streets a few weeks back and it looked impressive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
719 Posts
Howard to answer your questions as best I can.

The MT3 was the earliest version, Ford 4 cyl diesel, very crude just above a homebuilt. MT4 was a little better built, I think some also had the Ford engine, Not sure if they switched to Cummins until the MT5. 1st MT5 had non-turbo Cummins, and there have been many upgrades over the years, from windows to engine panels, and center section pins.
I believe the Eaton unit is still the same, never had to rebuild 1, but usually they are not crazy, just seals.
The hydrostatic motor drives thru a mechanical transfer case, with low neutral and high range, there is also a super low range optional transfer case which is an add on, no need for it for blowing snow, used mainly with a cold planning attachment.
Body panels changed a few times on the MT5, but rear fenders are the same, it would be cheaper to have a set made then buying from Trackless. Front fenders are part of the cab, and can be staightened. They usually get bend up from hitting poles and guy wires, cribbing and armco!!
They have standard Dana limited slips, same as Dodge, Lockers are now an option from the factory.
The Center section is one area to check carefully, worn pins about $1000 to replace, new center section about 2-3K, if these weren't greased on a regular basis (every 8 hours!) they usually need replacing.
Check for signs of leakage on the hydraulic oil cooler, these rust out in 3-5 years ($1000).

Rust is a big problem, as usually they are used in the worst conditions, and Trackless didn't have a great paint system till they upgraded their process about 2 years ago.

Got your PM, if I can answer any more questions give me a call.


Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
I bought two used MT5's last year and was generally happy with the overall performance, especially with the blowers that came with them. For negatives, I haven't driven a Holder, so I can't compare, but the Trackless are much less maneuverable than our Carraro's, and the visibility stinks. They're basically worthless without chains and not having lockers is a huge disadvantage. That said, the extra horse power 110 versus 74 on the Carraro's, makes a difference especially in heavy, wet snow. Parts are also cheaper and can usually be sourced locally versus the European machines.

There are some floating around for under $20K, but they tend to have a ton of rust or other serious issues. I can get you some contact names, if you're interested.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
719 Posts
I run loaded studded tires on my Trackless plus wheel weights on the front, made a big difference for a couple of 100$ investment.
The one thing I didn't like was the performance of the Trackless blower, sold mine and bought a Normand with full flight augers, it will easily put double the snow through compared to the Trackless blower. http://www.cienormand.com/anglais/snowblower_sidewalk_normand.htm


Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
I had the same comments from the guys I bought my Trackless machines from, their blowers were ineffective and prone to clogging. I ended up with two different blowers- a Pronovost and Snowquip XX. For the money, the Pronovost is the better of the two, however the XX worked great on cutting berms and hard snow, it's just significantly more money compared to the Pronovost. Both blowers worked great and convinced me to buy another one when time comes to replace my older Loftness blowers.

Regarding the Loftness blowers- I bought two Loftness 721S blowers a year ago to augment the 4 I already had and what a mistake! We burned up both gear boxes on the two new blowers causing significant down time. What crap! The chute steel fatigued and cracked within a few months of use and had to be reinforced with some timely welds. The only reason I bought Loftness in the first place was because the older models were dependable and well made. Another off-shore, cost cutting measure gone awry. Never again!:mad:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Try h.p. fairfield in Morrisville VT. They are a trackless dealer. Our town will be trading a year 2001 in. They gave us 20 grand for it. It has a new motor in it , only about 1500 hours on it. We have never had a problem with the trackless blowers, the biggest thing with them is if you change a chain or something else that you retime the augers. If you don't it does make a world of difference in the performance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,398 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Very interesting. Bill from Snoquip stated he was headed back east to look at 2001, 2002, 2003 that are being traded in. The 2001 had 1475 hours on it.

What kind of shape was it in?

We will see what Bill comes back with a price????

I would be willing to bet money it is the same machine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
719 Posts
Looks pretty rough to me. Series IV, pretty old. I think it would have the Ford engine, but I haven't seen one with the exhaust coming out the side. Trackless blower, but looks like a converted Meyers plow.
I think I'll pass!:rolleyes:


Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,797 Posts
Howard, how serious are you? Fred's favorite FORMER Blizzard dealer has a used one, don't remember all the details, but I'll find out more if you want.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
Trackless are built about 40 minutes from me in a town called Courtland. Almost all of the muni in and around Ontario have some or a full fleet of these machines. The biggest complaints I hear is the interior cab noise and that they are prone to major hydraulic leaks/failures in the mid region of the machine.

They seem to hold lots of value at the local equipment auctions each year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
712 Posts
Around my place they seem to get stuck alot.

But frankly I think it's mostly lack of operator skill. Also seeing them slam into a curb not knowing it was there looks pretty painful. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
719 Posts
The Trackless comes stock with skid steer 16.5" tires which are almost useless as snow tires. Most Towns and municipal units won't budget for snow tires for them!!:huh With a decent set of snow tires or chains they are pretty good.
Never heard of the hydraulic leak problem as there is nothing in the mid section to leak except for hoses, but the hose ends are prone to rust if not cared for.
The tractors owned by some municipal units take more of as beating from lack of maintenance then anything else.


Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Trackless Tires

New to forums in general and to this site, patience appreciated>

Looking for any info on tires for Trackless. I own two machines (MT-3 and MT-5) with different set ups on each. On the 3 I have Goodyear Terra Grip which I use with chains that do well on the gravel drives with some grade. The 5 has some standard light truck, mud/snow tires that work o/k on flat pavement but are terrible on the loose hills. Wood like to find some terras for the 5 but have had no luck finding in the 16.5 in. rims.

Any input or advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
719 Posts
The 5 uses Dana axles the same bolt pattern as Dodge/GM 3/4 tons. I'd find a set of used Dodge 2500 8 bolt 16" rims, they're usually pretty reasonable at scrap yards and put what ever tire you like on it. 235/85/16 LT studded snow tires are what I use for winter, but they don't leave enough room for chains.

Bill
PS Not all GM 8 bolts will work, the center hole is too small, make sure you check if they will fit over the axle hub.
 
1 - 20 of 62 Posts
Top