Monday, December 23, 2013

Free Tractor + Free Snowblower = One Great Tractor and Spares

Hello - The last winters I've really gotten tired of snow removal by hand. My drive is about 100 feet long and steep so we've been just leaving the car at the top until spring and parking the 4x4 truck at the bottom and walking and hauling back and forth in the snow from the house to the truck. Even with the truck next to the road it's still quite a chore clearing what the snowplow leaves and keeping a walkway open down the drive.

So, last summer I thought it would be a good time to look for a good used Honda snowblower. I needed one with tracks too due to the steep terrain. I talked it around to my friends and clients (note that I find the things I need for my home and land and make some money in the salvage and recycling business) and one called saying he found a Honda tracked snowblower for $400. Coincidentally, another client who has been giving me tons of salvage over the years called and wondered if I wanted a non-running Honda tracked snowblower - it had problems but it was free. Mind you, Honda tracked snowblowers sell for for several thousand $$ new. I called them both and arranged to see both on the same day.

My first stop was the one for $400. It was like brand new so I bought it - too good to pass up. I went for the free one and it turned out to be the same exact Honda model, tracks and all. It's only problem was a broken v-belt. Motor runs great. Both fit just right in the back of my old Nissan pickup.

For the past several months I've left the free one sit not sure if I'd keep it for a spare, keep it for spare parts, or fix and sell. Recently I ran into a free Sears Suburban 19.9 hp tractor. It runs, but barely. It has a big 2 cylinder motor that sucks gas and pollutes like crazy.

I did a little measuring and guess what, the Honda motor off the free snowblower fits right in. More efficient and reliable, no more battery, no starter to worry about. 4 new bolt holes, bolt it down, pull the rope and go. The tractor has a real nice blade on it too so now I'll have to decide whether to use the snowblower or the tractor for clearing the snow this year. Decisions, decisions.

Turns out too that there's a horde of collectors of these old Suburban tractors. The 19.9 hp Onan engine off the tractor will sell for more than I spent on the snowblower and the gas to go get it.

I'm very happy to have the little tractor to get around my land. At my age, using a wheelbarrow for everything gets a bit too tough and I don't want to tear up the land by creating roads with my pickup. The little tractor and a trailer fits the bill perfectly.

BTW - if you want to learn more about my salvage and recycling work, check here and be sure to check out the tools for survival website.