No, don’t expect me back in Florida soon, unless maybe the drainfield freezes again. Faced with a tired old body and another 6 inches of forecast snow, I’ve gone over to the dark side:

DSC_5091Ya, I know I should just call up the Kubota dealer and get it over with, $12,500 for a even a baby diesel tractor with a mower and loader ain’t bad. Or blow $3000 on a plow for the 4 by 4 pickup. But I’m cheap to a fault, snow was forecast for friday night, and neither the Kubota or a plow would get here on time. So I punted and joined the legions of snowblower owners who pollute the winter solitude with noise and fumes interrupted only by shear pin breakage.

Of course, I had to find the best deal. Some quick research revealed why most of the snowblowers all look the same, give or take a few features and paint… Most all of them are made by one company, MTD. Yup, it may be Cub Cadet yellow or Craftsman red or Troy Built bright red or even Remington orange like this one, but they all come from the same factory and are built from the same assortments of parts. Sorta like how GM builds the same platform into everything from $20k plain Jane pickups to $70 Cadillac SUVs. So I figured out that 24″ was about the right width,  two stage snow propulsion is a necessity, snow throwing is HP intensive so I needed at least a 200cc. motor, and that “features” like “zero turn” steering were just expensive gadgets to break. Then I combed the websites and found this orange “Remington” at Menards for $550. Next to it was an identical MTD for $600, and Sears had the same snow blower for $750, on sale!

So after hunting down some help to load the beast I had it home by a bit after noon. After the usual relaxed lunch I uncrated and assembled the beast, then tested it out widening the narrow passage through the glacier that it’d taken me a week to carve out. The overnight snow turned out to be three rather than six inches, and took about 15 minutes to clear that. Then I set about widening the cut to it’s full twenty odd fit width…

DSC_5090

None too shabby… Got the cut widened out, thought the compacted snow at the bottom would barely budge, drove over it with the 2 ton 4 by 4 and barely left a tire print. The black garbage can marks a hole in that compacted snow, lest I lose a VW wheel and maybe the whole car in there. Hopefully the warmer weather forecast for later in the week and the salt I applied will break up the compacted snow and I’ll have the hack’d Super Tenere out next weekend!

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