SnowWolf has introduced open-ribbon snowblower attachments for wheel loaders with hydraulic drives and tractors with power take-off (PTO) drives. SnowWolf partnered with Dalen - Lid Jarnindustri AS in Norheimsund, Norway, in designing and manufacturing the new attachments. SnowWolf has extensive experience in hydraulic drives, and Dalen is among the elite companies worldwide in terms of snowblower design.
SnowWolf is the North American distributer for Dalen snowblowers and Dalen has access to SnowWolf’s proprietary hydraulic-drive system technology for use in the European market.
The new SnowWolf snowblowers provide performance advantages at a speed that is comparable to engine-drive snowblowers with an acquisition cost that is one-fifth to one-third of an engine-drive attachment. In addition, thanks to SnowWolf’s trademark design simplicity, operating and maintenance costs for the new snowblowers are lower than engine-drive attachments.
“Snow-removal contractors and municipalities are both going to love these attachments,” SnowWolf Sales Manager Dale Oberg said in a statement. “Now there’s a snowblower on the market that does the work of an engine-drive blower, is self-powered, feeds well, blows well and costs less to own and run, all at an initial price point that doesn’t push purchasing one out of reach.”
The hydraulic-drive motor on the wheel loader snowblower is designed to perform optimally with a hydraulic flow of 40-50 gallons per minute. The range gives contractors and municipalities the flexibility to use the attachments on different machines in a fleet or on a replacement machine if a breakdown necessitates renting one.
“Many hydraulic drives require a specific motor size for specific gallon-per-minute flows, and operators have to change motors for the different flow rates,” Oberg said. “Our motor covers a wider range of loaders, and it squeezes every ounce of hydraulic horsepower out of the flow that’s available.”
The open-ribbon design essentially makes SnowWolf’s blowers self-feeding. The serrated ribbon, which is fabricated with Hardox 500 abrasion-resistant steel, makes first contact with a snow pile, cuts right into it and pulls snow and ice into the feed.
By comparison, conventional blowers have fixed side plates and the ribbon spins entirely inside of the housing. They can only blow the snow and ice that makes it past the front of the housing and into the ribbon.
“Ours chew right into it,” Oberg explained. “They’re a lot more efficient and work a lot faster because operators aren’t stopped short when they ram into a snow pile and hit ice.”
SnowWolf created its open-ribbon snowblowers with no shear pins, chains, sprockets, gears, pulleys, transmissions or belts. Fewer moving parts and connection points translate to lower maintenance costs while also providing smooth operation.
SnowWolf snowblowers cut down on fuel costs, as well. While engine-driven snowblowers require two engines – a diesel motor to run the machine and another to run the snowblower – the SnowWolf attachments use the transmission shaft to split power and run the fan, which eliminates both fuel and maintenance costs associated with a second diesel engine.
Built-in protections reduce downtime and maintenance costs, as well.
If there’s a major pressure strike on the hydraulic motor that impedes ribbon rotation, a hydraulic relief system stops both the fan and the ribbon. The pressure strike could be caused by an obstruction caught in the attachment or the ribbon hitting an immovable boulder, for example.
They also feature two oil-filled, auto-reset clutches, one on each end of the ribbon. In situations where there’s excessive backpressure on the ribbon, due to heavy feeding for example, the clutches engage to break away some of the power. Meanwhile, the impeller (fan) continues spinning to keep the blower clear.
In either case, operators simply need to shut off the hydraulic power or back up the machine to remove the obstacle or reduce backpressure to the ribbon. There’s no damage to the attachments and operators can get right back to work.
Annual maintenance is straightforward and simple, as well. SnowWolf snowblowers require a yearly oil change on the gearbox and clutches, and grease needs to be applied to various points, such as the rotating chute, gauge wheel adjustments, skid shoe adjustments and the ends of the ribbon shaft. Greasing is necessary after every 30 hours of operation for the hydraulic-drive model and every eight hours for the PTO-drive models.
The hydraulic wheel loader model does not blow quite as fast as a 200 HP engine-drive snowblower. SnowWolf’s snowblower averages one minute and 47 seconds of actual load time for filling a 25-cubic-meter truck; an engine-drive snowblower averages about a minute.
However, Oberg said, “When they factor in an initial acquisition cost that’s a fraction of an engine-drive blower, along with less downtime, lower fuel and maintenance costs, we’re confident most contractors and municipalities will agree that the 47-second per load tradeoff isn’t just acceptable, but exceptional for the bottom line.
SnowWolf offers its open-ribbon snowblower attachments in three models.
• Model 33-100-H: A hydraulic-drive snowblower for wheel loaders with a 33-inch fan and 100-inch width across the front of the attachment.
• Model 33-100-P: A PTO-drive snowblower for 130-250 HP tractors with a 33-inch fan and 100-inch width across the front of the attachment.
• Model 36-106-P: A PTO-drive snowblower for 150-350 HP tractors with a 36-inch fan and 106-inch width across the front of the attachment.
According to the company, additional features include:
SnowWolf snowblowers come standard with a Deluxe Chute. It has four adjustable deflector flaps controlled with dual hydraulic cylinders, one on each side of the chute, for excellent stability during operation and side-to-side movement.
A tip-down feature on the Deluxe Chute provides easy-access maintenance if something gets stuck in the attachment or chute. The chute is attached to the rotation ring by two bolts, one on each side, and it comes with a wrench for opening the bolts quickly to tip the chute down. Optional hydraulic tip-down operation makes it fast and easy to tip the chute down for transport between jobs. The option requires installation of a second hydraulic circuit.
An optional telescopic Truck-Loading Chute extends the chute from its baseline height of 11 feet, 3 inches to 13 feet, 5 inches. The option requires installation of additional hydraulic cylinders.
SnowWolf’s design incorporates skid shoes on the outsides and near the back of the ribbon housing. They’re made with AR400 Steel for exceptional durability and long life. The skid shoes adjust vertically to provide clearance over the surface, which protects the surface and reduces wear to the ribbon.
Foam-filled, low-maintenance gauge wheels are standard on the larger PTO-drive model and are optional for the hydraulic-drive and smaller PTO-drive models. The wheels are mounted with the skid shoes near the rear of housing. They adjust vertically to create a gap between the skid shoes and the plowing surface, which reduces wear to the skid shoes when blowing snow for long, continuous stretches.
Serrated drift cutters, which are standard on all models, cut into drifts from the ground to a height of approximately 6 feet.
Optional Hydraulic Wing Cutter for AlphaBlower 33-100 models
Optional hydraulically adjustable wing cutters extend 14.1 to 26.8 inches into snow piles. The Hardox 500 cutters feature serrated edges allow operators to cut into piles and pull snow away from yards or structures. They’re only available for the right side of the ribbon housing, and they require installation of another hydraulic circuit.
Optional Side Plates
Optional side plates eliminate spill off the ends of the snowblower when working windrowed snow.
SnowWolf’s PTO-drive snowblowers can be mounted either on the back or the front of tractors, depending on where their 3-point setups are located.
Mounting the attachment on the back allows for backing into and blowing snow. Since most tractors do not have 3-point connection setups on the front, this is the most common configuration.
It’s also possible to move the entire frame of the blower’s three-point setup to the front of the attachment so operators can pull-blow. Moving the connection points only requires removing two bolts from the back-mount configuration and reinserting them for the front-mount configuration.
Finally, for tractors that have 3-point connections on the front, SnowWolf offers an optional reverser that, as its name implies, reverses the direction of the drive’s rotation and makes it possible to run the blower on the front of the machine.