Blower blazes trail despite obstacles


Chops and destroys | Chopper bars placed at different angles break up snow and ice before sending debris to the fan

FARGO, N.D. — A snowblower that devours and spits out cars is probably capable of opening trails to the cattle and clearing snow around the grain bins in any kind of weather.

Although Fair Manufacturing does not recommend using its Snocrete snowblower as a car shredder, it did try it once on a small car with the engine removed, just to see if it would work. It did, destroying the little red car with no damage to its equipment.

“We work a lot of farm shows, and we heard over and over about guys wrecking their equipment blowing out parking lots and people’s roads,” said Delvonna Wentz, co-owner of Fair Manufacturing in Menno, South Dakota.

A custom snowblower doesn’t often hit a buried car, and if it did, the operator would likely back off. However, there are all kinds of other culprits hiding in the snow, such as wheels, pieces of wood, steel and chunks of rock and concrete.

“That’s why we call it the Snocrete snowblower,” Wentz said.

Each ice chopper bar is mounted at a different angle so it follows a distinct path in the rotation. The blade catches the snow and ice and chops it up front before sending it directly to the fan.

Wentz said engineering comparisons of the number of blades show that a higher number is not better. The test compared blade counts from two to eight blades.

She said the research concluded that more blades simply move more air while consuming more power. Fair settled on a compromise of four blades.

There are no augers in the Snocrete, which Wentz said lowers manufacturing costs and eliminates one of the most prominent break-down components and one of the big power robbing components.

“The bars are so easy to replace,” she said. “Remove one bolt. Pull the old bar out, slide the new bar in and replace the bolt. It should only take you a couple of minutes.

“The shear pins are also quick to fix. They are two shear pins for each fan, and they’re right out in front. We use grade two bolts. When a shear pin breaks, the fan stops, so you have no choice but to stop and fix it.

“It takes about three minutes to replace the pins. And you’re standing up the whole time. There’s no crawling all over the machine to get at them. Holes for the pins are heat treated so they don’t elongate over time.”

The Snocrete has no gearbox to break or maintain. It uses direct drive through a simple chain and sprocket assembly that is easily accessed by lifting one lid.

Blade speed is easily changed for 540 or 1,000 r.p.m. by changing the sprockets. The system has an automatic oiler.

Wentz conceded that rear visibility in new tractors is a problem for farmers. However, she said most of her company’s customers use the camera they have for tillage and seeding, mounting it on the cab looking rearward.

“But the biggest thing that’s catching on nowadays is the front mounts p.t.o. and three-point hitch. That makes a perfect marriage for snowblowers and all kinds of other implements.

‘Your eyes are looking forward all day, so you do a better job and you don’t come home at night with a twisted neck and a headache.”

Snocrete snow blowers range in size from six to 12 feet. The largest models require 375 horsepower. List price for a nine foot Snowcrete is $19,000.

Contact Wentz at 605-387-2389. To see video of the Snocrete eating the car, visit www.fairmfg.com.

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