I have used an MTD lawn tractor with a 2-stage snow blower since 1994. The mower deck finally rusted through this year and I got rid of it. While the snow blower attachment basically did what it was supposed to do, I always had trouble with the chute clogging in heavy wet snow. It was a pain.
I bought a John Deere x300 lawn tractor with the 42" deck and the 44" 2-stage snow blower. I was happy yet anxious about the snow storm yesterday. We got about 3" of very heavy wet snow. I really hate shoveling wet snow. It was going to be a test to see if the JD snow blower design was any better than my mtd and if my money was well spent.
Like a kid with a snow day, I jumped on my "sled" and proceeded to "play". She fired up with a little extra choking, I lowered the blower, engaged the PTO, and moved forward very slowly
. I had gone only about three feet and the wheels were slipping. I realized that there was greasy snow (that the blower never had a chance to clear from where it was parked) and my total lack of momentum caused the slippage. I backed up and moved forward again with more velocity. Forward motion was no problem but I realized now that there was no snow being flung out of the chute. I cursed the blower and John Deere himself.
After getting off to check the chute and a few more seconds of cursing, ranting and raving.....I realized sheepishly that when you put the tractor into reverse it kills the PTO!
I didn't bother clearing the chute. I jumped back in the saddle, fired it up and re-engaged the PTO and went full speed ahead. Heavy wet snow flew out further and faster than I had ever imagined it could! I cleared my driveway and two neighbor's in about 45 minutes and it never clogged or hesitated once.
Moral of the story: Keep your cool and never baby your John Deere.