My townhouse complex has north facing garage doors, so when small amounts of snow falls, the snow needs to be removed quickly before people drive on it and pack it into ice. Since the garages block the sun, it doesn’t melt off until spring.
I was using a 1967 John Deere 110 lawnmower with a non-factory blade attached with a custom mount tire chains and additional rear weights. It worked, but was slow, turn-arounds were slow, and even with chains it couldn’t push much snow. Swiveling the blade was a manual process and required getting off the machine. Also, the blade wasn’t wide enough, so it took a long time to clear 6000 sq ft of asphalt.
What I needed was a machine that had all hydraulic movements on the blade, more pushing power, and quicker turns.
While contemplating my dilemma, I was also thinking about miniature crawler my dad built a long time ago. I remember it in various states of running as a kid, and after he passed on in 1995, we only got it out a couple of times. It was built from a set of plans (maybe a Struck Mini-Dozer advertised in Popular Mechanics?), and used an 8-hp Kohler driving multiple belts and pulleys to get full forward/reverse on each side. It used some old combine chain treads from tires as a track, and that was the weak point, as the tracks were always breaking. My initial thought was to restore/rebuild it and use it. Unfortunately, after reviewing it, it was going to be a lot of work, and I was concerned about the belts taking enough power, and making a set of viable tracks.
I decided that starting fresh would be best.