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3.5km driveway in Cape Breton Highlands

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by paulc, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. paulc

    paulc Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    Looking for input on snow plowing of our driveway.
    We are in cape Breton Highlands, so we get quite a bit of snow.
    Our driveway is appx 3.5kms long 15' to 20' wide and lays between trees, and its not straight.
    I have been looking at putting a plow on our 1999 Suburban k1500 4x4
    Considering the Meyers 7.5 v plow or Boss 7.6 v plow.
    Any one have input on selection of plows for this vehicle etc

  2. cmo18

    cmo18 Senior Member
    Messages: 814

    Suburban will handle it fine...a V is a must if there is any steep hills...and on a big storm plow with the storm!

    Put about 500lbs of weight in the back of the suburban to keep it level and you may want to crank your t-bars 3 or 4 times to keep a good stance...

    know your driveway for rocks, pot holes etc.. and dont forget to windrow to keep it nice and wide...
  3. BlizzardBeater

    BlizzardBeater Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 420

    It has been the experience of a couple people I know personally that both the meyers and the boss will reduce ground clearance. A coworker of mine plows with a 2001 suburban 4 x 4 with a meyers plow on it, fairly recent about 3 yrs old, and even with torsion bars cranked is always scraping on the front end. A friend of mine running a property management business used to run boss plows, still has one on the oldest truck, and he as well complains of front clearance issues. I've always run fishers with good luck and no cleareance issues with my new Minute Mount 2, this is however on a sierra. Plan on some front end mods if you are thinking of a vplow, they are very heavy on a half ton vehicle.
  4. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    Cape Breton Highlands snow saga

    If you have that long a drive way;
    2.17 miles and your truck is 11 years old-

    You would be money ahead buying
    a group 2 Pronovost model 800 snow
    blower and renting a 40-65 horsepower cab
    tractor from a local who has unused iron
    during the winter.

    Your dealing with snow loading being
    21 pounds per cubic foot and your will
    be pushing that load from end to end.

    And its 22.,917 feet rounded off which is
    4.34 lane miles.

    If you have a blower you can get rid of it all
    with no snow banks left and three passes
    later your done.

    if you are traveling at 5 miles and hour with the
    blower you are advancing at 440 feet a minute
    and the first pass would take you
    26 minutes and the next two would require
    52 minutes totaling 78 minutes if cleaned entirely
    or simply make two passes and the third at some other time.

    You would never have to worry about digging out as the blower
    will remove compacted snow easily and you would not have to
    make several trips to keep the road open durign the night or day etc.

    you could open the road before gointo work with one pass, park the
    tractor at the opening entrance and clean the second lane when you return
    or if time is not an issue do both lanes before work.

    My biggest concern for plow trucks any plow is broken frames no matter the age or whether its bought
    as plow package- one frame break and its curtains for a while and a hell of a whoopsie repair you were not expecting
    and if you cannot establish a route of egress or entry for rescue etc., unless you use sleds or snow cats for more than recreation

    I lost a grandfather due to Diabetes complications and a snow storm due to a municipal plow having difficulty opening a road to
    the hospital from his home in the town where he lived.
    If it had a rotary mounted on it it would not have been an issue as the 21 pounds per cubic foot of snow would not have mattered.

    And please do not say I am making a mountain out of a mole hill, the same can be said for Mr. Bombardier, as he lost a daughter
    because he could not get through the snow with his horse and sleigh so many years ago and and the net result was that it was
    the beginning of the snowmobile industry.

    my thoughts anyway
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  5. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    snow etc.

    more information

    assuming the average width is 18 feet for the drive way

    4.34 lane miles

    snow load is 21 pounds per cubic foot

    If yuo have 24 inches of snow fall in one twenty four hour period you will have

    4.34 lane miles times 9 feet times 2 times 21 lbs.-US that gives you 8,661,946 pounds of snow, 4331 tons US

    If the snow remains a fresh powder the weight will not change but if it begins to melt and settle that is another animal.

    The Puma 800 TRC has a working width of 80 inches and a cutting height of 34 inches, operates ar 540 rpm

    the drum depth is 12 inches and its diameter is 26 inches which is 3.14 cubic feet

    the blower will remove 18 tons per minute with the rate of advance dependent upon snow depth

    where the cross sectional area is 80 by 34 inches which is 1,920 square inches of surface area which is available for

    snow removal.

    The almost 2000 square inches is used to dispose of the snow fall where the plow simply pushes it to the side which is fine IF

    you have room to deal with it power, mass to deal with the snow load weight, and adequate traction to use the prime mover effectively.

    The PXPL 86 has a 30 inch by 86 inch cross sectional area which is 18 square feet of open area to remove snow.

    the the impeller is 28 inches in diameter and 12 inches deep which is 4.27 cubic feet per revolution,

    540 rpm times 21 times 4.27 cubic feet gives us 48,000 pounds-24 tons US (rounded lower) per minute

    4331 rons of snow load divided by 21 tons per minute is 206 minutes (dependent entirely upon snow load depth)

    where the rate of advance being 5 miles per hour, 440 feet per minute, 52 minutes of snow removal for complete road clearance

    dependent upon snow loading the removal could be even faster using the PXPL 86 snow blower and a 75 horse power tractor using the scraper blade and
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  6. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    snow continued

    draging and blowing snow at the same time.

    It would be easy enough to store diesel fule using the UNO type 2 fuel cans for diesel fuel in your garage

    to comply with insurance regulations for flammable fuel storage.

    my thoughts anyway

    my aplogies for the typos, I would correct them but due to the time restrictions for editing set by the administrator

    I am unable to do the editing to correct them.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  7. jomama45

    jomama45 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,172

    Sorry Leon, but I think it would make a lot more sense for him to just hire the job out to a properly equipped contractor rather than blow the wad of money you're suggesting.
  8. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    Cape breton snow saga continues

    my thoughts

    1. he is buying a snow blower that will do everything he needs quickly with little work.
    a. the area has large snow falls due to ocean weather storms and weather systems.
    b. if his truck breaks down he is equally screwed and would have to find someone to plow.so he is out even more money and cannot use the plow for how ever long.

    2. He already has a truck that is 11 years old and its service life is debatable.

    a. If he needs to have weldments made up for a V plow it requires steel, and labor to weld a mounting frame to tthe older truck
    b. wiring and controls
    c. further stress on front wheel bearings and universal joints.
    d. tires
    e. tendency to attempt to push piles that may not be moveable
    f. snow banks that may build up and affect the ability to move snow later in the season.

    A tractor used for snow removal will be a very heavy platform that can do the job with no isssues.

    SO I do not see an issue with renting unused iron and a snow blower that will work for 20 years with a little work and the purchase cost will be worth every penny due to the quality of the Pronovost PXPL86 snow blower ot any of the others they build.

    why should he pay a hundred dollars an hour when he does not have to??????????????????.
  9. jomama45

    jomama45 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,172

    I never said he "should" hire someone to do it for him, only that it would probably be far cheaper than the purchase & rental that you propose.

    I'm pretty sure this can be done with a truck fairly efficiently, seeing the OP came here believing so. He is, afterall, the only one here that has actually seen the driveway.

    I have 2 questions though Leon:

    How much does that blower cost?

    Do you work for Pronoverst, or a company that benefits from their sales?
  10. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    Cape Breton Island

    NO, I do not work for the Pronovost family not do I work for Tudor and Jones the Pronovost Machineries distributor in Weedsport, New York, nor do I benefit by discussing the line of snow blowers they manufacture.

    it is nothing more than a mathematical exercise involving the use of a decision tree of the ben frankin close where the positives are all added up on one side of the paper and the negatives on the other side and the net balance is positive or negative which is an algebra solution as well as an accounting balance which proofs the problem with the positive or negative answers where negatives are losses.

    If he was offered a seasonal contract only it may be something to think about but the length and the weather and time involved in snow clearing are the fundamental issues which would create the positve answer for the snow blower as the blower can be used at a faster speed if the snow cover is not deep and have no snow banks to deal with creating mud and water drainage issues.

    The other issue which I spent a large time highlighting is timelyness and the possility of being so badly snowed in a plow would never get it opened and is a rescue if required the same issues apply.
  11. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    I have a hard time seeing what you've proposed to be cost effective leon......compared to hiring it done(over the course of 20 yrs say). Your posts are always interesting though, to say the least.

    Paul, I would say give it a shot with the vplow on the exsisting truck you have. Take good care of it....plow with the storm when you know its gonna be a bad one.
  12. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    Cape Breton Highlands Saga continues

    I will provide further proofs.

    The idea is one of total efficiency which is why a lot of folks have seasonal rates with snow blowers to open up drive ways plus callouts with a route set up where they have 100 customers plus and where they are able to use a large farm tractor efficiently fo keep drive ways open.

    putting it in dollars and cents:

    The truck is worth nothing other than scrap value for insurance purposes and its folly in my opinion to install a plow on this old a truck for the previously mentioned reasons plus issues with snow load and getting hung up with a low ground clearance mounting, blown tires etc cooked transmissions or clutches, water pumps, plus the possibility of a broken frame which wads the truck because it have absolutely no value etc.

    Using the Pronovost PXPL86 in the example

    asssuming it is bought outright
    using an abreviated snow season from November 1 to April 1 with 180 days

    and the blower costs you 14,900 and the life of the blower for your use is 20 years

    the cost of ownership is $4.14 per day of use not including parts and your labor is worth Zero.

    thats 3600 days of blower use over 20 years plus parts-shear pins, skids, scraper edges,
    hoses, light bulbs.

    being a piece of farm equipment it could be purchased over 5 years at 7 percent its 297 and change a month for 5 years.

    so its costing you 3600 dollars a year for five years and after year 5 its paid for.

    $9.86 per day until it is paid for in year five not including insurance on the loan.

    so 180 days at 9.86 a day out of snow season is $1800
    so 180 days in snow season is $1800

    using it for an hour a day for 180 days per year is 180 hours of use
    5 years at that rate is 900 hours of snow removal

    Using $18,000 as a figure in total cost and the 900 hours of use for those five years

    In purchasing cost it will cost you 20 dollars and hour for each hour of operation to own the PXPL86 in five years excluding maintenance.

    Each and every day after the fifth year of ownership costs you nothing except spares and required insurance to cover casualty or theft loss of the blower.

    Renting an unused tractor can be done with an arrangement suitable fir bith parties with regard to fuel cost and insurance and oil changes by a recognised dealer if desired and the use of the tractor is seasonal costing you only of rthe six months of rental from the farmer who may have iron sitting still-which will cost less than a seasonal lease BTW.

    offering X amount for the use of it plus your purchasing fuel and maintenance and insurance coverage would go along way to getting a tractor to use as it will be sitting in the barn or out side doing no work.

    Hiring someone is dependent on their customer load, the seasonal weather, and snow accumulations, call backs, and response time.

    No call backs with a tractor and snow blower in your possesion and in good working order.

    which also gets back to opening the driveway if an emergency occurs is your contractor going to be available?????????????????????????????????

    if the contractor charges by the hour it becomes an issue of ones available budget-

    35 dollars per hour and 2 hours per day would be 350 a week out of pocket with no issues.

    26 weeks at 350 a week is 9,100 dollars a season and 5 seasons would be $45,500 which would go along way towards buying your own iron if you bought a PXPL86.

    Buying a plow will eat up funding that could go to other expenses;

    a Kubota B3030 could be purchased and the Hardy front mount three point hitch adapter and gearbox could be purchased to mount a Pronovost Group 1 P720-80 2 stage blower for the front or without it for rear of the tractor.

    the B3030 and the Puma 720-80 would remove all the snow for this situation and it has a full cabin as standard quipment.

    It may cost more to purchase trhe B3030 and the Hardy front mount and the Puma 720-80 than a plow and installing the plow on the 11 year old vehicle but the existing vehicle again has no commercial value and a new mounting system would be required for a replacement vehicle if it is not set up as a plow vehicle as standard equipment.

    It would be a mistake in my opinion to pursue the plow option-and not including the distance of emergencty services, the possibility of storm driven packed snow being 63 pounds or more with freeze thaw cycles and a smaller vehicles inability to penetrate heavy packed snow drifts with out damaging the 11 year old truck or any truck for that matter.

    When you see a road grader unable to penetrate a snow drift that has been sitting there for 4 days and the 10 wheeler with the V plow can not break through with out excavating it you suddenly understand that winter weather is something not to mess with and how trivial you are in the scheme of things.

    Its not a simple decision to spend money on snow removal with regard to long distance driveways and ocean based weather systems of high moisture with or without seasonal norms let alone
    a 50-100- 200 or 300 year snow event with ice and snow.

    The saying "he who hesitates is lost" does not apply with this instance in any way shape or form.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  13. Pristine PM ltd

    Pristine PM ltd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,794

    Don't open Pandora's Box!!!!
  14. jomama45

    jomama45 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,172

  15. cmo18

    cmo18 Senior Member
    Messages: 814

    jesuss, the guy wants to plow...let him plow...its not rocket science

    your truck will do fine as long as you keep good care of it and have it set up right. On 6"+ storms plow numerous times.
  16. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872


    No its not rocket science, but the plow fits all for every scenario is not
    right either, as the economics have to be examined.

    I only based everything I described using simple economics and life cycle costing for accounting
  17. wizardsr

    wizardsr PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,538

    Never mind Leon, a small v-plow on your suburban will be just fine. As mentioned, a few turns on the torsion bars and some weight in the back will help your truck plow better.
  18. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    Cape Breton saga continues

    What no one seems to realise or understand is this place in the Maritime Provinces and a small V plow will not work with 8-12 foot snow drifts if and when they occur as you are attempting to push snow that has already passed the 21 pounds per cubic foot of density level with no where to push it and the 4 tires are only gripping 8 to 10 square inches of pavement for traction anyway.

    I can and will stop posting if the consensus is I have no idea what I am talking about and ask to be removed if that would please the members that do not like my postings.

    I was going to ask around to see if any of you would be interested in discussing
    operating my new snowblower on a trial basis for testing next season after signing a non disclosure agreement but if not.............
  19. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    Cape Breton Highlands, Nova Scotia, Canada

    If anyone is interested,

    The average annual snow fall is 400 Centimeters or 157.4 Inches in this area of Nova Scotia, Canada:yow!::waving:.
  20. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Now it all makes sense...please, tell me more.xysport