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Advice Request & A Question?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by JNR, Sep 25, 2001.

  1. JNR

    JNR Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    Hi All,

    I'm another newbie to snowplowing. Unlike most here, I'm not planning on doing any commercial plowing. I'm moving to what up to now has been a part-time home in heavy snow country. It is located at the end of an 1,100 foot private gravel road which is what I will be plowing.The road is mostly level but has a few areas that are badly rutted. I am planning on putting a Fisher Regular Duty L-Series 7.5' plow on my 2001 2500 Silverado HD with the 6.0 liter engine.
    I have read most of all the previous posts and have learned a great deal about a topic that I virtually knew nothing about. Thanks to all for sharing your knowledge. I would still appreciate any specific advice that anyone has regarding my selection of plow and any special techniques that I should be aware of in this particular plowing application that will make the job go more efficiently while minimizing the risk of damaging my equipment.
    Also, a stupid newbie question - What is blade tripping, what causes it and does it damage the plow. I see many references to it but no definition.

  2. plowjockey

    plowjockey PlowSite.com Sponsor
    Messages: 622


    For one thing blade tripping is the action resulting from a blade coming into contact with an immovable object, or digging into the ground, or hitting something such as a bump. It does not hurt the blade itself and in fact is what is built into the blade to save it from damage. However if you hit anything (obstruction wise) at too high a rate of speed you can damage the blade, your truck and even injure yourself.
    The blade or the blade edge depending on which type (full trip or trip edge) has a spring loaded feature which when under too much pressure will allow the blade or edge to break away on a hinge and relieve the stress.
    As to your gravel road you may be best to go with a urethane edge for your blade. Dino (plowking35) deals in such edges and you can get all the information that you need at his web site www.allthingsiceandsnow.com He will gladly help you out with any questions you may have.

  3. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    The RD 7.5' will do a good job for you and last a long time. You might want to check out the HD 8' for that 2500 if there's a chance that you'll start plowing others' driveways etc.
  4. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Further on the subject of blade tripping:

    There are 2 styles of trip operation, Full trip where the entire blade hinges forward, and Bottom trip, where just the cutting edge portion of the blade hinges.

    Both designs have their pros & cons, and both do what they are supposed to do: protect the plow & truck from damage. A search on the topic of "full trip vs bottom trip" should provide you will plenty of interesting reading.

    I agree with Mick - the RD 7.5' will work well for you. BTW, if that's the plow you choose to go with, it's a bottom trip design.

    As far as actually plowing your drive is concerned, it's pretty straightforward - one thing to keep in mind is that in many places, it's against the law to push snow across the road, or into the road & leave it there.

    First few snowfalls, make sure you push the snow w-a-y back as far as you can, 'cause there's a limit to how high you can stack it with a pickup! If you don't start the piles far enough back to begin with, you could find yourself out of room by late winter!

    Same for the long push down the driveway. There's a limit to how fast you can travel & push the snow off to the side. Your driveway is going to "shrink" over the course of the winter, because you can only push the snow aside with a plow, not pick it up & throw it like a blower. So you'll need to make sure you clear a w-i-d-e path the first few snowfalls.

    And, if drifting is a problem, you may need to plow "with the storm" when there's a heavy accumulation. This means plowing the driveway when some snow has accumulated, but before the snow stops falling. If you leave it until the snow stops, the drifts could make the driveway impassable, even with your plow.

    Friend of mine had that happen last winter - he's got a long farm lane, it "shrunk" over the winter and one night, I got a "Help!" call - he was stuck, even with 4x4. :eek: There was no more room to push the snow aside, and he'd bogged down in it.

    Warn M12000 to the rescue :D , with a follow-up visit next morning by one of his neighbours - armed with a tractor-mounted blower.
  5. JV

    JV Junior Member
    Messages: 16


    I too am in a similar situation with nearly a half mile of gravel driveway in the middle of no where, NY. If this will be your sole means of snow removal, you might want to consider the plow dealer their location to your home, and their reputation for service after the sale. The best plow is no good if it takes forever to be repaired.

    7.5' is what I have, but sometimes wish I'd gone wider. 7.5' shrinks when its angled (long push). But you don't want to go too wide (wieght/convenience over the road).

    Good luck!

  6. JNR

    JNR Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    Thank you everyone for your helpful replies. The advice to plow wide early on is well taken. Drifting snow is a problem since most of the road traverses open fields. My biggest fear is that large, difficult to move drifts will accumulate during the 8 hours that I'm away at work. I'm thinking that maybe I should get a larger walk behind blower as a backup to break up the drifts. I'm also probably going to send for one of the urethane blades to minimize gravel loss. One other question - Would salt or that "Magic" stuff work on gravel or would it dissolve into the stone and be wasted?

    Thanks Again,
  7. plowjockey

    plowjockey PlowSite.com Sponsor
    Messages: 622


    My main question is who owns the field that you are talking about? If it is yours or if you know the owner and are on good terms you could, before the snow flies, put up one or two rows of snow fence farther out into the field. This will create a controlled (at least you hope it is) drift away from your driveway. This can help keep down the amount of drifting over your drive. I know that you are going to get at least some but this may be a way to minimize it.
    At this point I also have to ask our other members if I'm leaning the right direction. I used to live at the end of a long field and I always seemed to get the whole filed of snow in my front yard.

    Good luck this winter it sounds like you are thinking right by getting all the information that you can now.

  8. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,448

    If drifting is a problem, you might want to think about windrowing the whole driveway to the "downwind" side of the driveway. If the prevailing winds are from the west or north, about the last thing you want to do is build up a windrow on the west or north side because then that will catch all the blowing snow.
  9. JNR

    JNR Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    I planted a windbreak of spruce tree's several years ago on the windward side of my property that fronts on the road. They are about 3-4 feet high now, so it will be a few years before they become effective. Our road is owned and shared in common with several property owners. My immediate next door neighbor who is a year round resident would probably agree to a snow fence but the others use their places as seasonal camps and have been less then cooperative in the past in contributing to road maintainence etc. I'm not sure they would care to go along with a fence since they seldom visit in the winter. Thanks again for any and all advice. Feel free to add your 2 cents worth if you have suggestions.

  10. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    JNS - You live on a community, private road, are going to be solely responsible for maintenance but not how you're going to maintain it (putting in fence etc)? Something's wrong here. This is very common in my area and are called Fire Roads. Every lot owner (whether developed or not, seasonal or year round resident) pays dues to a pot called "Fire Road #xx Association dues". Maintenance and plowing is then paid from those dues. For you to be solely responsible, you would need to live furthest from the road and then responsible from the last owner to your own drive. Each owner is responsible for their own driveway. I just put in a bid on a Fire Road near me. I deal only with the Assoc president and am paid on a set schedule. Any complaint, call for service etc goes through the President who will contact me. If there are other owners on your road, I think you're getting ... (gypped?). Every plow guy tries to get one or two Fire Roads on contract and supplement with driveways on "Per Push". Hope this helps some.
  11. JNR

    JNR Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    Living at the very end of the road is nice in that we have the most privacy. It's also a major pain when it comes to road maintainence, snow removal etc. As I said, except for my immediate next door neighbor, the rest use their places for 3 season recreation only. They aren't generally around in the winter and care little about the condition of the road as long as they can get in when its sunny and dry. Anything that I or my neighbor do to keep up the road automatically benefits them but they feel no obligation to contribute. They are mostly a bunch of deadbeats that I wish had bought land elsewhere.
    We had a contractor that plowed us out in years past on a per diem basis but we never signed a seasonal contract with him because he was not very reliable. Now that I'll be living there full-time, I need to know that I can get to work everyday and not worry about whether he would show up or not, so I decided to get my own plow.

  12. slplow

    slplow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 594

    I would go with a 8ft plow, to keep your tire's out of the windrows and a wider plow is better if you have any curves in your driveway. I my self would not use salt on a gravel, because it may soften it up and make it harder to plow.
    hope this helps and welcome to the site.
  13. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    As hard as it is for me to say this because the truck is a Chevy. Skip the 8' blade, and get an 8.5', the extra 6" is worth every penny. And if you want a better plow, get a v-plow. Incase that 12" storm takes you by suprise one night.

    Usually I would say 8' on the Chevy, 9' on the Ford. I am a Ford guy incase ya can't tell.

    The 8.'5 straight blade limits your brand choice a little bit, however the brands you are limited to are good ones.