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banks getting high, nowhere for snow to go

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by Megunticook, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. Megunticook

    Megunticook Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 190

    I plow my own 1000' gravel road in Maine.

    The past couple storms I've had a serious problem--banks on either side of the road are about 5' high, so when I plow with the blade angled to the side there's nowhere for the snow to go as it rolls off the blade. Instead it just builds into a mountain in front of the blade until it's too heavy for the truck to push. I've actually had to get out and shovel the pile out of the road, then continue on.

    To make matters worse, the last couple storms have been wet and heavy (it actually rained on top of the snow during the storm before this one), so these piles are like pushing wet concrete. I try to not to abuse my truck, but I must be really stressing the driveline something awful (good thing I replaced all the u-joints last summer and r&r's my driveshafts!).

    Any suggestions for what to do?
     
  2. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    I hear you when you say the banks are high on the sides of the road but is there any way you can angle the blade so the snow is rolling left and then clear an area out on the side of the drive every 100 feet of so? Then you can plow up a pile in front of you and then push it off left into the clear space and then start over after having moved that pile off the road? Of course, you could do it to the right too, no difference.
     
  3. Mopard

    Mopard Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    I hear ya ... I have quite a few real long single lane roadways also and my only option is to get a loader in and push all the banks back and start over again. Make sure you clean up the mess when he's done with your plow before it freezes. A good operator won't take long and will save you from beating the cr@p out of your truck. A bobcat would aslo work but will cost a lot more in time.
    A bigger truck with a side wing would also work to shelve the banks if there is room and you can find one to hire.
     
  4. augerandblade

    augerandblade PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,054

    Get a 9 foot,highway plow, find a used one, with the way the mold board is designed, youll be able to shove the snow bank over. Just lift the blade 2 to 4 inches off the ground then ya got the weight of the plow on the front wheels,
     
  5. FordFisherman

    FordFisherman PlowSite.com Addict
    from 06611
    Messages: 1,593

    You guys are getting hammered up there this year. Sounds like heavy equipment time for you. Might be expensive on the front side but you'll save your truck and your back in the long run. Post some pics if you can. I doubt you can move 5' banks with your truck but try 4low and take your time; you might give yourself a little room anyway. Good Luck.
     
  6. HALH VT

    HALH VT Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 128

    Find somebody who has a one ton truck with a wing, and hire them. Two or three passes both ways should clear it out pretty well, may even need a fourth, but it should be way cheaper than pounding it out with a loader. If this keeps up you may eventually need a loader any way.
     
  7. Megunticook

    Megunticook Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 190

    I'll see if I can find somebody...called a local plow guy in the neighborhood, he complained about the same thing and promised to give the number of somebody he uses with a loader. A big plow truck seems like maybe a quicker, neater operation, though.

    In any case I don't want to stress my truck like I've done for the last 2 storms anymore--I don't mind working it hard but trying to push that kind of weight is just asking for trouble.

    So has Vermont gotten slammed like Maine this year? We haven't had this much accumulated snow for a long, long time. I grew up in the Northeast Kingdom as a kid back in the seventies, this is how I remember winters used to be. Cold, too!
     
  8. Megunticook

    Megunticook Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 190

    You can say that again!
    I'll try to take a few today.
    I seriously doubt it, based on my experience yesterday. These last 2 dumps were wet and heavy, so those banks are full of frozen chunks and slabs. If it was just powder, I'd give it a shot but I'm pretty sure my truck won't budge it.

    In the future (next year, at this point!), I will create some areas on the turns where I will push the snow way off the road, so this doesn't happen again. I've only been plowing for 7 years, have never had this problem before, but now I know.
     
  9. Dubliner

    Dubliner Senior Member
    Messages: 130

    When I start in the beggining of snow season, I try to push back at least an extra blade width when the snow starts to build, also if I get behind and get caught in your situation, I angle the blade to slice into the bank and push back a 2 foot or so slice as far back as you are able( or dare), this takes a while but what the hey, the alternativees have been covered already. BTW my drive is like yours over 1000 feet. Good Luck!
     
  10. JCStrasser

    JCStrasser Member
    Messages: 41

    We are in northern NH and I plow about 1/3 mile of unpaved road. Did it for 6 years with a 3/4 ton pickup. No more- since I had the same problem.

    This winter I am using a 30hp 4wd tractor- plowing with a rear blade, cutting back banks and stacking with the front end loader. A couple of pictures from December....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My snowbanks are now 6+ feet high.

    Next winter- a rear mount snowblower then NO snowbanks!

    Good luck.
    John
     
  11. vtzdriver

    vtzdriver Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 111

    All you really need is someone with a 4wd tractor & loader. I plow a half mile dirt road and use the bucket on the tractor every couple of weeks to shove some of the bank back every 50 feet or so- I have many piles dotting the side of our road, but it works to allow the blade to clear when you reach each of these spots.
     
  12. Megunticook

    Megunticook Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 190

    Well, I got a guy coming buy with a 9 foot plow with a wing, and a 1-ton truck, says he can do it for $75. Sounds totally reasonable to me.
     
  13. HALH VT

    HALH VT Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 128

    Make sure he leaves at least a six inch shelf when he wings it. Otherwise, unless you are very careful, you will find yourself over the edge when you least expect it. Don't ask me how I know.
     
  14. go plow

    go plow Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    what you need to start doing is step your banks back at every plowing, on long runs you have to do this, it does make a mess but its worth doing after a storm.. all you need to do is raise the plow to a hight that will work for you, and push back the top half of the banks, then go back and clean up the snow that rolled back into the driveway, the next time you do it it will be easy seeing the snow will not be frozen,or just see if you can find a local guy with a loader that can clean it up for you...
     
  15. ghlkal

    ghlkal Member
    Messages: 83

    Good plan, but it really depends on how fast the snow comes. We got hammered in Dec/Jan here in WI and in spite of my efforts to plan, I was still boxed in. :cry: I needed the neighbor to bring his massive tractor with snow blower to make some room for me.
     
  16. snowblowertruck

    snowblowertruck Member
    Messages: 77

    I know the pain first hand of the high banks on both side of the drive way. My drive is 1300 foot long with open farm fields on both sides and my drive is elevated to help keep it from being do muddy when the snow melts. I normally try to bank the snow on the east side of my drive (drive runs north and south) because the wind usually come from the west and this helps to cut down on the drifting factor. Well... last year that theory didn't work out quite so well for me. We had one nasty wind storm towards the end of the winter and the wind carried snow into the drive up to the tops of the snow banks. When the banks are already four feet tall and the the drifts are the same height, your pretty much doomed. It only took all weekend to get my drive way opened back up after that storm and I have a Boss 8'2" v plow. Right then and there I decided that I wasn't going to have to go through that again. So I bought a Trackless with a front mount snowblower and I think that scared mother nature, because we didn't get enough snow to get to use it, yes I got to play with it a bit but I didn't NEED to use it.
     
  17. IPLOWSNO

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,620

    the problem is youll forget everything you learned this year so revisit this thread in the fall.
     
  18. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Wing is the solution. That's why I plan to buy a big truck this summer. I have a line on a Ford L-8000 for real reasonable.