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Complete ATV/Plow Novice On Mountain Road. Please Help

Discussion in 'ATV / UTV Snow Removal' started by Flat-Lander, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. Flat-Lander

    Flat-Lander Junior Member
    from monroe
    Messages: 10

    I will soon be moving from Charlotte, NC to the border of TN/NC at 3500 ft elevation with a 1/2 mile gravel driveway with several very steep sections. The Boone area, about 12 miles southeast, gets an average of 40-50 inches of snow per year base on weather.com stats. Being further towards Johnson City TN and at 3000+ elevation we get a bit more snow than that, or at least that's what the locals tell us.
    My wife and I came up in December with only 2-3 inches of snow on the road (although it had been packed in the tracks to ice by several trucks going back and forth deer hunting) and had real trouble getting down in her Expedition 4 X 4--we had 4 wheel drive and bald tires...We actually ended up calling AAA who referred us to a towing company that said "I know where you are, I aint coming up there, then we'd both be stuck--it should warm up Tuesday, huh, huh"...
    My only neighbor, who happens to live above us happen to come down and find the road blocked by our Expedition which was sideways in the road. After we shoveled debris/leaves into the road and spread some salt my neighbor put the Expedition in neutral and drove it down (what's the deal with that? Why would neutral be better than 4 wheel low?)
    I know, pretty dumb--thank God for patient neighbors:)
    We were up last weekend and brought the H2 with snow tires. We nearly slid off the mountain again in 4 inches of snow, I had to stop and change my pants at the bottom.
    I know nothing about ATV's.
    I need something to clear the road (please be specific, I am truly ignorant with regard to this stuff)
    I assume I should also spread salt to keep the drive from re-freezing-or creating a slick layer by scraping.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    P.S.
    I actually have video of the H2 (over-rated) sliding down the drive. My neighbor did think I was a bit of a dumb A for coming down without chains.
    Thanks,
    In the end, the life you save may be your own
    :)
     
  2. EaTmYtAiLpIpEs

    EaTmYtAiLpIpEs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,607

    An atv will work. I would recommend a 500cc+ with a 54" plow or bigger. and you will need a salter for that drive. I would go to tractor supply and get an atv salter/spreader for $300. I have 2 2000 arctic cat 500 4x4's and the one I plow with is like a bear.
    [​IMG]
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  3. IPLOWSNO

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,620

    wait a minute you got a h2 vid and youdidnt post it up? well were vid *****s so you gotta post it to get our best advice lol. im thinkin a rhino or honda big red is in order, seein your an h2 owner, check out cheif mortons rig very nice.
     
  4. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH PlowSite.com Addict
    from pa
    Messages: 1,132

    I would get a Rhino with a 72" blade, power lift and angle and put a salt spreader on the back. This should get you though anything and the neighbor's will love you. :D
     
  5. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    Whats in your budget for snow removal? $5,000 or can you spend upwards of $10,000

    an ATV with a 60" blade should due you fine.

    How much snow per storm are you gonna have?

    if its only the 2-3" per storm go with the 60" County blade.is higher on 1 side to roll the snow farther.
    or due you get a few good dumping's a year there upwards of 15" or better? Snow Drifting along the drive?
    you might want to look at a small 4x4 Tractor with snow blower on the back and blade for the front.

    What ever ATV/UTV you get make sure you have a winch on it.
    IF you get the ATV stuck you can always get out when you have a Winch.


    due you want a used machine or your looking to buy something New?

    I would think for starting out get an ATV 500CC or a UTV like the Polaris Ranger or Yamaha Rhino.

    An ATV for snow plowing are alot more forgiving of mistakes then if you put a plow on your H2
    the ATV and Rhino's if you get sideway's in the drive and in a tight spot you still have room to wiggle them things around. get your H2 sideway's or the Expedition and well you've problay already had nightmares.

    What does your neighbor use for snow removal?
    previous Owner's also can you ask them

    maybe Hire out snow removal for the first year or 2 till you get your winter driving nerves settled in.

    good luck.
    sublime out
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
  6. EaTmYtAiLpIpEs

    EaTmYtAiLpIpEs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,607

    make sure you get a really good winch just incase you slip lol. and I would get a very aggressive tire like mine in the pic.
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
     
  7. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    Tire Chains would be a good thing also for what ever ATV you get.

    asking what the best ATV is a crap shoot around here.
    I would go with a Honda Foreman 500 and either the foot shift model or the Electric Shift which you shift with your Thumb, if you dont wanna have to shift at all you can get the Honda Rubicon which has a nifty auto select transmission that does it all for you.

    Others will say Artic Cat are good/great
    People who have Polaris will swear all day long there the best.

    you will need to due some reading up on things and decide what is the best for what you want to due.

    How good of shape is the gravel drive in? are the tire tracks rutted down so that no matter what your blade is gonna float over that 2' where your wheel run anyway's?

    there's alot a great info and advice on this site it just takes time to find out what will be best for you.
     
  8. hondarecon4435

    hondarecon4435 Senior Member
    Messages: 277

    yes an atv would be great i say anthing 350cc and up i do fine with my 2x4 but by the sounds of it you will need 4x4 for your drive. i swear by honda and everyone is entitled to their opinion but i beleive that honda makes the most reliable machine out there that won't leave you stranded while plowing. i would say find a nice used atv in your area try craigslist.com and either get a moose plow or build your own from a garden tractor plow. for lifting you will need a winch i like viper they make a winch that is at the level of quality as warn and has way better customer service than warn which in my opinion makes them better.
     
  9. Flat-Lander

    Flat-Lander Junior Member
    from monroe
    Messages: 10

    Thanks for all the good advice

    Lots of good stuff to think about, I will go and do some homework. Really appreciate the advice, and the pictures, it's quite an adjustment from what we are used to here in Charlotte--lots to learn.
    Thanks again!
    P.S.
    I guess I shouldn't really blame the H2 too much, the driver probably had alot to do with it:)
     
  10. hondarecon4435

    hondarecon4435 Senior Member
    Messages: 277

    is that your h2 in your avatar cause if it is your a lucky man
     
  11. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    You asked in another thread what plow to get for your H2 and I told you to get a tractor with a blower instead of using your Hummer cause I'd hate to see you sliding off the road. I'll say it again now. GET A TRACTOR WITH A BLOWER!
     
  12. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH PlowSite.com Addict
    from pa
    Messages: 1,132

    I originally was going to buy a snow blower to do walks and driveways. After yesterday, I'm glad I didn't. I cleared 5 driveways yesterday with my Grizzly/plow set up. While doing them, one neighbor was out with his snow blower. Now mind you, it was heavy and wet with a layer of ice. I first thought it wouldn't cut through it and I would just be scraping the ice. Not the case, broke through and cleared the mess right up. :) Now for the reason I didn't get the blower became obvious when I looked at the guy with the blower and it was puking out wet slushy stuff, not throwing but ozzzing out of the blower shoot. LOL It reminded me of a toilet over flowing. hahahaha I blew <pun intended> right by him while throwing the snow off to the side one handed waving as I when by. :D

    Get a Rhino and blade, you'll get more use out of it.
     
  13. skywagon

    skywagon Senior Member
    Messages: 262

    You must have got caught up in that storm that started in Texas, solid ice storm, tore a lot of power lines down, damn I hate rain this time of the year, we had ice storm before christmas and what a freekin mess. Snow i can handle ice no.!!!!:):)
     
  14. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH PlowSite.com Addict
    from pa
    Messages: 1,132

    It sure was. We got just a thin layer of ice on everything then it rained and sleeted for a few more hours. I'm glad I got it cleared off when I did. This morning everything was frozen in place, sep for the driveways I did. :D
     
  15. Flat-Lander

    Flat-Lander Junior Member
    from monroe
    Messages: 10

    Thanks, based on your comments I re-thought that idea, makes sense

    Do you think the Rhino, or something similar, with a blade and spreader would work? The grades are steep, but everything is relative, to many of you the road probably wouldn't be that bad. An ATV/UTV would probably be more useful during others seasons is kind of what I was thinking.

    If I go with the something like the Rhino, what size winch should I get (I was told the winch would be a needed option to make raising and lowering the blade less of a pain) and what is a reliable brand?
    Thanks
     
  16. Flat-Lander

    Flat-Lander Junior Member
    from monroe
    Messages: 10

    interesting you mentioned that...

    I am glad you brought that up, it was one thing I should have been more clear about regarding our concerns. During our first adventure down The Drive, we drove up Friday evening and we didn't have much trouble. The driveway had only had one vehicle going up and down, a neighbor in a pickup dressed in camo who was obviously checking out all the deer, we have lots and we were still in season. It's a private drive and the only other people living on the top of the hill spend most of the year traveling with work, so he was technically tresspassing. I let him know we were good, and even threw in the comment that "he was fine, as long as he was willing give me some of that deer meat to stock the freezer":)
    I mention it because it seemed that after having a couple of vehicles travel the gravel drive it became a sheet of ice in the tracks. Will a blade scrape away that bottom layer that creates the problems without tearing up the drive?
    I know these are probably obvious, thanks for the patience.

    P.S.
    Several people asked for video of our H2 skiing down our drive (it's not for children, I really thought we were going in the woods, so there is some pretty intense language--especially because my wife is attempting to provide instruction just at that point when we really started to pick up steam and I realized we might be screwed)---I am not sure how to upload that.
     
  17. skywagon

    skywagon Senior Member
    Messages: 262

    That is a good question as we never ever plow gravel, just cement or asphault parking lots and drives. I would say with a steel edge it would do ok on gravel or dirt, I have poly blade edges so not to tear up peoples drives and when you get 2-3 inches of glare ice we need to break it loose with my loader bucket on the tractor.:D
     
  18. EaTmYtAiLpIpEs

    EaTmYtAiLpIpEs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,607


    email me the video I will upload it ljac500@yahoo.com
     
  19. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    Is your Drive packed down where the wheel tracks are? so that plowing the plow will be bridged over where the snow is packed down and not be able to scrape it away? Also what ever you get run Chain on it the Tire Chains will bite into the hard pack surface more and create rougher edges which will give your Tires traction upon the rough edge's insted or you ending up with a smooth sheet of Ice/hard snow you'll have a somewhat bumpy yet slippery hard pack snow to dirve on.

    make sense.

    also I have read over on the www.tractorbynet.com forum for snow removal on gravel drives to use a 3pt Mounted Landscape Rake, on a compact tractor Being the theory is that all the tines on the landscape rake will roll up the gravel on the drive and then the gravel slips between the tines and is on the surface for traction and dosn't get raked/plowed off to the side of the road.

    couple things for you to think about.
     
  20. EaTmYtAiLpIpEs

    EaTmYtAiLpIpEs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,607

    You can buy a 3 point hitch system for your quad. I just did for $55 with a back blade. and I would also agree on putting v bar tire chains on all 4 tires.