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How Do I Plow Snow on dirt/muddy wet driveway

Discussion in 'Fisher Engineering Discussion' started by superjukebox, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. superjukebox

    superjukebox Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Employees who have been plowing longer than I just leave the wet snow and they DO NOT plow in order to not "dig up" the dirt / muddy driveway. This causes freeze over and a nasty driveway. Should the dirt and muddy driveway be plowed by "back dragging" instead of leaving it to freeze or is there a better way?
     
  2. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,033

    It's going to be a mess either way....the best thing to do is raise the plow a tad and have at it. If it digs in, raise it some more. If you can drive a car through it, then just leave it alone. It's better then the alternative.

    You can buy a set of shoes for the plow, but they're worthless. Some guys take a pipe and cut it length wise and slap it on the cutting edge...effective, but not really needed, plus it can be a pain in the ass to handle and store. Your in NH...going forward the ground will be frozen enough to tolerate plowing anyway.
     
  3. superjukebox

    superjukebox Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Thanks. In New Hampshire we have had more muddy than frozen. Wouldn't the "back dragging" be the best way? If I can drive a car through it during the daytime doesn't mean I should drive a car through it at night when it freezes up. That's the real problem. Your thoughts?
     
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Back dragging will work if theres not to much snow on it. This will keep it smooth until it freezes.
     
  5. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,033

    Really? No, back dragging it isn't the best way. Maybe you should leave the plowing to the people that know how. I have a feeling that your creping as a plow guy, but in reality your nothing more then a homeowner who thinks they know best.
     
  6. superjukebox

    superjukebox Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    creping?

    No it's not that. When I arrive to work at 11pm I have to drive into a frozen driveway that is full of ruts and big icy tire tracks and I'm afraid I'm going to blow a tire out. If the driveway was smooth that wouldn't be the case and I could put ice melt down The ice melt doesn't help much on large frozen tire tracks.
     
  7. superjukebox

    superjukebox Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Is back dragging the best way or does lifting the blade off the ground work better for a few inches of snow / slush? Slush freezing over is the problem with the big frozen tire tracks late at night. Anything has got to be better than frozen slush. Thanks for your reply.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  8. superjukebox

    superjukebox Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Is back dragging the best way or does lifting the blade off the ground work better for a few inches of snow / slush? Slush freezing over is the problem with the big frozen tire tracks late at night. Anything has got to be better than frozen slush. Thanks for your reply.
     
  9. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,033

    All I can say is if the temperatures are favorable for such conditions, then there is no reason they can't plow that area. Occasionally there are times that you can wait to plow soft areas..or re plow soft areas once the temperatures go back down for the day.
     
  10. superjukebox

    superjukebox Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Thanks. But once the slush freezes you can't plow it and the ground won't freeze as fast if it is covered in ice. Also, if you wait until after the ice melts then you have more mud once again. If you plow or "back drag" the slush it won't be there to melt again creating more mud.

    I just thought plowing or "back dragging" would remove slush from freezing and from creating a hazardous surface and there would be less ice/snow/slush/ice from melting once again creating more ice and again more mud.

    I guess you must remove as much snow/slush as possible when the threat of freezing is apparent to avoid freezing, ruts, frozen tire tracks, refreezing, more mud, vehicle damage and personal injury.

    I've never seen a situation where 3" or more of wet slush was left to freeze over on a dirt driveway which only seems to create more problems over the long term.
     
  11. 7_below

    7_below Senior Member
    Messages: 245

    I agree. I have about 6 gravel and dirt driveways/grassy driveways that I've been doing for years. I always back drag in the early winter until the ground freezes. Once it freezes your good to go until spring when it thaws. I have a back drag edge that works pretty good to smooth out the driveway. If you just leave it and don't plow it all, you'll have ruts from the customer driving on it. You need to get a good base going.
    Also, if you get 3" and you dont plow it all, and have a 3" trigger, how do you explain to the customer that you can't plow? Just tell them the ground isn't frozen yet? I'll be back later when its cooler outside... That's rediculous. If you must plow forward, drop the plow until it hits the ground. Then raise it up until its a couple inches off the ground. You may need to look out the window to see where it at. Start moving forward slow and feather your up and down so it skims the driveway. But beware, it doesn't take much to peel back a chunk of lawn when it's not frozen. Good luck.
     
  12. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,033

    Again, it's a matter of plowing it at the opportune time...if it's not feasible to leave it, then it'll need to be cleaned up when it gets colder....not the following morning when it's bedrock, but when it's firmed up. You had said something about this being a job...is this an 8-5 gig with there own plow truck....?
     
  13. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,033

    Nobody said not to plow it, you simply raise the blade and leave an inch or so. If you have a small area or even drive, then by all means back drag it.....from the sounds of it this guy is doing a commercial property, back dragging the whole lot......now that sir would be ridiculous.
     
  14. 7_below

    7_below Senior Member
    Messages: 245

    Okay.......
     
  15. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,361

    When it's soft I just drop the plow then raise it so there is tension on the chain and the plow is off the ground just a little bit. It works pretty good for me. There is some areas that can be back dragged but, bag dragging isn't always the best way to do it.
     
  16. ken643

    ken643 Senior Member
    Messages: 818

    I agree with Repoman, just feather the up and down control lift it up an inch or so and do the best you can. I have plowed a few gravel drives in my day (not anymore, I hate them) and thats what I did just play with the up and down to adjust to the contour of the drive and get what you can. My 2 cents
     
  17. oldmankent

    oldmankent PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,318

    Raising the blade up a couple inches is ok, but you are still going to make ruts driving over what you left on the ground. I've always just back dragged if the ground is slushy. If its slushy, I back drag if it's actual snow on the ground I just push it. This was with my Snoway. My approach may have to change with the Fisher though.
     
  18. superjukebox

    superjukebox Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    muddy driveway plowing

    Well, believe it or not I work for a small town grounds and maintenance dept. The day shift leaves the 3" of slush in their own grounds and maintenance dept building. I am the late night guy who comes to work third shift and the slush, ruts, tire tracks are frozen and it is going to cause vehicle damage to drive on such an uneven, hard and icy surface. The first shift guys have been doing this for some time now and they have been employed here longer than I so I can't make suggestions without offending them. What do I know? I've only been employed for 2 years to their 6 years. However, I know you can't leave a driveway like that! But they do! I can't back drag when I arrive to work if it's frozen. It needs to be done as the snow / slush accumulates. Sometimes I think people do the wrong thing intentionally because they're not happy. However, from the comments and responses I've read I will back drag to keep a level surface if the snow / slush falls on my shift when the ground is mud. It has now frozen up since I posted this question so I can just plow forward unless we have a major warm spell. Over the last several years a few ice fishing derby's had been cancelled due to warm weather conditions causing unsafe and / or slushy ice on the lake conditions. Just because the dirt driveway is frozen today doesn't mean it will be frozen next week. Thanks for all your comments and maybe someday the town will have our grounds and maintenance dept driveway paved.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011
  19. 2006Sierra1500

    2006Sierra1500 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,758

    S-noway I'd ever buy a Snoway :p