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how to plow primer

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by hughowens, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. hughowens

    hughowens Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    I normally plow with my backhoe but I want to try using a pickup mounted plow with help from my daughter and wife...anyone have some good links on how to plow effectively without tearing up the terrain or the equipment? Jackson Hole WY-3-5' on the ground most of the winter, Very cold!
     
  2. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    Lots of guys here more knowledgable than I, but here's my $0.02.

    - I never plow straight on, always angle the blade towards the closes edge of my driveway so as to not build up too much mass in front of the truck. I'll straighten the blade when I'm building my pile around at the top of the driveway.
    - I use 4 hi pretty much all the time and try to build good momentum...but temper that with knowing the terrain I'm pushing on so I know where the rough patches are and when to let up on the gas.
    - I never plow downhill if its a really deep or heavy snow...at least not on the first pass. When I get my second pass I will go downhill.
    - Be courteous to your neighbors when you push your pile across the street.
    - Take it easy and know your vehicle's limitations.

    Best of luck to you, odds are there are experienced guys here who can probably convince you that every single thing I mentioned above is wrong.
     
  3. Mick

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

    I pretty much agree with Mayhem, except for one thing - do not push snow across the street. It's illegal in many areas. All snow is to stay on the property on which it falls until it is trucked off to a site designated for that purpose.

    Also, mark the edges of your driveway. If you're plowing a gravel or hardpack site, raise your plow an inch or so until the ground is frozen to avoid digging into the surface. After the ground freezes, raise the plow an inch or so when you've pushed to the edge (this is where the markers come in). Mark all obstacles that you may not be able to see once it snows. There's a lot of difference plowing with a truck after using a backhoe - particularly in that you'll need to do a lot of planning on where to stack the snow since you can't "carry" it unless you've got a V-plow and even then it's more difficult than with a backhoe. Push the snow well back in the beginning. Again, this is planning for future snowfall.

    As with everything else, the main thing in pushing snow is planning, planning and planning.

    Good luck, Dr and enjoy retirement. You're not the first one I've heard of who retired because of liability costs. And they think liability insurance is high for plowing snow.

    "Welcome Home."
     
  4. hillndale

    hillndale Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 60

    So why is that? What do you do? Should one drive down the hill over the snow and then plow uphill? BTW, this is not a smarta** remark. I really want to know.

    many thanks

    hillndale
     
  5. Mick

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


    Adam, I saw that and wondered if anyone would have a question about it. I'd say his reasoning is the same as mine in some situations - If you are plowing downhill and get stuck - like having so much snow in front of the plow that the truck can't push it or having the truck get sideways in the road - you can't back up the hill. If you plow uphill, you can always back up and out of the trouble. The key is where he said "really deep or heavy". There may be situations where you might want to drive on new snow to be able to plow uphill, but not usually, since you run the risk of losing control and sliding on the snow while you're driving downhill on it. This is another situation where a V-plow would be beneficial. By shoving snow both ways, it keeps the truck behind the plow instead of being forced to one side or the other. Generally, you'll want to consider all the alternatives as you survey the site the first time.
     
  6. hillndale

    hillndale Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 60

    Oh Man! Referencing the V-plow again. I just watched the demo video on the Fisher web site for the V-plow. Sure looks nice. Lawn mowing season is coming to a close, but a lot of fall clean-ups. Don't know if I'll have the cash for the V.

    thanks again Mick!
     
  7. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    ^^ Bingo. Its rarely heavy enough to have to worry about it, but if the snow gets packed hard enough in front of your truck it could get you stuck. Odds are pretty good you could back up the hill and get out of immediate trouble, but you're still going to have a heck of a time clearing that pile so you can get down the rest of the hill. Time is important for most of us because we either do this for a living and need to get to the next driveway to maximize profit per hour or becuase we plow our own drivewas in order to save money (and its kind of fun) and we typically need to get out and go to work.

    I'd either blow through it with the fresh snow with the blade up over the top and go up from the bottom or possibly go down the driveway with the blade halfway down so you can move some of the snow while minimizing the chances of getting into trouble.
     
  8. hillndale

    hillndale Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 60

    Many thanks-- there's a lot to consider :dizzy:

    hillndale
     
  9. Mick

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

     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2006
  10. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    How would you recommend to proceed in the deep heavy snow situation? My truck is parked at the top of my driveway, which is a mild downhill grade...I'd say probably 30 vertical feet over a 350' length, one gentle curve and about 11-12 feet wide all the way down. It neer came up last year (first year I plowed myself out) that I couldn't push my way out, but it was a pretty mild year and I don't think we had any really major extended snowfalls above 12-14". I you're in my situation and you've got 24" of snow and you're at the top of the driveway how would you do it...4 wheel high and go for momentum? Do your best to clear at an angle to get the bulk of it off the center of the drieway and then do a few lengthwise passes to clear the rest?
     
  11. Mick

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


    Best method would be "plow with the storm". Stay in 4 wheel High - plow every 4-6 inches. Angle the plow to whichever side your wheels are nearest (usually the "inside" of a curve) - this will "push" the truck toward the middle of the road and help to keep from sliding off into the ditch on curves.

    Save pushing 14" until you've been at it awhile.
     
  12. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,592

    Some good suggestions,,
    How would you recommend to proceed in the deep heavy snow situation?
    I would plow going down hill if I could, pushing the snow one blade load at a time off to the side of the drive. Working my way down the drive. Not trying to clear it by driving up and down the drive.

    Why do you have to go down the drive to turn around in the street to go at it up hill?
    Their is so mush snow you can't plow it going down hill but your going to go and drive around in it and plow going up hill?
    Then there is not to much snow...
    Why are you guys so set on plowing up and down the drive??
    If their is so much snow you can't push a path along the length of the drive then push in a hearing-bone pattern,, Push it off to the side..

    Take it a blade load at a time and push it off to one side then off to the other side or the same side as their is room for it. push it back from the edge to allow for further snow falls.

    Different techniques,,, their is more than one way to plow a drive....
    Ho! ya!! Plow with the storm... lol in a perfect world YES,
    but it does not always work out that way..:waving:
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2006
  13. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    I agree wiht your reasoning here, but its unlikely to work out for me since my plowing is exclusively my own driveway and has to be done around my regular job. I'm most likely to be stuck with one push per storm unless its bad enough to close the office...in which case I'm likely to go in anyway so I can do shutdown maintenance on systems used most of the time.

    The herringbone pattern I think is the best choice for super heavy storms (18" and up) in that it gets the bulk of it off the driveway with the minimum risk of getting stuck or worse.

    This is a good discussion, let keep it going.
     
  14. Mick

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

    Like I said - best method for time, etc. Not necessarily what works in any situation, such as you pointed out. I used the herringbone method, too, on one I had for several years where it was several miles away, by itself and steep uphill. About 1/3 way up with the herringbone, then rammed on up. Like SnoFarmer said "Different techniques,,, there is more than one way to plow a drive....". Use what works best at the time. I'm set on plowing straight up and down whenever possible because that's the quickest way to get it done and on to the next one. Usually, it takes a lot longer to cover any given area in a herringbone pattern.

    For you, the best method might be to angle full one way or the other, get up some good momentum, drop the plow as soon as you start down the hill and hope for the best. That's what I do in my own driveway and watch the roostertail.:bluebounc
     
  15. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,592


    LOL... Thats is what I do to 99.99% of the time.... let it fly!!
    Just make sure you have enough weight in the box and be ready to hit the brakes when things start to go wrong...lol or in some cases hit the gas, angel the plow and power thought it..
    A little practice and you will be plowing like a pro in no time..

    MICK "Usually, it takes a lot longer to cover any given area in a herringbone pattern."
    That is for sure!!.. but if it is to deep what choice do you have other than using a loader or a blower on a tractor?

    hughowens "Jackson Hole WY-3-5' on the ground most of the winter, Very cold! "
    I'll take your snow if you take our colder than a :realmad: **##### temps

    If you get stuck you can always pull it out with your backhoe..

    Mick & Mayhem have given you some good options, now it is up to you to see what will work best for you..:waving:
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2006
  16. zapster

    zapster Member
    Messages: 34

    4X4 in drive...

    i've yet to use low gear in the tranny..manually
    or 4X4 low for that matter..

    weight + diesel = by by snow
    uphill..downhill.. whatever...
    size matters...

    ...zap!
     
  17. ToyTruck

    ToyTruck Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    Pushing Snow across the street

    I have been avoiding pushing the snow across the street when clearing my driveway. However, later in the season if there is a large buildup of snow it really is temping. Sometime I may be forced to do this to keep things open. What do others do on their own driveways?
     
  18. Mick

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

    This is part of your planning during the fall or when you look over the property. You need to figure where you're going to push piles and how your going to push far enough back to allow for future snowfalls. I usually plan a site for twice the average seasonal snowfall. Also, in our area (and yours) there is generally a "January thaw" where a lot of the snow will melt. As a last resort, you call in a loader, excavator or backhoe to move piles or truck them away. In that case, you'll need a DEP approved dump site. Some state stipulate that when plowing snow, all snow is to stay on the property on which it falls.
     
  19. ToyTruck

    ToyTruck Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    yeah, the problem is most of the 800' driveway really doesn't have any extra shoulder, I plow to the edge of what's available, but it drops off quickly. Sometimes, if its powdery I can get some of it to go over the side, down the hill - which is great! I do have room up top at the house to pile some up which I do. A little room 100' up from the bottom to pile up a little more, the opening to the road is tight though, with deep ditches on either side - I push some into the ditches, but you gotta be careful or you go in too!
     
  20. bryanj23

    bryanj23 Senior Member
    Messages: 135

    I fully intend to push across the road this year. Of course, it is a rural road and the nearest neighbor is about a 1/2 mile down the road. Across the street it is completely empty. You should also check into local laws. As stated above somewhere, in SOME states it is illegal to push across roads. Maybe you're ok to do it.