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Ice buildup on private road

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by RMAguy, Mar 21, 2016.

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  1. RMAguy

    RMAguy Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    Hello:

    This is my first post. I found you folks via searches for managing ice buildup. I'm on the customer side of things and I'm dealing with a really old seasonal gravel road that is being used for an increasing amount of year round traffic. I was hoping you might be able to offer some suggestions or confirm the feasibility of some things to try.

    The road is essentially a long, single-lane driveway serving several properties - some seasonal and some year round. Rain and runoff accumulate on the road and we have limited ability to improve drainage. So, we're basically left with managing what we have.

    Some winters, the ice buildup from runoff can be 6+ inches thick and extend over a distance of about 200 feet. Some parts of the road freeze solid while other parts of the ice cover is softer and tends to pothole. Some vehicles have bottomed out and it's generally a mess. Since this is a gravel road with poor drainage, all that has been tried is sand, but with runoff this needs close attention because the sand can be washed away or covered up.

    So, this is what I've been thinking - it comes down to always needing to improve traction and maybe try to reduce the volume of ice from time to time:

    1. I live on another town maintained dirt road in the winter. The last 3/4s of a mile is up a pretty steep hill. The hill is crowned and has ditches on both sides and there is ice on this road every single winter, but we have had no problems. The town mixes a black crushed rock (maybe 3/8 inch) with the sand they put on the road. This works great since the rock bites into the ice and tires for traction. There will always be ice on the private road too, so not seeing any downside to using small crushed rock to improve traction.

    2. I've been reading that serrated plow blades are good for breaking up ice. Do private snow plow contractors typically use something like this or is this more for graders/municipal equipment? If the serrated blades are used, what has been your experience with them on ice?

    3. Similar to 2., there are apparently blades with replaceable stinger bits that are also supposed to be good at breaking up ice. Any experience with these?

    4. There are some extreme ice management tools that I found on the two sites below, but I haven't seen anything like this in my area. Seems like this is more at the municipal level rather than for a private contractor. Does anyone have any experience with this stuff?
    http://www.team-eagle.ca/raiko-icebreaker/
    http://www.ultramech.com/

    5. Along the same lines as 4. - what about using a Harley power rake on ice. Within this forum there have been comments made about using a power rake on ice, but I have no idea if this tool is rugged enough. The idea is to grind up the ice when it gets really bad and plow it away - hopefully without taking too much of the road with it.
    http://harleyrakesonline.com/

    6. Any other ideas that you've had success with in similar situations?

    Thank you for reading...
     
  2. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,605

    Get a truck,
    4x4
    A set of tire chains or tire studs,

    Then park the Beamer in town or in a storage unit.
    For easy acess
    Or,
    Do the proper road work and plow accordingly.

    Or buy a road grader....

    Or pave it
    Plow it,
    Or hire a pro
    :waving:

    Do you have a tractor?
    Where are you located, area, we dint need your address.

    image.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
  3. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,915

    Before I go any further, where are you located?
     
  4. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,550

    Ever heard of rock salt?
     
  5. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,915

    Do tell..............
     
  6. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,550

    Halite, commonly known as rock salt, is a type of salt, the mineral form of sodium chloride (NaCl). Halite forms isometric crystals. The mineral is typically colorless or white, but may also be light blue, dark blue, purple, pink, red, orange, yellow or gray depending on the amount and type of impurities. It commonly occurs with other evaporite deposit minerals such as several of the sulfates, halides, and borates.
    Halite occurs in vast beds of sedimentary evaporite minerals that result from the drying up of enclosed lakes, playas, and seas. Salt beds may be hundreds of meters thick and underlie broad areas. In the United States and Canada extensive underground beds extend from the Appalachian basin of western New York through parts of Ontario and under much of the Michigan Basin. Other deposits are in Ohio, Kansas, New Mexico, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan. The Khewra salt mine is a massive deposit of halite near Islamabad, Pakistan. In the United Kingdom there are three mines; the largest of these is at Winsford in Cheshire producing on average a million tonnes per year.

    Salt domes are vertical diapirs or pipe-like masses of salt that have been essentially "squeezed up" from underlying salt beds by mobilization due to the weight of overlying rock. Salt domes contain anhydrite, gypsum, and native sulfur, in addition to halite and sylvite. They are common along the Gulf coasts of Texas and Louisiana and are often associated with petroleum deposits. Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Romania and Iran also have salt domes. Salt glaciers exist in arid Iran where the salt has broken through the surface at high elevation and flows downhill. In all of these cases, halite is said to be behaving in the manner of a rheid.

    Unusual, purple, fibrous vein filling halite is found in France and a few other localities. Halite crystals termed hopper crystals appear to be "skeletons" of the typical cubes, with the edges present and stairstep depressions on, or rather in, each crystal face. In a rapidly crystallizing environment, the edges of the cubes simply grow faster than the centers. Halite crystals form very quickly in some rapidly evaporating lakes resulting in modern artifacts with a coating or encrustation of halite crystals.[4] Halite flowers are rare stalactites of curling fibers of halite that are found in certain arid caves of Australia's Nullarbor Plain. Halite stalactites and encrustations are also reported in the Quincy native copper mine of Hancock, Michigan.

    Halite is often used both residentially and municipally for managing ice. Because brine (a solution of water and salt) has a lower freezing point than pure water, putting salt or saltwater on ice that is near 0 °C (32 °F) will cause it to melt. (This effect is called freezing-point depression.) It is common for homeowners in cold climates to spread salt on their sidewalks and driveways after a snow storm to melt the ice. It is not necessary to use so much salt that the ice is completely melted; rather, a small amount of salt will weaken the ice so that it can be easily removed by other means. Also, many cities will spread a mixture of sand and salt on roads during and after a snowstorm to improve traction. In addition to de-icing, rock salt is occasionally used in agriculture. An example of this would be inducing salt stress to suppress the growth of annual meadow grass in turf production.

    Salt is also used extensively in cooking as a flavor enhancer and to cure a wide variety of foods such as bacon and fish.[5] Larger pieces can be ground in a salt mill or dusted over food from a shaker as finishing salt.

    Some cultures, especially in Africa, prefer a wide variety of different rock salts for different dishes. Pure salt is avoided for particular colors of salt indicating the presence of different impurities. Many recipes call for a particular kinds of rock salt, and imported pure salt often has impurities added to adapt to local tastes.
     
  7. Freshwater

    Freshwater Senior Member
    Messages: 901

    ^^^^^^^^

    You have to salt the ice. Sometimes you'll just make slush, that gets plowed. The road must be plowed regularly too, even when it doesn't seem like it needs it. Snow that sits turns to ice.
     
  8. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,915

    I had no idea.
     
  9. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,178

    I have a mini grader, but I would just use a truck with plow and salter. Faster and less maintenance...
    Love how people think that grading is easy as just driving the grader down the road and everything is smooth.
     
  10. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,915

    It isn't???
     
  11. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,178

    There are guys on here that have trouble operating/trouble shooting a floating power angle blade...LOL
     
  12. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,605

    :nono:not on gravel .

    It just burns a hole threw the ice
    Then it turns the road bese to mud.
    Just to refreeze harder than before.




    Or a dozer with a ripper.
    Even a grader can have a ripper.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
  13. RMAguy

    RMAguy Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    Thanks for the replies... I'm in northern Vermont.

    Salt is not recommended on gravel roads around here as it turns the road to muck. Mud season is bad enough. There are a lot of roads like this and we don't have a bare roads policy pretty much anywhere in the state - too expensive.

    To rebuild the road, to raise it, to fix the drainage, and then maybe consider paving is all very expensive. So, it's a tradeoff - manage what we have versus a big investment. But even after a big investment, we'll still need to manage ice on the road. So, we're looking at total cost of long-term ownership. For example, if it costs $50K for significant improvements plus winter snow and ice maintenance versus just winter snow and ice maintenance plus a little extra ($1K - $2K?) to manage the ice buildup we experience (and it's not excessive every year), then it takes quite awhile to break even on that big investment (and that doesn't include the ongoing costs of maintaining that big investment during the rest of the year).

    So, that's why we're looking at mechanical solutions to the ice buildup - abrasives for traction and some way to break it up or grind it up and plow it away - not melt it. Maybe it's a couple of times during the worst part of winter where we would hire someone with a power rake (if that is even realistic) to take the ice down to a more manageable level where we just use sand and the small crushed rock that I mentioned. Maybe that works and it's less expensive that hiring someone with a bull dozer, for example. We're just looking for ways to minimize the potential that someone won't be able to make it to work or that an emergency vehicle can't make it in. There's always going to be ice, but sometimes we have way too much.
     
  14. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,605

    Then the cheapest solution is to own a vehicel or 2 that can negotiate the road.
    Studed tires, tire chains
    Buy machinery.
    hire it out.
    Or move.

    In road heating system

    The road and winter both existed before the homes did?
    the home owners should have weighed the risk of living in such a area.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
  15. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,178

    How long is this road...?
     
  16. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,915

    Beginning to end.
     
  17. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    Not sure why but I laughed a lot at this one
     
  18. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,178

    Sounds long winded...
     
  19. terrapro

    terrapro PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,878

    Good answer! xysport:nod::salute::waving:Thumbs Up
     
  20. terrapro

    terrapro PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,878

    Be proactive, plow the snow off before it gets packed and keep plowing the road when it snows
     
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