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New to plowing - guidance?

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by JFon101231, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. JFon101231

    JFon101231 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 423

    Hello all,
    I'm new to having a plow (and a truck). I picked up a '95 C3500 (2wd) w/ a dually rear which came with a (assumed based on the pump) Meyer 7.5' electric plow. I did my driveway this past storm, and my in-laws and neighbors driveway. I'm learning as I go, but looking for advice on how to do this as quickly and efficiently as possible.

    My driveway is odd shaped... Go to www.mappoint.com and look at the birds eye view for my house. Type in 119 Lily Pond Rd, Griswold, CT and go to the house just on the NE corner of the pond. To complicate things, there is always going to be a car parked outside b/c we have 3 cars + the truck and obviously only 2 garage spaces.

    So, tips on how to plow really. It seemed based on my in-laws driveway that having the plow straight across scrapes better than angled. So do I do one pass with it straight and then angle it and do one more (1 angled each way) to clean up? Seems like that will take more time than the pros would do. The biggest problem I have is getting in front of the garage cleared because the "approach" angles aren't good b/c the idiots did a crappy job designing the driveway IMO. So I ended up with a good size patch I needed to shovel, which I'm trying to avoid. I tried to "back drag" I think its called but it didn't work that great since I was only using gravity, and I can't go onto the grass backing up b/c no 4wd, so I have to back up at an angle.

    Lastly, two more questions. Will adding ballast make the plow float more (currently no weight in the back)? 2) How do I know if my cutting edge is good? FWIW, the plow doesn't currently have any shoes/skids...

    I'm starting to wonder whether I would be able to do it faster with just a good 28-30" snowblower. prsport

    Thanks from a newcomer!
    Jeff
     
  2. Mick

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

    Not being 4wd is going to severely limit your plowing - stay away from hills and slopes!! Adding ballast will help general plowing and with backblading.

    7.5' is really too small for your 3500 which is basically a one ton and should have at least a 9' plow. You'll have to angle to plow any significant amount of snow. Just keep working with it and you'll learn what works. Start with about 600 pounds of ballast. Make sure you've got some decent tires on the rear, at least. Have a plan for getting towed when you get stuck.
     
  3. JFon101231

    JFon101231 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 423

    Regarding the non-4wd, this was the only truck that I could find w/ a plow for a decent price that wasn't all rusted out. I figured since my driveway is flat except for the slight slope down to the turnaround and up to the garage it wouldn't bother me. I have noticed that it makes me move slower b/c sometimes it spins a little or I can't cut the wheel as sharp.

    I was thinking adding ballast to the rear was going to hurt backblading since I would be adding weight to the opposite side of the lever, good to know that isn't true.

    I didn't realize it was possible to have too small of a plow? Why is a bigger plow necessary? I would assume I would need to angle if the blade was too big and caught more snow than the truck could push, I'm confused.

    The truck seemed to do fine in this storm. I pushed out, and then did what I could from there. My in-laws had already been snowblowed once, so that was only about 4-5", but I just backed up, dropped the plow and pushed out no problem. Their neighbor is straight too, although down a hill. I just plowed them in and pushed it to their turnaround so at least they could get out.

    Thanks for your input, anyone else have ideas/thoughts, chime in!
    Jeff
     
  4. Mick

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

    With a 7.5' plow on a 3500 DRW (Dual Rear Wheel), you'll have the tires running over snow that comes around the sides - especially when the plow is angled. You might want to put a set of wings on it.

    Just adjust the chain so the blade (technically called a "moldboard") contacts the ground with some slack in the chain. If you have trouble with that "slight slope" , try attacking it so you're always plowing downhill, keep the plow fully angled and don't try pushing more than 3-4" to start until you can figure out what'll work. AND DON'T STOP TO TRY BACKING UPHILL
     
  5. JFon101231

    JFon101231 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 423

    Ahh, I see what you mean. I thought you were saying it wasn't heavy enough etc. Yes, because of the dually rear, I did notice that I ran over snow either that came around the plow, or in reverse, would hit snow that wasn't plowed if I wasn't careful, and then "messed up" my work. I would love wings, but not sure how they swap (can they go on any plow or only specific fits), and this is a low budget rig really just for my driveway (which admittedly is on the border of being necessary to begin with), so I wouldn't have approval from the "boss" to spend another $300 with a newborn and an 19 mo old.

    The chain is adjusted as you say, and the mount is in the middle hole (EZ classic). How would I know if I should flip over the cutting edge?

    Thanks for your help so far!
     
  6. Mick

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

    Look at your spring shackles (the bottom mount where the springs attach). If the housing contacts the ground so it wears, it's time for a cutting edge.

    You can get a set of wings that are "universal" for about $200 (I just looked them up on Northern Tool). Or, if you can weld - make a set out of some strong steel stock. Make each one about 9-12" wide and you're set. If you want - weld them right to the plow and weld some bracing behind them.