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Plowing a gravel driveway

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by peterstaley, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. lb59

    lb59 Junior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 25

    I did that and it pulled right off.
    It would /might work it there was some way to hold it on
  2. 2dogs2

    2dogs2 Member
    Messages: 81

    I tend to agree just lift the blade a bit and wait till it freezes. My drive is over 450ft gravel, I am actually investing into a pull behind sweeper for my lawn tractor to pickup the 2b gravel and other stuff. My neighbor has one and swears it picks up everything, he says it may take 2-3 passes but works great. Plus you can dump it where you want..
  3. 91AK250

    91AK250 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,641

    my driveway is prolly 1500ft all gravel, what i do is the first decent storm(decent storm 6-8") i dont plow and just drive around the yard untill its all packed down hard..that way i have a good ice/snow base for the year..and it doesnt melt till april. since doing that i've never had an issue with pushing my gravel all around and come spring its just like it was last summer :)
  4. lb59

    lb59 Junior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 25

    don't this just turn it into an ice rink
  5. RipT

    RipT Senior Member
    Messages: 184

    Glad to hear that standard (schedule 40) steel pipe and conduit is typically lasting several seasons at least. Both the pinch method and the side tab would be pretty simple to fabricate.

    The hardest part is slitting the pipe neatly. Most formed tubing and pipe will try to spread when cut, so a single cut may be all that is needed in some cases. A plasma cutter with a good straight edge guide would probably work nice. Probably best to avoid galvanized if you are going to weld or plasma cut it though.
  6. Mr_Super-hunky

    Mr_Super-hunky Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    This is a GREAT thread with lots of useful informative suggestions being given by everyone. It also applies directly to me as I have an approx 1000' cinder driveway to plow in the future (I'm still buried 2' deep and waiting for my plow mount which is backordered!:realmad:)

    Anyway, it seems based on the suggestions given that there are two different schools of thought.

    1.) Leave the first snow on the ground (up to about 6'') and wheel roll it to pack it down and form a hard base. Then in future snows, you don't even have to use skid shoes or a pipe as you have a solid base to protect the gravel.

    2.) Use a steel pipe over the cutting edge from the start but because it WILL leave an inch or two on the ground, you will eventually end up packing those remaining inches anyway and still end up in the same situation as mentioned above.

    The way I see it, (bear in mind, I have NO plowing exoperience!), the logical thing to do is wheel roll the first few inches forming a solid base and then just plow normal (no pipe) after that.

    Of course, this assumes the hard pack frozen base remains just that!. Once the hard pack base starts to de-thaw, all bets are OFF!!. I guess when that happens (mushy ground...i.e fall, spring snows), the only logical choice would be to put the pipe on to minimize the potential *bulldowzing* effect.

    Does this sound accurate?
  7. RipT

    RipT Senior Member
    Messages: 184

    You describe the two major schools pretty well. I vote strongly for the second one since in the real world, that dirt/gravel/rock drive is not going to be perfectly flat & smooth when it freezes-thaws-refreezes, etc. With a pipe edge you are actually helping smooth it out so that when it does freeze up you have a smooter surface to work with.

    The pipe edge will also be much better if the road has any rocks, ruts or crown to it. It really is pretty simple to fab one up, and you can always take it off if you really feel the need.
  8. Mr_Super-hunky

    Mr_Super-hunky Junior Member
    Messages: 7


    Thanks for introducing a well thought out 3rd category;.....The plow/grade combo!....Genius!.:)
  9. abbert55

    abbert55 Senior Member
    Messages: 170

    I've been reading the threads on the pipe issue. I have used a 1/2" thick A/R (abraision resistant) plate 6" wide and as long as my blade. A welding shop will have this on hand or be able to order it for you. Simply have them break a 22-30 degree angle 1" back from the leading edge and then weld round stock to fasten it where the shoes would attach. This plate glides over gravel, grass, and actually floats your blade. It is very simple to install or remove. 2 pins and throw it in the back of the truck. It will last for several seasons since the square footage is greater than the pipe. Hope this works for you as well, Al
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2008
  10. Earl W.

    Earl W. Member
    Messages: 68

    The very most my pipe set-up has left was 1/2" and that was not continuous due to the ground not being smooth..like RipT said.

    Mostly it leaves a dusting or plows down to gravel.

    Our hill gets plowed w/ pipe edge then w/o to get down to bear gravel. Most of the time the only difference is at the crown and edges.

    We don't get a lot of snow compared to up north, but when we do it stays for a while esp. if it's packs, so we try to get the snow off as quickly as possible.

    We have somewhat steep slopes so packing the snow down hasn't worked for us.

    I know of a few people that are successful w/ the pack down method but they have super flat driveways and mainly do it to get the small fwd car out later.

    abbert55... sounds like your set-up has the best of both worlds by retaining the cutting edge and essentially an angle cutting edge behind it.

    Guess it works like a double blade razor:D

    Got any pictures of your set-up?
  11. abbert55

    abbert55 Senior Member
    Messages: 170

    plow plate.JPG Here is a drawing of my setup. Hope this helps. Send me a PM if you have ?'s

    plow plate.JPG
  12. Earl W.

    Earl W. Member
    Messages: 68

    The drawing clarifies it. What a great set-up.

    It has essentially the radius of the pipe with much greater surface (I think you mentioned this)area so it won't dig-in.

    Looks like it would be a bit easier to take on/off than the pipe.

    Now I need to contact a welding shop.
  13. abbert55

    abbert55 Senior Member
    Messages: 170

    Earl W.
    This setup works well even on thawed gravel and bare ground. When I first experimented with it we used it in the summertime on a gravel parking lot and bare grass to see how much it would tear up the sod.... none;). Just be sure to block the A-Frame of your plow up so it can't fall with your hands underneath when installing or removing. This also will grade the gravel somewhat if it isn't frozen. Hope this is helpful, Al
  14. 2dogs2

    2dogs2 Member
    Messages: 81

    Can you possibly take a picture and upload it..

  15. abbert55

    abbert55 Senior Member
    Messages: 170


    Here is a drawing of the mod to the plow. I do not have the one for the meyer plow I made this for. Sold plow and gravelguard. I am getting a new 860 SW next week and will have a gravelguard made for the new one. Just have your weld shop drill holes in the round stock to pin it in place of the shoes. You can use the stock washers to take up the slack as the cutting edge wears down. Just remove the shoes and replace with the gravelguard. Thanks, Al

  16. Mr_Super-hunky

    Mr_Super-hunky Junior Member
    Messages: 7


    That's a great looking setup. I do a bit of welding and can see how easy it would be to fab up that setup as well. You could simply tack and then spot weld two flat stock metal strips together a the correct angle to form your bottom float bar and then simply weld some round stock to it in the correct location to line up with the shoe holes on the moldboard.

    It really is a great and simple design. The only concern I have is if the plow would ride up on harder packed snow without *cutting* into it. I suppose it might, but then again, so would anything other than the raw blade.

    I bet your design will be copied and possibly even produced by someone or some company soon as it just makes too much sense!. You may want to RUN to the patent office....QUICK!
  17. 2dogs2

    2dogs2 Member
    Messages: 81

    Thanks Al...

    Looks like I have a new project ...
  18. abbert55

    abbert55 Senior Member
    Messages: 170

    Super Hunkey,
    The gravel guard does not allow the moldboard to trip easily if you were to hit any hard object. Yes, it will ride up over ice or hardpack but the idea is to keep the surface plowed close to grade so as not to build up... IE frequent plowing. Because of the trip issue, no plow mfgs. were interested in the idea because of liability.... bent truck frames, plow frames etc. So I declare this idea free and public domain in hopes to better the plowing world.:waving:

    MOWBIZZ Senior Member
    Messages: 500

    I actually went to bid a gravel drive resi yesterday...the client is not happy with her present service, as she says they're sloppy, don't leave a good entry down by the street,etc.
    She said on the phone "I have a couple of requirements!" I said ok what are they?
    She wanted the carport back dragged (apparently the guy she has now just pushes by it as it's perpendicular to the driveway) and she also said she needed the entry from the road nice and "opened up" and the driveway plowed "wide" so she can get one wheel on the crown of the driveway...

    I said ok I'll be out to look at it. So I goes out there and find the driveway, enter from the roadway and all I can see is rocks, leaves black dirt on both sides...the pavement has all deteriorated and whatever material was put down for paving (fill) is exposed everywhere...the material has been plowed to the edges and into the woods line on both sides...I cringed as I saw this and thought I would just be "dirt plowing" this driveway all the time...I drove up to the house (1/8 of a mile long drive) and looked around the dooryard and that was pretty normal except for the messy plow job from her present guy. At this point I didn't really want to do it but I was there and I thought "I'll bid really high" and forget about it. Well she kind of raised her eyebrows when she saw the estimate of $125 per push and said she'd think about it...I haven't heard back from her as yet...what would you guys have done...keep in mind I have no other gravel drives so rigging a pipe or any other implement would be a hassle for me just for one account.
  20. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,921

    I have learned not bid on drives/lots you do not want.
    Some times you have to say no thank you and move on.

    What if they say yes?
    Now your waisting time on a pita account.