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Plowing a steep driveway

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Boutallnite, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. Boutallnite

    Boutallnite Senior Member
    Messages: 197

    How difficult is it to plow a very steep driveway?

    Its a horse shoe drive and both ends are pretty steep and the driveway is not in the best condition. I don't know if I want to even bother with it.
     
  2. 04superduty

    04superduty PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,354

    depending on the drive you might want to invest in a set of chains. if things get real bad you can throw the chains on to save your butt.
    are you going to be plowing it with your jeep? about how long is the drive, paved or dirt, any slope. etc etc.
     
  3. Tommy10plows

    Tommy10plows Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    steep driveways

    Do a search on "steep drives". I wrote extensively on this subject in the past.

    I use Jeep CJ's and to do the steepest driveways in my town. But, I chain up on all four wheels before, or at least the front two wheels before i get started if it is a light snow.

    Safety is paramount, there is no room for error on a steep drive. You should plan your attack in advance, then follow the advice of those who have been there and done that as posted on this site.
     
  4. Crumm

    Crumm Senior Member
    Messages: 529

    Bid it at least double what you would bid a flat drive other wise it is not worth your time.
     
  5. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,830

    i have a small on that i can only do half way up then i hand shovel it the sand and salt 50.00 a shot its 1 inch trigger
     
  6. Mick

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

    lf possible, start at the top and push downhill. Even if you have to drive up on unplowed snow. Easier than pushing snow uphill. If the snow has gotten real deep, I've even backbladed some to get a run part way up. I did that on one last year that was really steep and they'd called me after 30" fell over a weekend. The guy who they had doing it didn't even try. I started up with the plow raised and full angle. Stopped after ten feet or so. Straightened the plow, dropped it and backed up. Took another shot with it angled the other way and did the same thing. Then I had a good run up the hill.
     
  7. gordyo

    gordyo Senior Member
    Messages: 527

    I would agree with Mick's post, I had a driveway back 20 years ago that went up at an 70% angle and halfway up had a 90% right hand turn that always iced over from runnoff, continued up hill then took a left hand 90% up hill a bit more and then a 90% left to a two car garage. The only way to plow this was to get a running start and buzz up the driveway in high range with the plow up, turn around and plow down the driveway in LOW RANGE at an idle cause one bad move and over the edge you go. I always pushed the snow to the edge were the cliff was to make a nice large bank of snow on that edge so if the truck ever slid toward the edge I would have at least a large bank of snow to attempt to stop me form a tumble.
     
  8. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    It depends a lot of the driveway and what it under the snow (gravel is best with blacktop being the worst) and if any ice is present. I have a neighbor I do the has a very steep and curved driveway. I only plow it down hill and angle blade according to tilt, pitch and direction of driveway. I plow slowly going downhill and I have yet to have it get away from me or even really try too. I also have studded tires now but in past years when it was icy I would use chains too before I got studded tires. Good ballast weight too will improve traction. As far as extra charge, there is none unless I have to chain up to do it. If you are uncomfortable doing it, do not do it as there is nothing wrong with that either.
     
  9. Boutallnite

    Boutallnite Senior Member
    Messages: 197

    Thank You all for your input.

    The steep parts of the drive are not steep, but there are 2 of them at about a 65 to 75 degree angle, and its blocktop that is cracking up. And the owner sounds a bit nuts. Plus there is a sidewalk across the drive and the town is not keen about snow banks on them. I really don't need a problem account this season or any other season. So I am probably going to pass on this one.
     
  10. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113


    Wise idea. It is good to know when to walk away for a job too as I have on a few in my day too.
     
  11. Boutallnite

    Boutallnite Senior Member
    Messages: 197

    I know it s the wise thing to do, but I am trying to build up my customer list. And that need to make some more money, but I am going to be WISE on this one.
     
  12. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    Better to loose this client than gain its headaches or posible damage to your truck if you slide at wrong time.
     
  13. Mick

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

    I fully agree with that. Nothing will get you in trouble faster fear or panic. And it happens in a split second.