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Sanding

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by ppkgmsy, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. ppkgmsy

    ppkgmsy Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 73

    I began plowing my driveway last winter and things went real good. Big part was the tips I got from this forum. My biggest problem is that we get a lot of ice here in Vermont. After plowing, I lay sand on the driveway because salt rusts out our vehicles, and there's a pond that I don't want salt running off into. My driveway is about 50feet long, and last winter I walked up and down it with 60-70 pound bags of sand. It worked fine but was a lot of work. One time I had my wife and 5 year-old son sit on the tailgate of my truck and shovel sand, but it was a lot of work on the brakes.

    Does anyone have any experience with taligate sanders or walk-behind sanders? The tailgate sanders I have found are designed for salt, and they are expensive. I don't know if the walk-behind models would travel over my white stone driveway that is very uneven and filled with ruts and run-off crevices. Anybody have any advice?
     
  2. Lubold8431

    Lubold8431 Member
    Messages: 92

    Western Pro Flo 2 or Fisher Speedcaster 2. Both CAN handle Sand. Better off with salt. Have you tried Magic Salt? Magic salt will reduce the amount of salt you will need for your driveway, and be better for your tailgate spreader...
     
  3. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,045

  4. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,202

    Is there a typo here or are you considering buying a salter for a "50" foot long driveway.
    I would have liked to see the pictures of your son and wife sitting on the tailgate while you drove up and down. How do you drive up and down a 50' driveway. Sorry for the rant but this is just nuts.
     
  5. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,045

    ROLMAO..............:drinkup:
     
  6. ppkgmsy

    ppkgmsy Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 73

    Thanks, everyone. I'm going to check out the recommended tailgate and walk-behind spreaders. I've only used sand before, but I'll look into the magic salt. Yea, I did have my wife and 5 year old sit on the tailgate and toss the sand one time while I drove down the driveway. Thought it might be a good idea (remember it was my first year plowing). My son thought it was a great time, my wife agreed with your rant that it was nuts.
     
  7. ppkgmsy

    ppkgmsy Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 73

    Oh yea, the driveway is about 250'.
     
  8. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,045

    Well that's 5 times bigger then 50 ft, You could also try spreading limestone screenings, they don't track in the house as much and work very well. You could als just spread it out of a wheel barrow, that's what i would do.
     
  9. ppkgmsy

    ppkgmsy Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 73

    Limestone is a great idea. Can it be stored outside in a drum or something without clumping up too hard?
     
  10. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,445

    Is your drive paved or gravel?

    If it is gravel DO NOT use any salt or ice melt of any kind.
    You do have some options.
    Use sand, cinders, limestone (if it is dry other wise it will be frozen solid) or some other abrasive.

    Remove your shoes /skids/ skis and let the edge scrape it.


    The problem with salt and the like is that they burn a hole through the ice then it goes straight in to the gravel thawing it out.
    So now you come along with your plow and you hit this soft dirt.
    Your glow is going to gouge out a big chunk of it.


    If you really have an area that needs something to de done try fertilizer.
    Landscapers choice or some thing like it, Nitrogen, melts snow too but if you don't get it removed it will be harder than before when it refreezes.

    When the ice gets loosened up run your plow over it, to break it up.
    Then push the ice/slush away from your pond.


    Just a tip...


    If it's paved we'll then just never mind...:D
     
  11. Enzo

    Enzo Senior Member
    Messages: 387

    For something like that a small fertilizer spreader would work. When small driveways needs it done thats whats I do
     
  12. ppkgmsy

    ppkgmsy Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 73

    Thanks for the advice, SnoFarmer. I do have a gravel driveway and I hadn't thought of the issues related to salt melt. Just as well, we all hate salt up here in VT. It is used by all the highway crews and rusts out vehicles. I think sand might still be my best bet. I can get it cheap by the truckload, or buy 60-70lb bags and keep them dry in the cellar. I can also use them for weight in the back of the truck. I also use ashes from our woodstove, but there just isn't enough to cover the whole driveway on any kind of regular basis. I hadn't thought of removing the shoes and scraping down. Do I have to be careful not to dig up the gravel with the blade that low?

    I tried a spreader, Enzo, and it didn't work that well. The way it was designed, the distributor would turn only when both wheels spun. With the ice and uneven surface, the wheels would spin or jump.

    Thanks again, everyone, I am grateful for your help.
     
  13. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,445

    no prob, they use a lot of salt hear also.
    They think it's cheaper to use salt that to let use studded tires..:dizzy:

    O.k.. with out the shoes on you can scrape up some gravel when you plow.

    If the ground is not frozen it can make a mess. So run your shoes until the ground freezes or just remove them when you want to scrape it down. It may take a few passes to see results this way..

    My drive is 1/4 paved then it's around 475ft of gravel.
    Once the ground is frozen I let it scrape It does pick up a little gravel but it spreads this loose gravel too.

    Just remember to stack your snow in a logical place because this is where the loose gravel is going to be in the spring.
    You don't want it on the landscaping But you still want easy access to it for clean up.
     
  14. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    Urea works excellently, a couple of the treehugger centers use it exclusively to great effect.

    i guess they think large scale nitrogen run off in to the storm system is better then salt. After all who wants more salt in the ocean.:jester: Excessive algae is much better, we can harvest it for oil!

    Honestly it is very effective and great in small scale application, just remember to much can be as bad as excessive salt, it will cause Nitrogen burn.
     
  15. ppkgmsy

    ppkgmsy Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 73

    Thanks again for all the tips. I did a bunch of scrapping last year with the shoes on and, as you can imagine, it was successful up to a point. Piled the loose gravel on the side of the drive and it made a great sledding jump for my boy. I have an old Fisher, 7.5 ft plow, and I'm going to check on ease of taking off and on the shoes. I'm going to talk to some people about the use of nitrogen. Seems like it could be problem because we get so much darn ice that I might end up having to use a lot.

    Studs are legal here, have a set on my wife's car. That way if I don't sand she can still get up the driveway and I still enjoy the classic domestic happiness and tranquility!