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Snow fence placement question

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by houseofdon, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. houseofdon

    houseofdon Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Hey guys! Longtime lurker here and finally have a reason to make my first post!

    After living in the city for the past 15 years, I finally moved to a more rural location. We get howling wind coming across the farm fields around us, almost always coming directly from the West. Our first winter was last year. Our plow service did a commendable job, but there were some days that drifting became a real problem between their visits and we could barely get in or out with 4WD. We have a 7-month-old baby now so I want to make sure I'm prepared as much as possible.

    I'm looking into snow fences and the farmer to the west of us said he has no problem with us putting fences up in his fields. I've attached an aerial of our property to help give the lay of the land.

    For the southern half of the drive, I'm thinking I'll place the fencing maybe 75 back from the drive into his field (yellow line). That's the easy part.

    For the northern half of the drive, I'm not quite sure what to do. I have two options. I can place the fencing along my property line (red line), but that's only about 12-15 feet away from the drive. I've heard some folks say that placing fence too close to the drive can actually INCREASE drifting.

    I could also place is to the west of my neighbors house (blue line), but that's then probably a good 300 feet away from my drive and I'm wondering if it will do any good that far away.

    Here's the pic. Let me know if you guys have any thoughts!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,244

    Ideally you want to place the snow fence a distance of 35 times the height of the fence, 4' tall fence would be placed 140' from the driveway. This ratio is for areas that don't see a lot of melt off during the winter and maximum snow/drift capacity is needed.
    A fence west of your neighbors would help reducing the likelihood of your driveway from drifting in bad and is your only option.

    The Wyoming DOT has done extensive research on snow fences and a couple place to get info. http://www.dot.state.wy.us/home/eng...ntenance_office/winter_research_services.html
     
  3. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,550

    I dont know the formula for figuring out where to put snow fences. The red line is too close to the drive and will cause snow to build up on the drive. The yellow line looks good.

    Have you called the Highway dep to see what they say? I bet they know all about snow fences and roads.
     
  4. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,489

    so has MN and they use the same numbers.
    place the snow fence a distance of 35 times the height of the fence,Thumbs Up

    ps and when the drift builds you may have to raise the fence up for it to continue to slow the wind.

    0e9a14b40e83098f2d1c99f7aced357b.jpg.gif

    fig106.jpga1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
  5. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,244

    It's no surprise Mn DOT is a good source since snow fence benefits were recognized by the Norwegians in the early part of the 19th century
     
  6. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,854

    Ollie and Sven?

    OP, the other option is to reduce the height of the fence. Lol
     
  7. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,489

    I'm surrounded by those bat-crazy Norwegians.

    ps
    Ideally, there should be a gap underneath the fence of at least 5 inches. The higher the fence is off the ground, the further away the drift will start. If the fence is directly on the ground, it will likely become buried in the drift, which will reduce its effectiveness.

    a guide.
    https://www.extension.iastate.edu/forestry/publications/PDF_files/SHRP-H-320.pdf

    Capture.PNGlar.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
  8. Spence92

    Spence92 Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    Nice place by the way. Looks like a beautiful setting.
     
  9. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 735

    One way to help reduce the drifting is to try to have all (or as much as possible) of your snow plowed to the east side of the driveway and as far off the driveway as possible. It looks like you have room to do that. That's what I do on mine; I actually plow about 4' off of my driveway when the ground is frozen enough.

    Otherwise, it kind if becomes a vicious cycle when you build up piles on the west side, which then drifts in, and the piles get even higher when you plow the drifting.
     
  10. jhall22guitar

    jhall22guitar PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,044

    Install a heated driveway.
     
  11. houseofdon

    houseofdon Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Thanks for the help, everyone! You more or less confirmed my hunches.
     
  12. ghlkal

    ghlkal Member
    Messages: 83

    Great thread. Thanks to those who posted the research links. I learned something today. :nod:
     
  13. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,540

    Problem isnt the snow in his driveway but all the drifting clming across the field. We have a couple spots outside of town that the county will have to plow days after a storm due to 3' drifts on the roadway turning it into a 1 lane road
     
  14. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 735

    Right - but if you build up snow banks right next to your driveway, that will cause drifting into the driveway itself. It does on mine, at least. By keeping the banks farther away from the driveway, it helps keep the drifting down too. Kind of lets you deal with the drifting when you have time vs having to keep clearing them as they fill in.

    My understanding was that the OP was concerned about keeping his driveway clear.
     
  15. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,244

    In areas where there is no snow fence (in hay or corn fields) the DOT plows several windrows aboot 100yrds off the hi-way in the fields to act as snow fence. Living (evergreen trees) snow fence is also a good way to mitigate drifting but it takes time to establish.
     
  16. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,489

    If your neighbor is growing corn .
    See of they can leave a few rows unharvested .
    This creates a natural fence and in some cases the farmer can get a rebate
    ,get paid to leav it for migrating birds and wildlife..


    In some places around here the dot pays for the corn snow fence.....


    A row of low growing bushes should not take that long to get established
     
  17. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,244

    I forgot aboot leaving rows of crops standing, oot here it's common and there are "rebates" if what is being done is considered CRP Land

    http://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-an...n-programs/conservation-reserve-program/index
     
  18. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,540

    Ya no way our dot will ever do that here. Cool concept tho