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Steep concrete driveway - chains? studs?...or?

Discussion in 'ATV / UTV Snow Removal' started by ArizonaSnow, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. ArizonaSnow

    ArizonaSnow Junior Member
    from Arizona
    Messages: 2

    Complete newbie to plowing, but I just purchased a home in Prescott, Arizona with a north facing, 400ft driveway that has at least 75ft elevation gain end to end. (AWESOME view from the top...) Grade on the steeper parts is something like 35 degrees. It's all concrete, approaching 20 years old, a little of it is crumbling. Does not get much sun in the winter, but at 5800ft elevation in the mountains here we do get a number of snows each winter. (Hard to believe in Arizona, but true...)

    It ain't Alaska, but my first snowfall here (of course, while I was out of town) left me standing at the bottom looking up at a nice blanket of several inches of snow that had been sitting mostly in the shade for seven days when I drove back up from the trip. As you might imagine, with the past week having been in the high 30's daytime, and between 15-20 degrees each night, much of the driveway had a sheet of ice between the concrete and the snow by the time I arrived.

    Shoveled that off by hand with a buddy, but I'd like to be ready for the next round...

    I own a 2005 Polaris Sportsman 800 4x4, with a winch already on the front, that I will be bringing up here and mounting a plow on. With plow, fuel and me on it should be a bit over 1000lb.

    Some help with these questions would be much appreciated:

    1. If you were going to buy a plow that would be used 4-6 times each winter, to push 4-8" on average but sometimes 12-18" inches of snow, down that steep driveway, what brand of plow would be recommended? At this point, I'm thinking front mount - for easy on/off - and 60" wide. Suggestions?

    2. The driveway won't always be iced up when I get after it, as I will plow it right after a storm when I am in town. But to be prepared for the occasional ice sheet on it, with this steep of a grade, would chains or studded tires be recommended? I was thinking about putting some Maxxis Bighorn 2.0's on it for trail riding anyway, and having a set of v-bar chains at the ready. Is that the correct setup for this application?

    3. Or should I go with studded snow tires? (If yes, anyone have experience with the Maxxis Tundracross?)

    4. Or put ice screws in my factory tires? If I did that, I could keep those for plowing - with the Bighorn's kept just for trail riding.

    5. Or, is there some better way to get this done...?

    6. If tires and chains are the way to go, should I not put the chains on unless I can clearly see there IS ice on the pavement? I understand that driving with chains on pavement is generally a no-no. But if I take it easy on the throttle, will it still tear up the concrete (or the tires or drivetrain on the quad) when I drive up it?

    7. Any other hazards with chains or studs I should know about for this application?

    I know this is a long post and a lot of questions, but I want to get 'er done right the first time. Regrets about inexperience/ignorance or buying the wrong gear are no fun at all.... Thanks for your help!
  2. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,067

    Welcome and great first post. Lot's of info on what your looking at having to due.

    Most time we get well can a ATV plow my drive and no other info.

    from what you have said. I'd go with a Moose Plow there RMIII "Rapid Mount" though I don't know if it work on a 2005 Polaris.

    due you have a dry place for putting blade on/off?

    Id get 2 link V-bar chains for your stock tires "tirechains.com" and then get you a summer set of Rims and tires your Bighorn's are great. if your plowing and don't spin you can drive with chains on pavement and not hurt the surface at all. Plus if you have Ice or packed snow the Chains bite into the surface and start to rid it up for U.

    You would have a nice setup. I'd start the season on the Big Horns for plowing they due a good job and if you get the icy snow you can change over to your stock tires with chains on in about an hour.

    I run a Honda foreman and have my summer mud tire/trail set and the old stock tires with chains and 2 of the last 3 winters have changed back to the old tires with chains if I can make it through the winter plowing on the summer tires I will if its a mild winter. though this weekend we got 5" of fluff on top of 1/4 of Ice so I change over to the stock tires to have the chains chew up on the Ice. and now will run the stockers the rest of winter.

    though I have a heated work area for doing the tire swap so that makes a difference in my thinking. that I can change over tires in comfort.

    hope this helps you out.

    sublime out.
  3. ArizonaSnow

    ArizonaSnow Junior Member
    from Arizona
    Messages: 2

    Steep Driveway...

    Thanks Sublime, that is good info. I am going to set up the old stock tires with the v-bar chains as you suggested, and get the new set of trail riding rubber.

    Anyone else care to comment on my original post, especially regarding ATV snowplows you've had experience with, or how to handle plowing steep pavement?
  4. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    Get some ballast on the back of that thing.
  5. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 6,752

    I'm not a fan of running chains on a ATV, they have the potential of putting a great stress on the half shafts when they do get a good bite. I don't run chains due to this reason, I'd rather take smaller passing if needed rather than tearing up the ATV. Given the steepness of you driveway I'd suggest studding a set of tires, you're snow is probably dry like we have in Colorado and you should get a good scrape. Also if memory serves correct Prescott doesn't locked into subzero temps and even though being on the shady side it probably melts off pretty good when it warms up.
    I run a 60" Warn Pro-Vantage front mount on my Griz using the winch to lift and it's a great set up IMO. When you do get around to ordering check out Amazon, I got my set up off it which was cheaper than local, free shipping, had it in 3 days and saved about $110.00.
    I highly doubt you'll be able to push going up the drive when you have a decent snow of 10" or more, it's just too much weight and chains or studs won't overcome it. If it was me I'd push down hill, then take a 1/2 blade width pass going up to see how it handles it, if you struggle then just ride up and push down hill if needed.
  6. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,067

    any chance we can get a pic of your driveway that you want to plow?

  7. szorno

    szorno Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    I have a friend with a similar driveway. But the rise is about 300 ft with about 1200 length mostly concrete with a 20 ft drop off on one side most of the way. I won't plow it for him. It must be plowed from the top down even with modest snow. We built a Meyer 7 ft for his Toyota 4Runner. In the winter it is a dedicated plow machine. Chained all 4. Only leaves the property to buy gas. Plow down- drive up. Plow down again. And stay ahead of the storm. Don't wait for 8" to plow. Catch it about 4-5" and you should be fine with your ATV.
  8. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH PlowSite.com Addict
    from pa
    Messages: 1,132

    35 degree slope? You couldn't hardly walk up something that steep. I bet it's more like 15-20 at the most.

    Either way, a 60in blade on the atv will make light work of your driveway. You won't need chains, just get a good set of tires like you mentioned. Try not to "over think" things too much.
  9. MtnCowboy

    MtnCowboy Member
    Messages: 96

    If your driveway has a 35 degree slope you need a helicopter (or a rope and pitons) not an ATV. I'm not a trig guy but it looks like you have described a 400' driveway with an average 19% grade and in anyone's book that is still "way steep in winter."

    Buy tire chains for the tires and some sandbags for the racks. You might not need chains or weights in Prescott but be like a Boy Scout (prepared). If you can, plow without skid shoes on your pavement.