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Advice for a REALLY LONG driveway

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by uniquesolutions, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. uniquesolutions

    uniquesolutions Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    This year we're going to start breaking ground for our house. One of many problems facing us is how to keep our road (driveway?) clear. Our road is around 3200' long to a private road. If the people there go south for the winter, we've got another 2000' to clear.
    Our road is narrow, native soil, through the woods, with drainage ditches on either side. Trees come up to the drainage ditches. Because of it being a right of way, we can't make it any wider. Oh yeah, it also has a couple of fairly steep sections.
    I don't think a plow would work, I don't know if there is enough room on the sides to push the snow.
    I also don't think it will be possible to keep the road clear enough (both ice and snow) to be able to drive up there with our work truck all winter long.
    What I've come up with is this; Get some type of vehicle with a snow blower that would carry two people and "groceries". Park it at the start of the road. When we come home at night, leave our work truck at the start of the road, transfer our stuff to the "snow blower vehicle" and "blow" our way up to the house. The next morning, "blow" our way back to the truck.
    I've considered snowmobiles, but would then need to tow a sled, and I would really like an enclosed vehicle.
    I've also considered a UTV, but I'm worried that they won't really be able to handle a snow blower up front for that much work.
    Did I mention we're on a really tight budget?
    My guess it that I'll have to heavily modify some type of vehicle, and the snow blower will have to either have it's own engine or be hydraulically powered off the vehicle, again, something "homemade" or at least home modified.
    Has anyone had any experience in keeping a road this long open?
    Any vehicle suggestions?
    Am I right about not being able to use a plow?
    I've seen the website for a truck mounted snowblower. Seems really heavy, and expensive. I'd probably get a blower meant for a tractor and convert it.
  2. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    How about some pics of the drive?

    You say your on a tight budget, yet you want a special purpose vehicle just to clear your drive?

    I. Hire a professional to do the work.
    2. Get a truck mounted snowblower.
    3, Get a V plow and a snowmobile.
    4. Get a snowcat.
    5. get a pay loader
    6. Get a road-grader it will clear the drive from snow and you can grade the drive in the summer.

    It sounds like your budget is only as tight as you say it is.

    New house in the country,a big lot and long drive, I think you can afford it.
  3. uniquesolutions

    uniquesolutions Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Afford it???

    Well, we bought 26 acres (just woods) with an inheritance. It was relatively cheap because of the long right of way. We're building ourselves, 1000 sqft non electric house, wood heat, propane refrig and lights.
    Took us four summers to put in the road. Native fill because we don't have the $4000.00 to put down 3" of gravel
    I'm 60, and will work until I die (no retirement other than social security).
    Having said that, you'd be surprised what you can do with very little. We've managed to buy a 1988 dump truck and a very used Terimite mini-backhoe.
    Hire someone to plow 5000' of road? With what?
    Same for the specialized vehicle, if I thought our work truck could plow that much, I'd use that, but it's a one way road, no turning around to the end. If you have trouble, your in deep trouble.
    Didn't think I'd have to end up defending myself. Sorry I asked the question and intruded on your forum.
  4. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    I say you need an old tractor with a big honking snowblower on the front. That was you can maintain the road year round. I would love to see pics if you have them. Sounds like a really cool place.
  5. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883


    I can be rather blunt at times.
    Feel free to intrude all you want.
    You left out allot of info don't you think?

    I'll use your first post but having read your 2nd post we find out you own a DUMP TRUCK. & a mini back hoe. Put a plow on the dump truck get a set of chains for it and add some weight.
    Hey, Welcome.;)
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2007
  6. weldit

    weldit Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Get an old county plow on your dump truck, they are cheap and wide, you might be able to extend the right side so the snow goes farther off the road, or just drive faster and it will go quite a ways, the local county plows occasionally hit my house with snow and it is about 75 feet off the road! :D
  7. uniquesolutions

    uniquesolutions Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Our "driveway" is 3200' long, through a woods. That ends on the end of a private road that's about 2000' long. One full time resident on that road. They use a tractor with a snowblower on it, but it's rear mounted (to drive off the PTO), so you have to drive backwards to use it. That's okay for the distance they go, I can't imagine doing 5000' of road backwards on an old tractor, since those people intend to be gone during the winters by the time we get the house done. No other full time residents.
    The dump truck is one of the small units, basically a dually pickup with a dump body. Rear wheel drive. Not sure it's weight capacity, probably around 2 tons. Don't know how it would be with chains and weight. Now when it's empty it gets stuck on a slight incline if the road is just a little muddy.
    My concern with the plow is where the snow is going to go towards the end of a long winter. Some areas of the road are quite narrow (between the trees) or the roadway is lower that the surrounding ground. Just the drainage ditches on each side.
    I'm also concerned about the road icing up after the snow packs down. I've thought about trying to put sand down instead of salt.
    My wife's really into this, actually she started this idea (of living up there), and we work together in our remodeling business (fifty years old and she's hell on wheels when it comes to demolition).
    But you're right, what we can do in our 60's probably won't be as much fun in our 70's and 80's, but you never know, we've got a guy out on the main road that plows his driveway with an old military jeep and rides an ATV, or I could get run over by a beer truck next week. For now, I'm planning on being old and tough. I'm pretty good at the old part, got to work on getting tough.
    Here's a hint - when your wife works with you, it's much easier getting new tools, because it makes her work easier too. Probably 80% of the time it's my wife that wants to get a new tool
  8. killed300ex

    killed300ex Senior Member
    Messages: 293

    I would look into getting a tractor with a cab and rear mounted snowblower. Maybe you could sell your tractor and upgrade to a kubota l35 l39 or even a l48. They are all backhoes that are detachable within a minute or two and you could then use a rear mounted snowblower on the back and maybe rig up a plow on the loader. I think this is the way to go for your situation. Then in the summer time you have a rig that can grade the drive and something that you could also use in your small remodling buisness. Maybe even expand to light landscaping ect to pay it off.
  9. Quality SR

    Quality SR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,829

    The tractor with the blower sounds like a good idea. All the snow you guys get up there, a plow wont be worth it. Especially on a road. With the blower you wont have to worry about running out of room.
  10. weldit

    weldit Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    There are also kits that convert a rear blower to front mount and they run a long pto shaft under the tractor, there is also a gear box on the back that changes rotation to allow the front facing blower to spin the right way. You say you could heavily modify something, how about a blower on the front of an older tractor with is own motor, any car motor would do plus it would have electric start! ;)
  11. scjjcj

    scjjcj Junior Member
    from Boston
    Messages: 20

    New house in the country,a big lot and long drive, I think you can afford it.[/QUOTE]

    Nice. The guy asked a legitimate question. His personal situation is none of your business. If you have nothing goood to say don't say anything at all.
  12. theonlybull

    theonlybull Senior Member
    Messages: 405

    how about a plow, and a blower that mounts on the front of your lil' backhoe, with a good set of chains they'll push alot, then use the blower in heavy snowfalls, or to work the banks back every couple storms. maybe pick up a small chevy tracker/suzuki sidekick (2 door), throw on some good 235's, and you've got yourself a cheap, road legal 4 UTV, with an inclosed cab and heater :)
  13. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    simple. old bulldozer. nothing simpler for clearing a mile long trail in the woods. and trust me. if you really to turn it around on that one lane road it will find room.
  14. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    yep. bulldozer. old retired bulldozer.
  15. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    :rolleyes: I know things are slow right now but you don't need to talk to your self. ;) lol

    He will tell you what he told me. "Did I mention we're on a really tight budget?"
    So, I bet the Dozzer would bust the budget?

    He is looking for something that cheep and easy? Did you catch the part where there is no place to put the snow as he is concerned with pushing the snow off of the road

    "Our road is narrow, native soil, through the woods, with drainage ditches on either side. Trees come up to the drainage ditches. Because of it being a right of way, we can't make it any wider. Oh yeah, it also has a couple of fairly steep sections"

    If you read his posts it sounds like he wants to build it him self with stuff he has laying around. Using any of the equipment he already owns won't work and spending $$ on something is out of the question also:dizzy:

    Sounds like he is going to mount a couple of 2stage 8hp Arens snow-blowers to the front of his truck. You can't push the snow off of it but you can blow it in to the woods.
  16. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883


    You should see it when I'm mean:D
    I still stand behind what I said.

    Personal situation? His Q. tells us about part of his personal situation so does his answers.

    A house in town, a second house in the country, a prosperous business with equipment.
    I think he can afford it!
    The phrase- Penny pincher- comes to mind.
    :roll eyes: I was being nice:rolleyes: I was thinking something else.

    Anyways I think he wants a uniquesolution of his own.
    Last edited: May 12, 2007
  17. murray83

    murray83 Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    Awwww so a D8 is out? :rolleyes:
  18. murray83

    murray83 Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    Well if money is the decision point perhaps an older farm tractor with a used 8-9' blade up front.

    That should run under 5 grand.
  19. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    My wifes uncle lives down by you in Coneus, back in the hills though not on the lake. He plows the road with a pick-up, a F 150, till they destroyed it, now a 250. Both were/are 4x4 (a must), he also has an open ROPS tractor with a loader (60-80 hp) size, not huge. A V-plow wouldn't be a bad option either. Find someone (or a couple of someones) local with a loader, or a farmer with a tractor who would be willing to come in if needed. Stake the hell out of the roads or put reflectors on trees, or somthing to mark the road well.
  20. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    hair drier and long extension cords. hell be all set then. just will have to be sure to put studded tires on da truck. or run da hair driers off the truck alternator.....