Equipment Recommendations for a long steep driveway

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by Plow novice, Dec 6, 2019.

  1. Plow novice

    Plow novice Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    I am purchasing a property in New Hampshire that has a driveway that is 1200 feet long, 22 feet wide at a consistent grade of 8.33% (4.76 degrees) and at the top of the driveway is an additional level elevation of 800 feet. The steep portion of the driveway rises 100 feet in elevation over a length of 1200 feet. The New Hampshire location receives 70 to 125 inches of snow a year with occasional concerns of ice.

    I am considering a plow truck or skid steer or midsize tractor to plow the bulk of the steep portion of the driveway and possibly a snow blower and/or ATV for smaller snow removal tasks. An alternative for snow removal could be a wheel loader.

    Does the truck, skid steer (track or wheel), tractor, or loader do a better job at plowing steep driveways? i am considering tire chains for all equipment options.

    What combination or combinations of equipment are best? salting and sanding will need to be done as well when needed.

    Other considerations include hiring a snow removal company to keep the driveway plowed. I do not know if companies would plow this driveway or what it would cost to plow the driveway.

    Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. seville009

    seville009 PlowSite.com Addict
    from CNY
    Messages: 1,821

  3. zlssefi

    zlssefi Senior Member
    Messages: 204

    id steer clear of wheel loaders for steep, icy terrain. that has disaster written all over it. id say a truck with good studded snow tires or chains should do the trick. if you need to apply sand a good tailgate spreader should be able to spread any bagged materials.
     
  4. White_Gold11

    White_Gold11 Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    I use my wheel loaders with sno tyres to do all of our” steep work”.. we also have skids, trucks, tractors with sno tyres.. Not trying to be rude but if I had a 1/4 mile of steep road that gets tons of snow I would want a loader with sno tyres and a blade that could angle. My 2c
     
  5. ByDesign

    ByDesign Senior Member
    Messages: 383

    Ill play, my driveway is an 11% grade and I get about 400" of snow a year. I have a skid steer w/plow & blower, truck plow and a wheel loader. The wheel loader will move the most, but its the slowest. Also, I had to buy $6k worth of chains to keep the thing on the road...snow tires only wont do it.

    The truck gets used until the snow banks are too tall to push snow over the side of the road...usually late December. Then the skid w/blower comes in and I use that till about the end of March. Then I use the wheel loader to push everything back and help accelerate the melting. That being said...last year on June 23 we got an additional 2' of snow...so no plan is ever perfect.
     
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  6. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 34,203

    I read that a snowblower wasn't a good idea because it compacts the snow and makes it more difficult to move...:rolleyes:
     
    Hydromaster likes this.
  7. prezek

    prezek Senior Member
    Messages: 389

    About the same here.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Plow novice

    Plow novice Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    A snowblower removes the air from the snow and makes it more dense. If you had to 'move' the snow with the snowblower more than once for a wide driveway it could be problematic.
     
    BUFF likes this.
  9. OP
    OP
    Plow novice

    Plow novice Junior Member
    Messages: 9

  10. Hydromaster

    Hydromaster PlowSite Veteran
    from 406
    Messages: 3,943

    Not only does it compact it knocking the air out. The Energy that is used to move the snow also heats up the snow it breaks up the snow Crystal creating more water so it actually re-freezes into a more solid mass.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Plow novice

    Plow novice Junior Member
    Messages: 9


    I am looking at buying a truck (3/4 or 1 ton) with a spreader and a skid steer/or tractor. An ATV or UTV with a plow will be considered for the walkways.
     
  12. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 34,203

    Fully aware of that, but generally when you move it once with a blower, that's it.

    Thanks Sherman.

    I'm a flatlander and willing to try just about anything once. Doesn't seem that steep to me. But most of my employees think I'm crazy too.
     
    Hydromaster likes this.
  13. LapeerLandscape

    LapeerLandscape PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,090

    I would think a plow either windrowing or pushing straight ahead to a pile would pack and make it much more dense than what a blower would do.
     
  14. DAFFMOBILEWASH

    DAFFMOBILEWASH PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,656

    My thought is a large skid steer with a blower and studded tires. First run would be downhill from the house, where you can use the snow to aid your decent speed.

    One good thing about the blower is it will remove the air from the snow. Four inches of fluff turns into one inch of compacted cement. If the banks get out of hand, I'm sure someone in the region could rectify the problem with a wheel loader. What are other homeowners using?

    You plan on sanding at all? There are some slick skid mounted sanders available these days. Drive into the pile of sand and spread.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Plow novice

    Plow novice Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    I have a JD dealer 3 miles away and a Cat dealer 20 miles away. I would need to figure out if I drive it to the dealer for maintenance/repair or find a vehicle for transportation.

    Is the Cat 930M or JD 544L too big (about 30,000 pounds)? Would it be an issue if the loader was not used in the summer?

    I may take a look at renting a loader initially when needed to see what option works the best for the driveway.
     
  16. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 34,203

    You must have one heck of a budget.
     
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  17. Hydromaster

    Hydromaster PlowSite Veteran
    from 406
    Messages: 3,943

    With that kind of a budget why don’t you just get rid of the headache altogether and hire it out ?
     
  18. OP
    OP
    Plow novice

    Plow novice Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    I am leaning toward a truck with plow and sander and a skid steer, both with chains. Should the skid steer be wheeled or tracked? The truck could also be used to transport the skid steer if it needs to go in repair/service.

    Initially, I may rent a loader to push the snow back and will purchase if needed. I have about 20-30 feet cleared of trees on each side of the 22 foot driveway.
     
  19. OP
    OP
    Plow novice

    Plow novice Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    The property is unique in the area for steep driveways, it is not in a subdivision either with other like houses. Most driveways locally are flat or have a slight incline. The previous owner hired a professional plow company but ended up doing it himself after the plow company refused to plow it anymore. The previous owner used a truck and either a skid steer or tractor. All the equipment was sold in an estate sale.

    I will look at the skid mounted sanders.
     
  20. OP
    OP
    Plow novice

    Plow novice Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Hiring it out does seem like the best option. I have had plow company interest until they see the driveway.
     
    Hydromaster likes this.