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first storm but no frost in road--plow or wait?

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by Megunticook, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. Megunticook

    Megunticook Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 190

    Well, we finally are getting a real storm here in Maine this morning. About 4 inches so far here in Camden and still falling hard.

    I'm debating whether to plow my drive, though (900 foot, gravel)--the ground hasn't frozen yet (warmest November ever) and I know if I plow I'm going to gouge up the driveway something awful (I run a FrontRunner rake/grader on my Fisher headgear every spring to keep the driveway properly crowned).

    Just curious how other people deal with this situation. I'd really rather wait until the ground freezes up, but depending on the weather I could end up with glazed hardpack/ice later in the week--I generally try to keep the drive bare as much as possible during the winter.

    How do you pros. handle this type of situation?
  2. Rampart Ranger

    Rampart Ranger Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    I plow 1.5 miles of gravel for my neighbors and myself.

    We like to let the ground freeze first, but sometimes it doesn't work that way. Try to keep your plow raised an inch or so above the gravel. With a straight plow this is easy, just shorten your lift chain so the plow fully lowered is slightly off the ground. Try to plow early AM when chances of the ground being frozen are better.

    Leaving a bit of snow and ice on a gravel road does no harm. Generally the sun will slowly melt what remains where it will migrate into the gravel and refreeze overnight. This will help solidify the base.

    The worst plowing on gravel is in the spring with heavy, wet snow and a thawing base. This is when the most damage to the road will occur.

    Early summer, blade the gravel back out of the ditches and over the crown. Drag the road several times over the summer. Gravel roads require constant maintenance, but with the right gear and a little care it ain't that bad.
  3. deere-cat

    deere-cat Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    Yeah, I think you have to find some way to get most of the snow off your drive. I have an outdoor RV storage lot (just under 4 acres) that's all gravel, and is kind of low, so it stays wet until it freezes. Tough to plow, but not impossible. If you touch the ground, it may dig right in, making a mess. I drop my shoes an inch and a half or so, and watch the height of the plow - don't float it, and go slow. Kind of a pain, but it gets the drive cleared off in case it freezes, and turns to hard packed ice. I've been doing it this way for years, and I would love to hear any new ideas, too. Always willing to learn new things!:cool:
  4. dunedog

    dunedog Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    While not a pro ...I looked at the weather headed to Maine next week ......any snow you have now will be melted by then .....:waving:
    But it felt like mid winter today though didn't it ......it was friggin cold and that wind was a bear..