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Gravel Driveway Complaint

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Birdog, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. Birdog

    Birdog Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    Got a call tonight from one of my customers who complained that I plowed ALL of his gravel away. Now he wants his trigger changed to 6 in! Guess he really does not want me around there too often! I try not to scrape down too deep on the 3 gravel driveways that I plow, but it`s not that simple especially with the uneven ground. Is there any trick to plowing gravel areas? Thanks.

    CARDOCTOR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,312

    do you have the feet on the plow. try lifting the blade an inch off the ground.

  3. dmontgomery

    dmontgomery PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,238

    or just back drag it.....
  4. DaySpring Services

    DaySpring Services PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,065

    I drop my plow then 2 taps up until it freezes, then its all the way down.

    RBRONKEMA GHTFD 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,592

    How long is the driveway? I always backdrag the gravel drives the first few times at the beginning of the season to get a base started on them.

  6. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    My driveway is gravel and I have no problems...but last year my firs tpush in the turnaround area I augered in about 9" deep. Once it froze I had zero issues...make sure you have the feet on the plow and tap it up a bit from full float until the driveway freezes. Build it into your contract for next year to do spring cleanup and you'll have a happy customer.

    I don't think a 6" trigger is going to mke that big a difference though...you're just putting more mass in front of the plow, but it still srapes down to the driveway...thats what its designed to do.
  7. GrandScapes

    GrandScapes Senior Member
    Messages: 189

    We plow a few gravel drives. We just pop on the plow shoes and it does the job. if not just tap the blade up once or twice and that will work good to.
  8. framer1901

    framer1901 Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    The 6" trigger could actually make it harder, the snow will act as a blanket and not allow the ground to freeze.

    Like someone said earlier - small driveway, back drag at first. Otherwise, go slow and keep going from float to tapped up a few times. It's tough to do, but you need to get it scrapped real close so that it'll actually freeze.
  9. Scottscape

    Scottscape Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    I've got a dentist office that's a gravel driveway, no compaints. but I salt it just so that it doesn't freeze, hes got quite a few clients coming in and out so I guess hed rather for it to be muddy. I think sooner or later hes gonna' get it paved.
  10. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    Gravel driveways are very hard, especially when they are unfrozen and uneven. I plow a gravel road, a few driveways, and a dirt parking lot. It is great when it is frozen, but it is a nightmare when it is not. Do what everyone else above had suggested, but other than that there is really no way to keep all the stones on the driveway. I know that I have atleast 3 days of work aheah of me in the spring get everything back to where it should be. People with gravel driveways just have to understand that it is now pavement and that is what you get when you won't caugh up the money for pavement.
  11. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    My secret is I DON'T DO GRAVEL DRIVEWAYS!! Thats one reason. The other is wait until you have to repaint the plow because all the paint got scratched off. It sounds like you do driveways. It is not a problem for parking lots, but the paint on plows is a special paint that prevents snow from sticking to it. Once the paint starts to scratch up or you repaint it with rustoleum every time you drop the plow in front of a garage all that snow that stuck to the plow will fall off. you will get complaint or you get out and shovel it!
  12. ThisIsMe

    ThisIsMe Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 745

    Worst problem for the customer is getting the gravel off the lawns. Does not look like much in the pile when you push it, but after the pile melts a few days the gravel adds up and rears it head to the customer.

    Gravel drives do not have to be bear, do like the others said even if it leaves a little.

    To save face you could shovel the snow and gravel off the piles onto the drive, on a warmer day and let it melt. Lot easier then raking it off the lawn later. Been there done that.
  13. Birdog

    Birdog Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    Thanks for all of the tips. No, I do not use the shoes at all for any of the driveways that I plow. The previous owner of my rig said he never used the shoes. Said that if I were doing bigger jobs like parking lots or roads I would need them.They were not on the plow when I bought it. Should I buy them? Yes, I do notice the paint dings from the gravel. Back dragging does not work very well with my plow. Maybe it`s too light. It`s 6.5 Meyer on a Jeep Wrangler. I was considering dropping all but one of the gravel driveways that I have. Just too much of a pain. Thanks again.
  14. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    Birdog, with a gravel driveway unless its frozen (then it acts like pavement) you don't want to put the blade all the way down. the reason you back drag (assuming you DON'T have a backdrag edge like I do) or plow forward with the blade up an 1" is so you build up a layer of hardpack. Leaving 6" of snow will act like a blanket and keep the driveway from freezing up properly.

    Inform the customer that building up hardpack and allowing the driveway to freeze IS the proper way to do gravel (Tell'em an old Vermonter told you so)

    OH yeah DON'T SALT a gravel driveway!!!!!!!!!!
  15. Scottscape

    Scottscape Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    as said in my case it's a dentist office. yeah, if there is hard packed snow as some of you call it after awhile it becomes solid ice and that means slip and falls. Like I said, my client would much rather have people walk in mud rather than bust their ass on the solid packed ice and get a law suit.
  16. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

  17. aus316

    aus316 Member
    Messages: 51

    There is no gravel drive secret only ones i do are of my neighbors and with the understanding i only will push into the end of there drives(as said all down and 1-2 taps up) but since they under stand the effects in april or late march i myself go back and back drag the gravel before i remove the plow(but then again thats just way i do things) so to each his own:gunsfiring: :gunsfiring: not all things can be concrete or asphault :gunsfiring: :gunsfiring:
  18. ThisIsMe

    ThisIsMe Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 745

    Not busting on you Scott, but what kind of dentist cannot afford to pave? Not sure I would get a "warm fuzzy" about a dentist office that I had to trudge through mud to get in the door.
  19. fast68

    fast68 Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    my neighbor had some doofus in a ford plow his gravel driveway directly across the street from me and he shoved it all in my yard, now i have tons of gravel in my lawn

    im pissed

    i have alot of shovel and rake work to do now

    next time i see that f*cker im giving him a black eye and maybe i will plow into his plow with one of my trucks too

    as if i dont have enough maintainence work to do on this property with trees falling apart and muddy driveway gravel sinking problems and so on

  20. MrBigStuff

    MrBigStuff Senior Member
    from Boston
    Messages: 140

    Gravel in lawn

    I used to live where the highway plows would go by at 40 mph slinging gravel 20ft or more into my yard. The neighbors pushed their 1/2 mile long driveway right into my front yard too. Spring was a nightmare. Then I discovered a tool you can rent that sweeps the lawn. They have portables and walk behinds. It's basically a counter-rotating drum with flexible blades that will move the gravel but not damage the grass. Works like a charm! I was done in a couple of hours versus several weekends. It helps to scoop up as much of the bigger piles right off the top of the snow rather than wait for it all to melt...

    I just remembered there was a time I used the same machine to sweep all the broken glass from my lawn after there was a nasty accident. Never did walk without shoes around there again but it got all of the glass up that I could see.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007