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Hard Packed Snow

AK Snow

Junior Member
My first post to this forum, but have been lurking around unregistered for a couple weeks now - very informative. I plan to start doing some residential snow plowing and removal this winter to help defer the cost of a recently purchased skid steer loader. Here in Fairbanks, Alaska I expect most of my work will be in removing hard packed snow from driveways. We average about 80 inches a season here and most of it comes in little 1 or 2 inch events that people seem reluctant to pay to have plowed. Since its too cold for our snow to melt until the spring breakup these 1 and 2 inch snowfalls quickly add up to 1 or 2 feet of hardpack in the driveway. At some point people can't get into their garages without hitting the top of the doorway - then they're ready to pay for snow removal! Most driveways up here are either packed dirt or gravel. My Question: Any advice on how to break out and remove thick layers of hardpacked snow without taking all the gravel out with it? I'd appreciate any ideas anyone might have on this one. BTW we're getting our first snowfall of the year as I write this - lucky us! Thanks


Senior Member
Welcome to the forum.

I don't have a stellar answer to your question.

Question: Is there (WOULD THERE BE) a market to contract plow every 2 inches.

This would accomplish 3 things:

1.) Regular cleaning of the driveway for the customer.
2.) You wouldn't be asking the orginal question. (On your regular customers, anyway)
3.) A regular, predictable, bugetable income for yourself and equipment.

80" average dispersed between 30-40 snowfalls is about perfect for seasonal flat-rate residential pricing.


Senior Member
If they are gravel drives why not put teeth on your bucket or have two one with teeth to break up the snow and the second with out to clean it up.


PlowSite.com Addict
What I've seen happen here when snow packs onto a cold surface is that it doesn't really stick down. As a result you can peel the whol pack layer off prettye easy. Now once it has thawed and refrozen it becomes a whole new game, everything is one solid mass and solidly attached to the ground. If the layer hasn't frozen down it might come up pretty easy with just the bucket. One other option might be some sort of scarifier on the rear of the Bobcat, I think there is such a beast made for them. Rip it with the teeth and scoop up the loose stuff