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How do you plow 25-30 inches and come out alive?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Mr.PLOWSI, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. Mr.PLOWSI

    Mr.PLOWSI Member
    Messages: 33


    Wishing and thinking about snow I thought about the blizzard of 96'. I was in high school at the time not thinking much about plowing. This year is my 3rd year plowing and the biggest event I plowed was 15". Not bad, but 25"-30" inches?:dizzy:. Whats the best way to handle something like that just in case it happens. I have 15 commercial accounts(mostly doctor offices and some small private roads). All i do is plow not remove, should I in the future have a bobcat,dump truck rates in my contract to get rid of all that snow, because I can't see how else to get rid that amount of snow at some of my accounts. There has got to be some good stories with that event,
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Hopefully you don't wait that long to plow because it will be nothing but a pain in the a$$.As they say plow with the storm. If it's gets that bad all rules are out the window.If your all seasonal start at the first lot and keep going.If your per push start at the first one and keep going just remember to write down date,time how much snow on the ground.In your area you probably get all that wet snow so get it off the ground as fast as possible because you'll beat your truck and yourself to death.As for loader work find someone to sub for you and add a little for yourself in your price for equipment in the contract.
    When we had 7 feet of snow in one week there wasn't more than 6ins. on the ground at one time.
  3. drmiller100

    drmiller100 Senior Member
    from idaho
    Messages: 119

    front end loaders.

    i've got a pretty big skid steer, with an 8.5 foot snow bucket on it. 30 inches would be a very long day, but if it were dry enough, we could do it.

    around here all the big parking lots (big being anything bigger then a circle-k) are done with a loader. i've got custoemrs saying they don't think i'm gonna survive this year with my skid steer because I can only stack about 12 feet up.
  4. itsgottobegreen

    itsgottobegreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,351

    I got bobcats and tractors with blowers. Thats my saving grace. Thank god my plowing partner has a backhoe and I got people I can call if we need a loader. 30" of snow would take us 2.75 days to clear all of our lots curb to curb. Its great to be paid by the hour when its deep. payup
  5. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    If you can't get to it sooner than later, and you can't push the full amount on the ground without getting bogged down, you can peel it away in layers. Drop the plow to the ground, then raise it six inches or so. Don't raise it so much that you can't maintain traction in whats left. I've plowed deep snows this way. Work across the lot shaving the top layer off by pushing with the blade straight. Go back and clean up whats left. Hopefully you won't have to wait till there are eighteen inches down, but if forced to you can remove twelve, and then the last six. You'll have to find your own limits based on your truck and conditions of the snow, i.e. crust on top, ice underneath.

    ADLAWNCUTTERS Senior Member
    Messages: 212

    no problem here in buffalo, you just take your time .you should plow with the storm.you only can do what you can do.i've pulled into lots where the snow was as high as my superdutie mirror. i would just chip at it slowly.if you are plowing houses and the drives are tight you have to plow with the storm.
  7. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    If you've got a big storm coming, just start plowing as soon as there's 2-3" of snow on the ground. By the time you get to #15 account, there'll be 12", and then start over.

    Don't sleep, drink / eat / think caffiene.
  8. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I would advise against raising the plow to shave off the top layer. What could happen is something like this:

    As you raise the plow, it will continue to ride up on the snow. You might counter this by pushing the toggle or button back down. But you need to be careful and make sure you don't let the moldboard get too high. Then if you're shaving off the top, the truck will be riding up on the snow. The front end may sink into the snow and the moldboard will sink with it - only further, taking it below the level you are plowing. Now you can't raise it high enough to back out. You are stuck.You will need to shovel out behind the moldboard to move. Even then, you can only back as far as you've shoveled. You will need to get enough momentum and angle the plow so you are windrowing in reverse.

    The other piece of advise is - Don't let snow fall over the top of the moldboard and get behind it. Reason - see above paragraph.

    Be especially careful of those wet, heavy snows.
  9. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    This is where a V-plow REALLY shines. I plowed the '96 one and a bunch of other deep and quick ones over the years. Some with a V some without. But I always love the customers...."But I have to get out! Come plow me NOW!" My response is, "If I could get your driveway clear Mr. Smith, you still wouldn't be able to get anywhere.....The roads won't be plowed in your neighborhood for another DAY yet.....I'll be there before that!"

    Around here, roads take days to be plowed. They just don't have the equipment to handle it. They send out the national guard to ticket anyone on the roads that is NOT an emergency vehicle.
  10. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    You go out for you're trigger, or sooner if it's snowing at more than 1 inch/hour and start plowing your route. Don;t waste time, and don;t bother '"cleaning" it up, making it look pretty- you'll be back soon enough.
    This is where experiance and forethought come into play- push the snow back ALL they way, every time. Make sure you have left yourself room for more snow after the current pass freezes. I have customers I push the snow into their back yards. When we get a blizzard as you mention, it's necessity to have that already done or you have nowhere to push the snow to.
    Plow each drive basically, then move on. Finmish the route and repeat until it lets up. Not too diffacult in theory- just make SURE you push the snow back in preperation- every storm, every time because you never know weither the next storm will be a big one or not (reguardless of the weather forcasts, which you should know already)

    A loader is not necessary if you follow the above- and never waite for it to end with that kind of snow fall- even a 1 ton with a V blade has limitations of what it can push- and the more snow you push the more strain on the truck.
  11. sunriseturf

    sunriseturf Member
    Messages: 54

    Have Subcontractors with heavy equipment on call. There are those that don't want any type of commitment or don't any snow that may want to help you in an emergency.......They are hard to find but once you get them they are worth it. Make sure they have backhoes and wheel loaders and can drive their way there without having to have the equipment hauled. Reasonable cops won't hassle you during a storm.

    Have a shift rotation for drivers and plow snow constantly. Any snow that deep will be light and easy to push. Drifting will be a problem so try to work with the wind.

    Also you will have fuel supply issues. Get some bed tanks or alternate storage that can supply whatever heavy equipment you have. Fuel will be like gold until the stations can open up and clear themselves out. Also if they will only have so much that will go quick if contractors will know a monster is coming.
    Last but not least is plan for the worst and hope for the best.
    Hope that helps
  12. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    Not to argue with you Mick, but I have never had any of those things happen when plowing that way. Maybe you thought I was talking about pushing back piles to make room for more snow, in which case, yes, those things have happened. I suppose it could happen clearing a lot too.
  13. Mr.PLOWSI

    Mr.PLOWSI Member
    Messages: 33

    Thanks for all the good ideas and experience. i have a feeling we are going to get hit really bad, the saying you better be careful on what you wish for is stuck in my mind with the lack of storms, dunno, just a hunch. i would like 3 6 inch storms instead of one 18-20 incher,
  14. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    I think the biggest strom I have plowed in 8 years was around 24 inches on the ground- not much concern for a storm over that.
  15. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    No problem, no arguing seen. I was simply relating it as this is something that could happen, because it has happened to me. More than once (usually I learn the first time). No, I was talking about pushing snow (lots or driveways). Now I won't raise the moldboard at all. It stays on the ground while I'm plowing forward till I get to the pile and want to stack. For the same reason, I don't drive up on the pile with the one ton. The front wheels have fallen through a couple times. Me and shovels (to clear behind the moldboard) do not get along.
  16. douglasl330

    douglasl330 Senior Member
    Messages: 356

    I'm with Mick on this one hate shoveling--Almost had to shovel last year pushing a back, got a little to aggressive and had too much between truck and moldboard! Don't get paid enogh for that! Like "just me" stated "go out at your trigger" and just stay out --get paid by the push! Leaving it till the end makes no sense! Way too much work! Never mind the beating the equipment is going to take! Line up subs for snow removal and put prices in your contract for need equipment! Clients know up front cost if snow needs to be removed! Let them make the call! They know what they need for parking and the such!
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2006
  17. Rgory

    Rgory Member
    Messages: 64

    I hear you on the shoveling,

    They can be lifesavers but its never good when you have to get out and dig yourself out in a storm.

    It was my first year plowing and I was in the bosses brand new excursion, him sitting shot gon. Probabbly my second event, I was windrowing a long lot at 4:30 in the morning. You had to back around the corner of the building and I was nervous because the boss was right next to me so as I was backing around I cut the wheel a little to hard and ended up getting stranded on the windrow pile. after I got done shoveling, I told him I would stick to driving his pick up as I knew it had a little more ground clearance and wouldnt get stuck as easy.

    Anyways didnt mean to hi-jack the thread, but indeed you do learn from experience. And as far as big storms the biggest I have been fortunate to plow as a 14" last year. We just cleared it as 2 or 3 4"-5" storms. Just kept on running the route till it was all done and clear.

    Good luck everyone,

    Mick I hope your right.

  18. Rowski

    Rowski Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    As most have said... plow with the storm and have you subcontractors lined up.

    The most I have plowed was 40" granted it was fluffy snow. If you get enough speed you don't get any snow boiling over your moldboard. Plowing a larger area like turn around or intersections can be a pain, multiple passes. I usually use the blade in the straight position with no overlaps then do it again to clean up.

    In rural snow plowing snow removal is not a problem, most of the time there is room to put the snow. Usually if people can get in and out, they are not to worried about it.

  19. KeystoneLawn&Landscaping

    KeystoneLawn&Landscaping Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Ive seen lots of guys not push thier snow as far as possible...and not stack it either...then when a medium to big storm comes they are scrambling to find room....I have even gone around when the snows not flying(and Im bored) to my smaller lots and pushed the snow as high as I can...can never have enough room...especially here in the belts