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Long driveway advice

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by bmatsinger, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. bmatsinger

    bmatsinger Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    I recently moved into a house with an 800 ft. blacktop driveway. The driveway is narrow and only half of the driveway is a hill. I've been using an 8hp snow blower but it takes forever and it never really gets all the snow off anyway (I have to go back over with a shovel). Anyway, I'm looking to see if anybody has advice. I thought about a bigger snow blower but I don't know if I'm going to have the same issue with having to go over the driveway by hand. I also thought about an ATV with a plow but I heard that they are too light. Any suggestions? Thanks . . .
  2. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Welcome to PlowSite.

    I think what your looking for is called a plow truck.:waving: lol

    Now what truck and plow combo? Do you plan on plowing any thing other than your own drive?
    Or call your local plow jockey and get someone else to do your work for you.
  3. Mick

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

    By far, the cheapest alternative with the least effort on your part is to hire someone to plow it for you.
  4. bluejeep

    bluejeep Member
    from IL
    Messages: 49

    If you have a truck or SUV
    You can go to a sams club eBay or minards or some other hardware stores and just buy a personal plow. It works just as good as a hydraulic one and a lot cheaper. I use mine to do my driveway and then I started plowing others and made my money back 3 times over this winter. www.snowbear.com
  5. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    try adjusting the snowblower you currently have- ALL methods will leave some snow behind, but if the scraper edge on the bottom of the blower or the skid feet on the sides are adjusted wrong it will leave more snow behind then it should.
  6. 00 Ram

    00 Ram Senior Member
    Messages: 113

    I dont' think thats necessarily true, depending on what equipment you have to purchase. I was told 10 years ago, and you guys confirmed in another thread here recently, that my driveway should be $100 plow job. (and bmatsinger's is bigger). I got a guy that charges half that....last winter alone, it cost me "half a snowbear" for plowing. I already have a truck. add a cheap plow, and payback should come relatively quickly.
    OTOH, a $4000 new commercial-grade snow plow would take many many years to see payback. Its unlikely that you'd keep the same vehicle that long, and when thats replaced, its unlikely that it will be replaced by the exact same make and model, which will necesitate the purchase of some very expensive parts to make it fit on the NEW truck....unless, like I said in the other thread, you're my brother-in-law, and can cobble up a plow in an hours time from the scrap in the corner of his shop.
  7. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    You forgot the effort part. If you hire it done you dont have to be home or actually get in the truck, hook up the plow( I am sure it wont be on all the time) and you wont be able to call that darned plow guy and complain about some sod that is peeled up somewhere:jester:
  8. hlenoble

    hlenoble Junior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 5

    How about a tractor with a plow?

    While my driveway is shorter than yours, at about 250', I have been very satisfied using my lawn tractor with a plow to clear it. Along with the driveway I have 3 parking areas for 2-3 cars each that I keep clear. The plow has proven to do a good job getting the snow to where the sun on the asphalt melts it clear the next day. There are a lot of folks on here who have given me some good advice, so I'm sure that you will get some as well.
  9. Mick

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

    True, but like Anthony noted, I was considering that he apparently has no truck currently (he's thinking about an ATV) and the labor part. That goes along with what I tell people (half-jokingly) - "You can sit in your kitchen drinking coffee and watch that "dumb plow guy" out there in the cold pushing that snow around".

    There's a lot to be said for being able to just get in your car and drive off. Otherwise, you get up an hour or so early, hook up the plow, plow out your driveway, then go back to clean up and change clothes before you take off. Unless you're like my neighbor and get the truck cockeyed in the driveway and halfway in the ditch. Then have to get towed before you can get the car out of the driveway. Plus any repair/maintenance issues.
  10. bmatsinger

    bmatsinger Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Great advice

    All great advice . . . thanks. I have 2 SUV's but neither of them work with the snowbear. I'd much rather do it myself so I'm not waiting around for the plow guy. My thought is a larger, industrial snowblower or an ATV/garden tractor with a plow (which I could use in other ways as well). Obviously the quicker I can get it done the better but if I have to go over it again with a regular shovel then I'll just keep what I have. Any ideas what a used ATV/plow would cost? This thing would never leave my property so I don't need something new. Thanks again . . .
  11. 00 Ram

    00 Ram Senior Member
    Messages: 113

    Well, the snowbears can be mounted on a pretty wide variety of vehicles...non-trucks and non4x4, so I took the liberty of "assuming" that he has a vehicle. if not, though...yeah. to much $$

    The problem with my situation is that I enjoyed both conditions, simultaneously. I got the privileige of paying the dumb plow guy and sitting in my kitchen drinking coffee, watching him pile a huge amount of snow right where I can't have it, and therefore, must move it myself. (and I told him a hundred times not to pile it there! :realmad: ). So then I have to go out and spend an hour or more with a snow blower, cleaning up what he couldn't or wouldn't do. some of that isn't his fault; one of the things thats "in the way" is my truck. if IT is the machine doing the plowing, then it isn't in the way anymore. so I decided it would actually be easier and less aggrivating to do it myself.
    no matter how you slice it, there just ain't no way I'm getting into my car the morning after a snow storm and just driving off.
  12. 00 Ram

    00 Ram Senior Member
    Messages: 113

    SUV's, and they they don't have a mount for them? :eek: what kind are they? can you put a front receiver hitch on either of them? then you could use the "flexblade" model. more spendy, though...
  13. mobo

    mobo Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 35

    I just wanted to say my neighbor purchased a used John Deere mower with a plow and the wheel weights and he love's it. He said it cost him about 5 for the set up. I thought it was a lot of money but he uses the thing for everything. Even in the spring he uses it to push his gravel back in his drive. I still love the snow bear set up it has worked great for me. I use it for my drive and my mother's drive about a mile down the road. Save's me from loading the snow blower and unloading. Good luck with what ever you get.
  14. bjucka2

    bjucka2 Junior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 11


    An ATV will plow fine as long as you keep up with the snow. My Uncle owns 3 apartment buildings on the same street and uses an Arctic Cat ATV to plow them out. Actually works better than a truck for his purposes as far as manuverability goes. You can find a used 4x4 ATV for around 3 grand, (maybe less) and the plow setup for about 4 hundred. The machine is also nice to have in the summer around the yard and for recreation purposes.
  15. chip_adkins

    chip_adkins Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Bigger is not always better

    Great info on this thread, so I'll up the ante. My driveway is 1.5 miles and climbs approx 1000ft through narrow switchbacks and pretty steep grades. I currently have a back mounted 6' grader blade on a 40-45hp john deere 4610 utility tractor which takes about 4hrs to push 10 inches of snow clear of this road and I have to drive backwards looking over my shoulder. I also have a couple trucks and an ATV and am seriously considering a change in the way I'm doing this. Just looking for the right set up. My driveway is chert composition and I have a terrible time keeping the surface in the road when I push snow. Things we have to deal with when we choose to live far from the next guy.
  16. Mick

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

  17. chip_adkins

    chip_adkins Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Mick, thanx I'll take a look at it.
  18. graycenphil

    graycenphil Member
    Messages: 82

    Don't forget to include how much fun it is to plow your own driveway.

    I plowed my 800 foot drive for the last 5 years with a Sears garden tractor. It worked, and was lots of fun (for me and the dog) but I broke the transmission this winter. It also took a long time in deep snow - you had to make numerous passes or plow every four inches throughout the storm.

    Now I'm using a Dodge 2500 Cummins with a Western plow, and it's even more fun. Plus the dog and my 5 year old daughter can come along. And it is a LOT faster.