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NASTY places

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Alan, Feb 14, 2002.

  1. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    Got called to plow drifting and sand one of our residentials yesterday. Sanding is "on call" for these folks so it wasn;t our fault it had gotten this bad. Driveway is black stone and the cold air and good sunshine the past few days had melted snow that drifted on and made ice. The last 100 yards are the worst, VERY steep. There was intermittent drifting across this bad area. I tried plowing uphill with the S-10 with both front and rear plows and was unable to push uphill so i tunred around and pulled everythign down and off to the side. The ice was smooth enough that with both plows down and the brakes on the truck would slide downhill, out of control.

  2. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    After I got the drifts gone I swapped trucks and came back with our K2500 and vee box and sanded the whole thing heavily. )I had originally hoped to deal with it just by plowing off the drifts, my son had the K model at his work and his plow was not mounted.) It took several tries, backing up and sanding, to get up the grade. This is what it looked like from the top. I didn't get all the snow off, it was too risky to keep sliding downhill, you can see about an inch of snow along the left side of the driveway. It was a bright day but temperatures were in the teens when this was taken. With the sun hitting the slope it started to melt as soon as I got a little color down.

    Last edited: Feb 14, 2002
  3. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    Alan I gota say it doesn't look that bad until you show the pic from the top.
  4. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    I was just thinking the same thing about the two pics................................... Alan, I thought "hillclimbing" was a motorcycle sport, not a truck one! ;)
  5. Mick

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

    Looking at that second picture - I was hollering "Whoa" and "putting on the brakes". Reminded me of the one I got called for a couple weeks ago for sanding. The snow had melted and froze. It was so bad, my 3500 lost traction on the last grade. DRW, 4X4 with brand new studded tires and loaded 2 yd Vbox. It slid backyards till it hit the sand I'd put down and I could keep getting another run till I worked it up to the top. Next time I'll go up backyards.
  6. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    I must say that place looks like it is no fun job.

  7. THREE W

    THREE W Senior Member
    Messages: 122

    One word says it all................Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
  8. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    That looks like a fairly typical driveway for my area here. Most are blacktop though.
  9. gene gls

    gene gls PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 481


    I have found that sanding backwards going up hill does not work well because you are pulling most of the truck weight and just don't have enough weight over the tires for traction. I have a 200' S shaped drive as steep as the drive in the pic and it takes 3 to 4 runs to make it to the top. The hairy part is trying to back down to get another running start. Looks like a dirt road when I'm done.

  10. Mick

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

    gene gls - thanks. I'd kind of wondered that, too. But I was thinking at least I'd be driving on sand so I'd get traction over having the weight but being on ice. This is my first exerience sanding, so having a huge learning curve this winter.
  11. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    I thought I was being sarcastic when I replied to the "Olympic Snow Plowing" thread about plowing having become an olympic event. Maybe you've just invented the form the competition should take. Gotta be more exciting than figure skating....
  12. Lawn Lad

    Lawn Lad Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    What's the judging criteria for the event? I'm sure both style and technial points will apply. Just as long as the French/Russians aren't in on the judging.
  13. stslawncare

    stslawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    i am just curious how much is that drive worth per plow and sand?
  14. BRL

    BRL PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 1,277

    Out of curiousity, are you curious about how much that drive goes for in Alan's area, or where you are?

    Its funny how the 2 pictures show quite different stories. The second one definitely presents what Alan was going through a little better. I only dealt with one situation like that one time. It was a gravel road with less curves but just as steep or more, shared by 4 or 5 driveways along the way. The one at the end had found me somehow a day after an 8" storm. I don't do residential but since I was done with all of my stuff & it sounded like a money maker I figured what the heck, can't be that bad of a hill based on her description because there aren't bad hills like that around here(she was tired of parking down the hill & walking up the hill, and I told her I was tired from being awake for 2 days & it would cost her a plenty - no problem). Well I was wrong, tucked away in a little patch of woods was this hill that reminds me of my travels to Vermont. Not that big of a deal, except it was icy under from the snows before this event, hadn't been touched during this event, and the bottom of the road ends into a very busy 4 lane highway, not the pretty country road in the picture above! Scary & stressful, but I managed to not slide into the highway too much & not get hit. Got $350.00 for my hour & half of stress & politely asked her to never call again. Not worth sliding into the traffic on that road.

    I gave myself a score of 9.2 for that event, the other judges weren't there ;)
  15. stslawncare

    stslawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    im curious as to what they go for in his area and mine (if we have any), be interesting to see the comparison in price too for such a large and difficult driveway
  16. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    In this area that is a $60 push. I wish it could be more, but that's all this market will bear. If we were in an area where snow results in a panic situation that could easily be worth $100+ I'm sure. It's about 20-25 minutes and on our existing route, so it still works out to a bit ove $100/hr which seems to be the local average number for estimating. Again, more would be nice, but this is an area where $45 hires a tandem and $50 gets a tri-axle.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2002
  17. Remsen1

    Remsen1 Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    man, that driveway is nuts. We have drives like this in my area, none that I do though. If I did this driveway I think I would have to require sand/salt. If they didn't want sand and salt I would make the price higher for plowing alone than the price to do plowing and sanding. Then it would be a no brainer for the customer and peace of mind for me.
  18. BRL

    BRL PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 1,277

    I figured that would be about what Alan's answer would be, hence my question to Scotty. Around here which is closer to Scottie's market, we'd get around $150\push for something like that.
  19. JCurtis

    JCurtis Banned
    Messages: 862

    Holy S*** Batman !!!

    Now thats a Driveway!!!! I would hazard to guess that in my area ( and yes Alan we flatlanders do have some driveways very similar to that one) that driveway would cost the owner at least $250 -$300 per push... PLUS probably at very least $200 for sand/or salt.

    That kinda driveway sorts makes you want to install one of those tailgate spreaders on the front of your truck instead of on the tailgate ( I can see Alan's wheels turning... mmm for my next project I wonder how I can fit that Tryex on front of my S10)

    I agree doesn't look too bad in the first pic, but that second pic whoooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa baby!!!!!

    Anyone have an old Patton Tank????:D
  20. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    Just as a point of reference, tracked equipment (although I imagine those snow cats they use to groom ski slopes would be designed differently, so they'd be an exception),....Anyway, stuff on steel tracks is NOT what you want to be riding on icy slopes. I rode an Allis Chalmers hilift about 100 feet down an icy dirt road, about that steep, totally sideways the whole time. The only thing that kept me from going over the edge into the hundred foot deep valley on the one side was the berm I'd built up the day before. You'll notice I said "rode"--I was strictly a passenger. She was going where she wanted to go, regardless of what I wanted her do. (I was a lot younger then, and just a little stupider.)

    If the judges had been there that day I'd have probably gotten about a 3.1 on my form, but a 9.6 for my artistic interpretation...