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packing more snow than actually plowing - any tips?

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by smallfry, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. smallfry

    smallfry Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    Hi guys - hope everyone is having a safe/profitable blizzard here in the NE - was wondering if I could ask a question -

    Sort of on a lark, I set up a GMC Sonoma w an old Fisher speedcast 6.5' plow - went out today in the NE blizzard (I am just outside NYC in Yonkers) and had a tough go of it -

    Was trying to clear some driveways to try and recoup the cost of my plow and ended up turning driveways into ski slopes. Drives are short in my area (about two &half truck lengths) so I drove up to garage, dropped plow and tried to back drag, then backed up to garage, dropped plow & pushed. Even after several passes the drive was covered with 2" of packed snow. tried all kinds of tricks (like shoveling a bare spot to start to plow on). even though the truck could push whatever was loose in front of it, b/c of the packing issue, I had to do a ton of shoveling today to fix up these drives while the plow just sat there.

    So, was wondering of anyone had any feedback-

    6.5' too light?
    Its wet snow, maybe just too prone to packing?
    short one-way drives inherently annoying?
    plastic plow edge (which actually seems to be in pretty good shape) not correct edge?

    thanks for reading! - Eric
  2. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    In my very very limited driveway experience I've found that after you do your initial clearing if you push in towards the garage the lift the plow drive forward a few feet then re-backdrag that it usually works
  3. theholycow

    theholycow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,180

    A backdrag edge would have done the job.
  4. Clint S

    Clint S Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    Shoes???????? Yes, back dragging with a light plow will pack it down too.
  5. geer hed

    geer hed Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    Do you have the shoes on the plow ? If so either lower them down if posible or beter yet just remove them.
  6. Laszlo Almasi

    Laszlo Almasi Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    Wrong plow for the task. Not designed for back-dragging and very light. What does it weigh...about 250#? I think that setup might be ok for about 2" at best.
  7. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    That's what I sometimes have to do in loading docks, aside from the weight issue the cutting edge is pitched to bite into the snow going forward...kind of like shaving w/ a dull razor in the wrong direction.
  8. smallfry

    smallfry Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    thank you for the replies!

    will look into backdrag edge -

    no shoes on plow -

    it is light, its ~250 lbs

    thanks, Eric
  9. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    A steel cutting edge would probably help a bit too.
  10. jasonv

    jasonv PlowSite.com Addict
    from kannada
    Messages: 1,122

    Steel cutting edge for sure, backdrag blade if possible, some kind of weight you can put on the blade. Downpressure.

    The last is something that I've been thinking about for a while now, specifically, how to rig down pressure to a unit that didn't come with it. Adding downpressure really shouldn't be all that difficult from a theoretical standpoint. Get a pull/push lift cylinder with a length and stroke matching your factory cylinder, a 4-way ball valve, and a piece of square pipe. Also need some 1/4" hydraulic lines and a 1/4" NPT thread tap.

    You'll need to tap in to the base of your pump's fluid reservoir. This should be near the bottom to keep air out of the cylinders.

    Now the 4-way ball valve will have a connection to the hydraulic supply, the new connection to the reservoir, the "up" side of the lift cylinder, and the "down" side of the lift cylinder. With the ball valve one way, it should connect the pump supply to the "up" side of the cylinder, and the reservoir to the "down" side of the cylinder. With the valve in the opposite direction, it should connect the pump supply to the "down" side of the cylinder, and the reservoir to the "up". Like this, you'll be able to power UP the lift cylinder with the valve in one direction, and power DOWN the cylinder with the valve in the other direction, and float mode will be unaffected.

    Last step is to swap out the chain with the square pipe. It will need to be bolted on to the lift arm and the plow, and has to be able to pivot on both ends.

    Now this will obviously be slightly inconvenient, since switching between lifting and down pressure will require going out and manually flipping the ball valve, so an easy upgrade for that would be to use a solenoid valve instead.
  11. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Wet snow is harder to back drag. You will get that icy glaze to it. And if some cars drove on it first good luck. But in your area it will melt fast.
  12. smallfry

    smallfry Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    thanks for additional replies -
    cool idea Jason, I'm gonna take a closer look at the next Caterpillar front loader I see for additional clues -
    Grandview, I couldnt hear what you said I was staring at your avatar Thumbs Up

    thanks guys, Eric
  13. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,978

    chain too tight not allowing the plow to drop and float