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PLEASE HELP packed snow and ice in driveway, not plowed but thawed and frozen again

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Shoreline, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. Shoreline

    Shoreline Member
    Messages: 59

    Please help. I am new to this industry so please pardon my ignorance. I had a potential customer call me yesterday and he has a fairly long (about 200') and twisting driveway with a circle turn around. The snow has not been plowed there for some time and after the last significant (about 6-8") of snow, it has not been plowed but it has thawed, been rained on and frozen again. I don't think there is anyway my plow will move this frozen mess so my question is this, will putting salt on the main frozen areas be enough to melt it down or at least break it up enough that I will be able to plow it? The driveway itself is gravel under the snow pack.

    If salting won't cut it for what they want, I am thinking I may need to find someone with a tractor and a box or landscaping scraper or front end loader to dig it up.

    The customer is getting low on heating oil so he needs this taken care of. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
  2. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

    Use plenty of salt where you can and if he has concrete then some type of ice-melt let it work for awhile the try your best with your plow to scrape it up. Why wasn't taken care of and let go for so long? Don't forget to charge premium for it thou you might be there awhile.
  3. Grassman09

    Grassman09 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,808

    I'd say your best best is sand salt mix not pure salt. Pure salt will just melt right to the bottom and melt a few holes in the ice and do nothing. I doubt a piece of equipment other then a cold planer will break up all of the ice.
    The sand salt will provide traction for the fuel truck. What do you have to apply the traction aid down with?
  4. Shoreline

    Shoreline Member
    Messages: 59

    DJ, it wasn't taken care of before now because he has his own truck just for doing his own driveway but the suspension is broken on it. One of his neighbours is a friend of mine and he put us in touch. I had tried to contact him while it was still somewhat warm out but wasn't able to reach him, so here we are and we've got frozen snow pack to deal with.

    Grassman, I only have a push behind spreader which I don't mind using for this job. I'm using bagged road safety salt right now. I may just put a bunch down on the tire tracks and push off what I can so at least the fuel truck has some traction and get it started with breaking up.
  5. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872


    As it is asphault the only real option (IMO) is a small wheel loader in the L70-90 class with a (small reclaiming bucket-no teeth) and placing the bucket in float position to follow the ground at a very low speed and then sanding with a sand salt mix-heavy on sand as you will be cleaning and clearing for a fuel truck.

    The weight of the loader will be enough to provide 4 wheel drive traction and the bucket will break the snow and ice as it moves forward simply due to the reclaim buckets cutting edge.

    A grader will be just as capable but will need a lot of room to work where a front end loader will swing in the middle as it has articulated steering.

    If the path and circle are clear and free of landscaping, shrubs, lamp posts the grader may be faster.

    A skid steer loader with a heavy snow blower may be less expensive to rent(if available) and the blower will break the ice layer too.
  6. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

  7. framer1901

    framer1901 Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    Why not just scrape it back to hard pack? Sure it might be a bit slick but he's been driving thru it up till this point. If a fuel delivery truck can't make it in and it's flat, can a new fuel company, if there's a hill I'd just throw sand only down.

    The money you'd throw away trying to melt even 2" of hard pack, outa your mind.

    Where I live at, our gravel country roads can have 3 or 4" of hard pack on them....... What's the big deal??

    A loader??? OMG, you'll spend more on that than the fuel and you'll tear the crap outa the drive IF you can break thru hard pack.
  8. Shoreline

    Shoreline Member
    Messages: 59

    Thanks for the replies, I wasn't expecting that many answers this quickly. I think that probably the best I'll be able to do at this point is get some traction aid down so the fuel truck can get in. I'll be calling the guy shortly to get the work authorized and start it first thing Monday morning.

    He drove on it a few times when the snow was soft so now there are ruts all over the place. I'll see what I can do.
  9. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872


    I stated "using a reclaim bucket only" and barely running above idle speed.

    As I was following his description of the mess and this "aphault driveway":

    I suggested the loader as an OPTION with the "RECLAIM BUCKET" IN FLOAT AT LOW FORWARD SPEED. A very small grader would work as the six wheel drive traction would work to its advantage as the graders cutting edge can be moved sideways removing a small cut at a time to expose the mess

    Its not his fault the driveways a mess anyway, as it is property owners problem because he did nothing about it to begin with. :dizzy: and he is creating a huge liabilty issue with fire rescue response and EMS

    The issue with liabilty as well as getting a fuel truck stuck and causing a spill from a tip over is another problem- which is also why the majority of rural fire departments leave thier pumpers on the road during active fires to avoid tranport issues and entrapment due to ground conditions.

    A larger farm tractor with a rear mounted snow blower is an other excellent option as the auger will tear the entire height of the snow pack out to ice or the bottom.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2010
  10. dchr

    dchr Senior Member
    Messages: 159

    Maybe my eyes are going but if I read it right in the initial post it was stated that it is a gravel drive:confused:

    I had one like this also last season (is now a contract customer)-320 ft. long gravel drive. Finally called in the middle of January last year-same thing-frozen ruts all over the place and the oil company refused to try to get a truck in there. The driveway was curvy and had a decent grade. Salted for a good day-let it work,scraped what I could then sanded the hell out of it. After every storm following this I would just scrape to the hard pack and sand it.
  11. Grassman09

    Grassman09 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,808

    Nop not your eyes just others.

    A grader on a residential driveway why not bring in a cat D11 with 2 ripper teeth out back.
    shoreline will be lucky if the client wants to pay for salt let alone a grader or tractor or some other piece of heavy equipment. The fuel truck guy isn't going to throw down sand its not his job he just delivers the fuel.
  12. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872


    I apologise for missing that but the results are the

    same as the property owner is one who is responsible

    for the mess, not me or the OP.

    He will be lucky if he has to portage fule in cans as

    they will not drive up or back up that driveway for the reasons

    I stated previously.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2010
  13. terraventure

    terraventure Member
    Messages: 52

    I know this is unorthodox but In the past when I have been cheap and my driveway is icy, I have taken my harley rake to it to preak up the heard pack and ice. Obviously I have a gravel driveway. It is 1650 feet long. I am better know about scraping the crap out of it know wo I don't have an icing/ hardpack probelm anymore. The harley rake only takes a couple of passes
  14. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Just try plowing it with your blade first to see what happens. You may be surprised at how muc comes up.
    Go slow and the blade may work down under some of the stuff.
  15. Shoreline

    Shoreline Member
    Messages: 59

    Money is not an issue with this guy. It needs to get done and he knows it so I imagine I'll have to do whatever it takes and bill accordingly. Thanks for the ideas.
  16. Grassman09

    Grassman09 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,808

    If that's the case why did he wait to plow it and let the snow build up? I'd be carefull with those that have money to burn they are usually the stingiest and cheapest ones out there and will not pay when the bill comes in.

    What you charged me $$$$ to salt my driveway, no way I'm not paying that I think its worth $50 here I'll give you $60 because I like you.

    Maybe you can use some of that well brine that is an abundant underground in your area.
  17. jomama45

    jomama45 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,190

    Don't take this the wrong way, but personally, I'd stay away from this. There's no simple, cost effedtive way to remove that mess, especially over gravel. I'd let "Mother Nature" at least loosen it up for you again. If you end up throwing a bunch of time & money at this, odds are that it will warm up before you get paid, & the HO will be wondering why all the excess effort, & more importantly, cast, was put forward.

    Here's my suggestion: Pay someone else a few bucks that's set-up to sand the drive & help him find someone with a fuel transfer tank in a pick-up to haul 100+ gallons of oil in to get him by for a few weeks.

    If he has propane instead of oil, tell him to turn the heat way down! ;)
  18. KBTConst

    KBTConst Senior Member
    Messages: 426

    Just sand it fuel drivers deal with icy roads all the time then charge the customer a fair price make money but dont make him go bankrupt maybe he will give up plowing for himself and hire you if you treat him fair JMO
  19. UpstateDzlGuy

    UpstateDzlGuy Senior Member
    Messages: 121

    Sand/Salt mix. Sand will help with the traction and even out the melting. Just salt on gravel will melt straight through and into the gravel. Chris
  20. backupbuddy

    backupbuddy Senior Member
    Messages: 267

    If it was me I would figure out what you think it is going to cost you to just sand and salt it with you and another guy shoveling it out of the back of your truck(since you don't have a sander) and tell the customer and get him to give you a check up front. Been burned to many times by people like this :realmad: . There to cheap to get it done when it can be done then want it done for nothing. Good Luck.