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Plow questions

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by Kunker, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. Kunker

    Kunker Member
    Messages: 96

    Hi all, and sorry for another newb post.

    I've got a long (few hundred feet) gravel drive and so far have been very unhappy with the one contractor I could get out to plow my place, so I'm looking at picking up a plow and trying it myself. I do have some questions before I take the plunge:

    This is my work truck (92 Suburban, auto, 350), and I work weekends as a contractor (installing satellites, etc). How big of an impact would the weight of the plow make gas mileage?

    Typically how easy/difficult would it be to take a plow off and on every week? Asking generally here, I'm still looking at different makes/models.

    Would a personal plow like the Snowbear make sense, or should I look at something a little heavier (Fisher, Western, etc)?

    Again, my intent is to only plow my own driveway and possibly a few neighbours if it comes up. Is it worth trying, or just look for a new plow guy?

  2. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,372

    If you get a newer plow it will go on and off very quik. Fisher and Boss make high quality plows that go on and off very quikly. You should stay away from Snowbear JMO.
  3. dirtmandan2

    dirtmandan2 Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    have you talked to the guy doing your drive and told him the things you aren't happy with? could be that simple...
  4. Kunker

    Kunker Member
    Messages: 96

    That's the first step I need to take, and I hope it's that simple too. But if it does come down to it, I'd like to start some research first and get an idea on what I should be looking for, if it's worth it, etc. Biggest problem is that the wife hired the guy and now can't find his number, so I gotta wait until the next snowfall.
  5. rocknrollrednec

    rocknrollrednec Senior Member
    Messages: 108

    I'm a fan of Meyer plows. simple, relatively light, and rugged.
    however, I have no idea about their newer stuff, or customer service, etc...cuz mine is from the 80's and I do all my own maintenance and repairs. it's not as fast turning and raising as some others, but...meh, doesn't bother me
    A few of my neighbors have Western Plows that I've had to work on, and they seem to be a good design as well.
  6. Stan MI

    Stan MI Member
    Messages: 86


    First welcome to the site. Lots of good help here.

    I only plow my drive and a couple of others so I am by no means an authority, this is just my opinion.

    Gravel is a pain to plow and I think it's much harder on your equipment. If the ground underneath it is not frozen you can scrape up a ton of gravel if your not careful and going slow. (just put this in another post). I put my shoes about an inch below the cutting edge and just go slow. If it digs in raise it up a little and move ahead slow.

    Hope this helps and good luck.
  7. sbouck

    sbouck Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I have had a western ultramount for less than one year. Less than five minutes to put on or off. Probably the same for any brand of new plow. I have a Pro plow, not the Pro Plus plow. It is a step down from the Pro Plus, which is more for the commercial plower. I too only do my driveway - 2/10 mile, and a couple of friends. I took the advice of someone else and decided to buy the brand that has the closest dealer for ease in getting parts and service. As far as gas, its like putting 700 lbs on your front axle. My V-10 gets 8 mpg with the plow on traveling 45 mph on the hwy, travelling through town with the plow, pulling a 16 ft loaded trailer without a plow, and traveling on the hwy 65 mph with no load. It never changes. Just depends on what your vehicle does with 700 lbs on the front axle. Note travel speed is much slower when plow is being transported on road.
  8. Kunker

    Kunker Member
    Messages: 96

    Thanks for all the replies, especially on the amount of time it takes to take the plow on and off. Western and Fisher are the two closest dealers if I remember correctly, so I think I'll give them a call some time.

    And I did read a thread on plowing gravel, and recommendations on wrapping the cutting edge with pipe, or having the shoes and/or cutting edge raised a few inches.
  9. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,372

    Fisher makes a very high quality product you should be happy with them JMO.
  10. snow tender

    snow tender Senior Member
    Messages: 134

    Sounds like it maybe time to check with another contractor. Find out who is plowing the driveways in your area. If you are set on buying a plow a Snowbear may not hold up if you have a long stone drive, let alone a couple next door. You may look for a better plow in your $ range.
  11. onemanshow

    onemanshow Junior Member
    from alaska
    Messages: 27

    I have a long gravel drive also.I don't use the shoes on my plow because the seem to dig in also.I keep the blade about an inch off the ground and go.I have been happy with my blizzard plows.I can get them on or off in under a minute.
  12. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    To do it right would cost a few grand, plus you need some one to build you (or do it yourself) a turf guard for the gravel so a new plow guy could be cheaper
  13. Kunker

    Kunker Member
    Messages: 96

    Thanks for all the advice guys!

    In looking around the neighbourhood, the same guy does everyone's driveways (neighbour used to plow everyone, sold his business this offseason and new guy has everyone now), and I don't know if it's just because it's gravel or what, but we seem to be the only ones with a foot of snow left at the end of the drive. He still hasn't been back, so no chance to talk to him yet.

    I've been in touch with some local plow companies, closest place sells Western, Fisher and Sno-Way, so those are my likely options. Still haven't heard anything about pricing yet.

    As for a turf guard, I've got more than a few welder friends that could help me out easily enough, so that's not too much of a worry. More a decision between just a slit pipe or something a little more ski like.

    Thanks again for all the advice!