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Plowing a private road

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by Ricks, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. Ricks

    Ricks Junior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 12


    I am thinking of taking over the plowing of the private road I live on. The current person hired to plow does not plow with the storm. So the end result after one or two storms is a very narrow road. Once that happens he states his truck is not large enough to push the banks back and we are stuck.

    The private road is about 1/2 mile long with three hills and several turns and twists. The trees are fairly close to the road in spots. The current truck used to plow the road is a F250 with an 8 foot plow.

    What would you recommend for me to use to keep the road clear? I have located a 94 toyota (v6 extended cab 5spd), a 67 jeep (cj5 v6 3 spd). I am also looking into a tractor with either a plow or a blower. I understand I will need to plow with the storm no matter what I get. What do you suggest.

  2. jeffw

    jeffw Senior Member
    Messages: 107

    if he said his f250 with an 8 was to small i would not try it with a jeep, you will soon find you too will run outta room after a couple heavy storms, those frozen banks get very hard.

    i would look for an f350 with a nice 8.5 or 9' blade something nice n heavy like a fisher. you need the weight to scrap the road clean.
  3. Ricks

    Ricks Junior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 12

    As I see it the problem is not the truck, but with the operator. For example in the last storm we got about 24 inches. The operator plowed the road after 6 or 8 inches were on the ground. He came back after the storm was done and then tried to plow 16 to 18 inches. At that point his truck was only large enough to clear the road. He was not able to move the snow once he had plowed it. For example before the storm the road was 14 feet wide. But after the storm the road was only 8 feet. He had problems because he did not plow the road after another 8 inches were on the ground and then once more after the storm was finished. It is my feeling if he plowed through the storm, the road would be wider once the storm is over. The road would be narrower that 14 feet, but wider than 8 feet.

    Please correct me if my understanding / logic is wrong. Or better yet, tell me how you would plow this road given a storm producing 24 inches in a 12 - 14 hour time frame.


  4. itsgottobegreen

    itsgottobegreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,351

    A kubota with a front mounted snow blower sound like it will do the trick. It can blow all the snow away.

    Other choice is to :gunsfiring: the operator.
  5. lawn king

    lawn king PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,085

    private road

    The kubota 2650 2 stage pto snowblower will blow snow 45-55 feet @ 2500 tractor rpm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  6. new2it

    new2it Member
    Messages: 38


    That is definitely an operator error. Yes he should have kept up with the storm, but even if he didn't he should have been able to open the road up more than 8 ft. That storm was quite a mess we had. I plowed the first 6" and then went to bed for a couple hours. Got up at 1am to open up my driveway again. Now I had 4" of wet stuff with a good 3 foot wind drifts along my 650 ft driveway (the last 500 ft go through a field). After going out to plow for the next 12 hours I came back home to find 4 foot wind drifts the entire length of the field. It took me a while but I got it all cleaned up. There is no reason that his 250 w/ 8' blade couldn't do the same thing. Even if he was out plowing commercially during the later part of the storm he should have been able to take care of the road at the end. So after a long rambling answer...either of those would do fine. You will definitely need to keep up with it, but even if you fall behind you should be able to chip away and catch up. Sorry for the obnoxiously long answer!
  7. Mick

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

    Ricks, I live just east of Augusta and do a private road very similar to what you're describing. Twelve feet wide, 7/10 mile, two hills, one 90 degree turn, trees close to the road and drop off on one side with a ditch on the other. I use a 3500 with a 9' plow and two yard sander half loaded for ballast.

    Think before running out and just getting something with a plow for that driveway. That Toyota or Jeep might be ok for those 3-4"ers, but you'll have even worse problems with those 8"+ snowfalls. Even if you "plow with the storm", you've got to be able to roll that snow off the edge, otherwise you'll be in worse shape than you are now. With wet, heavy snow (even small amounts) you won't be able to get it off the road; you'll just be pushing it to the side and it will fall back in the roadway.

    If you're anywhere near me, I'd offer to meet up with you to go over your road and perhaps give you some suggestions. But from the sounds of it, a place to start might be a 3/4 or one ton with an eight/nine foot plow and wing on one side. If you could find an old beater, you could at least control your own plowing. As far as cost effectiveness, buying your own is usually much more expensive than paying a contractor. You just need to find one that knows how to plow snow and will discuss your needs with you. Be willing to pay a little more for someone like that vs the "cheap guy".
  8. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Yeah, I would say go 1 ton, 3/4 minimum. Jeeps are great for light stuff, but it won't carry an 8 footer well and will have trouble pushing any wet stuff, especially up hill. If you can get a 9 fotter all the better for a 1 ton truck. An old wheel loader is also a great possibility- they'll push anything and lift anything else.

    Reguardless of what you push with push every 3-4 inches- you'd be surprised how big the windrows get and quickly.
  9. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,951

    I had a private road to a dead end with 4 houses two on each side i used a 93 ramcharger witha 7.5 meyers but i had a dead end to push to and the end of the street but i never had any problems
  10. Mick

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

    Deleted, picture won't load.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2005
  11. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,951

    your pic didnt post
  12. Mick

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

    Apparently, I've already posted them in other threads and can't post them a second time.
  13. ace911emt

    ace911emt Member
    Messages: 83

    you have one advantage others don't. on a private road you may not need to register the plow truck since it is not a public road, but insurance is a must.
  14. Mick

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

    You are correct that you would not need to register the truck to plow your own road, but you would also not need to insure it. Either for vehicle insurance or General Liability if the road is considered your property. Both would be covered under your homeowner's insurance. The caution related to insurance is people who live on a private road and are summer residents. Many do not maintain their road during winter months. Subsequently, emergency vehicles cannot get through in case of a fire. If fire trucks cannot reach the building, homeowner's insurance would not cover any damage as a result of fire. The same holds true of those who maintain mimimal heat to prevent damage from freezing pipes. If the road is not maintained for the heating oil truck, insurance will not cover damage as a result of water damage.
  15. Ricks

    Ricks Junior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 12

    Thanks for all the replies. Currently I have ruled out the jeep. Still need to look at the toyota. I am still researching a tractor. The private road must be cleared for all the reasons stated. Currently there are five year round residents on the road, so we work hard on keeping it clear. No matter what I get I plan on using it to push the banks back in between the storms. Something our current plow man does not do.

    I plan to register the truck in case I need to take it to work or help someone else out.

    Mick thanks for the offer. I am in the Oxford Hills area so I guess it comes down to how far east of Augusta you are. I work in Augusta and the commute is about an hour and fifteen minutes.

  16. E&B

    E&B Member
    Messages: 43

    Ricks, I have a 2003 f350 with a 8' fisher and a spreader if you interested. It plows city streets just fine.
  17. ohnomrbill

    ohnomrbill Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Another way to keep it (the road) wider requires a few more passes (and therefore, time) ... start by plowing the side of the road first and widening it before plowing the snow in the center to the side. You wont have that extra foot or so from the middle to add to the snow already along the curb side when you make the second pass.
  18. Crumm

    Crumm Senior Member
    Messages: 529

    Thats how I do it. The other trick is to plow at a fairly good clip so that the snow throws out a little farther. I know I am going to get a :nono: but when I need to widen out our road I cruise along at about 35mph and throw the snow out in the trees. I might only take a 6" bite when going fast but after a couple of passes I can have the road back to two lane. I only do about 1/2 mile of road so this works ok, if you are going to do roads for a living you need a grader that can wing the snow way out there.
  19. Kramer

    Kramer Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    I got the fisher 6'9" on a toyota.
    Years ago, I ran an 8' plow on a 3/4 ton chevy with a 400 V8. For residentials, I'd take a jeep or the toyota over that chevy any day (not to mention gas!).

    For light snow, the toyota has no problem pushing 12" + but the wetter stuff slows it down. I don't like moving > 6-8" or so of really wet stuff (the March snow storms!).

    It's not that great for rolling the snow so long distances of wet snow will really put a stick in your spokes.

    For normal residentials its great. Common sense says that you don't try to wait for the end of the storm.

    The biggest problem you face is if there are already snow banks on the side. You won't be pushing any hard piles with a Toyota.

    I think if you started at the beginning of the year, kept up with the storms and plowed the way that people already described, you might get by with a toyota. But one large wet storm that stopped you from rolling the snow over the side would killl your chances of widening the road for the rest of the year.

    The toyota is very effective if you plan ahead at the start of the season to push as far back as possible. If you build up a 24" bank, forget it.

    And anyone that tells you to put an 8' plow on a toyota or a jeep is mentally disturbed in my opinion. A 7' plow is all your gonna handle and it will struggle hard in a big storm. The 6'9" is perfect for that size vehicle.

    Whatever you get, a snow foil isn't a bad idea either. Good luck to you.
  20. Ricks

    Ricks Junior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 12

    This is just the type of advice I was looking for. Would a half ton work, or should I move up to a 3/4 ton or 1 ton?