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Plowing and ice track - questions

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by beanbubbabean, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. beanbubbabean

    beanbubbabean Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Hello there. I am new to this forum and fairly new to plowing. I've just purchased a 1994 GMC 2500 4x4 (8600GVW, Turbo diesel, standard cab, long box, 7.5' HD Meyer Poly plow w/E60 lift unit) with the intended purpose of plowing a race course on various frozen bodies of water. Our car club has been ice racing cars on various frozen lakes for 35+ years. In the past we have hired out a fellow who plowed with a mid 80's Dodge Ramcharger 4x4 using a 7 1/2 foot (looked homemade) heavy duty steel blade. As this will be my first go at plowing I wanted to ask if there are any tricks of the trade any one can share with me or any advice on plowing this type of area. Has anyone on this message board ever attempted plowing on the river? When in 2WD the back end of the truck seems pretty light. I was thinking about 700LBS worth of sand bags. Is there any formula for ballast?

  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    I'am no expert ,but on tv once they had a story about ice truckers up north.They had to drive at a certin speed because the weight of the trucks would cause a wave under the ice and when the wave hit the edge of bank it would explode and the truck would sink. Also how deep is the water and is it worth it?
  3. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Down here in MN, lol...we drive and plow roads to our ice fishing shacks all of the time.
    It is a good idea to know the area you are driving on as currents and springs can affect the thickness of the ice.
    As for going slow, it is a race track, they have them here too, they race cars, 4-wheelers, motorcycles too.

    The show beanbubabean is talking is the are driving heavily loaded semis across lakes and as they go across it sets up an wave and it hits the shore just in front of the truck breaking the ice, thus the truck sinks.

    set up, weight,: Nothing different then plowing a lot.
  4. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Same as plowing pavement- put some weight in the rear, probabily want to use chains or studs since it will be ice- and above all else:

    Remember once you remove the snow from the ice it will start melting. Snow is insulation.
  5. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    No bashing here justme.. o.k. lol.. He is located in Canada it's a little colder there lol. When you remove the insulation the ice is exposed to the cold air.
    This will thicken the ice. If there is water on the ice it's from it seeping up thruoght cracks. If you have a lot of snow on the ice the weight of it pushes the ice down letting the water seep up and cover the serfice.

    They will cut holes in the ice and put in a pump and flood the track just like a rink to keep it smooth.
  6. beanbubbabean

    beanbubbabean Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Plowing an ice track

    Thanks for the input guys. I'll be sure to add some sandbags in the box. I'll try plowing without the chains first as our last years plow guy (80's Ramcharger~homemade HD plow) didn't use them. We were out on the lake last night and augered a few holes to check for ice thickness. It was about 20 inches in most places :cool: so I might wait for a week or so until I get on the ice. We would probably be fine at 20 inches but better safe than sinking. Our first race is not until Jan 8 so I've definitely got some time. The sandbags that are locally available weigh 55 LBS. I believe that the blade and mounts weigh about 800LBS. How many sandbags do you think for this application? I was thinking about 1000LBS worth? too much?

  7. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Last edited: Dec 20, 2005
  8. plow150

    plow150 Member
    Messages: 37

    If you're plowing on the river it's likely more susceptible to currents etc so your ice thickness can be pretty variable. If in doubt test it… guess you already are. Watch for drainage culverts from sewers and any other potential warm water source that may also weaken it, and may not be visible if covered with snow. Ask the locals too, ie. fishing folks and Ramcharger guy. Water depth can also play a factor… in shallow or narrow spots there's more current.

    After you've cleared the snow the ice on the track will thicken, but you might get some seepage and weakening from the banks that you create… extra weight and insulation. If memory serves the racers like shorter banks cause there's less rollover potential when they hit them.

    Your truck is probably heavy enough to get away without chains, but I use v-bar chains on mine when I plow on ice and it makes it much easier.