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plowing gravel/dirt drives

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by MadRiver, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. MadRiver

    MadRiver Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    I live/work in a rural area with lots of dirt roads, and dirt/gravel drives. I'm doing my 1/4 mile drive and some other dirt/gravel drives (some long, some short). I will not be plowing on any pavement. My set up will be a 01 F250 with a Curtis 8' plow.

    Can I lower the "shoes" on the plow enough to keep the blade slightly of the ground? Or can I set up the plow so that when I drop the blade the chain keeps the blade up just a little? Or do I simply raise the blade a little bit when I have to plow when the ground is not frozen.

    Since I will not be plowing any paved surfaces, I'm looking for the best set up rather than the easiest.

    Any suggestions?
  2. Ken1zk

    Ken1zk Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    Yes, I like to set my shoes to keep the cutting edge up about at 1/4 inch when I am plowing a gravel or dirt road. I make this adjustment on a level surface. Now if the tire track of the gravel or dirt road is depressed, resulting in a high center crown then you will want to set the cutting edge up accordingly. I used to have one job where all but one washer was under the shoe retaining strap. :eek:
  3. douglasl330

    douglasl330 Senior Member
    Messages: 356

    Shoes are the way to go! Once the ground is frozen, you may be able to takethem off, but if your doing all dirt better to leave them on.
  4. Snow-B-Gone

    Snow-B-Gone Junior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 14


    Please know that plowing unfrozen gravel roads/drives will not be pleasant with or without shoes:realmad: ......you will end up tripping your blade all the time......remember to plow extra slow......the quick stops are less damaging to your equipment and YOU at a slower speed.

    Most of my accounts are gravel and I only use shoes if the ground hasn't frozen.

    Good luck............:)
  5. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    That is what plow shoes are made for...Gravel.
  6. danno

    danno Senior Member
    Messages: 401

    What I have is a long drivway with multiple side roads that the owner likes to have a layer of "pebble stone" covering the asphalt.
    I also use the "shoes" and lift the blade, so I won`t be stacking stone, along with the snow.
    Whoever says that the shoes "belong in the trash", or "make good door stops",don`t realize the benefit that they can produce !
  7. SnoFarmer

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

    I agree!
    You can use then on chip-and-seal, But if it was me I would take them off,(shoes) as the loose stone can go with the snow or you will be dumping tons of salt on that drive and I don't think your customers want that eather. But for those of you who still want to run shoes adjust them so there just off of the surface you are plowing.
  8. ltlm

    ltlm Member
    Messages: 64

    put a pipe on also called a sod saver it covers your cutting edge.
  9. Pete7

    Pete7 Member
    Messages: 55

    Most of my plowing is asphalt but my own drive is gravel. Today when I plowed it with the shoes on it stayed so slippery that I was having trouble getting around and not going off the cliff at the end of the parking area. So I took the shoes off and it was alot better.
    Not sure if this is useful to anyone else...
  10. smurf76

    smurf76 Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    1st gravel

    I did my first gravel drive today. Not wanting to put on my shoes (not sure where they even are) I just kept my finger on the up or down buttons as I plowed along. I agree with the speed issue! My myers steel plow didn't do to bad just took awhile.
  11. Trev

    Trev Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    My limited experience with plowing with a front blade on my tractor is that the shoes are essential. The problem is that when the rear wheels go over a bump, the front end goes down.. and vice versa. If you can "float" the blade and let the shoes set the height, you're all set. If not, you (or at least I) end up with a bunch of little bumps.. up and down.. all the way up the drive. I've never been able to control my blade well enough to adjust quickly enough to avoid this. Perhaps it's just my reaction time.. and perhaps it's because I'm using a compact utility tractor (JD4300) which is fairly short and exacerbates the problem. In any event, shoes and "float mode" seem to work best for me on gravel or ground which is not solidly frozen (which ours isn't after this weird winter of 50 degrees one day and 3 degrees the next!)