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Plowing Gravel Parking lot

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by jjfinn, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. jjfinn

    jjfinn Member
    Messages: 57

    Hey Guys can you help me out, I have been plowing for 7 years and this is my first year of being asked to plow anything with gravel. Is it different then trying to plow a paved lot? Would I need to adjust the shoes on the plow so I don't scrape away all the gravel? Do you have to do anything different salting? Thanks for any help you can give.
  2. BossPlow2010

    BossPlow2010 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,069

    press the up button quickly (after the plow is down) and drive forward. I have never used plow shoes especially on commercial lots...
  3. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,943

    if you use shoes: adjusts them so the shoe is 1/8" below blade
    if not using shoes: do what boss plow said, just lift the blade a little so it does not "float"
    Out east is different, but I'd suggest sand or a salt sand mix for gravel lots, not straight salt.
  4. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,980

    make a gravel guard for the plow and push away....the are pic in the forum, i will post mine when i get it done
  5. Rat_Power_78

    Rat_Power_78 Senior Member
    Messages: 184

    The problem with salt on gravel means you are thawing the ground you are plowing. That of course means loose gravel every time you plow, vs most of it freezing down. I have plowed gravel for many years, my dad's commercial property I plow for him is gravel, as well as a couple driveways I do. No matter what you try, the gravel moves the first couple times. I have tried both setting the shoes below the blade (they seem to sink/displace anything loose on top) and bumping the controller out of float. Neither method has worked for me. Come spring there is always a pile of gravel where the snow gets piled so be prepared to spread that back out onto the parking lot. Only thing that has worked for me is letting the first inch or two get packed down. I know it sounds hack, but its the only thing that seems to help. May want to talk with the property owner to make sure you understand their expectations and that they understand the options. If ice gets to be a problem I recommend straight sand as a traction aid rather than salt to melt it.

    Edit- Take a look at this setup. http://www.plowsite.com/showthread.php?t=133478&highlight=gravel+guard

    I got curious to see what was meant by a "gravel guard" and did a quick search. Looks like it would work good just need a little fab skills to set one up and make it easily removable.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  6. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,943

    "Gravel guards" are great IF you only do gravel plowing. If you dont do only gravel plowing(like most cases) its not a good option. Plus the fact that it sucks to take on/off on a reg basis.
    Rat power is right though about letting first inch settle/pack into gravel, then when it freezes it's all good, but if you have a decent lot it is possible to plow it without removing much gravel, just harder if it's not frozen.