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Snow Removal for Steep Driveway

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by skibot, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. skibot

    skibot Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Hello all,

    I just moved into a place and have a monster steep driveway (I'm a runner and get winded walking up it). I am curious what you think the best snowblower for something this steep is. One one hand I'm thinking I need a tracked snow blower, but on the other hand I was thinking of making it work with a wheeled blower and save up for a ATV/UTV option next year. Thoughts?

    I know it's hard to tell the grade from the pics.



  2. jhall22guitar

    jhall22guitar PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    How long is the driveway? How much snow do you get per year (approx.)?
  3. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 877

    If you're definitely going to use a blower, I'd say get one with tires and use chains. Tracks may be too slippery at times, although I guess you could take full bites going downhill and smaller bites going up.
  4. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,779

    Using a blower in my area on a driveway shaded from the sun is going to lead to ice issues, on a steep incline that is not the best idea.

    At the most that is 3 passes with a plow truck.
  5. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,174

    Walk behind blower.....no thanks.
  6. BossPlow2010

    BossPlow2010 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,069

    What state are you located in? Knowing that will determine how doable a snowblower is.
    Also how long is it.

    On second thought, why don't you make a snowball at the top and just roll it down the driveway
  7. Randall Ave

    Randall Ave PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,581

    That's gonna take a while with a blower, the first couple times you do it, your gonna think its fun. But that will get old fast. Find a Jeep with a plow, your inside, dry, with coffee.
  8. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge PlowSite Veteran
    from NJ
    Messages: 3,699

    I have a friend who lives on a treacherous driveway (during the summer), who parks his "plow only" jeep cherokee at the top. He clears the top away with a blower, and starts up the jeep. Pushes the snow down the hill, and is done till the next snowfall.

    Personally, I think the guy is nuts living there, but its his wife that forced him to buy the house. Crazy switchback driveway, much shorter than that, and at a 45* angle at times.

    Push down from the top with a Small Jeep or truck is the way to do that drive.
  9. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 622

    I have 9 years doing residential driveways with snow blowers.

    Last year I got a driveway that has to be close to 45 d at its steepest.
    This driveway is so steep that you can not even push snow with a shovel across that driveway for your feet will slip out from underneath you.

    My wheeled 2 stage blower barely makes enough traction to make it up the hill. I have to lift up on the handle bars to get the tires to press against the pavement to get sufficient grip to make it up the hill.

    Trying to continually lift up on the handle bars as the blower goes up the hill actually has me pushing the blower forward at the same time because the mower is always moving forward.

    This driveway is so steep that for years when this couple were younger they use to wear corkers on their shoes/boots to prevent their feet from slipping. Near the end of the snow season they bought me a pair.

    Talking with my equipment dealer he said a driveway like that one you need a track driven blower instead of a wheeled one, or put a plow on your Jeep.

    I moving up to a plow this year.
  10. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Senior Member
    from jersey
    Messages: 232

    plow for sure. you are gonna be out there for hours doing that drive. and god forbid you get 12+ inches you will have to be out there more than once per event in the dark for a few hours with a blower. F that! do yourself a real favor and get a plow. i would assume you already have some sort of 4x4 vehicle even a small homesteader or snoway plow would be a great idea! if not look into at least a utv. an atv would even have a tough time with that.
  11. fordtruck661

    fordtruck661 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 404

    I would also suggest a snow plow as well. Just park at the top and you will have no problem. Otherwise I would say you would need a tractor with a snowblower, chains and weight on the back.
  12. skibot

    skibot Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    It's in Maryland and approximately 100 yards long.
  13. skibot

    skibot Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    And we get aprx 1 ft avg a year.
  14. skibot

    skibot Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Ideally I was going to get a utv with plow but I probably won't be able to get that until next year due to moving costs and all which is why I was looking for a 'make it work' solution for this year (hate to put 3k into a temp solution only to spend 10k on the ideal one next year). We tend to get more freezing rain/sleet than anything. When I do get a utv is there a suggested model? I was told to look at Polaris or Honda.
  15. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Senior Member
    from jersey
    Messages: 232

    being in MD is a whole different story. there is almost never that you will get 12+ inches in one dump. get a good size blower on craigslist and use it for the year. then re-list it on CL next year, you'll probably not lose too much if you are a savvy CL buyer/seller. definitely want a more permanent solution than a blower though. but for one winter it should do ok, your still gonna hate it but hey at least you're not out there with just a shovel.
  16. Rick547

    Rick547 Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 537

    Just hire it done this year.
  17. Either way you go, tracked snow blower or ATV/UTV plow, I would have a spreader to use for ice control. A push cart or tail gate mount spreader with containers full of salt, sand or cinders every so many yards will keep your slip sliding away to a minimum.
  18. FredG

    FredG PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,384

    I agree hire it out.
  19. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,174

    Over the entire season.....buy a walk spreader and pre-salt, next problem?
  20. F350plower

    F350plower Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    I've done my 400ft driveway similar to that for the last 5 years. Just get a decent walk behind around 208cc off craigs list. As long as you've got the time it will save you money over hiring it out. Like several people suggested just get a walk behind spreader when you've got ice issues, watch what you buy though because the larger stuff tends to clog it up.