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Suggestions on dealing with 700 ft. driveway

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by karnian, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. karnian

    karnian Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Hey all, new here.

    Just bought a house with a 700ft paved driveway on a gradual slope in central MA. I have never owned anything that I couldn't shovel in 20 minutes, so looking for options here on a small budget (the lawn tractor for the 2 acres of grass kinda took a nice chunk out of what I had!)

    I looked into "cheap" options like a plow for the lawn tractor, but that seems like it would take me forever to do, if it would even work at all.

    We have an F150 we could put a plow on, but new and even used plows look rather pricey. I saw the "SnowSport HD Series" stuff, and that seems relatively inexpensive, but are there cheaper options than even that?

    If I buy a used blade on craigslist, what other hardware do I need? A mount of some sort I assume. For instance, I saw a used Meyer 6' blade on craigslist, I presume I'd need a Meyer mount for it then, or would any mount do?

    If I paid someone to plow it, what should I roughly expect per year?

    Any advice on how I should proceed, for minimal cost, would be highly appreciated.
  2. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Well, let's see if we can help you out at all. I am not in your area, so I can't speculate on pricing. I would call around and have some guys come out and give you prices. I am not sure if seasonal contracts are popular in your area or not. If you get one, at least you know exactly what you will spend this year.

    As for putting a plow on your F150. First of all, I presume it is 4x4. If not, I would say forget it. Probably the right size for your truck is a 7.5, maybe a 7 foot. 6 is way to small, not even as wide as the truck. Yes, your mount will need to match your plow. I don't know anything about the snow sport, but there are guys using lightweight manual angle plows with good success. For new, you could look at a Fisher Homesteader or equivalent. As for used, you will want to find a complete setup that came off the same truck as yours. Otherwise you could be in for some headaches with the installation if you are not familiar with plows. And tracking down the correct parts can take a lot of time and money. If the price of used stuff is scaring you, you might be better off to hire it out for a couple of years.

    Don't forget that with used you will need it installed. If you don't do that kind of work, factor in a mechanic for a days time. You could also stop into some plow dealers, see what they recommend, and if they have any used equipment. They could give you an installed price, and show you how to mount, dismount, use the plow and so on.
  3. sven_502

    sven_502 Senior Member
    from ontario
    Messages: 390

    What size of lawn tractor are you talking about? Also, how much snow do you get roughly and does it usually come in 6 inch dumpings, light snowfalls, etc. Does this driveway go through this 2 acres of grass? Reason I ask is because if your lawn tractor is big enough, you might be well off with a blower on the front if you can deal with cold weather. Is it really windy constantly where you are? I find that if I use strictly my plow on my truck for our driveway since we live in a wind tunnel that it drifts back constantly, so i sometimes use our tractor snowblower and blow it way the hell away where it wont drift back as fast. This makes a huge difference especially if you get alot of snow. If you have the room to blow all the snow to it might be an option for you to consider. The downside to the blower being it is slower though.
  4. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,371

    If your F-150 is 4wd and it has a V8 then you should be able to put a 7.5' plow on it. But a snowblower would be alot cheaper.
  5. SkiJohnnyB

    SkiJohnnyB Member
    Messages: 54

    700ft of driveway with a snowblower????.....you'd have to leave gas tanks up and down the driveway.....
  6. plowmaster07

    plowmaster07 Senior Member
    Messages: 438

    Depending what town your in, I would be interested in giving you a price on your driveway, I work out of Ashburnham MA. If your interested in talking further, send me a P.M.

  7. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    My father's driveway is 500 feet and he can do three up, three back in about 20 minutes. That's a 26" walk behind. He's going to get a tractor with blower before winter.
  8. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    I would get a 48" thrower on the tractor. I grew up blowing out a 1/4 mile lane way with a 12hp sears tractor mower and it often walked right through a foot of snow. I'm sure they are better now vs. 80s' models. It was easy enough that my 9 year old sister could do it. I don't recommend a plow on your truck unless you plan on doing neighbors lane ways ( to make money) strictly because of resale value. Also, if drifting is an issue a blower is the only way to go. Just my opinion.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2009
  9. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    I totally agree with this......but the type of tractor would be helpful in helping you decide.....because if its a dedicated mowing machine than your left with using the truck, which then there is the option of a lightduty front plow or a Superplow. Dont really know much about em other than going to their site and seeing the videos...seems like they work pretty good?
  10. Chrisxl64

    Chrisxl64 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 574

    I'd argue that point. Power equipment ain't what it used to be,,,especially the big box store stuff, I grew up using a 6hp Gilson snowthrower that was 20 years old, ran like a top, bought a new craftsman when it died,,,ugh no comment.
  11. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    driveway etc.

    there is no minimal cost period, what is
    your time worth?, did you see how the
    driveway was during the winter months?

    Did the previous owner have snow fence?
    Where are you able to pile snow at the
    end of the driveway? you may not be able
    to push it across the road or in your ditch etc.,
    and if you do you may end up with a ticket and
    a fine from the local constable.

    I would see what the snow removal and disposal
    regulations are in your township before I bought
    a plow etc.

    Do you know if the ground freezes readily and
    whether a truck will become stuck?

    What happens in an emergency or an extended snow storm?,
    heaven forbid and you are unable to leave your driveway or be
    able to allow a fire truck or ambulance easy access?

    With that length of driveway

    I would buy-

    30 bundles of seven foot T posts-heavy type to line the driveway

    trade the truck and new mower in on a-

    Kubota 2660
    front blower
    weighted R4 tires
    tire chains
    midmount mower.
    soft cab with heater

    you will be better off and have a forever tractor
    and have a tractor that has a proven power plant
    and parts availabilty with a large dealer network.
    and it will remove heavy packed snow falls and
    ice with a blower.

    Neal Messick from Mesick Farm Equipment in
    PA is a great person to talk to.

    With the kubota deals going one right now with zero percent
    interest for 48-60 months and you will be money ahead with
    no worries or frustrations about driveway problems.or mowing.

    look on youtube for kubota snowblower videos and you will
    see how well they work,

    also look at the www.tractorbynet.com web site

    Remember that your the one who has to deal with any
    consequences and live with a bad decision.

    No I do not have any interests with The Kubota Corporation.

    my opinion.

    Last edited: Jul 27, 2009
  12. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    Simila driveway situation, a bit shorter in overall length, but I hear where you're coming from.

    For me, the best solution was to buy a used plow andhang it on my truck. It ran me $2500 plus my labor for a weekend to install it. Annual plowing and sanding costs were in the $800-1000 range for me, thats per push at $25 a push, which I think is very inexpensive...but by now I figure I've more than paid for the plow in savings.

    Treat your truck nice and you won't ruin it. As a bonus over the tractor-mounted thrower option, you won't get frostbite when half the snow the snow you're sending out of the driveway comes back in your face...if you opt to use a tractor mounted blower, I suggest making sure you've got a cab and good, heavy clothing.
  13. MNBobcat

    MNBobcat Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    I have a 1,200 foot blacktop driveway. I bought a bobcat for maintaining it. I made the mistake of buying a blower for the bobcat and didn't like it. I ended up using the dirt bucket most of the time. I'm buying a plow for the bobcat and should be able to do the driveway in a couple of swipes. I also use the bobcat in the summer for landscaping and other things around the house.
  14. ajslands

    ajslands 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,033

    heres what you do. You dont biuy a snowblower!!!

    if you have a 4wd f150 then you just drive up and down the driveway a few times with that and youre done. or you could look in to a nice V-plow from boss. that will take you 5 minutes. but the plow buddies that u hook up to ur tow hooks are stupid. if your looking to by something nice buy a boss. 7.5' sport duty. it wont mess up ur truck at alll.
  15. karnian

    karnian Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Well, I ended up buying a 1986 F350 with a fisher plow. Now I'm dealing with the hassle of getting the truck up to snuff. I don't need to register the thing, just going to use it on my driveway, but at least I have _something_. Truck runs, just, needs brakes.

    Hopefully this lasts me a winter :)

    Thanks for all the advice folks.
  16. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Interesting advice from a guy with a snow blower.

    That shouldn't be a problem when you wake up expecting 3-4 inches, but have a foot of concrete in the driveway.
  17. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    That should do it. There are some people who say Fisher is the best.

    As for brakes, they are helpful. Of course dropping the blade and veering into a snowbank will stop you also.

    Seriously, good luck with the truck. Let us know how the first storm goes.
  18. Mick

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

    If you're not leaving your driveway, you really don't need brakes.
  19. ajslands

    ajslands 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,033

    the snowblower is technicaly my dads, i used it a few times but it sctatches up driveways. and 700' using a snow blower? youd be lucky if u could do 2 passes without having to fill up,
  20. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    How much snow removal experience do you have AJ?