taking shoes on and off?

flakesmeangreen

Senior Member
Location
Lords Valley, PA
ok...i think i've read all the threads on shoes but still have a question. i'm plowing all residential right now with probably 25% paved and the rest gravel. assuming that i am using the shoes (did last year) would anyone actually consider taking the shoes on and off/adjusting them for the different drives? i really CANNOT see that one happening, way too much time! for anyone that does gravel drives what do you do? shoes/no shoes or just float/feel your way? thanks!
 

CT18fireman

Banned
Location
Western CT
I find that they really do not work that well. You aew still putting all the weight of the plow on a very small area. Some will tell you to use a Urethane edge. I am not sold on them. For the gravel drives and lot that we plow we usually leave an inch the first time we plow and spread some sand. After a little bit this freezes the top layer of stone and then we can pretty much scrap for the rest of winter. Yes a little stone will get moved but we clean it up in the spring. I find this is a fast approach to plowing this surface.

By the way the more the plow is angled the more it drops on that side. We plow the lots with the blade as close to straight as possible. If you have plow wings they can work well here because you can angle the blade a little and take that wing off. The other wing will compensate for the small amount of angle.

Other people may have different strategies. This one has worked well for us.
 

CT18fireman

Banned
Location
Western CT
Not he sand just gives people traction on the remaining snow. The melting and refreezing and compaction of the snow into the stone seems to lock everything together. After that you can just let the blade glide over the surface with little digging in.
 

plowking35

2000 Club Member
Location
SE CT
While he may not be sold on urethane edges, I am. Running a urethane edge on gravel is smoother than a steel edge on pavement. So we take the shoes and pile them in a corner of the shop, and we then install urethane edges and no worries about any surface that we plow. Dont care if others belive it or not, they are proven and they work.
Before in the dark ages of plowing when we didnt have urethane edges, on a gravel drive we would drop the plow all the way, and then bump up the blade to leave 1.5-2" of snow on the driveway. Not the perfect solution, but better than hammering the plow truck and throwing gravel all over the lawn.
Dino
 
OP
flakesmeangreen

flakesmeangreen

Senior Member
Location
Lords Valley, PA
how'd u know i was researching u edges after posting the shoe question? still reading all the posts and checking out websites. seriously thinking about them but don't know if it'll happen this season. would love to see one in action in my area. benefits really sound good, would love to try one out!
 
I run an 8' Fisher and plow different surfaces. I have one factory with an all gravel lot and two large residentials that way. They definitely get the shoes and depending on how frozen determines the height. Everything else gets the shoes taken off. As for time considerations, only takes a moment to change and its nice to stretch your legs once in a while.
 

yellowbird102

Junior Member
Location
eau claire
plowing dirt lots

I USE A METHOD I LEARNED FROM 35 YEARS OF PLOWING TRY THIS WHERE YOU WANT TO START REMOVING SNOW BRING YOUR TRK TO A COMPLETE STOP DROP YOUR PLOW JUST TILL YOU CAN SEE YOUR HOOD LIFT STOP THE DOWN ACTION DONOT LET THE PLOW FLOAT . WHEN YOU START OUT USE A LIGHT THRODLE AND KEEP IT STEADY A LITTLE PRACTICE AND YOU WILL PLOW NO DIRT JUST SNOW HOPE THIS HELPS YOU
 

JCurtis

Banned
Location
Stamford, CT
shoes.. we dont need no stinkin' shoes

I haven't used shoes in so long I forgot where I put them!!!

You should ask JAA about shoes.... Its a great story!
 

Mick

PlowSite.com Veteran
Location
Maine
I remember a thread last year about shoes. The general concensus was that they make good door stops.
 

Alan

PlowSite.com Addict
I never saw where shoes did one bit of good on gravel drives. The area of the shoe is so small that it just digs in unless the gravel is frozen and if it's frozen you don't need shoes anyhow. The shoe serves only to reduce wear on the cutting edge and the edge can't do it's job unless it's on the ground! Urethane edges will do more to prevent gravel damage than any manner of shoe. And it's awful easy to remain "unconvinced" about something you have never tried. Last I knew it was satisfaction guarranteed on the Uedges, so all it can hurt is the change in opinion.
 

plowking35

2000 Club Member
Location
SE CT
If i wanted to leave ice for my customers I would show up in a Zamboni. However they want me to plow the snow, not leave a skating rink with a little grit on top that gets packed into the snow and glazed over in about 10 min.
When we switched to urethane edges, that put an end to constant call backs for icey surfaces on gravel, and also an end to hours of raking or power brooming rocks out of the sod. It also ended little piles of sod that we found when the snow melted that needed to be fixed in the spring. The lack of repair to landscaping alone will pay for the edge.
It also ended changing cutting edges on my v plows every three storms. It also ended the constant grinding associated with plow all day and night. It also ended the abuse that was transfered to my truck and plows, not to mentioned no more broken and gouged curbs.
But we have all heard this before, yet I will say it again for those that are hearing impaired.
What have you got to lose, except preconcieved thoughts.
Dino
 

Kent Lawns

PlowSite.com Veteran
Like Dino said, you want to use polyurethane.

Poly U edges work best on:

Gravel
Uneven lots or old concrete. (ie. old parts of city)
Regularly salted sides where there is no ice or snow bonding.

Like I'vce posted before, everyone should have at least 1 truck this year with poly U edge. They may not be for every truck in every situation, but this sounds like the ideal situation with the gravel.
 
OP
flakesmeangreen

flakesmeangreen

Senior Member
Location
Lords Valley, PA
well, i guess i'm looking into a u edge now...

Like I'vce posted before, everyone should have at least 1 truck this year with poly U edge. They may not be for every truck in every situation...

i only have 1 truck...what situation(s) won't it be ideal for?
 

DaveO

PlowSite.com Veteran
Location
Ma.
Zamboni

Dino,

"If i wanted to leave ice for my customers I would show up in a Zamboni. "

LMAO...thanx

Dave
 

John DiMartino

PlowSite.com Veteran
Location
Walden,NY
I have never used my shoes,I have a friend who used them once on his new fisher,he tripped the edge so hard the shoes put 2 big dents in the back side of the moldboard,those shoes came off,never used again.Like others said,the U-edge is ideal for gravel drives,IMO it is even better on frozen gravel,frozen gravel,especially 1/2 buried ,rocks used to beat my truck up so bad,it was common for my Fisher to trip so hard,or bounce so high that I thought the truck was going to break.Now with the U edge,its like steath mode,no noise,no vibration,almost all the shock,noise,and vibration that once kept me from taking many of these jobs,was gone.There is no way to describe how much of a beating they save on your truck,without experiencing it yourself.I have 2 U-edges this year,and will likey be all converted over by next year.
 

plowking35

2000 Club Member
Location
SE CT
In fact we look for gravel lots that no one else wants to do. Plus when we gauruntee that we wont tear the lot up, and damage the landscape, its alot easier to sell the job.
Dino
 

Sndun

Member
Location
New Jersey
I, against popular belief, think shoes are great.
A buddy and I have a set of casters welded to the bottom of them and presto, you have yourself a cheap and easy "dolly" for your plow while it's off. Depending on the plow you have, fabricate a means of supporting the a-frame with wheel(s) and you have instant mobility. Works great for us.
 

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