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two-stage snowblower

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by buttaluv, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. buttaluv

    buttaluv Member
    Messages: 83

    have any of you guys used a two-stage snowblower on a gravel drive before? I have a 4 wheeler, however the drive drift's pretty bad, and I'm not really impressed with the 4 wheeler's plowing ability when the snow gets deep (14" to 18"), plus I thought I might get one to help clean out some family members drives and sidewalks, etc. it would be easier to load the blower in the truck than drag around a trailer and 4 wheeler.
  2. dunedog

    dunedog Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    Sure,....I know lots of folks that go that route. You just have to raise the 'feet' so you're above the stones a little.
  3. RipT

    RipT Senior Member
    Messages: 184

    Often the adjustable feet or skids are so small that they will still sink into the surface and not keep the scraper edge from picking up too much gravel or catching on rocks however.

    One can fabricate skids with much larger surface area that would bolt to the same holes.

    You could slit a piece of 1/2" or 3/4" steel pipe and slip it over the scraper edge and bolt it on with tabs or tack-weld it in place. I have set-up both of my big blowers this way for exclusive use on dirt/gravel roads. Figure on tire chains as well.

    With any of these methods you will still pick up some gravel, so always pay close attention to where the chute is pointing...... you can really damage cars, windows, or people in an inattentive second.

    Good Luck
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2008
  4. greg8872

    greg8872 Member
    Messages: 39

    Also when shopping, check out the balance of the machine. I used to have a Yard Machines. Last year I bought an Ariens, the same engine, same size, etc. I could not believe how for basically the same machine in specs, the machine could be so much different. Now only can the Ariens handle wet or slushy snow way better, it is way more balanced so you do not need much pressure to lift the front (only a downside when you need to get it to dig in on snow already driven over you have to lift up on the handles some).

    I have a neighbor who has a gravel driveway, and I can just eyeball lifting the front up enough to be over the rocks, with almost no "wear" on me by the time I am done. The Yard Machines because it was heavier in the front, would get tiresome keeping it lifted for the whole driveway. Towards finishing up, would find myself catching more stones becasue of not keeping it lifted.

    Also on my own driveway, for my 2 car turnaround, this is a lot easier since i go in, then pull it back out to start next path. I gave up doing the turn around with the Yard Machines, for me wasn't worth it. Now I do that as well.

    I believe this is the one I have, based on the ones displayed on their website:


    PS. Both my driveway and the neighbor's is about 100' long, with the last car length or so being double wide in front of the garages.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2008
  5. kwollen

    kwollen Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    I have been using mine on gravel for about 9 years. Mine came with front wheels mounted on the front sides with four adjustment holes so I can set the height of the snow pickup. I have experimented with a couple different width tires, look for small replacement lawn mower tires. I found the narrower the tire the better. Fat tires sometimes ride on the snow leaving a lot of snow on the drive. Narrow tires tend to sink into the snow and allow a better scoop of the snow. Start with the highest adjustment and work down until you start picking up rocks. But no matter how careful you are, you will pick up some rocks. At first this bothered me. They make an awful racket going through the shoot, also will dent it. Eventually you stop panicking when this happens and just slightly cringe. SO ALWAYS AIM YOUR SHOOT AWAY FROM THE HOUSE AND CARS.

    If the ice pack gets deep enough to cover all the rocks, you can change the adjustment level of the wheels or skid to lower the front pickup.