Rear blade for snow
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    Yank's Avatar
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    Rear blade for snow

    i will be using a Frontier 72 inch rear blade to scrape snow on my gravel driveway. This will be my first tractor and first attempt at this feat. I don’t want to tear up my driveway every time it snows. I wanting to know what you guys recommend to help with this. Wheels? Feet? Skids? Do they make a special bolt on edge for this?
    Yancey

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    For me either using the front or rear blade on the neighbors driveways , I drive over the driveway for the first 3 or 4 times till I get a base or packed down coating of snow on top of the gravel. Maybe after 3 or 4 snows ,plus colder temps then just try to barely take the new snow off the old packed snow. This past winter , using the front blade I would back blade the drive because I would remove more gravel than snow.
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    Over the many years I have found a rear blade is hard to control with a gravel driveway -at least until it is frozen. In the fall and spring it makes a mess. Not only having to be turned around backwards all the time trying to control it so it won’t dig in.

    I have found it much easier and much less damage to use my front bucket (now with edge tamers). I have 850’ of fravel driveway with a steep hill and it works just fine. I could never stand to do all that backwards with a rear blade.
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    I did a few miles of road with a rear blade for a while, it’s not ideal but it can work well. I would add skid shoes to the rear of the blade and adjust them so the cutting edge is about 1” off the surface of the road. Angle your blade to one side, drive through the snow and let the blade roll it off sideways. A little practice and you’ll have it down no problem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yank View Post
    i will be using a Frontier 72 inch rear blade to scrape snow on my gravel driveway. This will be my first tractor and first attempt at this feat. I don’t want to tear up my driveway every time it snows. I wanting to know what you guys recommend to help with this. Wheels? Feet? Skids? Do they make a special bolt on edge for this?
    First off, pitch the blade forward using the top link on the tractors 3pt. Shorten it, not all the way but enough you can see the blade pitched forward. This makes the blade less aggressive.

    Second, remove the tilt pin on the rear of the blade. Now the blade will "float" from side to side when using. It will not gouge near as much and make it easier to use. Just make sure when you raise the blade up it raises level, sometimes in wet snow one side will be heavier due to snow sticking and not raise fully.

    I have been using this technique for several years and works great for me. Also in the spring use the blade to drag back the gravel outta the yard and back on driveway..

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    PJR832's Avatar
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    Personally I wouldn't use any kind of a plow on a gravel driveway without shoes, you'll end up with half of driveway in areas other than the driveway until it freezes.
    Pat
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    I've been plowing my long gravel driveway and parking area with a rear blade for about 25 years. My crushed stones are a bit deep and loose so they can get moved out of position easily. I push backwards keeping the curve of the blade facing the direction I am travelling. This results in very little gravel disturbance.

    I also ALWAYS scrape my driveway down to bare stones. The few times I tried leaving a "base" of snow it ended up melting down and forming 1-2 inch thick ice that was impossible to deal with. Even walking to the car became a hazardous adventure. The ice just laughed at rock salt. I ended up buying several hundred pounds of sand and spreading it around. I ain't gonna do that again. :-)

    On those occasions when we get a freeze resulting in ice or crusty snow I scrape going forward to dig up the ice and then proceed to push it away going backwards.
    Last edited by jgayman; 10-25-2017 at 10:07 AM.
    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

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    Yank's Avatar
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    Frontier makes round skids for the blade, but it looks like that would leave two deep lines dug into the driveway.
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    Yancey

    2017 2038R 220R loader
    Frontier 72” rear blade
    Frontier 60” box blade
    Frontier 65” tiller
    Frontier subsoiler
    Frontier 60” landplane
    Frontier 42” pallet forks
    Frontier 72” RC 2072
    HH toothbar KBOH’s bucket hooks
    2019 X758 60HC deck
    Model 80 trailer

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    jgayman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yank View Post
    Frontier makes round skids for the blade, but it looks like that would leave two deep lines dug into the driveway.
    That is exactly what happened to me the one time I tried using a blade with skid shoes. The shoes just sank into the stones and made two trenches. The snow blower shoes will do the same thing if the ground isn't frozen.

    The absolute worst conditions with a gravel driveway is when you get snow before the ground is completely frozen. No matter what method you use it takes a bit of finesse to remove the snow without gouging the ground too much. Once the ground gets a good freeze the dirt is hard and the gravel stays more in place. You can still wreck the heck out of things if you keep going over the same spot once bare but with experience you will learn how to control the blade.
    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

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    A little touch is needed

    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    That is exactly what happened to me the one time I tried using a blade with skid shoes. The shoes just sank into the stones and made two trenches. The snow blower shoes will do the same thing if the ground isn't frozen.

    The absolute worst conditions with a gravel driveway is when you get snow before the ground is completely frozen. No matter what method you use it takes a bit of finesse to remove the snow without gouging the ground too much. Once the ground gets a good freeze the dirt is hard and the gravel stays more in place. You can still wreck the heck out of things if you keep going over the same spot once bare but with experience you will learn how to control the blade.
    It looks like there are two camps-

    One camp says you will mess up and not get a good job.

    The other camp says it can be done with a bit of effort.
    Put me in the second camp.

    It's much easier to use a blade if the ground is frozen, no question. Get it set right with the blade angled vertical or even a bit forward, let it float side to side and move on. If the driveway is pretty level without too many humps it's easy to get it done without damage.

    Wet, heavy snow or worse, ice on unfrozen ground requires operator attention. You will have to be looking at the blade pretty constantly and adjusting the 3ph as necessary to keep from digging in or lifting the blade too high. Even a good operator will have to run at a much slower speed because you have to feel the ground by what the front wheels run over, adjust the 3ph before the back wheels get to the dip or hump and then adjust again when the plow gets to the same spot. With operator and hydraulic lag, that means you just can't run but so fast.

    A blade with rear wheel(s) which floats makes life simpler. Skids or pads on soft ground don't work so well but work great if the ground is frozen. However, if the ground is frozen, it's pretty easy anyway. It's tough when the ground is saturated but not frozen and the snow is wet and heavy because there's little difference between the consistency of ground and snow. That's when you wish for spring. . .

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