Trick for Clearing First Snow on Gravel Drive
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Thread: Trick for Clearing First Snow on Gravel Drive

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    Carvel Loafer's Avatar
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    Trick for Clearing First Snow on Gravel Drive

    We just received about 4" of fairly light snow. The surfaces I keep cleared in the winter vary from road crush gravel, 1" washed rock, some grass areas, and some plain old dirt. I find the challenge of the first couple of snowfalls is clearing it without scrapping the gravel off the driveway or tearing up the grass in the grassy areas. Last year I pushed the first snow aside with the "heel" of the FEL bucket and it worked good to sort of pack down that first snow and start to build it up. This year I started doing that and then I thought I would try something else. I hooked up my 5' back blade and simply spun the blade backward, pulled the top link up tight so the blade was riding at as much of an angle as it could. It worked great. It would ride over the gravel without digging, it packed the snow into the grassy areas, and it is almost ready for the snow blower after the next snow, if this one doesn't melt off.

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    Workin hard at loafing!
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    jgayman's Avatar
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    You got it! That's the secret to using the blade on thawed gravel. I find it easier to push with the heal in reverse as then I'm not dealing with packed snow that I've already ran over and I don't have to worry about the snow piling up between the blade and my rear tires.
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    That is a great idea! That would prevent you from picking gravel out of melted snow piles come spring.


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    When it snowed here in Georgia, I plowed the road with my rear blade. My neighbors literally came out of their houses to thank me. They were taking pictures and video. It was quite the event. I bid you well in your snow clearing duties. I'm afraid that you will never have cheering fans like I did one time and you'll have to keep doing it over and over again.
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    Yep - those first couple snows before the ground is frozen is tough. I did lots of damage the first couple years - and it sure is a pain to rake all that gravel out of the grass in the spring.

    I plow only with my loader, and do just as you said now - keep the cutting edge up just a hair and push it off with the bucket. Once the driveway is frozen or have it to hard pack then I can scrape as normal.
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    Bonehead Club Lackey Levi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carvel Loafer View Post
    We just received about 4" of fairly light snow. The surfaces I keep cleared in the winter vary from road crush gravel, 1" washed rock, some grass areas, and some plain old dirt. I find the challenge of the first couple of snowfalls is clearing it without scrapping the gravel off the driveway or tearing up the grass in the grassy areas. Last year I pushed the first snow aside with the "heel" of the FEL bucket and it worked good to sort of pack down that first snow and start to build it up. This year I started doing that and then I thought I would try something else. I hooked up my 5' back blade and simply spun the blade backward, pulled the top link up tight so the blade was riding at as much of an angle as it could. It worked great. It would ride over the gravel without digging, it packed the snow into the grassy areas, and it is almost ready for the snow blower after the next snow, if this one doesn't melt off.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Which reminds me, I watched 3 or 4 of your YouTube videos yesterday. Think it was last winter's. Good job and I like the blower you have but doing it backwards would make my neck hurt.
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    Carvel Loafer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Levi View Post
    Which reminds me, I watched 3 or 4 of your YouTube videos yesterday. Think it was last winter's. Good job and I like the blower you have but doing it backwards would make my neck hurt.
    Working backward seems to be the norm anyway with a 3PH, I have a comfortable side saddle position that I have grown accustomed to with using my left foot for the pedals. Even a lot of my 3PH mowing in the summer is the same when I am back mowing along the bush line. I'm always turning around for something even if it is backing up. But I know what you are saying, it can be a pain in the neck at times and I wonder how this body will feel in another 15-20 years when I start to get old.
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    Workin hard at loafing!
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    Side Saddle

    Quote Originally Posted by Carvel Loafer View Post
    Working backward seems to be the norm anyway with a 3PH, I have a comfortable side saddle position that I have grown accustomed to with using my left foot for the pedals. Even a lot of my 3PH mowing in the summer is the same when I am back mowing along the bush line. I'm always turning around for something even if it is backing up. But I know what you are saying, it can be a pain in the neck at times and I wonder how this body will feel in another 15-20 years when I start to get old.
    Well, I'm 60 & I learned to ride side saddle to watch better as I backed a manure spreader back under the barn cleaner back in the 70's. Done in moderation with my blower now, it's really not that bad!
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    Jer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carvel Loafer View Post
    We just received about 4" of fairly light snow. The surfaces I keep cleared in the winter vary from road crush gravel, 1" washed rock, some grass areas, and some plain old dirt. I find the challenge of the first couple of snowfalls is clearing it without scrapping the gravel off the driveway or tearing up the grass in the grassy areas. Last year I pushed the first snow aside with the "heel" of the FEL bucket and it worked good to sort of pack down that first snow and start to build it up. This year I started doing that and then I thought I would try something else. I hooked up my 5' back blade and simply spun the blade backward, pulled the top link up tight so the blade was riding at as much of an angle as it could. It worked great. It would ride over the gravel without digging, it packed the snow into the grassy areas, and it is almost ready for the snow blower after the next snow, if this one doesn't melt off.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	35773 Click image for larger version. 

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    Be careful pushing in reverse with your blade. I was once told that 3pt hitches are great for pulling (tensile loading), not so hot for pushing (compression loading).

    -J.
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    The first couple of snows of 1-4" ,I usually don't PLOW. I will drive up or down the drive way a few times to get it packed. If I try to plow at all , I will back blade and then I leave front blade off the gravel by an 1" or 2".
    After a few freezes then plow as normal.
    Gene

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