Thick Driveway Ice
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    Question Thick Driveway Ice

    Hello everyone!
    I am brand new to this forum, but have had my JD 1026 for three years now. Have a number of attachments, including a great 3rd party 3 point hitch backhoe. Anyway, I'm looking for an idea on how to deal with what I call my annual driveway glacier. I have a front and rear blade and was thinking that a serated wear blade (like you see on the road graders) would be great to attach to the rear blade. Problem is I can't find something like that anywhere.

    I've tried all kinds of things. I even tried my box scraper but it chewed up the gravel too much.

    The driveway is about 300 feet long with a substantial parking pad. I have used 3/4 limestone crusher.

    Open to other ideas people may have.

    Thanks!
    Jack...

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    jgayman's Avatar
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    I have a very similar driveway. The key is to prevent the ice buildup from happening. This can only be accomplished by cleaning the driveway down to bare gravel after each snowfall. If I allow any snow to remain to "build up a base" as many recommend the only thing that happens is the snow eventually melts down to form a thick ice layer that is then nearly impossible to melt or remove. One time that I didn't scrape it down I had about 2" of ice that made it impossible to even walk to the parked vehicles. I eventually had to purchase about 200 lbs of sand and spread it around just so we could walk.

    My plowing technique for the past 20+ years has been to use a rear blade and push backwards with the curve of the blade. This allows me to carefully scrape down to the gravel with very minimal gravel collection. The last few years I've also started placing marker sticks along the driveway to further help avoid pushing any collected gravel into the grass.

    While I still scrape a bit of gravel on occasion, the process works well. As long as I expose the majority of the gravel the sun does a good job of melting it out.
    Last edited by jgayman; 01-16-2017 at 03:36 PM.
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    I deal with an 850' driveway with an intersection which is mostly #2 stone. I deal with ice every winter for most of each winter. I've tried scraping the ice off with my loader and tooth bar and have had minimal results.

    I just keep a layer of anti-skid on it (especially the steep part) and deal with it. You need 4WD to get out of my driveway in the winter.

    Luckily our rural mail carrier has a little 4WD Honda. Other than that I make arrangements for my UPS and FedEx drivers.

    This has become more and more of an issue the past 5 years or so. We seem to be in much warmer winter systems. When it used to snow like it's supposed to in winter I didn't have near the problems I do now with ice.
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    I am in Wisconsin and every few years we get rain at the wrong time and it freezes. This is one of those years. There just isn't much you can do. That ice can be as hard as concrete.

    You can try the box blade and lower the teeth a notch to scrape the ice. As you noted it can dig up the driveway a bit. I have a Pirhana tooth bar on my bucket and that helps a bit if the ice is over a layer of snow, but solid ice it doesn't do much. I have used it in small areas such as the front slab outside my entry doors as an ice chisel. It is not practical for large areas.

    The best solution that I can think of is scrape it as good as you can and salt and sand the heck out of it. I have thought about buying one of those seed spreaders that mounts on the 3 point to spread salt and sand.

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    Last edited by herbertperform; 01-16-2017 at 05:42 PM.
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Unless your driveway is 100% gravel putting salt on it will cause problems come spring time.
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    jgayman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    Unless your driveway is 100% gravel putting salt on it will cause problems come spring time.
    And it takes LOTS of salt to do any good. The one year I tried combating the ice with salt it just bored tiny holes where each salt granule was and did very little to weaken or melt it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    And it takes LOTS of salt to do any good. The one year I tried combating the ice with salt it just bored tiny holes where each salt granule was and did very little to weaken or melt it.
    I helped out out township one summer which has all dirt roads. I got to see first hand what a mess is made with salt and especially calcium.
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    My driveway is 1/2 asphalt 1/2 reclaim asphalt. A can keep the real asphalt clear not the reclaim. Its melted from 2" of ice down to 1" this week but the real stuff has been clear all along.

    Sand, cat litter or wood stove ashes are your friend.

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    Have tried a lot of these

    I always try to scrape down to gravel but I can't seem to get the knack of leaving the gravel on the driveway. Especially for the first few snow falls when the ground hasn't frozen yet. The landscaping doesn't help either as water run from many other high points onto the parking pad slows, and freezes. The water does eventually drain and run off, but in the winter it slows enough that it freezes.

    My driveway is 100% limestone gravel, so salt doesn't have any ill effects other than I'd rather not dump 160 KG of the stuff every month and have it go into the groundwater and kill my grass.

    My township uses a scraper blade with teeth on it that digs groves into the ice that allows for some traction. I can find site that make these for large industrial graders but nothing for anything that can be pulled by a consumer grade tractor. I know that weight would likely be a problem, but that can be fixed with a little ingenuity. unless someone has a suggestion, I may have to find someone to make one for me. I figure this would also make my salt/sand mix work better.

    Anyway, hoping there may still be a good suggestion out there. I am investigating the piranha tooth bar to see what that might do.

    Thanks for the fast replies!

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