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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys - I thought I'd ask some of you guys who may have a solution to my ongoing dilemma. I've got a stone driveway (3/4" Pennsylvania Blue Granite) that's about 650' long. When I plow snow, I keep the plow up off the top about 1" (as much as I can), but it's all for naught if the snow is wet and sticky because the stone rolls up into the snow and it comes along for the ride - and usually gets pushed to the low side of the plow and into the grass off the side.

Can you guys share your tips/tricks and implement setup for getting those stones back on the driveway without totally mangling the grass? It's too long for me to rake back on by hand. I thought that a rotary broom might be the best tool - but I can't justify buying (even a used one) for the price they're going for these days - for just raking stones back.

Thanks for any help and suggestions you can give!
 

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Stihl multi tool with rotary brush, then can use for other things.....
 

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Are you using a front plow or rear blade?

I have a similar driveway only not quite as long. The best way to clean up the stones is to not push them into the grass to start with. Get yourself some driveway markers and place them where the stones meet the grass. When you are plowing do not allow ANY snow to be pushed past the marker.
 

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Huh. I wonder if a pinwheel rake would have enough ooomph to toss the stones back into the driveway?
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks for the suggestions...Correct - I'd rather not have to power broom a 1/4 mile of driveway (both sides) by hand. Was hoping for an implement while the butt is parked.

Yep...The best would be to not have any stones get pushed off into the grass...However, I do have the driveway marked and steer between the proverbial cones as it were. There's nothing I can do about stones that stick to the 'wave' of snow that curls and rolls while plowing. That seems to be the biggest culprit in all this. I have gotten a LOT better about keeping as many stones as I can on the driveway compared to previous years.

As long as I keep the plow up & off the top, it's better...In years gone by a 2" PVC pipe slit down the middle worked really well on the Mule but bitter cold shattered it...Guess I should make one out of AL or steel. 2.375" OD seems to be the magic diameter in my testing...(I've done wood filled, polyurethane resin filled etc...PVC still shatters)

I've got a 60" plow on the Mule & a 54" plow on the x749 - both up front obviously. Not sure a scraper blade would fair much better out back due to the stone sticking to the 'wave' and rolling out the sides.

Seems like a kludge, but the Stihl kicked on a 45 and attached to the lower right corner of the bucket on the FEL might be possible/viable. Then again - they aren't cheap and hydraulics = crushed plastic...
 

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Maybe a landscape rake on the 3pt? Angle it slightly back towards the driveway so that it windows the rocks back to driveway. No way I’d want to rake them back manually with that long of a driveway.


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I don't know how to get them back out of the grass (I leave them there and they go away on their own...eventually :) ), but you can get the ones that were moved from the center to the sides back in the center by using a rear blade like this:

 

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What kind of tractor do you have ?? Got a loader ??
 

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land plane. Some have adjustable blade heights. if it's set to just skim and not dig in it would roll the gravel back without killing the grass. The one I just goy does not have height adjustable blades

Something like this is more adjustable than my 3pt hitch unit. And you could pull with either rig.

https://youtu.be/EsmkR7OyyMQ
 

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Another thought is the opposite.
Instead of trying to get stone back onto drive why not simply add stone? Make whole driveway as wide as the worse part. When finished the drive will just be maybe a foot wider, then next time it snows as mentioned put markers down where drive meets grass, then plow snow no closer than 6" of markers either side.
Otherwise you'd pretty much have to pick stone up and put them back by hand without getting grass tossed back with it.

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The Stilhl Power Broom can also be set up to "pull" instead of "push" like it was doing in the video. For an old guy like me, that would make it easier to use.

They also make more of a "bristle brush" version, I believe.

There are a couple of other companies that might make something similar. Echo and Ryobi come to mind.

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The Stilhl Power Broom can also be set up to "pull" instead of "push" like it was doing in the video. For an old guy like me, that would make it easier to use.
OR... build a mount on the side of the tractor (point the power broom ~45 degrees to ilne of travel,) and drive slowly down each side?
If you're really creative, you could build an even bigger one that's wheel-driven or PTO-driven.
 

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I use an 8ft landscape rake on my gravel drive and gravel pad. I have about 450ft to take care of. It works very well for me. I can turn it at an angle to help pull the gravel back onto the drive. It will not tear up the grass too bad, but you will see some change to it.


Dave

rake.jpg
 

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Another thought is the opposite.
Instead of trying to get stone back onto drive why not simply add stone? Make whole driveway as wide as the worse part. When finished the drive will just be maybe a foot wider, then next time it snows as mentioned put markers down where drive meets grass, then plow snow no closer than 6" of markers either side.
Otherwise you'd pretty much have to pick stone up and put them back by hand without getting grass tossed back with it.
That is what I was trying to suggest in my earlier reply. I keep all my driveway markers far enough in from the grass so that as long as I don't push any snow beyond them, any embedded or displaced stones or gravel will fall back into the driveway when the snow melts. In the spring I run over the driveway with my back blade or landscape rake to smooth everything back out.
 

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I'd try the landscape rake idea for getting the gravel back into the driveway. As far as plowing snow, I'd use a rear scraper blade with the blade turned backward and angled (while driving forward). That should keep the snow/gravel from rolling out of the driveway. You really only need to knock the snow down enough so you don't drag the bottom of your vehicle on it.
 

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The York rake on my 4400 w/FEL will completely jack up the grass - running it tines forward or backwards....so nope. It's not totally flat there (anywhere really) so it's gonna dig in pretty good or just fall away and not do squat. Besides, I really don't want clumps of dirt on the stone. Ever mow or weedwhack on stone? Right. That's the problem I want to avoid in the coming spring. Nothing quite like the sound of fresh $75 blades clipping granite stones and launching them towards your diesel pickup...

FEL bucket running backwards knocks the center hump of the road right down. I always do this before a storm to keep the chances of the plow picking up stone less.

"Just add more stone" - Ah...no. The idea here is to get the stone back on the driveway so it doesn't completely bork my grass blades, my hay field and not to mention it's $725/tri-axle...and I just got 4 of them last year - hence the newfangled problem because the old was disappearing under foot. I guess if I didn't buy the stone I could have bought a hydraulic rotary rake :dunno:

OK - I thought you guys would have a tried and true solution. Maybe a Stihl rake mounted on the plow on one side is the way to go...

There's GOTTA be an implement for this type of work.
 

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Landscape rake or wheel type rake

The York rake on my 4400 w/FEL will completely jack up the grass - running it tines forward or backwards....so nope. It's not totally flat there (anywhere really) so it's gonna dig in pretty good or just fall away and not do squat. Besides, I really don't want clumps of dirt on the stone. Ever mow or weedwhack on stone? Right. That's the problem I want to avoid in the coming spring. Nothing quite like the sound of fresh $75 blades clipping granite stones and launching them towards your diesel pickup...

FEL bucket running backwards knocks the center hump of the road right down. I always do this before a storm to keep the chances of the plow picking up stone less.

"Just add more stone" - Ah...no. The idea here is to get the stone back on the driveway so it doesn't completely bork my grass blades, my hay field and not to mention it's $725/tri-axle...and I just got 4 of them last year - hence the newfangled problem because the old was disappearing under foot. I guess if I didn't buy the stone I could have bought a hydraulic rotary rake :dunno:

OK - I thought you guys would have a tried and true solution. Maybe a Stihl rake mounted on the plow on one side is the way to go...

There's GOTTA be an implement for this type of work.
I would think you could use the landscape rake with success but might either have to make the top hitch connection flexible and/or add wheels if you have an issue with depth control. For this purpose you probably would be better off with a narrow like 2-3' wide rake or at last angle your existing rake quite a bit. Angling a wide rake is problematical as it will tend to span low spots and hit high spots due to the front to back length.

I bought a landscape rake not long after I got my 790, kept if for a fairly short time and realized I wasn't going to use it much so my experience is limited. However I did quickly find out that I had to slow down and match the ground speed to my ability to control depth. It's not a set and forget implement unless you have wheels.

I would think a wheel type hay rake would get the stones without tearing up the grass too much. Again, you would want as narrow as possible, maybe just one or two wheels. They will sure pick up stones in the field so I would think it would work for your road. Those can be pulled fast and aren't as dependent on the operator keeping the depth exactly right as they float on ground pressure. I see some companies call them "estate rakes" and they have smaller wheels than the 48" wheels I'm used to on a hay rake.

Treefarmer
 
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