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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?
 

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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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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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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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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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.
 

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A little touch is needed

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. . .

Treefarmer
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Coaltrain, how does that work with smaller snows? How much snow does it leave on the ground after one pass? Seems like using the fel would be much easier.
 

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Without the edge tamers you can get as low as you want - all depends on the angle of your bucket.

I was a bit apprehensive about the edge tamers at first - I thought they would leave too much snow behind. I was quickly impressed with them - here's some on this post:

http://www.greentractortalk.com/forums/land-ownership-landscaping-lawn-care-gardening/5648-snow-plowing-whatcha-using-year-104.html#post1387793

The edge tamers make plowing with your bucket perfect. Read more about them here:

R2 Manufacturing

https://r2manufacturing.com/

I used my bucket for 7 or 8 winters without the edge tamers. Just had to pay attention to the angle of the bucket when the ground was soft. It is SO much easier to go forward! I've been using only my bucket for 10 years now and have no reason to try anything else.
 

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So, here's my technique for our 1/4 to 1/2 mile of gravel. Turn the blade So it looks like you're going to be pushing when you're backing up. Angle it so that when the cutting edge is on the ground, it has an angle, with the top edge towards the tractor. if you have a crown on your driveway, adjust the level side to side So you get about 3/4 to 1" of drop on which ever edge you would like outside. Now the tricky part. You're going to be driving forward, so you angle that dropped side towards the back. This helps push a little snow down into the gravel, and also off to the side. This will help build a layer up that is solid, and later on, if you need more pushing power, you can reverse the blade So it scoops more snow.
 

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I have been using Edge Tamers on my FEL. They work very well in float mode. I recently bought a 7' Landpride RB with shoes on it. I'll find out this winter how that works out.
 

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I have shoes on my back blade but a lot of time I turn it backwards so the cutting edge don’t dig in. About the only thing I use my back blade for is pulling snow away from garage doors and buildings along with scraping cement portions of driveways. I use my front blade most of the time which also has shoes.
 

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I started out using a rear blade on my old 2210 and now a front blade on my 2032r on my 800’ of gravel driveway. Each of them has had a piece of 3” HDPE SRD11 Utility bore pipe fitted (slit on one side and slipped over the cutting edge) on the blade as a cover to shield the blade from digging any gravel up.

It works amazingly well, I have seen others post here that use PVC pipe, SCH40 or 80 and some that will get a piece of rigid metal conduit or fence post and tack weld it to the blade.

I’ve used this method to plow in winters where we got 150”+ of snow and the rocks it moves into the lawn are very minimal.

Do a search here for some of the threads on it and you will find lots of ideas.
 

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I started out using a rear blade on my old 2210 and now a front blade on my 2032r on my 800’ of gravel driveway. Each of them has had a piece of 3” HDPE SRD11 Utility bore pipe fitted (slit on one side and slipped over the cutting edge) on the blade as a cover to shield the blade from digging any gravel up.

It works amazingly well, I have seen others post here that use PVC pipe, SCH40 or 80 and some that will get a piece of rigid metal conduit or fence post and tack weld it to the blade.

I’ve used this method to plow in winters where we got 150”+ of snow and the rocks it moves into the lawn are very minimal.

Do a search here for some of the threads on it and you will find lots of ideas.
Just curious, how do you keep the pipes from falling off?
 

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About the only thing I use my back blade for is pulling snow away from garage doors and buildings along with scraping cement portions of driveways. I use my front blower most of the time which also has shoes.

I edited jdmich's post to reflect my usage. I added a rubber edge to my back blade using a TSC stall mat. I have all asphalt and concrete surfaces so I cannot say how it does on gravel. But the rubber edge is very gentle on the grass and surrounding surfaces when I push the snow back.
 

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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.
This has been my experience as well. The edge tamers give you a very nice base to work with.

https://youtu.be/rQpyBhvyAnQ
 
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