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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, this isnt a huge snowblower, just a 46" model 49 on my 318, but after yesterdays snow, and some of the drifts, I want to get it going again.
I used it all the time until we moved out of town and now have 400' of gravel drive. I also clear my neighbors 600'.
Ive been using my 54 blade with extra wide rubber edge, so it folds under when pushing or pulling and doesnt pull up gravel, and that works fine, except this last snow was wet and heavy, and while the 318 will push a ton when weighted down well, there is a lot of extra time pushing piles around to keep them where they wont be in the way later on.
The blower eliminates this issue, and it doesnt matter much how heavy it is either.

Anyway, Ive kicked around a few ideas, and looking for the best option to keep from picking up gravel.
The drives are pretty darn flat. We are pretty good at keeping them in good shape and level.

My current "best" idea is to use the old scraper blade and add skid shoes to it.
They are leftorvers from some I used to make years ago. They are 2" wide, and about 3" long on the flat, then tapered at each end.
Id have 3-4 of these evenly spaced across the width, and then the two skids on the thrower itself.
My thought is that while they are somewhat narrow, the number of them should keep it up well enough.
The question is how high? The skids are 3/8" thick, and Id likely add a small spacer in there to give 1/2" clearance.

The housing itself, or rather the lower portion where the scraper mounts, is not meant to take the load of the thrower. It can, but too much and it will flex.
Due to this, I had also thought of keeping the add ons away from the center, but making them wider.
Its fairly simple to add a 3-4" wide piece of flat stock to the bottom of them and bevel it to match the forward/backward taper.

I wish I could find a large diameter steel pipe so I could just cut pieces of that and use, but Ive been looking for something like that over the last year or two and have found nothing cost effective.

I should add too that I know several guys just lower the skids to raise the housing, but its been my experience, and several others, that they need to be lowered all the way, and more often than not, they will still sink into the gravel.
Thats not the factory 1" wide jobs, but both my 2" and 3" wide skids do too.
Id guess if I lengthened them from 4" or so to 6-8" and widened them a further inch, that would help, but not sure the multiple skids along the scraper wouldnt be a better solution.
Overthinking it like normal I guess...
 

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I use a snowblower on gravel with any real issues. I do adjust my shoes as needed. I have the shoes set so the blower is 3/4” off the ground when the driveway isn’t frozen. I set so it’s about a 1/4 off the ground when the driveway is frozen. Most years my driveway is frozen from mid November to late March.

I also have a plow on an ATV , it’s plow seems to dig into the gravel just as bad or worse when it’s soft. Because of the I don’t quite understand people saying they can’t use a blower on gravel, but they can use a plow. When it’s soft you have to be careful with both or you going to move some gravel.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
In my case, I run an 8" wide rubber strip cut from a horse mat on the edge of my blade. I centered the mounting holes in the rubber, so its got about a 3" overhang. That lets it wrap under the edge and not pick up any gravel.
No way Id use a blade on gravel any other way.
Around here, lots of guys with plow trucks plow gravel drives with them. There is always a good sized pile of gravel in one area come Spring time.

If the drive was frozen solid, I wouldnt worry too much about it, but here in Indiana you dont get that luxury.
Last week, on Wednesday I was wearing a long sleeve t shirt working outside. Thursday I had to have long johns on under my clothes. 50 one day 20 the next.

I need to buy some 1/8" steel anyway, I may just make my current skids longer and wider and see how that does.

Have to get something figured out before next weekend.
 

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I use a snowblower on gravel with any real issues. I do adjust my shoes as needed. I have the shoes set so the blower is 3/4” off the ground when the driveway isn’t frozen. I set so it’s about a 1/4 off the ground when the driveway is frozen. Most years my driveway is frozen from mid November to late March.....

............When it’s soft you have to be careful with both or you going to move some gravel.


I have to agree. Up here in the frozen north, I start winter with the 54" blade with about an inch between the bottom of the cutting edge and the HH skids. I use that until my flat and level gravel driveway freezes solid. Once everything has frozen, I can use the 47" blower with little fear of blowing my gravel all over my yard.. I used to just set the blower skids much lower, to raise the bottom off the driveway, but until the driveway was solid, the blower still wanted to dig in too deep. A set of much longer and wider skids would probably solve that problem. Someday, I'll try a set...
 
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In my case, I run an 8" wide rubber strip cut from a horse mat on the edge of my blade. I centered the mounting holes in the rubber, so its got about a 3" overhang. That lets it wrap under the edge and not pick up any gravel.
No way Id use a blade on gravel any other way.
Around here, lots of guys with plow trucks plow gravel drives with them. There is always a good sized pile of gravel in one area come Spring time.

If the drive was frozen solid, I wouldnt worry too much about it, but here in Indiana you dont get that luxury.
Last week, on Wednesday I was wearing a long sleeve t shirt working outside. Thursday I had to have long johns on under my clothes. 50 one day 20 the next.

I need to buy some 1/8" steel anyway, I may just make my current skids longer and wider and see how that does.

Have to get something figured out before next weekend.

That's not a great combination.... unfrozen gravel driveway and a snowblower... If your weather is that warm, at least you can blow off some and let the sun take care of the rest. A wider/longer skid might just be enough to keep the blower from going too deep.
 
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