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Snow plow adventures

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  • Snow plow adventures

    I just decimated our gravel driveway in my efforts to dig out the 10 inches of snow that fell Christmas night. Any advice or tips on snow removal would be greatly appreciated! I used the front end loader to pick up - then dump the snow....painstakingly slow. I seem to get more gravel than snow on several occasions. The grader on the tractor was ineffective in the deep snow. Help??

  • #2
    I'm not a pro snow remover, but I've done quite a bit of "plowing" with the bucket. My method may not be ideal for you, but I had a long narrow gravel lane to plow and I didn't want to lose gravel.

    Rather than trying to pick up the snow, I pushed/scraped. So I'd tip the bucket down so that the bottom surface was nearly perpendicular to the ground, then lower to about 2 inches from the road surface. If there was an awful lot of snow (like in your case), I would go on a diagonal path so that I was pushing the snow off into the ditch area, back up, then push the other direction. And so forth.

    I didn't worry about getting all the way down as both BO and I had vehicles that could easily handle a little snow. The downside to leaving a layer of snow is that it can end up getting a little icy, but that really didn't give us any trouble.

    The only place I did go all the way down to the road surface was on the concrete pad near the garage. I also salted that as I didn't want BO to slip/fall.

    Like I said, this may not be the pro method, but it worked for us.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

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    • #3
      My husband begins by packing instead of removing. He drives the "in" end... generally the garage door. Angles the loader down, places the rim on the ground (45* angle or so) and backs up. This leaves a layer of snow that will pack your gravel down and removes the rest. When he has a ridge of snow pulled back from the garage, he will scrape it at a 90* angle off to the side. When he gets a pile that is too big. He will remove the top foot or two, leaving many inches to be scraped as first described.

      On days that there is only a few new inches he will drive the "in" end... generally the garage door. Place the loader bottom flat on the ground and back up packing all the new snow into the base. When you have a sufficient frozen gravel/ice/snow base, then you can plow forward and not take up your gravel. But we do lose gravel each year. He piles the removed snow all in one spot and we can rake and remove the gravel from that spot in the lawn.
      Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans

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      • #4
        Keep the bucket level (there is a level marker on the bucket - a rod that sticks up by one of the lift arms) and push. Don't go down to the dirt but keep the bucket up a bit. If you angle the bucket lip down, you will gouge and if you leave it tipped up, it will ride over the top. Before you start on the drive, make sure you have prepped an area to dump the whiteshit; prepping means shoving the snow on that area into heaps as high as you can get. I have three such areas, the closest 300 or so feet from the house, the farthest close to a quarter mile, all located so I have a straight run to each from different areas with the run from the main road to the farthest heap being the easiest run by far.

        After you get lots of practice, you can tip the bucket more and really go to town pushing. If the snow is deep, just push until you have a bucketful and take to the holding area and dump. Once you have a path, pusing is easy if you take no more than 1/3 of a bucket width per swipe; it will leave ridges to move but keep working until the area is clear. It takes me roughly 6 hours to clear a path to the road, the barn and clear the house yard but if I have more to clear, the time increases by massive amounts. Prettying up the job also takes time - you don't want to leave ridges on your drive or in the yard(s) as they just collect more snow.

        A little more practice and you can build walls of snow as high as the bucket can reach and then some. I probably have access to more land to build these snow creations on but it can be done in a smaller area, just make sure you park the stuff so it doesn't make inconvenient lakes when it melts. has to be somewhere so the water can run off.


        Here's a pic of a snow wall I build a few years ago and the temporary drive way (I think, since photobucket is new and improved again): http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u...reatwall11.jpg
        The tractor is a 5510 JD, so you can get an idea of how high that wall is: http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u...greatwall2.jpg
        Artistic wall building - that block was larger than the bucket (the snow gets really hard here): http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u...snowblock1.jpg
        The scope of one wall I built that year: http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u...greatwall1.jpg
        Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

        Member: Incredible Invisbles

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        • #5
          Originally posted by sk_pacer View Post
          A little more practice and you can build walls of snow as high as the bucket can reach and then some. I probably have access to more land to build these snow creations on but it can be done in a smaller area, just make sure you park the stuff so it doesn't make inconvenient lakes when it melts. has to be somewhere so the water can run off.
          My husband actually plows part of our lawn. Yes, our lawn. Why? Because if the snow pile melts over there, on the edge of the woods, then he can begin mowing weeks earlier without worrying about burying the mower in our swamp of a lawn.
          Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SmartAlex View Post
            My husband actually plows part of our lawn. Yes, our lawn. Why? Because if the snow pile melts over there, on the edge of the woods, then he can begin mowing weeks earlier without worrying about burying the mower in our swamp of a lawn.
            I shove some of the crap to the hayfield and the rest onto the grain field beside the house. All areas drain away from the yard and to the east where there is a small blind creek. I do try to clear as much of the houseyard as possible but when it drifts to 6' and more, I have to build a new road out.
            Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

            Member: Incredible Invisbles

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks all! Great info!!!

              Originally posted by sk_pacer View Post
              Keep the bucket level (there is a level marker on the bucket - a rod that sticks up by one of the lift arms) and push.
              Eureka!!! I had NO CLUE.....and kept doing exactly as you described - either digging in or going over! The snow walls are awesome

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              • #8
                Glad my feeble advice helped

                Give it time, and you, too, can build walls!!!ROFL Actually, walls are NOT a good thing, just means you have waaaayyyy too much whiteshit and the only place to put it is UP. Those walls of mine are generally 40' at the base and range to 12' high and hundreds of feet long, particularly the one by the barn.
                Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                Member: Incredible Invisbles

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                • #9
                  Good Lord, Pacer! Looks COLD where you are- and no trees/hills for windbreaks?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Winters are usually, well, umm, brisk and bracing here, shakeytails....actually more like damned cold; Saskatchewan is a cold place in winter. Nope, not many trees on the open prairie but I have trees on the yard and even some fruit trees that I never get any fruit from because of the birds. All the farm yards have trees but trees just growing on their own are scarce except for the odd willow or russian olive popping up. There are trees along the river just south and further south, every coulee has loads of assorted trees and brush.
                    Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                    Member: Incredible Invisbles

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Saskatchewan looks like the perfect place to perfect snow removal!!

                      Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
                      So I'd tip the bucket down so that the bottom surface was nearly perpendicular to the ground, then lower to about 2 inches from the road surface.
                      A friend just told me about a plow equipped with a wheel that allows the plow to ride just high enough to avoid the gravel but low enough to get the snow. Anyone heard of such a thing??

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gryhrs View Post
                        Saskatchewan looks like the perfect place to perfect snow removal!!



                        A friend just told me about a plow equipped with a wheel that allows the plow to ride just high enough to avoid the gravel but low enough to get the snow. Anyone heard of such a thing??

                        It really isn't as level as it looks with 3' of whiteshit lying over the contours - I can be watching the seeder or the combine and it will completely disappear and still be half a mile away. The place where that huge wall sits most winters is probably the most level because some of the deep hollows were filled in for pasture use. Also, remember, I have free use of several hundred acres for snow piling.

                        The only wheeled plows I have seen are front mount and need at least 250hp to manage the sheer weight.....the wheels are part of the support structure. Small plows for what most people call tractors are light and don't need support wheels.
                        Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                        Member: Incredible Invisbles

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                        • #13
                          But Sk_pacer...it's a dry cold!
                          The greatest gift you can ever give is taking their pain away and making it your own. Wear that pain like a tribute to the love you shared. Laurierace

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by paulosey View Post
                            But Sk_pacer...it's a dry cold!
                            Not anymore......weather liar page says humidity is 91% and it never seems to drop much below 80%
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