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Clearing snow from gravel driveway

Discussion in 'Operating & General Discussion' started by dfitzemt, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. dfitzemt

    dfitzemt New Member

    May 1, 2012
    I just purchased a home with a roughly 400 foot gravel driveway with a large parking area at the end of it, all gravel. The driveway has a slight incline. We get quite a lot of snow out here and I need to come up with a game plan for clearing the snow.

    Ideally a plow on my truck would be the best choice but I don't know if the old truck would survive the beating and I don't want to invest in a plow for a truck on it's last leg. I have been looking around and the cheapest setup I've seen are pretty beat up and they are still asking $1000.

    I have a nice 8.5hp snow blower but even with the skids down I think I'd be breaking shear pins and firing rocks out of it. I was thinking of picking up another old tractor with a snow blower attachment and rigging the snow blower to rest an inch over the surface of the gravel leaving a thin layer of snow. Another option is a finding a heavier garden tractor with a plow, chains and weights and plow the driveway.

    I think I could get a decent older garden tractor with a setup on the craigslist for under $500 plus its an excuse for me to get another tractor.

    So any input? Any of you guys have experience clearing a gravel driveway?
  2. DForal

    DForal New Member

    Jun 30, 2011
    Amazingly enough, last winter (our first winter in this house) we didn't have any snowfall that required clearing (NW Virginia). We have a 700 foot gravel driveway and my plan was/is to use my JD 1128 DE snowblower with the skids placed to leave about an inch of snow. I even considered attaching some wheels where the skids go, but have not done that. I was/am a bit nervous as I expect to catch some gravel; it is small size and hopefully I won't break a bunch of shear pins. Fall back plan is to use my JD790 with FEL; that will take a LONG time and I don't have chains or extra weights, so I would have to be very careful. Second fallback plan is to hire someone to clear it out.

    I considered getting a snowblower for my Craftsman garden tractor, but couldn't justify the expense (over $1000) and have not been able to find a used one (keeping my eyes open). I'll be surprised if you can get a tractor and blower for under $500; if you can, that sounds like a good option.

    Good luck, at least you are not waiting until they forecast a blizzard to start thinking about it :D Let us know what you decide to do and how it works out. Dave

  3. Thomas

    Thomas Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2006
    Welcome to TF.
    About how much snow do you get a year?
    Would there be snow difts to consider?
    Do you get many heavy wet snow storms?
    Driveway slope/grade much?

    Depending on how much snow you get,you may have to keep the snow banks push twice as far back since graden tractor w/plow compare to any type of blower,which also you may have to plow couple during storm to keep up w/amount of snow fall.

    Blower like one shot deal.

    Snug as bug in warm cab while plowing..just can't beat.

    You may have to set few more coins a side.

    Again welcome.
  4. pogobill

    pogobill Registered User Staff Member

    Jan 31, 2012
    I have coarse material on parts of my driveway, 2" stuff. Once I finish contraction and decide how the driveway is going to be, then I'll top it with 3\4 crushed. In the mean time, I just pack the first few snow falls giving me a good base, then I use the blower on the tractor, leaving an inch to maintain my base cover.
    Works for me.
    Now as far as your situation goes... I'd go for getting the tractor... can't have too many of those!!:D
  5. bosshogg

    bosshogg Registered User

    Aug 6, 2012
    My driveway is about as long and gravel. I have a snowblower mounted on my JD riding lawnmower and I can clear almost any amout of snow in under 1/2 hr. I adjust the skids to about 3/4" up and don't have any problems since the driveway is normally frozen hard when moving snow. Of course now I have a Kubota L3400F w/ loader if things get go bad to worse. Also have a walk behind blower I haven't used in years...Craigslist this fall.
  6. GreaseNipple

    GreaseNipple Registered User

    Jul 13, 2012
    My gravel lane is .4 mile long. I bought a used New Holland skid steer when I moved in to do the plowing with. I have pilot controls and can really be precise with the height of the bucket. I have gotten pretty good at not peeling any gravel off when I plow....it's not easy and once in a while I pick up a little gravel, but not much. It's not a perfect set-up, but at least I can get out in the winter. Good luck !!!!!!

  7. bosshogg

    bosshogg Registered User

    Aug 6, 2012
    Sorry for double post????