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  1. #1
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    361
    Location
    Vermont
    Tractor
    John Deere 5055e

    Default Spring snow frustration - tips welcome

    The most enjoyable part of winter skipped us, for the most part, here in northern Vermont... of course, I'm speaking of snow. Although the Burlington area had a record for one-time snow early in the year, it's been a drought. Just cold. That is until today...

    I'm trying to plow my gravel driveway - it's made up of stuff people sometimes refer to as "hardpack." Different sizes of crushed gravel that packs into cement-like consistency when frozen. My question is if anyone has suggestions about how to use a FEL to clear snow after it's been a week of > 32 degree temps. Last night we got about 6-8" of heavy, wet snow on top of ground that has warmed. This morning, I couldn't get the FEL to float - it either digs in and takes out a layer of my gravel driveway or skips over the top. I can't get the "roll" angle correct, no matter what I seem to do. If I try to backdrag, it just floats over the top, or if I leave the pressure on, it packs the wet snow down.

    Any tips? Besides "buy a snowblower" or "buy a plow?" I'd like to, believe me...

  2. #2
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    196
    Location
    Birch Run, MI
    Tractor
    Case 580C

    Default Re: Spring snow frustration - tips welcome

    When you lock the FEL into float, I set my bucket so it digs and once it hits the desired depth into the hardpack and then roll the bucket up just enough in small increments so it stops digging and runs level. Its hard to get the right spot and if it comes up you have to back up and start again.

    The key is to plow right away, not let the snow pack lol. A FEL is not a good tool for clearing large areas. For $400 you can have a backblade that is much better for long drives. The two together are the cheapest way to clear snow.

    Like you I have not had the cash to buy a blower and am making due, but next year I am going to do everything possible to buy a blower
    Cat 420D
    Bota BX2360

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    657
    Location
    Freetown, MA
    Tractor
    BX24

    Default Re: Spring snow frustration - tips welcome

    Too late for this storm but have some skid shoes fabricated for the bucket. Make them wide enough to ride gravelsurface and not dig in itself. Bolt them into place so that you can remove them in the summer or be able to adjust them using shims.
    08 BX24 FEL, BH, 6l0" MMM, Kubota PTO Bagger, BX2750D snow blower with quick hitch

  4. #4
    Veteran Member gerard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    1,681
    Location
    Syracuse NY
    Tractor
    Kubota L2500DT w/FEL

    Default Re: Spring snow frustration - tips welcome

    keyman has the right idea though a backblade w/ shoes would be better. Doing what you want on a non asphalt surface is always going to be difficult. One year I took a 3 inch long section of 1 1/4 inch steel pipe and cut it in half lengthwise. I tack welded each piece to opposite sides of the bucket to act as skid shoes. Worked fairly well and didn't interfere with digging during non winter times.
    Experience is something you get right after you need it!

    Kubota L2500 DT w/ 5 foot FEL and Pat's easy change system
    5ft box blade, 5ft bushhog, 6ft york rake w/ guage wheels, 7ft backblade w/skid shoes , post hole digger, 5 foot snowblower, dual axel 16 foot landscape trailer, 330 gal water tank, Ford 250 diesel, 6 wheel drive polaris ranger, bale spears for loader

  5. #5
    Elite Member WayneB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    2,611
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Tractor
    Kubota B-7500

    Default Re: Spring snow frustration - tips welcome

    Quote Originally Posted by rexcramer View Post
    Like you I have not had the cash to buy a blower and am making due, but next year I am going to do everything possible to buy a blower
    With the snow we got today being about 5-6 inches of very wet heavy snow and the ground being warm even a snowblower wasn't doing a great job.

    I replaced replaced three shear bolts and I can't give you a number of times the chute was plugged up. Digging gravel, rocks, you name it with the blower. Just been way too warm the past few days and then the snow hits. Not to worry they are talking a whole bunch more for Thursday and Friday. I guess we are nearing the end of February and March is going to come in like a lion!

    Wayne

  6. #6
    Gold Member StrangeRanger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    364
    Location
    Northern VT
    Tractor
    L3400 HST

    Default Re: Spring snow frustration - tips welcome

    Quote Originally Posted by bxowner View Post
    The most enjoyable part of winter skipped us, for the most part, here in northern Vermont... of course, I'm speaking of snow. Although the Burlington area had a record for one-time snow early in the year, it's been a drought. Just cold. That is until today...

    I'm trying to plow my gravel driveway - it's made up of stuff people sometimes refer to as "hardpack." Different sizes of crushed gravel that packs into cement-like consistency when frozen. My question is if anyone has suggestions about how to use a FEL to clear snow after it's been a week of > 32 degree temps. Last night we got about 6-8" of heavy, wet snow on top of ground that has warmed. This morning, I couldn't get the FEL to float - it either digs in and takes out a layer of my gravel driveway or skips over the top. I can't get the "roll" angle correct, no matter what I seem to do. If I try to backdrag, it just floats over the top, or if I leave the pressure on, it packs the wet snow down.

    Any tips? Besides "buy a snowblower" or "buy a plow?" I'd like to, believe me...
    I'm dealing w/ the same storm. What I've learned to do w/ the FEL is to kind of use it like a plow/FEL. I start by loading the bucket up w/ a decent amount of snow, then put it into float and adjust the angle. The snow I start out w/ in the bucket usually adds just enough weight to keep it from floating up onto the heavy wet snow while I'm working on getting the angle right.
    But I've also just learned to not use float and keep the bucket about 1" off the ground. Ya it takes lots of tweaking the stick and paying attention but the end result is a lot better.
    j
    j
    L3400 HST, LA 463 FEL, 6' Woods blade, 65" Woods box blade, 60" Meteor blower, CCM top & side links, 2 extra rear remotes waiting for a use and a big, fuzzy hat

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