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  1. #1
    Platinum Member Katahdin's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
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    561
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    Scarborough, ME
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    Yanmar LX4500, Toro z420

    Default Plowing Snow Over Gravel in Spring

    First day of Spring in Maine. I just box-bladed the driveway on Sunday to fill in the ruts and potholes and mix in all the driveway gravel I've power-broomed off the lawn from a heavy plow season. Today is Wednesday, three days later, the first day of Spring. Naturally we got a foot of snow last night, so here's what I did to keep from ripping up the soft gravel.

    My tractor has a front plow and rear box blade. I raised the front blade just off the surface by a couple inches or so, to shave off the top layer of snow. On the three point, I full extended the top link so the rear-most blade on the box would compress the bottom layer of snow at an acute "\" angle.

    Worked out pretty good me thinks. The box blade didn't fill up and did a great job of packing down the bottom layer of snow. I didn't rip up the gravel at all. Here's some pics.

    -sunday-jpg-today-jpg

  2. #2
    Super Star Member dave1949's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
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    Industry, Maine
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    New Holland TC40

    Default Re: Plowing Snow Over Gravel in Spring

    I like it.

    We got about 10" here. I used the blower on it, but kept the cutting edge high to avoid shaving off the rut ridges that formed the last couple days. Mud season with a gravel drive is always not fun.
    "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end ..."
    When there is a huge solar energy spill, it is called a "nice day"!

  3. #3
    Super Star Member Thomas's Avatar
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    Apr 2000
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    Lebanon,NH.
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    Kubota L2800HST w/Frontloader & CC LTX1046

    Default Re: Plowing Snow Over Gravel in Spring

    Good idea..doesn't your plow have adjustable shoes/skids?

  4. #4
    Veteran Member milkman636's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
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    Palm of the Right Hand
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    Bobcat CT335 + Kubota BX2370-1

    Default Re: Plowing Snow Over Gravel in Spring

    My experience is that the skid shoes would have just left some grooves in the fresh gravel, but if you are careful you can center them nicely between the gravel windrows on the sides of the driveway.
    "Contentment makes poor men rich, Discontent makes rich men poor." Benjamin Franklin

    "...The conflict between believers and non believers is not about the beliefs..." IslandTractor

  5. #5
    Super Star Member dave1949's Avatar
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    Industry, Maine
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    New Holland TC40

    Default Re: Plowing Snow Over Gravel in Spring

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas View Post
    Good idea..doesn't your plow have adjustable shoes/skids?
    Quote Originally Posted by milkman636 View Post
    My experience is that the skid shoes would have just left some grooves in the fresh gravel, but if you are careful you can center them nicely between the gravel windrows on the sides of the driveway.
    Yes it has shoes, set for good clearance too. Like milkman said, they do dig into the soft driveway topping. It's 1" minus, so it can get pretty soupy on top during mud season. It had gotten soupy, driven on and re-froze. So, it had some ruts but not dried out enough to work. I learned to not mess with a gravel drive until the frost is completely out of the ground last year.
    "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end ..."
    When there is a huge solar energy spill, it is called a "nice day"!

  6. #6
    Platinum Member Katahdin's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
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    561
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    Scarborough, ME
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    Yanmar LX4500, Toro z420

    Default Re: Plowing Snow Over Gravel in Spring

    Yep, I've had my plow shoes on all winter and it doesn't help much when the gravel is soft/wet. Note, my problem may have been exacerbated by the fact I spread 60 tons of new gravel on the drive last summer (and the almost 100 inches of snow fall!). In any event, this next picture is of the mess from the melt just before this last storm....oh well, it gave me an excuse to go out and buy a power broom to sweep the displaced gravel back onto the driveway. I highly recommend buying or renting a power broom if you find yourself in the same predicament.

    -leftovers-jpg -power_broom-jpg

  7. #7
    Veteran Member JJZ 109's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    1,517
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    Near Lake Ontario
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    Bobcat S185 skid steer - Ferris IS500Z - JD GT235

    Default Re: Plowing Snow Over Gravel in Spring

    Quote Originally Posted by Katahdin View Post
    I highly recommend buying or renting a power broom if you find yourself in the same predicament.

    -power_broom-jpg
    I agree with that. This'll be my third spring with a broom similar to the one pictured. Takes a pretty good man to run one for any length of time. But still a big time saver. Beats the heck of out the old fashioned way.
    Time loves to be wasted. From that waste their is no salvage - Henry Ford
    _____________________________________________

    Also - E Terra E 60 SSQA backhoe • Erskine 73" blower •TSC QA boom pole • Bradco 48" forks • JLG T350 Boom Lift • 2001 Ford F450 w/Telsta A28D aerial lift • CAM Superline 6x12 dump • (2) Kristi 7x18 enclosed • 2014 Ford F250 Super Cab gasser • 2007 Mustang GT • 2007 Crown Vic P71 Police Interceptor

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    47
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    U.P. MICHIGAN
    Tractor
    mahindra 4035

    Default Re: Plowing Snow Over Gravel in Spring

    Take a 1inch to 1/1/4 pipe and cut a notch down the whole lenght and fit it to the bottom of your plow (weld or Bolt)I like to bolt mine so it can be removed. It should take care of your problem and keep the yard looking nice for the boss in the spring! good luck

  9. #9
    Super Member
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    Dec 2003
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    5,412
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    NC
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    Kubota Grand L3830

    Default Re: Plowing Snow Over Gravel in Spring

    Quote Originally Posted by Katahdin View Post
    First day of Spring in Maine. I just box-bladed the driveway on Sunday to fill in the ruts and potholes and mix in all the driveway gravel I've power-broomed off the lawn from a heavy plow season. Today is Wednesday, three days later, the first day of Spring. Naturally we got a foot of snow last night, so here's what I did to keep from ripping up the soft gravel.

    My tractor has a front plow and rear box blade. I raised the front blade just off the surface by a couple inches or so, to shave off the top layer of snow. On the three point, I full extended the top link so the rear-most blade on the box would compress the bottom layer of snow at an acute "\" angle.

    Worked out pretty good me thinks. The box blade didn't fill up and did a great job of packing down the bottom layer of snow. I didn't rip up the gravel at all. Here's some pics.

    -sunday-jpg-today-jpg
    Did the supervisor approve after he finished his inspection?

  10. #10
    Super Star Member dave1949's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    10,952
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    Industry, Maine
    Tractor
    New Holland TC40

    Default Re: Plowing Snow Over Gravel in Spring

    Quote Originally Posted by Katahdin View Post
    Yep, I've had my plow shoes on all winter and it doesn't help much when the gravel is soft/wet. Note, my problem may have been exacerbated by the fact I spread 60 tons of new gravel on the drive last summer (and the almost 100 inches of snow fall!). In any event, this next picture is of the mess from the melt just before this last storm....oh well, it gave me an excuse to go out and buy a power broom to sweep the displaced gravel back onto the driveway. I highly recommend buying or renting a power broom if you find yourself in the same predicament.

    -leftovers-jpg -power_broom-jpg
    I never heard of "mud season" before living in Maine. If some are wondering what that is, it's when the ground is frozen and the top inch or two thaws. With ice below it, it can't drain into the ground, so it just sits there in soupy saturation, then refreezes overnight.

    My driveway is generously wide in several places. I try to stack the snow in those wide areas. When the snow melts the gravel lands on driveway. All summer I think my drive is ridiculously spread out. All winter I think it's too small.

    This winter had it share of thaws making it impossible to have a frozen snow-packed driveway surface for very long.

    Asphalt would be nice, but not with my chains and I don't want to give those up.
    "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end ..."
    When there is a huge solar energy spill, it is called a "nice day"!

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