Snow Snow plowing recommendations for gravel road

   / Snow plowing recommendations for gravel road #51  

SnagDump

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Meadows Valley, ID
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Ventrac 4500Z, Bobcat S185 Skid Steer
I’m in the process of building a new home off the beaten path in NE Missouri. I’ll live back on a hilly and currently uneven gravel road about 1 mile off the paved road. I’m looking for the best snow plowing set up for my situation.

I am fortunate to own a SVL90-2 tracked skid loader w/cab, an M7060 w/ cab and a Can Am 850 ATV.

We only get maybe 2-3 “plowable” snows a year, the last of which was about 6”. I recently plowed with a buddys atv with a plow and it did well but took awhile and I’d sure like to take advantage of one of my cabbed vehicles if possible.

Any recommendations on which vehicle and what type of implement (plow, snow pusher, etc)?

Thanks in advance
If you can push the snow with your bucket on the skid steer you should have enough traction to use a plow. Maybe others with tracked skid steers can offer a better perspective. I plow with a wheeled skid steer with chains all around because I'm on a fairly steep grade and by mid-winter it's hard packed snow and ice for a base. I'd slide right off the hill with rubber tracks. I use a plow early when the base isn't frozen and late when the snow floor softens and slush needs to be scraped off. In the dead of winter I use the blower because our snowfall here is typically 120 - 160 inches.

Plowing in "big snow" country eventually leaves large snow berms that start to crowd the road and you end up turning sideways to push them farther back. That's when a blower is in its glory. With the kind of annual snowfall you likely get a blower really doesn't make sense - a plow will do the job much quicker and plows are a lot less expensive than blowers.

Plowing (or blowing) a gravel road that isn't frozen solid or doesn't have a hard snow floor has it's own set of problems. You can fabricate some larger rectangular (long dimension front to back) plow shoes that will reduce the tendency for the shoes to sink in and cause the plow to cut into the gravel. You can also add a piece of slotted pipe over the cutting edge and that helps some.
 

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   / Snow plowing recommendations for gravel road
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rcraigpt

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Monroe City, MO
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Kubota M7060 w/FEL & Kubota SVL90-2 w/cab & John Deere 3520 w/FEL
Well, I got to test out nearly all the equipment over the weekend on an 8-10" snow. Except for the cold exposure, the most efficient method was my buddy's ATV with plow. It was an easy snow to push with a little ice underneath and the ATV got great traction and made quick work of the road.

I'm now also a big fan of using the tractor with the bucket almost fully down to clear a driving path and a rear blade turned 180 degs backward and angled. The snow rolled off the blade beautifully without dragging any gravel off the road. Again though, only problem is I currently only have a rear blade for my John Deere 3520 so no cab. The 3520 had a little trouble pushing/spinning on the hills with the ice underneath but overall was highly effective and the finished product looked great. Wish list now includes an offset rear blade for my M7060. I think that may be the machine of choice for future snows since it has ag tires, is heavier, and has a cozy cab.

I even used my SVL90 to push snow off the flat driveway/parking area in front of my pole barn. It's not happy with much of an incline but does a great (and quick) job on the flat stuff.

Thanks for the suggestions!

P.S. My 1 mile "driveway" is technically a private road owned by me and a buddy so I'm motivated to keep it open. There are 3 houses on the road and mine is furthest back. My actual driveway is only about 100 yds off the road. Either way, my motivation to live back in BFE is distant neighbors, lots of wildlife, and even more peace and quiet!
 
   / Snow plowing recommendations for gravel road #53  

Cougsfan

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I am a little different than most of you. For a long drive, I find that a 4wd pick-up truck with a plow works better than a tractor or ATV, mainly because it is fast. I can do a better job in minutes what may take hours with the alternatives. You do have to be careful about plowing gravel with any blade on any vehicle. I just set mine to the ground then a lift it an inch or two and blast away. If level ground breaks up hill I momentarily raise the blade a bit more. If the snow gets too deep, then snow blowers are the way to go if you have one.
 
   / Snow plowing recommendations for gravel road #54  

sree251

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I am a little different than most of you. For a long drive, I find that a 4wd pick-up truck with a plow works better than a tractor or ATV, mainly because it is fast. I can do a better job in minutes what may take hours with the alternatives. You do have to be careful about plowing gravel with any blade on any vehicle. I just set mine to the ground then a lift it an inch or two and blast away. If level ground breaks up hill I momentarily raise the blade a bit more. If the snow gets too deep, then snow blowers are the way to go if you have one.
Sounds right. How many inches of snow would you allow to accumulate on your drive before you plow it off with your 4wd pick-up truck?
 
   / Snow plowing recommendations for gravel road #55  

jyoutz

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Sounds right. How many inches of snow would you allow to accumulate on your drive before you plow it off with your 4wd pick-up truck?
I plow anything over 6”. It’s not a matter of vehicle access, more a matter of keeping the road dry.
 
   / Snow plowing recommendations for gravel road #56  

Cougsfan

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Sounds right. How many inches of snow would you allow to accumulate on your drive before you plow it off with your 4wd pick-up truck?
6" or 8" of constant depth isn't a problem at all, I have plowed through short drifts that are considerably higher. I have had deep (3 plus feet), long (maybe 30 feet) drifts that I couldn't plow through. Then I get the tractor with the FEL and dig a path through it. At my old place I had a snow blower to use for those kind of places that worked great. The blower was paid for by the homeowner's association and I left it there for them. (It was a 3 mile long road there). I used the truck most all the time and the blower occasionally (some years not at all). My present road is mine alone and roughly 1/2 mile.

One of the biggest problems in a long drive is knowing exactly where the road is after a fresh snow, especially around corners. I put up 4' high road markers made of 3/4" pvc anchored with #5 rebar about every 100 feet or so with reflective tape on the top in the places of concern.
 
   / Snow plowing recommendations for gravel road #57  

jyoutz

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6" or 8" of constant depth isn't a problem at all, I have plowed through short drifts that are considerably higher. I have had deep (3 plus feet), long (maybe 30 feet) drifts that I couldn't plow through. Then I get the tractor with the FEL and dig a path through it. At my old place I had a snow blower to use for those kind of places that worked great. The blower was paid for by the homeowner's association and I left it there for them. (It was a 3 mile long road there). I used the truck most all the time and the blower occasionally (some years not at all). My present road is mine alone and roughly 1/2 mile.

One of the biggest problems in a long drive is knowing exactly where the road is after a fresh snow, especially around corners. I put up 4' high road markers made of 3/4" pvc anchored with #5 rebar about every 100 feet or so with reflective tape on the top in the places of concern.
I have cleared 2’ snowfalls with 6 foot drifts with a small 25 hp tractor. My 1/2 mile of road took 2 days with that small tractor and I had to pull the tractor out of the ditch with the truck a few times. Not fun.
 
   / Snow plowing recommendations for gravel road #58  

Cougsfan

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I have cleared 2’ snowfalls with 6 foot drifts with a small 25 hp tractor. My 1/2 mile of road took 2 days with that small tractor and I had to pull the tractor out of the ditch with the truck a few times. Not fun.
I feel for you. I don't think any kind of residential plow will handle what you have described. It would take major horsepower to push that much snow. A snowblower would be the best bet, but it would even take a while with that. (hours, not days though)
 
   / Snow plowing recommendations for gravel road #59  

Cougsfan

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One other thing to note is all snow is not the same. Wet snow is so much heavier than powder snow. A plow will move a lot more power snow much easier compared to 32 degree big flaked wet snow.
 
   / Snow plowing recommendations for gravel road #60  

jyoutz

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I feel for you. I don't think any kind of residential plow will handle what you have described. It would take major horsepower to push that much snow. A snowblower would be the best bet, but it would even take a while with that. (hours, not days though)
I haven’t tested that much snow yet, but I think that my new MX6000 with 8’ rear blade will handle that job when we ever get another big snow dump.
 
 
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