on Wednesday, February 1, 2017
There is always more than one way to remove snow from your gravel driveway. The amount of snow, type of snow, as well as the condition of your driveway all play critical roles in choosing the best piece of equipment for your driveway. But, generally, here’s a few “tips” that might help.
Sometimes snowblowers are the best way to move a lot of snow, fast! Tractor mounted snowblowers ( http://www.deere.com/en_US/products/equipment/frontier_implements/snow_removal_equipment/snow_removal_equipment.page ) are great for turning the biggest job into a job well done. To remove snow in the cleanest way possible, without picking up gravel, set your skid shoes about 1 inch off the ground, this will allow you to have a walk-able driveway without spreading the gravel in your grassy areas near the driveway.
If you are snowblowing on a windy day, start on the most upwind section of the driveway and set the chute downwind whenever possible, this may sound simple, but it can prevent a lot of irritation from snow being blown into your face.
Have you ever had your snow blower get clogged when trying to move too much snow? One way to combat this is to make 2 passes. Simply lift up your implement and remove a “top layer” and make a second pass to remove the rest of the snow. This will not only prevent clogging, but will also put less stress on your implement in heavy snow conditions.
Before you bring your snowblower back to the shed or garage, make sure to clean the auger/impeller area. If kept in a heated area, this will help to keep your floor clean and dry, and if your blower is left out in the elements, this will prevent snow and ice from freezing moving parts. If moving parts freeze, and you do not notice before using your blower again, you could break shear pins, or cause damage to more important parts, it is always important to clear the snow and ice when finished moving snow.
There is also a great amount of important information in your owners manual. It is a good idea to review the manual at the start of every season so that you are ready to move any snow that falls.
Don’t have a snow blower?
Gravel Driveways are definitely tougher to maintain than a concrete or asphalt driveway, so hopefully you were able to find time in the fall to get your driveway ready for winter. Front or Rear blades are also great for moving snow in a hurry.
One of the most important pieces to remember on a blade is to check the condition of your skid shoes. If your skid shoes are worn, it is best to replace them so that they do not dig into your gravel driveway early in the season as this can cause ruts that are harder to grade in the spring. Setting your skid shoes is also one of the most important things you can do, especially early in the season before there is a layer of “snow pack” covering the gravel. When setting your skid shoes, a good rule of thumb to set your skid shoes so that the blade about a ½ inch off of the ground to minimize transfer of gravel from your driveway to your grass.
Another important variable to consider is the angle of your blade. When using a rear blade, it is important to keep the end nearest the center of the driveway much farther forward than the end that is near the edge of the driveway, this will help to push or move snow off of the driveway and reduce cleanup passes.
It is also important to remember to work at a safe speed, pay attention, and read the operators manual so that you know how to operate your equipment safely. We want to see everyone safe at the end of the day, and we hope we can help. Give us a call if you have questions about how to move snow safely on your property and we can help to recommend the best equipment to do the job!
Still have questions? Watch these video’s or give us a call! We’d love to hear from you.
How to use a tractor mounted snow blower: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlwm7orS5OY
How to maintain a gravel drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6r4v5aWuqY