Snowplow for Gravel Road

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Ed_Stanton, Dec 27, 2004.

  1. Ed_Stanton

    Ed_Stanton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    62
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    I haven't found any info in the archives on this subject and I'm hoping that there may be some experiences here that may help me.

    I've recently moved to a rural area and I have a 1.5 mile long rough gravel road that needs plowing in winter and will need summer maintenance to crown and smooth the road. I live 25 miles from town and getting a grader out here occurs only when forestry hires it and the driver had time to do my road. My nearest neighbour is about the same distance. I'll likely get the grader out in the summer, as the road is quite rough with allot of potholes and we need to spread allot of heavy gravel. But after that, I'm hoping that my own vehicle could maintain the road, which will only see very light traffic.

    So I'm wondering what type of vehicle might be able to help me do the snow plow work in winter and perhaps some road grading in summer. Thus far this winter, I have had regular snowfalls from 2-12 inches, some freezing rain to form a crust once, and some winds to make small drifts.

    I might be able to spend up to $3500 for a used vehicle with a plow or blade but I'm wondering if the vehicle should be a tractor or pick up truck with a blade. I do have a friend with a Universal tractor that I could use or buy (but more than my budget), but it only has a bucket with hay forks? on the front, so I'd have to figure out what type of blade to get for it?

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. JustinThyme

    JustinThyme Active Member

    Messages:
    26
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Alberta
    A small cat would be nice for road maintenance ,but too slow for snow removal .
    Do you have a 4wd vehicle or does the snow have to be scraped to 2" ?
     

  3. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    428
    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    North Salem, NY
    maybe your friend would buy the equipment together with you, and let you use his tractor in return for your maintenance of his drive? you would need a grader for the back of the tractor and a plow for the front. when you plow, make sure the blade is two inches above the gravel, or you WILL dig it all up. don't ask how i know ;)

    justgojumpit
     
  4. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    932
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2002
    Location:
    South West MI
    Our neighbor had an old pull behind grader that he used to do driveways with. you kind of need 2 different graders. A truck blade on the front of a tractor seems good for the winter then the big bucks would be for the heavy duty sumer grader.

    mikell
     
  5. Ozarks_1

    Ozarks_1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    250
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    Location:
    Ark. Ozark Mtns. (Marion County)
    I built an adapter so I can use a landscape blade in place of the bucket on the tarctor's front end loader. Of, course, I'm in northern Arkansas - so I don't have to deal with much snow.
     
  6. opus

    opus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    252
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Montana
    The problem everyone seems tohave with plowing gravel is that they 'need' to plow it the minute it starts to snow. We try to leave a good 6" on the road, for traction, to avoid a mess, and to form a good base for the winter.
    Other than that precious nugget of advise, I use the bucket or a 5' snowblower, when things get deep.
     
  7. Ed_Stanton

    Ed_Stanton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    62
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Thanks all to your suggestions and experiences.

    A small cat would be nice for some work and I've been watching for vehicles in the city Buy & Sell, though I'm not entirely sure what would work best and if the vehicle is too old, I'm not sure that I could maintain it way out here.

    My friend with the tractor is too far away to take it back and forth and he has a local farmer with a huge tractor plow his long steep drive. He wants to sell the tractor as he doesn't use it anymore, so I know that he wouldn't want to share the cost of upgrading it.

    I've searched the internet for bucket plows and I have seen one that can be hooked over a tractor bucket, but not a bucket with forks. I haven't found an informative site yet for tractor drag blades, as most sites that I've seen just list them, meaning one has to know what one is looking for.

    This winter so far, I'm driving on packed snow/ice about 6 inches deep now. I have no problem with this and would only plow after successive snowfalls or such depth on top. But when we get a chinook or it rains from winter warm spells or spring comes, then this depth plus any more wet snow, makes driving very challenging, but thankfully, the road is mostly flat. This is the situation I mostly want to avoid, as well as driving in ruts that occur from a soft wet base. I've had a grader out once that has removed a foot of heavy crusted rutted snow. It took him about 30-45 mins. for two passes with an ice blade, but I couldn't talk to him yet to see how much he's going to charge me, though he estimated a price of $100/hr. That would work for me all winter, but he doesn't have a long term contract from forestry, so he may not be available to me at all if forestry decides not to plow their 5 miles of road, highways does the other 15 miles of gravel, but will not do the rest or come to my place.

    My own vehicle is a 97 Toyota 4Runner SUV, which has been unbelievable for getting me in and out in the worst of conditions. Thank goodness for its high clearance!!!!!!

    I've had to use 4WD many times, 4WD Lo when its been really soft and deep and lock the rear diff to get up the hill or out of deep ruts that I've been sucked into in the deep soft wet slippery snow. As I drive highways allot to get to job sites, I've opted to keep my Michelin X Terrains on as they haven't been too bad in the snow and mud that I've encountered since June and I do carry heavy stud chains for all 4 wheels if needed.

    I've looked into the plows for SUV's and pick ups but none of the internet sites really shows any other use than plowing paved driveways. I hope to see a distributer in the city, my next trip in. I'm not sure that they or my 4Runner woudl be heavy enough to move that much snow from that long a road. I can't afford to replace my 4Runner and I don't imagine that it is really meant for that kind of work?

    I hope to visit some farmers in the area to see what they might use, but most have really large tractors for farm work vs. what I'd need it for. Problem for me is, that everyone is so far away.

    Hope this helps explain my situation further for anymore thoughts that you might have.

    Cheers,

    Ed
     
  8. opus

    opus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    252
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Montana
    Ed, where are you located. You mentioned a chinook so you perked my interests.
     
  9. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,282
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    Whiskey Flats(Ft. Worth) , Tx
    ...............My suggestion.......It maybe that you could find a 70's or 80's model , 4x4 truck with snow plow on the front . Then , use the existing hydraulic(s) to control a blade that you could mount on the rear of the truck . Any Ford , 70's truck that came with a snofighter blade on the front also came with the Dana 60 , HD front axle due to the weight of the snoplow attachment . The blade that I'm thinking of is one of those farm type blades that will swing left or right and the fancy ones will also be equipped with an Angular pivot from side to side . Also , to monitor the "blade position" you could install a small camera like they use for security purposes with a viewer . I , don't think that they are very expensive . A 3/4 ton truck with xfer case in low range would surely be able to do the job I would think ! Be awhole lot cheaper (and warmer) than driving a tractor in the winter with NO cab , fordy... :)
     
  10. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,084
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    We use a tractor and snowblower, I wouldn't touch a Universal if it was given to me. Terrible rear ends and tranny probs. 3500 won't buy much of a tracotr and snowblower but it should buy a decent MF or small Ford with a loader.
     
  11. dreadstalker

    dreadstalker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    60
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    central nebraska
    go with a tractor,if it has a three-point on the back you can use a blade.alternativly you can pick up a trailer house tounge to pull behind the tractor or 4x4.pull it point forward to remove snow and backwards to level
     
  12. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

    Messages:
    19,568
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    :rolleyes: I think I would get a Tractor.But I think I would have a base of 2" rock put down.

    You say your pretty much level.We are back in the hills our road gets graded every other year and never in the Winter.We have one curve 90 degree turn then straight uphill,both ways.I've seen my wife take 2 wheel drive,F150 Pickup,put some weight in the back put Chains on,go through 8" of Snow,and busting drifts.

    I don't know just don't seem that much a deal.Plus sometimes its just best to sit tight.I got Snowed in one time at another place even Road Grader couldn't get to me.It took a Tractor with Bucket.

    big rockpile
     
  13. herefordman

    herefordman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    194
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Location:
    washington/british columbia
    For what its worth I have a 9N Ford with chains on ($1300.) and a rear mounted reversable scraper blade ($200.) and I'm cold but comfortable plowing and grading anytime I feel like going out and playing.
    I've graded six inch rocks flat, plowed lots of snow and it just keeps on going, I use the same tractor to pull gobs of wet clay mud out of the barnyard from the cows.
    The only thing I do probably different is I make the road as wide as I can right from the start of winter, and make clearings every so far along so there is somewhere to drag the snow when it gets too hard on the sides to push sideways.
    Its a good machine and starts no matter how cold it is, and you could just get a three point hitch mounted snowblower, if you prefer it over the blade, that'll get your road clear real well.
    Like anything don't push it too hard and it will work real well.
    I'm with the earlier poster too, forget your buddies Universal, if you have the cash buy something more reliable.