Author Topic: Snow Removal  (Read 11723 times)

Syonyk

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Snow Removal
« on: January 19, 2017, 06:36:29 PM »
Perks of living in the country and working from home: Low cost of living.

Downsides: Snow removal is my problem.

The previous snow removal on this property has been, "inlaws around the corner clear it with an old tractor, and are retired enough to go to Arizona for January, so don't care about snow removal because it usually melts by the time they're back."

Since we're here the whole winter, and generally like to be able to get out of the driveway at least once a week, snow removal is on me.

This winter, which is a "30 year winter," I've been struggling to keep things cleared, we've gone a week+ at a time without being able to get vehicles out, and a neighbor's tractor with a front bucket is the only reason it's still passable - mine simply can't drag or push snow well enough.

The driveway in question is an eighth mile in length, about 20' wide (and we'd like it cleared to at least 10', as it gets tight for delivery trucks otherwise).  So, no, "shovel by hand" is not a valid option.  Sorry.

=============

I've got a few options looking towards next winter.  The tractor needs some (quite a bit of) work, and I'm going to argue for tire chains and filled tires, especially if I have to replace the tires on it - they're getting pretty beat up and cracked.  More weight would help me a lot with being able to drag heavy snow, and tire chains would help with traction a good bit (I spent a lot of time stuck with one wheel spinning).  If I just do the minimum on it, I'm looking at about $100 in parts and oil, but if I put new tires on it and chains, closer to $500.

I've considered getting a snow blower as well.  The main problem with the tractor is that I can't drag or push the snow much beyond the tires, so the path gets narrower each time I plow.  A final pass with a good two stage blower every second snow would help a lot, and I could theoretically use this on drifts as well, if I can't cut them down with the blade.  I think I can get something decent for $500-ish, maybe $700.  A goofy little single stage two stroke won't cut it.

If I wanted to put a plow on my truck, that would be an option as well - if an expensive one (probably $2k installed, and hard on the truck).  I've got a good pickup with low range, so it should be able to chew through the driveway with tire chains installed.  I hope.  I've gotten it awfully stuck this winter in the driveway without chains on.

Finally, another viable option is "hope future winters aren't as bad."  Normally, apparently, the tractor is just fine for winter.  We've just gotten an exceptionally bad winter this year, and once I get the tractor in better shape for winter running, it'll probably be fine - unless we get another winter like this.

The wife and kid are OK with being snowbound for at least a week or so at a time, but I feel like a pretty crappy husband for being unable to keep the driveway clear enough for them to get out to various activities.

So, thoughts?

terran

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2017, 06:41:18 PM »
Not exactly a solution, but when I was a kid people in that situation would often park at the road and hoof it out from the house to the car. Our driveway was never that long.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2017, 06:43:35 PM »
Saw the thread title and experienced some momentary alarm.

Carry on.

tarheeldan

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2017, 06:57:49 PM »
Get the pickup plow, and then pick up plowing jobs to recoup?

Syonyk

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2017, 07:19:03 PM »
Quote
blah blah blah

[kindness and patience in response]

Nope.  Care to offer some advice from up there?

[MOD NOTE:  No, he didn't.  That's why he's gone.  Toque.]

Quite a few of the local city snowplows have broken down due to the amount of snow we've had this winter.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2017, 05:33:37 AM by FrugalToque »

Syonyk

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2017, 07:45:35 PM »
More easily deleted nonsense that no one will miss.

The area, normally, gets about 9" of snow a year - so the equipment I have is fine.  Theoretically.  In reality, I've been fighting it endlessly, because it had issues starting until I replaced the plugs, and the carb has some serious problems at high fuel flow rates.  This is the first winter I've been left with it to plow.

This year, we're somewhere in the 30-40" range, and the equipment I have is not fine.

So I'm asking for advice.

[MOD NOTE: I tried to only remove the nonsense. Toque]
« Last Edit: January 20, 2017, 05:35:12 AM by FrugalToque »

ltt

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2017, 08:31:00 PM »
Would you be able to hire out the work to be done?  I'm assuming you live somewhere near a town where people do this for a living?  It may be worth it just to hire it done.  That way you wouldn't have to have the expense of outfitting your truck, nor the wear and tear.  And it may be cost effective in the long-run.

Syonyk

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2017, 08:34:53 PM »
Would you be able to hire out the work to be done?  I'm assuming you live somewhere near a town where people do this for a living?  It may be worth it just to hire it done.  That way you wouldn't have to have the expense of outfitting your truck, nor the wear and tear.  And it may be cost effective in the long-run.

I've certainly thought about it, but it seems having the equipment to do this myself would, over the long run, be more cost effective than paying someone to do it.  I plan to live here pretty much forever at this point, and I consider things like snow removal equipment to fall into the "property improvement" category.

My biggest problem is that the tractor leads to high piles of snow on the side of the driveway, which then allow for some serious drifts to form (by my standards - they're apparently not the 12' of snow that a 3 year old should be able to clear in some states).  If I can get the snow further down the hill, I should be able to help avoid the drifts - which would argue for a snowblower with a decent range for the final pass.

aperture

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2017, 08:58:35 PM »
Might experiment with a snow fence on one side of the driveway wherever there is a tendency to drift.  Additional options to consider: look for a 2 stage snow blower on Craigslist.  I know you are pretty handy with the tools, so get a broken one and fix it (I have one in my shed right now if you are anywhere near Denver). 
Of the options you named, I like the tractor upgrade best.

Not your problem (as you have outlined it) but I have sections of my drive that are shaded and form ice which gets super slick.  My garage has a costco-sized bag of magnesium chloride for those patches. 
 
Sorry these others feel they have to teabag you about not being familiar with snow.  Your questions seem 100% reasonable to me.  Best wishes, Ap.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2017, 09:38:23 PM »
If this is atypical, I'd hire it out.
Though investing in all the equipment might help guarantee it's not needed next year...

lizzzi

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2017, 09:48:24 PM »
In upstate New York and in South Dakota it was either big snowblowers or a plow on the front of a pickup. I think if you are going to live in your area forever, you should just spend the money on whatever you feel would be easiest/safest/most economically sensible. I agree that your post and your questions seem reasonable. 

One factor to think about is the issue of emergency vehicles being able to get in and out of your driveway if, God forbid, you have to call them for a crisis. It's one reason to keep the driveway clear.

Syonyk

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2017, 10:07:27 PM »
Might experiment with a snow fence on one side of the driveway wherever there is a tendency to drift.

I've definitely thought about that.  I've got barbed wire on one side so would have to put something on the neighbor's property (I doubt they'd mind), but could put something on the other side easily enough.  I'd just need to make sure it was far enough down that I had somewhere to put the snow.

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Additional options to consider: look for a 2 stage snow blower on Craigslist.  I know you are pretty handy with the tools, so get a broken one and fix it (I have one in my shed right now if you are anywhere near Denver). 
Of the options you named, I like the tractor upgrade best.

The used two stage is something I'll look for in the summer, but I'm not optimistic I'll have much luck after this winter.

The tractor will be getting maintenance, I'm just not sure how much it will be getting in terms of actual upgrades.  It's not technically mine, though I doubt anyone would complain if I put new tires on it and such.

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Sorry these others feel they have to teabag you about not being familiar with snow.  Your questions seem 100% reasonable to me.  Best wishes, Ap.

I have no idea what I asked.  I grew up in the midwest, where snow was a thing, and we had some good snow blowers and not much driveway.  Other places I've lived, it wasn't an issue.  This is the first place I've lived with a long driveway, and somewhat inadequate equipment to clear it (that I was assured worked fine, which is probably the case for lighter winters).  I'm trying to work out cost effective upgrades for getting out of my driveway.  I still can't figure out if I'm supposed to already have these, or if I'm just supposed to store 6 months of supplies and not leave the property for winter...

If this is atypical, I'd hire it out.
Though investing in all the equipment might help guarantee it's not needed next year...

The thought has occurred to me.  "If I spend $1500 on snow removal upgrades and don't need it for a decade, was it worth it?"

I think if you are going to live in your area forever, you should just spend the money on whatever you feel would be easiest/safest/most economically sensible.

Right.  I agree.  And that's pretty much what I was asking - for advice on snow removal since I know plenty of people here deal with it.  I'm fine spending a few hours on the driveway, but it's been quite a while since I've worked with snow blowers and the like, so... :/  Apparently I should be born with a snowblower?

Quote
One factor to think about is the issue of emergency vehicles being able to get in and out of your driveway if, God forbid, you have to call them for a crisis. It's one reason to keep the driveway clear.

Certainly a consideration.  I don't care for the idea of being snowed in for months on end, and right now, if we get another winter with heavy snow early on, I'm not sure I can clear it with the equipment I've got.  It's technically my wife's grandmother's tractor, in care of my wife's father, that I'm using.  And I'm fine putting money into it, because right now, it's my only option to clear the driveway enough that my truck can get out.

Lake161

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2017, 10:55:54 PM »
Our plan post-FIRE was to do our own driveway (much smaller than yours) and we bought a snowblower (2-stage, 24", about $600 new). But we are now having an epic winter, and had to give in. We have about 4' of snow on the ground, and another 2-4' expected in the next week. The drifts at the foot of our drive now have snow banks 8' high with all the snow that's been plowed off our driveway and the street.

We gave in. We are paying for a plowing service. This is an atypical winter, and it's just not worth it to fight the snow. At this point our blower can't throw snow high enough to clear the banks at the foot of the drive. 

Will we try to DIY next year? Of course.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2017, 01:14:46 AM »
I'd just get a nice, new 2-stage blower. Saving a couple hundred bucks by buying someone else's basket case it stupid. A nice newer $600 blower will be easier to keep running, start when you want it to, move snow just as well, be easier to store and last for probably ever. Team that up with the (lawn?) tractor, and you should be pretty set.  (Where I grew up a tractor was a farm implement that hauled equipment, bucketed snow up front and blew it out the back, moved hay, mowed lawn with a 48" deck and pulled people out of ditches. I think you're referring to a riding lawn mower thing?)

Yeah, this winter has been bad for parts of the Midwest. And the need to get emergency services in is real - my parents (and a few other neighbors) had to hop in their tractors and blow/plow a few miles of road to get ems to a neighbor who was having chest pains. Heavy snow is serious business, but for if for 6-8 hundred dollars you never have to worry about it again? I think that's worth it, if the road out of your yard will always be drivable, I wouldn't invest in a plow, just a nice walk-behind blower.

Syonyk

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2017, 05:02:18 AM »
Tractor in question is a 1939 Ford 9N. So a proper tractor, just very old.

iowagirl

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2017, 05:35:06 AM »
Yes a plow on your truck can be hard on it. With a lane that long I would probably go with a tractor and snowblower if you have lots of drifting. Maybe a living snow fence along the lane would help with that.

My truck has a 4" lift on it and I've had drifts up to the windows and even not been able to get the truck out of the garage due to drifts. Neighbors tractor got me started. A truck has a lot more limitations than a tractor. If I had a longer lane I would buy a tractor because of all of this.

MayDay

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2017, 06:32:30 AM »
My in-laws have a similar driveway and live in me Ohio and get lots of wet heavy lake effect snow.

When my H was a kid, the kids shoveled it. Sounds horrible.

As soon as the last teenagers went off to college they got a big nice snowblower. It does the job fine as long as they stay on top of it (if it's going to snow 3 feet, they go out and snowblowers every foot, not wait until it's all fallen). It throws the snow far enough away not to have huge snowbanks.

I personally would prefer a snowblower. But I think a tractor is valid. I just wouldn't spend 600 on tractor upgrades and also buy a 800$ snowblower.  Pick 1.

I'd probably either buy the snowblower new now, or hire a plow to finish out this winter, personally. Sure buying a used snowblower is ideal, but everyone I know with one has had it for 10+ years and it still works great. 80$ a year over ten years seems cheap for snow removal once you are past the point of shoveling by hand.

teen persuasion

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2017, 06:48:14 AM »
I grew up in the Snow Belt, most of my family is still there, so I can commiserate on the challenges of snow removal.  But then you mentioned 30-40" as exceptional!  So volume isn't really the problem, it's the length of your driveway.

You have to keep on the snow removal as it occurs, you can't wait until you need to get out of your driveway after a week.  If it snows everyday, you shovel/plow everyday, because waiting makes removal much more difficult- it builds up, packs down, melts a bit and refreeze, etc.  If it's a big storm that drops 2-3 feet in a few hours (like 2 weeks ago in my parents' area), you shovel/plow several times during the storm, to head off the pack getting too deep. 

When you have really extreme snowfall (like the 70+" my parents got a few years back in one storm), then the big guns get brought in - my elderly parents have arranged for a snowplowing service to do their driveway, but that storm required hiring equipment with a bucket to clear things out - no plow could manage.

If your norm is 9", a regular snowplowing contract sounds like overkill.  Just hire someone on an as needed basis for extreme conditions.  The problem with this plan is finding someone available when you need him - he'll be swamped, and can't get to you until after his regulars, who also have to wait somewhat.  A snowblower would let you and your spouse attack the driveway as needed whenever, to keep things under control.

Personally, we quit using our snowblower more than a decade ago.  We're 40 miles north of my parents in the Snow Belt, so we don't usually get the LES they get, but we do still get general snowfall events and LES off of a different lake.  I just shovel, slow and steady, but my long country driveway isn't an eighth of a mile! 

It sounds like you've got our snow - it's been a weird blizzard season, we haven't had much snow at all since the temps have been in the 40-50s every few days.  Which means the lake isn't likely to freeze anytime soon - normally that's a bad thing, since the lake freezing over cuts off the lake effect snow machine.

nobody123

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2017, 06:55:09 AM »
I live in northeast Ohio and we get lots of lake effect snow.  I just have 2 stage snowblower that I bought for something like $700 12 years ago and it still runs like a champ.  As others have said, you just need to keep up with the snowfall.  I usually go out and do my driveway every 6" or so during a huge snowfall.  I've been at work and come home to 2+ feet and it will still clear it, just slower.  If the snow is only an inch or two and there is no more in the forecast, I just let the solar plow take care of it.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2017, 08:19:13 AM »
Snow fences can help alleviate drifting snow. There is a ration that for every foot of height you get 10 feet of impact (1:10 rule), its the common rule of thumb for animal shelters as well. A 6 foot fence about 30 feet from the driveway would help a lot with drifting but is obviously a bit of work to build. My part of the world (prairies) was big on shelterbelts which are put in just to stop drifting snow and historically drifting soil (dirty 30's was so called because of the soil drifts). If you have the patience a fun shelterbelt is berry bushes, long term you get fruit.

On the plus side, I loved the snow drifts the snow fence made as a kid. I spent hours making caverns in the snow hills, really you should have one built for the kids to play with.

Snow fences don't do much for falling snow, not every situation is the same. 

Syonyk

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2017, 06:24:05 PM »
Well, I spent most of the day on a variety of tractors (a neighbor's John Deere with a bucket, my Ford with the blade), and I successfully got the car out.  I think I'm good for another 6-8" of snow before I start narrowing down enough that it becomes a problem again.  In a bit over a week, assuming a motorhome can get down the driveway, it becomes "not my problem" again.  Unless it still is.  My inlaws will be back, and my father-in-law handles the plowing when he's not south for winter.

I'd just get a nice, new 2-stage blower. Saving a couple hundred bucks by buying someone else's basket case it stupid. A nice newer $600 blower will be easier to keep running, start when you want it to, move snow just as well, be easier to store and last for probably ever.

That's a valid point.  I'm considering the three stage ones, though - apparently they're somewhat better with really heavy snow, which is what comes off the end of the blade after a few passes.  The stuff isn't solid ice, but it's wet, heavy, and very well packed.

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Team that up with the (lawn?) tractor, and you should be pretty set.  (Where I grew up a tractor was a farm implement that hauled equipment, bucketed snow up front and blew it out the back, moved hay, mowed lawn with a 48" deck and pulled people out of ditches. I think you're referring to a riding lawn mower thing?)

A 1939 Ford 9N is certainly more than a lawn tractor. :)  Slightly less reliable, though.  That's getting fixed this summer, one way or another.

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Yeah, this winter has been bad for parts of the Midwest. And the need to get emergency services in is real - my parents (and a few other neighbors) had to hop in their tractors and blow/plow a few miles of road to get ems to a neighbor who was having chest pains. Heavy snow is serious business, but for if for 6-8 hundred dollars you never have to worry about it again? I think that's worth it, if the road out of your yard will always be drivable, I wouldn't invest in a plow, just a nice walk-behind blower.

That's a reasonable argument.  I do think a blower plus the tractor would handle pretty much anything I'm likely to see out here.

Yes a plow on your truck can be hard on it. With a lane that long I would probably go with a tractor and snowblower if you have lots of drifting. Maybe a living snow fence along the lane would help with that.

800' of bushes or such in the high desert is a bit of a challenge. :)  Certainly something to consider, though, as I plan where to put various things.

I personally would prefer a snowblower. But I think a tractor is valid. I just wouldn't spend 600 on tractor upgrades and also buy a 800$ snowblower.  Pick 1.

At a minimum, the tractor needs about $150 of work.  That's assuming I keep the rather worn and cracked tires, don't add weight, etc.  A set of tractor chains, which would be very useful as I'm purely traction limited, is $350 unless I build a set.  New tires are $300-ish, but a tractor with broken tire carcasses doesn't do me any good at all.

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I'd probably either buy the snowblower new now, or hire a plow to finish out this winter, personally.

Too late.  There's not a snowblower for sale within a few hundred miles of here - literally the only things I can find are tractor mount units, and my tractor is way, way too low on horsepower for that.  Plus, no live PTO.  And no overrunning clutch.

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80$ a year over ten years seems cheap for snow removal once you are past the point of shoveling by hand.

And, if by spending the money, we don't get another heavy snow for a decade, that's a cheap win too. :D

You have to keep on the snow removal as it occurs, you can't wait until you need to get out of your driveway after a week.  If it snows everyday, you shovel/plow everyday, because waiting makes removal much more difficult- it builds up, packs down, melts a bit and refreeze, etc.  If it's a big storm that drops 2-3 feet in a few hours (like 2 weeks ago in my parents' area), you shovel/plow several times during the storm, to head off the pack getting too deep.

I try to run the tractor every day when it's snowing, but I don't have lights on it (another thing I should fix), and something in the ignition system gets really cranky when wet - I need to fix that as well.

Snow fences can help alleviate drifting snow.

If you have the patience a fun shelterbelt is berry bushes, long term you get fruit.

I'm considering building one next year out of scrap pallets or something.

Bushes would be fun, but I'm not sure I want to water 800' of bushes. :)

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Snow fences don't do much for falling snow, not every situation is the same.

The direct fall isn't a huge problem - it's the drifts that are killing me.

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2017, 07:26:08 PM »
What geographic area are we talking about?

Syonyk

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2017, 07:26:53 PM »
What geographic area are we talking about?

Southwest Idaho.

waltworks

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2017, 11:44:30 PM »
If the snow is abnormal, hire out the work and don't think twice about it.

If you think this is going to be a regular thing, I'd invest in a side by side or something similar with tracks instead of wheels and just groom/plow a path to the main road, then park normal vehicles there. With a 1/8 mile driveway, you're sort of f'd if it snows a lot, c'est la vie.

I will also give a hearty +1 to the advice to get on top of things before the snow piles up to much (we have 202" so far this year here in PC). Sometimes I will shovel (we have a ~60' driveway, so not that bad) 3 or 4 times in a day to make sure I can handle it. If you let it get out of hand, things get bad in a hurry.

If you don't have small children or health conditions, I might just skip all of it and invest in snowshoes/skis.

-W


charmed

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2017, 02:17:11 PM »
I honestly wouldn't bother with a stage 2 snowblower. We've bought one a few years ago and it is still a lot of work, and after some actual snow storms it's not do able even with them. Unless the snow is really light, we often times still have to have someone use a shovel to " cut down " the snow and then go over with the snowblower. Our drive way is probably about a similar length though our biggest problem is the snow drifts, so we don't often have to clean the entire length.
If I were you, I would see if I could get a snowblowing thing on the tractor, so it actually blows the snow away rather than pushing it aside, and like others suggested also put up a snow fence. Our snow fence made a huge difference last winter. This winter however it's completely hidden in the snow already so after the first snow storm we had it became useless.
I know it was mentioned to go out there several times a day to clean, which on decent days is acceptable I suppose, but, for example our last snow storm had winds of up to 80km an hour, and it felt like -43 celcius or something, it's just not do able to be cleaning snow in that weather by hand or even with a stage 2 snowblower, especially if the wind is coming from a difficult angle and snowing the face right in your face or just on a different part of the drive way....
If you're living in the country, in a place where a decent amount of snow is expected.... having a tractor with a snowblowing option is really not a bad investment...

NV Teacher

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2017, 02:54:50 PM »
Best snow removal we've used are four wheelers with a plow blade.  It's probably over the top for most areas but we'll get 10-30 inches multiple times through the winter and shoveling is for the birds.

Mtngrl

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2017, 05:21:37 PM »
I know Idaho has been hit hard this year.
We're in Colorado, so lighter snow, but we get a lot of it. We use an ATV with a plow on the front AND a snowblower. You can push a lot of snow with the plow, but eventually the drive gets so narrow we need the snowblower to widen it. Plus we use the snowblower to make paths in the back yard for the dogs and to make a path to the wood shed. We bought the ATV and inherited the snowblower and I have no idea how many stages it is. I think the tractor/snowblower combination would handle just about anything.

If you get everything fixed up like you want, you can make extra cash helping out neighbors. After big snows my husband can always do a drive or two around here for $30 or $40 each. (We do have a widow lady that we always take care of for free.)

Syonyk

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2017, 05:29:07 PM »
You can push a lot of snow with the plow, but eventually the drive gets so narrow we need the snowblower to widen it.

Yeah, that's pretty much my problem.  The driveway gets too narrow.  A wider blade might help, but I honestly don't think I can pull an 8' blade - the 6' blade I have gets me plenty stuck (I'm entirely traction limited, not power limited).

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I think the tractor/snowblower combination would handle just about anything.

That's what I'm hoping...

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If you get everything fixed up like you want, you can make extra cash helping out neighbors. After big snows my husband can always do a drive or two around here for $30 or $40 each. (We do have a widow lady that we always take care of for free.)

If I did anything like that, I'd either let people borrow the snowblower or do it for free.  $30-$40 isn't a big deal, and I'd rather build community good will in the neighborhood above us.

Lulee

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2017, 11:06:25 PM »
Here in NH we're all pretty familiar with clearing multiple feet of snow each year and so can feel your pain.  Dad remembers drifts in his youth (so late 1920's to mid-1930's) being about 100 foot high in certain areas but that was back before the forests grew back as much as they have and the open land allowed the winds to collect more of the snowfall into massive piles.  His small hometown of Temple solved the struggles you're going through by plowing everyone's driveway along with the roads, or did so until recently when an newbie from out of town objected in court to town monies being spent on clearing personal property.

I'd agree a snowblower is the best solution.  Plows on trucks are brutal on the vehicle and the landscape as you have to plow well off the drive and parking area to allow for later snow falls.

Real reason for my post is to include this link on snow fences which I found fascinating --- http://www.concordmonitor.com/SNOWFENCE-WINTER-GRANITEGEEK-6934558 --- as I never understood why the one on Dublin Lake that was always put up in my youth but isn't anymore didn't seem to work as well as I thought it should.  It explains about how they work and why they have to be placed so far from where you want the snow NOT to land.  Give your long drive you might find one would work for you if placed correctly.

Best of luck and hoping you have lots of hot chocolate and brandy to help get you through your difficult winter!

Metric Mouse

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2017, 11:46:09 PM »
A 1939 Ford 9N is certainly more than a lawn tractor. :)  Slightly less reliable, though.  That's getting fixed this summer, one way or another.

Ahh, that's a different story. My parents have a Massy-Ferguson of similar vintage they use for summer projects. I can't imagine fighting through snow with that thing - wouldn't be much fun.  In the winter they use a Case 1070 with a cab.  (god, just looking at pictures of one makes me think of my dad. :) ). So I was pretty spoiled growing up, even in snow country, so I should probably check my privilege.

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #30 on: January 24, 2017, 09:42:45 AM »
I'd agree a snowblower is the best solution.  Plows on trucks are brutal on the vehicle and the landscape as you have to plow well off the drive and parking area to allow for later snow falls.

Yeah... running out of places to put snow is a pretty good description of my current problems. :)

Quote
Real reason for my post is to include this link on snow fences which I found fascinating --- http://www.concordmonitor.com/SNOWFENCE-WINTER-GRANITEGEEK-6934558 --- as I never understood why the one on Dublin Lake that was always put up in my youth but isn't anymore didn't seem to work as well as I thought it should.  It explains about how they work and why they have to be placed so far from where you want the snow NOT to land.  Give your long drive you might find one would work for you if placed correctly.

Interesting.  Thank you, I had no idea how they were supposed to work and I would have put one right up on the driveway!

Quote
Best of luck and hoping you have lots of hot chocolate and brandy to help get you through your difficult winter!

A bit of cinnamon whiskey in hot apple cider has been handling the evenings. :)

Ahh, that's a different story. My parents have a Massy-Ferguson of similar vintage they use for summer projects. I can't imagine fighting through snow with that thing - wouldn't be much fun.  In the winter they use a Case 1070 with a cab.  (god, just looking at pictures of one makes me think of my dad. :) ). So I was pretty spoiled growing up, even in snow country, so I should probably check my privilege.

A cab?  Fancy...  I've thought about getting a canvas hot wrap around it, but with how often I'm on and off digging it out, it wouldn't be worth it.

When things are running right and I'm within the limits of the tractor, it's fine enough.  I can spend about 45 minutes to an hour on it and have the driveway cleared of a few inches, and stuff shoved over decently.  The problems this winter have been the drifts (it struggles to get through 2.5' drifts with the blade up), and the general reliability.  The carb on it is not right, so I'll be plowing and it will die on me, demand a finger worth of choke to run, and then eventually be happy again.  Or just have no power for a while.  If it's warmed up and the carb is behaving, I've got plenty of power (20-something hp at max governed RPM which I rarely need), but I don't have the traction to use it - plow, plow, stop and spin one wheel.  Hence my interest in traction improvements and weight.  Just, $$$.

Hopefully next winter will be lighter on the snow, but if things are just as bad, I want to be able to keep things clear enough for my wife and daughter to be able to get out.  They're pretty sick of spending most of the winter stuck around the house at this point.

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #31 on: January 24, 2017, 09:54:53 AM »
A decent, late model 4wd tractor with snow blower will run at least $15-20,000.
I won't tell you not to buy one, I did.

However ...... you can hire out a lot of snow removal for that price.

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #32 on: January 24, 2017, 10:00:11 AM »
A decent, late model 4wd tractor with snow blower will run at least $15-20,000.
I won't tell you not to buy one, I did.

Oof.  That's OK, I have no interest in spending that much on a tractor.  I was thinking a $700-$900 two stage blower and about $500 in tractor upgrades...

Just Joe

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #33 on: January 24, 2017, 12:37:05 PM »
I have zero experience with your climate but can you plant a row of evergreens on the side of the driveway in the direction that the wind blows?

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #34 on: January 24, 2017, 01:06:24 PM »
Here in NH we're all pretty familiar with clearing multiple feet of snow each year and so can feel your pain.  Dad remembers drifts in his youth (so late 1920's to mid-1930's) being about 100 foot high in certain areas but that was back before the forests grew back as much as they have and the open land allowed the winds to collect more of the snowfall into massive piles.  His small hometown of Temple solved the struggles you're going through by plowing everyone's driveway along with the roads, or did so until recently when an newbie from out of town objected in court to town monies being spent on clearing personal property.

I'd agree a snowblower is the best solution.  Plows on trucks are brutal on the vehicle and the landscape as you have to plow well off the drive and parking area to allow for later snow falls.

Real reason for my post is to include this link on snow fences which I found fascinating --- http://www.concordmonitor.com/SNOWFENCE-WINTER-GRANITEGEEK-6934558 --- as I never understood why the one on Dublin Lake that was always put up in my youth but isn't anymore didn't seem to work as well as I thought it should.  It explains about how they work and why they have to be placed so far from where you want the snow NOT to land.  Give your long drive you might find one would work for you if placed correctly.

Best of luck and hoping you have lots of hot chocolate and brandy to help get you through your difficult winter!

Said newbie is really going to kick himself, and deserves the scorn of their new neighbors.

Cowardly Toaster

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #35 on: January 24, 2017, 01:18:36 PM »
ATV with a plow? Hiring a service to plow?

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #36 on: January 24, 2017, 02:17:33 PM »
ATV with a plow?

I know a few people with those and they seem to work decently enough, but I don't have an ATV, and they're not particularly cheap to obtain.  The tractor upgrades apply to a tractor I already have access to.

Quote
Hiring a service to plow?

I've looked briefly, and I really don't find much of that around here.

I do intend to talk to some neighbors and see what they've been using, but while I'm not in the middle of nowhere, I can see it from here.

Cowardly Toaster

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #37 on: January 24, 2017, 04:24:36 PM »
ATV with a plow?

I know a few people with those and they seem to work decently enough, but I don't have an ATV, and they're not particularly cheap to obtain.  The tractor upgrades apply to a tractor I already have access to.

Quote
Hiring a service to plow?

I've looked briefly, and I really don't find much of that around here.

I do intend to talk to some neighbors and see what they've been using, but while I'm not in the middle of nowhere, I can see it from here.

Up here in Alaska a lot of businesses, churches, and private individuals have beatup old trucks or suvs with ploughs. They don't need to be insured and they only run for a few hours every year. Might be an option.

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #38 on: January 24, 2017, 07:40:42 PM »
A beater plow truck is just another vehicle to keep running...

And I'm hoping the increasingly-loud sound is just a bad exhaust gasket and not a rod. :/

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #39 on: January 25, 2017, 08:16:10 AM »
If a 9N can't push the snow, I can't see how an ATV or pickup will.  Those would be good for fast removal of light snow but it sounds like OP needs something with some more ass.  If I had a property that large, I would probably be able to justify a modern  compact utility tractor and then get a blower for it.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #40 on: January 25, 2017, 08:22:49 AM »
If a 9N can't push the snow, I can't see how an ATV or pickup will.  Those would be good for fast removal of light snow but it sounds like OP needs something with some more ass.  If I had a property that large, I would probably be able to justify a modern  compact utility tractor and then get a blower for it.
You may feel that way because you have not read the thread in its entirety.

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #41 on: January 25, 2017, 08:29:57 AM »
If a 9N can't push the snow, I can't see how an ATV or pickup will.  Those would be good for fast removal of light snow but it sounds like OP needs something with some more ass.  If I had a property that large, I would probably be able to justify a modern  compact utility tractor and then get a blower for it.
You may feel that way because you have not read the thread in its entirety.

No, sorry, I did.  Plenty of experience with this stuff and I stand by my statement.  If you really don't want to spend money, there is no reason you can't get out there with a shovel.  One man can move one cubic yard of material per hr, FYI.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2017, 08:32:25 AM by Debts_of_Despair »

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #42 on: January 25, 2017, 10:27:40 AM »
If a 9N can't push the snow, I can't see how an ATV or pickup will.  Those would be good for fast removal of light snow but it sounds like OP needs something with some more ass.  If I had a property that large, I would probably be able to justify a modern  compact utility tractor and then get a blower for it.

It pulls the snow tolerably going forward, at least until I lose traction when the tires find some ice under the snow.  It doesn't push it very well going backwards, which is why the driveway narrows each time I plow.  Though part of this may be that I didn't start the season pushing stuff off the side.

Since I have it, I may as well use it for what it's good at.

As far as I can tell, a 4WD utility tractor that would be good at this is quite a few thousand dollars, whereas I'm looking at perhaps $500 in tractor parts and $600-$1000 for a good snowblower.

No, sorry, I did.  Plenty of experience with this stuff and I stand by my statement.  If you really don't want to spend money, there is no reason you can't get out there with a shovel.  One man can move one cubic yard of material per hr, FYI.

I'm familiar with moving cubic yards of material, and an 800' driveway, where I care about at least 10' of it, with 3" of snow on it, is about 75 yard of snow.

I am perfectly fine spending the money on the process, I'm just trying to figure out how to do it most efficiently given what I already have to work with.

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #43 on: January 26, 2017, 06:52:05 AM »
If your tractor has a loader, consider buying a snow pushing blade that swivels to change angle of blade.  This would be much cheaper than a blower and a fraction of the moving parts, etc. that can potentially go wrong.  Set the blade on 45 degrees and push snow way off to the side of your driveway, leaving adequate room for future snows.  You might start out the season plowing an additional 10' each side of the driveway, then by end of season be pretty close to the driveway width.  You can plow very fast with an angled blade.

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #44 on: January 26, 2017, 08:44:58 AM »
No loader, sadly.

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #45 on: January 26, 2017, 09:03:21 AM »
Are you thinking about a rear three point snow blower?
If so, I would advise against, they are a pain in the rear to operate and it's a little dangerous working in reverse.

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #46 on: January 26, 2017, 09:15:55 AM »

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #47 on: January 26, 2017, 09:33:07 AM »
Are you thinking about a rear three point snow blower?

No, for several reasons:
- That's where my blade is.
- I don't have a live PTO.
- I don't have an overrunning clutch.
- The tractor is a pain in the ass to run in reverse for long periods of time.  Literally.  Sitting sideways on that seat is awful.

If I get a snowblower, it'll be a standalone walk behind unit.

https://www.warmlyyours.com/en-CA/snow-melting/heated-driveways

:D

The point is to save money, not blow a few grand a winter on heating costs...

GuitarStv

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #48 on: January 26, 2017, 09:35:58 AM »
But . . . the driveway shovels itself!!!!   :P

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Re: Snow Removal
« Reply #49 on: January 26, 2017, 09:44:56 AM »
But . . . the driveway shovels itself!!!!   :P

I'd have to totally redo the driveway to bury heating pipes in it.  It's been recently redone.  And I'd literally be spending thousands of dollars a winter on propane to heat it.