Suggested snow blowers or techniques for blowing a gravel driveway?

suddenstop

New member

Equipment
Kubota L3301, front bucket, rear hoe, landpride auger
Aug 17, 2019
4
0
0
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Just about to seriously start my search for a cat 1, 3PH, blower in the 64" - 72" range. Are their any manufacturers that handle a gravel road better then others without throwing stones?

Also, any other techniques other then plowing the first few times with leaving an inch or two behind to freeze up and act as a cushion between the blower and the rocks?

Thanks!
 

North Idaho Wolfman

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L3450DT-GST, Woods FEL, B7100 HSD, FEL, 60" SB, 743 Bobcat with V2203, and more
Jun 9, 2013
20,861
59
48
Sandpoint, ID
Just about to seriously start my search for a cat 1, 3PH, blower in the 64" - 72" range. Are their any manufacturers that handle a gravel road better then others without throwing stones?

Also, any other techniques other then plowing the first few times with leaving an inch or two behind to freeze up and act as a cushion between the blower and the rocks?

Thanks!
I don't know which company makes it, but the cats meow is the model with large wheels on it instead of shoes, floats right over the gravel. ;)
 
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twomany

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Equipment
B7200
Jul 10, 2017
563
22
18
Vermont
Wear shoes on the side boards.

Lift the blower about 1.5" off the surface. Set the top link so the blower scraper bar sits the same height.

After you get a good freeze up, raise the shoes, lower the blower, or just remove the shoes altogether. (Then hope it doesn't thaw ;-)
 

rjcorazza

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L4060 HSTC Loader, ZD326, ZD331
Mar 9, 2016
756
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16
Hyattstown, MD
I don't use my blower on gravel, but I will say that most blowers I've seen either do not come with skid shoes, or they are so small that they are practically useless. I installed a set of large shoes that are made for a much larger blower. I bolted them to the outside of the housing.


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Dave_eng

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M7040, Nuffield 465
Oct 6, 2012
2,976
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Williamstown Ontario Canada
My blower is an inverted type but my wheel fix would be appropriate for any style. I blow on a lot of gravel and ground.

I use a selector valve to provide a hydraulic circuit to adjust the wheel height but it could be done manually.

Dave
 

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Tim Horton

Member

Equipment
"PEPE" RTV400
Mar 22, 2018
119
1
18
British Columbia Canada
We have an older Allied 50" blower 3pt, cat 1. It is the same blower that goes under a lot of names.

Yes. It is only 50" wide, our tractor is 54" wide, but no big deal. It was a cheap blower.

I set the skid shoes to keep the bottom edge about 1.5" high until there is a frozen solid, well packed base then adjust the skids to 0" high. Yes. It does move a little gravel at times, but not enough to worry about.

Did I mention we got it cheap ??
My 5 cents of experience and opinion.
 

chuck99z28

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Premium Member

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BX23s
Aug 13, 2019
20
0
0
Virginia
I moved from suburbia to the country with a gravel driveway and brought a snow blow with me. First snow I figured I'd give it a try and just skim the snow off the top. It doesn't work like that. The gravel sticks to the snow and gets pulled in an creates a hell of a racket. One piece got lodges and bam, then engine stopped in an instant. Didn't break anything, but wow what a noise that thing made.

I sold the snow blower and got a snow plow for my new BX23s. The plow also doesn't work as the driveway is not totally flat. It digs in and pushes as much gravel as snow.

I found the best way is to just use the bucket and back drag the snow drifts off to the side, leaving a few inches of snow on the gravel. Driving on it with both the tractor and my pickup packs the snow into the gravel and really makes a nice solid smooth surface. We don't get a lot of snow every year, but when we do we get a few feet, in which case the snow plow or floating the bucket while going forward should cut it down to a few inches without hitting gravel.

This year, I'm going to try slitting some 6inch PVC and putting it on the bottom of the snow blade to try and get it to float on the gravel. But I'm not expecting it to work. I'll probably sell the snow blade. Its a nice Kubota with hydraulic angle movement.

I considered paving, but owning a tractor and a grader makes the gravel driveway pretty cheap in the way of maintenance costs.
 

GreensvilleJay

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Equipment
BX23-S
Apr 2, 2019
1,178
45
48
Greensville,Ontario,Canada
hmm. I was thinking of getting a 4' section of 'plastic' decking ( Trex) and bolt to the bucket of my BX23S. There's 7 real nice 5/8" holes along the bottom edge. 3 counter sunk bolts should work fine.
Jay
 

motionclone

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Equipment
L345DT with Lp mower, forks and grapple thumb, Bobcat 337 Midi Ex
May 4, 2018
613
100
43
Maine
I moved from suburbia to the country with a gravel driveway and brought a snow blow with me. First snow I figured I'd give it a try and just skim the snow off the top. It doesn't work like that. The gravel sticks to the snow and gets pulled in an creates a hell of a racket. One piece got lodges and bam, then engine stopped in an instant. Didn't break anything, but wow what a noise that thing made.

I sold the snow blower and got a snow plow for my new BX23s. The plow also doesn't work as the driveway is not totally flat. It digs in and pushes as much gravel as snow.

I found the best way is to just use the bucket and back drag the snow drifts off to the side, leaving a few inches of snow on the gravel. Driving on it with both the tractor and my pickup packs the snow into the gravel and really makes a nice solid smooth surface. We don't get a lot of snow every year, but when we do we get a few feet, in which case the snow plow or floating the bucket while going forward should cut it down to a few inches without hitting gravel.

This year, I'm going to try slitting some 6inch PVC and putting it on the bottom of the snow blade to try and get it to float on the gravel. But I'm not expecting it to work. I'll probably sell the snow blade. Its a nice Kubota with hydraulic angle movement.

I considered paving, but owning a tractor and a grader makes the gravel driveway pretty cheap in the way of maintenance costs.
Youve got to work on your driveway so its flat. Find some shoes for the plow so the cutting edge is an inch higher than the driveway.

In Maine we wait to plow gravel driveways until the road or driveway has frozen up then its hard as pavement.
 

Cfrazer

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Lifetime Member

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BX2670-1,FEL, BX5450, BBox, GS1548, RB1560, QH05, AI2 Forks, SS Curtis Cab
Jan 22, 2018
85
0
6
North Rose, NY, USA
I moved from suburbia to the country with a gravel driveway and brought a snow blow with me. First snow I figured I'd give it a try and just skim the snow off the top. It doesn't work like that. The gravel sticks to the snow and gets pulled in an creates a hell of a racket. One piece got lodges and bam, then engine stopped in an instant. Didn't break anything, but wow what a noise that thing made.

I sold the snow blower and got a snow plow for my new BX23s. The plow also doesn't work as the driveway is not totally flat. It digs in and pushes as much gravel as snow.

I found the best way is to just use the bucket and back drag the snow drifts off to the side, leaving a few inches of snow on the gravel. Driving on it with both the tractor and my pickup packs the snow into the gravel and really makes a nice solid smooth surface. We don't get a lot of snow every year, but when we do we get a few feet, in which case the snow plow or floating the bucket while going forward should cut it down to a few inches without hitting gravel.

This year, I'm going to try slitting some 6inch PVC and putting it on the bottom of the snow blade to try and get it to float on the gravel. But I'm not expecting it to work. I'll probably sell the snow blade. Its a nice Kubota with hydraulic angle movement.

I considered paving, but owning a tractor and a grader makes the gravel driveway pretty cheap in the way of maintenance costs.

I have a gravel driveway and use a front snowblower and rear blade. I wrapped a horse stall mat from TSC around the blade and it acts like a squeegee and will not dig in at all, the one bad thing is also that it won't dig in so if there is ice built up on driveway I can't scrape it off without removing the mat.
 

chuck99z28

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Premium Member

Equipment
BX23s
Aug 13, 2019
20
0
0
Virginia
I have a gravel driveway and use a front snowblower and rear blade. I wrapped a horse stall mat from TSC around the blade and it acts like a squeegee and will not dig in at all, the one bad thing is also that it won't dig in so if there is ice built up on driveway I can't scrape it off without removing the mat.
I was thinking about the horse stall mat too. Glad to hear that works. I'll give it a try.

We don't get much ice buildup, as soon as the snow stops then temps usually get up above freezing some (Virginia).
 

sagor

Member

Equipment
BX25, BX2750D, BX2760A, 5' back blade
Jan 9, 2017
201
0
16
Sudbury, ON, Canada
With almost 500ft of gravel driveway, I modified my front BX2750D blower with wheels at the back side, to allow elevating the cutting edge. The main benefit is that the wheels "roll", whereas skids dig into the gravel (until frozen).
With the wheels, less stones, less shear pins blown. Once you have a compacted base, I raise the wheels so the blower edge is flat on the ground.

One problem with wheels at the back of the blower is that eventually it creates "waves" on the ground due to the fact the wheels and the front edge are at different distances, causing this effect. Not too noticeable until near the end of the season... Nothing a back blade can't fix....

Similar issue would exist for rear blowers. Skids just dig into the gravel, thus lowering the cutting edge into the stones. It gets worse because the skids actually dig up the gravel, which gets sucked into the blower.
 

Orange1forme

Member

Equipment
B2650 HSDC, filled tires, wheel spacers, B2728B , LA534A FEL, 3rd valve kit
Dec 1, 2018
215
0
16
Wa
I, too, run a front snowblower and last year was my first with my B2650. I had been using a front mount Bercomac on my riding mower so I had some prior experience.

As has been stated, DON'T blow on the first few snowfalls, unless it dumps. You need a good layer of snow/ice as a base.

Depending on you driveway, it may have a crown. Keep this in mind when sizing and blowing. Your crown changes as the years go by, so maintenance is key to not scraping it off when blowing.

I, too, have been toying with the thought of better blade elevation, but am pretty happy with what this did the first season. I'm anxious to get at it again!!
 

RCW

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Equipment
BX2360, FEL, MMM, BX2750D snowblower. 1953 Minneapolis Moline ZAU
Apr 28, 2013
4,262
77
48
Chenango County, NY
The guys have given great advice, especially leaving those first snowfalls to build a base.
I use a BX2750D front blower on stone. I used a JD425 tractor with blower before that, so been at it almost 20 years.
I often have mentioned my displeasure with the shoes on those compared to the JD blowers.
I’ve “tinkered” with the stock shoes 2 different times; first to make them wider and longer, and again to add a UHMWP “liner”.
The liner avoids scratching up my concrete paver patio, and also gives me another 1/2” of clearance.
Newer blower models don’t have this style shoe, which is good. But my mods might be applied to other shoe-types.

The UHMWP is really tough stuff. Thought I would rip them off for sure.
Someone here on OTT suggested it. It’s only been one season, but they’re almost unscathed from when I put them on. I also set them up so they can be rotated 180 degrees if they wear in the front.

Both modifications are here on OTT.




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