Old 05-03-2003, 11:54 PM
suezeekay suezeekay is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Maine,New York. Calif
Posts: 501

Will a snowblower work on a dirt driveway with a hump in the middle and some rocks? I like my dirt drive and don't want asphalt, but the snow this winter was a real bummer.
Old 05-04-2003, 12:15 AM
Joey P Joey P is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 27,022
I wouldn't go over the hump (if the blower is to wide, it will dig into it. But I think it should work on the rest of the drive. Oh, what type of snow bower are we talking about. The type I'm thinking of is a big one, with the big semi exposed augers under it. I would think that it would just skim the surface (possible you'd have to keep it tipped back a little). Just make sure it's never aimed at anyone or anything (like cars or windows) cause it WILL pick up rocks here and there.
Old 05-04-2003, 12:17 AM
yola yola is offline
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 282

You will ruin your snowblower and it won't throw rocks. Only certain kinds of snow will the snowblower blow.

I live in the most inhabited snow capitol of the world and my snows gone by now. You must have had a lot of snow and we didn't.

A trick we do is run a water sprinkler over snow patches and that knocks it down faster than nature intended.

Another thing you can do is take a steel pointed shovel and throw the pile around. In shorts and a tank top, we call this snow tanning.

Have fun.
Old 05-04-2003, 09:35 AM
Mr. Duality Mr. Duality is offline
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: The High Plains
Posts: 1,488
Joey P is giving you the straight scoop. Rocks could jam up a larger 2-stage snowblower. I would tip my snowblower back a little when running it over a dirt surface. I would not run my snowblower where there is a chance that gravel or rocks might be encountered, but that's me.
Old 05-04-2003, 12:23 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
Mod Rocker
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: N E Ohio
Posts: 40,507
My alternative to a snowblower or snowthrower is a scoop, sometimes called "Candian snowshovel" (at least by one marketer). Ames makes one (although they are hard to find away from deep snow country), and Wal-Mart carried one, this year, by Suncast Corporation called Big Scoop.

It is about two feet wide and built like an old farm scoop. You never lift it. You push it like a shovel (using a handle like a snowblower's), but when it fills with snow, you just push the handle down, lifting the front up, and it toboggans over the snow. Then you lift the handle up to dump the snow. Good exercise with no heavy lifting and no pollution or noise.
Old 05-04-2003, 09:55 PM
suezeekay suezeekay is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Maine,New York. Calif
Posts: 501
Yola, I cannot picture myself out in -50 degrees in shorts and a tank top throwing around snow! It was brutal here this winter and the last lump of snow in the front yard JUST melted. I guess the snowblower isn't going to work. I'm usually okay just shoveling the drive but this winter was unusually harsh and snowy. How do you water the snow anyway? I take in the hoses in the winter and would have to run them out of the house; plus, at the temperatures we had it would turn a snow problem into an ice problem. My drive is narrow and runs between my house and the one next door, so the potential for damage is too great if rocks get thrown. I may have to asphalt the drive. re: the snow scoop, I wonder how it would work for the snow the plow piles up at the end of the driveway? I have to lift the shovel way up and throw it about 5 ft into my front yard as there is no where else to put it. Damm. The worst thing is when I go away and come back very late at night faced with a wall of snow and no place to park the car. This winter I was out there at 1am three times shoveling a huge wall of snow. Otherwise, I love northern Maine and the snow looks beautiful from a warm house standing at the window with a toddy in my hand.
Old 05-04-2003, 11:06 PM
yola yola is offline
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 282
oh, I thought you were talking spring-break-up snow. lol Not the middle of the winter! I don't water the snow in the winter. Just use a sprinkler to get the remaining spring snow piles on the lawn.

We get a front-end loader to come in and plow after a big snow and use a snow-blower for small snows. If we keep on it we don't need to pay for a front-end loader at $20 a whack.

What I hate is when the city plows the street and leaves a big burm at the end of the driveway. Hard snow to shovel and usually when I'm in a hurry to get somewhere.

When its 50 degrees and the sun is shining, is when we snow tan in shorts and a tank top. Not minus 50 degrees! No Way!
Old 05-04-2003, 11:40 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: N E Ohio
Posts: 40,507
I have to lift the shovel way up and throw it about 5 ft into my front yard as there is no where else to put it.
I simply "toboggan" the scoop up the side of the pile and dump it on the far side, instead of lifting and throwing it. Certainly, without seeing your exact situation, I can't claim that this would work for you. It is a lot easier for me to tell you how than for you to do it. I'm just suggesting an option. (Even if you had to throw the stuff at the very end with a normal shovel, the scoop would still benefit you for the rest of the drive.)
Old 05-05-2003, 07:39 AM
kanicbird kanicbird is offline
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 18,602
I am in a simular situation and am watching this thread for advice. I have a gravel driveway that got hammered last winter but I kept on it with a shovel most of the time. Once I had to get a bobcat - that's right a F'n bobcat to remove about a 2 ft layer of snow and ice and snow and ice and snow - sort of a snow and ice Big-Mac.

A few times I was shoveling at 9pm, 12pm, 3am and 5am just to keep up with it. This driveway is long and on a hill.

I was considering a snowblower but didn't know if it could handle the gravel driveway or if there is a setting to leave a small layer of snow on the bottom so it won't hit the gravel.

Wht's all this about tobogganing the snow? is this with a normal shovel? or that Canadian snow blower? or some special snow shovel? Anything that could make this job easier next winter and beyond would be appreciated.
Old 05-05-2003, 07:56 AM
enipla enipla is offline
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Colorado Rockies.
Posts: 12,056
I'm in the Colorado Rockies. Still have about 2' of snow in the 'yard'.

I have a plow now, but I used to snow blow. It was fine (except for all the work) on a gravel/dirt drive. But there is a secret. You have to have a good base of packed snow before you can use the blower. At that point, you end up just taking the top part off and leaveing a couple of inches of packed base all winter.

Of course, if there are times in the winter that you lose all your snow this won't work very well.
I don't live in the middle of nowhere, but I can see it from here.
Old 05-05-2003, 07:57 AM
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is offline
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Lovely Montclair, NJ
Posts: 12,435
I wonder if there is a way to jury-rig some wheels or skids on the snow blower to keep it a minimum distance off the ground. Even if it can't get right down to the dirt, it will do a great job of getting the heavy stuff out of the way for you.
Old 05-05-2003, 08:23 AM
Optihut Optihut is offline
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Terra
Posts: 1,051
Q: Why did Frosty the snowman drop his pants?
A: He heard the snowblower coming.

Man, I love that joke. Sorry about that


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