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Old 01-21-2014, 09:14 PM   #1
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Default Setting skid height for stone driveway AND paved surface - best practices?

Hi Guys,

EDIT: yes, I spelled "height" wrong in my title, darn it!

Well, winter is upon us again here in Southern RI, and I am excited to be able to use my Toro 622 for the second time this season. This is a 1998 model, and it's my first year owning a snowblower at all (I inherited this blower from my Dad who upgraded this year himself).

The blower is mint and worked flawlessly my first time out after some basic maintenance from me.

My challenge is that I have two driveways, neither of which are very large. Both can hold four cars at 2 x 2 spacing. The challenge is that one driveway is paved, and the other is stone. Not crushed stone, but bluestone with the average stone probably 1" to 1.5" in length. Also it is somewhat uneven in the tire tracks, as I never did get around to leveling it out this Fall. Not terrible, but uneven nonetheless.

So I am trying to figure out the best strategy for my skid height. Right now I an about maxed out in height at 3/4" height from the scraper bar to the ground. I have not upgraded from the factory skids to an aftermarket skid.

The first time out I had the auger housing/scraper blade raised to maximum height, and I still picked up some stones, but not a ton. It was also learning-curve time for me as I had never used a blower on my driveways before. I did some "manual adjustments" on the fly, such as holding the auger off the ground a bit, which definitely helped.

Of course with the scraper raised all the way, there was left about an inch of snow on the surface after clearing. Not a huge deal, and perhaps a compromise so I can hit both surfaces with the same setting. But, the question is, is it worth it to change the setting between surfaces, i.e., start with the auger raised for the stone driveway, then drop it for the paved driveway? Or is there some happy medium? (perhaps wife/kids following with shovel)

Or even better, what can I fabricate or otherwise find or create to have an easily adjustable skid system???? As of now, it's four nuts with the ratchet...

These are all questions being asked as I sip a few beers and get ready to snowblow HARD tomorrow morning here near the beach!

Any advice is greatly appreciated. It's WICKED COLD here!!!!

Thanks!

Dave
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:38 PM   #2
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I do over 10,000 SF of crushed gravel driveway. Setting the skids for 3/4" clearance is what Ido That's usually close to the max anyhow. I like to have my winter pavement of white so I ignore the 1-2 inch storms other than some walkways. With luck the place has a coating of stiff snow that makes clean-up easy. Spring, fall and after a thaw can be a little trickier. If you are scooping gravel just float the bucket a little by pressing down on the handles.

You could try wider/longer skids but there will be some tradeoffs in forward progress and maneuverability. Where I have over a dozen working units this is not a real option for me.

If you have a lot of coarse material, like 3/4" stone on top you may need to work the area with something like a York Rake to better incorporate the stone in to the base gravel. I did this last summer after my excavator got carried away top dressing with stone the fall before. Things are much less sensitive this year.

As much as it may sound like you are trimming cubic yards of material from the driveway you will probably surprised at how little you rake up in the spring.

I just re-read with more attention to detail. That is big stone and will probably be a PITA until you can get it mixed down into some binding material.

Pete

Last edited by Spectrum; 01-21-2014 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:42 PM   #3
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Pete -

Just the type of info I was looking for. Many thanks!

Dave
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetD View Post
EDIT: yes, I spelled "height" wrong in my title, darn it!

...

Or even better, what can I fabricate or otherwise find or create to have an easily adjustable skid system???? As of now, it's four nuts with the ratchet...
Fixed your title.

See what J_ph did to his Cub Cadet.

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Old 01-22-2014, 07:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shryp View Post
Fixed your title.

See what J_ph did to his Cub Cadet.

That is pretty slick. It's nice to see that we have some creative and ingenious amongst us!
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:41 AM   #6
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Very slick, thanks for the fix and the link Shryp!

Almost time to go throw some snow (still snowing here in RI)...

Dave
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shryp View Post
Fixed your title.

See what J_ph did to his Cub Cadet.

That's really neat! I've been trying to think of something similar to use for the transition zone from paved driveway to lawn. And a quick height adjustment like this would do the trick. Are these just lawnmower wheels bolted onto the snowblower?
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Old 01-22-2014, 12:51 PM   #8
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We have a 4 car driiveway (2 car wide x 2 car long) that is crushed rock. Each car path has its own beaten down path with low spots. The first couple snow falls I took my big scoop shovel(the type that ride on the ground) and I grabbed snow off the lawn and filled all low spots. I then went back and forth with my 4x4 SUV packing it down. I then re-leveled the whole driveway and packed again. This process I did twice and the driveway was super flat! I have OCD when it comes to a "level surface", too many years prepping gravel bases and pouring concrete floors. LOL, Yeah I know....I`m a concrete guy and own a crushed rock driveway. At $175/yard....my driveway can stay crushed rock.
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