Starting out - 1/4 mile Montana driveway - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 20 Old 01-12-2015, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Starting out - 1/4 mile Montana driveway

Now that we have about 3-4 feet of snow on the ground, I'm starting to realize I'm not liking to pay the plow guy to come plow our driveway, especially after having to pull him out of the ditch the other day, and well, I think I'd like to invest my own time to doing it myself. I'm also tired of doing quite a bit of my own shoveling and spending hours of my time. Hence I found this place.

We've in northwest Montana, where snow has been plentiful this year--especially coming from the southeast USA (think snow twice a year). Usually 10 inches at a time of late. We have about a 1/4 mile gravel driveway with a pretty decent slope and a winding path. Not mountainous, but not flat, either. I don't mind putting some heft into it, but it would be nice if my wife could run it some, as well. We may also need to clear out some of the road, as we live on a private road and have needed chains from time-to-time.

I've looked at some Ariens two stage machines with electric starts, but are there some things I should be looking for? My initial inclination is to look at the 28-inch wide machines given the area I'm looking at. I've generally used Husky's for my lawnwork in the past.

Thoughts?
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post #2 of 20 Old 01-12-2015, 08:13 PM
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hello cmartel2, welcome to SBF!! if I had a driveway 1/4 mile long I would be getting a toro 520H with a plow or snowblower attachment or some other tractor outfitted like that

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post #3 of 20 Old 01-12-2015, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMartel2 View Post
I've looked at some Ariens two stage machines with electric starts, but are there some things I should be looking for? My initial inclination is to look at the 28-inch wide machines given the area I'm looking at.
Thoughts?
You might want to check the Ariens Deluxe 28" series as it would do the job good especially if you say most years you much less snow, though if you want hand heaters and more HP for the wet and heavy ones you could check the Ariens SHO 30". And better buy from a dealer to have your rig set up good and good service afterwards.

Snow Removal Apparatus I own:
Ariens ST1530DLE, and good ole arm powered scrapper.
The 15 HP is a new Ducar engine sold
by Princess Auto in Canada.
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post #4 of 20 Old 01-12-2015, 08:36 PM
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With a 1/4 mile drive, I'm assuming it's gravel too. Even with a wider walk behind blower you're going to walk over a mile before you're done. A lawn tractor with a blower is going to cut down the time required but still will take some time.

I'm going to offer a more expensive option - something like a 40 hp (or there abouts) tractor with a rear mounted blower. I'm talking a lot more $$ even used but it will cut your blowing time down considerably.
I would not recommend a plow unless you're willing to buy something big with enough hp to really push it and then you still have to deal with it and where to push the snow.

I grew up on a farm with a drive that was at least that long and Dad had a Allis Chalmers tractor with a snow bucket on it and though it would ultimately open the drive it took some time and loading and backing up to dump the snow out of the way. It can do the job but not near as well as a sufficient blower can.
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post #5 of 20 Old 01-12-2015, 08:39 PM
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How wide is the the drive? Get a blower just over half the width and do and up and down. So just add a snowblower accessory to your lawn tractor, then your wife can have fun too.


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post #6 of 20 Old 01-12-2015, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCBPH View Post
With a 1/4 mile drive, I'm assuming it's gravel too. Even with a wider walk behind blower you're going to walk over a mile before you're done. A lawn tractor with a blower is going to cut down the time required but still will take some time.

I'm going to offer a more expensive option - something like a 40 hp (or there abouts) tractor with a rear mounted blower. I'm talking a lot more $$ even used but it will cut your blowing time down considerably.
I would not recommend a plow unless you're willing to buy something big with enough hp to really push it and then you still have to deal with it and where to push the snow.

I grew up on a farm with a drive that was at least that long and Dad had a Allis Chalmers tractor with a snow bucket on it and though it would ultimately open the drive it took some time and loading and backing up to dump the snow out of the way. It can do the job but not near as well as a sufficient blower can.
I agree with this fellow.....1/4 mile driveway, gravel is not the ideal for a walk behind snowblower. Your going to tear it up with stones no matter how you try to prevent it. I would look for a used, deal on a personal tractor with a blower, plow or bucket. Then sit and enjoy clearing your driveway. They are not cheap, but your not getting any younger either.

The fellow that I purchased my machine from had this Honda.....he moved up to a John Deere tractor with a bucket and a drag blade. Much easier for him
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post #7 of 20 Old 01-12-2015, 11:14 PM
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If you all read the OP message he seems to say that he has an odd year with 3 or 4' accumulation but normally he sees an accumulation twice a year so I can see why he just want what he stated, also there are many types of gravel drives and the most preferable is a compacted one that the skids would barely be able to sink into, with that setup he can set his skids 1 to 1 1/4" and be good. We need some more definite inputs from him.

Snow Removal Apparatus I own:
Ariens ST1530DLE, and good ole arm powered scrapper.
The 15 HP is a new Ducar engine sold
by Princess Auto in Canada.
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post #8 of 20 Old 01-12-2015, 11:23 PM
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You want to buy a 4 wheeler with a winch and a plow.

Joe
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post #9 of 20 Old 01-12-2015, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, to clarify, I have lived my entire life in the douth. I have since moved to Montana, where it isnt that unuaual to measure snow in terms of feet instead of inches.
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post #10 of 20 Old 01-12-2015, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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The SOUTH. autocorrect got me. And yes, the driveway is rocky--not fine gravel but rocky.
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