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Howdy,
Does anyone have any recommendations on scraper height settings for clearing gravel lots?

I've got the blade about 3/8" off the ground and was chucking a fair bit of stone this week. I'm afraid raising it any higher is going to sacrifice a decent clearing job when I get to the concrete sidewalk...don't want to have to stop and adjust on the job.
 

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You don't have much choice when you deal with two different surfaces, some adjust their skids with their scraper 1" and more. Do you have armor skids? As it helps to float better on gravel.
 

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I look at it this way, if it snows 2" or less, most folks won't clear the snow, unless they just got a new blower, not including walks or sidewalks. I have 3/4" blue stone on part of my 400' driveway, so I have to have about 1 1/4 inch clearance on my blower. I still pick up a stone once in a while, and they do mess up the paint.
Sid
 

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I have this exact issue,what I try to do is the first few cm of snow I just let the car compact on my gravel drive. Otherwise no matter what gravel ends up in the auger. I dream of the day I win the lotto and can ashphalt or pave stone my driveway.
 

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I have gravel too. It's a little over 90 yards of the stuff to the street. I also let a car pack it down a bit and also freeze. I have mine set about an 1" up and that seems to work really well for me.
If you have a mix of surfaces you either sacrifice the gravel by tossing it through your machine and into the yard or you sacrifice a close neat operation on your asphalt or concrete. I don't know how you can do both unless you adjust the machine when switching from one to the other or have two machines one set up for each surface.

If you installed adjustable lawnmower wheels on the bucket making that adjustment mid-job might be reasonable.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys. I'm also aiming for the compact snow above gravel but was curious about other options. I'm currently using universal replacement skids that look like black plastic ovals.

K4F, that picture is exactly what I was thinking but certain someone had thought of it first. I wonder if there's a way to do it without wheels and have the mechanism move the skids. Kinda look like training wheels!
 

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The lawnmower option is more bolt on. The assembly can be taken off a mower and bolted on a blower. I'm sure you can make an adjustable skid mechanism it's just a matter of imagination and some tinkering. Done right it would blend in pretty well.
 

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I have mine set for an inch with the skids pointed up in the front as my owner's manual instructs.
Worked out good when I tried it for the first time over grass, gravel, and a pavestone side walk.
The inch left behind seems pretty sloppy compared to using my shovel, but last season I realized I'm getting too old for that ****. :p
 

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Set your clearance as high as your happy with.....with gravel your going to tear up the high speed auger and housing regardless. Good luck
 

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Set your clearance as high as your happy with.....with gravel your going to tear up the high speed auger and housing regardless. Good luck
When I pack some snow down and let it freeze I don't suck in any rock. I don't tear up anything which is the point of packing some snow down and then setting the skids so I'm leaving some behind. I never see gravel all winter but I don't have traction issues and I don't tear up my equipment or toss stone.

I did get a nice set of dual sided Ariens skids for the Troy and they work well. Not sure I would take the advise of angling the front of my skids down as in the diagram for packed snow ??
 

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THe adjustable lawn mower wheel idea is really good, but will add a LOT of resistance to forward motion in heavy hard packed snow. Been there, experienced the issue. For several years I had a pair of 4" wheels replacing the skids on my Craftsman 5 hp dual-stage, they were the narrowest I could find but still in hard pack they added enough resistance and drag it was a real headache to deal with. As for clearance, I would go with 1" on gravel. BTW, what do you guys term "gravel"? I know someone who has a peastone covered drive and he calls it gravel.
 

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I'm on gravel an a cutter bar height of a generous 3/4" eliminates most stone casting. My surface is what's termed crushed gravel. It's a mix ranging frm sand to 3/4 stone and pack like cement. It gets renewed every 8 years or so with a top dressing. On the last go round I felt the stone was a little light in the mix so they topped dressed with pure 3/4 stone and incorporated it some. That was a little tricky for the first year.

Once we have 1 or 2 true winter storms I have what I call my winter pavement. A firm base of that crunchy white stuff that give the sweeping driveway that Currier & Ives look. Of course a few rain event followed by cold makes it into a luge run but it's all good fun. Those silicone cleated galoshes are great on ice.

If you get into a tender spot just press down slightly on the handles so it won't keep skimming. That's harder to do with a tractor attachment that floats. Even at it's worst the amount of stone lost isn't that much, it sounds worse than it is. When I rake up in the spring it's barely a few gallons compared to the truckloads (27+ YDS) that went down.

In 28 years I may have lost 3 shear pins when a stone got nipped just right by an auger lead.

As for losing paint in the chute..... that's inevitable with 12,000 SF to clear and of no consequence anyhow.

Pete
 

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Howdy,
Does anyone have any recommendations on scraper height settings for clearing gravel lots?

I've got the blade about 3/8" off the ground and was chucking a fair bit of stone this week. I'm afraid raising it any higher is going to sacrifice a decent clearing job when I get to the concrete sidewalk...don't want to have to stop and adjust on the job.
what he said....there's no way around it. do the walks first, then raise it up and do the gravel driveway.

if you want to see just how bad gravel can tear up a newer machine with a thinner sheetmetal chute, take a look at the Craftsman track machine I had. the impeller housing was so torn up, it ripped a gash in the housing almost all the way around. had to straighten it with a sledge hammer best I could. raise it up and save a lot of wear/tear on the machine.

http://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum/snowblower-repairs-maintenance-forum/22217-free-craftsman-trac-plus-5hp-ingested-rock-damage.html
 
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