Plowing a driveway can be difficult if you don’t have the proper training or equipment. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, you know how important plowing is.
Winter storms arrive quickly and quietly, depositing a large amount of snow and ice on roads, sidewalks, lawns, and driveways.
But how do you get rid of the snow? How do you plow a gravel driveway like a pro? Continue reading to find out how to plow a gravel driveway.
- Accessories that can make your plowing easier
- What to know before you start plowing
- How to plow a gravel driveway – step by step
- 1. Stake your driveway
- 2. Adjust the blade to the appropriate height
- 3. Start plowing at the center or the end of the drive-by house
- 4. Back dragging as much as you can
- 5. Plow slowly
- 6. Listen carefully turn off any noise distractions
- Tips for Plowing a gravel driveway
- Challenges of plowing a gravel driveway
- How to plow a gravel driveway (FAQ)
- How do you plow a driveway?
- How long does it take to plow a driveway?
Accessories that can make your plowing easier
You can’t put a price on safety, and having the right tools for the job is essential. A snow blower is probably your best bet, but you’ll also need a shovel, rake, spike mat, and tire chains if you have an SUV or truck.
The most important tool for plowing is salt or sand to soften the ice. If you don’t have either of these, you can use ashes or kitty litter to reduce the possibility of slipping.
What to know before you start plowing
First and foremost, you must determine whether or not you are permitted to plow your driveway. If the driveway is not on private property, you’re good to go.
Some apartment complexes don’t allow this type of activity. Check local ordinances as well because if they require gravel driveways to be plowed, there may be deadlines for doing so.
The best method is to use blades that can be attached to the front of your vehicle.
If you have a pick-up truck, you can also attach them to it. The benefit of this arrangement is that you won’t need any other equipment other than salt, which you sprinkle all over your driveway before you start moving.
There are two types of blades: straight blades and V-shaped blades. When deciding whether to plow with a blade, consider the type of vehicle and the size of the driveway.
If it isn’t compatible with the vehicle you’re driving, contact an auto parts dealer.
The straight blade is ideal for professionals as well as homeowners. It’s perfect for back dragging and windrowing.
If you want to achieve multiple blade positions such as scoop, straight, angle, or v position, a V-shaped blade will provide you with more flexibility.
How to plow a gravel driveway – step by step
1. Stake your driveway
Before you begin plowing your lawn, you should first stake your driveway. This way, you can remove any obstacles that could harm your machine.
Consider removing any debris, as well as any excess leaves, compost grass clippings, and other greenery that may cause problems while plowing.
2. Adjust the blade to the appropriate height
Second, you must adjust the blade height based on the thickness of your driveway.
The higher you set it, the smoother and cleaner your drive will look in the long run, but it will take longer to complete the entire operation.
3. Start plowing at the center or the end of the drive-by house
After you’ve adjusted the blade height, attach the snowblower and begin plowing. You can begin plowing in the middle or at the end of your driveway near the house.
Plowing with the blade attached to the front of your car is done in a clockwise direction.
When you first start plowing, go slowly at first, then gradually increase your speed.
4. Back dragging as much as you can
If you want the best results, use the back dragging method when plowing.
If your driveway is long, divide it into smaller sections and finish them one at a time, as you did when plowing during the winter.
5. Plow slowly
The best thing you can do is plow slowly because if you go too fast, you’ll most likely leave a gap in the snow that will be difficult to close with your next pass.
6. Listen carefully turn off any noise distractions
Here’s something fun you can do while plowing your driveway. Instead of blasting the radio at full volume to pass the time, turn it off and any other background noises, so you can fully concentrate on the sound in case the blade hits the gravel.
Tips for Plowing a gravel driveway
When driving into the driveway with the blade, angle the blade to the right.
Don’t use your plow while driving to the location. If you need to take a break, pull over and make sure the engine is turned off.
When plowing, you should move forward at a speed of 5–10 km/hr, but back drag at a slower speed of around 3 KMPH.
When you reach the end of the driveway, come to a complete stop and engage the reverse gear in the engine cranking position to prevent the engine from shutting down.
Avoid driving on sidewalks and lawns when backing up, as this can cause damage.
When driving, always wear a seatbelt.
Turning on your hazard lights is a sign that you’re about to reverse into something.
Always look behind you before reversing to avoid hitting anyone behind you.
Avoid driving at high speeds on gravel because it will damage the driveway and affect your car’s traction.
Read the blade’s manufacture’s instruction manual to learn how to use it.
Challenges of plowing a gravel driveway
Plowing the driveway presents some difficulties. For example, snow accumulation in the drive’s windrows. You’ll have to get rid of it. Another difficulty is getting your car stuck on top of a snow mound.
If you go slowly enough, this won’t have much of an impact on your car, but if you go fast enough, you might end up breaking something in your vehicle.
Another issue is that you can dig the gravel so deep that your car loses traction. This is especially common for inexperienced users, so proceed slowly.
How to plow a gravel driveway (FAQ)
How do you plow a driveway?
You plow with the blade attached to the front of your vehicle. The blade is lowered into the thick snow, and you proceed forward, gradually scraping away the top layer of snow.
How long does it take to plow a driveway?
The amount of time it takes to plow varies greatly depending on several factors. For example, the thickness of the snow, the length and width of the driveway, and your driving skills.
I hope you found this article to be beneficial. The tips mentioned above will produce the best results. Even though you now know how to plow a gravel driveway, you must realize that becoming a pro will take a lot of practice, especially if you are a beginner.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t get it right the first time; you’ll get better with practice. If you are a professional, these tips will help you advance to the next level.