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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll be blowing snow for the first time this coming winter on a gravel driveway with the 44" snowblower on my X500. I know most of us don't want to think about winter right now but I'm wondering what the proper technique is to get as far down to the gravel as possible without blowing rocks out of the blower. I assume that setting the shoes on the bottom to the right height is the key but it would be great to hear from the pros.

The other thing I'm wondering about is winter storage. I usually keep the X500 at my mother in-laws garage down the street but I won't be able to do that in the winter since I won't have a way to drive it up here. There is a 50/50 chance I will have a garage by then but if not I'm planning on building a shed. Will I have any problem starting up the X500 in the frigid Maine winter temps if it's stored in a shed?

Thanks for the help.
 

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I had a LA140 for the last 3 winter in a unheated baby barn. The only thing I did was put synthetic oil in it. Didn't have much troubles at -5°C but it was a little harder to start at -20°C. I purchased a battery charger with boost option just in case. My new X500 will be treated the same way.
 

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Up in Saskatchewan , I leave a good 1 inch of snow from the first snow fall, to pack down for a base.After that I use my blower, Model 49 on my 332 and blow away. Make sure to keep the blower just off the surface or your blower can dig into the gravel. ALWAYS know the direction of your blower's chute.Windows on the house or vehichles are expensive to replace.In the spring I tend to have a strip of gravel on the lawn parallel with the driveway. My 332's have block heaters on them.
 

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Skid shoes down and I put a piece of 3" wide Band Iron between the shoes to keep riding over high spots. It is good on gravel to leave a couple inches of snow.

I don't know about starting issues, but it should not be a problem inside any building. I'd make sure to use Sta-Bil in your gas (the marine formula is best for any gas that has ethanol in it). If it is in a shed or garage with electric it will be good to hook up the battery to a maintainer so it will stay fully charged. Also good to use lighter synthetic oil for winter (ask dealer or follow manufacturer recommendations).
 

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Two years ago i had a snowblower for the first time, and on gravel...old gravel. Through the years, larger stones have surface on the property and found their way onto the driveway. I knew before the snow fell that i'd be using a blower that winter, sop I removed as many of the larger rocks as I could beforehand.

I set the skids to about 2/3 their maximum hight (down) and checked the drag bar/scraper at the back as well.

It worked well for me all winter and I had very little gravel on the grass. It's interesting though how FAR the gravel traveled that did go through the machine.
 

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I have a big driveway. The first thing I do is wait for a six inch snowfall, which is common in these parts. Then I go buy a six pack of beer, get in my truck, turn on the radio, and drive back and forth and up and down. I continue until the beer is gone and the snow is thoroughly packed, at which time I declare success. For the rest of the winter, I blow my driveway like it's a paved road...
 

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if you dont want to leave snow and make ice, get a tow behind spreader and put down salt
 

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All good advice. I've been clearing a 600' gravel drive for 26 years, 3 with a tractor. Here is my experience/advice.

Early in the season I set the skids at 3/4". Before the first snow hits, police the driveway very carefully for rocks, sticks, etc. This is key, your first snow clearing event is when you're most likely to catch something that will bust a shear bolt or worse.

Once the icepack forms in the driveway I lower the skids to 1/4". As the temps warm in the spring and the ice pack turns to slush, I raise the skids back to 3/4".

Other tips: Drive around large puddles of water if possible. They don't do much harm and can clog the best snowblower.

I tow a spreader full of sand down the driveway once or twice a winter when the ice pack gets really slippery. This causes a lasting effect on the ice pack, making it rough enough to safely walk on not just by the grit, but by pitting the surface.

You should also read this thread beginning to end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the info. My driveway goes up hill to the road it's not terribly steep but enough so the cars will sometimes spin the tires when it starts to ice up and get slick. With chains, rear weights and wheel weights do you think I'll have any problem blowing snow up hill or keeping traction when the bottom layer of snow pack gets icy and slick?
 

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With chains and weights you will have absolutely NO problem snowblowing uphill with ice on the pavement.
 

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I would also recommend you install the optional heavy duty skid shoes; they have alot more surface area which will prevent digging into the gravel.
 

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Forgot. I'd rather not have an ice pack because it's dangerous for my mother. So after snowblowing (or shoveling) even fir just snow, I put down Alaskan Ice Melt (can't use salt here).

Even if ice does form, I find the Alaskan Ice Melt very very effective for removing it. Moreso than salt IMO. It burns through the ice very quickly and get underneath it and helps to destroy it from underneath.
 

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I'll be blowing snow for the first time this coming winter on a gravel driveway with the 44" snowblower on my X500..........QUOTE]

First let me admit that I'm a complete beginner as far as LT/GTs go. Tomorrow my X500 is to be delivered and, closer to winter, so is a 44" snowblower. I am new to cottage living and also have a long, gravel driveway. With all the good advice given about packing down the first snow I was wondering whether a 36" lawn roller would make a good contribution to this process? One was left on the property by the previous owner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'll be blowing snow for the first time this coming winter on a gravel driveway with the 44" snowblower on my X500..........QUOTE]

First let me admit that I'm a complete beginner as far as LT/GTs go. Tomorrow my X500 is to be delivered and, closer to winter, so is a 44" snowblower. I am new to cottage living and also have a long, gravel driveway. With all the good advice given about packing down the first snow I was wondering whether a 36" lawn roller would make a good contribution to this process? One was left on the property by the previous owner.
Sounds like a good idea. I have a snow blade as well as the blower. I was thinking of using the blade for the first 1 or 2 snowfalls to back blade and pack the snow down. Then switch to the blower after I've got a good 1 or 2 inches of packed snow on the driveway. Pretty much the same end results as your roller.
 

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Roller should do a darned good job at getting the base you need. Depending on the temperatures, you may have to roll it again on the second snowfall. Follow ggsteve's advice on setting the shoes.
 
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