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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
we have a gravel driveway at out place and i'm looking to improve our ability to actually use it in the winter time. it's got a bit of an incline (maybe 10' rise from front to back) so when the snow (and later, ice) piles up, it can be a hassle to try to get all the way back up the house.

i'm currently looking into buying a (used) garden tractor and i would prefer a plow because i can also use it for moving dirt and whatnot in the back yard the rest of the year but i'm not sure how much better (if any) a snow blower is on a gravel driveway when compared to a pow / blade. also, on the blade, does front or rear work better?

i'd appreciate your thoughts
 

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a blade will be ok if you have the room to push the snow past the edge of the driveway otherwise it will start piling up and make the driveway narrower each snow you get. Also keep in mind that it will work better going down hill rather than up hill.

I personally prefer snow blower to a blade, just make sure to set the skids an inch or 2 lower than normal so it won't pick up as much gravel and depending on the size of the gravel it can jamb in the auger and breaks shear pins,
 

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On gravel they are both a problem If you use either one set them up a bit so you are only pushing or blowing the white stuff. Other wise you will be all Spring raking gravel back into the drive or replacing window when you throw a rock at them
 

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I think it comes down to how much show you typically have to deal with. I live in southern Ohio. I have not experienced anything in the last 9 years that the snow blade could not handle.

I see you live in Indiana. If you are in southern Indiana you are probably like me and will have no issue with a blade.

Last year we had 32 inches of total snow for the year, small compared to our friends to the north and west. Last year as I recall we had several snow falls that occured before the previous snow had a chance to melt down some and I experienced for the first time my driveway narrowing. I should have pushed the first couple snows back a litter further.

In the end it took a tad more effort to widen the path by the third snow fall but it was nothing the garden tractor with blade could not handle. So when I bought my new tractor last year I was very confortable getting just another blade to go with it, although it is a bit taller.

Personnally I think I would need to see another 18" or more of snow annually (upwards of 48-inches) before I think I would talk myself into a blower.
 

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I too live in Southern ohio, the ice can be a real pain over the snow. I have to clean the drive in the pic below, gravel on a hill. I do both blow and push, I used in past winter the two in the pic below. I would prefer to push with a blade over blowing on the gravel if I have a place to push it. I do not have proper skids on it so that is one problem, but I do throw a lot of gravel over in the grass. I also have an issue at least once per snow removal, I get a rock in my drive chain and it kicks it off, what a greasy, messy, cold pain in the rear. This year I'm planning on pushing it all with my Sears ST16, working on getting my blade mount made this weekend.


 

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lower MI here, i don't have much drifting here so pushing shouldn't b a problem, last year we had 1 snow fall that was about 2ft and my dad used his snow blower. if u have alot of drifting blowing may b better but if only few inches at a time pushing seams to be faster.
 

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If you can afford it, all three would be your best bet.

1. The snow blower for snow that is heavier/deeper but be sure to set the skids so you have about 1/2" to 1' clearance to keep it from picking up rocks and slinging them in your yard, or worse at things that can get damaged. A dual stage works better than a single stage.

2. The front plow is good for lighter snow or snow that is not very deep. The blades do not push heavy or deep snow very well.

3. The rear blade is your best bet for moving gravel around in the summer. In the winter, if you have room, you can also use it to scrap off the snow left from the snow blower if you want it as close to the ground as possible.

--
Grace & Peace
Lv. 25:14
- Joe
 

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i use a snow blower on my gravel driveway.......just have to watch where you throw the snow and don't have the shoot in the direction of any windows..it does pick up a piece of gravel once in awhile,,other than a shear pin breaking every so often it does good...better than using a shovel...i keep thinking about a plow but never did it yet
 

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I use a plow and a blower on gravel i have my skid plates set low like many here have stated and have never had a problem i have never broke a sheer pin yet.I would rather use the plow just for the fact you never get a face full of snow.But when i get a snow of 6" or above i use the blower.
 

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I prefer a blower because I have few places to push the snow.

A large snow blade may not be useful for pushing earth. Snow blades sometimes have springs, allowing the blade to deflect if it hits a rock or curb. My snow blade always springs out of the way when I try to push earth. It is OK for pushing wood chips. Earth moving blades are smaller for pushing the more dense earth; they are usually not as high, a bit narrower, and are rigid.
 

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I guess it depends on how much snow you get and what it's like. There is no getting around the fact that a snow blower will move deeper snow and throw it farther out of the way than a plow. On the other hand, even my Berco 2-stage snow blower is pretty useless when dealing with slush. A blade is much better at handling that stuff.

I can't decide which is more fun!
 

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On the other hand, even my Berco 2-stage snow blower is pretty useless when dealing with slush. A blade is much better at handling that stuff.
Or a single stage, when properly adjusted they'll do an excellent job as slush pumps.
 

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I prefer the blade I put a rubber cutting edge on mine and it helps with the rocks and does not tear up the yard as bad I dont use skids its all the way down if you dont clear all the way down on my parents drive it is also on a hill you dont get up the drive the rubber also helps with frozen rocks it glides over them and does not stop you
 

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I have both and used both on my gravel drive. Right now I'm sticking with the blade. It's faster for me and I have a lot of place to pile up the snow. I welded a 1" pipe on my plow scraper blade. That way it glides over the grass and doesn't dig into the gravel. My GT has loaded tires on it so I don't need any added weight. Make sure you have plenty of rear weight for traction when plowing.
If we get a ton of snow this winter, I'll break out the snow blower. It's also nice to have a cab when snow blowing. there are times you can't control that wind blowing it back in your face. Another nice thing about blowing snow, in the spring the snow piles melt faster than they do when you pile then up with a plow.
 

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Used a blade one winter and swore it would never happen again. Had fricken rocks everywhere. Never have had an issue with a blower other than an occassional rock getting spit out. But I set my skids at about an inch till the yard has a hard pack of snow then the blower can pretty much sit right on the snow base.
 

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I live in Martinsville, IN and my driveway is about 500 ft. long with about a 15-20 degree grade. It is 1/2 gravel and 1/2 concrete (which is somewhat busted up and not in the best of shape). I have a 1885 Case/Ingersoll 448 with 2 link chains with filled rear tires (10 gal. windshield washer fluid in each). I do not at this time have any wheel weights installed. I do experience wheel spin when I shift directions too suddenly, But have no problems pushing snow that is not soaking wet over the top of the 54" wide 21" tall blade. I do adjust my skid shoes when moving from concrete to gravel, which takes about 2-3 minutes tops. I would love to have a snow blower in case we were to get a blizzard, but then I would like to have one of every attachment made for these tractors. If you are looking for a serious year round workhorse that is built like a tank, I think you would be very happy with a Case or Ingersoll tractor. Just make sure it has a "holding valve" if your property has and hills.
 

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I have a 1885 Case/Ingersoll 448 with 2 link chains with filled rear tires (10 gal. windshield washer fluid in each).
Those 1885's were awesome. I love steam-powered GTs. :sidelaugh



Sorry, couldn't resist. :)
 

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...I do both blow and push, I used in past winter the two in the pic below....

I see you have a dozer blade on the Troy-Bilt Rototiller. I never could use the blade with the tine unit attached, because lifting the blade caused the tines to hit the ground. But removing the tine unit made the machine so front-heavy that it was nearly impossible to maneuver.

To solve this, I cast a 40# concrete counterweight (loaded with rebar so it wouldn't break off). I attach it to the Troy-Bilt tow hitch, using a hitch pin through a hole case into the concrete.

Works like a champ! Now only about 10# down-force is needed on the handlebars to lift the blade.
 

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i'm currently looking into buying a (used) garden tractor and i would prefer a plow because i can also use it for moving dirt and whatnot in the back yard the rest of the year but i'm not sure how much better (if any) a snow blower is on a gravel driveway when compared to a pow / blade. also, on the blade, does front or rear work better?

i'd appreciate your thoughts
Plows are useless once the ice builds up and things get slippery. You either need weight or momentum for plowing, and you don't have enough of either in a garden tractor. You are also limited to 4-6" of snow using a plow, so heavy snows mean getting up at 2:00am to keep on top of it. Forget that. Get a 2-stage front mount blower. Get 2-link V-bar chains and some weight, and you'll be able to crawl through just about anything behind a blower.

JayC
 

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I have a 300 foot gravel driveway... I had to raise my snowblower about 3/4" so as not to grab the gravel.... I have a Craftsman 22" snowblower... I drilled (2) 5/8" holes in the housing on each side... Added a 5/8" in full threaded bolt to each side as axles... Added a John Deere mower deck wheel to each side and now I don't grab any gravel AND it's super easy to turn:)
 

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