I can tell you from experience that a stone driveway & a snow caster do not mix well together !! I know when you're dealing with feet of snow that you guys are dealing with in the northern midwest, that you need more then a plow on a garden tractor. In those type of snow emergency removals if you have nothing powerful or large enough (Heavy) to do snow removal, keep your blower at least 1-1/2" to 2 inches above the stone driveway, & it will help with not throwing as many stone that can damage your building or buildings, & jamming up the auger blades. I know we all think we can stay on top of changing the direction of the chute as far as damage to the windows, but at a certain point you will get distracted, & in a snap of a finger you'll be saying, " Aw **** " !!I have a lake cabin in Minnesota that I am trying to figure out snow removal for. The drive way is long, about 350ft and is gravel. Over the 350 ft, it rises about 20 ft, so there is a bit of a grade there. It is also a narrow driveway, so a blade is not an option, I need a snow blower. I talked to my local John Deere dealer and have narrowed my choices down to two, the X739 with four wheel drive and the X584 with four wheel steering. The X739 is about $8500 more expensive but I get four wheel drive. Do you think it is worth it? Any advise is welcome!
Remember 2" above the stone surface will help a lot, even with the sticky snows !!