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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Snowblowers / Snow Plows / Removal Forum

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 12-16-2000, 16:23 Post: 22526
john



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 breaking up ice

Has anyone out there come up with something to breakup ice using a compact and rear blade. I am in the midwest and we tend to get more freezing rain than snow. My driveway is gravel so I have to be careful and not tear it up.






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 12-16-2000, 16:31 Post: 22528
Art White



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 breaking up ice

I don't think you will find much to help you break up the ice that won't break up your gravel. Salt and sand might be the best way I know how.






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 12-17-2000, 06:35 Post: 22539
TomG

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 breaking up ice

Yes, the freezing rain thing on gravel is nightmarish. Last December was a real problem here, and last night the temperature went above freezing with some rain, so the problem is back. I'm just happy I removed snow from out roofs yesterday or I'd have glaciers till spring--just like the drive.

When it's cold, the ice and frozen gravel becomes one layer, and ice doesn't break off the gravel. Best thing is to scrape what can be scraped when it's warm. My approach is to just live with it, but try to keep the surface roughened. Salt and sand are familiar remedies, but wood ashes are lesser known (probably because they make a mess). However, some people around here who heat with wood use the ashes on their private road, and it works well. Of course, almost anything is better than trying to chop it with axes etc.

I do have some untested ideas I thought about last December. First is to put chains on the truck, load it heavy and drive up and down the drive. I also wondered if the scarifiers on a box blade would groove, or chew up, the surface enough to make removing my 3ph blower worthwhile.






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 12-17-2000, 21:56 Post: 22554
Rod



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 breaking up ice

Living in the north east, I have experience with both sand and ashes (either wood or coal) as an ant-skid. Personally, the ashes are much better if you can get them. One of the best things is that they are dark in color, absorb heat from the sun, and help melt the ice. My experience with sand is that it is great if you apply it and the ice melts away. But if it only partially melts and refreezes, the sand seems to create a very hard chunk of ice that is difficult to break up. Since you have a gravel drive anyway, you may try the tried and true anti skid that PennDOT (PA Dept. of Trans.) uses, gravel, crushed stone, what ever you want to call it. I don't know what the size number/letter is, but it is clean gravel about the size of a pea. Then when the ice melts, you don't even know you ever put anything down.






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 12-18-2000, 07:35 Post: 22560
TomG

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 breaking up ice

Yeah, I forgot about pea gravel. Wonder if I can find some here in Northern Ontario. Crushed rock is available, and that's what I use to dress my gravel drives. However, crushed rock seems a little big to use for an anti-skid. I wish highway crews around here used pea gravel. Sand, sand & salt, or plain salt is used. I don't like any of them much. The salt is especially an aggravation. Crews put salt down to melt ice and then plow off the slush. A birm of salt slush ends up at the foot of my drive where it thaws out my drive and the gravel shoulder. Next time I go past with the snowblower, the skids sink into the thawed gravel, and I send full-choke patterns into the next township-- maybe taking out a few passing blue-jays. Well, maybe I do exaggerate, but salt on gravel roadways is not good.






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 12-18-2000, 11:15 Post: 22568
Murf

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 breaking up ice

Try an old set of chain harrows on the icy gravel, start with no additional weight at all and gradually add weight till the desired effect is obtained. In this manner you will scarify the ice without tearing up the gravel itself. The other thing that works well is a back-dragging a "York" rake, same deal start light and increase weight slowly, it can expensive (replacing tines) if you do it a lot, the odd time it is no problem. Best of luck.






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 12-19-2000, 07:54 Post: 22606
TomG

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 breaking up ice

Thanks for the ideas Murf. Wish I had those implements to give them a try. We had four hours of rain on top of our snow base the other day. It made the snow a good deal less than recreational--uuugh what a mess! Suppose I'll have to try something on the drive, and maybe my heat gun will get me inside the frozen doors on my 1/2 ton today.






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 12-19-2000, 08:25 Post: 22610
Roger L.



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 breaking up ice

Well, it has been years since I've had to deal with that problem of "ice like a layer of steel" but I remember it well. This year and most of the past decade have been unusually warm in the Colorado high country. We have some snow this year at the ski resorts, but most of the mountains are missing winter again. Temperature is supposed to be 55 today.
Anyway, on to the ice...I put a bucketfull of dirt or sand on the ice and spread it around. dirt works lots better than sand. The pea gravel sounds like the same idea. The dirt makes the sun melt the ice and meanwhile you can use it for traction. After melt you can't tell it from the rest of the drive.






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 12-19-2000, 10:03 Post: 22614
Murf

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 breaking up ice

Tom, I forgot to mention one other item that works really well, a rotary finishing mower!!!! If you have access even a basic workshop, get some flat steel roughly the same size as your mower blades, drill a hole in the center to mount in the mower. Get one 'spring tooth' (commonly used in pick up heads of combines or on hay rakes) for each end of each mower blade, then cut them down to about 3" - 5" long and mount them on the ends of the blades (pointing down of course) and assemble the mower. Adjust deck height so that the tips JUST touch the ground. WORD OF CAUTION - DO NOT NOW RUN THE MOWER AT NORMAL PTO SPEED, the result will be sort of like a machine gun. However, having said that, do run it at just over idle, a little experimentation is required here. The result is basically a VERY inexpensive powered scarifier that will 'chew' through almost any amount of ice. Wear will be minimal and even so the teeth are cheap. As for melting your way into the truck, thats easy too, put a small electric heater (the little Micro Furnace types work really well) on the floor of your truck, set the fan to high and run the cord out through the door, just plug in the heater and the ice will melt from the bottom up. Unless its VERY cold this will clean a truck in about 10 minutes. Best of luck.






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 12-20-2000, 07:52 Post: 22649
TomG

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 breaking up ice

Thanks for the suggestions everybody. We had some more snow to cover the ice, so I'll be less ice-obsessed for awhile. In fact it's back to being recreational. My wife and I just bought 'modern' snowshoes. Now we can go through the bush for the mail, or on the river pretty soon. It's always seemed a little silly to have to drive the mile or so just for the mail. It's also very nice being in the bush where not even a snowmobile can get. Real good suggestion about the electric heater inside a truck. I guess that's as long as there's enough sense not to set something on fire. I got this image of the seats burning up and still not being able to get the doors open.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Snowblowers / Snow Plows / Removal Forum

Thread 22526 Filter by Poster:
Art White 1 | john 1 | Murf 2 | Rod 1 | Roger L. 1 | TomG 4 |

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