The cold sweeping through most of the country this week is bringing a lot of snow with it. If you know the right way to plow, removing the snow from your driveway and sidewalks is super simple, and with the right equipment, you can do it super fast.
Use these 5 simple steps to have your drive cleared in no time. (Then go inside and stay there; it’s freezing out.)
- Routine check
Whether you have a tractor with a plow attached or a push plow, it’s important to make sure it’s in good working condition. (If you know a snow storm’s on its way, don’t procrastinate – do this ahead of time.)
A quick check of the hoses, oil, fuel level (making sure to have extra on hand), and the blade will go a long way to getting the job done painlessly.
Pro tip: check the blade level, too. If your driveway is paved, you should be ok with it being all the way down. With a gravel driveway, you’ll want to make sure you lift it up a bit. It’s better to be too high and be able to lower it, than start plowing and discover you’re moving more than just snow.
- Prepare the area
Before you start plowing, you’ll want to take into account the shape of the driveway, the wind, and what you’re going to do with the pile-up.
If you get enough snow, it can be difficult to see where the yard ends and the driveway begins.
Pro tip: mark the edge of the driveway with a shovel. This can save a lot of time trying to repair your yard down the road.
If it’s an especially windy day you’ll want to make sure you are plowing with the wind and not against it. That will keep the snow from blowing right back into the areas you just plowed.
Last but not least, have a plan for the pile-up. Sure you could just plow it into the street, but then when the big street plow comes through all you have for your hard work is a mound of snow at the end of your driveway. Not good.
- Know your snow
Light and fluffy snow can simply be plowed out of the way and should leave the driveway fairly dry and clean.
Wet and slushy snow can easily compact and end up with a layer of ice on the surface. This means that you’ll likely have to take a few passes at it, lowering the blade a little more each time.
Pro tip: you may want to put salt down to keep the moisture from the removed snow from refreezing. Rock salt can lead to damage later on if your driveway is poured from concrete rather than asphalt.
If you are already struggling with cracks in your driveway, this is a good time to check out some alternatives to the traditional bag of ice.
- Take it from the top
Clear the snow off the cars in the driveway before you start plowing. As you are working the plow around the driveway, make sure you keep the nozzle pointed in the direction where you want the snow to go.
If the wind is not a factor and you just want snow piled on either side of the driveway, try starting from the middle (close to the garage, if you have one) and work one side at a time. This pushes the snow off to the sides without adding more snow to your already plowed areas.
Pro tip: if you need to stop and refuel during this process, make sure to do it outside and let the engine cool down before you start pouring the gas.
- Finishing touches
It’s important to clear away the snow from areas that need to be accessible but the plow can’t reach. This can be anything from the fire hydrant on the edge of your property to the mailbox and utility meters.
If kids use your sidewalk to get to the bus stop, you’ll want to make sure they have enough of a clearing so they can get to the bus without getting wet.
Once those final areas are cleared, you’re ready to clean up the plow and put it all away. Unless of course, you need to move on to a bigger job.
In that case you’ll want to check out Fisher snow plows. These are the plows you’ll want to use when moving major snow!