Do you know what steps you need to take to enjoy your road or driveway in the winter, while keeping it in good shape for spring?

Improper snowplowing will cause gouging or a washboarding in the road. It will also damage the “Crown” by flattening the road and pushing gravel to the side of the road resulting in loss of gravel. Losing the Crown will ultimately cause water drainage problems over time leading to the formation of potholes.

Usually the first snowfall arrives before the earth freezes and the gravel or sand on your road is susceptible to damage even if you have “shoes” installed on your plow.  When you drop the plow blade all the way down before the road freezes solid, the blade will bounce as it tries to dig into the road bed leaving a washboard effect.

“Shoes” on the snowplow blade or blower are meant to keep the blade about an inch above the road on a paved or frozen surface. They do not work on a soft surface as they just sink into and gouge the road bed.

So how do you avoid this problem? Simply drop the snow blade full down then raise it approximately one inch. Now you are all set to avoid a bumpy ride when plowing this winter and cause less damage, reducing the need to repair your road in the spring.

What if I use a tractor with a snow blower?  The same technique applies to tractors with snowplows or snow blowers. If your tractor has the ability to float the blow or blowers refrain from using this feature until the gravel or sand road is fully frozen.

Watch out for February thaw’s that the surface of the roads became soft during the day and re froze overnight. This also occurs with spring thaws as well.  Just be aware of the road condition and act accordingly.

When you’ve got questions about the right care for your road or driveway, call the team at Fix My Gravel Road.