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New grader operator - snow plowing question

Discussion in 'Motor Graders' started by RVR6000, Oct 28, 2019.

  1. RVR6000

    RVR6000 Member

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    ovrszd - I hear ya on the frozen ground. We had a blast of cold temps the first part of November that drove the frost down about 6". I still had a couple roads I was hoping to smooth out before that happened - just didn't work out with all the rain we got in late fall - but part of me was happy that everything would be solid for plowing. Then we got a week of mild temps and everything thawed again. Got those last couple roads graded but then the ground was fairly warm for that first round of snow we got this week. Now we're getting a weekend long snow storm. Was out for about 6 hours today clearing the busier roads as best I could with the truck. Still trying to decide what time we will head in tomorrow. Sounds like this snow will run through about noon - 8 more inches possible on top of the 4 we got so far today. If that's the case I don't suppose there's much sense getting out too early.
     
  2. ovrszd

    ovrszd Senior Member

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    I've always been Blessed with the ability to "sleep on demand". Partly comes from a lifetime in the Military. I can go to sleep anytime of the day or night. Comes in real handy when I find myself in the position you are in.

    Traditionally our snow storms and wind lay down at night. So I sleep all day and work all night.

    Is the snow pattern you are in normal for your area? I don't know what to expect here. We've already had three small snows, nothing that needed pushed. Our long range looks good to the middle of December at least. I'm expecting our Winter to be moderate until late January, then explode.....
     
  3. Leighva

    Leighva Active Member

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    Location:
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    Just a couple things to consider. if you have a prevailing wind direction sometimes it’s better to plow down wind to prevent an upwind windrow that will create a deeper drift. Once it starts drifting in you will battle it till it melts or you push out the drifts. Sometimes it maybe better not to plow a spot it to keep the drifts from starting.

    Another thing I do is, hold up your wing a bit to keep the sholder/edge of the road delineated so drivers don’t loose the edge of the road. In wind blown areas this may not work so well. It’s imperative up on logging roads or where the edge of the road drops off, so you don’t create a “false road/shoulder. Plow out all your turn outs and road surfaces to the full width of the road each time you plow. You might also try to plow in a tall gear to throw the snow as far as possible to prevent drifting. Plowing with the truck really helps with this. I get 6-10’ of snow on my roads and by the end of winter you need all the room you can get early on.

    Our County puts a high intensity Green colored lazer beam mounted on the cab roof pointing out in front of the truck to show the “Right Cutting Edge“ of the plow. This way they can plow 4” from every mail box and don’t hit any. They also turn on a GPS tracker to show where they plow with each truck. It’s linked to a web site so anyone can view in real time what was plowed after the truck left the shop.

    Sharq bits are amazing if you know how to use them. not everyone likes them. You can cut really hard packed snow and ice 8-10” deep in one pass. The P300 bit leaves a groved shaved ice surface on the road top that provides better traction and requires very little down pressure. You don’t run these in “Float” or they will not last.
    I run 6) studded Trygg SMT chains all winter on a Cat 143H. They are the best chain out there! Constant pattern on the ground all the time. I run a lighter gauge chain in the front -less weight on the front wheel assist. Keep them tight. High speeds will drastically reduce their life. White Mountain Chain in Bonners Ferry Idaho ships everywhere.

    Hope these tips help a bit.
     
    Jonas302 and DB2 like this.
  4. DB2

    DB2 Senior Member

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    Location:
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    Hi Leighva

    Great information there. Love the idea of the laser pointer to show the edge of where you are.
    Happy plowing!
     
  5. Leighva

    Leighva Active Member

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    Location:
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    I’m not sure where they get them but they are about 4x6x8 inches in size as I recall. They are in a metal box bolted to the roof with a plate that allows it to be alined/aimed on each truck. It puts down a 6-10” long beam that’s maybe 2” wide. It’s very easy to see. It really stands out on the snow during the day.
     
  6. fast_st

    fast_st Senior Member

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    Especially bad if you're on a paved surface too.
     
    DB2 likes this.
  7. ovrszd

    ovrszd Senior Member

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    I'm not lucky enough to get to push snow on pavement.....
     
  8. RVR6000

    RVR6000 Member

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    Location:
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    So, I guess we're about half way through the winter (I hope). Has been a fairly mild winter so far here in Northwest Wisconsin. We've had a few snowfalls in the 6-8 inch range otherwise they've been the annoying inch or less kind. For the heavier snows the part-time guy and I both head out...me in the grader and him in the truck. It's obviously slower but I definitely enjoy operating the grader far better for clearing snow. Visibility and the overall quality of the plow job seems much better. First couple snowfalls were very wet which quickly turned to packed ice as people drove over it. Cutting edges were getting pretty close to needing to be changed so I let the blade float a majority of the time in these situations. The last few have been nice and fluffy allowing me to hold a little weight off the blade. Getting up to 7th gear gets that snow rolling pretty good off the wing and into the shoulder.

    Took a long time for the shoulders to freeze up which equated to a lot of sod rolled over during the first few clearings - even the 30+ year village and county guys were saying they've never turned over so much dirt as they have this year. Funny thing - if you go 4 feet off the shoulder the ground still isn't frozen - was pounding in new fire posts last week.

    So, we'll see what the next couple months have in store for us. Haven't needed the chains on the grader yet but did chain up the dump truck once after some freezing rain moved through. Thanks for everyone's advice - it has been a huge help as I get the hang of this new job.
     
  9. ovrszd

    ovrszd Senior Member

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    Thanks for the update.

    We've had 11 snows now. None big. No drifting. Last one was layer of ice, then 5" of heavy wet snow, then a layer of ice on top. It sucked bad. Roadbeds were not frozen solid. Very easy to gouge the roadbed. A lot of trouble with the grader wanting to lope.

    Now for the next two weeks we are supposed to be right at freezing daytime and mid 20Fs at night with cloudy conditions. So we are in a stalemate weatherwise. No chance of any sizeable moisture.

    I expect to come out of this with an extreme swing as it's been for the past year.
     
  10. Leighva

    Leighva Active Member

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    Check your tire pressure for loping problems.

     
  11. ovrszd

    ovrszd Senior Member

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    Yep, changed the tire air pressure to no avail. Was simply the snow conditions.

    I pushed again a couple weeks later and ran my roads the fastest I've ever done them. 50 miles of roads in 7hrs. No lope. Enjoyed the day immensely!!!!
     
  12. DMCWearParts

    DMCWearParts New Member

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    Location:
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    I noticed that you said you are not using carbides and find that you are changing edges quite often. Only referring to this part of your question I would share this idea. When running in float the blade is always putting force down to find the bottom. This over time is going to wear your edges faster compared to setting the edge as your predecessor did before. Lowering the edge down and lifting up a bit. I think there is a whole other conversation that could happen with the preferred style of cutting edge for snow removal with grader. But again I am only referring to that comment of your original post. I would be interested what others think about my view on float affecting wear life of cutting edge. Thanks all
     
  13. ovrszd

    ovrszd Senior Member

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    I'm not fortunate enough to run any paved roads, only gravel. I carry the blade all the time......
     
  14. GabiJohnson

    GabiJohnson Member

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    Location:
    Florida
    The city boys here plow with a big Austin Western, front plow angled left to push toward the divide, blade angled left, wing pushing left and the ass end crabbed over with a grader clearing almost three lanes in one pass and really hauling!
     
    Jonas302 likes this.
  15. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    Get that much snow in Florida...
     
    cuttin edge likes this.
  16. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

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    You sure you don't mean blade and wing angled to the right. Seems counter productive to have the blade and wing pile the snow up in the left lane where the front blade just cleared it. But them I don't know much about Florida snow. :D:D
     
    petepilot likes this.
  17. ovrszd

    ovrszd Senior Member

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    Yesterday I woke up to 1 and 1/2" of snow on the ground. This morning woke up to another 1". Supposed to get 3-5" tonight.

    We got our first snow last Fall 172 days ago. This is extremely unusual for us. Been lucky to not have any really big snows. But by my count this one tonight will be our 25th tracking snow. What the He**!!!!! :confused:
     
  18. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder Staff Member

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    Don't forget, it's melted off by noon..... ;)
     
  19. ovrszd

    ovrszd Senior Member

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    Picked up 6-8" of very heavy wet snow. I started pushing at 4 a.m. and quit at 10 a.m. because it was melting so fast. Our ground was warm. Good thing, we would have easily had 12" if frozen.


    20200417_051732.jpg
     
  20. cuttin edge

    cuttin edge Senior Member

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    NB Canada
    Yeah we had a wet heavy storm with high winds last week. I think we got a foot no problem, but it is gone now. Lots of sod and gravel piled up though. My grader is still parked for the winter, but they put a new cuttin edge on my box blade for my loader. A few asphalt patches got scraped off.