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How to Plow Your Gravel or Dirt Driveway

How to Plow Your Gravel or Dirt Driveway

Justin Rollin

When your driveway isn’t concrete, it can make plowing a little more complicated. Nobody wants to damage the plow or the driveway, so it is important that you know what steps to take, to efficiently and correctly plow a gravel or dirt driveway. Although it is a little more challenging than the traditional surface, there are simple ways to make your driveway and roadway safe for walking and driving.


Some risks come with plowing a gravel or dirt driveway. The biggest risk is the plow picking up some of the dirt or gravel and depositing it in a different location. This can cause many issues for your landscaping in the spring season. It is important to find ways around this so that you can safely remove snow and keep your driveway or roadway intact. With dirt driveways or parking lots, you also cannot use salt, as it would create a muddy hole on the surface.

No Plow Option

If you have a smaller driveway, there is an option to clear the snow without the hassle of using a plow. This may work better for you if you do not have much surface area to cover. The first step is to snow blow or shovel the snow, leaving about one inch of snow above the gravel. This guarantees that no gravel will get stuck in your snow blower, and the gravel won’t end up in your yard. If the snow is lighter, you can sweep this remaining inch of snow off of your driveway. If not, you can sprinkle a mixture of 50/50 sand and rock salt onto your driveway, to help melt the snow and give your tires traction. You will have to consistently apply this mixture until the snow has sufficiently melted. Only use the sand mixture on gravel surfaces.

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The first tip when plowing is to drive with the blade a couple of inches above the surface. The key is to also not push the plow too far into the yard, by using markers. After you plow it once, you can then set the plow about an inch above the driveway, with shoes. Again, use markers to make sure that you don’t push the snow too far into the yard in case there is gravel in it.

With dirt driveways, it tends to be much easier to plow, since the dirt will harden and freeze in the winter. There is much less risk of damaging the driveway or pushing any of it into your yard. Another great way to prevent your plow from cutting into the gravel is fitting an ABS pipe to the blade edge. You can also attach horse stall mats to the edge of your blade, and it will have a similar effect. Both allow the snow to be removed from the gravel or dirt parking lot or driveway, without causing damage to the machine or your property. Yard guard was manufactured to offer the same protection, with plow attachments that allow you to save your yard from the cutting edge of your plow. It works similarly to both the ABS pipe and horse stall mats, where you attach it to the blade of the plow, and it allows you to easily push the snow off of your gravel or dirt surface.