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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know some people call them "doorstops" or "glides" too...

I'm wondering when they should and should not be used. Will they damage a paved/blacktop driveway or leave permanent scratches that appear after the snow melts? I have them set on my plow so that the blade is up about an inch, because of my 350' crushed stone driveway.

Do you guys take pull them up for paved driveways and pop them back down for gravel drives?
 

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plowing! I'm sure that when plowing gravel, they are necessary. my plow at home does nothing but dirt roads, and I never use shoes. our plows at work do nothing but pavement and concrete. sometimes we use them, sometimes we don't. I usually put them on just to slwo down the wear on the edge. but the Boss skids cost so much, I'm thinking about not using them at all.
 

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Theres some good info in that thread personally i prefer to run without the boat anchors on the plow if its dirt or gravel i just lift the blade a little bit once the gravel freezes you will be able to just plow with the blade all the way down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yep, definitely good to see all sides of the debate, thanks for the link!

I'm still curious to know one thing - has anyone encountered an issue where the shoes/skids have caused damage to pavement, such as a residential balcktopped driveway?
 

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I know the other shoe discussion is from a year ago, so I figured I'd post here rather than drag that one back to the top.

My uncle uses an old International tractor with a bucket to clear his quarter mile gravel driveway. It has no float option because of it's age. He was running into a similair problem of scraping up his driveway. Even the hard packed stuff because of the weight of the tractor. Anyways. Long story short, he picked up pair of skis off a snowmobile at a garage sale. Made some modifications of them, and whammo. :rockon Skis attached to the buttom of his bucket. Best damn skid shoes I ever did see. Especially since he stuck the skis out about a foot in front of the cutting edge. With the curve of the skis, he never had to worrry about tearing off the high points or bumps in his driveway. I suppose if you had enough time on your hands, and tearing up gravel/dirt driveways was really an issue, might be something for you to look into.
 

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I use the shoes on both plows. I keep them set to about one inch so I don't have to salt as heavy.
I plow several commerical parking lots and my own residence and my building. I have not seen any damage to the commerical lots. The asphalt is very thick and not normally coated each year like a private drive. Plus the garbage compactor services do so much damage that any scrap marks from a plow would not be an issue.
But someone with a private drive that seals the driveway and likes the even black appearence may notcie the skid scratch marks. Not that there is damage to the asphalt but to the sealing material. I have noticed sctatchs on both of my driveways and I seal them every other year. But you can get a scratch mark from the cutting edge also.
I know that warm asphalt will damage with a scraping action but in winter this will not be an issue.
So to sum up any scraping action will cause some marking but I feel that the only damage would result in a high spot or or loose edge or pothole on the surface.

bob
 

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DaveNY said:
Yep, definitely good to see all sides of the debate, thanks for the link!

I'm still curious to know one thing - has anyone encountered an issue where the shoes/skids have caused damage to pavement, such as a residential balcktopped driveway?

Dave

Anything metal under the weight of a plow can and will scuff things up. If the driveway is flat and new the steel blade wont do much damage. If its old cracked and has some steps in it yes you will catch and could rip some up. With skids I find they help with catching edges like that but have a different problem. The round mushroom headed ones just ride on two spots and put down more pressure. If the blacktop is painted with sealer you will see traces on it yes. If your skid finds a pothole to drop in you will get a good bang. On looses gravel around here I had bad luck with just a bare blade and also with the mushroom skids that came with my blade. I was moving a lot of stone back in the spring. That’s why I made the longer flat skids as an experiment and they worked very good on gravel before it is froze down. Last year I lined the bottoms of the skids with 3/8 thick wear plastic and it lasted all winter. The reason I tried this was to see how it would work on blacktop without marking it. I selectively take the skids on or off based on the surface and how hard I want to scrape ice. When I get on a nice blacktop I don’t want to scratch or the pressed stone or brick looking concrete I have used them and that worked out good. Draw back I’m set 3/8 above the surface so I leave a little snow. But like U edge I don’t leave any marks and still have my steel edge when I really want to scrape some ice up. This year I’m going to try a different plastic lining material and going ¾ thick.

The debate about skids and edge material will go on. To be honest my mushroom skids are now being used as door stops. I think part of the reason for the debate about edge material is tied into how the individual operation is run. From what I have read on here and people I talk to the U edge runs hand in hand with salting and pre-treating to some extent and also with what the finished job has to look like and how soon to the snow falling you can react to plowing it how much driving it has on it first weather and temp conditions etc.

I know with you getting into this for the first time you are going to be really aware of trying to not do any damage. All I can say is there will always be a little. Do you have a feeling yet as to what your customers expectations will be? Are the places you will be looking at be all upscale?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
REALLY good information for me in this thread, your posts are *priceless* to me.

V10ForMan - Your Dad's "ski plow" sounds like an awesome idea! Not feasible for me and what I want to do, but he had a great idea there and it does give me some of my own.

Bob and Bud - thanks for directly addressing the mushroom style skids - that's what I have and you've both confirmed my suspiscions about them. Developing my own custom skids, such as Bud's flat plastic coated style, is not likely to happen anytime soon because I don't consider myself that mechanically inclined and every spare minute I have around the house is usually spent on work for my "main" business (building and hosting web sites). I know, people are thinking "this guy is in trouble" LOL! But that's why I'm here to learn - I'm not living in some dilusional world where I can just automatically become a plow pro after spending most of my career as a computer expert. I know there is going to be a lot of hard lessons for me to learn.

In regard to the question about what my customers are going to expect - I'm not really sure. There are two neighborhoods down the street from me that I wish to target - one is very upscale, and the other is very "normal" middle-class but quite nice. All the drives in the upscale neighborhood, which is brand new development, have very nice paved/blacktopped/ pristine drives. The other neighborhood is a mix - some nice paved/topped, some loose gravel. Lots of hills and angles in both. I'm scared s***less that I'm going to ruin someone's drive.

The information you've been willing to share helps more than you know, thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I forgot to mention - my Western doesn't have a way to ease the plow down little by little (as far as I know). I can raise it little by little, but when I hit "lower" on the stick it just drops right to the ground. Is this a bad thing? Is there an optional way to have it operate? From what I've read so far, it seems that if the skids are off I should try to learn how to raise it just a tad before making a push. I guess guaging how high off the ground I've raised it when tapping the stick is just going to take practice, like getting in and out of the truck to see how high I've raised it the first few times and then hopefully being able to do it be "feel" after I get good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I also forgot to ask - these "urethanes" you guys have been mentioning - is this a replacement for the steel blade? Or is it an attachment? I'm wondering if maybe I should look into going with urethane edge without shoes for blacktop.
 

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If you try the cab commander controller the plow will drop easier, and you can control the drop speed rate. As for u edges a search here or over at the dark side will bring up loads of info. Or call me at 860.608.1842 and I will be glad to fill you in my experiences with urethane edges.
 

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DaveNY said:
I also forgot to ask - these "urethanes" you guys have been mentioning - is this a replacement for the steel blade? Or is it an attachment? I'm wondering if maybe I should look into going with urethane edge without shoes for blacktop.
Yes,urethane replaces the steel cutting edge.It will do a much better job on gravel drives.

You can search the site for lots of info,and find urethane dealers in the dealers\suppliers forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I just wanted to re-visit this thread and post my first results / opinion in case it helps any other rookies out there like me someday.

My first day plowing, I started out with a 350-foot long crushed-stone / gravel / dust/dirt mix driveway (mine), with a turn-around and with about a 15-degree incline up at the garage end.

I started With Skids/Shoes on - what a mess. I created several ruts because the mushrooms kept digging in, and also tripped the blade once. This is probably due in part to my in-experience, but it was just a real pain in general. Was real rough and seemed to be hard on my truck/plow.

I took them off - big difference. I dropped the plow and then just raised it a *very tiny* bit in the bad spots, and overall things went much smoother. I was worried about how much stone I was going to end up pushing around, but it wasn't as bad as I expected. Yes, it is pushing some of it around, but overall the job went way smoother without the skids, even with the fact that I'm running a steel edge on the blade. (I haven't purchased a U-edge yet because money is very tight, but plan to go U-edge eventually for even smoother performance).

I did two more driveways after mine, but unlike mine they were both smooth blacktop. From my first day's experience on both rough / smooth drives, I'd have to say that I don't think I'll be using the skids much, if at all. I have a feeling that, like Bud, my skids may end up as doorstops.

Hopefully this will help another rookie out someday. Thanks again for all the advice from everyone.
 

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Dave, once the ground freezes you won't have any problem. I personally like the shoes. We only plow commercial parking lots and roadways. I feel there is less wear on the cutting edge, and less resistance over the ground with them on. We have then set so there is only a little gap, 1/2 inch or so between blade and ground. But as others have said, some don't use them at all without any major problems.
 

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CPSS said:
We have then set so there is only a little gap, 1/2 inch or so between blade and ground.
I don't get it :beatsme - With a 1/2 inch gap, how do get it down to bare pavement??

I don't have shoes on my plow and just do my own driveway so I don't have any
commercial experience and I can't understand the 1/2 inch gap
 

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wi-cj5 said:
I don't get it :beatsme - With a 1/2 inch gap, how do get it down to bare pavement??

I don't have shoes on my plow and just do my own driveway so I don't have any
commercial experience and I can't understand the 1/2 inch gap
You can get a pretty clean job done with a small gap because the snow sticks together... granted certain conditions you might not get totally bare, but most of the time it is close enough...

Ran my shoe all last year because I did a gravel driveway and really did not want to have to keep taking them off so I tried it on pavement and was pretty happy with the results. I guess it really is a personal preference.
 

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I always use shoes . The shoe/curb guard setup Fisher uses on the XBlade (only) works great .
 

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I bought shoes for gravel and pavers. So far I used them to hold the door open in the garage. ;)
 

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minnpusherman

i dont use shoes,, if id leave a 1/2 inch each timei plow id have a major build up and a mess come spring, my blacktop accounts like it clean , right down to the pavement so they can walk out with thier slippers on, After the first plow thing freeze up then not much problem, with or with out shoes you still have to be careful on the edge after you drop off the mat, pick up on it a little, tryin not to tear up the grass, i dont think theyd even make a good boat anchor?:
 
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