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The Best Way to Clear Snow from a Long Driveway [5 Tips]

When clearing snow from a long driveway, a snow shovel won’t get the job done. You need something much more effective. The best options are:

  • A heavy-duty snow blower.
  • Attaching a snow plow to a truck, ATV, or snowmobile.
  • Paying for a professional service to clear snow from your driveway.
  • Diligently treating your driveway with deicer before and after snowfall.
  • Installing a heating system to melt snow off your driveway.

If you’re battling heavy snow on a long driveway, you need heavy-duty options that will power through several inches of snow quickly. Below, we’ll cover each of these tactics and determine which one is right for you.

Best way to clear snow from long driveway

5 Heavy-Duty Tips for Clearing Snow From Long Driveways

Deep snow burying a long driveway can make you feel trapped. To make matters worse, the longer that snow goes uncleared, the harder it will get to move. Icy, packed snow is a battle to clear, so let’s dig into the ways in which you can clear a long driveway quickly.

Invest in a Powerful Snow Blower

If you’ve had a heavy snowfall on a long driveway, a corded electric snow blower won’t get the job done. What you need is a model designed to chew through piles of snow quickly. Search for a gas-powered two-stage or three-stage snowblower. A heavy-duty snowblower, like this one, will clear icy, packed, or wet snow with ease.

Best For:

Paved or gravel driveways up to 200 feet (60 m).

Not A Good Choice For:

  • Driveways longer than 200 feet (60 m).
  • Unpaved (dirt) driveways.

The downside of even the best snowblower is that it is more time-consuming than a snowplow. If your driveway is exceptionally long, uneven, or unpaved, even the best snowblower might be outmatched.

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Attach a Snow Plow to a Vehicle

If you need to clear an extremely long driveway quickly, there’s nothing better than your very own snowplow. If you have a 4-wheel drive truck or SUV, this front-mounted snowplow will clear your entire driveway in minutes. Snow pusher models can also be purchased for attaching to ATVs, UTVs, and snowmobiles, turning recreational vehicles into winter utilities.

Best For:

  • Driveways over 100 feet (30 m).
  • Extremely long driveways, 400 feet (120 m) and up.
  • Paved, gravel, or unpaved driveways.

Not A Good Choice For:

  • Driveways under 100 feet.

Due to their cost and the fact that they must be mounted on a specialized vehicle, vehicle-mounted snowplows can be prohibitively expensive. However, if you’ve got a very long driveway, there’s no better DIY choice.

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Hire a Snow Removal Specialist

You don’t have to clear your long driveway if you hire a snow removal service. In most areas that receive heavy snowfall, local professionals will clear your driveway for a fee. You can add your address to their clearing route in much the same way you may subscribe to a trash removal service. Depending on the cost of the snow removal service and how often it snows, paying someone else to clear your driveway can be cheaper than buying new equipment for the job. Plus, you don’t have to do the work yourself.

Best For:

  • Driveways 100 feet or more.
  • Individuals who do not have a vehicle capable of plowing snow.
  • Those who are not able or do not wish to clear snow off the driveway themselves.

Not A Good Choice For:

  • Driveways under 100 feet (30 m).

These snow plowing services are worth the cost in many circumstances. If you have an extremely long driveway, you’ll definitely get great value for your dollar. Talk to friends and neighbors—odds are more than one of them uses a snow removal service and can recommend a reputable local company.

Treat Your Driveway With Deicer

One of the best ways to prevent snow from sticking to your driveway in the first place is by treating it with a powerful de-icer. Leave the rock salt on the shelf. Standard deicer is only effective down to 15℉ (-9℃). Plus, salt deicers are toxic to plants and dangerous for the paws of your pets. Use this pet-safe deicer instead. It melts snow and ice at temperatures as low as -2℉ (-19℃) and won’t kill plants and grass surrounding your driveway.

Best For:

  • Driveways 100 feet (30 m) or shorter.

Not A Good Choice For:

  • Driveways over 100 feet (30 m)

Spreading deicer by hand can be slow work. Plus, deicing an extremely long driveway is expensive. Although deicer will help prevent piles of snow from accumulating on your driveway—which makes every other method on this list quicker and easier—it’s best used for driveways that are under 100 feet long.

Heat Your Driveway

If you want to melt the snow off your driveway without stepping foot outside, consider laying out a snow-melting driveway system. Heated driveway systems use electricity to heat coils that melt snow off your driveway. This driveway heating mat is 2 feet wide and 50 feet long, meaning you will need 2 mats to create 2 ruts in the snow and enable you to drive on the cleared surface.

Best For:

  • Driveways under 100 feet (30 m) long.
  • Paved driveways.

Not A Good Choice For:

  • Driveways over 100 feet (30 m).
  • Unpaved driveways.
  • Gravel driveways

Due to the relatively high cost of driveway heating systems, as well as the additional cost of electricity to use them, this system works best for driveways 50–100 feet (15–30 m) in length. Additionally, they’re best suited to concrete and asphalt surfaces. If your driveway material is gravel or something similar, heating systems are less effective.

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Where Should You Dump Snow When Clearing a Long Driveway?

If you have a very long driveway that you plan to clear with a snowplow, make sure to plan an area to pile the snow. Designate an area well away from your home, garage, and other buildings. Use your plow to pile snow there.

  • Designate an area for dumping snow if you intend to use a snow plow.
  • Make sure to dump snow in an area that is a safe distance away from your home and other structures.
  • Keep in mind—the snow pile will grow very large over the course of a long winter.

If you live in an area with long winters, that snow you clear from your driveway will not melt between clearings. This means you’ll have an ever-growing pile of snow in your yard. Make sure to plan for this large snow pile when you lay out your winter plans.

What is the Best Way to Clear Snow From a Long Driveway?

The best methods for clearing snow from an abnormally long driveway or private road are by using a high-powered snowblower, investing in a vehicle-mounted snow pusher, hiring a snow removal service to remove snow, heating your driveway to melt snow, or using a deicer that works down to extremely low temperatures. When it comes to clearing a seriously long driveway, a shovel and rock salt won’t do the trick. Opt for faster, industrial-strength measures.

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