Snow Plough, Wire, and the Driveway

by Gajan Retnasaba on February 21, 2010

When doing a winter installation, and the snow build up three feet high, the trickiest section is the driveway. For most of the system installation, you can run the wire along the surface until the snow melts, but not the driveway! If the snow plow comes through regularly and does your driveway, it is going to break the wire every time.

We have 2 puppies (sisters) 10 months old, border collie golden retriever cross. We live in the country on 45 acres, mostly fields and some woods, but lots of woods all around us. The dogs have started running off, and we need to figure something out quickly. We don’t have fences around our land so there isn’t anything to attach the wire too. We wouldn’t need to have all of the acreage in a containment area, but it would be nice to have 10-2o acres. We have about a foot of snow on the ground now, and we’ll probably have snow cover for another month or two. It looks like most of the systems come with 500 ft of wire, which would only fence in about 1/2 acre, so we’d not a lot more. Is the wire expensive and where would we get it? What would you recommend?

… I’m now realizing I only need to put the fence around a smaller area encompassing the house and shop…perhaps about 5 acres (I’m thinking 2500 ft would be adequate for this?). Then the dogs can be free outside and not run off. And we can take longer walks outside the boundary with them. I don’t know how we’ll cross the driveway with the wire though, as this time of year the driveway gets plowed frequently. We’ll have to investigate how to cut and reseal with our type of driveway (tar with stone… I think it’s called seal coat around here, but it needs warmer weather to set). And the snow is about a foot deep here. Would we just push the wire as close to the ground as possible? Also, in your description of the above ground installation, you say to use the lawn staples every 1 yard, but in an answer to a question, you say every 10 yards, which seems more doable….is this sufficient? I wonder about deer running across it and pulling it up.

Also, I’m wondering if we’ll be able to train our 2 wild teenagers to respect the boundaries! They run full speed chasing each other and squirrels or whatever they see. And there isn’t any natural boundary, the invisible fence will just be in the fields around our buildings. Have you had experience with the fence in this kind of situation?


Hi Ann,

For the winter, just lay the wire along the ground, secured in a few spots either with a rock or a lawn staple. The Innotek IUC-4100 would be a good choice for a collie/retriever mix but can only do up to 25 acres. The SportDog SDF-100 is also a good choice and can do 100 acres. But, the drive if going to be a bit trickier.

For the driveway, you are going to need to get the wire at least partly buried, otherwise that snow plow will cut it every time! I would wait until it has been freshly plowed. Then make a cut with a circular saw, place the wire in the cut. You can wait to do the backfilling with sealant until it is warmer. As you said, the sealants all don’t set properly in the weather. (some people will use a blow torch to warm up the area and that works, but I am not sure it is worth the effort)

The key to containment is training. You are going to put up boundary flags for the first few weeks to keep them a visual queue. And you are going to go through some exercises with them for two weeks. If you do that I think you will be very pleased with results.

The spacing on the staples depends on the area. It you are doing an area that is going to be mowed, you really want to bury the wire. But if you staple it the staples have to be really close because it is very important that the wire be tight to the ground so it does not get mowed.

If it is a wooded area, you can staple very infrequently, you are just trying to stop the wire from being moved. Every ten yards, and even wider spacing is fine.

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