I've traditionally gone out and shoveled the driveway clear when we've had snow storms. It wasn't bad when I was younger, but as I get older I realize I won't always be able to shovel snow for hours just to run to town. So, I'm investigating other solutions that will be easier for "an old guy" to manage. :) Unfortunately, staying home till the snow passes won't be an option for many years to come.
The first option seems to be a snow thrower, but I don't really like the thought of one more piece of equipment to maintain. We can have a few really mild winters, followed by one or two really wild ones. So, a gas snow blower could potentially sit unused for a couple of years, just taking up lots of space. Fighting to start a small gas engine in the cold doesn't sound much better than shoveling snow. And the $700 and up price tag seems high considering how often we might use it.
Considering the erratic nature of our storms, an electric model like the Toro 1800 seems nice. No gas, no oil, no routine maintenance. I already have 100' long heavy duty 12 gauge extension cords, and a couple of electrical outlets along the drive. But, I hear they don't work so well on gravel drives, or with wet deep snow. Still, the $300 price tag is easier to manage, and it wouldn't take up so much space in the shed when we weren't using it.
I'm also considering some sort of snow melt system. I'm hoping to install pavers and a drainage system in front of the garage this summer anyway, so it seems like a good time to install a melt system if I'm going to. But again, the costs for materials seems like it would be rather expensive. Electric seems like it would be a lot less maintenance (and we have low electric rates) than hydronic. But, both systems seem to need some type of paved covering (concrete, asphalt, pavers), which would further increase costs.
So, I'd like to hear how others deal with snow that falls erratically, but can be a big problem when it does?