Snow Blowers

John Deere Snow Thrower Oil Change

February 7th, 2016 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce | No Comments »

John Deere Snow Thrower Oil ChangeRegardless of the type of snow thrower you have, changing the oil in your snowthrower and doing a tune up at least once a year will ensure it lasts for many years. A John Deere snow thrower oil change is relatively easy to do yourself. Two main points to always remember is A)Follow the safety instructions outlined in the manual and B) properly dispose of the oil from the engine! Not only do you want to be friendly to the environment, you also do not want the mess around your home or to be storing old oil in your garage or work shed.

John Deere Snow Thrower Oil Change

Follow the safety instructions such as disconnecting the spark plug before working on the engine or the impeller and auger. This is one of the most important items to remember. Never do any kind of repair or maintenance on a running snowthower and never take the chance of poking a shovel or pole into the auger area while it is running. Many people have lost an arm or foot in this manner.

Before draining the oil, run the snow thrower engine for a few minutes to warm up the oil so that it runs freely. When it drains you will drain much more of the oil from the engine if the oil is warm or even hot. You also drain many more impurities that can settle to the bottom of the engine reservoir if the oil is cold.

Drain the oil into a reservoir and use one of the old containers to hold the old engine oil. Most garages will accept old oil for disposal or you can take it to one if the chemical disposal places in your area. Once the oil is drained, tightened the oil stop and add new oil up to the level specified on the dip stick. Run the engine for a few minutes and recheck.

It is a good idea to check the level of oil in the engine each time it is used to make sure there is sufficient oil in the engine and that it is not discolored due to over use.

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John Deere snow Blower Oil Change

January 21st, 2016 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce | No Comments »

John Deere snow Blower Oil ChangeIt is pretty easy to complete a John Deere snow blower oil change. There are a few key steps you need to follow to ensure that the job is completed safely and properly. We will cover these in this post, but the main thing to do is to review your snow blowers manual. This will confirm the type of oil to use, how much oil to use and how often the oil should be changed. For most consumers, once a year is typical based on limited usage over the winter. We suggest doing the oil change in the fall so that you have fresh oil in the crankcase for the coming season. If you use the snow blower for commercial services, you should change the oil more often.

John Deere snow Blower Oil Change – Steps

The following steps can be followed for just about any snow blower, however always read the manual before you begin. Here we go:

  • Place the snow blower on a flat location
  • Run the engine for 10 minutes to warm up the oil
  • Shut the engine off and remove safety key so that it cannot restart
  • Place an oil pan under the engine and under the oil drain plug
  • Loosen the oil drain cap and allow the oil to drain completely
  • Once the oil is finished draining, replace the oil drain cap
  • Tighten the cap securely
  • Add new engine oil to the oil filler reservoir
  • Measure the oil to ensure that it is at the right level
  • Start the engine and let it run for a few minutes
  • Recheck the engine oil level and add oil if needed
  • Clean up the area and properly dispose of the used oil

It is pretty straightforward to complete the John Deere snow Blower Oil Change or any other snow blower oil change for that matter. Make sure you read the instructions in your manual before attempting the job.

You will also want to check the belts to make sure that they are properly tensioned, and grease the auger assembly. Any other repairs that are needed should be completed at this time.


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John Deere 1130se Snow Blower

January 7th, 2016 ernie Posted in John Deere | No Comments »

John Deere 1130se Snow BlowerWe have completes a full review of the John Deere 1130se Snow Blower. Just click on the link to view that review. This page contains a summary  of this particular snow blower and will be useful to folks looking for something short to view. This is a great snow blower for residential consumers as well as commercial use in a residential situation. Snow drift guides and 30 inch clearing width coupled with 10.5 hp provides lots of power and clearing capability to make short work of most snow drifts and snow clearing jobs. You can start the snow blower using a pull chord as well as electric start if needed. There are 6 forward speeds to fit all snow clearing situations.

John Deere 1130se Snow Blower – Details

Features include :

  • Free hand control for easy chute rotation
  • Push button 110V electric start standard
  • Recoil start with large mitten grip
  • Easy Steer® drive system giving continuous power to both wheels and auto speed adjustment
  • Aluminized Super Lo-Tone muffler for reduced noise
  • Cast iron gear case
  • Steel auger with serrated flighting
  • Deluxe console and handlebar design
  • Large chute opening for increased snow capacity
  • New dash mounted electric chute rotation with 200-degree turning radius
  • Remote chute deflector
  • Heavy duty embossed auger housing
  • Heated hand grips with two settings
  • Offset halogen headlight for better visibility
  • Drift cutters standard
  • Heat-treated, reversible skid shoes
  • Throttle control
  • Fresh Start® fuel cap standard
  • Includes tool box and clear out brush
  • This product is CARB compliant

Based on a quick search of comments and reviews, consumers find that the halogen light burns out easily and is difficult to replace without it burning out again. As with all halogen bulbs you need to make sure that you never touch the bulb with your fingers. Always use a dry cloth. Any moisture will cause it to burn out. They are very sensitive.

Another major complaint is that the disc drive slips. If any moisture gets on this disc drive, it will slip. There is a seal kit available to deal with this issue. If your machine is out of warranty you will need to install it yourself or have a mechanic do it at your cost.

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Snow Blowing Contract Terms and Conditions

December 21st, 2015 ernie Posted in Snow Removal Contract | No Comments »

Snow Blowing Contract Terms and ConditionsIn our last post we talked about snowblowing contracts at a very basic level. This post is going to provide a typical list of Snow Blowing Contract Terms and Conditions that many companies will ask you the consumer to sign. In our opinion it is one sided and protects the contractor and not the consumer to any great extent. You have to depend on these guys wanting to maintain their reputation. If all of your neighbors are going with this contractor, then you wield some negotiating power as well as impacts if you have a disagreement.

Snow Blowing Contract Terms and Conditions

In no particular order here are the terms and conditions that were recently provided to us as part of a snow blowing contract:

  • The contractor, company name, will not be working if a snowfall does not exceed 5 cm of snow on the ground.
  • The minimum of 5 cm of snow must be from the same snowfall.
  • The contractor, company name, is not responsible to clean snowdrifts caused by winds. If the client requires it, it will be at an additional cost.
  • This contract is valid up to 250 cm per season. If the winter season where to exceed 250 cm in snowfall; a new contract would be applied or pay per visit option would be available.
  • If the client wishes to have work done with less than 5 cm on the ground, the client will be charged $65 upon the visit.
  • During a snowfall, the contractor cleans the driveway and walkway. Once the snowfall is completed the contractor will return to clean the snow bank at the bottom of the driveway caused by the city plows. If there is an accumulation of more than 5 cm of snow on the driveway and walkway upon his return the contractor will clean once again the driveway and walkway.
  • The contractor is not responsible for any damages done to any objects left on the driveway or walkway during the snow clearing such as extension cords, Christmas lights, hoses, downspouts connected to ease through and other material hidden under the snow.
  • Our tractors that service our customers are fitted with Teflon blades on the snowblowers. The operators of the tractor do their best to not scratch the surface of the driveway, but there is no guarantee that this could not possibly occur. We are not responsible for any scratches done to paved interlock or asphalt.
  • During the length of the contract any trees, shrubs or other object that is in the front area of the property must be protected as a snow cleared from the driveway will be placed in that area by the contractor.
  • The contractor only remove the snow from the driveway and walkway. Other work asked by the client will be at an additional cost.
  • The contractor will not be working on Christmas Day or on New Year’s Day.
  • Salt service is available upon client request, the service is at an additional cost of $65 per hour plus Salt bags. A minimum charge of $65 applies
  • Payments can be done by full payment or by two equal payments. One payment due at signing of contract and the last payment dated January 2016. Both checks must be given to the contractor upon signing of the contract. If the balance were to be received later than the date above a late fee of $65 will be charged to the client
  • This contract is between the contractor and the client is valid from beginning date to end date(specify dates)
  • Client signature is required indicating that he/she understands the terms and conditions.
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Snow Blowing Contract Template

December 7th, 2015 ernie Posted in Snow Removal Contract | No Comments »

Snow Blowing ContractAre you about to sign a snow removal contract for the winter season? What are the terms and conditions on your contract? Is it all one sided or is there some protection for you? What damages are considered and will they reimburse you if there are? If these and other questions are not addressed in the contract, then it is probably one sided and it also pretty much ensures that they will not take responsibility for any damages.

Snow Blowing Contract

The following is the plainest of plain contracts. Our next post on Dec 21, will lay out many of the terms and conditions that should be included. If you sign a snow blowing contract that only has the following, you are at the mercy of the contractor.

Basic Snow Blowing Contract Information

Contractor Information:

  • Company Name, Full address, phone number and email information

Customer Information:

  • Customer name and full address
  • Customer telephone number
  • Email address
  • Date contract issued
  • Contract start date
  • Contract end date
  • Charges, including taxes and total cost
  • Payment terms
  • Client signature area
  • Contractor signature area

There should be reference to a terms and conditions sheet, if there is one, however not all companies will provide this. It is in their favor not to. If they do provide a terms and conditions, they are usually one sided. At least you have some idea of what they will do and not do.

Watch for our next post on the terms and conditions that should be included with a contract for a Snow Blowing Contract

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Tune Your Snow Blower Engine Now

November 21st, 2015 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce | No Comments »

Tune Your Snow Blower Engine NowThe best time to make sure your snow blower is ready to go for the season is in October or November before it gets really cold. That’s why we are saying Tune Your Snow Blower Engine Now! The picture on the left, covers most of the small engine types with snow blowers at the bottom of the picture. They all have similar steps, however obviously each is different and requires specific steps to make sure that your snow blower is ready to go for the coming winter. We will go through each of the steps or activities in a bit more detail.

Tune Your Snow Blower Engine Now

Inspect The Safety System – check that all levers etc disengage properly, with the engine off check the shear pins, lights work if you have them

Replace or Clean the Spark Plug – replace if in doubt, clean and regap if you reuse the old one.

Adjust the Skid Shoes if Needed – Check that the bolts are tight and they lift the shave plate slightly above the surface of your driveway

Change the Engine Oil – at minimum once a year in the fall and more often if the engine is used a great deal as per the manufacturers instructions

Adjust the Shave Plate if Needed – it should be slightly above the surface, but not so much that it leaves a significant layer of snow on the driveway

Adjust the Drive System if Needed – check the belts for fraying and cracking, replace as needed and ensure that there is an appropriate amount of tension

Test the Snowblower for Operation – Start it up and let it run for a few minutes and test all moving parts.

Add Fuel Stabilizer – to the gasoline tank and the extra fuel you keep for refilling. This will ensure that your engine runs smoothly and does not gum up.

Following these steps should ensure that you have a problem free winter, unless you have missed a major item that needs an overhaul.

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Should I Change Oil in My Snow Blower Spring or Fall

November 7th, 2015 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce | No Comments »

Should I Change Oil in My Snow Blower Spring or FallOne of our readers asked the following question, When Should I Change Oil in My Snow Blower Spring or Fall? We will answer this question for our readers in this post and also share an approach to draining the oil from the engine that avoids oil being spilled all over the housing, the tire or on the ground. The best time to change the oil in your snow blower is in the fall when it is still relatively warm. No one wants to work in the cold weather doing this sort of job in their garage. The fall is the best time for another reason. The oil has been sitting in the engine block all summer, after being used in the engine during the previous winter. It is time to have fresh oil in the engine for the coming season to ensure that your snowblower delivers the best results. If your snowblower is used a great deal, you may even change the oil more often based on recommendations found in the user’s manual.

Should I Change Oil in My Snow Blower Spring or Fall – Draining

Regardless of when you do this job, start the engine and let it run for 5 or 10 minutes to warm up the oil. This will ensure that it has a higher level of viscosity and will drain more thoroughly.

Many snowmobile engines have a drain plug on the side of the engine block, near the bottom of the engine block. Some like mine, have a 3 or 4 inch pipe with a plug on the end of it. If you remove the plug the oil is going to fall all over the gear housing or the tire depending on the location with a great deal of oil ending up on the ground.

I always have a one foot long piece of hose available and a reservoir to catch the oil when I am draining the oil. AS I remove the plug on the end of the pipe, I have the hose ready to place over the end of the pipe so that the oil drains through the hose and into the reservoir. This is just a handy little trick that helps me change the oil without making a big mess.

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Snowblower Tuneup For the DYI Consumer

October 21st, 2015 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce | No Comments »

Snowblower TuneupSnowblower tuneup for the DYI consumer can save you quite a bit of money, give you satisfaction knowing that you performed this activity yourself and ensure that your snowblower will always operate when needed. Delaying a tuneup or never tuning up your snowblower just means that eventually it is not going to work and that will probably be on the coldest snowiest day of the year. Don’t procrastinate, do it today when the weather is still reasonably warm, compared to winter time. We are writing this particular post in October so it is still pleasant outside compared to what it will be like in a few months time.

Snowblower Tuneup For the DYI Consumer

The basic things you need to address when tuning up your snowblower are as follows:

Spark Plug – Remove it, clean it up and check the gap. Reset the gap if needed. Replace the spark plug if it is not in good shape.

Oil Change – change the oil every year as a minimum, follow the manufacturers instructions and always check the oil before starting the engine.

Belt Condition – make sure that the belts are in good condition, that the tension pulleys are operating properly. Change the belts if they are fraying or cracking.

Tire Condition – Check the tire pressure and add air if needed. Remove the tires and grease the axles. If you ever need to remove them because you have a flat tire, you will be glad you did this.

Grease Auger – there are at least two grease nipples on the auger shaft. Give each one two pumps with your grease gun

Test Operation – Once all of the above are complete, start up the engine and test all functions on your particular snow blower. If anything else needs to be repaired, now is the time to do it.

As long as you have done all of the above and your engine starts easily and runs smoothly you should be good for the season. A rough running engine usually means that the carburetor needs to be cleaned or overhauled which takes more time and the subject of another post.

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Just Tuned my Craftsman 10hp Snowblower

October 7th, 2015 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce | No Comments »

Craftsman 10hp SnowblowerJust got finished with a tuneup of my Craftsman 10hp snowblower. This machine is about 15 years old and is still going strong. It is beginning to show its age in terms of rust on the housing etc, bit the engine and the impeller operate just like new. Anyway I thought I would go over the steps required in a tuneup / checkup to help readers decide if this is something they want to tackle themselves or have a small engine mechanic look after for them. We will list them in no particular order and you can tackle each one as you see fit.

Tuned my Craftsman 10hp Snowblower

Change the Engine Oil – Drain the oil into a oil bin and then dispose of it properly at a recycle location. Before you drain the oil, run the engine for a few minutes to warm up the oil. You find that it drains much more quickly and thoroughly if you do this. Add the recommended oil for your engine in the correct quantity. Check the level with the dip stick before and also after running the engine to ensure that the correct amount of oil has been installed.

Check the spark plug – Always take the plug out, check the gap after first giving it a good cleaning. If it is corroded etc, then replace it with a new one after you have set the proper gap.

Check the belts – The belts should be free of cracks, and wear and tear. Check that they are also properly tensioned as per your snowblowers manual.

Grease the Auger – The auger usually has 4 grease points. Give each at least two squeezes from your grease gun.

Grease the Wheel Axles – Remove the wheels and grease the axles and then place the wheels back on, taking care to put them back in exactly the same way. This may seem like a waste of time, however if you have a flat tire and need to remove the wheel,  you will be glad you did this.

Reconnect the Electrical Wires for the Light – Check all of the electrical connections. Reconnect or tighten any that are needed.

Test All Moving Parts – Finally start up the engine, make sure it is running smoothly and test that the auger and impeller are working properly. Check all of the gear speeds to ensure that there is no other maintenance required.

That’s a pretty good check list to make sure that your snow blower will be ready for the season. There is still a chance that it might be hard to start in the cold weather, but at least you know that all of the major things have been addressed in your tuneup.

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Best Snowblowers for Roof

September 21st, 2015 ernie Posted in Roof Snow Removal | No Comments »

Best Snowblowers for RoofThe snow rake pictured on the left is by far the best snowblowers for roof situations where there is lots of snow to get rid of. It comes with 3,  8 foot sections that hook together giving you a 24 foot reach to get at the snow on your roof without having to actually get on your roof. Consumers using the snow rake stand on the ground and pull the heavy snow off their roof onto the ground. It is much safer than getting up onto a slippery roof and there is almost zero chance of damaging the roof shingles as well. Consumer need to understand that their shingles can become brittle in cold and crack if stepped on. Anytime a shingle cracks, it is a potential leak into your home which can cause a great deal more damage.

Best Snowblowers for Roof

Some consumers will use an electric powered snow shovel while on their roof. They are handy for light powdery snow conditions, however for heavy snow and ice crystals, a shovel is probably the best tool to use. Be careful to avoid damaging your shingles with the shovel and causing potential future leaks into your home.

Unless you have the proper equipment i.e. boots that don’t slip and a roof that is not too sleep, we really recommend that you do not get onto the roof. The possibility of losing your grip and sliding off the roof is high and depending on the height and also what you land on, you really could hurt yourself badly.

If the 24 foot pole is not long enough to reach all of your roof consider adding additional 8 foot lengths to increase the reach. The pole is a bit difficult and unwieldy to handle, but once on the roof, all you need to do is pull the snow towards the edge without allowing the rake to go over the edge.

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