Snow Blowers


Does Snowthrower Size Matter

January 21st, 2018 ernie Posted in Buying Snow Blowers | No Comments »

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Does Snowthrower Size Matter

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There are many factors that consumers should consider when they purchase a snowthrower. One of these is whether, does snowthrower size matter. And yes the size does matter for a number of different reasons.Many consumers will opt for a smaller machine in the 24 inch wide variety. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this size of machine. In fact they are much easier to store, taking up less room in an otherwise already cramped garage. The clear snow just fine and will do the job for most consumers dealing with relatively light snowfalls, 2 car width driveways and 2 car length driveways. Clearing snow will take 10 to 15 minutes and unless you are dealing wiht heavy wet snow or really well packed snow, these machines work just fine.

Does Snowthrower Size Matter

If speed is a factor then yes a wider machine will make faster work of clearing snow. Wider machines, 28 inch for example come with larger tires, a more powerful engine and they weigh several hundred pounds more. Traction is better and they have the power to throw the snow further.

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Anyone with a long driveway will appreciate using a wider machine simply because it takes less time. Consumers who regular experience heavy snow falls or packed snow at the end of the driveway from the snow plow will also enjoy using a more powerful machine.

From experience of using both machines the writer can tell you that even for a relatively small driveway, clearing snow is much easier with a larger more powerful snowthrower. The big stumbling block of course is the room it takes in the garage, which is at a premium. Still I would rather use this larger machine than fight through heavy snow with one that is lighter and less powerful.

For more thoughts on snow blower features and what you should consider when purchasing a snow blower, click here.

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Does Snowblower Size Matter

January 7th, 2018 ernie Posted in Snow Blower Features | No Comments »

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Does Snowblower Size Matter The answer to the question, does snowblower size matter, is not really for most people. If you have a single car width driveway or even one that is two car widths wide, it really will not take long to clear the snow. Unless you have a really long driveway, then 10 minutes of snow blowing and your done, even with a smaller 24 inch wide machine.  You may need 5 to 10 passes depending on the width of the driveway and your done. There are a number of other factors that some people may want to consider before making a decision to purchase a 24 inch wide snowblower or a 28 inch or even wider machine. One of the significant issues for many people is where will they store the snowblower. A big machine takes a lot of room in your garage. If you only have a single car garage, you may not even get  your car in the garage with the lawn mower and the snowblower taking up a lot of room,

Other Factors about Does Snowblower Size Matter

Long driveways will take longer to clear with a small snow blower. If time is not a factor for you then no worries about a small machine from this perspective.

Larger snow blowers, 28 inch and larger are heavier and come with more powerful engines. They tend to slip less on the ice and snow and they have the power to chop through snow drifts and blow it further. It might still only take ten minutes, but you struggle a lot less with heavy snow.

Consider the snow that the snow plow dumps in your driveway. This is hard packed and sometimes with chunks of ice mixed in. A stronger more powerful snow blower will deal with this snow much easier than the smaller ones. Power, weight and size do matter in these conditions.

Having operated both a 24 inch and a 28 inch snowblower with a 2 car width driveway that is 2 car lengths long, I can tell you that I am much happier with the larger machine. The extra power that comes with the extra weight makes a huge difference in heavy wet snow conditions.

For more thoughts on snow blower features and what you should consider when purchasing a snow blower, click here.

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Snowthrower Features that Matter

December 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Snow Blower Features | No Comments »

features that matterManufacturers are adding more and more features to snowthrowers to compete and also justify their prices. However, there are some basic features that consumers find are must haves to make their job of clearing snow from their driveways just a little bit easier. Everyone places different priorities on these features that matter, based on their own likes and dislikes. Prioritize them and go shopping for what makes sense based on where you live and the amount of snow you receive every year. For example, tire chains are not included on the list, however if you have a steep slope to clear, tire chains could be very important. Our research shows that the following snowthrower features that matter are what consumers like the most:

  • Multi Speed
  • Single Hand Operation
  • Chute Control
  • Headlight for Night Time Operation
  • Accelerator
  • Electric Starter
  • Easy Maneuverability
  • Handgrips that are Heated
  • Easy Storage
  • Sufficient Power
  • Easy Maintenance

Snowthrower Features that Matter

Multi Speed – allows you to slow the forward speed down in heavy snow and speed it up for lighter snow conditions as well as transporting from one location to another.

Single Hand Operation – allows you to control the forward speed and engage the auger at the same time while adjusting the direction your blowing snow by adjusting the chute.

Chute Control – the minimum is a crank that allows you to turn the chute in the direction you want to blow the snow. Some controls offer height adjustment as well, although these appear to be more difficult to control.

Headlight for Night Time Operation – in most urban areas there is more than sufficient light to blow snow at night. But a headlight provides safety as well allowing cars to easily see you on the side of the road with the headlight in operation.

Accelerator – adjusts the power levels for whatever conditions you are dealing with.

Electric Starter – makes starting your snow blower very easy. Some can be more difficult to start manually especially when the engine is still cold.

Easy Maneuverability – included on most larger machines, these controls allow you to lock one wheel or the other to turn the machine in the direction you want to go. Turning a snowthrower can be difficult if you are on pavement.

Handgrips that are Heated – this is a nice to have feature especially if you are blowing snow in really cold weather. The first thing to get cold is the finger tips and this feature is much appreciated by many consumers.

Easy Storage – always consider where you will store your snowthrower and whether you have sufficient room

Sufficient Power – more powerful machines will make a faster job of clearing snow and often have more features such as the heated grips and easier maneuverability. Having used both large and small machines, the writer much prefers a 28 inch or larger width snow thrower.

Easy Maintenance – in most cases maintenance consists of changing the oil, lubricating the chute and auger, checking the spark plug and belts. Decide if you are comfortable with these small jobs or will need a maintenance plan.

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SnowBlower Features that Matter

December 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Snow Blower Features | No Comments »

features that matterThousands of snowblowers are purchased every year and consumers have a variety of priorities about the features they feel they need in a snowthrowing machine. Our web site team has completed some research to come up with the popular snowblower features that matter to most consumers. We also provide a description of each and why they feel this feature was important to them. If you are looking for a snowblower, add these items to your check list of features that may be important to you. Obviously price is important but sometimes it does not make sense to forgo these features. You are going to be using this snowblower for many years, so make sure it is what you want and are comfortable operating it.

SnowBlower Features that Matter

  • Airless Tires
  • Easy turn controls
  • Heated Handgrips
  • Electric Starter
  • Engine Speed control
  • Headlight
  • Controls for Chute direction
  • Multi Speed Forward and Reverse
  • Single Hand Operation

Airless Tires – more and more companies are offering this feature. No flat tires to repair and soft tires to fill with air.

Easy turn controls – allows the operator to steer the machine with the press of a button or lever. Wresting a heavy machine can be difficult to do in snow conditions.

Heated Hand grips – keep your fingers warm particularly in extremely cold weather. It is the fingers even in heavy duty gloves that are the first thing to get cold.

Electric Starter – makes it much easier to start the engine, especially when they are cold and sometimes difficult to start with a pull chord.

Engine Speed control – adjusting the engine speed is another way of controlling the ground speed and the snow throwing distance.

Headlight – provides safety at night as well as lights your way along the edge of roads and sidewalks.

Controls for Chute direction – Ensure that the controls for setting the direction the snow is thrown are easy to use and easily available to the operator. Some machines will also have controls to adjust the height of the snow throwing chute as well.

Multi Speed Forward and Reverse – multiple speeds in both directions allow you to adjust the speed to coincide with the ground conditions, the density of the snow etc. High speed for light snow and ground transfer, slow speed for heavy snow clearing makes removing the snow much easier.

Single Hand Operation – is also useful when you need to steer with one hand and adjust the throttle engine speed or adjust the chute direction at the same time, without having to stop forward motion.

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Replacing Belts on Snowblowers

November 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce | No Comments »

Replacing Belts on SnowblowersReplacing Belts on Snowblowers is not something that operators really want to do very often. In fact the average residential owner should probably never have to replace any belts. This assumes that they are only clearing their own relatively short driveway. It also assumes that they do not engage the forward drive wheels when the wheels are blocked. The same thing applies to the auger as well. If either are blocked or stuck, you can risk burning the belt and breaking it as it heats up. If there is ice or snow blocking the auger, first shut the machine off and then use a broom handle of a special snow clearing tool to remove the ice and snow from the auger. Never put your hands near the auger.

Once the pressure is release the auger could turn 90 degrees which would be sufficient to slice a finger or even a hand off. Back to replacing belts on Snowblowers.

Replacing Belts on Snowblowers

The first step is to check the condition of the belts. There is a plastic housing that covers the pulleys and belts. It is located between the engine and the chute of the snowblower. Remove two bolts that hold it in place and then remove the plastic housing.

You should see two belts, each on a different set of pulleys.  Make sure the engine is turned off and cannot be started. Examine the condition of the belts. Look for fraying or splitting. They should be replaced if you see these conditions.

Check your manual for the correct belt size if they need to be replaced. If only one is frayed, replace both. You might as well replace both even though one of them may appear to be fine.

Depending on the snow blower you may have to temporarily separate the engine from the blower housing.It splits in the middle providing access to the belts. Replace the belts and then reassemble the housing with the engine.

Start the engine and test to make sure that it is assembled properly. You may have to adjust the tension to ensure it engages properly. Always turn the engine off before making any tension adjustments.

If you do not have the tools or necessary skills, make arrangements for a small engine mechanic to complete the repairs. You may have to have it picked up and delivered for repairs to be completed. for more repair related posts, click here.

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Snow Thrower Pre Season Maintenance

October 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Snow Throwers | No Comments »

Snow Thrower Pre Season MaintenanceYour snow thrower pre season maintenance is due and there is no better time to do this work than now before it gets really cold. Pre season maintenance is easy when it is still warm. No one wants to be dealing with a snow thrower that will not run properly after that first snow fall when it is really cold and there is lots of snow. We have listed a number of steps for consumers to consider. If you are uncomfortable doing this work yourself, at least test start your machine and make sure that it is running smoothly. The following are the steps to consider.

Snow Thrower Pre Season Maintenance Activities

Always refer to your snow throwers service manual for any details and questions. These are the areas you should be review as part of the pre season maintenance activities:

  • Check Spark Plug
  • Check Belts
  • Check Tires
  • Grease Auger
  • Check Light is Working
  • Check for Loose Bolts
  • Test Start with Fresh Gasoline
  • Clean Carburetor if Needed
  • Test all Gears
  • Test Auger and Impeller

Check Spark Plug – remove the spark plug and remove any corroded material. You will need to reset the gap of the electrode or install a new plug after setting the gap properly

Check Belts – all belts need to be at the proper tension. Replace if showing signs of wear.

Check Tires – make sure they are at the proper pressure. Tires seldom need replacement, however if they are showing cracks or losing air frequently, you may want to replace them.

Grease Auger – at the nipples in the auger with a grease gun. Use regular grease for this purpose.

Check Light is Working – check connections and / or replace as needed

Check for Loose Bolts – confirm all visible bolts are tight and secure

Test Start with Fresh Gasoline – Start the engine and let it run for 5 to 10 minutes

Clean Carburetor if Needed – if the engine runs rough, you may need to have the carb cleaned

Test all Gears – all gears both forward and reverse should work properly

Test Auger and Impeller – make sure the area is clear and then engage the auger to test that it works properly.

Change the oil – Now that the engine is warm, you can change the engine oil and place fresh oil in the machine as per the manufacturers instructions.

That is about it for basic level maintenance to get ready for the coming winter. Major repairs may need the services of a small engine mechanic if you are not comfortable doing this yourself.

 

 

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Snow Blower Pre Season Maintenance

October 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce | No Comments »

It is time to start thinking about doing snow blower pre season maintenance. It is still not that cold and relatively comfortable to work outside on equipment. Much more than after that first snow fall and you are trying to start your snow blower for the first time in the cold weather. A snow blower is pretty basic, however there are a number of things that you can do to ensure that it runs smoothly for you on the first day of winter after a large snow fall. We will list them and then give you a bit more detail on each.

Snow Blower Pre Season Maintenance Activities

Always refer to your service manual for any details and questions. These are the items you should be reviewing as part of the pre season maintenance activities:

  • Check Spark Plug
  • Check Belts
  • Check Tires
  • Grease Auger
  • Check Light is Working
  • Check for Loose Bolts
  • Test Start with Fresh Gasoline
  • Clean Carburetor if Needed
  • Test all Gears
  • Test Auger and Impeller
  • Oil Change

Check Spark Plug – remove the spark plug, clean the electrode and reset the gap. If badly corroded, replace with a new one.

Check Belts – for proper tension. Adjust tension pulleys if needed

Check Tires – for proper air pressure, any cuts or cracks. Replace if needed

Grease Auger – find the grease nipples and apply crease using a grease gun

Check Light is Working – replace bulb if needed and check connections

Check for Loose Bolts – make sure all bolts are tight and secure

Test Start with Fresh Gasoline – add fresh gasoline that has been treated with conditioner. Start your engine and let it run for 5 or 10 minutes to ensure there are no problems with the filter and carb.

Clean Carburetor if Needed – if your engine is difficult to start or runs roughly, then you may need to have the carb cleaned.

Test all Gears – make sure all forward and revers gears engage and work properly with adequate power

Test Auger and Impeller – make sure the auger and impeller are clear and then engage to confirm proper operation.

Oil Change – drain the engine oil into a pan, and reinstall fresh oil in the engine following the manufacturers instructions.

These are the basics of getting your snow blower ready for the coming season. Anything more serious may need the services of a small engine mechanic.

 

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Snow Thrower End of Season Maintenance

September 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Snow Throwers | No Comments »

snow thrower end of season maintenanceIt is time to complete your snow thrower end of season maintenance if you have not already checked your machine. No one wants to do this kind of work in the cold of winter. Although you really do not want to think about winter it is really just a few months away at the time of writing this post. It is time to get your equipment tuned up and ready. Over the years we have found that regularly maintaining your snow thrower will add many years to its life and possibly to yours as well. It can be quite frustrating to find that your snow thrower will not start on the first day that snow falls. Your snow thrower will run better, smoother and at full power with new spark plugs, properly tension-ed belts and fresh engine oil. Clean fresh gasoline can help as well. We put together a checklist that should be part of your standard review for end of season maintenance or preparation for the coming season. Don’t procrastinate, do it now and get your snow thrower ready for the coming season.

Snow Thrower End of Season Maintenance

This is our list of Snow Thrower End of Season Maintenance items to check on your snow Thrower to ensure it runs well and starts every time:

  • Change the engine oil
  • Ensure the tires are properly inflated
  • Check the spark plug, clean and set the spark plug gap
  • Install a new spark plug if needed
  • Check the belt tension
  • Grease the auger shaft
  • Check the gear changer and adjust if needed
  • Spray the housing with rust inhibitor to protect the frame from rust
  • Ensure there is fresh gasoline in the tank
  • Add preservative to the gasoline as needed
  • Repair any other damage that may have been caused in the past year

For more information about repairs and maintenance for your snow thrower, click here.

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Snow Blower End of Season Maintenance

September 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce | No Comments »

snow blower end of season maintenanceIf you have not already completed your snow blower end of season maintenance, it is time to do it before the winter season arrives. No one wants to do this kind of work in the cold weather. Although you really do not want to think about winter it is really just around the corner and it is time to get your equipment tuned up and ready. Over the years we have found that regularly maintaining your snow blower will add many years to its life and possibly to yours as well. It can be quite frustrating to find that your snow blower will not start on the first day of a really big snow fall. Your snow blower will run better, smoother and at full power with new spark plugs, properly tension-ed belts and fresh engine oil. Clean fresh gasoline helps as well. We put together a list of items that should be part of your standard checklist for end of season maintenance or preparation for the coming season. Don’t procrastinate, get going now and get your snow blower ready for the coming season.

Snow Blower End of Season Maintenance

This is our list of Snow Blower End of Season Maintenance items to check on your snow blower to ensure it runs well and starts every time:

  • Change the engine oil
  • Ensure the tires are properly inflated
  • Check the spark plug, clean and set the spark plug gap
  • Install a new spark plug if needed
  • Check the belt tension
  • Grease the auger shaft
  • Check the gear changer and adjust if needed
  • Spray the housing with rust inhibitor to protect the frame from rust
  • Ensure there is fresh gasoline in the tank
  • Add preservative to the gasoline as needed
  • Repair any other damage that may have been caused in the past year

For more information about repairs and maintenance, click here.

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Why Would you Hire a Snow Clearing Company vs buy a Snow Blower

August 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Buying Snow Blowers | No Comments »

Reliable Snow Clearing CompanySnow Blowers are going on sale in the late summer period and your wondering if your should hire a snow clearing company. The sales look attractive, but do you really want to operate one of these noisy machines? Where will you store it when it is not on use? They are heavy and difficult to transport if you need to have repairs completed. Can you maintain it yourself and what do you need to do anyway? These are all questions that many people ask themselves every year when they look at the snow blower sales available. We have summarized some of the main issues to help people make a decision regarding which solution they should consider. Hire a snow clearing company vs. buy a snow blower.

Why Would you Hire a Snow Clearing Company vs buy a Snow Blower

Cost – Sure there is a large up front cost to buying a snow blower, but how quickly will you spend more money hiring a company to clear your driveway. With many contracts running in the $300 to $500 range a year, most people will find that within 3 to 5 years their snow blower will be the less expensive option.

Operation – are you comfortable operating one of these machines. The trick is to let it do the work and just focus on steering. They are noisy as well. Try out a neighbors machine if you have concerns in this area.

Storage – were will you store the snow blower when it is not in use. Many people find that they cannot store it in their garage and have to leave it outside. Over the years every machine will deteriorate so make sure you have someway to protect it.

Maintenance – can you change the oil, check the belts and the spark plug. If you cannot, you might want to hire a snow clearing company. These tasks are simple and straight forward but not everyone wants to do the maintenance.

Convenience – It is very nice to look out your window in the morning and see that your driveway is already clear. Getting to work is no problem at all. If you travel, then hire someone to clear the snow. You want the house to look live in while you are away and the driveway to be clear when you return.

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