Snow Blowers

Tire Chains for Snow Blowers

April 21st, 2016 ernie Posted in Tire Chains | No Comments »

tire chains for snow blowersThe tires shown in this picture are brand new and will deliver full traction even without the chains. Unfortunately even on pure ice, they will slip and that is when you should consider using tire chains for snow blowers on your tires to provide much better traction and avoid slippage. There are times when it make sense to use tire chains for snow blowers and other times when you should not use them under any circumstances. Long driveways with slopes are examples when tire chains might be needed. You can waste a lot of time and become very frustrated trying to deal with icy snow conditions on an upward slope. You may even have to up hill without clearing any snow just to make it up the hill. Even going down hill in heavy snow with ice underneath may be a challenge. But when would you want to reconsider using tire chains?

Tire Chains for Snow Blowers

Any time you have a newly paved driveway that you do not want to scratch, or paving stones that cost you thousands of dollars is a time when you do not want to use tire chains. The chains will leave scratches that cannot be removed or hidden and most people would not like this at all.

In fact you should also use a Teflon scraper bar on the bottom and Teflon shoes for the snow blower to avoid any scratches on your pavement or paver stones. If you are planning to hire a professional snow clearing company to clear your driveway, this fact should be checked to make sure they use the right equipment on your newly paved driveway to avoid permanent damage.

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Chains for Snow Blowers Craftsman

April 7th, 2016 ernie Posted in Tire Chains | No Comments »

chains for snow blowers craftsmanTire chains for snow blowers craftsman or any make of snow blower will definitely help with traction control. The writer has personally used chains and from experience I can tell you there is a time to use chains on a snow blower tire and there is a time when you definitely do not want to use them. Anyone with a brand new paved driveway or a driveway with stone pavers should really think twice about using the tire chains on their snow blower. The problem is that these chains will slip on the surface and they will scratch your brand new driveway leaving permanent marks. Asphalt can be resealed in the summer to hide the scratch marks to some degree, but they are there permanently. On stone pavers there is really not a lot you can do. Once the stones are scratched, the only way to get rid of the marks is to replace the stones and you might not even be able to replace them with the same shade. Now it will look worse than it did with the scratch marks on the stone. Just don’t use tire chains in these situations.

Chains for Snow Blowers Craftsman

If you have a steep driveway where traction is really important and you have to use chains, there is another approach you can try. On the way down the slope, the weight of the snow blower will help to carry it forward and you probably can cut a full swath on the way down the slope. On the way up you may have to settle for 1/3 or even less just to get up the slope without slipping.

It is true that it will take much longer to clear your driveway, but that is the price of not using chains. If this approach does not work they you may just have to use the chains and live with the scratch marks.

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Symptoms of Bad Snowblower Plug

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

Symptoms of Bad Snowblower PlugA poorly running snowblower engine may be difficult to start. When it does start, the engine may run roughly, cough, sputter etc. It also may not run under full power and may not deliver full power. There can be a number of issues that could cause this condition including the spark plug. While all of these could be symptoms of bad snowblower plugs, they can be symptoms of poor gasoline, dirty fuel filters and gummed carburetors.  The best way to deal with this problems is by a process of elimination and one of the easiest is to check and clean the spark plug.

Symptoms of Bad Snowblower Plug

Remove the spark plug after first disconnection the spark plug wire and moving off to the side. Use an air blower of some kind to blow away any dirt and dust from around the snowblower spark plug. With the proper tool, remove the spark plug and assess the condition of the plug.

If it is clean with no carbon deposits, regap the plug and reinsert it. If there are any deposits, they should be removed using sandpaper and then the plug regapped to the specified gap as outlined in the manual.

If the plug is very dirty, with lots of carbon, it probably should be replaced. Replace any plug that is in this condition.

Often this is all that is needed. If this step does not make your engine run smoother or start, then further checks are necessary. Verify that there is a spark getting to the plug, verify that there is clean gas in the gas tank. Also use some gas line cleaner added to the gas tank.

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Symptoms of Bad Spark Plug Snowblower

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

Symptoms of Bad Spark Plug SnowblowerWhat are the symptoms of bad spark plugs in snow blowers? If your engine is not running well, there can be a number of reasons causing this including a bad spark plug. While it might be other items causing the problem, one of the easiest things to check is the spark plug. Remove the plug and clean it, check the gap and replace it. Confirm also that there is a spark between the terminals of the plug. Install the plug and try running the engine to determine if this makes any difference. You will notice right away if this was the problem. Overly dirty contaminated plugs should be replaced with new spark plugs after making sure that the gap has been set to the proper specifications.

Symptoms of Bad Spark Plug Snowblower

If the spark plug is black and covered with soot, it needs to be cleaned or replaced. But the soot is an indicator that the fuel air mixture is not correct. This usually means a dirty carburetor. Sometimes the carb can be cleaned by using gasoline treatment which will clean the carb and keep the gas fresh.

Never leave old gas in your snow blowers gas tank for any length of time. It tends to gum up everything and will cause the condition mentioned above. If the cleaner does not work, the carb will need to be taken apart and cleaned. If you are not familiar with this type of work, it is best to hire a small engine mechanic to complete the work for you.

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John Deere Oil Change Manuals

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

John Deere Oil Change ManualsWhile you really do not need to have the John Deere oil change manuals in front of you when you are changing the oil it is a good idea to review it ahead of time. We are going to cover the step by step generic process to change the oil in a snow blower. You will need to confirm the viscosity of the oil that should be used in your particular John Deere snow blower. We also suggest that you review all safety precautions for your snow blower prior to doing any kind of maintenance including the oil change.  Here is your step by step process for an oil change.

John Deere Oil Change Manuals

  • Run your snow blowers engine for 5 minutes to warm up the oil
  • Shut the engine off and disconnect the spark plug wire
  • Place a catch basin under the oil outlet to catch the oil
  • Loosen the oil filler dip stick
  • Loosen the oil drain plug and allow the warm oil to drain into the catch basin
  • Wait until all oil has drained from the engine
  • Attach the oil drain plug and tighten
  • Add the proper viscosity oil to the engine via the oil filler dip stick
  • Ensure the oil level is at the correct level on the dip stick
  • Place the oil filler dip stick in place and tighten
  • Attach the spark plug wire
  • Start the engine and allow it to run for a few minutes
  • Shut the engine off
  • Remeasure the oil level in the engine to ensure sufficient oil
  • If there is too much you will need to drain some out.

Check the oil level prior to starting the engine each time you use it to ensure there is sufficient oil in the engine. While it is pretty straight forward, care should be taken to avoid spilling oil on the floor of your garage or on the ground. Place a drip sheet under the snow blower if this is a concern. Follow all proper safety precautions as outlined in the manual.

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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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