Snow Blowers


SnowBlower Features that Matter

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

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features that matter

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Thousands 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.

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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 »

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Replacing Belts on Snowblowers Replacing 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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Why Would you Hire a Snow Clearing Company vs a Snow Thrower

August 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Snow Throwers | No Comments »

Reliable Snow Clearing CompanyWhy would you hire a snow clearing company vs. a snow thrower? There are many reasons to hire a snow clearing company, but many people resist because they know that it is less expensive to just purchase a snow thrower. There are conditions which make one or the other more attractive from a financial perspective. In addition there are other practical reasons that make it reasonable to hire a snow clearing company. We will discuss some of these concerns and issues in this post. Bottom line, it is a very personal decision regarding which solution you pursue.  The decision involves both how much money you have and also how comfortable you are in operating this kind of equipment. If you are not very handy and do not like large noisy machines that you have to maintain, hire a snow clearing company.

Hire a Snow Clearing Company vs. Buy a Snow Thrower

These are the main areas that every person should consider before they purchase a snow thrower.

Financial – A snow thrower properly maintained should last many years. Take the cost of the snow thrower divided by the annual cost of hiring a snow clearing company to find out how long it will take you to break even on the costs. If it is less than the expected life time of the snow thrower, then it is a good idea from a financial perspective to buy the snow thrower. in most cases unless you buying an expensive snow thrower, the payback will be less than 5 years. Most machines that are well maintained will last for ten, to 30 years.

Transportation – If you cannot maintain it yourself, you will need to arrange transportation to take it to a repair shop. Factor in this issue to make sure that you can accommodate this need.

Maintenance – The oil should be changed every year or more often in high use situations along with the spark plug. Check the belt tension and lubricate as needed. If you can do this yourself, you can save a great deal of money.

Repairs – Most machines will never need repairs especially if they are maintained properly. Can you change tires, change belts, change spark plugs, etc yourself.

Operation – some people are just not comfortable operating a large noisy snow thrower. Although you want to save money, it may be better to just hire someone. This is a very personal assessment that everyone needs to take into account.

Convenience – If you travel, are away on business trips, or just do not want to be bothered clearing snow at 6 in the morning so you can get to work, then hire a snow clearing company. It is pretty nice to look out your window and see a clear driveway that has been cleared sometime during the night!

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Snow Thrower Maintenance

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

Snow Thrower MaintenanceRegardless of when you decide to complete maintenance on your snow thrower, there are eight areas that consumers should focus on. Obviously it is better to do this maintenance in the spring or summer time when it is warm. However you can perform these snow thrower maintenance tips any time during the year, even when it is cold and the beginning of winter has begun. But do you really want to perform this kind of maintenance in the cold weather? I prefer to do this in warm weather just when it warms up for the spring season after the snow is gone.

Snow Thrower Maintenance Tips

Here are eight tips that all consumers should consider to keep their snow thrower machine running smoothly all year long.

  • Install a new spark plug
  • Check the impellers and the auger
  • Review the belts
  • Inspect the shave plate
  • Reverse the skid shoes
  • Confirm the shear pins are ok
  • Change the engine oil
  • Add fresh gasoline with stabilizer to the gasoline tank

A few more comments on each:

Install a new spark plug – at the very least remove the spark plug, remove all corrosion and set the gap to the proper amount as specified by the manufacturer

Check the impellers and the auger – to make sure they are not damaged in any way and grease the auger if there are grease nipples

Review the belts – to make sure they are not frayed or coming apart and are at the proper tension

Inspect the shave plate – it should not be loose and about 1/4 inch above the surface if you are clearing snow off a paved driveway. Higher if on gravel.

Reverse the skid shoes – check the skid shoes and if they are beginning to show signs of wear, reverse them and ensure they are tightly secured

Conform the shear pins are ok – replace them if they are showing signs of being sheared off.

Change the engine oil – once per year and more often if you are using your snow blower every day during the winter

Add fresh gasoline with stabilizer in the gasoline – this will ensure that the tank and filters do not get gummed up by old gasoline that is beginning to separate into its component parts.

 

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Snow Blower Maintenance Tips

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

Regardless of when you decide to complete maintenance on your snow blower, there are eight areas that consumers should focus on. Obviously it is better to do this maintenance in the summer time when it is warm. However you can perform these snow blower maintenance tips any time during the year, even when it is cold and the beginning of winter has begun.

Snow Blower Maintenance Tips

Here are eight tips that all consumers should consider to keep their machine running smoothly all year long.

  • Change the spark plug
  • Check the impellers and the auger
  • Inspect the belts
  • Inspect the shave plate
  • Reverse the skid shoes
  • Check the shear pins
  • Change the oil
  • Add fresh gasoline with stabilizer added

A few more comments on each:

Change the spark plug – at the very least remove the spark plug, remove all corrosion and set the gap to the proper amount as specified by the manufacturer

Check the impellers and the auger – to make sure they are not damaged in any way and grease the auger if there are grease nipples

Inspect the belts – to make sure they are not frayed or coming apart and are at the proper tension

Inspect the shave plate – it should not be loose and about 1/4 inch above the surface if you are clearing snow off a paved driveway. Higher if on gravel.

Reverse the skid shoes – check the skid shoes and if they are beginning to show signs of wear, reverse them and ensure they are tightly secured

Check the shear pins – replace them if they are showing signs of being sheared off.

Change the oil – once per year and more often if you are using your snow blower every day during the winter

Add fresh gasoline with stabilizer added – this will ensure that the tank and filters do not get gummed up by old gasoline that is beginning to separate into its component parts.

 

 

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