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I refurbish a handful of tractors and snow blowers as a hobby and labor of love.  This site reflects the equipment I've completed and the ethical approach I take in selling these machines.  I also perform service and repairs on tractor-mowers, riding mowers, zero-turns, lawnmowers, and snow blowers.

This Library of Articles enables the homeowner to shop for, care for, and improve the ownership experience. 

Article 28: Snow Blowing Techniques

There are various techniques that enable you to use your snow blower most effectively under the harshest conditions.

You never muscle or force a snow blower.  You always let the machine do the work, including crushing, throwing, and moving in forward or reverse.

Generally, you work from the center outward and throw snow to each respective side as you proceed.  Your first pass is down the center of an area or driveway, heading lengthwise.

As with any piece of yard equipment, the operational method is as important as the capability of the snow blower.  The user has to balance snow conditions to the machine's overall limits.

When clearing large areas that are unusually long or wide, you may have to pace your work, by selecting a lower drive speed, so that the machine does not clog.  This is particularly true when you are unable to throw deep, heavy snow beyond the perimeter you are working on.  Since you work from the center outward and throw snow to each side as you proceed, you may encounter segments where you are clearing original snowfall plus snow thrown from the center outward.  Here, you have to employ some of the techniques described below, which I call, "pacing methods".

Some people forget that snow depth and weight can overwhelm any machine if moving too rapidly.  Note that if it is warm out, meaning above 32 degrees and/or sunny, either for a period during or after a snow storm, a portion of the snow will start to melt.  A higher concentration of moisture in the snow results in much heavier snow.  Accordingly, when you encounter unusually heavy, wet snow, you have to operate at a slower drive speed or even stop periodically to let the snow blower purge itself of accumulated snow.  If you start to take in too much snow, you release the drive handle while keeping the augur handle down, so it continues to expel remaining snow inside the snow blower.  Then you reengage the traction drive and continue working.

Another important technique, especially at the end of a driveway with heavy packed, plowed snow, is to move in, clear one to two feet and either stop or back up as it continues to throw snow already taken in.  Then you can move forward again to clear more snow.  If the machine rides up on the first attempt and takes part of the snow depth, that's okay.  Simply, back up and move in again and it will take the lower portion.

Should the chute on your snow blower clog during operation, ensure that you adhere to the following safety precautions:

SAFETY NOTE:  Never stand in front of the chute.

SAFETY NOTE:  If you need to clear the outlet to the chute, always turn off the snow blower, detach the spark plug wire, stand to the side of the chute, and use a snow clearing tool to crush and remove the clog.

The operator who is aware of the snow accumulation, weight of the snow, and climate when embarking on blowing snow, will better adjust his or her snow blowing technique to clear snow more efficiently and successfully.

 

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