A snow blower, also sometimes referred to as a snow thrower, is a machine designed to remove snow from an unwanted area, such as a driveway or sidewalk. It can use either a gasoline or diesel engine, or it can be powered by electricity. Unlike snowplows, which are designed to push the snow to the front or side, a snow blower is designed to “throw” snow from one location to another, such as the road, the lawn, or into a truck to be hauled away.
There are hundreds of different snow blowers you can choose from. The 24 inch Craftsman 88173 208 cc model is one of the best reviewed models on the market, and is excellent for heavy snow removal. For those looking for a larger model, the 2014 Craftsman 26 inch 208cc 88970 model is also extremely well-reviewed, and will easily handle over a foot and a half of snow. For people with extremely large driveways or other areas, the 33 inch Craftsman model is a must have. It features heated hand grips, large deep tread tires, power steering, and a huge motor that will handle heavy and wet snow.
Before you start, find out which way the wind blows. Avoid blowing snow against the wind, as it will just blow back in your face and in the area you are currently clearing. The wind direction can change suddenly, so adjust your approach if you need to. You also want to set out an area where you want the snow to be piled up. It may get high over time, so make sure you are careful about where you choose. Try to avoid piling snow against your house, vehicles, or where there is a lot of foot or other traffic. Follow the instruction manual on how to operate your snow blower, and make sure all the parts are working properly and it is fully gassed before you start using it.
Safety Features & Guidelines
A snow blower is a great way to cut down on the amount of physical labor you have to do during the winter time, but it can be somewhat dangerous if used incorrectly. Never, ever stick your hand near the blades while the machine is still running. If they are stuck, turn the machine off and then attempt to fix the problem. Always be sure of your footing – snow can be slippery, and if it’s cold there may be ice. Take your time and walk while using the machine. If you have to work on a slope, work gradually, and avoid starting or stopping on the slop.
Pros & Cons
The biggest advantage of buying a snow blower is cutting down on the amount of shoveling you have to do, which can be very tiring and time consuming. It can also be a risk to health, depending on your age.
Using a snow blower is good exercise, but it doesn’t require the heavy lifting that shoveling requires. It does take a while to completely clear a driveway, however. They are also relatively expensive, which can be a drawback if you live in an area where you do not receive a lot of snow. If you live in an area that receives a lot of snow, however, a snow blower is a great purchase.