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Snow Blower

11 Snow Blower Mistakes to Avoid this Winter

The top 11 snow blower mistakes to avoid this winter include blowing against the wind, using a wrong method, not adjusting skid slide shoes, waiting for the snow to stop, not checking for debris, wearing unsuitable footwear, not clearing the snow far enough, not knowing snow intake capacity, refueling a hot snow blower, not maintaining the tines and not using fresh fuel.

If you don’t want to shovel the snow yourself don’t worry our trusty snowplow operator will clear your driveway! EDEN is just a Call away.

Snow blowers are extremely vital for homeowners who live in regions that experience heavy snowfall. This is a major factor when clearing a snow-packed driveway. Still operating a snow blower is not always as easy as it sounds. There are several common mistakes that homeowners make which affects the way they clear snow from the property. 

To help you blow snow off of your property in the most efficient and effective way, we have listed the top 11 snow blower mistakes to avoid this winter.

1. Blowing against the wind

Make sure to check the wind direction to ensure that you are not blowing snow against it. This means that the snow is likely to be blown back on to your driveway by the wind. Since the chute directs the snow as it exits the snow blower, you need to adjust the direction of the chute, or make a U-turn and repeat once more to blow the snow with the wind direction.

2. Using a wrong method

You can try one of the two most efficient snow blowing methods to successfully get rid of snow from your driveway:

  • In case of a windless day, you should start blowing the snow down the middle of the driveway, then take a left turn and continue in a circular manner, while moving outward in concentric circles. This way, you will be able to blow the snow away without having to change the direction of the exit chute frequently.
  • In case of a windy day, you should start against the wind, while moving back and forth, away from the wind. You will need to change the direction of the chute with each turn, but you won’t be blowing the snow against the wind.

3. Not adjusting skid slide shoes

Most homeowners fail to realize that there are two separate guards on each side of the snow blower’s intake. These prevent the auger from coming in contact with the paved surface, such as a walkway or driveway while it blows the snow. These augers are commonly called slide shoes, and must be adjusted at least 3 mm above the ground surface. You may need to pull the guards even lower if you are working on a gravel driveway, to prevent the intake from sucking in the gravel. These skids tend to wear out after a while, so make sure to check them for wear frequently.

4. Waiting for the snowfall to stop

It sounds tempting to wait for the cold snow to stop falling before embarking on a snow blowing task. However, experts advise to not wait for the snow to pile up into huge mounds as it makes the task more difficult. 

Instead, you can choose to blow away the snow every couple of hours, when it is snowing. Snow blowers usually have intakes that can suck snow from 10 to 12 inches away. If a huge amount of snow is expected to fall, then make sure to make a few passes in the snow blower while the snow is still below the intake height. Once the snow storm ends, you can clear the snow once more.

5. Not checking for debris

Toys, rocks, dog chains and daily newspapers can be easily covered with only a few inches of snow, if these are littering your yard before a snowfall. If you don’t examine the area before using a snow blower, you face the risk of major damage to the auger and belt which can completely destroy the objects too.

6. Wearing unsuitable footwear

Snow blowers are heavy pieces of machinery that require the operator to use it from a sturdy base. Wearing shoes or boots that don’t have enough tread can cause you to slip and slide down the driveway if you attempt to push the snow blower. If you are working to clear snow from a sloping area, using a snow blower without proper footwear can be a recipe for disaster or injury. Hence, make sure to use footwear that has snow-grip treads. In contrast, if you don’t want to buy special snow boots, you can also use your normal shoes by simply covering them with a pair of socks. Putting a sock over the footwear can give your feet sufficient grip on a slippery icy surface. 

7. Not clearing the snow far enough

Many homeowners who are not used to operating a snow blower often tend to throw the snow to the edge of the driveway. This makes a wall of snow along the driveway which can be quite difficult to clear later on. These huge mounds of snow also take longer to melt. To remedy this, you should adjust the snow blower’s chute for its maximum distance so you can blow the snow as far away as possible from the driveway. 

8. Not knowing snow intake capacity

If your snow blower’s intake capacity is stated as 30 inches on the user manual, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the blower is capable of moving a 30-inch wide swathe of snow every time. Heaver, wet snow can quickly clog its intake pipe if you try to force the machine. In such a situation, we recommend you to cut narrower paths to avoid clogging the snow blower.

9. Refueling a hot snow blower

Remember never refuel a snow blower while it’s still hot from use. The snow blower’s engine can get pretty hot from use and the fuel tank is located right over the engine. If you accidentally spill even a small amount of gasoline on the hot engine, it can instantly ignite and cause burn injuries apart from damaging or destroying the snow blower completely. 

This is not a rare occurrence and this is the reason that most snow blower manufacturers clearly direct users to wait for at least 10 minutes before refueling a snow blower mid-job. 

10. Not maintaining the tines

The steel rotating tines remove snow from the ground and can potentially cause injury, if you are not careful. If a snow blower gets clogged and stops, make sure to turn off the engine completely before using a broom handle to clear out clumps of snow clogging the tine blades. 

Never use your bare hands to remove snow from the snow blower’s tines. Avoid wearing loose clothing items, such as scarves or bulky jackets as these can easily get caught in the whirring tines and may even pull you into them.

11. Not using fresh fuel

Sometimes, the most challenging aspect of using a snow blower is simply getting it started. Gas-powered snow blowers have a reputation for being extremely difficult to start in cold weather. This is the reason it is recommended to use fresh fuel.

Using the remaining old fuel from the lawn mower or another device in the garage makes it more difficult to start the snow blower in sub-freezing conditions. However, when you fill the tank with fresh fuel it makes it easier to start and use the snow blower.

Conclusion

The top 11 snow blower mistakes to avoid this winter include blowing snow against the wind, using a wrong technique, not adjusting skid slide shoes, waiting for snowfall to stop, not checking driveway for debris under the snow, wearing non-treated footwear, not blowing the snow far enough, not checking intake capacity, refueling mid-job, not maintaining the tines and not using fresh fuel. Make sure to avoid these mistakes the next time you bring out the snow blower for a safe and convenient snow blowing experience. 

If you don’t want to shovel the snow yourself don’t worry our trusty snowplow operator will clear your driveway! EDEN is just a Call away.

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