Winter Is Coming: Snow Blower Do’s and Don’ts
Be sure to get your snow blower ready before the snow begins this year!
Snow Blower Do’s
1. Perform a Pre-Check
Check the following before you use your snow blower:
- Is the gas tank filled with fresh stabilized fuel, and is the oil filled to the proper level?
- Are the shear pins, skid shoes, and scraper blade installed on your two stage snow blowers?
- Have you cleared all foreign objects from your driveway/sidewalks?
- Are you wearing appropriate clothes that won’t get stuck on any parts of the machine? Gloves, safety glasses, and bright colored clothing are recommended.
- Do you understand how to operate the controls, like the auger and drive clutch, chute controls, and steering levers. (Read Owner’s Manual)
2. Discharging Snow – Plan Ahead
- Similar to mowing the lawn, decide on a pattern or plan of attack, so you won’t have to clear snow from an area twice.
- Determine where you want to pile up the discharged snow, whether it’s on one side or both sides of the driveway. Make sure you never blow snow in the direction of houses, cars, or other people.
- Blowing snow into the street isn’t always a smart idea either. First, it’s dangerous for any passing cars. Second, if snow plow trucks regularly plow the streets, they’ll push the snow right back onto your sidewalk.
*Hint: Wind direction can play a big part in deciding where to discharge snow. Nobody wants a face full of snow blowback.
3. Start the Snow Blower in a Ventilated Area
- Before you start, make sure the auger and drive clutch are disengaged.
- Start your snow blower outside or in the garage with the door open, so the fumes won’t overwhelm you.
- Many snow blowers now come with an electric start option, which requires an extension cord to be plugged into an outlet.
- Check your owner’s manual for recommendations.
4. Use Both Hands
- Once your snow blower is running, keep both hands on the machine as much as possible. This allows you to have quicker access to the controls. Plus it’s safer, in case you begin to slip.
- Many two stage snow blowers have a one-hand interlock feature, so you can drive the snow blower with one hand and rotate the chute with the other.
5. Slow and Steady Wins the Race
- Clearing snow isn’t a race. If you go too fast in heavy deep snow, you could clog the snow blower. Then you’d have to spend time cleaning it out or replacing a shear pin. Set a steady pace based on the snow conditions, and make slow easy turns.
6. ALWAYS READ YOUR OWNERS MANUAL BEFORE OPERATING YOUR SNOW BLOWER!
Snow Blower DON’TS
1. Don’t leave a running snow blower unattended.
2. Don’t clean out the chute or augers with your hands or feet.
3. Don’t point the chute at buildings, cars, or people.
4. Don’t refuel while the engine is on.
5. Don’t start the snow blower in an enclosed area.
6. Don’t use the snow blower to clear anything other than snow.
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